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Dave Burnette's Commentary

John Chapter 18 

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: John the Apostle
Date Penned: (85-90 AD)
Overview: Eternal Life is in Jesus-Christ Alone (c 1-21)
Theme:  The Death and Resurrection of Jesus, The Son of God (c 13-21)
Message:  Jesus Stands Trial Before Pilate (v 1-40)

John 18 Commentary

(18:1-11) Jesus is Betrayed and Arrested - After the prayer recorded in John 17, Jesus again predicted Peter’s denial (Matthew 26:31-35; Mark 14:27-31). The synoptic Gospels then record Jesus’ agony in the Garden of Gethsemane (see Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:39-46). Here is a summary of that section: After arriving in Gethsemane, Jesus sat his disciples down and told them to wait for him while he went and prayed. Then he took Peter, James, and John aside, expressed his great distress to them, and asked them to stay awake with him. How touching that Jesus, in this great hour of distress, sought human companionship from his closest friends—just someone to stay awake and be with him.

(18:12-24) Annas Questions Jesus - Once the religious leaders had Jesus in their power, the events began to move with planned precision. Since the point of the effort was to kill Jesus, determining his guilt or innocence was a mere formality. To the leaders, the issue of timing the death was more important than asking whether Jesus deserved to die.

(18:25-27) Peter Denies Knowing Jesus - While Jesus was countering the questions of Annas (see 18:19-24), who was trying to gather information against the disciples, Peter denied knowing Jesus three times. Jesus displayed his great moral character by not disowning his disciples, even though they had denied him. John captured the pathos of the moment by merely reporting that Peter’s final denial was made with the rooster crowing in the background.

(18:28-37) Jesus Stands Trial Before Pilate - The same rooster that announced the third denial of Peter also welcomed the day that Jesus was to be crucified. John gives us none of the details of Jesus’ further questioning before Caiaphas, since the two parts of the preliminary “trial” were perfunctory and repetitious. The faces changed, but the false accusations remained the same. Early morning found Jesus and his accusers at Pilate’s gate demanding an audience. Pilate quickly concluded that the charges against Jesus were groundless. But he was also clearly puzzled that Jesus refused to defend himself. The imperial representative of Rome found himself uncomfortably pressed between a rock and a hard place.

(18:38-40) Pilate Hands Jesus Over to Be Crucified - Pilate mused on the possibility of truly comprehending “truth” and then declared Jesus “not guilty.” He had no basis for a charge against Jesus and certainly no evidence that required a death penalty. But it wouldn’t be that easy.


Dave 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.


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.