John 18

John 18 has the story of Jesus path to the Cross.  He has just spent time pouring truth into His disciples and is now in the garden late at night.  Judas hands Jesus over to the soldiers who were sent to capture Him.  “So Judas led the way to the garden, and the Roman soldiers and police sent by the high priests and Pharisees followed”.  This is one of the 12 that Jesus selected to follow Him.  Judas betrays Him for personal gain and due to the disappointment that Jesus was not setting up an earthly kingdom and taking advantage of the power that could have been His.

The disciples were with Jesus as He is confronted and captured.  “Simon Peter, who was carrying a sword, pulled it from its sheath and struck the Chief Priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. Malchus was the servant’s name”.  Peter is always the one who is a bit out of control and out front of the rest.  He decides to take matters into his own hands.  But Jesus tells him to put his sword away.  This is the time that has been appointed for Jesus to go to the Cross and He knows the plan well.  So they drag Him before Annas and then Caiaphas the Chief Priest.

Peter and the rest are hanging around, and three times Peter gets asked if he is one of Jesus disciples or knows Him.  “Aren’t you one of his disciples?” He denied it, Not me”.  Jesus had predicted earlier that Peter would deny Him three times before morning, and that is exactly what happens.  Each time someone asks Peter about Jesus, the disciple distances himself and denies that he even knows Jesus.  Immediately after the third denial it happened.   “Just then a rooster crowed”.  What do you say when someone asks you about Jesus?  Do you deny your faith, or live it boldly, even if it costs you something.

The interaction between Jesus and Caiaphas is short and he sends Jesus to Pilate, the Roman governor of the area, to deal with.  Jesus again has few words and nothing that made Him guilty of anything except fear from the Pharisees that He would take away their power and control.  Jesus makes it clear that He is King and those that love Him know His voice.  “Everyone who cares for truth, who has any feeling for the truth, recognizes my voice”.  Pilate just wants to get this off his plate so he can move on.  So he asks the crowd what to do, and the crowd, led by the Jewish leaders who were far more interested in protecting their turf than the truth, convince the crowd to ask for the release of Barabbas and the crucifixion of Jesus.  Do you know Jesus’ voice?  If so, it is important that we follow closely and stand firm in our faith!

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