John 18 Bible Study

John chapter 18 commentary Bible study

John Chapter 18 Commentary Bible Study


John 18:2-3 Judas Iscariot
John 18:4-9 (A) Jesus of Nazareth
John 18:4-9 (B) Judas' Kiss
John 18:10-12 Malchus
John 18:13-16 Annas and Caiaphas
John 18:17-24 Servant Girl
John 18:25-27 (A) Peter Denies Jesus
John 18:25-27 (B) False Witness
John 18:25-27 (C) Jesus' Trial
John 18:28-30 Praetorium
John 18:31-32 Jesus Before Pilate
John 18:33-35 Pilate And Jesus
John 18:36-38 (A) My Kingdom Is Not of This World
John 18:36-38 (B) Jesus And Herod
John 18:39-40 Barabbas
John 18 Bible Study Questions (Handout)
JOHN 18:1  1 When Jesus had spoken these words, He went out with His disciples over the Brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which He and His disciples entered.

What "words" had Jesus "spoken" (John 18:1)?
He had just ended His prayer to God the Father (see John 17) after giving instructions and encouragements to His disciples (see John 15 and John 16).

From where did Jesus go "out" (John 18:1) with His disciples"?
They exited Jerusalem eastward and crossed "over the Brook Kidron" (John 18:1), which runs directly east of Jerusalem.

Into which "garden" (John 18:1) did they then enter?
Gospel of John doesn’t name it or mention what happened next in it but Luke 22:39-46 and Mark 14:32-42 do, as below:

LUKE 22:39-46  39 Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him. 40 When He came to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” 41 And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours be done.” 43 Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. 44 And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. 45 When He rose up from prayer, and had come to His disciples, He found them sleeping from sorrow. 46 Then He said to them, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation.”

MARK 14:32-42  32 Then they came to a place which was named Gethsemane, and He said to His disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 And He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be troubled and deeply distressed. 34 Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch.” 35 He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. 36 And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.” 37 Then He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour? 38 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 39 Again He went away and prayed, and spoke the same words. 40 And when He returned, He found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy; and they did not know what to answer Him. 41 Then He came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough! The hour has come; look, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand."

So, into which "garden" (John 18:1) did Jesus and His disciples enter after exiting Jerusalem and crossing over the Brook Kidron?
The Garden of "Gethsemane" (Mark 14:32, photo), which is located at the base of the "Mount of Olives" (Luke 22:39), which rises just east of the Brook Kidron (photo).

Which disciples stayed with Jesus as He prayed this time?
No one. Unlike His prayer to the Father recorded in John 17 that was intended to be heard by His disciples, this was His private prayer to the Father.

Where were His disciples while He prayed this time?
"Peter, James, and John" (Mark 14:33) were a little ways away. The other eight disciples were farther away.

What did Jesus tell them to do?
"Sit here while I pray" (Mark 14:32). "Stay here and watch" (Mark 14:34). “Watch and pray” (Mark 14:38).

What did they end up doing?
"He came and found them sleeping" (Mark 14:37). "He found them asleep again" (Mark 14:40).

"He found them sleeping from sorrow" (Luke 22:45). The disciples were so saddened and devastated by what Jesus had told them that they literally couldn’t even keep their eyes open: "their eyes were heavy" (Mark 14:40).

Was Jesus feeling any better?
He was feeling even worse: "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death" (Mark 14:34). In fact, He was in such agony that He began to sweat blood: "And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground" (Luke 22:44).

Is that a figurative description of His agony?
It's literal. When a person is under extreme physical or emotional duress, blood vessels can rupture. If they rupture in the brain, it is called a stroke. If the capillaries around the sweat glands in the dermis (middle) layer of the skin rupture and let blood seep into the sweat glands and eventually through the sweat pores, it is called "hematohidrosis." It should be noted that this rare but documented medical condition leaves the skin extremely sensitive, which must have aggravated the physical pain Jesus felt in the ensuing hours.

What does Jesus implore God the Father while being this agony?
That "the hour might pass" (Mark 14:35) from Him and for the Father to "take this cup away from Me” (Mark 14:36).

Why does Jesus seem to be wimping out here? Why can’t He man up and say, “Give me that cup"?
He isn't agonizing over the impending physical pain of getting His back ripped open during the whipping or getting nails pounded into Him on the cross. Those will be painful and humiliating to suffer but not worth Jesus sweating blood over. Some of the Christian martyrs in the past 2,000 years in fact suffered even more painful death (e.g., being burned alive) but died singing hymns and praises to Jesus.

If not the physical pain, then what was it? What was in the "cup"?
To illustrate this, imagine a massive trophy cup in front of you. Think of some of the gross things you’ve done and spit them into the cup. Then think of all other sins you’ve committed and those you’re going to commit in the future and vomit them into the cup as well. Then have millions of people do likewise until the cup is brimming with filthy, revolting poison that Jesus is being asked to drink.

Does Jesus have any experience tasting even one drop of this filth?
No, He is perfectly pure. What is being asked is for someone who is and has always been perfectly sinless to grab a hold of that massive cup of revolting filth and drink all of it so that He becomes not just 'full of sin,' but sin itself: "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Corinthians 5:21). It would have been strange if Jesus hadn't been utterly revolted, to the extent of sweating blood, at this prospect. But there's more.

With whom has Jesus been in communion since forever?
God the Father.

How will that be affected when He becomes sin?
He can no longer be in communion with the Father, because if so, the Father would become sin as well.

What did Jesus cry out to God the Father while hanging on the cross?
“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Mark 15:34). The prospect of being separated from the Father, whom He loves and has always been in communion was another huge reason for His agony.

Why did Jesus drink the cup in the end if He found it so revolting?
As much as He hates sin, He loves us more. And as much as He didn't want to be separated from the Father, he wanted to obey Him more.

What does Jesus' resurrection prove about His blood and what He drank?
The cleansing power of His blood over all that sin, including ours.

What was Jesus' 'final word' on what He wants from God the Father?
“Not what I will, but what You will” (Mark 14:36). “Not My will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42).

Is that your prayer when God tells you to do something that you dislike?

Two more questions:

How much distress does it cause you when you think about being on your own apart from God?

Are you as revolted by your sins as Jesus was with the cup's content?