The Gospel of John, The Period of Consummation, Part V, John 18:28,29 - Lesson 182
Read Verses John 18:26,27 for review: 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? Peter then denied again: and immediately the cock crew.
Peter's experience is given for our learning:
He teaches us that in himself a believer is as weak as water.
He teaches us the danger of self confidence.
He teaches us of the consequences of prayerlessness.
Jesus said to Peter: Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour? Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.
He teaches us of the dangers of wicked companions.
He teaches us that the fear of man brings a snare.
He teaches us that our friends may fail us in the crucial hour.
But he also teaches us that we have a merciful and faithful High Priest who can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities.
Peter had come to Christ and in spite of his triple denial Christ would in no wise cast him out.
Had he not said in John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out?
That same hand that was stretched to Peter saving him from drowning was now stretched to Peter as Peter went from this warming fire to a place outside the camp and wept bitterly.
John 18:28, Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas (kah‑ee‑af'‑as) 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.
John tells us nothing of what happened when Annas, the real high priest sent Jesus bound to the legal high priest Caiaphas (kah‑ee‑af'‑as).
We learn details from other Gospels.
Caiaphas had assembled false witnesses against the Lord to put him to death.
Momentum was building against Jesus Christ.
He had been accused of blasphemy by the high priest.
Caiaphas asked for a verdict of the scribes and the elders who were assembled.
They answered and said:
He is guilty of death and they spit in his face, and they buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands.
John continues his narrative as Jesus was led from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment, Pilate's courtroom.
they themselves (the Jews) went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover.
Note the zeal of the religious Jews.
Even as they were ready to put to death an innocent man they were concerned about defiling themselves so as to prevent them from observing the Passover.
No concern about the heart, only concern about the ritual of their religion.
They had their sacrificial lamb ready.
They had rid their houses of leaven.
They had performed the rituals so that they were ceremonially clean.
They would be required to kill their passover lamb that afternoon.
They were concerned about the outward. That is what religion is concerned about.
The judgment hall was Gentile property and off limits to Jews who were about to celebrate passover.
Passover was too close to allow time for cleansing after being defiled from Gentile property.
They would not enter Pilate's hall but they were ready to use him to further their own wickedness.
Their religion had not influenced their heart?
How worthless their religion was.
Simply a whitewash of a wicked heart.
Having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof.
A costume of godliness, an image of godliness, a whited sepulcher
Religion has no power to change a heart.
Only the one whom they were about to crucify can create a new heart.
They were engaged in the vilest act every perpetrated on earth and yet they spoke of being defiled.
So typical of religion!
Are we not many times so alike?
Don't we concern ourselves with the right form of baptism or the number of times we take the Lord's supper instead concern ourselves with matters of the heart?
They were ritualists and Christ is opposed to ritual because ritual damns because people hold on to ritual as if ritual will save.
It is a false god!
John 18:29, Pilate then went out unto them, and said, What accusation bring ye against this man?
This is John's first mention of the villainous Pilate.
The fact that Jesus is brought to Pilate means that He had not been formally tried and convicted by the Sanhedrin, or Jewish ruling Council.
If he had would he have been stoned to death like Stephen?
But this small group of Jerusalem priests headed by the high priest, wanted to forestall any kind of a messianic movement by the people because of the repression it would provoke from the Romans.
Hadn't the Pharisees consulted against Jesus in:
John 11:47-50,53, Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation. And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.
So they maneuvered Pilate into doing their work for them.
What better way to keep the Romans pacified by involving them in ridding the country of one who they said claimed to be a king?
No doubt Pilate had known about the arrest of Jesus Christ because he must have authorized the Roman soldiers to accompany the servants of the high priest.
He was expecting Jesus at this early hour and most likely he knew that the Jews must take action before Passover.
No doubt that Pilate knew that the Jews wished to have someone executed before the Feast began.
So Pilate, knowing the religious scruples of Jews and their carefulness in not defiling themselves goes out to meet the Jews.
The Jews were not careful to keep Jesus from defiling himself for he was in the judgment hall.