John - Chapter 18:21-40
Memory verses for this week:
Psa 37:39 But the salvation of the righteous
is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble..
In our last week’s study, we
saw Jesus betrayed by Judas Iscariot as the soldiers come in the
middle of night with swords and torches to take him away bound. But
as we mentioned last week, no one could have taken him had it not been
that He willingly went. He could have called a legion of angels to
his defense, but He went so that me could die on the Cross to pay the
penalty for our sins.
John 18:21 Why
askest thou me? ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them:
behold, they know what I said.
John 18:22 And when
he had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by struck Jesus
with the palm of his hand, saying, Answerest thou the high priest so?
Jesus is answering
the truth, but the officers, one of the Jews, a man that made up the
temple police, takes Jesus’ answer as demeaning to the high priest.
He takes the palm of his hand and strikes Jesus. Can you imagine
being the one who struck the creator of heaven and earth? I know he
did not understand and comprehend that this was God incarnate in the
flesh before him, but what a horrible thing to do. And if that man
one day saw Jesus for who He truly was and repented of His sins, then
he will be in Heaven with us that know Christ as Savior. If not, he
will only be remembered as the officer who struck our Savior for
telling the truth. Many had heard Jesus teach and preach in the
temple, and they knew what He had said and taught. He always opened
the scriptures and expounded them to them in a more excellent way.
No one ever taught
and understood the Word of God like Jesus.
Luke 4:16 And he came to Nazareth, where he
had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the
synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
Luke 4:17 And there was delivered unto him
the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he
found the place where it was written,
Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath
sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the
captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them
that are bruised,
Luke 4:19 To preach the acceptable year of
Luke 4:20 And he closed the book, and he gave
it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that
were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
Luke 4:21 And he began to say unto them, This
day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
Luke 4:22 And all bare him witness, and
wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And
they said, Is not this Joseph's son?
John 18:23 Jesus
answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if
well, why smitest thou me?
John 18:24 Now
Annas had sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest.
I think it is
interesting that the high priest did not reprimand the officer for
striking our Lord. And most likely it was because it please him. We
know that Jesus was willingly laying His life down for you and I that
we might have salvation. But he does call to their attention that
what they are doing is illegal and contrary to the very Mosaic Law
that they so highly esteemed. They have no witness that He has done
evil, and yet they smite Him. They are the ones who are breaking the
law. What was wrong with this? First, you were to have no trial
that began at night nor ended at night. A trial was not to begin and
end on the same day either. And they certainly were not allowed to
strike a prisoner who had not yet been found guilty. Jesus answered
the man and asks for an answer… “If I have spoken evil, bear witness
of the evil..” He had not ever spoken or done evil, but all through
his ministry he was accused of doing wrong and being empowered by
Satan himself. But Jesus was from God, and always spoke the truth.
Mark 3:22 And the scribes which came down
from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the
devils casteth he out devils.
Mark 3:23 And he called them unto him, and
said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan?
Mark 3:24 And if a kingdom be divided against
itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
Mark 3:25 And if a house be divided against
itself, that house cannot stand.
Mark 3:26 And if Satan rise up against
himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end.
We see Annas had
sent Jesus bound unto this high priest, Caiaphas, which we read about
last week that wanted one to die that the whole nation not perish. In
his mind, Jesus was a great evil one that stood against organized
religion, and he needed to be stopped.
John 18:25 And
Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. They said therefore unto him,
Art not thou also one of his disciples? He denied it, and said, I am
John 18:26 One of
the servants of the high priest, being his kinsman whose ear Peter cut
off, saith, Did not I see thee in the garden with him?
John 18:27 Peter
then denied again: and immediately the cock crew.
If you study the
other accounts of the Gospel, you see that Peter went out and wept
bitterly. Most likely, when Jesus was taken out, he caught a glimpse
of the bloody face where those had beaten and abused Christ. And
perhaps Jesus looked over at Peter to remind Him how that earlier He
had warned him that he would deny Jesus three times before the night
was over. While Peter was denying Jesus, Christ was fulfilling the
very things it took for Peter to have forgiveness of those sins that
he transgressed against the Holy One. And praise God, even after all
this failure, it was Peter that God chose to preach one of the
greatest messages ever in a few short days on the day of Pentecost.
Even when we fail the Lord miserably, when we come back in true
repentance, God is always there to take us back and use us. What a
wonderful Savior we have.
John 13:37 Peter said unto him, Lord, why
cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake.
John 13:38 Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay
down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock
shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.
Mat 26:33 Peter answered and said unto him,
Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be
Mat 26:34 Jesus said unto him, Verily I say
unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me
Mat 26:35 Peter said unto him, Though I
should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all
Mat 26:69 Now Peter sat without in the
palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus
Mat 26:70 But he denied before them all,
saying, I know not what thou sayest.
Mat 26:71 And when he was gone out into the
porch, another maid saw him, and said unto them that were there, This
fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth.
Mat 26:72 And again he denied with an oath, I
do not know the man.
Mat 26:73 And after a while came unto him
they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of
them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee.
Mat 26:74 Then began he to curse and to
swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.
Mat 26:75 And Peter remembered the word of
Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me
thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.
Luke 22:59 And about the space of one hour
after another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow
also was with him: for he is a Galilaean.
Luke 22:60 And Peter said, Man, I know not
what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew.
Luke 22:61 And the Lord turned, and looked
upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said
unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.
Luke 22:62 And Peter went out, and wept
II. The Trial of
John 18:28 Then led
they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early;
and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should
be defiled; but that they might eat the passover.
