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Matthew Henry's Commentary

John Chapter 18 

hrist taken in the garden. (1-12) Christ before Annas and Caiaphas. (13-27) Christ before Pilate. (28-40)

Verses 1-12: Sin began in the garden of Eden, there the curse was pronounced, there the Redeemer was promised; and in a garden that promised Seed entered into conflict with the old serpent. Christ was buried also in a garden. Let us, when we walk in our gardens, take occasion from thence to mediate on Christ's sufferings in a garden. Our Lord Jesus, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth and asked, Whom seek ye? When the people would have forced him to a crown, he withdrew, ch. (6:15), but when they came to force him to a cross, he offered himself; for he came into this world to suffer, and went to the other world to reign. He showed plainly what he could have done; when he struck them down he could have struck them dead, but he would not do so. It must have been the effect of Divine power, that the officers and soldiers let the disciples go away quietly, after the resistance which had been offered. Christ set us an example of meekness in sufferings, and a pattern of submission to God's will in every thing that concerns us. It is but a cup, a small matter. It is a cup that is given us; sufferings are gifts. It is given us by a Father, who has a father's authority, and does us no wrong; a father's affection, and means us no hurt. From the example of our Saviour we should learn how to receive our lighter afflictions, and to ask ourselves whether we ought to oppose our Father's will, or to distrust his love. We were bound with the cords of our iniquities, with the yoke of our transgressions. Christ, being made a sin-offering for us, to free us from those bonds, himself submitted to be bound for us. To his bonds we owe our liberty; thus the Son makes us free.

Verses 13-27: Simon Peter denied his Master. The particulars have been noticed in the remarks on the other Gospels. The beginning of sin is as the letting forth of water. The sin of lying is a fruitful sin; one lie needs another to support it, and that another. If a call to expose ourselves to danger be clear, we may hope God will enable us to honour him; if it be not, we may fear that God will leave us to shame ourselves. They said nothing concerning the miracles of Jesus, by which he had done so much good, and which proved his doctrine. Thus the enemies of Christ, whilst they quarrel with his truth, wilfully shut their eyes against it. He appeals to those who heard him. The doctrine of Christ may safely appeal to all that know it, and those who judge in truth bear witness to it. Our resentment of injuries must never be passionate. He reasoned with the man that did him the injury, and so may we.

Verses 28-32: It was unjust to put one to death who had done so much good, therefore the Jews were willing to save themselves from reproach. Many fear the scandal of an ill thing, more than the sin of it. Christ had said he should be delivered to the Gentiles, and they should put him to death; hereby that saying was fulfilled. He had said that he should be crucified, lifted up. If the Jews had judged him by their law, he had been stoned; crucifying never was used among the Jews. It is determined concerning us, though not discovered to us, what death we shall die: this should free us from disquiet about that matter. Lord, what, when, and how, thou hast appointed.

Verses 33-40: Art thou the King of the Jews? that King of the Jews who has been so long expected? Messiah the Prince; art thou he? Dost thou call thyself so, and wouldest thou be thought so? Christ answered this question with another; not for evasion, but that Pilate might consider what he did. He never took upon him any earthly power, never were any traitorous principles or practices laid to him. Christ gave an account of the nature of his kingdom. Its nature is not worldly; it is a kingdom within men, set up in their hearts and consciences; its riches spiritual, its power spiritual, and it glory within. Its supports are not worldly; its weapons are spiritual; it needed not, nor used, force to maintain and advance it, nor opposed any kingdom but that of sin and Satan. Its object and design are not worldly. When Christ said, I am the Truth, he said, in effect, I am a King. He conquers by the convincing evidence of truth; he rules by the commanding power of truth. The subjects of this kingdom are those that are of the truth. Pilate put a good question, he said, What is truth? When we search the Scriptures, and attend the ministry of the word, it must be with this inquiry, What is truth? and with this prayer, Lead me in thy truth; into all truth. But many put this question, who have not patience to preserve in their search after truth; or not humility enough to receive it. By this solemn declaration of Christ's innocence, it appears, that though the Lord Jesus was treated as the worst of evil-doers, he never deserved such treatment. But it unfolds the design of his death; that he died as a Sacrifice for our sins. Pilate was willing to please all sides; and was governed more by worldly wisdom than by the rules of justice. Sin is a robber, yet is foolishly chosen by many rather than Christ, who would truly enrich us. Let us endeavour to make our accusers ashamed as Christ did; and let us beware of crucifying Christ afresh.

 


David Burnette's Life Application

We Are All Guilty

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of John with Chapter 18. In our text today we see John's account of the days before the Crucifixion with Jesus being betrayed and arrested, Annas questions Jesus, Peter denies knowing Jesus, Jesus stands trial before Pilate who hands Jesus over to be crucified. What catches my eye is how the heart of the people was exposed in the betrayal of Jesus as they let the guilty Barabbas go free to crucify the sinless lamb of God. In making application we see that we are Barabbas, guilty and worthy of punishment for our sins, but Jesus died for us, if we will place our faith in Him. How about you? Do you see yourself as Barabbas? Let us learn from our text today and the account of the Crucifixion to see that we are all guilty sinners, worthy of punishment but Jesus died in our place so we could have eternal life if we simply place our faith in Him and the finished work on Calvary.

 

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John 18

John 18

 1When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples.

 2And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples.

 3Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons.

 4Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye?

 5They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them.

 6As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.

 7Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth.

 8Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way:

 9That the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none.

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

 11Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?

 12Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him,

 13And led him away to Annas first; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year.

 14Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.

 15And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple: that disciple was known unto the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high priest.

 16But Peter stood at the door without. Then went out that other disciple, which was known unto the high priest, and spake unto her that kept the door, and brought in Peter.

 17Then saith the damsel that kept the door unto Peter, Art not thou also one of this man's disciples? He saith, I am not.

 18And the servants and officers stood there, who had made a fire of coals; for it was cold: and they warmed themselves: and Peter stood with them, and warmed himself.

 19The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine.

 20Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing.

 21Why askest thou me? ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said.

 22And when he had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, Answerest thou the high priest so?

 23Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me?

 24Now Annas had sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest.

 25And Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. They said therefore unto him, Art not thou also one of his disciples? He denied it, and said, I am not.

 26One of the servants of the high priest, being his kinsman whose ear Peter cut off, saith, Did not I see thee in the garden with him?

 27Peter then denied again: and immediately the cock crew.

 28Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover.

 29Pilate then went out unto them, and said, What accusation bring ye against this man?

 30They answered and said unto him, If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up unto thee.

 31Then said Pilate unto them, Take ye him, and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death:

 32That the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spake, signifying what death he should die.

 33Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews?

 34Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me?

 35Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done?

 36Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.

 37Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.

 38Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.

 39But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews?

 40Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.