God is Light

1John 1:5-10 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanse us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 

‘This then is the message which we have heard of him … God is light, and in him is no darkness at all’ This is the chief message Christ came to deliver, of which John can testify in person, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. Neither Moses nor the prophets ever gave the fullness of this message (John 1:16-17). Christ Himself is the chief manifestation of God’s light to men (John 1:1-9; 3:16-20; 8:12; 12:35-36).

‘God is light’ God is a person and dwells “in the light that no man can approach unto; whom no man has seen (in all His glory) nor can see” (1Tim. 6:16). The phrase “God is light” does not constitute the being of God. It must be understood in the same sense that we understand God is love, God is good, God is a consuming fire, and other statements about Him. In the same sense, we understand that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, or the door (John 10:9; 14:6). These expressions don’t do away with the reality and personality of God and Christ.

‘Darkness’ as the source of wisdom, knowledge, holiness, and truth, God cannot have the least degree of ignorance, imperfection, sinfulness, and darkness. God is to man what the sun is to our world, hence the importance of the message that God is light and no darkness at all.

‘If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie’ there are 5 “If’s” of Human experience given: The hypocrite – (1:6) if we say we know God and still walk in darkness, our sins prove we are liars. The Christian – (1:7) if we walk in the light, we have fellowship with the Father and the Son (1:3) and the blood of Jesus Christ keeps us cleansed from all sin. The self-deceiver – (1:8) if we say we have no sin to confess, that is, we are not sinners, we deceive ourselves because we know better, and we lie. Gnostics and other heretics deny that they are sinners and that Christ’s death atones for sin. The penitent sinner – (1:9) if we confess our sins, that is, if we will be honest and acknowledge we are sinners (Rom. 3:23), God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. The wilful rebel against God – (1:10) if we say that we have never sinned, we make God a liar and His Word is not in us. In 1John 1:8 the idea is of contending that we are not guilty before God; here it is that we were never guilty.

‘Blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanse us from all sin’ we are cleansed from all sin from the time of confession of sin (1:9) and as long as we walk in the light (1:7).

‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness’ if we do one thing – confess our sins – God will do four things: Be faithful to us; be just with us; forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Fellowship

1John 1:3-4 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that you also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. 

‘Fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ’ four persons with whom to have fellowship: God the Father (1:3-7; Isa. 57:15; John 14:23; 17:21-23; 1Cor. 6:13); God the Son (Matt. 18:20; John 14:23; 15:1-8; 1Cor. 1:9; 10:16); God the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:9; 1Cor. 3:16; 2Cor. 13:14; Php. 2:1); other Christians (Acts 1:14; 2:1, 42-47; Eph. 5:19; Php. 2:1-2).

Scriptures warn against fellowship and friendship with non-believers: not to get counsel from the ungodly, or to follow in the same ways as sinners or workers of iniquity, or to sit with those who mock the Word of God, those who are vain or wicked (Ps. 1:1-6; 6:8; 26:4-5; 1Jn. 2:15-17) and not to go in with dissemblers [hypocrites]. Not to cast your lot with criminals and sinners when they entice you to follow in their wicked ways (Pro. 1:10-15). We are warned to stay away from foolish and angry people and not to be friends with them (Pro. 9:6; 14:17; 22:24); to stay away from backslidden Christians and those who walk disorderly (Matt. 18:15-17; 2 Thess. 3:6; 2Jn. 1:9-11) and those that cause divisions and offences (Rom. 16:17). We cannot listen to false teachers’ teachings and think we will afterwards understand God’s Word at all (1Tim. 4:1-2; 6:3-5; 2Tim. 2: 16-17; 2Jn. 1:10). We cannot have company with those who do not obey God’s Word (2Thess. 3:14-15); be in business, friendship or fellowship with unbelievers or those who live in unrighteousness and darkness (2Cor. 6:14-18). We cannot keep company or eat with fornicators, covetous, heady and high-minded people, idolaters, railers, drunkard, or extortioners (1Cor. 5:9-11). Stay away from those who are lovers of themselves; boasters; proud, unthankful, unholy people; blasphemers; disobedient to parents; those without natural affection; trucebreakers; false accusers; incontinent; fierce people, despisers of those who are good traitors, those who love pleasure more than God and the hypocrites – those who have “a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof” (2Tim. 3:2-5).

‘That your joy may be full’ to live in peace, harmony and love we have to follow God’s instruction on fellowship otherwise we allow other’s consequences for sin into our lives as well as give our approval to their sinful natures and habits.  Listen to His commandments if you want to stand in Truth and against the wiles of the devil (Eph. 6:10-18).

