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Thursday, September 28th, 2023
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
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John 18

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1


1) "When Jesus had spoken these words," (tauta eipon lesous) "When Jesus had said these things," the things regarding "His going to His Father’s house," (John 14:1-31); "The vine and the branches," (John 15:1-27); "The sending of the Holy Spirit," (John 16:1-33); and "His intercession Prayer" a) For His restored glory with the Father, b) For His church people, and c) For those who should believe through their word, (John 17:1-26).

2) "He went forth with his disciples," (ekselthen sun tois mathetais autou) "He then went out and away with his disciples," out of Jerusalem, perhaps the upper room where He had observed the last Passover, then instituted the New Supper, called the Lord’s Supper, a memorial that was to be observed by His church followers in breaking bread and drinking of the cup, till He comes again, Matthew 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:17-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26.

3) "Over the brook Cedron," (peran tou cheimarrou tou Kedron) "Across the babbling or torrent of the brook Kedron," (Gk. form of Kidron) running through the valley of Jehoshaphat, East of the old city wall, between the old city and the Mount of Olives, 2 Samuel 15:23; 1 Kings 2:37; Jeremiah 31:40.

4) "Where was a garden," (hopou hen kepos) "Where there was located ’a garden," a garden known as Gethsemane, which means "oil press," garden of our Lord’s agony, Matthew 26:36; Mark 14:32; Luke 22:39. Mark describes it as (Gk. chorion) meaning a country place or country estate, perhaps owned by a friend of Jesus.

5) "Into which he entered, and his disciples." (eis hon eiselthen autos kai ho mathetai autou) ’’Into which both he and his disciples entered," together, the place where three times He prayed in agony to the Father regarding the cup of suffering facing Him, that He was to drink that day, Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:39-46. The account of these petitions are not recounted by John, nor the blessing and breaking of the bread and the cup at the institution of the Lord’s Supper.

Verse 2


1) "And Judas also which betrayed him, knew the place:" (edei de kai loudas ho paradidous auton ton topen) "Then Judas also, the one who betrayed him, knew the place," the particular place of Gethsemane, on the Mount of Olives, the country estate, Matthew 26:47; Mark 14:43.

2) "For Jesus ofttimes resorted thither," (hoti pollakis sunechthe lesous ekei) "Because Jesus often assembled out there," as also recounted Luke 22:39; Luke 22:47. Because Jesus on previous visits to Jerusalem had visited there, Luke 21:37.

3) "With his disciples." (meta ton matheton autou) "With his new covenant fellowship of disciples.’’ for privacy, fellowship, and prayer, under the shade of the olive trees: It was surely associated in the traitors mind with many words of love and friendship that had there fallen from the lips of Jesus, who had chosen, him, ordained him, fed him, yet the traitor was now about to lift up his heel against Him, Psalms 41:9, in the, greedy gain of the bargain of 30 pieces of silver, Matthew 26:14-16; Mark 14:10-11: Luke 22:2-6.

Verse 3

1) "Judas then," (ho oun loudas) "Then the Judas," known as the son of Simon of Iscariot, John 6:71; John 12:4.

2) "Having received a band," (labon ten seiran) "Having taken charge of a band," part of a Roman cohort of soldiers then stationed in the castle of Antonio within the walls of Jerusalem, Matthew 26:47; Luke 22:47. A band consisted of about 600 soldiers. The garrison of cohorts were stationed there to assist the Sanhedrin in keeping order during the Passover.

3) "Of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees," (kai ek ton archiereon kai ek ton Pharisaion hupertas) "And attendants from the Pharisees and the administrative priests," who, had sought occasion to kill Jesus and found a contract-man, Judas Iscariot, who was willing to lead them personally to the private place in Gethsemane, away from the multitudes, where he had often gone with Him and the other disciples, Luke 22:2-6. The officers who came were Levites, supposed to be holy men, along with the Roman band.

4) "Cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons." (erchetai ekei meta phanon kai lampadom kai hoplon) "The band came out there to the garden with lanterns, and lamps and weapons." Lanterns or torches were usually carried by Roman soldiers on a night march. That night, when Jesus crossed over Cedron, His life changed briefly, from teacher to the great sacrifice, as He faced the torches, swords, staves, and clubs of the night band of clandestine murderers, Matthew 26:47; Mark 14:43.

Verse 4

1) "Jesus therefore, knowing all things," (lesous oun eidos panta) "Then Jesus knowing all things," from the beginning, omniscient in His Deity, as the Son of God, John 2:24-25; John 21:17; John 13:1; John 13:3; Luke 9:51; Hebrews 12:2.

2) "That should come upon him," (ta erchomena ep’ auton) "All the things coming upon him," in His laying down His life, John 10:17-18; Acts 2:28.

3) "Went forth, and said unto them," (ekeslthen kai legei autoi) "Went forth (forward) and said directly to them," went forth from the olive grove, and disciples, from under the olive trees, approaching the hit-band, the night-mob, led by the covetous thief, the contract-man, Judas Iscariot, Luke 22:47-48.

4) "Whom seek ye?" (tina zeteite) "Whom seek ye?" or who are you all trying to find? Not that He did not know, but to hear them say it, and for His disciples to hear them say who they were hounding, pursuing for the seizure and the slaying. He thus focused attention on Himself to prevent a general attack on the disciples as well. Judas responded by approaching Jesus and planting the treacherous traitor’s kiss upon His cheek, Mark 14:44-45.

Verse 5

1) "They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth," (apekrithesan auto) "They answered him directly." (lesoun ton Nazoraion) "Jesus the Nazarene," Matthew 2:23; For they held that no good thing could come out of Nazareth, John 1:46; Acts 24:5. It was the despised name by which He was commonly known, and a term of derision, used by the Pharisees especially, Mark 14:67.

