John 18:1-27

Sunday Morning Bible Study

February 8, 1997

Introduction

Jesus has been preparing the guys for what's up ahead of them, after He leaves to go back to heaven.

He's spent time instructing them and praying for them.

Now it's time for it all to come together.

:1-14 Jesus is arrested

:1 a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples.

This is the garden Gethsemane, about a of a mile to the east of the city of Jerusalem, on the Mount of Olives, across the Kidron Valley.

:2 Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples.

This appears to have been a usual "rendevous" place for Jesus and His disciples, and perhaps why Judas was able to find Jesus and the other disciples.

:3 having received a band of men and officers

band of men - A group of 500-1000 soldiers.

Earlier in the evening, Judas had left the dinner (John 13:30), and got the soldiers together, under the direction of the chief priests (Mat 26:14-16).

:4 knowing all things that should come upon him,

Jesus wasn't surprised by any of this.

:5 Jesus saith unto them, I am he.

If you're a Greek trivia buff like me, you might be interested to know that Jesus simply says, "ego eimi", or, "I am"

This is the Greek form of God's name, Yahweh, the name that God gives to Moses when Moses asks "What's Your name?" (Ex. 3)

We saw a few weeks back how Jesus explained that He had been busy "manifesting" God's name (Yahweh) to the disciples (John 17:6)

He's made the seven classic "I AM" statements:

Joh 6:35 ... I am the bread of life...

Joh 8:12 ... I am the light of the world ...

Joh 10:7 ... I am the door of the sheep.

Joh 10:11 I am the good shepherd ...

Joh 11:25 ... I am the resurrection, and the life ...

Joh 14:6 ... I am the way, the truth, and the life ...

Joh 15:1 I am the true vine ...

To the disciples in the midst of the storm at sea, He calmed their fears when He came walking on the water ...

Joh 6:20 But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid.

Lit., "I AM, do not be afraid"

To the Jews, making it clear who He was:

Joh 8:58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

And they picked up stones to stone Him, because He was claiming to be God.

Finally, He's talked about the importance of believing that Jesus is the I AM:

Joh 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

Now, is it any great wonder that when Jesus says this to the men coming to arrest him, to the men who are going to take Him to His death, the death He came to die for that ...

:6 they went backward, and fell to the ground.

What an awesome display of power, with just two words!

Matthew records Jesus saying He had at His call 12 legions of angels (anywhere from 36,000 to 72,000 angels!).

We read in Isaiah:

(Isa 11:4 KJV) ... he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

I wonder if these people know who they're dealing with?

It displays God's mercy on these men.

It shows that Jesus is allowing this all to happen, willingly.

:8 let these go their way:

Jesus is making sure that the disciples aren't going to be in any immediate danger.

Lesson:

The Good Shepherd protects His flock.

Jesus is demonstrating His care over His disciples.

Earlier Jesus had said:

(John 10:11-14 KJV) I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. {12} But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. {13} The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. {14} I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

Lesson:

Are you a good shepherd?

Are there people that God has entrusted to your care?

Perhaps it's your employees.

Perhaps it's your family, wife, kids.

Will you watch over them, protect them from harm, lay down your life for them?

:10 Then Simon Peter ...

Somewhere (we're not sure exactly when) before Peter starts swinging his sword, Judas does something interesting.

Judas wants the officers to know for sure who Jesus is, not just taking His word for it.

(Mark 14:44-46 KJV) And he that betrayed him had given them a token, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he; take him, and lead him away safely. {45} And as soon as he was come, he goeth straightway to him, and saith, Master, master; and kissed him. {46} And they laid their hands on him, and took him.

Luke records:

(Luke 22:48 KJV) But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?

Lesson:

Jesus understands betrayal.

Judas didn't pick a slap across the face, he decided to betray the Lord with a kiss.

In that day, just like ours, a kiss was a sign of affection and devotion.

Some of you have experienced betrayal from someone close to you.

You have a Savior who understands.

:10 cut off his right ear.

Keep in mind, I don't think that this is what Peter intended.

He most likely was aiming to cut the guy's head off, and just missed.

Luke records:

(Luke 22:50-51 KJV) And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear. {51} And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him.

Jesus isn't just cleaning up after Peter's mess, but He's giving him further protection from any possible legal problems!

:11 the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?

John doesn't record the prayer of Jesus in the garden, before Judas showed up, but this was part of what Jesus had been praying:

Mr 14:36 And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.

Jesus is fully resigned to do whatever the Father asks Him to do.

Lesson:

Surrender to God's will.

Don't be fighting it. Don't say you can't take any more.

Sometimes it seems that things could be much better than they are, but perhaps we're right where we are supposed to be.

Illustration:

"I should like to tell you some of my experience," said Captain C. to a friend.

"We sailed from Kennebec on the first of October, 1876. There had been several gales, and some of my friends thought it hardly safe to go, but after considerable prayer I concluded it was right to undertake the voyage.

"On the 19th of October we were about one hundred and fifty miles west of the Bahamas, and we encountered very disagreeable weather. For five or six days we seemed held by shifting currents, or some unknown power, in and about the place. We would think we had sailed forty of fifty miles, when, taking our observations we would find we were within three or four miles of our position of the day before. This circumstance occurring repeatedly, proved a trial to my faith, and I said within my heart: "Lord, why are we so hindered, and kept in this position?" Day by day we were held as if by an unseen force, until at length a change took place, and we went our way.