We have clear instructions not to allow those who live in sin and don’t follow in Christ’s footsteps (1Pet. 2:21-23) into our lives from 2John 1:9-11: “Whosoever transgress, and abide not in the doctrine of Christ, has not God. He that abide in the doctrine of Christ, he has both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that bid him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.”

Eternal Life

1John 1:2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us) 

These are the facts given by John of eternal life: People can have it by believing on Christ and God (John 3:15-16, 36; 5:24; 6:40, 47). It becomes a well springing up in the soul (John 4:14). People must gather fruit unto life eternal (John 4:36). It comes through searching the Scriptures (John 5:39). People must labour for it (John 6:27). It comes by drinking of (i.e., partaking of) the benefits of the blood of Jesus Christ by faith (John 6:54). Christ has the words of eternal life (John 6:68). Christ gives eternal life to His own who meet the conditions (John 6:27, 10:27-29). God commands people to get it (John 12:50). God sent Jesus to give it to all who come to Him through Christ (John 17:2). To know or to experience God and Christ is eternal life (John 17:2-3). Jesus Christ is that eternal life (1:1-3). This eternal life has actually been seen, heard, and handled (1:1-3). People must not only meet the conditions of eternal life of John 6:27, but they must let (permit) it to remain in them after they get it (2:24). If people do permit (let) it to remain in them, then they will continue in the Son and in the Father (2:24). Eternal life is promised to all (2:25), but it is given only to those who meet the conditions of receiving and keeping it (John 6:27). No one who hates his brother has it (3:15). It comes from God (5:11) and it is only in God’s Son (5:11). All people may know they have it (5:13, 20; John 3:16; 5:24; 17:2-3).

We get eternal life now and keep it forever if we meet the following conditions: Come to Christ (John 6:37, 44, 45, 65); know God and Christ (John 17:2-3); cause no offense (Matt. 18:8-9); forsake all (Matt. 19:27-29; Mark 10:28-30); overcome sin (Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21); live free from sin (Rom. 5:21; 6:16-23; 8:1-13; Tit. 2:11-14); fight the good fight of faith; lay hold on it (1Tim. 6:12, 19); be sober and hope to the end for it (Tit. 1:2; 3:7; 1Pet. 1:5, 9, 13); endure temptations (Jas. 1:12); love everybody (1Jn. 3:14-15); keep yourself in the love of God, looking for eternal life (Jude 1:20-24); be faithful unto death (Rev. 2:10; Heb. 12:14-15); believe and obey the gospel (John 3:15-19, 36; 4:14; 5:24; 6:40, 47, 54; 2Cor. 5:17; Rom. 1:5); be born again, hear Christ, and follow Him (John 3:1-36; 10:27-29).

BUT eternal life does not become an unforfeitable eternal possession until we enter into it (Matt. 7:13; 18:8-9; 19:17; Rom. 6:22); receive it (Rom. 6:23; Jas. 1:12; 1Pet. 1:13; Rev. 2:10); reap it (Gal. 6:7-8); and inherit it in the world to come (Matt. 19:27-29; Mark 10:28-30; Luke 18:28-30), and at the end of this life (Rom. 6:22).

The Word of Life

1John 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life 

‘That which was from the beginning’ that glorious and wonderful person, Jesus Christ the Lord (1:1, 3-4).

‘From the beginning’ ten things concerning Jesus Christ: He is from the beginning (1:1; John 1:1-2); from everlasting (Micah 5:1-2; Heb. 1:8); we [the disciples] have heard Him with our ears (1:1); we [disciples] have seen Him with our eyes (1:1); our [disciples] hands have handled Him (1:1); He is the Word of Life (1:1; John 14:6); we [disciples] bear witness of this Life (1:2); He is that eternal Life (1:2); He is not the Father, but was with Him from all eternity (1:2; John 1:1-2); He was manifested to us [disciples] (1:2); we [disciples] declare Him to you for two reasons: (1) That you may have fellowship with us, with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ (1:3); (2) That your joy may be full (1:4).

‘We have heard, which we have seen with our eyes’ the disciples had absolute certainty of the reality of what they proclaimed. They have actually heard, seen, and touched Christ, not transiently, but frequently. They lived with Him daily for years. They heard His teaching and saw His divine works (1:1-3; 2Pet. 1:16; Acts 5:31; 1Cor. 15:1-8).

