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John chapter 18

New International Version

1 When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was a garden, and he and his disciples went into it.
2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. 3 So Judas came to the garden, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.
4 Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, 'Who is it you want?'
5 Jesus of Nazareth,' they replied. 'I am he,' Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) 6 When Jesus said, 'I am he,' they drew back and fell to the ground.
7 Again he asked them, 'Who is it you want?' 'Jesus of Nazareth,' they said.
8 Jesus answered, 'I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, then let these men go.' 9 This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: 'I have not lost one of those you gave me.'
10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant's name was Malchus.)
11 Jesus commanded Peter, 'Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?'
12 Then the detachment of soldiers with its commander and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus. They bound him 13 and brought him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. 14 Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jewish leaders that it would be good if one man died for the people.
15 Simon Peter and another disciple were following Jesus. Because this disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the high priest's courtyard, 16 but Peter had to wait outside at the door. The other disciple, who was known to the high priest, came back, spoke to the servant girl on duty there and brought Peter in.
17 You aren't one of this man's disciples too, are you?' she asked Peter. He replied, 'I am not.'
18 It was cold, and the servants and officials stood around a fire they had made to keep warm. Peter also was standing with them, warming himself.
19 Meanwhile, the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching.
20 I have spoken openly to the world,' Jesus replied. 'I always taught in synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in secret. 21 Why question me? Ask those who heard me. Surely they know what I said.'
22 When Jesus said this, one of the officials nearby slapped him in the face. 'Is this the way you answer the high priest?' he demanded.
23 If I said something wrong,' Jesus replied, 'testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?' 24 Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.
25 Meanwhile, Simon Peter was still standing there warming himself. So they asked him, 'You aren't one of his disciples too, are you?' He denied it, saying, 'I am not.'
26 One of the high priest's servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, challenged him, 'Didn't I see you with him in the garden?' 27 Again Peter denied it, and at that moment a rooster began to crow.
28 Then the Jewish leaders took Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. By now it was early morning, and to avoid ceremonial uncleanness they did not enter the palace, because they wanted to be able to eat the Passover. 29 So Pilate came out to them and asked, 'What charges are you bringing against this man?'
30 If he were not a criminal,' they replied, 'we would not have handed him over to you.'
31 Pilate said, 'Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.' 'But we have no right to execute anyone,' they objected. 32 This took place to fulfill what Jesus had said about the kind of death he was going to die.
33 Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, 'Are you the king of the Jews?'
34 Is that your own idea,' Jesus asked, 'or did others talk to you about me?'
35 Am I a Jew?' Pilate replied. 'Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?'
36 Jesus said, 'My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.'
37 You are a king, then!' said Pilate. Jesus answered, 'You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.'
38 What is truth?' retorted Pilate. With this he went out again to the Jews gathered there and said, 'I find no basis for a charge against him. 39 But it is your custom for me to release to you one prisoner at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to release 'the king of the Jews'?'
40 They shouted back, 'No, not him! Give us Barabbas!' Now Barabbas had taken part in an uprising.
English Standard Version

1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. 2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples. 3 So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons. 4 Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” 5 They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. 6 When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. 7 So he asked them again, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” 8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So, if you seek me, let these men go.” 9 This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken: “Of those whom you gave me I have lost not one.” 10 Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) 11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?”
12 So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound him. 13 First they led him to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. 14 It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it would be expedient that one man should die for the people.
15 Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he entered with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, 16 but Peter stood outside at the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the servant girl who kept watch at the door, and brought Peter in. 17 The servant girl at the door said to Peter, “You also are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.” 18 Now the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves. Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself.
19 The high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. 20 Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. 21 Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me what I said to them; they know what I said.” 22 When he had said these things, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?” 24 Annas then sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.
25 Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, “You also are not one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” 26 One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?” 27 Peter again denied it, and at once a rooster crowed.
28 Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the governor’s headquarters. It was early morning. They themselves did not enter the governor’s headquarters, so that they would not be defiled, but could eat the Passover. 29 So Pilate went outside to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?” 30 They answered him, “If this man were not doing evil, we would not have delivered him over to you.” 31 Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” The Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death.” 32 This was to fulfill the word that Jesus had spoken to show by what kind of death he was going to die.
33 So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” 35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” 37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” 38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him.
39 But you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover. So do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 40 They cried out again, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.
King James Version

