Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, November 28th, 2023
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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Bible Commentaries
John 18

The Bible Study New TestamentBible Study NT

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Verse 1


After Jesus had said this prayer. McGarvey says that now they leave the upstairs room, cross the brook Kidron, into Gethsemane. [This ends the session that began at John 13:1.]

Verses 1-16

1–16. Then Pilate took Jesus. For notes on these verses, see Matthew 27:19-31. John gives a few more details.

5. Look! Here is the man. Jesus had been lacerated in the whipping, and wore the crown of thorns and the purple robe (see note on Matthew 27:28). Pilate may think pity will make them agree to allow Jesus to go free.

6. Nail him to the cross! The mob is angry and savage! You take him, then. That is, “If he is to be nailed to the cross, it is you who must do it.”

7. We have a law. That is, “He may be innocent under Roman law, but our law says he is guilty.”

9. Where do you come from? “He claimed to be the Son of God?” Fear strikes deep into the heart of Pilate!

11. Only because it was given to you by God. Suddenly, Jesus is the judge, and Pilate is on trial! What Jesus says are really words of kindness and mercy.

12. If you set him free. Pilate wants to set Jesus free! Tiberias is Emperor, suspicious and cruel. If the Jews accuse him to the Emperor, Pilate’s career will be over. He would rather sacrifice an innocent man, than sacrifice himself.

14. It was almost noon of the day before the Passover. John carefully notes the time when Pilate gave in to them. Mark says it was nine o’clock, but this is not really a problem, since the Jews divided the day into quarters which they called hours, and both nine o’clock [the third hour] and almost noon [the sixth hour] would fall into the same quarter. This small detail shows that each writer wrote independent of the others. Compare Luke 1:1-4; 2 Timothy 3:16. (1) Jesus ate a Passover in the upstairs room. (2) The Jews had not yet eaten their Passover (John 18:28). (3) Jesus wanted so much to eat this Passover (Luke 22:15) that he ate it a day early, so that he, the True Lamb of God [“Our Passover feast” (1 Corinthians 5:6-8)], could die at the time the Jews were killing their passover lambs.

Verses 2-14


Judas, the traitor, knew where it was. For notes on the Arrest, see Matthew 26:47-58.

6. They moved back and fell to the ground. Only John tells us this. This might fulfill Psalms 27:2. It shows us that Jesus had the option of avoiding the Cross, and that he did it of his own free will. Compare John 10:17-18 and notes.

Verses 15-27


Into the courtyard of the High Priest’s house. For notes on the trial before Caiaphas and Peter’s denial, see Matthew 26:57-75.

Verses 28-40


To the governor’s palace. For notes on Jesus before Pilate, see Matthew 27:1-26. The order of events is given in the notes on Matthew. To keep themselves ritually clean. They would do anything to have Jesus killed, yet would not go inside the palace! See notes on John 11:55; Matthew 23:23-28 [The Jews had not yet eaten their Passover.]

Verses 32-38


To make come true. John 12:32 : Matthew 20:18-19 and notes. If the Jews had authority to kill him, they would have stoned him as they did Stephen (Acts 7:57-58).

36. My kingdom does not belong to this world. Even though his claims were offensive to the Jews, they were no threat to Rome. No armed resistance of rescue had been attempted.

37. Are you a king, then? If Christ has a kingdom, he must be a King. You say that I am a king. This affirms the truth of what he has said.

38. And what is truth? Scorn? Mockery? His conduct through the trial shows he was deeply impressed by this Teacher who was a King.

Verses 39-40


But according to the custom you have. See notes on Matthew 27:15-17. Note that Pilate made some attempt to set Jesus free. Barabbas. See note on Mark 15:7

Bibliographical Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on John 18". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ice/john-18.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.
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