Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus
18 When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons. Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. So he asked them again, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So, if you seek me, let these men go.” This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken: “Of those whom you gave me I have lost not one.” Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?”
Jesus Faces Annas and Caiaphas
So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound him. First they led him to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it would be expedient that one man should die for the people.
Peter Denies Jesus
Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he entered with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, but Peter stood outside at the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the servant girl who kept watch at the door, and brought Peter in. The servant girl at the door said to Peter, “You also are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.” Now the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves. Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself.
The High Priest Questions Jesus
The high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me what I said to them; they know what I said.” When he had said these things, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?” Jesus answered him, “If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?” Annas then sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.
Peter Denies Jesus Again
Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, “You also are not one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?” Peter again denied it, and at once a rooster crowed.
Jesus Before Pilate
Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the governor’s headquarters. It was early morning. They themselves did not enter the governor’s headquarters, so that they would not be defiled, but could eat the Passover. So Pilate went outside to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?” They answered him, “If this man were not doing evil, we would not have delivered him over to you.” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” The Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death.” This was to fulfill the word that Jesus had spoken to show by what kind of death he was going to die.
My Kingdom Is Not of This World
So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”
After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him. But you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover. So do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” They cried out again, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.
John 18 Commentary
by Hank Workman
Here stood 2 kingdoms in conflict.
Pilate’s Kingdom was based upon his physical presence and ruling jurisdiction of Judea. As most politicians he was out to make a name for himself. The Jews hated him for many reasons that ranged from his raiding the temple treasury to pay for an aqueduct to the fact he was a Roman citizen who held them under his thumb. In his mind though, Judea was a stepping stone to greater things in the kingdom of Rome of where if he proved himself worthy he would be given another, more substantial place to govern. His kingdom was ruled by force.
Jesus’ kingdom was everything contrary to thought of man and specifically Pilate’s outlook. Jesus kingdom originated in the throne room of His Father and was being spread to the earthly realm. His kingdom was based on love and servanthood, not that of domination, self-interest or wicked means to obtain it. The mystery of the Kingdom of God began within people, as Jesus had stated. Jesus’ kingdom was and is an inward transformation from within the heart that floods out and claims territory of the enemy by love.
The irony is these kingdoms are still in conflict today. Not only on the political realm as leaders jockey for the political upper hand, establishing their own kingdom through violence and deception; but within the heart of every person as we attempt to make something out of our life that matters. Jesus’ Kingdom begins with His seed of Truth planted and grows through the unexplainable love and pure devotion to Him and His cause, not our own. His Kingdom is based on serving and transforming and quietly changing our world as His purposes and ways are embraced within.
John 18 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
“While human politics is based on the premise that society must be changed in order to change people, in the politics of the Kingdom it is people who must be changed in order to change society.”Charles Colson “Kingdoms in Conflict“
Jesus was indeed the King, but He was not a king in the sense of being a political threat to Rome. If there were ever a time for Jesus to take sides in the earthly realm of politics, this was it. He declines, not because He is disinterested, but because His Kingdom is not of this world.
Earthly kingdoms are built upon pride, force, authority, human praise, and world domination. Jesus’ kingdom was built on humility, sacrifice, love, and truth. Jesus’ motive wasn’t to change the system. He went to the cross to change people. There is no political system that can deliver that kind of change.
“In Jesus’ day, they were conditioned to look for salvation in political solutions – we are also tempted to further the purposes of the Kingdom by the power of this world; history shows that any gains realized are greatly offset by the liabilities of a religious state.”David Guzik
Just think about this for a minute. We live in a world with broken systems. The family structure is broken. The foster care system is broken. The political system is broken. The legal system is broken. Our nation is broken morally, socially, and racially. But for some reason, we continue to put our faith in human systems to bring about the change that Jesus already died for.
Augustine said that Christians should be the best citizens in the kingdoms of man. This is because we should be living like Jesus. We should be living in a Kingdom not of this world. This doesn’t mean we are negligent to the needs of our world, but that we will trust in the attributes of Jesus over the human systems of this world to birth healing, forgiveness, and restoration.
Our lives should literally reflect the words Jesus commanded us to pray… “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.” (Matthew 6) We should not be using the triumph of Jesus’ resurrection to validate our human systems. We should be structuring our human systems to reflect the triumph of Jesus’ resurrection. People must be changed in order to change society. Jesus’ sacrifice changes us. It is now our responsibility to go into society and be that change.