1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples. 2 And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples. 3 Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons. 4 Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? 5 They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them. 6 As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground. 7 Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth. 8 Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way: 9 That the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none. 10 Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus. 11 Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it? 12 Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him,
13 And led him away to Annas first; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year. 14 Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people. 15 And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple: that disciple was known unto the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high priest. 16 But Peter stood at the door without. Then went out that other disciple, which was known unto the high priest, and spake unto her that kept the door, and brought in Peter. 17 Then saith the damsel that kept the door unto Peter, Art not thou also one of this man's disciples? He saith, I am not. 18 And the servants and officers stood there, who had made a fire of coals; for it was cold: and they warmed themselves: and Peter stood with them, and warmed himself. 19 The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine. 20 Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing. 21 Why askest thou me? ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said. 22 And when he had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, Answerest thou the high priest so? 23 Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me? 24 Now Annas had sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest. 25 And Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. They said therefore unto him, Art not thou also one of his disciples? He denied it, and said, I am not. 26 One of the servants of the high priest, being his kinsman whose ear Peter cut off, saith, Did not I see thee in the garden with him? 27 Peter then denied again: and immediately the cock crew.
28 Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover. 29 Pilate then went out unto them, and said, What accusation bring ye against this man? 30 They answered and said unto him, If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up unto thee. 31 Then said Pilate unto them, Take ye him, and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death: 32 That the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spake, signifying what death he should die. 33 Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews? 34 Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? 35 Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done? 36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. 37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. 38 Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all. 39 But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews? 40 Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.
New American Standard Bible

1 When Jesus had spoken these words, He went away with His disciples across the ravine of the Kidron, where there was a garden which He entered with His disciples. 2 Now Judas, who was betraying Him, also knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with His disciples. 3 So Judas, having obtained the Roman cohort and officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, *came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons. 4 Jesus therefore, knowing all the things that were coming upon Him, came out into the open and *said to them, 'Whom are you seeking?' 5 They answered Him, 'Jesus the Nazarene.' He *said to them, 'I am He.' And Judas also, who was betraying Him, was standing with them. 6 Now then, when He said to them, 'I am He,' they drew back and fell to the ground. 7 He then asked them again, 'Whom are you seeking?' And they said, 'Jesus the Nazarene.' 8 Jesus answered, 'I told you that I am He; so if you are seeking Me, let these men go on their way.' 9 This took place so that the word which He spoke would be fulfilled: 'Of those whom You have given Me I lost not one.' 10 Then Simon Peter, since he had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear; and the slave’s name was Malchus. 11 So Jesus said to Peter, 'Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, am I not to drink it?'
12 So the Roman cohort, the commander, and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound Him, 13 and brought Him to Annas first; for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. 14 Now Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it was in their best interest for one man to die in behalf of the people.
15 Simon Peter was following Jesus, and so was another disciple. Now that disciple was known to the high priest, and he entered with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, 16 but Peter was standing at the door outside. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the doorkeeper, and brought Peter in. 17 Then the slave woman who was the doorkeeper *said to Peter, 'You are not also one of this Man’s disciples, are you?' He *said, 'I am not.' 18 Now the slaves and the officers were standing there, having made a charcoal fire, for it was cold and they were warming themselves; and Peter was also with them, standing and warming himself.
19 The high priest then questioned Jesus about His disciples, and about His teaching. 20 Jesus answered him, 'I have spoken openly to the world; I always taught insynagogues and in the temple area, where all the Jews congregate; and I said nothing in secret. 21 Why are you asking Me? Ask those who have heard what I spoke to them. Look: these people know what I said.' 22 But when He said this, one of the officers, who was standing nearby, struck Jesus, saying, 'Is that the way You answer the high priest?' 23 Jesus answered him, 'If I have spoken wrongly, testify of the wrong; but if rightly, why do you strike Me?' 24 So Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.
25 Now Simon Peter was still standing and warming himself. So they said to him, 'You are not one of His disciples as well, are you?' He denied it, and said, 'I am not.' 26 One of the slaves of the high priest, who was related to the one whose ear Peter cut off, *said, 'Did I not see you in the garden with Him?' 27 Peter then denied it again, and immediately a rooster crowed.
28 Then they *brought Jesus from Caiaphas into the Praetorium, and it was early; and they themselves did not enter the Praetorium, so that they would not be defiled, but might eat the Passover. 29 Therefore Pilate came out to them and *said, 'What accusation are you bringing against this Man?' 30 They answered and said to him, 'If this Man were not a criminal, we would not have handed Him over to you.' 31 So Pilate said to them, 'Take Him yourselves, and judge Him according to your law.' The Jews said to him, 'We are not permitted to put anyone to death.' 32 This happened so that the word of Jesus which He said, indicating what kind of death He was going to die, would be fulfilled.
33 Therefore Pilate entered the Praetorium again, and summoned Jesus and said to Him, 'You are the King of the Jews?' 34 Jesus answered, 'Are you saying thison your own, or did others tell you about Me?' 35 Pilate answered, 'I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests handed You over to me; what have You done?' 36 Jesus answered, 'My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is notof this realm.' 37 Therefore Pilate said to Him, 'So You are a king?' Jesus answered, 'You say correctly that I am a king. For this purpose I have been born, and for this I have come into the world: to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice.'
38 Pilate *said to Him, 'What is truth?' And after saying this, he came out again to the Jews and *said to them, 'I find no grounds at all for charges in His case. 39 However, you have a custom that I release one prisoner for you at the Passover; therefore do you wish that I release for you the King of the Jews?' 40 So they shouted again, saying, 'Not this Man, but Barabbas.' Now Barabbas was a rebel.
New Living Translation

