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John Chapter 18:1-20

Memory verses for this week: Psa 37:37 Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.

Introduction: In our last week’s study, we saw Jesus the conclusion of perhaps the greatest prayer ever recorded in the Word of God. Jesus prayed for our protection and for God to be glorified in His soon death. He asked the Father to protect us and that we might go forth and preach the Gospel to a lost and dying world. This week, we see the betrayal of Jesus in Chapter 18.


I.  The Betrayal

John 18:1 When 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.

John 18:2 And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples.

In chapters 13 through 17, we saw what is called the Upper Room Discourse which Jesus addressed his disciples about what was about to come. Chapter 17 was the fulfilling climax to this as he prayed for them that they might be empowered to go forth for God after Christ was taken out of the world. In chapters 18-20, we see the fifth division of the Gospel of John which is the witness of Jesus to the world. In this chapter, we see Christ arrested and taken before the high priest. John’s presentation is different than the three synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) in that his emphasis is on the humanity of Christ. How Jesus had a human nature, and how much he suffered as our Savior, our sacrifice there on Calvary. As we have seen throughout this study, we see John emphasizing the Deity of Jesus Christ. John presents the glory that awaited Jesus as He suffered, He died, and was resurrected for our justification. No one ever cared for anyone like Jesus did for you and I. And He still loves and cares for us today as He stands before God as our mediator.

We see in verses one and two where Jesus took the disciples to the garden one the other side of the brook Cedron. Brother Bryant and my cousin Aric Johnson, who is also a minister, have told me of how this little garden moved them as they thought upon Jesus being there and the agony He felt as He knew the hour was upon Him to die for the sins of the world. Judas Iscariot also knew of the garden, and we see him bringing the band of men there to take our Lord.

Luke, in his account of the Gospel, told of the suffering and agony that Jesus felt there in the garden as the time drew near for the conclusion of God’s plan of salvation for man.

Luke 22:39 And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him.

Luke 22:40 And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.

Luke 22:41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,

Luke 22:42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.

Luke 22:43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.

Luke 22:44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

Luke 22:45 And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow,

Luke 22:46 And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.

Luke 22:47 And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him.


John 18:3 Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons.

John 18:4 Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye?

John 18:5 They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them.

John 18:6 As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.

Jesus knew all things. He was God manifested in the flesh.

John 2:24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,

John 2:25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.

Judas had sold out our Lord for thirty pieces of silver. Satan had moved into Judas’ heart, and he was under control of the wicked one. We see the whole band coming in the night with lanterns and torches and weapons. It appeared that they feared for their lives, and yet Jesus was a mild and even mannered man. He was not given to violence as many were in that day, but taught us to turn the other cheek when others hurt us. How difficult is this to do? It takes great humility to be abused and to not revile back. When Jesus asked them "Whom seek ye?", and identified himself as Jesus, it says they went backwards and fell to the ground. It seems like anytime men or women are involved in doing evil, they know they are wrong and sometimes are constantly looking back to see if someone is following or watching. But the righteous are not so, but rather are as bold as a lion. God help us all not to be those involved in evil, but be men and women of conviction that are involved in doing good for the glory and honor of God.

Prov 28:1 The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.

John 18:7 Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth.

John 18:8 Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way:

John 18:9 That the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none.

I think it is significant that they called him "Jesus of Nazareth", refusing to acknowledge Him for who he truly was. The do not honor Him with the dignity that belongs to the Son of God, but that does not lessen His name one bit. His name is a name above all others. A name that will cause every knee to bow and every tongue to profess that He is King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.

Phil 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Phil 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

Phil 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

Phil 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Phil 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

Phil 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

Phil 2:11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The bible teaches us that the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. Even in this dark hour when He was willingly yielding Himself as the Lamb of God for our justification, Jesus was doing everything for the honor and glory of God. The things that happened here in the garden are a fulfillment of prophecy found in Psalms.

Psa 27:1 A Psalm of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Psa 27:2 When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.

Psa 35:4 Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul: let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt.

Psa 40:14 Let them be ashamed and confounded together that seek after my soul to destroy it; let them be driven backward and put to shame that wish me evil.

And even as Jesus is about to be taken, rather than be concerned for His own welfare, He asks that the disciples be let go and unharmed. Jesus truly cares for you and I, and we need to never forget the compassion and love He has shown for us. What a Savior we have. How many times was it recorded that "Jesus had compassion" on men and women, boys and girls. He was moved by their spiritual condition most of all, but he cared about the little things in their life. About their illnesses, even about their hunger. Nothing is too small for us to come to God with when we know Jesus as our Savior.


Mat 9:36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.

Mat 9:37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;

Mat 9:38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

Mat 14:14 And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.

Mat 15:32 Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way.


John 18:10 Then 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.

John 18:11 Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?