‘Looked upon’ the Greek word theaomai, gazing with a purpose; see with desire; regard with admiration. Related to theoreo, to gaze at, as a spectacle. It is used of physical sight and the actual presence of the object on which the gaze is fixed. It means a prolonged and continued gaze.

‘Word of life’ the Word was made flesh and dwelled among men so that they would have as much proof of His personal existence, as they had of any other person in their midst (John 1:1-2, 14; 1Tim. 3:16). ‘Word’ the Greek word logos which refers to Christ (John 1:14; Rev. 19:13) and proves His pre-existence (Micah 5:1-2; Rev. 1:8, 11; 2:8; 22:13-16). He is an eternal Being as are also the Father and the Holy Spirit (Psa. 90:1-2; Heb. 9:14). They make the Divine Trinity (1Jn. 5:7).

Crucified

John 19:23-30 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which said, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did. Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he said unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then said he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home. 

Jesus was crucified on the Wednesday during the Lord’s Passover (Lev. 23:4-8) which fell on the 15th of Nisan [April]. From the fact that He was fully three days and three nights in Hell while His body was in the tomb (Matt. 12:40; Eph. 4:7-11; Ps. 16:10) and that He rose early the first day of the week, which was after sunset on the Saturday (Matt. 28:1; Mark 16:1-2; Luke 24:1-6; John 20:1-10). Jewish days are from 6pm to 6pm, not like our 12 am to 12 am. If He had been buried on the Friday He would have been in the grave only one night and one day and this would make Jesus Himself a liar, for He said He would be there three days and three nights. This proves that He was crucified on Wednesday and was put in the tomb before sunset that day, for Jews always buried on the same day of death. He remained dead Wednesday night, Thursday, Thursday night, Friday, Friday night, and Saturday. He was resurrected soon after sunset Saturday, for He had been resurrected before early morning of the first day, Sunday.

‘Four parts, to every soldier a part’ Four soldiers were employed in nailing Him to the cross. These were the military guards – the executioners mentioned in Matthew 27:36 that sat down and watched him, for their duty was to watch the person crucified lest his friends should rescue him.

‘Coat’ the Greek word chiton, a tunic or inner garment which was worn next to the skin. It usually had sleeves, and generally reached down to the knees and sometimes to the ankles. Wearing two of them was for luxury, so they were forbidden to the disciples (Matt. 10:10; Mark 6:9; Luke 3:11; 9:3). When a person had on no other garment but this, he was said to be naked (1Sam. 19:24).

‘They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots.’ This is the 12th Old Testament prophecy fulfilled in John that was given in Psalm 22:18. One of 333 prophecies given of Christ’s first coming.

In Luke 23:34 we read that Jesus prayed to the Father to forgive these soldiers; for they didn’t know what they were doing when they parted His raiment by casting lots and in verse 36 they were mocking Him. This could be expected of heathen soldiers out of contempt for the Jewish nation and loyalty to their emperor, whose sovereignty they thought was insulted by the Lord’s claim of being born King of the Jews. One would not expect religious leaders to be so hardhearted as these, regardless of how just their cause might seem to be at the time.

Also omitted by John are the two thieves that were crucified with Christ (Matt. 27:38). There is some evidence that two malefactors were led with Him to be crucified with Him (Luke 23:32). Then later two thieves were brought and were crucified (Matt. 27:38). No scripture says that only two men were crucified with Him. It is said that both robbers reviled Him (Matt. 27:44; Mark 15:32), while only one of the malefactors railed on Him (Luke 23:39-40).

We see the contrasts between the two dying criminals in Luke 23:39-43. One mocked Christ, demonstrating utter lack of reason (23:39) and the other demonstrated the highest type of intelligence in 8 ways (23:40-43): by fearing God (23:40); rebuking another for not fearing God (23:40); acknowledging his own condemnation and helpless state (23:40) as well as justice for crime committed (23:41); confessing faith in the innocence of Christ who had been cleared by all civil rulers of any wrongdoing and who was being crucified solely because of religious jealousy and malice, as could be seen by all men (23:41); confessing Jesus as Lord (23:42) and faith in the eventual triumph of Christ’s kingdom (23:42); asking mercy and forgiveness of Jesus Christ (23:42).

Jesus answered him: “Verily I say unto thee, Today shall thou be with me in paradise.” (Luk 23:43) This is the 52nd New Testament prophecy in Luke fulfilled when Christ and the penitent criminal went to paradise in the lower parts of the earth (Eph. 4:8-10; Psa. 16:10; Matt. 12:40; Heb. 2:14-15). The rebellious one went to hell where the rich man was (Luke 16:19-31). The paradise here is the one in the lower part of the earth and was later moved next to the third heaven (2Cor. 12:1-3).