1 After saying these things, Jesus crossed the Kidron Valley with his disciples and entered a grove of olive trees. 2 Judas, the betrayer, knew this place, because Jesus had often gone there with his disciples. 3 The leading priests and Pharisees had given Judas a contingent of Roman soldiers and Temple guards to accompany him. Now with blazing torches, lanterns, and weapons, they arrived at the olive grove.
4 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.
5 'Jesus the Nazarene,' they replied. 'I Am he,' Jesus said. (Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them.) 6 As Jesus said 'I Am he,' they all drew back and fell to the ground!
7 Once more he asked them, 'Who are you looking for?' And again they replied, 'Jesus the Nazarene.'
8 'I told you that I Am he,' Jesus said. 'And since I am the one you want, let these others go.' 9 He did this to fulfill his own statement: 'I did not lose a single one of those you have given me.'
10 Then Simon Peter drew a sword and slashed off the right ear of Malchus, the high priest's slave. 11 But Jesus said to Peter, 'Put your sword back into its sheath. Shall I not drink from the cup of suffering the Father has given me?'
12 So the soldiers, their commanding officer, and the Temple guards arrested Jesus and tied him up. 13 First they took him to Annas, the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest at that time. 14 Caiaphas was the one who had told the other Jewish leaders, 'It's better that one man should die for the people.'
15 Simon Peter followed Jesus, as did another of the disciples. That other disciple was acquainted with the high priest, so he was allowed to enter the high priest's courtyard with Jesus. 16 Peter had to stay outside the gate. Then the disciple who knew the high priest spoke to the woman watching at the gate, and she let Peter in.
17 The woman asked Peter, 'You're not one of that man's disciples, are you?' 'No,' he said, 'I am not.'
18 Because it was cold, the household servants and the guards had made a charcoal fire. They stood around it, warming themselves, and Peter stood with them, warming himself.
19 Inside, the high priest began asking Jesus about his followers and what he had been teaching them. 20 Jesus replied, 'Everyone knows what I teach. I have preached regularly in the synagogues and the Temple, where the people gather. I have not spoken in secret. 21 Why are you asking me this question? Ask those who heard me. They know what I said.'
22 Then one of the Temple guards standing nearby slapped Jesus across the face. 'Is that the way to answer the high priest?' he demanded.
23 Jesus replied, 'If I said anything wrong, you must prove it. But if I'm speaking the truth, why are you beating me?'
24 Then Annas bound Jesus and sent him to Caiaphas, the high priest.
25 Meanwhile, as Simon Peter was standing by the fire warming himself, they asked him again, 'You're not one of his disciples, are you?' He denied it, saying, 'No, I am not.'
26 But one of the household slaves of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, 'Didn't I see you out there in the olive grove with Jesus?' 27 Again Peter denied it. And immediately a rooster crowed.
28 Jesus' trial before Caiaphas ended in the early hours of the morning. Then he was taken to the headquarters of the Roman governor. His accusers didn't go inside because it would defile them, and they wouldn't be allowed to celebrate the Passover. 29 So Pilate, the governor, went out to them and asked, 'What is your charge against this man?'
30 'We wouldn't have handed him over to you if he weren't a criminal!' they retorted.
31 'Then take him away and judge him by your own law,' Pilate told them. 'Only the Romans are permitted to execute someone,' the Jewish leaders replied. 32 (This fulfilled Jesus' prediction about the way he would die.)
33 Then Pilate went back into his headquarters and called for Jesus to be brought to him. 'Are you the king of the Jews?' he asked him.
34 Jesus replied, 'Is this your own question, or did others tell you about me?'
35 'Am I a Jew?' Pilate retorted. 'Your own people and their leading priests brought you to me for trial. Why? What have you done?'
36 Jesus answered, 'My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world.'
37 Pilate said, 'So you are a king?' Jesus responded, 'You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.'
38 'What is truth?' Pilate asked. Then he went out again to the people and told them, 'He is not guilty of any crime. 39 But you have a custom of asking me to release one prisoner each year at Passover. Would you like me to release this 'King of the Jews'?'
40 But they shouted back, 'No! Not this man. We want Barabbas!' (Barabbas was a revolutionary.)
Christian Standard Bible

