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John 18 no 2 Trial

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John 18:12-40 (ESV)


The issue before us is the nature of discipleship
18:12-14 Narrative     Key words are in yellow

12 So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound him. 13 First they led him to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. 14 It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it would be expedient that one man should die for the people.


1.   A Question of self-interest


The contrast between the “interests of  Jesus and the High Priest”


συμφέρει Discipleship is about ‘him and them’ not ‘me’

Expedience and advantage


(this is the same Greek word – the only 3 times it is used in John)

 (John 11:50)

John16:7 (ESV)

7 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.



Q 1

To Jesus about the disciples.

The High Priest Questions Jesus

19 The high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. 20


2.   A Question of true discipleship


A true disciple is one who follows the teaching of his master.


This will link in with Peter’s denial – is he a true disciple? Not in his own strength for he will surely fail. He needs the Spirit.

The character of μαθητής in which, as in διδάσκαλος  the technical and rational element takes precedence of the inner fellowship, very definitely restricts the possible range of usage. It is not in place when the reference is not merely to an external connection with the goal of picking up certain information or aptitudes under expert direction, but to a materially grounded fellowship[1]



Jesus focuses attention on himself – to protect them.

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.”

3.   A question of inner life.


There is a transparency and constancy to the Christian.

Contrast this with the way in which the Jewish leaders act. They are marked by



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.

Jesus Before Pilate

28 Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the governor’s headquarters. 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.

4.   A question of true holiness.


Contrast the bullying, hectoring behaviour of these ‘Jews’ with the heart and life of the ‘servant’ Jesus.


True defilement is not ‘ritual’ it is ‘moral’.


Failure to be disciples leads inevitably to defilement.

Hebrews 12:15 (ESV)

15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;

Titus 1:15 (ESV)

15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled.

Jude 8 (ESV)

8 Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones.




Pilate to the Jews

29 So Pilate went outside to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?”

5.   A question of right living


Jesus is innocent in both courts.

He has broken neither civil nor divine Law.

He is eminently suited to be the ‘lamb’ without blemish.

accusation Used in

1 Timothy 5:19 in connection with false charges against elders.

And in

Titus 1:6

Where the absence of such a justified accusation is a qualification for Elders.



Jews to Pilate

30 They answered him, “If this man were not doing evil, we would not have delivered him over to you.”

What evil. N.B. the ‘we know trust us’ and condemn attitude of the malicious gossip.


Present detention without trial terrorism laws?


Pilate to the Jews

An instruction


John’s comment

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.”

32This was to fulfill the word that Jesus had spoken to show by what kind of death he was going to die.

All scripture is always fulfilled.

Matthew 7:21-23

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’



Pilate to Jesus

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?”

6.   A question of kingship.

The nature of the subjects cascades down from the character of the King.

      Jesus is Holy we must be holy.

     Jesus is truth we must be truthful               etc.



Jesus to Pilate

34 Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?”

7.   A question of revelation.


Everything about this King and his kingdom are tied together



Kingdoms are usually defined geographically – initially this one is defined by allegiance.

In verse 36

Jesus mentions the kingdom 3 times.

The personal pronoun occurs 5 times.





Pilate to Jesus

35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?”



Jesus to Pilate

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.”



Pilate to Jesus

37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?”



Jesus to Pilate

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.”



Pilate to Jesus

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.

8.   A question of choice


What kind of life do you want to live?

What Kind of King do you want to serve?


[1]Theological dictionary of the New Testament. 1964-c1976. Vols. 5-9 edited by Gerhard Friedrich. Vol. 10 compiled by Ronald Pitkin. (G. Kittel, G. W. Bromiley & G. Friedrich, Ed.). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

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