Jesus Betrayed and Condemned.
SUMMARY.--Jesus in Gethsemane.
Judas and the Band.
The Lord Seized.
Peter Uses the Sword.
Christ Before Annas.
Peter Denies His Master.
Christ Sent to Caiaphas.
Delivered to Pilate.
His Kingdom Not of This World.
Barabbas Chosen Instead of Christ.
1. He went . . . over the brook Cedron. It flows through the
valley east of Jerusalem between the city and the Mount of Olives. They
went to Gethsemane.
2-14. Judas . . . knew the place. For notes on the Betrayal and
Arrest of Jesus, see
Mark 14:43-54; Luke 22:47-54.
They went backward, and fell to the ground. This statement of
John is omitted by the other gospels. As Christ answers them, either
his majesty and their own terror so impressed them, that, awed, they
fell backward to the earth, or his divine power was exerted to
prostrate them. Then the Lord submitted himself "as a lamb to the
and his power is not again exerted until he rises from the tomb, except
to heal the smitten servant of the high priest.
15-27. For the trial of Jesus before Caiaphas and the denial of
Peter, see notes on
Mark 14:53-72; Luke 22:54-71.
28-40. For notes on the trial before Pilate, see
Mark 15:1-15; Luke 23:1-25.
The first examination was at the house of Annas,
where an officer had smitten Jesus.
Then Annas sent him to Caiaphas.
Still later he was tried before the Sanhedrim (see
Matt. chap. 27)
and condemned. Then he was led from Caiaphas to Pilate's judgment hall.
The judgment hall. The prætorium, or official hall of the
Lest they should be defiled. These Jewish leaders, filled with
the hate of Christ, and ready to secure his judicial murder by the
foulest means, were yet so scrupulous that they would not enter the
house of a Gentile lest "they should be defiled" (see
so that they would not be able to eat the passover. The Pharisees held
that contact with a Gentile, or to enter his house was a source of
defilement. Hence, this deputation of the Sanhedrim waited without, and
Pilate "went out unto them" to ascertain their business. Men can be
very religious and yet great sinners.
That the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled. Had the Jews
been allowed to put Christ to death, he would have been stoned, as
by a mob in Jerusalem, stoning being the usual Jewish method of
execution, but he had "signified what death he should die"
(John 12:32, and Matt. 20:18, 19)
and had declared that he should be crucified.
36. My kingdom is not of this world. It would be hard for Pilate
to form any conception of a kingdom not of this world, a kingdom of
which the subjects did not fight with carnal weapons to defend its
king, or to extend its borders. He was a soldier and the representative
of a monarch whose power rested on the sword. But such a kingdom was
Christ's. It was not of this world, did not spring from it, was
heavenly in its origin, and hence his servants would not fight that he
should not be delivered to the Jews. (1) Christ's kingdom is
supernatural, not of human origin. It is in the world, but not worldly.
(2) It is maintained, not by carnal weapons, but by spiritual and moral
37. Art thou a king then? If Christ has a kingdom he must be a
38. What is truth? Pilate's inquiry was not answered in words,
but Truth sat embodied and bound before him. Some have held that this
question of Pilate's was asked in scorn. His conduct through the trial
shows that he was deeply impressed, and it is probable that the
question was asked from a deep curiosity to hear more from so
marvellous a teacher.
39-40. Ye have a custom. See notes on
He was eager to comply with the custom in order to release an innocent
prisoner, but he had not measured the depths of the Jewish hate which
could demand, instead, a robber and a murderer.