1 After Jesus had said these things, he went out with his disciples across the Kidron Valley, where there was a garden, and he and his disciples went into it. 2 Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, because Jesus often met there with his disciples. 3 So Judas took a company of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees and came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons.
4 Then Jesus, knowing everything that was about to happen to him, went out and said to them, "Who is it that you're seeking?"
5 "Jesus of Nazareth," they answered. "I am he," Jesus told them. Judas, who betrayed him, was also standing with them. 6 When Jesus told them, "I am he," they stepped back and fell to the ground.
7 Then he asked them again, "Who is it that you're seeking?" "Jesus of Nazareth," they said.
8 "I told you I am he," Jesus replied. "So if you're looking for me, let these men go." 9 This was to fulfill the words he had said: "I have not lost one of those you have given me."
10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. (The servant's name was Malchus.)
11 At that, Jesus said to Peter, "Put your sword away! Am I not to drink the cup the Father has given me?"
12 Then the company of soldiers, the commander, and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus and tied him up. 13 First they led him to Annas, since he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. 14 Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it would be better for one man to die for the people.
15 Simon Peter was following Jesus, as was another disciple. That disciple was an acquaintance of the high priest; so he went with Jesus into the high priest's courtyard. 16 But Peter remained standing outside by the door. So the other disciple, the one known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the girl who was the doorkeeper and brought Peter in.
17 Then the servant girl who was the doorkeeper said to Peter, "You aren't one of this man's disciples too, are you?" "I am not." he said. 18 Now the servants and the officials had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold. They were standing there warming themselves, and Peter was standing with them, warming himself.
19 The high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his teaching.
20 "I have spoken openly to the world," Jesus answered him. "I have always taught in the synagogue and in the temple, where all the Jews congregate, and I haven't spoken anything in secret. 21 Why do you question me? Question those who heard what I told them. Look, they know what I said."
22 When he had said these things, one of the officials standing by slapped Jesus, saying, "Is this the way you answer the high priest?"
23 "If I have spoken wrongly," Jesus answered him, "give evidence about the wrong; but if rightly, why do you hit me?" 24 Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.
25 Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They said to him, "You aren't one of his disciples too, are you?" He denied it and said, "I am not."
26 One of the high priest's servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, said, "Didn't I see you with him in the garden?" 27 Peter denied it again. Immediately a rooster crowed.
28 Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the governor's headquarters. It was early morning. They did not enter the headquarters themselves; otherwise they would be defiled and unable to eat the Passover.
29 So Pilate came out to them and said, "What charge do you bring against this man?"
30 They answered him, "If this man weren't a criminal, we wouldn't have handed him over to you."
31 Pilate told them, "You take him and judge him according to your law." "It's not legal for us to put anyone to death," the Jews declared. 32 They said this so that Jesus's words might be fulfilled indicating what kind of death he was going to die.
33 Then Pilate went back into the headquarters, summoned Jesus, and said to him, "Are you the King of the Jews?"
34 Jesus answered, "Are you asking this on your own, or have others told you about me?"
35 "I'm not a Jew, am I?" Pilate replied. "Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me. What have you done?"
36 "My kingdom is not of this world," said Jesus. "If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would fight, so that I wouldn't be handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here."
37 "You are a king then?" Pilate asked. "You say that I'm a king," Jesus replied. "I was born for this, and I have come into the world for this: to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice."
38 "What is truth?" said Pilate. After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, "I find no grounds for charging him. 39 You have a custom that I release one prisoner to you at the Passover. So, do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?"
40 They shouted back, "Not this man, but Barabbas!" Now Barabbas was a revolutionary.

