John 18The other evangelists give a very different account of the circumstances which attended the apprehension of Jesus. We can reconcile them only by supposing that Jesus advanced in order to surrender himself, and Judas in order to betray him, simultaneously, and that John relates one circumstance, and the three remaining evangelists the other.
These, his disciples, who were with him.
Malchus. John is the only evangelist who gives this servant's name. There are two other allusions to his acquaintance with the high priest's family, in v. 16, and v. 26.
Annas was before this time the high priest, but he had been deposed. He was a man of considerable distinction, still possessing a great degree of influence, and retaining his title, of office.
The meaning is, that the open and public manner in which Jesus had always taught, was sufficient proof that he entertained no treasonable designs.
If I have spoken evil; meaning in the public instruction which he had given, as mentioned in v. 20, 21.
Had sent him; previously; for the events related in v. 15-23 took place at the house of Caiaphas.
Saith; about an hour afterwards (Luke 22:59.)
Defiled; ceremonially; this judgment-hall being the seat of a Roman, and of course Gentile tribunal. Their unwillingness to enter affords a strange illustration of the compatibility of excessive punctiliousness in the outward forms of religion, with the most complete moral corruption. These whited sepulchres, with hearts full of envy, hatred, and murder, could not go into a Roman building, lest they should be defiled!—The passover; that is, probably the remaining sacrifices and feasts of the paschal week; for, according to Luke 22:7, 13, 14, 15, the evening on which the paschal lamb was to be eaten, was the evening preceding.
It is not lawful, &c. The case of Stephen, and other evidence from secular writers, renders it doubtful whether the Jewish tribunals were absolutely prohibited from inflicting capital punishment, in all cases. Perhaps they meant that they were not allowed to punish by crucifixion, which was the object that they had determined upon effecting, if possible. This supposition comports best with the next verse.
The argument used here by the Savior is that though he might have called himself a king, yet the whole tenor of his life, and the peaceable demeanor of his followers, showed that his kingdom was a spiritual kingdom; that is, that he claimed to be a king only in a figurative sense.
Heareth my voice; obeyeth me; is my subject. The meaning is, that what he called his kingdom was only a spiritual kingdom, comprising all those that loved the truth.
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