‘Cleophas’ he was called Alpheus (Matt. 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15; 24:18), he was the father of James the Less, and husband of Mary, the sister of Mary (Luke 24:10, 18; John 19:25).

‘Disciple standing by, whom he loved’ John (13:23; 21:7, 20, 24). Christ wanted His mother cared for and trusted John to do so. Joseph was now dead and His brethren were not yet convinced that He was the Messiah (Luke 8:19-21).

Jesus Delivered

John 19:16-22 Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away. And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst. And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin. Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews. Pilate answered, What I have written I have written. 

‘Delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified’ Pilate now surrendered to the pressure of facing Tiberius in the trial for not yielding to the Jews to crucify their King. He delivered Jesus to their will (Luke 23:25). Thus the Jews are accused of crucifying the Messiah (Acts 2:23). The Romans merely carried out the will of the Jews, Pilate having pronounced no sentence but having washed his hands of the whole affair (Matt. 27:24). John omits the insults of the soldiers (Matt. 27:26; Mark 15:16).

‘He bearing his cross’ He bore the cross at first until He could no longer carry it alone, then Simon was forced to help Him (Matt. 27:32). ‘Skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha’ the skull: called calvaria, a skull (Luke 23:33), a place outside Jerusalem (Heb. 13:12). Origen (185-253 A.D.) refers to a tradition that Christ was crucified where Adam was buried and where his skull was found.

In Luke 23:27 we read of a great company of people that followed Jesus, of whom were mostly women, which also bewailed and lamented Him in His sufferings. These women that were of the sex that first sinned now stayed more true to the Saviour than those of the sex which chose to sin without being deceived (1Tim. 2:14).

Jesus responded saying: “Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me …” with the 51st New Testament prophecy in Luke that was fulfilled in 70 A.D., when Jerusalem was destroyed. These women were of Jerusalem. They were told to weep for themselves and for their children. Christ foresaw their terrible sufferings about 40 years later when many in this same crowd perished in the horrible carnage which took place on the capture of the city.

‘Pilate wrote a title’ John alone mentions that Pilate wrote it Himself. Much controversy has raged over the differences of what was written on the cross, as all four gospels have different wording. Mark and Matthew mention “the accusation” which might be different from the “title” of John 19:19. The accusation in Matthew and Mark is identical except Mark omits “This is Jesus.” He only gives part of it while Matthew gives the whole. They do not say the writing was in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, as in Luke 23:38 and John 19:20. Different wording could be in these three languages and this could explain the difference.

‘Place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city’ probably just outside the north wall between the Damascus and the Herod gates, near the so-called “grotto of Jeremiah,” about half a mile from the Praetorium.

‘The chief priests of the Jews’ this expression is used only here. They were no longer God’s priests.

‘What I have written I have written’ Roman laws forbade the sentence to be altered when once pronounced. The inscription named the only crime for which He was crucified. It was a true statement, for He was and will always be King of the Jews, and will be so acknowledged by them at the second coming (Matt. 23:39; Isa. 9:6-7; Zech. 12:10-13:1; Rev. 1:7).

Jesus Scourged

John 19:1-7 Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him. And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands. Pilate therefore went forth again, and said unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that you may know that I find no fault in him. Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate said unto them, Behold the man! When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate said unto them, Take you him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him. The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God. 

‘Scourged him’ had Him scourged in the Roman manner which was more severe than the Jewish. It was customary to scourge a person before crucifixion, but Pilate hoped that this punishment would satisfy the Jews so he could release Jesus (Luke 23:16). This did not satisfy the bloodthirsty Jews who wanted Him dead and out of their way.

A scourge was a Roman implement for severe physical punishment. It consisted of a handle with about a dozen leather cords with jagged pieces of bone or metal at each end to make the blow more painful and effective. The victim was tied to a post and the blows were applied to the bareback and loins and sometimes to the face and bowels. The flesh was cut in several places by each blow. So hideous was the punishment that the victim often fainted and some died under it. Flogging was permitted by the law up to 40 stripes (Deut. 25:3). Jews reduced this to 39 stripes (2Cor. 11:23-25). If the scourge used on Jesus had 12 thongs and He was hit even 39 times this would make 468 stripes. If some struck in the same place and cut deeper each time one can see how His body, because of the intense hatred back of each blow, was marred more than any other man’s (Isa. 52:14).

