Book of John 18:1-23

Book of John 18:1-23

Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus 

John 18:1 When Jesus had spoken these words, He went out with His disciples over the Brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which He and His disciples entered.

The name Gethsemane omitted the garden name, at the foot of the Mount of Olives {means olive press}: Brook Kidron = “dark (black) waters.”,

This Brook Kidron was a ravine between Jerusalem and divides the Mount of Olives; a deep, dark ravine, to the northeast of Jerusalem

John 18:2 And Judas, who betrayed Him, also knew the place; for Jesus often met there with His disciples.

Jesus accustomed was to stay on the Mount of Olives, did not hide

Luke 21:37 And in the daytime He was teaching in the temple, but at night He went out and stayed on the mountain called Olivet.

Luke 22:39 Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him.

John 18:3 Then Judas, having received a detachment of troops, and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons.

  • These soldiers were probably the experienced Roman troops stationed at the Antonia, a fortress near the temple.
  • The officers who came with the detachment were members of the temple police under the command of the Jewish council, the Sanhedrin
  • Probably around 200 men


  • Divine knowing all things  vs 4 – know, be aware, perceive, understand
  • Divine power  vs 6
  • Divine protection  vs 8,9

The verse said Jesus had Divine Knowledge, knowing all things 

John 18:4 Jesus therefore, knowing all things that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?” 

“knowing all things”: Jesus knew the Messiah shall be cut off (Dan 9:26).  – know, be aware, perceive, understand

Notice, Jesus went out to the mob on His own accord, did not try to hide, maybe to keep the soldiers rushing to the disciples

Matthew 17:22-23 Now while they were staying in Galilee,

Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men, (23) and they will kill Him, and the third day He will be raised up.” And they were exceedingly sorrowful.

John 18:5 They answered Him, Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am He.” And Judas, who betrayed Him {or traitor}, also stood with them.

I am he”: Note: Here there is no “be not afraid”!   “I am” is name of Jehovah {Jesus name in the Old Testament}

Interesting, Nathanael when he heard about Jesus, said, can anything good come from Nazareth?  {John 1:46}. Nazareth had an evil name and term of reproach.  The term Jesus of Nazareth is listed at least 15 times in the New Testament.

John 18:6 Now when He said to them, “I am He,” they backed away and fell to the ground.    {power}

For this moment, Jesus revealed His Devine power and threw over 200 soldiers to the ground, including Judas, on their backs.  You would think this would scare them.  {terror them}, all fell backward to the earth.  demons?

Realize this happen later with Saul of Tarsus when Saul and his companions fell to the ground by the power that Jesus has.  Acts 26:14.

This verse shows how completely Jesus surrender of himself to die was voluntary.

Matthew 26:53-54 Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?  (54)  How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?”

John 18:7 Then He asked them again, “Whom are you seeking?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.”

After being knocked down, the soldiers only think of executing their orders that were given, to arrest Jesus the Nazarene.

John 18:8 Jesus answered, “I have told you that I am He. Therefore, if you seek Me, let these go their way,”   {protection – or let these men go }

3rd time in this chapter, Jesus claimed to be  I am He

Jesus gave a very strong command to the soldiers, let these disciples go their way, for their protection.

The soldiers had intended to seize them all

Mark 14:51-52 Now a certain young man followed Him, having a linen cloth thrown around his naked body. And the young men laid hold of him, (52) and he left the linen cloth and fled from them naked.

Interesting, the soldiers were about to tie Jesus hands, but Jesus tied theirs first.

John 18:9 that the saying might be fulfilled which He spoke, “Of those whom You gave Me I have lost none.”

John 17:12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.

John 18:10 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.

It was unlawful to carry a weapon on a feast day; two swords present.

Luke 22:38 So they said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” And He {Jesus} said to them, “It is enough.”   {who had the 2nd swords}

His sword was 18” long; weighed 5 lbs. Thick, not sharp: designed

for splitting helmeted skulls

Jesus saved Peter’s life with another command to the soldiers

Luke 22:51 But Jesus answered and said, “Permit even this.” And He touched his ear and healed him.

As a side, this was Jesus’ last miracle before the cross. No one ever died in Jesus’ presence.

John 18:11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?”  {only one sword came out}

Luke 22:42 saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”

What Cup – what Jesus has to do and He agonized over His approaching death.  The cup is a figure of speech to what is going to happen.

