Heavenly Father, please take away all other voices so that we can only hear the voice of Holy Spirit, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
John 18: 1- 40, trial under Annas, Caiphas, and Pilate.
VV 1-4, 1 When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side, there was a garden, and he and his disciples went into it. 2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. 3 So Judas came to the garden, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns, and weapons. 4 Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?”
Jesus and the eleven disciples crossed the Brook Kidron and entered the Garden of Gethsemane. Gethsemane means olive press, a place of crushing the olive fruits to extract the oil. After Gethsemane, Jesus will be crushed and His blood will be shed to atone for the sin of mankind.
VV 5-9, 5 “Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) 6 When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. 7 Again he asked them, “Who is it you want?” “Jesus of Nazareth,” they said. 8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, then let these men go.” 9 This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.”
Greek for “I AM’ is “eigo eimi” and Hebrew for “I AM” is YHVH. God covental name is YHWH. The voice in burning bush in Exodus 3:16 is the voice of Jesus, before His incarnatiion. He revealed His name to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM” or YHWH. In theology this is called a Christophany. On hearing “I AM”, the soldiers and Jewish rulers who came to arrest Him fell backward to the ground. Verse 9 is a fulfillment of John 17:12, “While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled”.
VV 10-14, 10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) 11 Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” 12 Then the detachment of soldiers with its commander and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus. They bound him 13 and brought him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. 14 Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jewish leaders that it would be good if one man died for the people.
‘Peter sliced off the right ear of the high priest’s servant, Malchus. Peter and John were there but the other nine had fled. According to Luke, Jesus attached back the ear of Malchus, His last healing miracle. Luke 22:51, “But Jesus answered and said, “Permit even this.” And He touched his ear and healed him”. The soldiers and the Jewish rulers arrested Jesus and brought Him to Annas, the high priest’s father in law.
VV 15-18, 15 Simon Peter and another disciple were following Jesus. Because this disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard, 16 but Peter had to wait outside at the door. The other disciple, who was known to the high priest, came back, spoke to the servant girl on duty there and brought Peter in. 17 “You aren’t one of this man’s disciples too, are you?” 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.
Peter and John followed behind Jesus. A unnamed servant girl identified Peter as one of Jesus’ disciple but Peter denied it. Other servants and officers also identified Peter but he again denied it.
VV 19-24, 19 Meanwhile, the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. 20 “I have spoken openly to the world,” Jesus replied. “I always taught in synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in secret. 21 Why question me? Ask those who heard me. Surely they know what I said.” 22 When Jesus said this, one of the officials nearby slapped him in the face. “Is this the way you answer the high priest?” he demanded.23 “If I said something wrong,” Jesus replied, “testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?”24 Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.
The first trial was under Annas, the high priest’s father in law. He questioned Jesus but Jesus refused to cooperate, one of the officials slapped Jesus. The second trial was under Caiaphas, the high priest.
VV 25-27, 25 Now Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. Therefore they said to him, “You are not also one of His disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not!” 26 One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of him whose ear Peter cut off, said, “Did I not see you in the garden with Him?” 27 Peter then denied again, and immediately a rooster crowed.’’
When Peter was warming himself at the fire, another of the high priest’s servants identified Peter as one of Jesus’ disciple. Peter denied Jesus the third time and immediately a rooster crowed.
VV 28-29, 28 Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium, and it was early morning. But they themselves did not go into the Praetorium, lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover. 29 Pilate then went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this Man?”
The third trial was under Pontius Pilate, the Roman procurator of Judea, in the Praetorium. Not wanting to defile themselves, the priests did not enter the Praetorium.
VV 30-32, 30 “If he were not a criminal,” they replied, “we would not have handed him over to you.” 31 Pilate said, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” “But we have no right to execute anyone,” they objected. 32 This took place to fulfill what Jesus had said about the kind of death he was going to die.
Romans laws forbid Jews to carry out capital punishment by stoning. They sent Jesus to be tried under Roman laws whose capital punishment was by crucifixion. This fulfilled scripture that Jesus would die by crucifixion and not by stoning. Psalm 22:16, “My enemies surround me like a pack of dogs; an evil gang closes in on me. They have pierced my hands and feet.”
VV 33-37, 33 Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” 34 “Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?” 35 “Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?” 36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.” 37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me”.
Jesus told Pontius Pilate that He was a spiritual king and not a military king. “the reason I was born and came into this world”, speaks of His incarnation and pre-existence.
VV 38- 40, 38 “What is truth?” retorted Pilate. With this he went out again to the Jews gathered there and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him. 39 But it is your custom for me to release to you one prisoner at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to release ‘the king of the Jews’?” 40 Then they all cried again, saying, “Not this Man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.
It was customary for the Pilate to release one Jewish prisoner on Passover. Pontius Pilate asked the Jews whether he should release Barabbas, a Jewish freedom fighter, or Jesus Christ. According the the first-century theologian Origen, Batabbas’ name was Jesus Barabbas, which means Jesus, son of a father. The Jews chose Jesus Barabbas, the son of a father, instead of Jesus Christ, the Son of The Father. Even today, people still chose to believe in the “son of a father” instead of Jesus Christ, the “Son of The Father”. Who do you believe?
Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Your Son Jesus Christ into the world to die for our sin. We ask that You reign in our lives as King of our hearts, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, in Jesus’ name, Amen.