"On reaching port, they inquired, "where have you been through the gale?" "What gale?" We then learned that a terrible hurricane had swept through that region and that all was desolation. We afterwards learned that this hurricane had swept around us, and had almost formed a circle around the place occupied by us during the storm. A hundred miles in one direction was wreck and ruin, and fifty miles in the opposite direction all was desolation; and while that storm was raging in all its fury, we were held in perfect safety, in quiet waters, and in continual anxiety to change our position and to pursue our voyage. One day of ordinary sailing would have brought us into the tacks of the storm, and sent us to the bottom of the sea. We were anxious to sail on, but some unseen power held us where we were, and we escaped."

Don't fight God's will. Surrender.

:13 led him away to Annas first;

Though originally, the high priest was to hold his office for life, at this time in history, the high priest was an appointed position, appointed by the Roman government.

Annas was at the time, a former high priest, and the head of a family of high priests.

Five of his sons would eventually become high priests.

Currently, his son-in-law, Caiphas, has been quite successful in being a high priest and dealing with the Romans.

Before Jesus has His actual trial before Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin, He is led before Annas for a private hearing.

:14 that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.

Caiphas had said this just a few weeks ago (John 11:49-52)

Though Caiaphas was talking politics when he said this, because he was high priest at the time, God shaped his words to actually speak prophetically as well.

Jesus would die for the nation, He would die for their sins.

:15-24 Peter's slip into denial

:15 Simon Peter followed Jesus,

Mt 26:58 But Peter followed him afar off ...

:15 that disciple was known unto the high priest,

Probably John himself.

:16 Peter stood at the door without.

Remember what Peter had promised the Lord?

(John 13:37 KJV) Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake.

Peter is beginning his slide into denying Jesus.

It starts with standing at the door that's before you.

Jesus went through the door.

John went through the door.

Peter stopped at it.

Lesson:

Follow the Lord through the open door.

Peter had been following the Lord, but not too closely.

Now there was a door to go through, and Peter didn't want to go through it.

Is there something the Lord has been leading you to do, but you've been a little reluctant to follow?

If you don't follow Him through the open doors, He may start getting farther and farther from you.

:16 brought in Peter

Apparently John has to go back outside and get Peter, and take him into the inside of the courtyard of Annas' house.

:17 Art not thou also one of this man's disciples?

The way this girl is asking the question, the Greek language implies that she was expecting a negative response.

It's as if she's saying, "You're not really one of those disciples, are you?"

She's making it easy for Peter to say "no".

It's kind of like the voice that says, "You don't really want to go to church today, do you?"

:17 He saith, I am not.

Peter's denials have started.

Lesson:

Denials aren't always with big bullies.

Somehow we get the idea that it's going to be a great big bully with a knife at our throat that's going to make us deny the Lord.

Peter is in fact pretty good with bullies.

He was willing to take out his sword and use it!

But here's Peter denying that he knows Jesus in front of a little slave girl.

Beware of the "little" denials.

Be careful of not mentioning you're a Christian because it's just not convenient.

It might make it easier to deny Him next time.

:18 Peter stood with them, and warmed himself

After having lied to the servant girl, Peter is kind of bold, and steps up with the soldiers and the servants of the very people that just arrested his Master, and warms himself alongside them.

Lesson:

Don't warm yourself at the enemy's fire.

Peter's just trying to blend in with the crowd.

He's just trying to be "one of the guys".

He's not wanting to cause any comotion.

Yet he's about to deny Jesus again.

It's one thing to be "sent into the world", but another to be in the world and not naming the name of Jesus.

Is it clear to your non-believing friends that you love and follow the Lord? Or are you just "one of the gang"?

:21 ask them which heard me

Apparently the high priests had never heard Jesus speak before.

For three years, they had never bothered to see personally what all the comotion was about.

They apparently felt they were above it all.

They didn't "need" Jesus.

Following Jesus isn't about being "religious".

It's the religious people of that day that didn't want anything to do with Jesus.

:22 Answerest thou the high priest so?

It's kind of ironic that the officer is demanding that Jesus show some respect to the high priest, yet Jesus is the Great High Priest, He's the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Who should respect whom?

:23 If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me?

In other words, "If I've said something wrong, tell me what it is, otherwise you shouldn't be hitting Me!"

smitest - dero - to flay, skin; to beat, thrash, smite

It makes me wonder if Jesus has been cut and bleeding from this blow.

:24 Annas had sent him bound unto Caiaphas

Jesus would actually have several trials that night and early the next day.

After appearing before Annas, He would be sent to Caiaphas and the rest of the Sanhedrin for His official Jewish trial. (John 18:12-14; Matt 26:57-58; 27:1; Luk 22:66-71).

From there He would be sent to Pilate, the Roman governor, to be sentenced to death. (Matt. 27:2, 11-14; Luk 23:1-5)

Pilate would try to pass it off on Herod (Luke 23:6-12), but eventually had to pass sentence on Jesus himself (Matt. 27:15-26; Luke 23:13-25).

:25-27 Peter's last denial

:26 being his kinsman whose ear Peter cut off,

This guy had been there and seen the whole thing.

:27 Peter then denied again:

Matthew records that Peter got a little dramatic at this last denial:

(Mat 26:74 KJV) Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.

:27 immediately the cock crew.

Luke records something else happening when the rooster crowed:

(Luke 22:60-62 KJV) And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew. {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. {62} And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.

Lesson:

Jesus sees you sin.

It's bad enough to fall into sin.

But to realize that my Savior, who paid the penalty for all my sin by dying on the cross, is watching me sin!

I can understand Peter weeping.

Yet the story doesn't end there.

After the resurrection, Jesus tracks Peter down and asks him, "Do you love Me?"

Three times Jesus asks Peter, giving Peter a chance of restoration.