This entry is part 8 of 13 in the series John 13-21

Gospel according to John, Chapter 18Read &/or listen from the Bible.

1/  Betrayal & arrest of Jesus               – Jn.18:1-11
2/ Jesus Before the High Priest          – Jn.18:12-14
3/ Peter Denies Jesus                               – Jn.18:15-18
4/ The High Priest Questions Jesus – Jn.18:19-24

In these chapters 18-21 we see the last days of the life of our Lord Jesus Christ on earth.

John’s account here was different from that of the other synoptic writers (Matthew, Mark, & Luke). In those three gospels the emphasis was placed on Christ’s humanity, His human nature, and the sufferings of the Savior. In those narratives, as He approached Jerusalem, He said He was going there to die and mentioned His death, they mention the treatment He was given, how He was abused & then His bodily resurrection. But in John’s gospel, the emphasis is on the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is God made flesh/Man in this gospel, and the emphasis here is on His glory. In His arrest, His death, and His resurrection, we will see His glory. Remember how often He emphasized in His last discourse that He would return to the Father, & this is also in accordance with the emphasis on His glory.

1/  Betrayal & arrest of Jesus               – Jn.18:1-11

18 When Jesus had spoken these words, He went out with His disciples across the Kidron Valley. There was a garden which He and His disciples entered.

2 Now Judas, who betrayed Him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with His disciples. 3 So Judas, having taken a detachment of soldiers and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, came there with lanterns and torches and weapons.

4 Jesus therefore, knowing everything that would happen to Him, went forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?

5 They answered Him, “Jesus of Nazareth.”

Jesus said to them, “I am He.” And Judas, who betrayed Him, was standing with them. 6 When He said, “I am He, they drew back and fell to the ground.

7 Again Jesus asked them, “Whom do you seek?” They said, “Jesus of Nazareth.”

8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am He. So then let these go their way if you are looking for Me.” 9 This was to fulfill the word which He had spoken, “I have lost none of those whom You have given Me.”

10 Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.

11 Then Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?”

The Kidron Valley was a small stream. From the altar there was a & the drainage of the temple or canal to the torrent of Kidron and it’s said that for this season it would be reddish with the blood of the Passover lambs. This would have been a reminder to Jesus of His coming sacrifice.

Matthew 26:36 and Mark 14:32 mention this garden is ‘Gethsemane’. Jesus responded “I’m” (Like the name God gave to Moses, – “I’m that I’m, Ex.3:14), the pronoun ‘He’ is not in the original. The soldiers didn’t arrest any of the disciples, not even Peter, who struck the high priest’s servant.

Jesus gave Himself up & called their attention to focus on him, to protect His disciples.

Peter wanted to fulfill his previous promise to defend Jesus at all costs: Peter said to him, “Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” And all the disciples said the same thing (Mat. 26:35).

2/ Jesus Before the High Priest          – Jn.18:12-14

12 Then the detachment of soldiers and the commander and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound Him. 13 First they led Him to Annas, for he was the father-in-law to Caiaphas, who was the high priest that year. 14 Now it was Caiaphas who advised the Jews that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.

A detachment of soldier were led by a commander, a commander is the Roman word for a leader of 1,000 men! A Centurion would be a leader of just 100 soldiers. Some translations (as NASB) refer to the detachment of soldier, or band of soldiers as a “Roman cohort”. A regiment or cohort, consisted of about 600 men, although this number varied. Because the Commander was the leader of the Centurions, we can say, that at least 200 soldiers, or more, not counting the officers of the Jews (among them the servant of the high priest Caiaphas), came to arrest one single person, Jesus Christ.

3/ Peter Denies Jesus                               – Jn.18:15-18

15 Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. That disciple was known to the high priest and went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest. 16 But Peter stood at the door outside. Then the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the doorkeeper and brought Peter in.

17 Then the servant girl, being the doorkeeper, said to Peter, “Are you not also one of this Man’s disciples?

He said, “I am not.”

18 Now the servants and officers stood there and warmed themselves, having made a fire of coals, for it was cold. Peter also stood with them and warmed himself.

The other disciple is believed to me John himself. Peter could not be quiet for long, & simply had to speak. Let us remember that the other gospels, speaking of this incident, tell us that the women recognized him as a Galilean because his way of speaking betrayed him. Peter was nervous, and a young woman was then the cause of Peter’s first denial of knowing the Lord. The maid probably knew that the ‘other disciple’ was a follower of Jesus, hence the question to Peter “Are you not ‘also‘ one of this Man’s disciples?

4/ The High Priest Questions JesusJn.18:19-24

19 The high priest then asked Jesus about His disciples and His teaching.

20 Jesus answered him, “I spoke openly to the world. I always taught in the synagogue and in the temple, where the Jews always meet, and I said nothing in secret. 21 Why do you ask Me? Ask those who heard Me and what I have said to them. Certainly they know what I said.”

22 When He had said this, one of the officers who stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, “Is that how You answer the high priest?”

23 Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil, but if well, why do you strike me? 24 Then Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

Annas was not the official high priest, he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, he was the one who put Caiaphas in the office.  It is said that Annas was really the power behind the throne in Jerusalem. He himself had been high priest from 6 to 15 B.C. Four of his sons had also held the high priesthood and that year high priest Caiaphas was his son-in-law.

In His response, Jesus did not mention His disciples at all. He protected them in every way possible.

Series Navigation<< Gospel of John, Ch.17Gospel of John, Ch. 18, pt.2 >>