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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: John's Gospel

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Frameworks: John's Gospel, chapter 18


(The objective of these ‘Frameworks' is to provide an easy-to-read layout of the text in order then to use these individual verses for verse-by-verse study or meditation. To focus each verse we have also added in italic a description of what is happening)




v.1-14   Jesus Arrested
v.15-18 Peter's First Denial
v.19-24 The High Priest Questions Jesus
v.25-27 Peter's Second and Third Denials
v.28- 40 Jesus Before Pilate



v.1-14 Jesus Arrested


v.1 (they cross to Gethsemane) 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.

v.2 (Judas knew where they would be) Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples.

v.3 (so he brought the arresting party there) 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.

v.4 (Jesus went to meet them) Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?”

v.5 (he acknowledges he is the one they want) “Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.)

v.6 (at this the power of God overcomes them) When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.

v.7 (again he is identified) Again he asked them, “Who is it you want?” “Jesus of Nazareth,” they said.

v.8 (he asks for the disciples to be let go) Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, then let these men go.”

v.9 (this was in accord with prophecy) This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.”

v.10 (Peter struck off an ear) 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.)

v.11 (Jesus rebukes him) Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”

v.12,13 (they arrest him and take him to Annas) Then the detachment of soldiers with its commander and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus. They bound him and brought him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year.

v.14 (Caiaphas had prophesied about Jesus) Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jewish leaders that it would be good if one man died for the people.


(Note: Caiaphas was high priest but Annas was the older and had been high priest from AD6 to 15 and was still considered to be the ‘power behind the throne' in Jerusalem. Thus Jesus was taken to him first but to keep with protocol he handed him on to his son-in-law who is the official high priest in residence)



v.15-18 Peter's First Denial


v.15,16 (Peter and another [probably John] followed at a distance) 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, 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.

v.17 (the servant girl questions Peter and he denied her question) “You aren't one of this man's disciples too, are you?” she asked Peter. He replied, “I am not.”

v.18 (they were in the courtyard around a fire) It was cold, and the servants and officials stood around a fire they had made to keep warm. Peter also was standing with them, warming himself.



v.19-24 The High Priest Questions Jesus


v.19 (Jesus is being questioned inside) Meanwhile, the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching.

v.20 (Jesus says he has always been open in his teaching) “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.

v.21 (why question, get others to testify) Why question me? Ask those who heard me. Surely they know what I said.”

v.22 (he is slapped) 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.

v.23 (Jesus defends himself) “If I said something wrong,” Jesus replied, “testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?”

v.24 (Annas sends him on to Caiaphas) Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.



v.25-27 Peter's Second and Third Denials


v.25 (Peter is challenged a second time and denies again) Meanwhile, Simon Peter was still standing there warming himself. So they asked him, “You aren't one of his disciples too, are you?” He denied it, saying, “I am not.”

v.26 (another servant challenges him) One of the high priest's servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, challenged him, “Didn't I see you with him in the garden?”

v.27 (a third time he denies) Again Peter denied it, and at that moment a rooster began to crow.



v.28- 40 Jesus Before Pilate


v.28 (he is taken from Caiaphas to Pilate. The Jews wait outside) Then the Jewish leaders took Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. By now it was early morning, and to avoid ceremonial uncleanness they did not enter the palace, because they wanted to be able to eat the Passover.

v.29 (Pilate asks them what charge) So Pilate came out to them and asked, “What charges are you bringing against this man?”

v.30 (he's a criminal) “If he were not a criminal,” they replied, “we would not have handed him over to you.”

v.31  (you judge him then but they want execution) Pilate said, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” “But we have no right to execute anyone,” they objected.

v.32 (this confirmed what Jesus had said about his death) This took place to fulfil what Jesus had said about the kind of death he was going to die.

v.33  (Pilate asks Jesus about being king of the Jews) Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

v.34 (Jesus asks where he got that from) “Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?”

v.35 (Pilate persists) “Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?”

v.36  (Jesus says his kingdom is not of this world) 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.”

v.37  (The debate being king but Jesus says he's come to bring the truth) “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.”

v.38 (Pilate questions that but tells the Jews he will release him) “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.

v.39 (he offers to release Jesus according to Passover custom) 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'?”

v.40  (they cry for Barabbas, a rebel, to be released) They shouted back, “No, not him! Give us Barabbas!” Now Barabbas had taken part in an uprising.