2) "Jesus saith unto them, I am he." (legei autois ego eimi) "He said to them directly I am he," the one the traitor has contracted to deliver to you all, and I know what you are after and who you are after, John 2:24-25; Matthew 26:14-16. You need go no further. Though Judas identified Him with the kiss, Jesus also, without fear, identified Himself.

3) "And Judas also, which betrayeth him," (kai loudas ho paradidous auton) "Judas also, the one who betrayed him," who had already entered the contract bargain to lead them to Jesus, in privacy, away from the multitude, to the glee of the chief priests and Jewish rulers, Mark 14:10-11.

4) "Stood with them." (heistekei de met’ auton) "Then stood with them," with the "weapon-bearing band," like a hunter stalking his prey, bent on the kill; He was "standing in the way of sinners" that nite, identified by presence and by a contract bargain with the chief sinners of the hour, Psalms 41:9; John 13:18-19.

Verse 6

1) "As soon then as he had said unto them," (hos oun eipen autois) "Then as he told them," said directly to them, to the arresting band and their accomplices, John 18:3.

2) "I am he, they went backward," (ego eimi apelthan eis ta opiso) "I am he," or the one, they went away, backed away, recoiled, stumbling in the crowd, awed by the presence and the word of Jesus.

3) "And fell to the ground." (kai epesan chamai) "And they fell on the ground," upon the earth, perhaps a fulfillment of Psalms 27:2.

Verse 7

1) "Then asked he them again," (palin oun eperotesen autous) "Then again he questioned them," the weapon-carrying band, a second time, that there might be no mistake, that all His disciples might hear, that there might be no mistake in His identity, and to shield the disciples from attack.

2) "Whom seek ye?" (tina zeteite) "Whom do you all seek?" search for out here in the night; It is a question of irony and indictment of their ulterior motives in seizing Him in the quiet hours of the night, Matthew 26:16; Luke 22:6.

3) "And they said, Jesus of Nazareth." (hoi de eipan lesoun ton Nazoraion) "Then they said (again), Jesus the Nazarene," as stated John 18:5.

Verse 8

1) "Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he:" (apekrithe lesous eipon humin hoti ego eimi) "Jesus answered, I told you all that I am he," the Nazarene, the one who is the Messiah, Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Matthew 2:23; John 1:45-46.

2) "If therefore ye seek me," (ei oun eme zeteite) "If then you all seek me," or search for me, you have found me, the one you desire to oppress, As they did, led by Judas, John 18:3, fulfilling Psalms 41:9.

3) "Let these go their way:" (aphete toutous hupagein) "Allow these (disciples) to go free,’’ unarrested, or without detaining them, as suspects of law-breaking, as if they were criminals or harboring a criminal; His first care was for His friends, He was now ready to give His life for His church, too, Ephesians 5:25.

Verse 9

1) "That the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake," (hina plerothe ho logos hon eipen) "In order that the word which he had said might be fulfilled," come to be fulfilled, John 17:12; This is the predicted affirmation He had made to His Father, in His intercessory prayer for them, that He had "kept them."

2) "Of them which thou gavest me," (hoti hous dedokas moi) "That those whom you have given to me," John 6:37; John 6:45.

3) "Have I lost none." (ouk apolesa eks auton oudena) "I have not lost any one of them," not even one, as I promised, except the son of perdition, John 5:24; John 10:27-29; John 17:12; Hebrews 13:5.

Verse 10

1) "Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it," (Simon oun Petros echon machairan eilkusen auten) "Then Simon Peter who had a sword drew it," with intent to defend himself and his Lord, as he had earnestly pledged he would do, earlier that evening, Matthew 26:35; Mark 14:31. He did not want to be separated from the fate of his Lord, John 13:38, and thought a rescue possible, as only the Sanhedrin officials would enter the garden estate, leaving the Roman band of soldiers outside.

2) "And smote the high priest’s servant," (kai epaisen tou archiereos soulon) "And he struck the slave of the high priest," as also recounted, Matthew 26:51.

3) "And cut off his right ear." (kai apekopsen autou to otarion to deksion) "And he cut off his right ear," Mark 14:47; Luke 22:50.

4) "The servant’s name was Malchus." (hen de onoma to doulo Malchos) "And the servant’s name was known as Malchus;" Of the four Gospel writers, only John gives the name of the servant, perhaps because knowing the high priest, he also knew the servant by name, John 18:15-16. This servant was also a kinsman of the high priest, John 18:26; John 21:24. Since John is the only one who gave the name of Malchus it is also believed that he was that disciple who knew Caiaphas the high priest and went in with Jesus to the trial or hearing before him.

Verse 11

1) "Then said Jesus unto Peter," (eipen oun ho lesous to Petro) "Then Jesus said to Peter," after he had cut off the ear of Malchus, by accident, meaning to cut off his head instead, and after Jesus had healed the ear that was cut off, Luke 22:51.

2) "Put up thy sword into the sheath:" (bale ten Malchairan eis ten theken) "Put the sword into the sheath," put it up, do not take this matter of my destiny into your own hands, to defend me as one would a prominent political leader, Matthew 26:52; Luke 22:51. The actions of Peter were not commended by the Lord.

3) "The cup which my Father hath given me," (to poterion ho dedoken moi ho pater) "The cup which the Father has given to me," as a gift from Him, to drink for you all and the whole world, the portion allotted to me of my Father, Matthew 22:22; The cup of cross-suffering to death, Matthew 27:46; Luke 22:41-42; John 10:17-18. The figure of "the cup" is given Ezekiel 33:31-33; Matthew 26:39. The idea is that the cup He was about to drink was by appointment of His Father’s will, which He was to do, John 6:38.

