Key Verse | John 18:36

Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world." 

Scripture | John 18

Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus

When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons. Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” 1 18:5 Greek I am; also verses 6, 8 Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When Jesus 2 18:6 Greek he said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. So he asked them again, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So, if you seek me, let these men go.” This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken: “Of those whom you gave me I have lost not one.” 10 Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's servant 3 18:10 Or bondservant; twice in this verse and cut off his right ear. (The servant's name was Malchus.) 11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?”

Jesus Faces Annas and Caiaphas

12 So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews 4 18:12 Greek Ioudaioi probably refers here to Jewish religious leaders, and others under their influence, in that time; also verses 14, 31, 36, 38 arrested Jesus and bound him. 13 First they led him to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. 14 It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it would be expedient that one man should die for the people.

Peter Denies Jesus

15 Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he entered with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, 16 but Peter stood outside at the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the servant girl who kept watch at the door, and brought Peter in. 17 The servant girl at the door said to Peter, “You also are not one of this man's disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.” 18 Now the servants 5 18:18 Or bondservants; also verse 26 and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves. Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself.

The High Priest Questions Jesus

19 The high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. 20 Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. 21 Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me what I said to them; they know what I said.” 22 When he had said these things, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?” 24 Annas then sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

Peter Denies Jesus Again

25 Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, “You also are not one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” 26 One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?” 27 Peter again denied it, and at once a rooster crowed.

Jesus Before Pilate

28 Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the governor's headquarters. 6 18:28 Greek the praetorium It was early morning. They themselves did not enter the governor's headquarters, so that they would not be defiled, but could eat the Passover. 29 So Pilate went outside to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?” 30 They answered him, “If this man were not doing evil, we would not have delivered him over to you.” 31 Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” The Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death.” 32 This was to fulfill the word that Jesus had spoken to show by what kind of death he was going to die.

My Kingdom Is Not of This World

33 So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” 35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” 37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” 38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”

After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him. 39 But you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover. So do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 40 They cried out again, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber. 7 18:40 Or an insurrectionist


[1] 18:5 Greek I am; also verses 6, 8
[2] 18:6 Greek he
[3] 18:10 Or bondservant; twice in this verse
[4] 18:12 Greek Ioudaioi probably refers here to Jewish religious leaders, and others under their influence, in that time; also verses 14, 31, 36, 38
[5] 18:18 Or bondservants; also verse 26
[6] 18:28 Greek the praetorium
[7] 18:40 Or an insurrectionist

Greatest Display of Strength

Devo | John 18

When you think of someone demonstrating strength, who comes to mind? Is it a person with bulging muscles? One way Hollywood depicts strength is as an underdog triumphing in a contest. In the...

When you think of someone demonstrating strength, who comes to mind? Is it a person with bulging muscles? One way Hollywood depicts strength is as an underdog triumphing in a contest. In the book Unbroken, we read of Army officer Louis Zamperini enduring brutal punishment from a cruel prison commander in a Japanese POW camp. That's impressive, but I believe the greatest display of human strength is found in John 18.

Christ, the creator and sustainer of everything, took verbal and physical abuse, as well as a degrading mock trial, without any response. We often forget Christ was fully man and fully God. He felt pain like we feel pain. The supernatural force that helped the man Jesus in John 18 was the Holy Spirit. Jesus demonstrated the strength a man can display when one is dependent upon the Holy Spirit. Paul writes, "If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you." (Romans 8:11)

What power source do you depend on? Jesus told us in John 16:33, "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world."

Yet, when you are in a season of extended suffering and pain, it can wear you down. You may begin to have doubts, fears, and feelings of isolation. That is when you need to learn to "weather the wait," as a dear friend told me. You need a strong, tight, faithful community who have learned to "practice the pause." Heroes are the loving friends who know when to speak and when to listen. Hang tough, Christian, we're not home yet. Christ took the hit and demonstrated the greatest act of strength in human history so we can have His Spirit sustain us in the storm.