What does John chapter 18 mean?

The events of this chapter fulfill several predictions made by Jesus earlier in His ministry (Matthew 20:18; John 12:32–33; 13:26–27). First is His betrayal by a close associate (John 13:21). The traitor is Judas, who has already conspired with Jesus' enemies (Mark 14:10–11). Since John is writing well after the circulation of the other three Gospels, he leaves some details of Jesus' arrest and trials to those writers (Matthew 26—27; Mark 14; Luke 22—23). The words John refers to here are those from the High Priestly Prayer, recorded in chapter 17.

The first verses of this passage evoke several other parts of Scripture. Human history begins in a garden (Genesis 2:8) and eventually returns there (Revelation 22:1–5). Adam's sin and disobedience created death; Jesus' obedience will be part of atoning for that sin (1 Corinthians 15:45; Philippians 2:8; Genesis 3:12). David learned of betrayal by a former ally while crossing Kidron on the way to the Mount of Olives (2 Samuel 15:23–31).

Judas is a key piece of the plot against Jesus (John 11:57). In that era, there were no photographs or telephones. Clothing, hairstyles, and other fashion were usually nondescript. That made it difficult to find and identify people without help from someone who knew them personally. Judas not only knows Jesus personally, he knows when and where Jesus can be found away from a supportive crowd. Most likely, the scribes and Pharisees used the excuse of a possible rebellion (Luke 23:1–5) to justify sending armed soldiers (John 18:1–3).

Rather than running away, Jesus actively engages those coming to arrest Him. This is partly to establish that only Jesus, not His disciples, is to be taken in. It also marks a final demonstration of Jesus' power and willingness to obey God. Jesus evokes the same words used by God when identifying Himself to Moses (Exodus 3:14). Christ can flatten an entire squadron of armed men with a word, proving no one can force Him to comply (John 10:17–18). This will be the last truly "active" action of His earthly ministry. After this, Jesus' life will be entirely submitted to the actions of others (John 18:4–9).

Earlier in the evening, Peter bragged about his willingness to follow Jesus into death (John 13:37). To his credit, he acts with a form of bravery by lashing out at Jesus' attackers. Then again, Peter may have been driven by simple, blind rage. There's little cause for Peter to attack a servant, rather than a soldier. In an era where everyone was expected to be right-hand dominant, it's awkward for Peter to hit someone on the right side of their head. Either he was an especially clumsy swordsman, or he missed while attempting to hit someone else—such as Judas. Jesus condemns the action and heals the injured man (Luke 22:50–51). Only John mentions the name of the servant, possibly because he alone had contact with the high priest's family (John 18:10–11).