4) "Shall I not drink it?" (ou me pio auto) "Shall I by no means drink it?" or not drink it at all? Certainly He should, Matthew 26:39; Matthew 26:42. Knowing that the agony of the Garden, and of His soul on the cross, were to effect an offering for sin, satisfying to the Father. He was willing to drink the cup of abandonment by the Father, to die alone, that sinners might not have to die in their sins, Isaiah 53:10; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24; Galatians 3:13; Titus 2:14; as well as to purchase His church, with His own blood, Acts 20:28; Ephesians 5:25.

Verse 12


1) "Then the band," (he oun speira) "Then the band," who had come to arrest Jesus, the band of Roman soldiers stationed at Antonio’s castle in the city, John 18:3, Acts 21:31-32; Acts 21:34; Acts 21:37; Acts 22:24. Then when they were sure they had their man, they aided the officers of the Jewish Sanhedrin who arrested Jesus.

2) "And the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus," (kai ho chiliarchos kai hoi huperetai ton loudaion sunelabon ton lesoun) "And the captain and the attendants of the Jews took hold on Jesus," as if He were a capital criminal. Yes, it was the Levitical officers of the Jews, who were supposed to be holy men, who incited, agitated, and pressed for His death, 1 Thessalonians 2:14-15.

3) "And bound him," (kai edesan auton) "And they bound him," shackled, tied or chained Him, mentioned by John only, a form of humiliation, that seems to have led Him to prison, a dungeon, in the late hours of that night, Isaiah 53:8; Acts 8:32-33.

Verse 13

1) "And led him away to Annas first;" (kai egagon pros hannas proton) "And they led him directly to Annas first," who did nothing to release Him, an account given by John only; Annas was the elder, apparently retired high priest, a councilor or elder adviser only, without Jewish administrative authority, Luke 3:2.

2) "For he was father in law to Caiaphas," (hen gar pentheros tou kaiapha) "For he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas," who was now administrative high priest, or decision making high priest, at this time, John 11:49-53. Annas had five sons who occupied the office in succession after his vacating the office AD 7-14.

3) "Which was the high priest that same year." (hos hen archiereus tou eniautou ekeinou) "Who was the high priest of that same year," and until AD 37, and gave directions regarding administrative matters, inclusive of acts of punishment and whippings in the synagogue for such as broke or were adjudged to have broken Moses’ law, as further carried out by the chief priests in various localities, Acts 9:1-2; Acts 4:1-6; Acts 5:17-28; Acts 5:40.

Verse 14

1) "Now Caiaphas was he," (hen de Kaiaphas) "Nov; it was Caiaphas," who was the one, the acting, administrative high priest, already having committed himself to aid and abet the murder of Jesus; He was therefore a prejudiced judge when the witness came before him. John 11:51.

2) "Which gave counsel to the Jews," (ho sumbouleusas tois loudaiois) "Who was the one having advised the Jews," on a former occasion, John 11:49-50.

3) "That it was expedient that one man," (hoti sumpherei hena anthropon) "That it was (existed as) expedient or advantageous that one man," referring to the man Jesus, Isaiah 49:6.

4) "Should die for the people." (apothanein huper tou laou) "Should (be caused) to die on behalf of the people," for the nation, Numbers 27:21, to avoid all of them having their temple worship and religious Jewish jobs taken away by the Romans, if the majority of their people should turn to follow Christ, whose following might come to outshine and have a greater political impact than that of Judaism, John 11:51-53.

Blind-bats could as well find fault with the sun, or worms find fault with fresh air, or blind men find fault with the appearance of those who see, as for a wicked, prejudicial high priest to find fault with Jesus Christ, apart from whom no salvation is found, Hebrews 7:26; Acts 4:12.

Verse 15


1) "And Simon Peter followed Jesus," (ekolouthei de to lesou Simon Petros) "Then Simon Peter followed Jesus," a thing he had done for more than three years now, Matthew 4:18-22; John 1:41-42.

2) "And so did another disciple:" (kai allos mathetes) "And another disciple," or the other disciple, believed to be John, the writer of this Gospel, John 19:26-27; John 21:20; John 21:24.

3) "That disciple was known unto the high priest," (ho de mathetes ekeinos hen gnostos to archierei) "Then the disciple , that one who was known to high priest," as the disciple that Jesus loved, John 21:20; John 21:24. It is believed to have been the apostle John, who seems to have owned a home and had considerable influence in Jerusalem, Acts 4:13; John 19:27.

4) "And went in with Jesus." (kai suneiselthen to lesou) "And he entered with Jesus," this one who knew also Malchus, the relative servant of the high priest Caiaphas, John 18:10; John 18:26.

5) "Into the palace of the high priest." (eis ten aulen tou archiereos) "Into the court of the high priest," where the night-time arraignment was held, as described as follows:

Verse 16

1) "But Peter stood at the door without," (ho de Petros heisthkai pros te thura ekso) "Then Peter stood at the door outside the court," without the palace or in the outer court area, because he was not known to the household, as John was.

2) "Then went out that other disciple," (ekselthen oun ho mathetes ho allos) "Then the other disciple," (of the two who followed Jesus after the arrest that night), the one acquainted with the high priest and his kinsman servant, Malchus, John 18:10; John 18:26.

3) "Which was known unto the high priest," (ho gnostos tou archiereos) "The one who was known to the high priest," John, the apostle, John 18:15; John 21:20; John 21:24.

4) "And spake unto her that kept the door," (kai eipen te theroro) "And told the portress," the door keeping maid, spoke to her, introduced her to Peter, vouched for Peter. From this, it is inferred that John, the beloved apostle, was both known by, and had a good reputation with, the household of the high priest. Female doorkeepers are mentioned in both the Old and New Testaments, 2 Samuel 4:6; Acts 12:13.

