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Chapter 18

John 18 Commentary

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John 18:12-14 meaning

John tells us that following His submission to arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus was brought to the house of Annas first. He informs us that Annas was the father-in-law to Caiaphas, the sitting high priest, and reminds his readers that Caiaphas was the one who previously determined it was better that Jesus die than that they risk losing their place or nation. This was John's way of telling the reader that the trial's outcome was determined before it began.

John 18:15-18 meaning

Peter's First Denial of Jesus: Peter manages to enter into the court of Annas where Jesus's preliminary trial was taking place. While Peter is there, he denies being a follower of Jesus to a slave girl.

John 18:19-24 meaning

The Preliminary Trial of Jesus: John describes the first of Jesus's three religious trials. It takes place in the home of Annas, the former high priest. Annas questions Jesus about His teaching. Jesus respectfully reminds Annas that He has always taught openly for everyone to hear and that if there is something He said that was against the law, it was Annas's obligation to cite and prove it before arresting or interrogating Him. The high priest's servant strikes Jesus for speaking this way to the former high priest. Jesus mercifully replies that if he said something wrong, it should be pointed out, not met with violence, while offering that what he said was actually true. Having found nothing to accuse Jesus of doing, Annas passes his prisoner onto Caiaphas, the sitting high priest.

John 18:25-27 meaning

Peter Denies Knowing Jesus Two More Times: Peter's second and third denials of Jesus occur during the Lord's religious trial held at Caiaphas's house. One of the men to whom Peter denies being with Jesus is a relative of Malchus, the servant whose ear Peter cut off when defending Jesus at His arrest. After this third denial, a rooster crows, thus fulfilling Jesus's prediction that Peter would deny Him three times before the rooster crows.

John 18:28-32 meaning

The Priests bring and accuse Jesus to Pilate: Not permitted by Roman law to execute Jesus themselves, the Jews bring Jesus to the Roman governor Pilate early in the morning for His Roman (or Civil) Trial. Pilate begins the proceedings asking them what accusation they bring against the Man. When they have none, Pilate appears to dismiss the case and tells them to judge Him according to their own customs. They complain they are unable to judge Him because Rome won't permit them to put Him to death. This fulfills Jesus's prophecies predicting He would be crucified. This event is part of the first phase of Jesus's Civil Trial. It is known as Jesus's Arraignment before Pilate.

John 18:33-38 meaning

Pilate's First Interview with Jesus and his First Declaration of Innocence: Pilate enters the Praetorium and summons Jesus to investigate the charges brought against Him by the Jewish leaders. He focuses on the charge of insurrection, asking "Are You the King of the Jews?" Before He answers, Jesus asks a probing question to see Pilate's intent. After Pilate responds, Jesus elaborates that His kingdom is not of this world. Pilate, a bit confused, asks Jesus to clarify. Jesus states His purpose and that He is the king of truth. Pilate scoffs: "What is truth?", before exiting the Praetorium and announcing his verdict to the Jews outside. Jesus is not guilty of insurrection. This event is part of the first phase of Jesus's Civil Trial. It is known as Jesus's Arraignment before Pilate.

John 18:39-40 meaning

"The Passover Pardon": Pilate's Second Attempt to Release Jesus: Pilate makes an offer to the crowd that he will release Jesus as part of his customary "Passover Pardon" of one prisoner. But to his surprise instead of not only rejecting it, they ask for Barabbas, a robber, to be released by Pilate instead. This event begins John's account of the third phase of Jesus's Civil Trial. This phase is called "Pilate's Judgment."