After Jesus had finished speaking, he and his disciples crossed over the Kidron brook and went into an olive grove. Judas the betrayer knew the place, for Jesus had often gone there with his disciples. So Judas took with him a troop of soldiers together with guards from the chief priests and the Pharisees. They arrived there carrying torches, lanterns, and weapons.
Jesus knew everything that was going to happen to him. He went to meet them, and asked, “Who are you looking for?”
Are you Jesus of Nazareth?” they asked.
I am,” Jesus told them.* Judas the betrayer was standing with them. When Jesus saidI am,” they fell back and dropped to the ground.
So he asked them again, “Who are you looking for?”
Are you Jesus of Nazareth?” they asked again.
I already told you I am,” Jesus replied. “So if I'm the one you're looking for, let these others go.” These words fulfilled what he had previously said: “I have not lost any of those you gave me.”
10 Then Simon Peter drew a sword and struck Malchus, the high priest's servant, cutting off his right ear.
11 Jesus told Peter, “Put the sword away! Do you think I shouldn't drink the cup the Father has given me?”
12 Then the soldiers, their commander, and the Jewish guards arrested Jesus and tied his hands. 13 First they took him to Annas, the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the current high priest. 14 Caiaphas was the one who had told the Jews, “It's better that one man die for the people.”
15 Simon Peter followed Jesus, and another disciple did so too. This disciple was well-known to the high priest, and so he entered the high priest's courtyard with Jesus. 16 Peter had to remain outside by the door. So the other disciple who was known to the high priest went and spoke to the servant girl watching the door and brought Peter inside. 17 The girl asked Peter, “Aren't you one of that man's disciples?”
Me? No, I'm not,” he replied. 18 It was cold, and the servants and guards were standing by a fire they had made, warming themselves. Peter went and stood with them, warming himself.
19 Then the chief priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and what he had been teaching. 20 “I've spoken openly to everyone,”§ Jesus replied. “I always taught in the synagogues and in the Temple where all the Jewish people meet. I haven't said anything in secret. 21 So why are you questioning me? Ask the people who heard me what I told them. They know what I said.”
22 When he said this, one of the guards standing nearby slapped Jesus, saying, “Is that any way to speak to the high priest?”
23 Jesus replied, “If I said something wrong, tell everyone what was wrong with it. But if what I said was right, why did you hit me?”
24 Annas sent him, his hands still tied, to Caiaphas the high priest.
25 As Simon Peter stood warming himself by the fire, the people there asked him, “Aren't you one of his disciples?”
Peter denied it and said, “No, I'm not.”
26 One of the high priest's servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked Peter, “Didn't I see you in the olive grove with him?” 27 Peter denied it again, and immediately a cock crowed.
28 Early in the morning they took Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. The Jewish leaders* didn't enter the palace because if they did they would be ceremonially defiled, and they wanted to be able to eat the Passover meal.
29 So Pilate came out to meet them. “What charge are you bringing against this man?” he asked.
30 If he wasn't a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you,” they answered.
31 Then you take him and judge him according to your law,” Pilate told them.
“We're not permitted to execute anyone,” the Jews answered. 32 This fulfilled what Jesus had said about how he would die.
33 Pilate went back into the governor's palace. He summoned Jesus, and asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?”
34 Did you think of this question yourself, or did others talk to you about me?” Jesus responded.
35 Am I a Jew?” Pilate countered. “It was your own people and high priests who handed you over to me. What is it that you've done?”
36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it was of this world, my subjects would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from here.”
37 Then Pilate asked, “So you are a king, then?”
You say that I'm a king,” Jesus replied. “The reason why I was born and I came to the world was to give evidence for the truth. All those who accept the truth pay attention to what I say.”
38 What is truth?” Pilate asked.
Having said this Pilate went back out to the Jews and told them, “I find him not guilty of any crime. 39 However, it is customary for me to release a prisoner to you at Passover. Do you want me to release the King of the Jews?”
40 No, not him! We want Barabbas instead!” they shouted back. Barabbas was a rebel.
* 18:5 Jesus' words are not only an affirmation of his identity but also echo the name of God from Exodus. 18:11 “Do you think”—implied. 18:14 See 11:50. § 18:20 Literally, “to the world.” * 18:28 Implied. 18:40 Usually translated “robber.” It may be that Barabbas had taken part in some insurrection.