5) "And brought in Peter." (kai eisegagen ton Petron) ’’And he brought Peter inside the court," where the charges were being laid against Jesus. Peter had followed Jesus and the arresting band "afar off," keeping a distance away, as he came to the outer court of the palace, Matthew 26:58.

Verse 17

1) "Then saith the damsel that kept the door unto Peter," (legei oun to Petro he paidiske he thuroros) "Then the portress or maidservant that kept the door said to Peter," in an inquiring, suspicious manner, as he sat without in the palace, Matthew 26:69. There were then and still are maids, female porters who wait on prominent persons of State.

2) "Art not thou also," (me kai su) "Are not you also," in addition to John who was at Jesus’ side, within the court proper, where the high priest Caiaphas, the scribes, and the elders were assembled, Matthew 26:57. The term "thou also" seems to indicate that the maid knew John to be a disciple of Jesus and she perhaps innocently made the following remark.

3) "One of this man’s disciples?" (ek ton matheton ei tou anthropou toutou) "One of and from this man’s disciples?" A church disciple, a chosen follower and witness in His band?

4) "He saith, I am not." (legei ekeinos ouk eimi) "That one (Peter) said, I am not," fulfilling the prophecy of Jesus his Lord, only a few hours earlier in the evening, and breaking His vow to Jesus, made earlier that evening, Matthew 26:31-35.

Surely "the fear of men bringeth a snare," Proverbs 29:25; Matthew 10:28; 2 Timothy 2:12.

Verse 18

1) "And the servants and officers stood there," (estekeisan de hoi douloi kai hoi huperetai) "Then the slaves and the attendants, household servants and Sanhedrin officers stood out there," in the outer-court of the palace, alternating from standing to sitting positions, Matthew 26:69-70.

2) "Who had made a fire of coals;" (anthrakian pepoiektes) "Who had made a fire of coals," Luke 22:54-55. It was in the open air court of the house.

3) "For it was cold:" (hoti psuchos hen) "Because it was cold," so that the body was chilled without fire. For Jerusalem, rising 2,500 feet above sea level, is cold at night in springtime.

4) "And they warmed themselves:" (kai ethermainonto) "And they were warming themselves," as members of the court, witnesses, and soldiers, Luke 22:56.

5) "And Peter stood with them, and warmed himself." (hen de kai ho Petros met’ auton hestos kai thermainomenos) "Then Peter was also standing with them and warming himself," Mark 14:54. To this point he was unblushing, thinking he had gotten by with his first lie.

Verse 19

1) "The high priest then asked Jesus," (ho oun archiereus erotesen ton lesoun) "Then the high priest questioned Jesus," quizzed or interrogated Him.

2) "Of his disciples," (peri ton matheron autou) "Concerning his disciples," His followers who had companied, with Him through His ministry, many of whom were with Him in the Jerusalem area, John 15:16; John 15:26-27. He sought to determine if He were claiming to be a simple Rabbi or a Messiah.

3) "And of his doctrine." (kai peri tes didaches autou) "And concerning his teaching or doctrine," which He had openly taught in their temple, yet none dared challenge, arrest, or detain Him in the daylight hours, John 3:19-20; Luke 22:52-53.

Verse 20

1) "Jesus answered him," (apekrithe outo lesous) "Jesus responded to him," to Caiaphas the high priest that year, the one who had formerly encouraged His being put to death, therefore a prejudicial judge, John 11:49-53.

2) "I spake openly to the world;" (ego parresia lelaleka to kosmou) "With plainness I have spoken to the world," not merely to my disciples in the open, with no secret, covert, or ulterior motives or collusions; Such as you (Caiaphas) have been engaging in, with the chief priests and the Pharisees, John 11:47-48.

3) "I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple," (ego pantote edidaksa en sunagoge kai en to heiro) "I always taught in the synagogue and in the temple," with open boldness, without reserve, to everybody, as recounted, Luke 4:15; John 7:14; John 7:26; John 7:28; John 8:2.

4) "Whither the Jews always resort;" (hopou pantes hoi loudaioi sunerchontai) "Where all the Jews come together," in their synagogues, and in the temple, as cited above, where all the Jews assemble.

5) "And in secret have I said nothing." (kai en krupto elalesa ouden) "And in secret I spoke not a thing," not a thing that I have not taught before all, openly. Because I have nothing to be ashamed of, much as Paul certified to Felix and King Agrippa, Acts 26:26.

Verse 21

1) "Why askest thou me?" (ti me erotos) "Why do you question me?" since my testimony alone is not accepted under your laws of evidence, John 5:31-32; John 8:14; as based on Mosaic law, Deuteronomy 17:6. Why do you simply, exclusively interrogate me?

2) "Ask them which heard me," (eroteson tous akekootas) "Ask those who heard me," those who listened to my teachings. He challenges them to an honest investigation, and told them where and how they could find personal, first hand witnesses. It appears that Jesus may have appealed or looked to some who were present, to speak up or yield to answer this type of question against Him.

3) "What I have said unto them:" (ti elalesa autois) "What I spoke to them," who may be witnesses. Let them tell you - there are hundreds in this area now, in addition to my closer disciples who can witness the truth, John 14:1-6; John 15:16; John 15:27.

4) "Behold, they know what I said." (ide houtoi oidasin ha eipon ego) "Behold these know what things I spoke," they are of legal age, sound in mind and in body. I am willing to trust their testimony, just ask them, much as the parents of the man born blind challenged the Pharisees, John 9:21. They are the kind of witnesses who really count, if you want legal testimony, according to your own Sanhedrin law, See? Numbers 35:30; Deuteronomy 17:6; 2 Corinthians 13:1.