We see the compulsiveness of Peter to be active for the Lord. So many times, Peter was the first to be involved. Sometimes he got in trouble for what he did as in this case, but when he saw Jesus walking on the water, he still holds the all time record for mortal man walking on the water when Jesus bid him to come unto him. As long as Peter kept his eyes on Jesus, he stayed above water. But when he looked around him, and saw the storm and the waves, he began to sink. There is a message there for you and I to never take our eyes off Jesus. As the storms come, as things look the most helpless, we need to put our eyes firmly on the Savior and hold on. Jesus is the solid rock that will never fail us. The arm of flesh will fail you, but Jesus never fails. Is it not amazing that even after cutting off the ear of the high priest’s servant, Peter is not arrested? You would have thought they would all have been taken in as accomplices. But you know what? Even in His arrest, Jesus was in command. Not many times does the one who is being arrested tell those taking him what to do. But they were commanded to let the disciples to go. No one else was going to be taken. This was the hour that Jesus was betrayed, and he was going to tread the winepress alone. I thought it interesting that John did not mention that Jesus restored the ear.

Luke 22:50 And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear.

Luke 22:51 And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him.

Luke 22:52 Then Jesus said unto the chief priests, and captains of the temple, and the elders, which were come to him, Be ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and staves?

Luke 22:53 When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.

We see James warning us to be slow to speak.

James 1:19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

James 1:20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

II. The Arrest of Jesus

John 18:12 Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him,

John 18:13 And led him away to Annas first; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year.

John 18:14 Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.

They take Jesus as a common thief, as a man who was a great danger to the nation, and bind him to take him in. The verse we read there in Luke pointed out how that Jesus stood before them in the temple teaching, and no man stretched out his hand to take him. Now in the middle of the night, they come to take him as if He was a dangerous man. It was the religious leaders who had plotted all of this. They were afraid of the people, so they go outside the city to take Him. They did not need to bind Jesus. He came as a Lamb slain before the foundation of the world, and he would offer no resistance. He willingly laid down His life for you and I. Note how in verse 14 we can see how these religious leaders have already determined that He was going to die. Not if He was found guilty by trial, but he was fore-ordained to death. The whole trial was a mockery.

John 11:49 And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all,

John 11:50 Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.

John 18:15 And 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.

John 18:16 But 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.

John 18:17 Then saith the damsel that kept the door unto Peter, Art not thou also one of this man's disciples? He saith, I am not.

Simon and John follow along behind. I’m sure they feared for their lives. It is a lot easier to follow behind the Lord not be seen by others as one of His disciples. That way we take no danger of being spotted and accused and mocked. But we need to be more than followers at a distance, we need to proclaim to the housetops who Jesus is. He is the answer to this world’s problems. If we go overseas and feed the poor, we honor God. But they will be hungry again. Preach the gospel to the people, and you transform lives and give them the ability to help themselves. Transform their leaders, and a whole nation can change. But it starts with one soul coming to Jesus Christ, and that person leading another and another.

We see Peter standing at the door without. Where do you stand today before God? Are you inside the door of safety concerning your soul? When Noah shut the door of the ark and the rains came, no one outside the door was saved. A day is coming when all those outside of Christ will likewise perish, and to a much worse destiny than death by drowning. The soul of man lives on, either with God if we know Jesus as our Savior, or in the flames of Hell if we reject Him as our Personal Savior. It is your decision. Don’t stand outside the door.

This verse has a broader spiritual context concerning the Holy Spirit and Israel than how I am using it here, but I still want to use the verse.

Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

Rev 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

We see the first denial by Peter that he knew Christ. Remember the words that Jesus had spoken to Peter earlier when he said he was willing to go and die for Christ. He thought he was able, but our flesh is very weak. Only by God’s grace do we stand for the cause of Christ.

Mark 14:27 And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.

Mark 14:28 But after that I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee.

Mark 14:29 But Peter said unto him, Although all shall be offended, yet will not I.

Mark 14:30 And Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice.

Mark 14:31 But he spake the more vehemently, If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise. Likewise also said they all.

Jesus had prayed for Peter that his Satan would not sift him as wheat.

Luke 22:31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:

Luke 22:32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

Luke 22:33 And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death.

Luke 22:34 And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.

John 18:18 And 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.

John 18:19 The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine.

John 18:20 Jesus 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.

Peter stood outside with the servants and officers and warmed himself by the fire as Jesus answered the high priest about his doctrine. We need to be careful that we don’t spend too much time warming ourselves by the fires of the wicked. Jesus tells him that he has done nothing in secret, but proclaimed the truth in the synagogue and in the temple. As we said before, the trial was not to seek the truth, but to make an appearance that fairness was being given. The priests hated Christ without a cause, and it was this evil that helped put Jesus on the Cross of Calvary.


Internet Bible Studies are prepared and distributed free of charge. The lessons may not be sold without consent. If you have questions or wish to discuss the lessons, or possibly need help in finding Jesus Christ as your Personal Lord and Savior, contact David Parham at 940-322-4343.

Prov 4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

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