John 18:29 Pilate
then went out unto them, and said, What accusation bring ye against
John 18:30 They
answered and said unto him, If he were not a malefactor, we would not
have delivered him up unto thee.
We see the epitome of
hypocrisy here in the Jews leading Christ to the judgment hall, but
being unwilling to go in since they were keeping themselves pure for
the passover. Who was the sacrifice that allows our sins to be
forgiven? Jesus Christ of course. He is our passover, the way that
God passes over our sins and puts the penalty wholly on Christ. The
Just who died for the unjust. J. Vernon McGee had these words to
say about these verses.
“There is quite an
interesting byplay here that I want you to see. Here we see
“religion” and the person of Jesus Christ side by side. Here is the
One who has come to fulfill the Passover. He is going to die on the
Cross because they are bringing the death sentence against Him. But
because they want to eat the Passover, these men won’t go inside the
judgment hall. That would pollute them. They will not do that. Are
they meticulously religious? Yet they are plotting the death of the
very One who is the fulfillment of the Passover! My friend, how this
should cause you to search your heart at this time. Are you merely
religious or are you joined to the Lord Jesus Christ? There is
another interesting byplay to watch here. The Jews absolutely would
not go into the judgment hall and thus contaminate themselves, but
they brought Jesus to be taken into the judgment hall to be tried.”
Everyone of us needs
to examine the motives for why we do what we do. Are we serving God
in righteous and truth, or are we just here to make ourselves feel a
little bit better about our failures. Maybe we want others to see us
serving God. If any reason we are here other than to honor and
glorify the Lord, our motives are wrong. And if we are so set in our
ways and our little lists that people have to measure up to, how can
we be used of the Lord? We need to forget about worrying about
everyone else measuring up, and be certain that we are pure and clean
in our own hearts before God. If we can only please one, that one
should be God. How do we please Him? By following the commandments,
and doing those things that He would have us to do. As the
missionary Buddy Woolbright said in Wednesday nights service, there is
no safer place in the world to be than right in the perfect place of
service that God would have us to be. If it is here in our town, or
in the remotest area of Africa, God will protect and provide.
Mat 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
Mat 7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye
shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured
to you again.
Mat 7:3 And why beholdest thou the mote that
is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine
Mat 7:4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother,
Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in
thine own eye?
Mat 7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the
beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out
the mote out of thy brother's eye.
John 18:31 Then
said Pilate unto them, Take ye him, and judge him according to your
law. The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put
any man to death:
John 18:32 That the
saying of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spake, signifying what
death he should die.
John 18:33 Then
Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and
said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews?
Pilate does not seem
to want to have to deal with Jesus at all. He goes in and he comes
out. He asks question after question, and finds no fault in Christ.
I think Pilate clearly sensed that something was wrong. He tells them
to judge Jesus themselves. But they tell him that it was not lawful
for them to put Jesus to death, so they want Pilate to do it. We know
earlier in our study that Jesus had prophesied that the Jewish
religious rulers would condemn Him to death and deliver Him over to
the Gentiles. According to the old law, the Jews would had to have
stoned him to death. But according to prophecy, Jesus was to be
Pilate asks him if he
was the King of the Jews?
John 18:34 Jesus
answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it
thee of me?
John 18:35 Pilate
answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have
delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done?
John 18:36 Jesus
answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this
world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to
the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
Pilate would like to
help Jesus, but he does not seem to know how. Jesus questions how
that Pilate knew He was the king? Pilate is in the middle, and says
that even his own nation have delivered Him up to be condemned.
Jesus once again answers with truth that is hard for Pilate to
understand… “My kingdom is not of this world… “ One day, in the
millennial kingdom, Jesus will finally take His proper throne as the
king of the Jewish nation. He will one day sit on the throne of
David. But not now, not at this time. The Jews are against Christ.
John 18:37 Pilate
therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou
sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause
came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.
Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.
John 18:38 Pilate
saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out
again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at
We know that Jesus is
calling out people for His name today which make up the church. But
the church will not be the kingdom either. When He takes us out of
this world, and comes back, Jesus will establish His kingdom. Pilate
asks what is truth? Jesus is truth. The Word of God, which is
synonymous with Christ is truth. Jesus is the Word, and the Word is
truth. When he returns to the people, Pilate honestly and truthfully
says “I find in him no fault at all.” The reason was because there
was no sin, no fault, never a bad thing in Jesus’ life. And because
of that, the world hated Him even more. And the world despises
Christians today, because we stand on those truths that Jesus taught
John 18:39 But ye
have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover:
will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews?
John 18:40 Then
cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas
was a robber.
So because of
tradition, Pilate could release someone at the passover. There were
two there condemned already. Jesus who had done no wrong, and
Barabbas, who was a robber So Pilate asked which would the people
have released. The leaders had stirred up the people to be against
Jesus, and they cried out… Barabbas. How horrible that the one who
loved them the most was the one that was condemned to the Cross.
Pilate knew that
Jesus was innocent. In Matthew, we have these words:
Mat 27:17 Therefore when they were gathered
together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you?
Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?
Mat 27:18 For he knew that for envy they had
Mat 27:19 When he was set down on the
judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do
with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a
dream because of him.
Mat 27:20 But the chief priests and elders
persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy
Mat 27:21 The governor answered and said unto
them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said,
Mat 27:22 Pilate saith unto them, What shall
I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him,
Let him be crucified.
Mat 27:23 And the governor said, Why, what
evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be
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