John Selections from Ch. 18 and 19

Published Aug. 30, 2023, 12:54 p.m.

Jesus completes his prayer for his disciples in Ch. 17.  His "hour" has come.  He prays for himself, his close disciples, his current followers and future followers.  His prayer is for their sanctification and preservation -- therefore, in this moment he does not pray for the world that rejects him.  We cannot see and know hearts like Jesus can.  We do not know who may be called into salvation tomorrow.  Therefore, I think we can pray for individuals who are not currently believers.  We can ask God to call them into salvation.  God may enlighten us about a particular person.  I recommend a prayer for each of us to bear the fruit of the spirit (Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control) when talking to and praying for those who do not currently profess Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

For this week's meeting, I would like us each to read Chapters 18 and 19 silently before starting our discussion.


  • "The Kidron Valley is a place just outside of Jerusalem, in between the city and the Mount of Olives. The name Kidron (or Cedron in the KJV) is either a reference to the “darkness” or “murkiness” of the water that periodically flows in that place or to the cedars that grow in that area. The Kidron Valley is technically a wadi, as a stream runs through it only after heavy rains. This location is associated in the Bible with sorrow, judgment, and death."  from
  • Intentionally or not, John paints a picture of a gloomy garden.
  • A "band" of soldiers is estimated to be between 600 and 1000 men with torches and weapons in this case.  (Add to that the temple guard officers as well). 

  • Annas, father-in-law of Caiaphas (John 18:13), had been high-priest from AD 6 to 15, and continued to exercise a significant influence over Jewish affairs. Annas and Caiaphas may have sympathized with the Sadducees, a religious movement in Judaea that found most of its members among the wealthy Jewish elite.
  • Josephus records that Caiaphas was made high priest by the Roman procurator Valerius Gratus.  Therefore, Annas was considered the "real" high priest by religious Jews.
  • Jesus will be led to Annas and Caiaphas for judgment and examination.  At this time in Judea, Accused are not normally tried at night-time, forced to speak on their own behalf or deprived of favorable witnesses.

  • The Talmud notes that "forty years before the destruction of the [Second] Temple, capital punishment ceased in Israel." This date is traditionally put at 28 CE, a time that corresponds with the 18th year of Tiberius' reign.  (See Genesis 49:10)
  • Pilate was no friend of the Jews.   Scholars paint him as a quintessential politician.  Often antagonizing, sometimes pacifying the religious leaders.  Pilate wants to maintain his status and power.  The term "Friend of Ceaser" may be a not-so-veiled threat.

  • Pilate's headquarters are off-limits for anyone who wants to remain ceremonially clean for Passover.
  • Bodies of crucified prisoners are probably not often buried. More often left up for continual horror of passers-by.  Eventually bodies would be tossed in the town burn pit (Gehenna)-- A place referenced to exemplify hell.

Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus

18 When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons. Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.”[a] Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When Jesus[b] said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. So he asked them again, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So, if you seek me, let these men go.” This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken: “Of those whom you gave me I have lost not one.” 10 Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's servant[c] and cut off his right ear. (The servant's name was Malchus.) 11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?”

  1. What other Bible story might the "gloomy" garden scene naturally contrast with? 
  2. Why do you think so many soldiers were sent?
  3. How does John establish, yet again, that Jesus is in control?  (2 ways at least.)
  4. Why do you think John tells us the servant's name?
  5. Peter and an unnamed disciple "known to the high priest" (probably John) follow Jesus to his "trial".  Peter denies knowing Jesus to a servant girl.

19 The high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. 20 Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. 21 Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me what I said to them; they know what I said.” 22 When he had said these things, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?” 24 Annas then sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

  1. Does this trial seem shady?  It should.

Peter Denies Jesus Again

25 Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, “You also are not 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 the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?” 27 Peter again denied it, and at once a rooster crowed.

  1. Peter denies he knows Jesus a second and third time.  Other accounts mention Peter calling down curses on himself in the process.  How does the man who cut of the ear of Malchus for Jesus get to this point?  How do we act like Peter in this circumstance?
  2. Why a rooster?  What might God use to call us to repentance?