Psalms 11:6 Upon the wicked He will rain coals; Fire and brimstone and a burning wind Shall be the portion of their cup.

Jesus had 6 different trials, 3 Jewish Trials, and 3 Roman Trials

Jewish Trials:

  • Before Annas                  John 18:12-14
  • Before Caiaphas             John 18:19-24
  • Before the Sanhedrin      Matthew 27:1, 2

Roman Trails:

  • Before Pilate                  John 18:28-38
  • Before Herod                  Luke 23:6-11
  • Before Pilate                  John 18:39 – 19:16

Jesus Faces Annas and Caiaphas, first 2 trials

John 18:12 Then the detachment of troops and the captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound Him.

According to Jewish law it was unlawful to bind a prisoner before judgment.

A captain was the chief officer of a Roman soldiers.

Annas served from A.D. 6-15; deposed by Pilate’s predecessor, Valerius Gratus. However, he was still influential; vice-president of the Sanhedrin and patriarch of a family that held the office of the high priest as late as A.D. 62, including 5 sons and a son-in-law.

Romans appointed Caiaphas (each year; Act 4:6) vs. Law of God, until death (Ex 40:15; Num 35:25, etc.).

Many Jews resented the Roman intrusions into their office; still looked to Annas, not Caiaphas, as their “real” High Priest.

Matthew 26:49-50 Immediately he {Judas} went up to Jesus and said, Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed Him.  (50)  But Jesus said to him, “Friend, why have you come?” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and took Him.  {Jesus just said, friend}

John 18:13 And they led Him away to Annas first, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas who was high priest that year.

“led him away”: Led to the priest The judge had given his verdict and determined the sentence before the trial took place.

John 18:14 Now it was Caiaphas who advised the Jews that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.

Peter Denies Jesus

John 18:15 And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Now that disciple was known to the high priest and went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest.

Most people presume this “another disciple” was John.  Others think not.

John was a fisherman of Galilee, not Jerusalem; and as a Galilean he would have been recognized as Peter was  (Mt 26:69,73).

Also, John always refers to himself as the disciple “whom Jesus loved”

And according to Acts 4:13, the high priest was not personally acquainted with either Peter or John. Who then? Nicodemus? Joseph of Arimathea?

John 18:16 But Peter stood at the door outside. Then the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to her who kept the door, and brought Peter in.

Damsel that kept the door”: It was a common custom to have a female doorkeeper (Acts 12:13 – Peter, upper room).

John 18:17 Then the servant girl who kept the door said to Peter, “You are not also one of this Man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.

Mark 14:66 Now as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came.

This was the first of Peter’s three denials prophesied by Jesus

Mark 14:68 But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you are saying.” And he went out on the porch, and a rooster crowed.

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

Before Caiaphas: John 18:19-24

The High Priest Questions Jesus

John 18:19 The high priest then asked Jesus about His disciples and His doctrine.

Was Caiaphas trying to ensnare Him into some statement to be used against Jesus at the trial? His doctrine; disciples; etc.

This was not a true trial since the Sanhedrin had not been assembled. The purpose of this questioning was to gather evidence and was interested in Jesus’s disciples and His doctrine..

The charge on which they wished to arraign him was that of sedition, or of rebellion against Caesar.

John 18:20 Jesus answered him, I spoke openly to the world. I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where the Jews always meet, and in secret I have said nothing.

Jesus spoke openly, not in secret (Isa 45:19) vs. a closed trial. Jesus had not founded a secret society.

John 18:21 Why do you ask Me? Ask those who have heard Me what I said to them. Indeed they know what I said.”

According to the law, the witnesses for the defense had to be called first. Jesus should not have been questioned until witnesses had testified

John 18:22 And when He had said these things, one of the officers who stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, “Do You answer the high priest like that?”

“…struck Jesus with the palm of his hand”: He was entitled to be protected by judges; there is none.

This was illegal according to Jewish law. There was to be no punishment before conviction

John 18:23 Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil; but if well, why do you strike Me?

Jesus invited His accusers to present evidence that He had done something wrong.

Matthew 5:39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.

Jesus is being examined and gives His own illustration or understanding of His own teaching; to exclude personal retaliation does not exclude calm protest and rebuke.  Interesting

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