Verse 22

1) "And when he had thus spoken," (tauta de autou eipontos) "Then when he had said these things," referring the high priest to the kind of testimony required of his own law, certifying that such was available without harassing Him, whose testimony they had already rejected as invalid or inadequate, John 1:11; John 5:43; John 11:47-48; John 11:53.

2) "One of the officers which stood by," (eis parestekos ton hupereton) "One of the attendants or officers stood by," one of the Levite officers, not a Roman Soldier, one also religiously biased, who had gone out with the Roman band to arrest Him in the night-hours, led by Judas Iscariot, who had been paid by the priests and rulers to lead them to Jesus in privacy, away from the multitudes, John 18:3; Luke 22:52.

3) "Struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying," (edoken krapisma to lesou eipon) "Dealt a blow to Jesus repeatedly saying," with reproach in humiliating derision, Job 16:10. This is a similar treatment to that shown Paul at the orders of Ananias the high priest, Acts 23:2-3.

4) "Answerest thou the high priest so?" (houtos apokrine to archierei) "Do you answer the high priest like this?" Perhaps no answer would have satisfied them, so dastardly were they pursuing their deed, without regard for their own law. They became a law unto-themselves.

Verse 23

1) "Jesus answered him," (apekrithe auto lesous) "Jesus answered him," mildly, simply, but firmly, not acquiescing to derision, but affirming the truth and truthfulness of His teaching, testimony, and ministry about which He had been asked, John 18:19.

2) "If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil:" (if I have spoken ill, witness concerning the ill,) just what evil I have done, specify it, define the evil, the crime. If I have not spoken specifically in harmony with procedures for establishing evidence under your law, the only law under which you all can judge me, tell me where I have erred, Numbers 35:30; Deuteronomy 17:6.

3) "But if well, why smitest thou me?"(ei de kalos ti me dereis) "Then if well or ideal I have spoken, why do you beat me?" Explain your actions in the light of your own law, 1 Peter 2:19; 1 Peter 2:23. The words, challenge was spoken calmly but firmly by Jesus, as John the beloved stood by as his blood surely boiled, as he saw his master maltreated in this manner, in a supposed religious court of equity.

Verse 24

1) "Now Annas had sent him bound," (apesteilen oun auton ho Annas dedemenon) "Then Annas had sent him as he had been bound, or in physical restraints," as if He were a desperate criminal, as bound by the soldiers in Gethsemane, John 18:12; He sent Him on still bound.

2) "Unto Caiaphas the high priest." (pros kaiaphas ton archierea) "Directly to Caiaphas the high priest," the administrative high priest, that year, John 11:49; John 18:13. The exact order of shifting Jesus about from Caiaphas to Annas to Herod that night is not always clear, but that it was farcical, a sham night-trial, is evident. But the account of John 18:18-19 resumes now, as follows:

Verse 25

1) "And Simon Peter stood and warmed himself." (hen de Simon Petros hestos kai thermainomenos) "Then Simon Peter was standing and warming himself;" Here the account of that night resumes from John 18:18, as Peter continued warming himself by the fire, as His Lord was being tried within the court; Here he lingered, surrounded by temptation to which he yielded, against which he later warned, Psalms 1:1; 1 Peter 5:6-9; James 4:6-9.

2) "They said therefore unto him," (eipon oun auto) "Then they said to him," the servants and the officers of the court, the security guards about the Palace court, John 18:18.

3) "Art not thou also one of his disciples?" (me kai su ek ton matheton autou ei) "You are also out of or from among his disciples, aren’t you?" It was a simple, clear, honest question to this "man called Peter," who had repeatedly sworn never to deny the Lord, and even to die for Him, Matthew 26:33; Matthew 26:35; John 13:36-38.

4) "He denied it, and said, I am not." (ernesato ekeinos kai eipen ouk eimi) "That one (Peter) denied it and said, I am not," thus ignoring the injunction of Jesus, "watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak," and how weak! Matthew 26:41. Here it is clear that Peter not only denied the Lord personally but also denied being one of His disciples, His chosen witnesses, apostles, and church brethren, John 15:16; John 15:26-27.

Verse 26

1) "One of the servants of the high priest," (legei eis ek ton doulon tou archiereos) "One of the slave-servants of the high priest says," of Caiaphas, the administrative high priest that year, the one who was then presiding over the night time trial or arraignment, at that moment, John 18:14; John 18:24.

2) "Being his kinsman whose ear Peter cut off," (sungenes hon hou apekopsen Petros to otion) "Being a relative of him and whose ear Peter cut off." a kinsman and servant to Caiaphas; only John tells that this servant was a kinsman to the high priest, and the attendant servant Malchus, who had gone into the garden with the band of soldiers earlier in the night to arrest Jesus, during which event Peter cut his ear off, while meaning to cut off his head, John 18:10.

3) "Saith, Did not I see thee," (legei ouk se eidon) "Says, I saw you did I not;" at close range. It was this servant whose ear had been cut off, which Jesus immediately healed, John 18:11; Luke 22:51.

4) "In the garden with him?" (en to kepo metautou) ’’in the garden with him?" In the garden of Gethsemane with him, with Jesus and His associate disciples, and he did, John 18:1; John 18:10-11.

Verse 27

1) "Peter then denied again:" (palin oun ernesato Petros) "Then Peter denied again," a third time, in the presence of the servants and officers who stood by the fire, a third time, as the Lord had warned him that he would, Matthew 12:34; Mark 14:29-31.

2) "And immediately the cock crew." (kai eutheos alektor ephonesen) "And immediately a cock sounded," or crowed, as forewarned by Jesus and recounted by all four Gospel writers, Matthew 26:74; Mark 14:72; Luke 22:60; John 13:18. After our Lord’s resurrection Peter cleared up this grave sin, by three times vowing his love for Jesus, with such sorrow and earnestness of soul that Jesus not only used him in the mighty messages at Pentecost and Cornelius’ house, but also used him to write two books of the New Testament, John 21:9; John 21:17; Acts 2:10-11; 2 Peter 1:1 to 2 Peter 3:18.