28 Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the governor's headquarters.[f] It was early morning. They themselves did not enter the governor's headquarters, so that they would not be defiled, but could eat the Passover. 29 So Pilate went outside to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?” 30 They answered him, “If this man were not doing evil, we would not have delivered him over to you.” 31 Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” The Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death.” 32 This was to fulfill the word that Jesus had spoken to show by what kind of death he was going to die.

  1. What are the religious leaders concerned with?

  2. Why do the Jewish leaders want Pilate to act?  How is Pilate portrayed?

My Kingdom Is Not of This World

33 So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” 35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” 37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” 38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”

After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him. 39 But you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover. So do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 40 They cried out again, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.[g]

  1. How would you describe Jesus dialogue with Pilate?  How does it compare to dialogue with Nicodemus, Samaritan Woman, Religious Leaders, etc. ?
  2. Barabbas means "Son of the Father"  (Bar - abbas).  In Matthew's gospel, we see his name was also Jesus.  How is our situation like that of Barabbas?
  3. Pilate finds Jesus to without guilt.  Why doesn't that settle the matter?

Chap. 19 

Jesus Delivered to Be Crucified

19 Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. They came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands. Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him.” So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!” When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.” The Jews[a] answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.” When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. 10 So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”

12 From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar's friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” 13 So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Stone Pavement, and in Aramaic[b] Gabbatha. 14 Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour.[c] He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” 15 They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” 16 So he delivered him over to them to be crucified.


Famous Artwork that was ruined by a well-meaning 80 year old woman.  Ecce Homo "Behold the Man"

  1. What is the charge against Jesus?  Why can't the Jews kill Jesus themselves?  (Aside: Genesis 49:10)
  2. What does Pilate want to do?  What makes him "more afraid"?
  3. Who does John show as the one with "authority"?

So they took Jesus, 17 and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. 19 Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” 20 Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek. 21 So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but rather, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.” 23 When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic.[d] But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, 24 so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture which says,

“They divided my garments among them,
    and for my clothing they cast lots.”

So the soldiers did these things, 25 but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.

  1. Jesus gives his mother to John despite having brother's and sisters. Notice the tenderness of Jesus even while suffering the agony of the cross.  
  2. Why is it important that Scripture is fulfilled?

The Death of Jesus

28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” 29 A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

  1. John, inspired by the Holy Spirit, writes that he Jesus knows that "all was now finished".  Jesus goes on to say "It is finished".  The greek word is "Tetelestai" ( Τετέλεσται ) .  This word would be written on contemporaneous reciepts to mean "Paid in full". What do you think this saying of Jesus means?
  2. The word "excruciating"  literally means "out of the cross" and derives from Roman crucifixion.

34 But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. 35 He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth—that you also may believe. 36 For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken.” 37 And again another Scripture says, “They will look on him whom they have pierced.”

  1. John drives home the authenticity of this moment in Jesus death (vs. 35).  What do you think is the point of that?

Jesus Is Buried

38 After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away his body. 39 Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus[e] by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds[f] in weight. 40 So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. 41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. 42 So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.

  1. Isaiah 53:9  is fulfilled here.  Read the whole chapter of Isaiah 53 to have your mind blown.
  2. Yet more mentions of gardens.
  3. Preparation day normally == Friday.  Other Theories...?
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  • Introduction to John's Gospel

  • John Chapter 1

  • John Chapter 2

  • John Chapter 3

  • John Chapter 4

  • John Chapter 5

  • John Chapter 6

  • John Chapter 7 (and end of Ch.6)

  • John Chapter 8

  • John Chapters 9 and 10

  • John Chapter 10 and 11

  • John Chapter 12

  • End of John 12 and Chapter 13

  • John Chapter 14

  • John Chapter 15 and 16

  • John Chapter 17

  • John Selections from Ch. 18 and 19
    (currently viewing)
  • John Chapter 20 and 21