John 18:5 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 18:5, NIV: Jesus of Nazareth,' they replied. 'I am he,' Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.)

John 18:5, ESV: They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them.

John 18:5, KJV: They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them.

John 18:5, NASB: They answered Him, 'Jesus the Nazarene.' He *said to them, 'I am He.' And Judas also, who was betraying Him, was standing with them.

John 18:5, NLT: 'Jesus the Nazarene,' they replied. 'I Am he,' Jesus said. (Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them.)

John 18:5, CSB: "Jesus of Nazareth," they answered."I am he," Jesus told them.Judas, who betrayed him, was also standing with them.

What does John 18:5 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jesus' enemies needed to conspire with Judas (John 13:2–3; Matthew 26:14–16) for two reasons. First was inside information: knowing where to find Jesus away from a supportive Jerusalem crowd (John 11:57). Second was identification: clearly pointing out the right person to the arresting soldiers, for which Judas has arranged a sign (Luke 22:47–48). Contrary to what they expected, however, Christ has voluntarily approached the group and asked who they have come for (John 18:1–4).

The response Christ gives here parallels His earlier "I am" statements (John 6:35; 8:12; 10:7, 11; 11:25; 14:6; 15:1). All of these invoke the way God identified Himself to Moses (Exodus 3:14). The claim is a declaration of God's necessary, absolute existence. Used here, it also becomes a final proof that Jesus is submitting to this experience (Philippians 2:8), not being overpowered. The divine force of His words will knock the arresting men to the ground (John 18:6), only for Christ to agree to be taken into custody (John 18:8, 12).