Verse 28

1) "Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas," (agousiri oun ton lesoun apo tou Kaiapha) ’’Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas;" the "they" is the Sanhedrin of Luke 23:1, from the night-time arraignment which is believed to have lasted until after midnight, at which point He was apparently detained in prison, till early the next morning, Isaiah 53:8.

2) "Unto the hall of judgment: and it was early;" (eis to praitorion he de proi) "into the praetorium when it was yet early," the fourth watch, from 3 to 6 a.m. Mark 13:35, into the palace before Pilate, Matthew 27:1-2; Mark 15:1; The "they" who led Jesus before Pilate were a mad-mob of religious Jewish leaders, selfishly fearful of losing their jobs if the law of Moses was fulfilled or abolished by His coming; They were made up of chief priests, elders, scribes, and the whole council, called the Sanhedrin, which Luke calls the whole multitude, a motley milling mob.

3) "And they themselves went not into the judgment hall," (kai autoi ouk eiselthon eis to praitorion) "And they did not enter the praetorium," because you see they were self-supposed holy people, too pious to break the law of Moses, but not to kill the Lord, 1 Thessalonians 2:14-15; Acts 2:23; Acts 2:36-37. They neither entered a Gentile residence or place of business, nor an house with leavened bread, lest they be polluted, straining at a gnat, but gulping down a camel, Matthew 23:24.

4) "Lest they should be defiled;" (hina me mianthosin) "in order that they should not become defiled;" They were so ceremonial in their religious philosophy that they counted forms and ceremonies and traditions of the elders more important than the Divine laws of God that regarded moral principals and ethical practices. Their actions toward Jesus showed no more moral convictions or ethical behavior than a barnyard animal, as far as compassion is concerned.

5) "But that they might eat the passover." (alla phagosin to pascha) "But that they might be able to eat the passover," for, you see, to go into Pilate’s court where the Gentile Roman soldiers would be, to guard and testify against Jesus, would defile them, they imagined; Though they had been with them, consorted with, rubbed shoulders with them almost all the Passover night before, while going into and from the Garden of Gethsemane and to the nite-time arraignment, where they mingled for hours; Little wonder Jesus so often addressed them, "ye hypocrites," Mark 7:6-9.

Verse 29

1) "Pilate then went out unto them, and said," (ekselthen oun ho Petros ekso pros autous kai phesin) "Then Pilate went outside the praetorium to them and inquired," out into the open air court, outside the judgment hall, to accommodate their pretended piety from defilement, John 18:28.

2) "What accusation bring ye against this man?" (tina kategorian pherete tou anthropou toutou) "What kind of accusation do you all bring (concerning) this man?" To detain Jesus the Roman Law required that a specific formal charge be filed or put on record. For the first principle of equity in judgment against one charged with wrong or a lawless act is to define, specify the particular wrong, such as were defined in the scriptures, Exodus 20:1-17.

Verse 30

1) "They answered and said unto him," (apekrithesan kai eipan auto) "They answered and said directly to him," in feigned sanctity, the entire milling multitude of priests, scribes, elders, and the whole council of the Sanhedrin, Mark 15:1; Luke 23:1.

2) "If he were not a malefactor," (ei me hen houtos kakon poion) "Unless this one was repeatedly doing evil," a general insolent smear, without any particular charge, just a derisive name-smearing job, as saying, "He is a criminal," not at first even agreeing what crime He had committed, for He had not committed any, Hebrews 7:26.

3) "We would not have delivered him up unto thee." (ouk an soi paredokamen auton) "We would not have delivered him directly to you," trying to dictate the actions of the Roman governor; nice fellows that we are; But the Sanhedrin had already condemned Him to death, and would not have their decision revised, Matthew 26:65-66; Mark 14:64; though Jesus knew them to be, "children of the devil," and "murderers," John 8:44. But Pilate had enough character, and a position of reputation among the Romans, that he would not endanger it without requiring some specific charge against Jesus (from them), before he would act in any judicious manner on the case. For they must clearly state what kind of deed He had done that made Him a malefactor or an habitual criminal; For every word (charge) filed in criminal court required specific testimony, not mere general hearsay or character besmirching insinuations, Numbers 35:30; Deuteronomy 17:6; 2 Corinthians 13:1.

Verse 31

1) "Then said Pilate unto them," (eipen oun autois ho Pilatos) "Then Pilate said to them," to these impertinent would-be religious dictators who had gathered as a milling mob force outside Pilate’s judgment hall to demonstrate against letting Jesus Christ live on earth any longer, Psalms 2:1-3; John 15:25.

2) "Take ye him, and judge him according to your law." (labete auton humies kai kata ton humon krinate auton) "You all (you Jewish accusers) take him and judge him in harmony with the law (religious law) that you have," or your Mosaic law, since you do not have the kind of charges against Him on which I can act. These Christ-haters wanted Pilate simply to take their word for it, that He should be put to death, because of their fine character and reputation, See?

3) "The Jews therefore said unto him," (eipon auto hoi loudaioi) "The Jews replied directly to him," because they not only wanted, desired, His death but also to "pass the buck" for the criminal actions to Pilate, for his execution of the Savior.

4) "It is not lawful for us to put a man to death." (hemin ouk eksestin apokteinai oudena) "it is not legal for us to kill anyone," and nothing less than His death would satisfy their murderous desires, premeditated intent, and extended collusion, to put Him to death, John 11:47-53. To Jesus the gathering of the "Jewish heathen people," had now come, as prophesied, Genesis 49:10; Yet, they did perpetrate it, Psalms 1:1-5; 1 Thessalonians 2:14-15.