‘Crown of thorns’ for cruelty and mockery, fulfilling His own prophecy spoken in Matthew 20:17-19 in which manner He shall be killed.

‘Hail’ or, Health, success, and prosperity to the King of the Jews!

‘I bring him forth to you’ Pilate made his third appearance from the Praetorium to the Jews outside and brought the scourged, bleeding, crowned, and kingly-clothed Christ of God before them, hoping they would be willing to let Him go after such suffering. But, as ever, religious persecutors have no love and mercy on their victims. They cried for crucifixion until Pilate wanted to turn Him over to them to crucify, declaring the innocence of Christ two more times (19:4, 6).

‘Behold the Man’ Pilate hoped against hope that this awful spectacle would melt their hearts, but it only whetted their appetite for more suffering to the man they considered their rival in religion and power.

‘Because he made himself the Son of God’ this new charge to Pilate was another of ten reasons for condemning Him to die. This new angle made Pilate all the more afraid, so he took Him into the judgment hall again to question Him (19:8-11).

Not of This World

John 18:33-40 Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Are thou the King of the Jews? Jesus answered him, Say thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what have thou done? 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. Pilate therefore said unto him, Are thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou say 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 hears my voice. Pilate said unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and said unto them, I find in him no fault at all. But you have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will you therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews? Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber. 

‘Are thou the King of the Jews? … Say thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me?’ This shows their accusation of treason. They did not charge Him with what were the chief reasons for wanting Him crucified.

There are ten reasons why the Jews killed Jesus: over His Kingship (Matt. 2:2-3, 16; John 18:33-40; 19:12-22); for telling the truth (Luke 4:21-29; John 8:40); for healing on the sabbath (Matt. 12:9-14; Mark 3:1-6; John 5:16; 9:16); out of jealousy of Him (Matt. 26:3-4; 27:18; Mark 14:1; 15:10; Luke 22:2; John 11:48); because of their ignorance (Matt. 26:64-66; Mark 14:62-64; John 12:40; Acts 3:17); to fulfill prophecy (Luke 13:33-35; John 12:38-40; 18:31-32; 19:11, 28, 36-37; Acts 2:22-36; 3:18); He claimed Sonship (5:18; 10:24-39; 19:7); because of their unbelief (5:38-47; 6:36; 9:40-41; 12:36-38); because He claimed to be God (8:53-59; 10:33; cp. 1:1-2; Heb. 1:5-14); out of fear of losing their authority (11:46-53; 12:10-11, 19).

‘Say thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me?’ Jesus asked if His enemies told Pilate this or if he was suspicious of Him, that he asked the question?

‘Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what have thou done?’ Pilate answered that if Jesus didn’t profess to be the king of the Jews, what has He done that they desire His life?

‘Of’ the Greek word ek meaning out from. Christ’s kingdom is not from this world. His kingdom is from heaven. It will be an earthly kingdom when the Millennium begins (Dan. 2:44; 7:13-27; Zech. 14:1-21; Rev. 5:10; 11:15).

‘Thou say that I am’ – a common expression for “yes, it is so.” Jesus was born to be a king and He came into the world to bear witness of the truth. All who are of the truth hear and obey Him.

‘What is truth?’ Pilate was no doubt confused by all the religions and philosophies clamouring for recognition. He did not stay to get an answer and in this, he is like millions today who do not honestly seek to know the truth but follow every wind of doctrine that comes along. Christ is the truth and anyone who finds Him and obeys Him will know the truth (8:32-36; 14:6).

‘He went out again unto the Jews’ this is the second time Pilate left the judgment hall to reason with the Jews (18:28-29). This time he declared the innocence of Christ as treason.

‘Will you therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews?’ Pilate thought surely they would wish the release of Jesus instead of a common criminal, but this only gave them further occasion to demand the death of Jesus (18:40).

‘The King of the Jews’ this insincere taunt of Pilate about their king only led them to retort by the threat of high treason against Pilate himself (19:12). ‘Robber’ the Jews chose a highway robber and a murderer instead of Messiah.

Jesus Questioned

John 18:19-24 The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine. 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. Why ask thou me? ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said. And when he had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, Answer thou the high priest so? Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smite thou me? Now Annas had sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest. 

