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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.
NIV "Jesus of Nazareth," they replied. "I am he," Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.)
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.
CSB "Jesus of Nazareth," they answered. "I am he," Jesus told them. Judas, who betrayed him, was also standing with them.
NLT Jesus the Nazarene,' they replied. 'I AM he,' Jesus said. (Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them.)
KJV They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them.
NKJV They answered Him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am He.” And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them.

What does John 18:5 mean?

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).
What is the Gospel?
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