According to the Old Testament, high priests were meant to serve for life (Numbers 35:25). The Roman Empire was in the habit of installing their own leaders. It's possible Annas was the "real" high priest, replaced in an official Roman capacity by his son-in-law, Caiaphas, in AD 18. It was Caiaphas who ruthlessly insisted that Jesus needed to die (John 11:49–53), innocent or not, to prevent Rome from retaliating against Jerusalem. The details of these sham trials, mostly left to other Gospels, make it clear Jesus has long since been condemned by His enemies (John 18:12–14).

Despite Jesus clearly advocating for them to be left unharmed, Peter and John—the unnamed disciple of this passage—have secretly followed the group who were bringing Jesus into custody (Matthew 26:56–58). John might have been an extended relative of the high priest. His mother (Matthew 20:20) may have been Jesus' aunt (Mark 15:40; 16:1; John 19:25), and so related to the family of priests (Luke 1:13, 36). This may be why John is able to enter the courtyard easily, but needs to go back and advocate for Peter to be brought in. Peter's obvious Galilean accent (Matthew 26:73), among other things, makes him the target of suspicion. Despite earlier boasts, Peter begins to deny his relationship to Christ out of fear (John 18:15–18).

Jesus knows that His fate is sealed. However, He does not offer His enemies excuses. He calmly and clearly points out that there is no reason for Him to be arrested at night, or any question about what He is really teaching. If they had evidence against Him, they would be able to produce it. Those in power often confuse disagreement with disrespect, and that results in Jesus being abused while in custody. The two references to "high priest" in this passage reflect the difference between Israel's official role and the one recognized by the Roman government (John 18:19–24).

After the brief interlude explaining Jesus' initial meeting with Annas, John returns to Peter's awkward situation. Not only has his accent marked him as a Galilean, those nearby are becoming suspicious. As with the servant girl at the door, the first question expects a negative answer. After all, who would be foolish enough to show up at the home of the high priest when their master is under arrest? Even worse, one of the men there not only saw Peter's violence on the Mount of Olives, he's related to the victim. This leads to two more lies from Peter, who is afraid of being arrested himself. Jesus prophecy is fulfilled (John 13:38). Instant regret and shame overwhelm Peter (Luke 22:61–62; Matthew 26:75; Mark 14:72). This, in part, is because Jesus is just now being brought back outside and has heard Peter's loud denials (John 18:25–27).

History indicates that the relationship between Pilate and Israel was extremely poor. Pilate's heavy-handed style often included violence and outright insults. This was not ideal for Rome, who preferred to maintain peace. Pilate likely already knew something about Jesus (Matthew 21:1–11; John 12:12–19) but did not consider Him a threat (Matthew 27:18; Mark 15:10). Accusations of rebellion, however, mean he needs to find out whether Jesus claims to be a king, and what that means. Scholars suggest Pilate was afraid another ugly incident would result in being removed from his position. This partly explains the weak-willed approach he takes to Jesus' obvious innocence. It does not stop him from making snide, dismissive remarks (John 18:28–35).

Pilate's interrogation of Jesus makes it clear that He is not attempting to overthrow Roman control. On the contrary, Jesus makes it extremely clear that the kingdom He came to establish is not political or worldly. The same writer, John, will record the future event where Jesus does come to rule on earth (Revelation 19:11–15), but that is not the purpose of His first coming. In a moment of incredible irony, Pilate dismissively quips about truth, while turning away from the Truth (John 14:6). Pilate will seek to have Jesus released, but does not yet know the lengths to which the scribes and Pharisees will go (John 18:36–38).

The choice of Barabbas, a known murder and rebel (Luke 23:18–19) is an obvious ploy. If Pilate was the first to suggest it, this may be his way of trying to outmaneuver the scribes and Pharisees. Agreeing to release a confirmed criminal would contradict their accusations against Jesus. If suggested by the priests, this could be a way of sneering at Rome by supporting someone who actively fought against their rule. In either case, mob pressure (Matthew 27:24) is beginning to mount and Pilate is running out of options (John 18:39–40).

In the following passage, Jesus' enemies will lean heavily on the threat of civil unrest. This is a major religious holiday for Israel (John 18:28), so the area is overcrowded with devout Jews. The combined elements of blasphemy, insurrection, rioting, and stubbornness will eventually wear Pilate down, and he will make the cowardly choice to execute an innocent man (John 19:12–16).