John 18:8 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 18:8, NIV: Jesus answered, 'I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, then let these men go.'

John 18:8, ESV: Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So, if you seek me, let these men go.”

John 18:8, KJV: Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way:

John 18:8, NASB: Jesus answered, 'I told you that I am He; so if you are seeking Me, let these men go on their way.'

John 18:8, NLT: 'I told you that I Am he,' Jesus said. 'And since I am the one you want, let these others go.'

John 18:8, CSB: "I told you I am he," Jesus replied. "So if you're looking for me, let these men go."

What does John 18:8 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This statement is not merely a suggestion. When Judas arrived with heavily-armed men (John 18:2–3), Jesus took initiative and asked who they had come for (John 18:4). He then identified Himself as their target, but in a display of power so overwhelming that it literally knocked the arresting men off their feet (John 18:5–6). Repeating the question (John 18:7) after such a spectacle makes it clear that Jesus intends these men to deal with Him, not the disciples.

Jesus is implying He will cooperate with the soldiers' arrest (Philippians 2:8) but will not allow them to arrest His followers. This fulfills part of the High Priestly Prayer, where Jesus mentioned His commitment not to lose any of His people (John 17:12) In a way, it also parallels the concept of the Gospel. Despite His absolute power, God chooses to place Himself between His followers and danger, taking a punishment they deserve (John 3:16).