The Arrest of Christ
Verse 1 – When Jesus had spoken these words, He went out with His disciples over the Brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which He and His disciples entered.
The Kidron Valley is mentioned frequently in the Old Testament. The garden mentioned is Gethsemane. Went into it, may suggest that it was a walled garden.
Verse 2 – And Judas, who betrayed Him, also knew the place; for Jesus often met there with His disciples.
Verse 3 – Then Judas, having received a detachment of troops, and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons.
Here is a mob, bringing weapons to arrest one unarmed man. Peter was the only one, out of twelve people, who had a weapon. This mob was either scared of what Jesus might do to them supernaturally or they were just plain cowards.
Verse 4 – Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, “Whom are you seeking?”
Jesus could have done what He had done many times before, and simply walked right past them without them seeing Him, but not this time. His divine appointed time had come.
Verse 5 – They answered Him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am He.” And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them.
Verse 6 – Then – when He said to them, “I am He.” – they drew back and fell to the ground.
This showed all those who had come to arrest Him, that He was the divine Son of God with all power and authority. It also showed that if He had not chosen to go with them voluntarily, they had no power to take Him!
Verse 7 – Then He asked them again, “Whom are you seeking?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.”
Verse 8 – Jesus answered, “I have told you that I am He. Therefore, if you seek Me, let these go their way,”
Verse 9 – that the saying might be fulfilled which He spoke, “Of those whom You gave Me I have lost none.”
Verse 10 – Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and stuck the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servants name was Malchus.
Verse 11 – Then Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?”
The Bible never says that the Christian life is going to be easy. Doing the will of God never is. But it’s always the right way to go. We have to focus on the bigger purpose of what God wants to accomplish, as Jesus did.
Verse 12 – Then the detachment of troops (about 300) and the captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound Him.
Verse 13 – And they led Him away to Annas first, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas who was high priest that year.
In the middle of the night, when most of the people were sleeping, they take Jesus to the residence of the high priest, which was a palace and a courtyard. The courtyard was where the servants and soldiers gathered by fires.
Both Annas and Caiaphas were high priest, but Roman rulers had deposed Annas and appointed Caiaphas, Annas’ son-in-law to that position. According to Jewish law, the high priest position was held for life. However, Caiaphas always made the final decision.
Verse 14 – Now it was Caiaphas who gave counsel to the Jews that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.
Verse 15 – And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Now that disciple was known to the high priest, and went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest.
This other disciple was probably John because Peter and John were always together. It was said that John would deliver fish to the high priest, so they knew him and allowed him in the courtyard.
Verse 16 – But Peter stood at the door outside. Then the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to her who kept the door, and brought Peter in.
Verse 17 – Then the servant girl who kept the door said to Peter, “You are not also one of this Man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.”
Verse 18 – And the servants and officers who had made a fire of coals stood there, for it was cold, and they warmed themselves. And Peter stood with them and warmed himself.
Verse 19 – The high priest then asked Jesus about His disciples and His doctrine.
This was Annas who questioned Him. He wanted to know what Jesus had been teaching. The political charges against Him would later be added.
Verse 20 – Jesus answered him, “I spoke openly to the world. I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where the Jews always meet, and in secret I have said nothing.
Verse 21 – “Why do you ask Me? Ask those who have heard Me what I said to them. Indeed they know what I said to them.”
Most of the people were still in bed asleep, but there were some that stood there who had heard Him teach, but no one would come to His defense.
Verse 22 – And when He had said these things, one of the officers who stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, “Do You answer the high priest like that ?”
Verse 23 – Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken evil, bear witness of evil; but if well, why do you strike Me?”
Verse 24 – Then Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.
Verse 25 – Now Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. Therefore they said to Him, “You are not also one of His disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not!”
Caiaphas and Annas evidently lived at the same palace because Peter is till in the same courtyard that the other Gospels recorded.
Verse 26 – One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of him whose ear Peter cut off, said, “Did I not see you in the garden with Him?”
Verse 27 – Peter then denied again; and immediately a rooster crowed.
Peter is a perfect example of someone who wanted to do what was right, but just didn’t have the courage or strength to do it, because of his own safety. Don’t ever let a mistake stop you from repenting, accepting forgiveness, and continuing what God’s called you to do. Peter was used mightily after this incident and you can be used too! God has a way of turning things around for those who are humble.
Verse 28 – Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium, and it was early morning. But they themselves did not go into the Praetorium, lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat Passover.
By Jewish law, entering the house of a Gentile would cause a Jewish person to be ceremonially defiled – unclean. If they were declared unclean, they would not be able to take part in the Passover meal.
They were more concerned about not being able to attend a religious festival, than plotting to have an innocent Man put to death. How evil is that?
Verse 29 – Pilate then went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this Man?”
Pilate was the appointed governor over Judea. In order for the Jews to have someone executed, they had to have the Roman’s permission.
Verse 30 – They answered and said to him, “If He were not an evildoer, we would not have delivered Him up to you.”
Verse 31 – Then Pilate said to them, “You take Him and judge Him according to your law.” Therefore the Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put Him to death,”
Verse 32 – that the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled which He spoke, signifying by what death He would die.
Pilate knew what had been going on between the Sanhedrin and Jesus. He also knew Jesus had done nothing wrong according to Jewish law. They simply wanted Pilate to take their word that Jesus was evil and needed to die.
Verse 33 – Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?”
Verse 34 – Jesus answered him, “Are you speaking for yourself on this or did others tell you this about Me?”
Verse 35 – Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done?”
Verse 36 – Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”
Verse 37 – Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a King then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am King. For this cause I was born and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”
Verse 38 – Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in Him at all.
When there is no basis for truth, there is no basis for moral right and wrong. Justice becomes whatever works or whatever helps those in power. In Jesus and His Word we have a standard for truth and for our moral behavior.
Verse 39 – “But you have a custom that I should release someone to you at the Passover. Do you therefore want me to release to you the King of the Jews?”
Pilate knew this was only a custom, not a law by God or man.
Verse 40 – Then they all cried again, saying, “Not this Man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.
Barabbas was a rebel against Rome and he also had committed murder. What we see in our society today is no different. Even though someone is a criminal, gets caught in the act, has a weapon, and fires on authority, the people want justice for the criminal, and that was Barabbas. He had robbed and murdered, but yet the Jews wanted him released onto the streets again.