XVIII. 1. A garden - Probably belonging to one of his friends. He might retire to this private place, not only for the advantage of secret devotion, but also that the people might not be alarmed at his apprehension, nor attempt, in the first sallies of their zeal, to rescue him in a tumultuous manner. Kedron was (as the name signifies) a dark shady valley, on the east side of Jerusalem, between the city and the mount of Olives, through which a little brook ran, which took its name from it. It was this brook, which David, a type of Christ, went over with the people, weeping in his flight from Absalom. Matthew 26:30; Mark 14:26; Luke 22:39.
Verse 2. Mark 14:43; Luke 22:47.
Verse 3. A troop of soldiers - A cohort of Roman foot.
Verse 6. As soon as he said, I am he, they went backward and fell to the ground - How amazing is it, that they should renew the assault, after so sensible an experience both of his power and mercy! But probably the priests among them might persuade themselves and their attendants, that this also was done by Beelzebub; and that it was through the providence of God, not the indulgence of Jesus, that they received no farther damage.
Verse 8. If ye seek me, let these (my disciples) go - It was an eminent instance of his power over the spirits of men, that they so far obeyed this word, as not to seize even Peter, when he had cut off the ear of Malchus.
Verse 9. John 17:12.
Verse 10. Then Simon Peter - No other evangelist names him. Nor could they safely. But St. John, writing after his death, might do it without any such inconvenience.
Verse 13. Annas had been high priest before his son-in-law Caiaphas. And though he had for some time resigned that office, yet they paid so much regard to his age and experience, that they brought Christ to Annas first. But we do not read of any thing remarkable which passed at the house of Annas; for, which reason, his being carried thither is omitted by the other evangelists. Matthew 26:57; Mark 14:53; Luke 22:54.
Verse 17. Art thou also - As well as the others, one of this man's disciples - She does not appear to have asked with any design to hurt him.
Verse 20. I spake openly - As to the manner: continually - As to the time: in the synagogue and temple - As to the place. In secret have I said nothing - No point of doctrine which I have not taught in public.
Verse 21. Why askest thou me - Whom thou wilt not believe?
Verse 22. Answerest thou the high priest so? - With so little reverence?
Verse 24. Now Annas had sent him to Caiaphas - As is implied John 18:13. Bound - Being still bound, John 18:12.
Verse 28. They went not into the palace themselves, lest they should be defiled - By going into a house which was not purged from leaven, Deuteronomy 16:4. Matthew 27:2; Mark 15:1; Luke 23:1.
Verse 31. It is not lawful for us to put any man to death - The power of inflicting capital punishment had been taken from them that very year. So the sceptre was departed from Judah, and transferred to the Romans.
Verse 32. Signifying what death he should die - For crucifixion was not a Jewish, but a Roman punishment. So that had he not been condemned by the Roman governor, he could not have been crucified. John 3:14.
Verse 36. My kingdom is not of this world - Is not an external, but a spiritual kingdom; that I might not be delivered to the Jews -Which Pilate had already attempted to do, John 18:31, and afterward actually did, John 19:16.
Verse 37. Thou sayest - The truth. To this end was I born - Speaking of his human origin: his Divine was above Pilate's comprehension. Yet it is intimated in the following words, I came into the world, that I might witness to the truth - Which was both declared to the Jews, and in the process of his passion to the princes of the Gentiles also. Every one that is of the truth - That is, a lover of it, heareth my voice - A universal maxim. Every sincere lover of truth will hear him, so as to understand and practise what he saith.
Verse 38. What is truth? - Said Pilate, a courtier; perhaps meaning what signifies truth? Is that a thing worth hazarding your life for? So he left him presently, to plead with the Jews for him, looking upon him as an innocent but weak man.