John 18:1-14

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.

[Over the brook Cedron] Having finished the prayer related in the preceding chapter, our Lord went straight to the garden of Gesthemane, which was on the mount of Olives, eastward of Jerusalem. Cedron is a very small stream, about six or seven feet broad, which is dry most of the year except during the rains. It is mentioned in the Old Testament, where the name is translated from Hebrew into English as Kidron. See 2 Samuel 15:23. Other references may be found by using the concordance.

[A garden] Gethsemane. Similar to a local park today. A place of greeness and coolness. An escape from the city.

2 And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples.

[Judas...knew the place] As Jerusalem was filled with travellers who had come from different quarters to celebrate the passover at Jerusalem, Jesus chose to pass the night in the garden with his disciples, which, from this verse and from Luke 22:39 we find was his frequent custom.

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.

[A band] A small group of Roman soldiers, probably those assigned by the Roman governor for the defence of the temple and thus, to some extent, under the control of the chief priests.

4 Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye?

[Jesus...knowing all things] Having completed his preliminary ministry of explaining the Scriptures and plan of God, there remained for him now to offer up himself on the cross; he therefore went forth to meet them, to deliver himself to death.

5 They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them.
6 As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.
7 Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth.

[Jesus of Nazareth] The soldiers brought lanterns and torches, supposing a need to search for Jesus hiding in a cave or among the rocks. Instead, he stood before them and the very words from his mouth conveyed his infinite power. Compare with Job 4:9.

8 Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way:

[Let these go their way] These are rather words of authority, than of entreaty. I voluntarily give myself up to you, but you must not molest one of these my disciples.

9 That the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none.

[That the saying might be fulfilled] Spoken by Jesus in John 17:12, As Dr. C.I. Scofield so aptly described it, "Jesus Christ is God's love gift to the world, John 3:16, and believers are the Father's love gift to Jesus Christ. It is Christ who commits the Christian to the Father for safekeeping, so the believer's security rests upon the Father's faithfulness to his Son, Jesus Christ."

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.

[Cut off his right ear] He probably designed to have split his head in two, but God turned it aside and only permitted the ear to be taken off; and this he would not have permitted except to provide a most striking proof of his Divinity by working an astonishing miracle on the occasion. See Luke 22:50-51.

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?

[The cup which my Father hath given me] The cup sometimes signifies the lot in life, whether prosperous or adverse; here it signifies the final sufferings of Christ.

12 Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him,
13 And led him away to Annas first; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year.

[To Annas] This man must have had great authority in his nation: (1) Because he had been a long time high priest; (2) Because he had no less than five sons who succesively enjoyed the dignity of the high priesthood; and (3) Because his son-in-law, Caiaphas, was at this time in posession of this office.
It is likely that Annas was chief of the Sanhedrin, and that it was to him in that office that Christ was first brought.

14 Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.

[Caiaphas...gave counsel...that one man should die] To refresh your memory see John 11:47-54. Caiaphas was an improper person to sit in judgement of Christ because, in what seemed to him as political expediency, he had already prejudged and pre-condemned Christ. But, in God's plan, Christ could not be treated according to the rules of justice. If he had, he could not have been put to death.

Based upon excerpts from Adam Clarke's Commentary, 2nd edition published in New York by Lane and Scott, 1850. More recent editions may be purchased from


This page updated 02/04/2007

Copyright (C) 1999,2003,2006,2007 Robert C. Denig. All rights reserved