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Gospel of John - Chapter Eighteen
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Now we come to the arrest and "trial" of Jesus. He finishes His message, they sing a hymn (Matt. 26:30), and they go out to the Mount of Olives. This was a quiet place, away from the crowds where Jesus often went with His disciples. He only has the eleven with Him. Judas went to get the men to arrest Him where the crowds were absent.
1. John's account here in chp. 18, leaves out some things between v. 1 and v. 2. What does Jesus do after He goes to this garden, Mk. 14:32?
a. Who did He take with Him, v. 33?
b. Jesus abhorred the thought of bearing the weight of sin. What did He ask of His Father, v. 36?
c. Yet even in this request, what did He say, v. 36?
(Every prayer request we offer to the Heavenly Father should be with this added to it.)
d. This is probably very late evening, just before midnight. While Jesus was praying, what were the disciples doing, vv. 37, 40?
The Lord makes an interesting statement in Matthew 26:41. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak, which deserves a comment: Willingness of desire never accomplished anything. We know of many folks who know what they should be doing; they know they should be faithful in church, in prayer and in Bible reading; they know what the Word of God requires of them in regard to the social issues of the day; they know they should obey Christ and reach the lost. The list is endless concerning the things people know the Word of God requires of them, YET THEY LACK THE DISCIPLINE TO DO THESE THINGS.
People have a willingness to do the right things, yet it seems they just canot quite seem to get their body going to do them. The common excuse is, "the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." This excuse is used to justify a lack of discipline and dedication to live consistently according to God's Word.
(There are several definitions of flesh. The context of the word will usually tell us what the usage is: a) skin, 1 Cor. 15:39; b) the entire body, Lk. 29:39; c) a living human creature, 1 Cor. 1:29; d) of earthly decent, Jn. 1:13; Rom. 9:5; e) corporeally, having the limitations of earthly existence, Rom. 8:8; Heb. 5:7; f) as a Theol. T.T., (Theological Term) the seat and vehicle of sinful desires, Rom. 7:15; 18:25; 2 Cor. 7:1.)
Note: First, the flesh (sinful desires) is at war against the Spirit, trying to prevent us from doing what we should do for the Lord, Gal. 5:17; second, anything that is not done out of obedience to God's Word is to walk after the flesh, Rom. 1:17; 14:23, and third, through the work of Christ, believers have the victory over the flesh (the sinful nature) that seeks to hinder them from obeying the word of God. (Rom. 6:18, 19.) In other words, as we have seen previously, since the time that the Holy Spirit of power came (was sent back by Jesus when He ascended), there is no excuse for not having the discipline to live for Him consistently. His victory gives us victory over everything that would hinder our obedience to His every word. (Ph. 3; 1 Pet. 1.)
John 18... Judas went to get the arresting officers. He brings them to where Christ normally goes with His disciples to get away from the crowds. The arresting officers do their evil deed away from the crowds, for the common people gladly heard Him. The arresting officers come to Him as though He were a dangerous criminal, Matt. 26:47.
2. When they confront Jesus, He speaks. What happens, v. 6?
a. What does Peter do, v. 10?
b. What does Jesus do, Lk. 22:51?
c. What could have Jesus done, Matt. 26:53?
d. Why did he not do what He could do, Matt. 26:54?
1) What Scriptures, Lk. 24:44-48?
3. Where do they take Jesus first, Jn. 18:13?
a. Who followed Jesus as they took Him, v. 15, (the other disciple was probably the author of this book)?
4. Jesus is sent to the high priest. The high priest asked Him about His followers and His teaching. What does Jesus tell them, vv. 20, 21?
5. During this time, what does Peter do, v. 27?
a. What does the Lord do, Lk. 22:61?
b. Peter had told the Lord about how much he loved Him and how he would always be faithful. What did the Lord tell Peter, Mk. 14:27-31?
We should learn here that the very area we have the most confidence in is the area of our greatest danger to us. (1 Cor. 10:12.)
In this exchange between the priests, the council and Christ, Christ points out that the next time they see Him, it will be in judgment. (Lk. 22:68, 69. See Dan. 7:13; Ps. 110:1.) Another thing that takes place here is that Judas changes his mind, shows remorse, and then commits suicide. (His was not godly repentance, but worldly sorrow, 2 Cor. 7:10. Godly repentance leads to confession of sin to God [and to man where needed], and a change of attitude and direction, Pr. 28:13, 14.)