In essence Pilate said "If you have no specific charges, meeting requirements of our heathen, Roman, law of equity, finish the case yourselves, under your standards of equity or fair play, in your own religious courts."

Verse 32

1) "That the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled," (hina ho logos tou lesou plerothe) "In order that the word of Jesus might be fulfilled," come to pass, John 3:14-15.

2) "Which he spake signifying," (hon eipen esmainon) "Which he spoke signifying," or prophetically indicating beforehand, that He should be "lifted up from the earth," John 12:32; Luke 18:31-33, for crucifixion, the death of the cross, considered by the Jews to be the proper death for an heathen, which they branded Him to be, Matthew 20:19; John 12:33.

3) "What death he should die." (poio thanato emellen apotheskein) "By what death he was about to die," what kind of death, for what form of capital crime, heathen death, He should die; Had He been guilty of blasphemy He should have been stoned by them, but nay, that was too honorable a death, only crucifixion would do, Deuteronomy 21:23; John 19:7; Galatians 3:13.

Verse 33

1) "Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again," (eiselthen oun palin eis to praitorion ho Pilatos) "Pilate then entered again into the praetorium" which was a judgment decision hall, from which he had gone out to appease the accusers of Jesus, and try to secure some specific charges against Jesus, if they had any valid charges to offer, John 18:29-32.

2) "And called Jesus, and said unto him," (kai eponesen ton lesoun kai eipen auto) "And he called Jesus and inquired of or quizzed him," himself, directly.

3) "Art thou the King of the Jews?" (su ei ho basileous ton loudaion) "Are you the king of the Jews?" thus leading Jesus to incriminate Himself, Matthew 15:2; Luke 23:3. John omits the Sanhedrin charges recounted Luke 23:2.

Verse 34

1) "Jesus answered him," (apekrithe lesous) "Jesus responded," to him, respectfully.

2) "Sayest thou this thing of thyself," (aph’ heauton su touto legeis) "Do you say this thing of yourself," for the wise men had recognized His birth as that of a promised king, Matthew 2:2-6; Genesis 49:10. Is this idea of my being king of the Jews yours, or did someone plant this in your mind? is the idea. If he had been told that Jesus claimed to be a king, Pilate was to make inquiry only in a political sense, and the answer was "no." He was not a political king, competing with the Roman governor.

3) "Or did others tell it of me?" (he alloi eipon soi peri emou) "Or have others told you (this) concerning me?" If the Jews had suggested it, His rely, in a sense they should have understood, was "yes," of the seed of David, of the tribe of Judah; But He sought no anointing, no political following, and no throne or subjects, to then follow Him on earth, and they all knew it, Luke 1:31-33; 1 Corinthians 15:24.

Verse 35

1) "Pilate answered," (apekrithe ho Pilatos) "Pilate replied," to Him at this point, with some heat and contempt.

2) "Am I a Jew?" (meti ego loudaios eimi) "I am not a Jew, am l?" to act on religious charges and racial fears of your being a king among them, unless you have tried to lead them, in some act of sedition against Rome, it is not for me to decide.

3) "Thine own nation and the chief priests," (to ethnos to son kai hoi archiereis) "Your own nation and the administrative priests," including the chief priests, the scribes, the elders, and the whole council, the Sanhedrin as a mass multitude had arraigned and brought Him to Pilate, Mark 15:1-2; Luke 23:1.

4) "Have delivered thee unto me:" (paredoka se emoi) "Have delivered you to me," or brought you before me, with grievous accusations, and given you into my hands, themselves standing aloof, in feigned or pretended sanctity without the hall, and screamed a lot of charges against you, Luke 23:2. Pilate tried to imply that he had no personal interest in the matter.

5) "What hast thou done?" (ti epoiesas) "Just what did you do?" or what have you done to stir them up? And He answered none of their charges, which they could not prove, and he was not to be a defensive witness, taking the lead, before they made specific claims or gave examples of sedition He had committed; Since your own nation has turned you over to, or brought you to me? John 19:11; Acts 3:13. State your own case of offense and defense against their charges to me, or give your explanation.

Verse 36

1) "Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world:" (apektithe lesous he basileia he eme ouk estin ek tou kosmou toutou) "Jesus explained, my kingdom is not (exists not) of this world," of this world order that lies in darkness, in the wicked one, 1 John 5:19; Luke 4:6; 2 Corinthians 4:4. Jesus faced the allegations the Sanhedrin had brought and explained in what sense He was a king.

2) "If my kingdom were of this world," (ei ek tou kosmou toutou hen he basileia he eme) "If my kingdom was (had existed) out of an from this world order or arrangement," as a material entity, or organized civil society, as earthly kingdoms are.

3) "Then would my servants fight," (hoi huperetai an hoi emoi egonizonto) "My servant-attendants would have struggled," and would fight, as the servants of political kings fight for their sovereigns. That Jesus did not permit, but forbad, His servants, disciples, or friends to fight for Him is evident, Luke 22:51; John 18:11.

4) "That I should not be delivered to the Jews:" (hina me paradotho tois loudaiois) "In order that I might not be delivered to the Jews," in the first place, as further recounted, Matthew 26:52-56. But His disciples had not fought for Him and even Peter’s swing of the sword damage was repaired by Jesus that night, and Peter was told of the Lord to put up the sword.

5) "But now is my kingdom not from hence." (nun de he basileia he eme ouk estin entheuthen) "Yet, now and hereafter my kingdom is not (exists not) out of this world kind," or order of organization, but is spiritual in its sphere of activities, limited to a program of worship and service, not of social nature; It is to make, baptize, and teach the saved and baptized to observe all things I have mandated, John 20:21; Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-49; Acts 1:8; Acts 10:37-43. He also taught them to love not the world order of things. John 2:15-17.