‘Asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine’ they questioned Him as to His authority of collecting disciples, forming a different sect, preaching new doctrines and setting Himself up as a reformer. Annas perhaps was seeking something whereby he could legally accuse Him, but he found nothing. All this was at night, which was contrary to the law of the Jews. The Talmud says, “Criminal processes can neither commence nor terminate, but during the course of the day” (Sanhedrin c, iv, s. 1). If a person was condemned the sentence could not be until the next day. No judgment could be executed either on the eve of the sabbath, or the eve of any festival. All these laws were broken in the trial of Christ which was in the night, on the eve of the passover, and the eve of the special sabbath of the feast – on Tuesday. It had been predicted that justice and judgment would be taken away during His trial (Isa. 53:8; Acts 8:33).

‘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.’ Jesus has spoken openly to all people, in synagogues in the cities and even in the temple at Jerusalem, and has said nothing in secret. If they have not heard Him, they could have asked those who have. They and their spies have watched Him everywhere. Jesus has said nothing contrary to the law and the prophets [the name of the Old Testament]. He has not disturbed the state by rebellion. He asked that they would judge Him righteously according to their laws if He has done something wrong.

‘One of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand’ – this was an outrage against justice, for a prisoner before trial and condemnation were under special protection of the court. This is the fifth definite law of justice and judgment broken before the trial really got underway. They sought for witness against Jesus to put Him to death, this was contrary to their law which required them to begin a trial with those things that would acquit the accused, not with those things that made for his condemnation. In this case, not one thing was sought that would acquit Christ. They were determined to kill Him so they looked for every excuse possible, not realizing they were fulfilling prophecy. Not any two witnesses agreed on any one point of accusation, yet they condemned and killed the only sinless man that ever lived.

‘If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smite thou me?’ – a Christian is bound to bear injuries and injustices without revengeful retaliation; but he is privileged, even by the example of the Lord, to call to question such mistreatment. This does not break the law of Matthew 5:39.

‘Now Annas’ all of this happened in Annas’s presence. John omits the trial before Caiaphas (Matt. 26:57-68).

Peter’s Denial

John 18:12-18, 25-27 Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him, And led him away to Annas first; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year. Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people. 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. But Peter stood at the door without. Then went out that other disciple, which was known unto the high priest, and spoke unto her that kept the door, and brought in Peter. Then said the damsel that kept the door unto Peter, Are not thou also one of this man’s disciples? He said, I am not. 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. And Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. They said therefore unto him, Are not thou also one of his disciples? He denied it, and said, I am not. One of the servants of the high priest, being his kinsman whose ear Peter cut off, said, Did not I see thee in the garden with him? Peter then denied again: and immediately the cock crew. 

‘Captain’ the Greek word chiliarchos – the commander of 1,000 men; one of 6 tribunes attached to a legion, showing the importance the Romans attached to the arrest of Jesus, the Jews have represented it as a dangerous case of sedition.

‘Annas’ – he was perhaps the head of the Sanhedrin. He had been appointed high priest several times and had five sons and a son-in-law who had held this office. ‘Same year’ the office was no longer for life, as originally. Now it was by appointment by civil rulers and not by God.

‘He, which gave counsel to the Jews’ – he had already passed sentence that Jesus should be killed (11:49-52), hence he was disqualified to be His judge. But Christ was not tried by rules of justice or He would not have been crucified.

‘That disciple’ perhaps John himself who always refers to himself in the third person (13:23; 19:26; 21:7, 20). Or it could have been Nicodemus or Joseph (19:38).

‘Damsel that kept the door’ tradition says her name was Ballila. Women were doorkeepers (Acts 12:13). ‘Are not thou also one of this man’s disciples? I am not.’ first of three lies (18:17, 18:25-26). In verse 27 the third lie and denial of Jesus are stated.

‘They’ the officers and servants of the high priest, the Roman Chiliarch and his soldiers had gone back to the barracks, leaving Jesus in the hands of the Jews.

‘Warmed himself’ – a dangerous thing to do – to warm one’s self by the fire of his enemies.

Twelve steps in Peter’s backsliding from Matthew: he boasted (Matt. 26:33; Pro. 16:18); he made Christ a liar (Matt. 26:33-35); he slept instead of praying (Matt. 26:40); he failed to mortify his flesh (Matt. 26:41); he relied on the arm of flesh (Matt. 26:51); he forsook Christ and fled (Matt. 26:56); he followed afar off (Matt. 26:58); he sat with the Lord’s enemies (Matt. 26:58); he gave up hope and became discouraged (Matt. 26:58); he became afraid of men (Matt. 26:69-74); he lied (Matt. 26:69-74); and he cursed (Matt. 26:69-74).  Jesus had predicted his backsliding and his re-conversion (Luke 22:31-34).