John 18:7 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 18:7, NIV: Again he asked them, 'Who is it you want?' 'Jesus of Nazareth,' they said.

John 18:7, ESV: So he asked them again, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.”

John 18:7, KJV: Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth.

John 18:7, NASB: He then asked them again, 'Whom are you seeking?' And they said, 'Jesus the Nazarene.'

John 18:7, NLT: Once more he asked them, 'Who are you looking for?' And again they replied, 'Jesus the Nazarene.'

John 18:7, CSB: Then he asked them again, "Who is it that you're seeking? ""Jesus of Nazareth," they said.

What does John 18:7 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

When Judas arrives with heavily-armed men to arrest Jesus, Jesus responded with an overt display of His divine power (John 18:1–6). By tumbling the arresting soldiers onto the ground, He made it clear this arrest happens only if He chooses to allow it (John 10:17–18; Matthew 26:53). It was also the exclamation point on Jesus' active earthly ministry—from this point forward, His path will involve submission to others (John 19:15–16).

The prior show of power, and the repeated question, are also probably intended as a negotiation tactic. In the next verse, Jesus will imply that He's willing to be arrested, but wants His followers to be left alone (John 18:8). By clarifying that the soldiers are there for Him, and showing how much power He can command, Jesus makes it more likely that the disciples will be allowed to go free.

Famously, however, Peter will ignore this and try to make good on His promise to fight—even die—for Christ (John 13:37; John 18:10–11).