Verse 37

1) "Pilate therefore said unto him," (eipen oun auto ho Pilatos) "Then said Pilate to him," in response to his remarks.

2) "Art thou a king then?" (oukoun basileus ei su) "You are really a king then, are you not?" or are you, since you spoke of "my kingdom," John 18:36. His "my kingdom," of this age, refers to the same thing as "my church," "house" or "bride," "vineyard," etc. Matthew 16:18; Mark 13:34-35; 1 Timothy 3:15; Hebrews 3:1-6; John 3:28-29; John 15:1-7; John 15:16; John 15:26-27.

3) "Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king." (apekrithe ho lesous su legeis hoti basileus eimi) "Jesus replied, you say (may say) that I am a king," I really exist a king, with subjects, my church disciples, to whom I have given my laws, and am to give a world­wide administrative territorial charge to do spiritual work. This is the only kind of king I am, in this age, about which you inquire.

4) "To this end was I born," (ego eis touto gegennemai) "For this purpose or to this end I have been born," as a Savior and redeemer, John 2:16-17; John 19:3; Galatians 4:4-5; Luke 19:10.

5) "And for this cause came I into the world," (kai eis touto elelutha eis ton kosmon) "And with reference to this I have come into the world," which I now explain to you, most noble Pilate.

6) "That I should bear witness unto the truth." (hina martureso te aletheia) "In order that I might witness to the truth," regarding creation, sin, and redemption for the world, John 1:1-5; John 8:12; John 14:6; John 6:40; John 8:21; John 8:24. This truth regards God’s relation to men.

7) "Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice." (pas ho hon ek tes aletheias akouei mou tes phos) "Everyone being or existing out of the truth hears my voice," belonging to truth morally, with any affinity, or gives heed to my voice, John 10:27-29; Lovers of truth give heed to truth, obey the voice and call of truth; Deuteronomy 18:15-19; John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Isaiah 55:4; John 8:47; Revelation 1:5; Revelation 3:14; 1 John 4:6.

Verse 38

1) "Pilate saith unto him, What is truth?" (legei auto ho Pilatos ti estin aletheia) "Pilate says to him, just what is truth?" The more germane question would have been, "who" is truth, or "in whom" does truth exist? For Pilate was then facing the King of truth, the fountain of truth, from whose nature and knowledge, all truth springs, John 14:6; John 8:32; John 8:36. Men are to buy it and sell it not, Proverbs 23:23.

2) "And when he had said this," (kai touto eipon) "And when Pilate had made this statement," in seeming indecision and frustration, perhaps with a sneer of doubt.

3) "He went out again unto the Jews," (palin ekselthen pros tous loudaious) "He went out again (from the judgment hall) directly to the Jews," a second time, John 18:29, to His accusers who sanctimoniously loitered outside, to avoid becoming unsanctified by entering the judgment hall, Matthew 23:23; Acts 10:28.

4) "And saith unto them," (kai legei autois) "And he told them," the complaining and accusing Jews, the mob of blind religious hypocrites, who had long since entered collusion with premeditated malice aforethought to kill Jesus, John 11:47-53; Mark 15:1; Luke 23:1.

5) "I find in him no fault at all." (ego oudemian heurisko en auto aitian) "I find no crime in him at all," a statement of the innocence of Jesus, relative to the charges that the Jewish mob, described above, had blabbed against Him, Isaiah 53:9; 1 Peter 2:22. It was a "no fault" acquittal of Jesus, publicly announced three times, also found John 19:4; John 19:6. Yet Pilate vacillated for political purposes.

Verse 39


1) "But ye have a custom," (estin de sunetheia humin) "However, there is (exists) a custom to you all," of kindness extended to you all, at this annual season, as a gesture of good will to you all from the Roman government, Matthew 27:15. This permitted Pilate’s neck-saving, face-saving compromise with the Jew-mob.

2) "That I should release unto you one at the Passover" (hina hena apoluso humin en to pascha) "In order that I should release one (a prisoner) to you at the Passover," every year, whoever the majority of the Jews desired, Mark 15:6. The Scriptures do not describe or mention it, but Josephus does, Antiq. XX 9, 9.

3) "Will ye therefore that I should release unto you," (boulesthe oun apoluso humin) "Do you all then wish that I should release to you;" Luke 23:17 reads, "For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast," for custom, as a political expediency, had come to abrogate or supplant law Matthew 27:17-18. For Pilate knew that they had brought Jesus before him out of envy, malice, and hate, Mark 15:10.

4) "The king of the Jews?" (ton basilea ton loudaion) "The king of the Jews?" the one belonging to and out of the Jews? Your own people or nation? Mark 15:8-10.

Verse 40

1) "Then cried they all again, saying," (ekraugasan oun palin legontes) "Then they cried aloud again, repeatedly saying," shouting, screaming, in hysterical cries, led by the cheer-leading chief priests and elders, Matthew 27:20; Mark 15:11.

2) "Not this man, but Barabbas." (me touton alla ton Barabban) "Release not this one but the Barabbas," the indicted insurrectionist and murderer, Matthew 27:21-22; Mark 15:11; Luke 23:18-19. He was by name "The son of a father, or of a Rabbi."

3) "Now Barabbas was a robber." (hen de Barabbas lestes) "Now Barabbas was (existed as) a robber," as well as a murderer, a notable prisoner, Matthew 27:7. They thus voted to free the guilty and crucify the innocent, a willful act of perverting justice in human judgment, yet Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; Matthew 12:36-37 are yet to be faced by them.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on John 18". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/john-18.html. 1985.
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