Discussion Questions

1. Whom or what do you depend on when times get tough?

2. Are you equipped to help a friend or loved one when they find themselves in a tough spot?

3. Is your community authentic enough to serve each other's real needs?

Meet George Dalton

Hello, fellow Journey travelers. I am George Dalton, a graduate of Texas A&M University. I am married to Lisa, my high school sweetheart, best friend, and the love of my life. We are blessed with three amazing children who wisely added godly spouses to our family. God smiled on us by providing three perfect grandchildren. 

For 10 years, I have served in the Frontlines ministry at Watermark. Look for me at the Dallas campus on the fourth Sunday each month with a radio stuck in my ear welcoming members and guests. Lisa also serves by preparing coffee at the 9 a.m. service.

6 Comments available

Hugh Stephenson 6 days ago

Big George!! What a great blessing it is to see that big Aggie smile greeting me today.

Q1. Too often it’s my own holy trinity- me, myself, and I. I’m thankful for the patience, mercy, and grace of God as He draws me closer and closer each day.

Q2. Recovery ministries have helped me a great deal. The Holy Spirit does almost all the heavy lifting.

Q3. I am blessed with a GREAT CG. We focus on the 6 core values.

-Separation anxiety.

Having no grandchildren…Amy and I are blessed to have young friends who have small children. We cherish the times we can babysit them. When the youngest of these was small, she would scream and cry when her parents left for the evening. As a parent I learned this was separation anxiety. As she matured, she came to understand her parents weren’t “gone” and would return.

Hugh Stephenson 6 days ago

No amount of reassurance pre-departure or post-departure would console her. When we would hold her and talk to her, she would calm down and we could play and read stories.

Jesus knows the plan and has explained it to the disciples. He prays for them with the greatest prayer of all time, (TC’s notes John 17).

Even so, it seems they don’t know the plan at all.

Me too.

Taking license, I’ll posit that Peter’s plan has a motive like Hugh’s plan. A self-oriented worldly based plan for-

-peace (absence of conflict),

-comfort (absence of hassles), and

-security (absence of threats to peace and comfort).

Not Tov.

Jesus’s plan from His Father was based on a Godly plan of other oriented joy, (John 15:11), peace/shalom, (Philippians 4:6-7), and rest, (Mathew 11:28-30).

Tov Tov .

Jesus’s plan and His version of victory is better than Peter’s and mine.

Hugh Stephenson 6 days ago

My plan and Peter’s plan is based on lack of knowledge and “separation anxiety”.

Jesus’s plan is based on complete knowledge, John 18:4, and eternal unity.

Jesus’s plan from God the Father calls me to total and complete dependence. He reveals 100% of everything I need to know. My immaturity, my fear, and my lack of faith causes me to draw my sword, (John 18:10).

The key to victory is conveyed in the prayer of Jesus in John 17, Unity. It is this unity, the deep and intimate relationship with Jesus, that will lead to all the 7,487 promises in the Bible being fulfilled for me.

I note with interest the traditional motto of the United States, E pluribus unum- Out of many, one.

Praying today for the complete and total surrender that leads me to complete and total dependence.

Sue Bohlin 5 days ago

Thank you, George!

I hope we can watch videos in heaven. I want to see Judas and the soldiers thrown to the ground by the power of Jesus’ “I AM” statement in the Garden of Gethsemane!

Pilate asked the question of the ages: “What is truth?” when embodied Truth (John 14:6) was standing right in front of Him. It deeply saddens me that our culture has so drifted from reality that people aren’t asking “What is truth,” they don’t even believe there IS such a thing as objective truth. Just individual, personal “truths.”

That doesn’t change reality. Jesus is still Truth. How blessed are we to be able to know this??!

Michael Scaman 2 days ago

Peter cut off the ear of a sevant, Jesus healed it.

Now a relative who knew exactly what happened and who did it calls out Peter, providentially.

Michael Scaman 2 days ago

Of all the people at the trials, Jesus was most in control, protecting the disciples, choosing his words carefully so the issue would be who He was - His identity.

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