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John 18:4

ESV Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?”
NIV Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, 'Who is it you want?'
NASB Jesus therefore, knowing all the things that were coming upon Him, came out into the open and *said to them, 'Whom are you seeking?'
CSB Then Jesus, knowing everything that was about to happen to him, went out and said to them, "Who is it that you're seeking? "
NLT Jesus fully realized all that was going to happen to him, so he stepped forward to meet them. 'Who are you looking for?' he asked.
KJV Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye?

What does John 18:4 mean?

Throughout His ministry, Jesus has made it clear He knows exactly what will happen at the end of His earthly ministry (Matthew 20:18; John 12:32–33; 13:26–27). That Judas is arriving with a heavily armed squadron (John 18:1–3) is no surprise. Neither is it something Jesus attempts to avoid. Since this is "the hour" for these events (John 2:4; 7:6), He actively approaches the men who have come to arrest Him.

The question Christ asks serves several purposes. First, it clarifies these men are there for Jesus, and not the men who follow Him (John 18:8). Second, it provides a final opportunity for Jesus to demonstrate His power. When the men state their target (John 18:5), Christ will respond with an answer echoing God's self-identification in Exodus 3:14. With merely a word, He will flatten the aggressors (John 18:6), only to submit to their arrest and to His sacrificial death (Philippians 2:8).
What is the Gospel?
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