Jesus ending his prayer and singing Psalms 115-118 (Mark 14:26) they left the banquet room and went out to a garden with his disciples.
John 18:1 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.
Here John skips over the events and prayer in the garden covered in the other Gospels and goes directly to the arrest of Christ.
18:2 And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples. 18:3 Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons.
18:4 Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? 18:5 They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them.
Satan had entered Judas and the others were also motivated by demons; therefore when Christ said “I Am Christ” they fell back from him.
18:6 As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he , they went backward, and fell to the ground.
Jesus then told them to let his compatriots leave, and they obeyed him.
18:7 Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth. 18:8 Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way: 18:9 That the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none.
At this point I am going to insert the events in the garden not covered by John.
Matthew 26:36 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.
Jesus takes three disciples with him, but they fail him being full of food and wine and the evening being late; they did not understand what was about to happen and fell asleep
26:37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. 26:38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.
Jesus prays to God the Father that he might be saved from having to suffer and die, yet he commits to doing the will of God the Father even to the death. Oh, that we would pray the same prayer and really mean it and follow through with passion to learn and to keep the whole Word and Will of God the Father.
26:39 And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
After praying Jesus returns to find the three asleep; and warns them that they are willing but their spirit is weak; and that much prayer is needed.
The very same is true of us. We may be willing, but when confronted with temptation or trials our spirit is weak to resist and we need the gift of God’s Spirit of power and a sound mind, to discern the holy from the profane and to walk in holiness.
Whenever we face a trial; the very first thing to do is run to God our Father [as Jesus did] and ask for his wisdom and his strength to do his will!
26:40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
It is apparent that these are not the full prayers and only give the nature of these prayers, for Jesus prayed longer than a one or two sentence prayer. Jesus was agonizing over what he faced and was very intensively preparing himself and arming himself with the Spirit and power of God the Father to fulfill the task appointed to him. We also need the strength and wisdom of God our Father to fulfill the task of overcoming the world as Christ overcame the world.
26:42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. 26:43 And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy.
If we neglect to seek spiritual strength from God our Father and try to deal with spiritual forces, temptations and trials, by our own wisdom and physical strength and by our own ways; we may be strong and courageous like Peter, but we shall fail miserably like Peter. Jesus knew that the battle is SPIRITUAL and we wrestle with spiritual powers.
26:44 And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.
Here Jesus chides them for their sleepiness as his time was come.
26:45 Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 26:46 Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.
Judas betrays who Jesus was from among the crowd of his disciples, singling him out by a kiss. These men who came to arrest Jesus were sent from the priests and did not know Jesus by sight.
26:47 And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people. 26:48 Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast. 26:49 And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him.
Then brave Peter not understanding that the time for the Kingdom of God was not yet come, stood up to defend Jesus.
John 18:10 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.
In spite of this violence, this band let the disciples go; and Jesus told Peter that he [Jesus] must DO God the Father’s will and die for humanity.
Jesus gave his life to do God the Father’s will: And so many of us today, cannot even stay away from polluting Sabbath in a restaurant!
18:11 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? 18:12 Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him, 18:13 And led him away to Annas first; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year. 18:14 Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.
John was known to the High Priest, yet he followed Jesus right into the lion’s lair because he loved his Master. How many of us would do this? How many of us would be faithful to keep the whole Word of God and to follow the Lamb of God withersoever he goeth? Most of us cannot do this in the good times; what will we do when the hour of trial is upon us?
18:15 And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple [John]: that disciple was known unto the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high priest.
John asked the door keeper to let Peter in, and she recognized Peter. It seems that the household of the high Priest knew very well not only Jesus but his disciples also.
Those who are faithful to the whole Word of God and follow the Lamb of God will be well known before the coming hour of trial is past. In times of trial either our spiritual light will shine as a beacon to others, or it will flicker out.
18:16 But Peter stood at the door without. Then went out that other disciple [John], which was known unto the high priest, and spake unto her that kept the door, and brought in Peter.
Peter denies Christ the first time
18:17 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. 18:18 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.
When asked of his doctrine, Jesus replies that his doctrine is well known by all
18:19 The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine.
