P’s and Q’s : John 18
“When Jesus had spoken these words, He went forth with His disciples over the ravine of the Kidron, where there was a garden, in which He entered with His disciples. Now Judas also, who was betraying Him, knew the place, for Jesus had often met there with His disciples. Judas then, having received the Roman cohort and officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, came there with lanterns and torches and weapons. So Jesus, knowing all the things that were coming upon Him, went forth and said to them, ‘Whom do you seek?’ They answered Him, ‘Jesus the Nazarene.’ He said to them, ‘I am He.’ And Judas also, who was betraying Him, was standing with them.” (verses 1-5)
- Judas knew Jesus well and knew where Jesus would be. Have you been hurt by someone close to you who knows you well?
Jesus is said to have known “all the things that were coming upon Him.” How did Jesus know all the things coming upon Him? With this knowledge, why didn’t He simply run away?
“So when He said to them, ‘I am He,’ they drew back and fell to the ground.” (verse 6)
- Why do you think the accusers of Jesus fell on the ground when Jesus replied, “I am He”?
“Therefore He again asked them, ‘Whom do you seek?’ And they said, ‘Jesus the Nazarene.’ Jesus answered, ‘I told you that I am He; so if you seek Me, let these go their way,’ to fulfill the word which He spoke, ‘Of those whom You have given Me I lost not one.’” (verses 7-9)
- John, the God-inspired author, writes that Jesus answered “to fulfill the word which He spoke.” Why is it so important that Jesus fulfills the words that He spoke to His disciples?
There are about 300 prophecies given of the Messiah in the Old Testament. Why is it so important that Jesus fulfills EVERY one of the 300 prophecies spoken of Him the Old Testament?
“Simon Peter then, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear; and the slave’s name was Malchus. So Jesus said to Peter, ‘Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?’” (verses 10 & 11)
- Did Peter mean to strike off the slave’s right ear or was he striking to kill? Imagine, for a second, a person swinging their sword at full speed at another’s head and then the other person tries to save their own life in dodging the sword, only to be struck on the ear. How does this make you feel about Peter?
What does this say about Jesus and about how He can use you, knowing that Jesus appointed Peter to help start the church?
“Then the slave-girl who kept the door said to Peter, ‘You are not also one of this man’s disciples, are you?’ He said, ‘I am not.’ 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. Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, ‘You are not also one of His disciples, are you?’ He denied it, and said, ‘I am not.’ One of the slaves of the high priest, being a relative of the one whose ear Peter cut off, said, ‘Did I not see you in the garden with Him?’ Peter then denied it again, and immediately a rooster crowed.” (verses 17, 18 & 25-27)
- Peter denied Jesus three times and then the rooster crowed, which fulfilled the words that Jesus had spoken to Peter at the last supper. How have you denied Jesus in the last year? Jesus did not give up on Peter. Do you know this to be true in your life
“The high priest then questioned Jesus about His disciples, and about His teaching. Jesus answered him, ‘I have spoken openly to the world; I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together; and I spoke nothing in secret. Why do you question Me? Question those who have heard what I spoke to them; they know what I said.’ When He had said this, one of the officers standing nearby struck Jesus, saying, ‘Is that the way You answer the high priest?’ Jesus answered him, ‘If I have spoken wrongly, testify of the wrong; but if rightly, why do you strike Me?’ So Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.” (verses 19-24)
- Why did the high priest and the religious elite not want to question those whom Jesus had taught? How have people hurt you, or struck you, this year with their words or actions?
“Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas into the Praetorium, and it was early; and they themselves did not enter into the Praetorium so that they would not be defiled, but might eat the Passover.” (verse 28)
- The religious elite who desired to have Jesus die “did not enter the Praetorium so that they would not be defiled.” Why is it that the Jewish religious leaders were blind to the truth they were about to defile themselves much more than simply observing Passover by putting Jesus to death? How have you seen your own spiritual blindness this last year?
Therefore Pilate went out to them and said, ‘What accusation do you bring against this Man?’ They answered and said to him, ‘If this Man were not an evildoer, we would not have delivered Him to you.’ 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,’ to fulfill the word of Jesus which He spoke, signifying by what kind of death He was about to die.” (verses 29-32)
- When Pilate asked the Jewish leaders what accusation they were bringing against Jesus, how did they answer? When Pilate instructed the leaders to judge him by Jewish law, what was their response?
“Therefore Pilate entered again into the Praetorium, and summoned Jesus and said to Him, ‘Are You the King of the Jews?’ Jesus answered, ‘Are you saying this on your own initiative, or did others tell you about Me?’ Pilate answered, ‘I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests delivered You to me; what have You done?’ Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.’ Therefore Pilate said to Him, ‘So You are a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.’ Pilate said to Him, ‘What is truth?’ And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews and said to them, ‘I find no guilt in Him.’” (verses 33-38)
- Immediately after speaking with Jesus and asking Jesus what is truth, Pilate speaks to the Jewish religious leader and says, “I find no guilt in Him.” What does this show about Jesus’ love for you?
“But you have a custom that I release someone for you at the Passover; do you wish then that I release for you the King of the Jews?” So they cried out again, saying, ‘Not this Man, but Barabbas.’ Now Barabbas was a robber.” (verses 39 & 40)
- In your life, what are things you are choosing over Jesus?
- Jesus knew that He would be betrayed.
- Jesus knew that He would be denied.
- Jesus knew that He was innocent.