John 18


Jesus Arrested

18     When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was an olive grove, and he and his disciples went into it.

2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. 3 So Judas came to the grove, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.

4 Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?”

5 “Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied.

“I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) 6 When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.

Jesus was in control throughout this process.  He could have stopped it any any time and disintegrated the universe.  But He came to serve and give his life as a ransom for many, so He went through with the plan.

7 Again he asked them, “Who is it you want?”

And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.”

8 “I told you that I am he,” Jesus answered. “If you are looking for me, then let these men go.” 9 This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.”

10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.)

11 Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”

While in a short while Peter will deny Jesus, he wasn’t completely passive.  At this point he tried to defend Jesus.

Jesus Taken to Annas

12 Then the detachment of soldiers with its commander and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus. They bound him 13 and brought him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. 14 Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it would be good if one man died for the people.

Peter’s First Denial

15 Simon Peter and another disciple were following Jesus. Because this disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard, 16 but Peter had to wait outside at the door. The other disciple, who was known to the high priest, came back, spoke to the girl on duty there and brought Peter in.

17 “You are not one of his disciples, are you?” the girl at the door asked Peter.

He replied, “I am not.”

18 It was cold, and the servants and officials stood around a fire they had made to keep warm. Peter also was standing with them, warming himself.

There are many ways to deny Jesus.  We may not be asked to deny him with our words, but if we look and act just like the world then we are doing it with our lifestyle.

The High Priest Questions Jesus

19 Meanwhile, the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching.

20 “I have spoken openly to the world,” Jesus replied. “I always taught in synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in secret. 21 Why question me? Ask those who heard me. Surely they know what I said.”

22 When Jesus said this, one of the officials nearby struck him in the face. “Is this the way you answer the high priest?” he demanded.

23 “If I said something wrong,” Jesus replied, “testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?” 24 Then Annas sent him, still bound, to Caiaphas the high priest.

Notice how Jesus did not turn the other cheek in this case.  That is because the Matthew 5:39 verse is often misused.  It relates to personal insults and does not mean we can’t protest physical abuse.

Peter’s Second and Third Denials

25 As Simon Peter stood warming himself, he was asked, “You are not one of his disciples, are you?”

He denied it, saying, “I am not.”

26 One of the high priest’s servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, challenged him, “Didn’t I see you with him in the olive grove?” 27 Again Peter denied it, and at that moment a rooster began to crow.

Jesus Before Pilate

28 Then the Jews led Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. By now it was early morning, and to avoid ceremonial uncleanness the Jews did not enter the palace; they wanted to be able to eat the Passover.

The leaders were such hypocrites.  They were trying to kill an innocent man yet were worried about ceremonial uncleanliness.

29 So Pilate came out to them and asked, “What charges are you bringing against this man?”

30 “If he were not a criminal,” they replied, “we would not have handed him over to you.”

31 Pilate said, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.”

“But we have no right to execute anyone,” the Jews objected. 32 This happened so that the words Jesus had spoken indicating the kind of death he was going to die would be fulfilled.

But these leaders didn’t worry about these rules when they decided to stone Stephen in Acts 7.

33 Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

34 “Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?”

35 “Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “It was your people and your chief priests who handed you over to me. What is it you have done?”

36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.”

37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate.

Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

38 “What is truth?” Pilate asked. With this he went out again to the Jews and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him. 39 But it is your custom for me to release to you one prisoner at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to release ‘the king of the Jews’?”

40 They shouted back, “No, not him! Give us Barabbas!” Now Barabbas had taken part in a rebellion.

The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

V. 38 is a famous line.  The truth-is-relative crowd likes to wax philosophical about what truth is.  But truth is simply that which corresponds to reality.  That is typically known as the correspondence view of truth or the classic view.  Deep down we all know that and live our lives accordingly.  You couldn’t survive a day without a clear understanding of truth.

Are there competing theories about the definition of truth?  Yes, but keep in mind that they must assume the correspondence view to prove their point, thus making their arguments self-refuting.  Here’s what I mean: To claim that another view of the truth is the real one and the correspondence view is not they must prove how their view corresponds to reality. 

One of the keys to successful and wise living is to consistently replace lies with the truth.  That is what Jesus did when tempted by Satan.  Satan would take scripture out of context and Jesus would use it properly to counter him.

Beware of “Christians” who cavalierly dismiss truth and the Bible.  A liberal theologian on another blog commented that “Furthermore, any other discussion will be fruitless, because we will come back to quoting the Bible again . . .” as if that would be a bad route for professing Christians to take!

Just because we can’t know all truth doesn’t mean that we can’t know any truth.

For Christians, the truth exists and it can be found in Jesus.  This theme is found all through the Bible, including this passage:

Colossians 2:2-4, 8 My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.  . . .

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.

While I’m on the topic, I want to point that all truth is God’s truth.  If science reveals something to be true then that is how God made it.  While the Bible is completely true, it is possible to misunderstand it.  So if there is an apparent conflict between “science” (as elusive and changing as its conclusions can be) and the Bible then of course further analysis is required.  But the Bible isn’t a science textbook and doesn’t make many scientific claims.  The ones it does make are accurate, of course.  See Christianity and science for more.  That site has discussion boards as well, so feel free to join in those if you like.

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