It was unlawful to make a man testify of or against himself, and Jesus then tells them to bring witnesses to what he had taught.
18:20 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. 18:21 Why askest thou me? ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said.
Jesus insists that the officer who struck him, justify his unlawful act
18:22 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? 18:23 Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me?
18:24 Now Annas had sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest.
Peter denies Christ a second time
18:25 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.
Malchus’ [who’s ear Peter had cut off] kinsman, then remembers Peter, and Peter again denies Christ.
Brethren, Peter DID NOT yet have God’s Spirit!
When he received God’s Spirit of power, Peter would be in constant remembrance of his fleshly weakness without God’s Spirit all his life; yet he would not falter or quit; NO! NO! NO! He would go on to do mighty deeds through the Spirit of God! This seems to have been a lesson in humility for Peter which kept him humble before God all the remainder of his life.
When we fall, we are not to give up; rather we are to get back up, dust ourselves off, learn the appropriate lesson: and KEEP on KEEPING ON, in zeal for our Mighty God!
Knowing that as long as we are zealously TRYING, even though occasional mistakes are made: God will lift us up by his Mighty Hand and Deliver us from all our weaknesses! When we stumble, let us learn that only the Word, Wisdom and Strength of our God can deliver us, and let us run to God our Father for his deliverance!
18:26 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? 18:27 Peter then denied again: and immediately the cock crew.
Christ was then led to Pilate’s judgment seat. Some of these folks were preparing to eat the Passover late on Passover day, as the Passover was eaten any time on Passover day during the Temple period, due to the time needed to slaughter the great masses of lambs.
They were all preparing for the High Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and would not enter the hall of Pilate lest they be rendered unclean!
The Passover was only to be eaten by the physically CLEAN and UNDEFILED! Even so the New Covenant Passover is ONLY to be taken by the sincerely repentant, who have been covered by the blood of the Lamb of God and are spiritually CLEAN and UNDEFILED by any sin.
NO! NO! NO! Jesus Christ will not apply his sacrifice to continued and unrepented sin! To partake of his Passover sacrifice we MUST REPENT and commit ourselves; to go and sin NOT MORE!
Anyone who is lax and tolerant of sin; who compromises with the Word of God and the teachings of Jesus Christ; no matter how much emotional “love” he claims to have: IS NOT WORTHY to take the New Covenant Passover and will NOT be accepted by Jesus Christ.
ONLY the faithful diligent to live by every Word of God and are sincerely repentant, will have the sacrifice of Christ applied to them.
Those FALSE TEACHERS who say that Christ will not mind if we compromise with God’s Word, are leading us to damnation!
18:28 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.
Pilate then went outside to hear their accusations and they did not accuse Christ of anything specific, only saying that he was a malefactor.
18:29 Pilate then went out unto them, and said, What accusation bring ye against this man? 18:30 They answered and said unto him, If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up unto thee.
Pilate then told them to judge Jesus [Yeshua] by the laws of the Jews
Now the law requires stoning for blasphemy, which is the accusation against Jesus. Yet the leaders of the religious establishment wanted Christ to be crucified, which was foretold by the prophets; and that was strictly a Roman punishment.
18:31 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 [by crucifixion]: 18:32 That the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spake, signifying what death he should die.
Pilate then interrogates Christ
18:33 Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews? 18:34 Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me?
Pilate answers that he does not know about the religion of the Jews
18:35 Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done?
Jesus says that the Kingdom of God is not yet
18:36 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.
Jesus declares that he has come to speak the truth and that he will be King at the appointed time.
Today most have no love for, nor interest in, the truth; if they did they would prove out all things by the Word of God and welcome the truth that is being given to them with thanksgiving and rejoicing.
18:37 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.
Since Jesus said that he had no interest in being a king at that time and declared that because of that his servants would not fight; Pilate judged that Christ was not guilty of insurrection and not worthy of crucifixion.
18:38 Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out [outside of the courtroom] again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.
Pilate asks them to bid him release Jesus according to the Passover custom; and these religious leaders of the Church of that day, rejected Christ, and called for the release of Barabbas; demonstrating that by the sacrifice of Christ many would be released from bondage..
18:39 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? 18:40 Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.