V. 28, Christ has appeared before the high priest and the ruling council of the Jewscalled the Sanhedrin. They had their false witnesses, and finally get together enough false evidence to find Him guilty of blasphemyclaiming to be God. (Mk. 14:55-65.) They rule that He is worthy of death.
Being a captive nation to Rome, they cannot carry out His death. Therefore, they must go to Pilate, the Roman governor. Evidently, they were accustomed to Pilate just stamping his approval on whatever the Sanhedrin decided, for they do not allow much time for this judgment.
Time was of essence. They considered the touch of a Gentile defiling (v. 28), so they wanted this over before 6:00 AM, the start of their day of preparation for their high sabbath, the passover (Pilate being a Gentile). Note: Here religious men (hypocrites, to say the least) want to get this murder out of the way, so they will not be defiled by being in the presence of a Gentile on the day of preparation. No wonder there was such a conflict between them and the Lord. He pinned their hides on the wall before the whole Jewish nation almost every time He spoke. As He revealed their hearts before the whole world, their hostility grew. They were blinded by hatred to who Christ was.
We see their total dedication to their own pride, power, glory and prosperity. Even in the garden and the miracles (the falling down before Him and the ear), they refused to admit that Christ was anything more than a man who claimed to be God. This attitude had been consistent throughout the book of John; His works proved that He was from God, equal to God and God Himself, yet they refused to believe what He said.
Pilate failed them. He had heard of Christ. He did not "rubber stamp" their sentence; rather, he raised questions. They get a little "hurried" about Pilate's actions, pointing out that they would not have already sentenced Him to death, if He were not guilty. They assure Pilate that there is no need to question them or the malefactor, Christ, v. 30.
Pilate says, "Okay, you go ahead and judge Him if you are in such a hurry, and are so sure", v. 31.
6. What do they say, v. 31?
7. Pilate is no dummy. He had heard a lot about Christ, so he questions Jesus about His claim to be what, v. 33?
a. Christ answers back, "Is this your idea or have others told you," v. 34. Pilate reminds Jesus that He didn't arrest Him; rather, reminds Him of what, v. 35?
Note: The Jews were smart also. The indication from this exchange is that the Jews had gotten word to Pilate that Christ was here to set up His Kingdom and overthrow Rome. They now hoped Pilate would see Christ as a threat to Rome and sentence Him with no questions asked. The Jews wanted His death because of His claim to be God and He was destroying their power. They knew that their reassons would not hold any water with Pilate, so they had to have another charge against Him for Rome.
Again, look at their evil: They had hoped that Christ was the king who would free them from Roman rule, who would increase their power and authority. When they learned He was there to strip them of the power accumulated through their traditions, they try to convince Rome He is that King, therefore, a threat to Rome.
Christ says, "Have others told you that I am the King of the Jews, here to overthrow Rome?" As usual, He does not waste words. He gets right to the HEART of every matter.
b. What does Pilate ask Jesus, v. 35?
1.) Again, Pilate is smart. What does he know, even though they had tried to convince him that Christ was a threat to his (and Rome's), rule, Matt. 27:18?
c. What does Christ tell Pilate, v. 36?
1.) If His Kingdom is not of this world, then what kind of Kingdom does Christ have. Where does He rule from, Eph. 2:6; Col. 1:13; Matt. 18:1?
2.) Who does Christ rule from His Kingdom, Dan. 4:17, 25, 32?
3.) How long does Christ's Kingdom last, Dan. 4:3, 34; 6:26?
4.) What is one of the things Christ can do from His Kingdom, Dan. 4:17, 27,37; 5:18-21?
Pilate, not knowing these things (but the Jews did, and Christ reminded them of this, see above), sees no threat.
d. What does Pilate point blank ask Christ, v. 37?
1.) What does Christ answer, v. 37?
After this exchange, Pilate sees no threat from Christ. He knows Christ is not there to overthrow Rome, (although the gospel did 300 years later).
8. What does Pilate try to do, v. 38?
a. The crowd here would not hear of it. The time is still quite early, between 6 and 9 A.M. Why does the crowd cry out for His death, Lk. 23:11; Matt. 27:20?
We will stop here in the middle of this turmoil at the end of the chapter.
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