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John 18:12 High Priest

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High Priest

Jesus has been betrayed and arrested. He is going before Annas and Caiaphas who are each a High Priest of Israel. They want to have Jesus crucified.

This is a Bible Study. Have your own Bible handy to look up the references mentioned.

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John 18:12-27

12-13. After His arrest, Jesus was bound and taken to Annas.

Annas was the High Priest. His son-in-law, Caiaphas, was also a High Priest.

The temple police and the Roman soldiers accompanied them when Jesus went before Annas.

“Two trails occurred: one Jewish and one Roman. The Jewish phase began with the informal examination by Annas (vv. 12-14, 19-23).” (MacArthur, John, The MacArthur Bible Commentary. [Nashville, Thomas Nelson Inc., 2005], 1415)

The Roman trail was first before Pilate then Herod Antipas then again before Pilate.

“Annas, of course, was looking for some kind of evidence on which to base an accusation that would lead to a verdict of capital punishment.” (Wiersbe, Warren W, The Bible Exposition Commentary New Testament Volume 1 Matthew-Galatians. [Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2004], 375)

14. Caiaphas said this in John 11:49-50.

Peters first Denial

15. Simon Peter was following Jesus.

I would be curious as to want was happening but don’t think I would be as bold.

Another disciple whose name is not mentioned but it is thought to be John, went into the courtyard of the High Priest.

16. Peter waited at the door to the courtyard.

The other disciple was able to get Peter into the courtyard.

“While we certainly admire his [Peter’s] love and courage, we cannot agree with his actions, for he walked right into temptation. This is what Jesus warned him about in the garden (Matthew 26:41).” (Wiersbe, 375)

“Jesus had predicted that Peter would deny Him three times (Matthew 26:34; John 13:38), but that he would be restored to fellowship and service (Luke 22:32). (Wiersbe, 375)

“We do not know who the other disciple was who went with Peter into the courtyard of the home of the high priest. It was probably John, through it is difficult to understand how a fisherman could be acquainted with the high priest and his household.” (Wiersbe, 375)

17. The damsel that kept the door challenged Peter.

Aren’t you a follower of Jesus?

Peter’s immediate response was to say I am not!

Nope, Nope, Nope, Not me…

What is it you might say when challenged like this?

18. “Outside the palace ground the people are gathered—not many at that time of morning, but the guards are there to keep order. They build a fire, and Peter stands with them warming himself.” (McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume IV: [Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983], 486)

Jesus and High Priest

19. Jesus is before the High Priest who questioned Him.

“The particular focus of the high priest’s question here seems to be directed both at the disciples and at Jesus’ teaching.” (Borchert, Gerald L., The New American Commentary Volume 25B, John 12-21. [Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2002], 232)

20. “Jesus said very little as though he were ignoring any suggestion of sedition, but his closing words in v. 20 were clearly aimed at denying any hidden secret plot against the ruling authorities. That statement does not mean that he never had any private conversations with people but that he was not double-tongued or two-faced in what he said” (Borchert, 232)

“Jesus’ response is to remind the high priest and that he had plenty of opportunity to gather the information he wanted in using against Jesus because Jesus was a very public figure and spoke openly to the world.” (Borchert, 233)


21. “Jewish law demanded that witnesses be called before a prisoner was questioned.” (Wiersbe, 375)

“Where are the witnesses? The challenge of Jesus was thus a direct rebuke of the procedure being employed by the high priest in this hearing that resembles an interrogation more than a formal trail.” (Borchert, 233)

22. “They have no witness that He has done evil, and yet they smite Him. They are the ones breaking the Law. For one thing, no trail is to begin and end on the same day. They are not to strike a prisoner who has not yet been proven guilty.” (McGee, 487)

23. “In essence, Jesus was asking for a fair trial, while His opponents, who had already decided on this sentence (see 11:47-57), had no intention of providing one.” (MacArthur, 1416)

24. “If Jesus was to be brought before Pilate for execution, the legal accusation must be brought by the current reigning high priest (i.e., Caiaphas) in this capacity as chairman of the Sanhedrin.” (MacArthur, 1516)

Peter’s Denial

25. “The opening words of v. 25 concerning Peter’s need for warmth is John’s way of indicating the chilling fact of Peter’s failure to live up to his earlier boast of following Jesus even to the point of his own death (13:37).” (Borchert, 235)

In verse 25 is Peter’s second denial of Jesus.

26. A servant of the high priest asked Peter, Did not I see thee in the garden with him?

27. The third denial.

Immediately the cock crew.

“Why is it that Simon Peter, who did a deed as dastardly as Judas, could make his way back to the Lord? Because he was a child of God, and it broke his heart to know what he had done. A child of God may get far from God, but God is never far from him. You may be dead to God, but God is never dead to you. He is always there and is always available. The Lord never said to Peter, ‘ I’m sorry, but I just can’t use you anymore.’ No, He appeared personally to Peter after His resurrection, and He elected Peter to preach the first sermon on the Day of Pentecost. There has never been a sermon like it! Thank God for a Savior and a Lord like that. He will always take you back!” (McGee, 487)

Do you want Jesus to take you back?


Amplified Bible (AMP)
Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville Tennessee. All rights reserved.

In this article Scripture quotations taken from KJV.

Borchert, Gerald L., The New American Commentary Volume 25B, John 12-21. Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2002
McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume IV: Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983
MacArthur, John, The MacArthur Bible Commentary. Nashville, Thomas Nelson Inc., 2005
Wiersbe, Warren W, The Bible Exposition Commentary New Testament Volume 1 Matthew-Galatians. Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2004

Betrayed                                                                                      Before Pilate

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