John 18:19-40

Some notes:

  • Annas was the power behind the throne!
  • He was high priest from 6-15 A.D.
  • He was deposed (by the Romans) and his son-in-law became high priest in 18 A.D.
  • But in Jewish custom the high priest was a lifetime position.
  • Many may have considered Annas the “real” high priest (Acts 4:6; Luke 3:2).
  • 18:28 probably means that they wanted to be able to continue to participate in the ongoing feast, which lasted 7 days, so they wouldn’t go into the governor’s residence.
  • The claim that Jesus was the “king of the Jews” was because they needed a political charge so that Rome would be willing to put Jesus to death.
  • Jesus admits to being king of a spiritual kingdom. A kingdom that doesn’t fight. A kingdom of truth! That doesn’t concern Pilate at all.
  • Pilate wants to let Jesus go, but the leadership shouts out that they want Barabbas (a robber, insurrectionist, and murderer) released instead.
  • Peter fulfills Jesus’ prediction concerning his denial, and the call for Jesus’ death is also seen as a fulfillment of Jesus’ words.

What is truth? The truth is that we need to believe in Jesus (listen to His voice), and serve in His kingdom (which is spiritual). Are the words in 18:36 prescriptive or descriptive? Do we ever fight back or take up arms? That may need to be answered personally by each one of us, but I would suggest that it was more descriptive and revolved around Jesus and His fulfillment of prophecy. I think there may be times we have to forcibly defend others now.

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