Musings From the Gospel of John – Number 49

The Scriptures covered in this post are from John 18:12-24.

John 18:12-13 NASB reads as follows “So the Roman cohort, the commander, and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound Him, and brought Him to Annas first; for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year.”

This was a significant number of Romans soldiers, (normally a Roman cohort would number about 600 men, but it could vary) including their Commander plus the officers of the Jews, arresting one individual. I can’t help but think that based on what they had seen and heard about Jesus, that there might have been an element of fear present on what Jesus might actually do.


Let that sink in for a minute. This is Jesus, who walked on water, calmed a storm, fed multitudes, healed many, and showed us of His and our Father, being bound. Jesus willingly submitted to being bound, and from this very moment, that which His Father had ordained, began to move forward to fulfillment.

And they brought Him to Annas first. Annas was the high priest from AD 7 to 14 but he was deposed by the Romans. Then Caiaphas, Annas’ son-in-law, was appointed to the position and served from AD 18 to 37. However, according to Jewish law the high priest was a lifetime position, so the Jews still considered Annas to be high priest. Therefore, they took Jesus to Annas first.

John 18:14 NASB reads as follows: “Now Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it was in their best interest for one man to die in behalf of the people.” This is previously recorded in John 11:49-50.

John 18:15-18 NASB reads as follows: “Simon Peter was following Jesus, and so was another disciple. Now that disciple was known to the high priest, and he entered with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, but Peter was standing at the door outside. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the doorkeeper, and brought Peter in. Then the slave woman who was the doorkeeper said to Peter, “You are not also one of this Man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.” Now the slaves and the officers were standing there, having made a charcoal fire, for it was cold and they were warming themselves; and Peter was also with them, standing and warming himself.”

Although this “another disciple” is never identified, the consensus is that he was John, the author of this Gospel. So John had entered into the courtyard of the high priest, with Jesus, but Peter was standing just outside, at the door. John, who is inside, goes to the door of the courtyard and speaks to the slave woman, who is the doorkeeper, about Peter, and brings Peter inside. The slave doorkeeper does question Peter as to whether he is one of Jesus’ disciples and Peter indicates that he is not (first denial). Peter then joins himself to a group of slaves and officers, warming themselves, within the high priest courtyard.

John 18:19-24 NASB reads as follows: “The high priest then questioned Jesus about His disciples, and about His teaching. Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world; I always taught in synagogues and in the temple area, where all the Jews congregate; and I said nothing in secret. Why are you asking Me? Ask those who have heard what I spoke to them. Look: these people know what I said.” But when He said this, one of the officers, who was standing nearby, struck Jesus, saying, “Is that the way You answer the high priest?” Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken wrongly, testify of the wrong; but if rightly, why do you strike Me?” So Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.”

Annas questions Jesus about His disciples and about His teachings. This initial questioning by Annas was actually a violation of the law because according to the law, the witness for the defence had to be called first. So, according to the law, Jesus should not have been questioned until defence witnesses had testified. Jesus does respond to Annas’ questions and makes note of the fact that Annas should not be questioning Him initially (Why are you questioning Me?), but rather getting the testimony of the defence witnesses who had heard Jesus.

Then one of the officers who was standing close by, strikes Jesus, presumedly in the face, for answering the high priest in the manner which He did.


The only begotten Son of God, who perfectly followed the will of His and our Father, the Lamb without blemish, sinless, being struck by a sinner, who was among those whom He had come to save. One can only wonder what God our heavenly Father and all the hosts of heaven, thought of what was unfolding at that very moment in our time. And even more so, the utter Holiness and power of God, that was being held back in abeyance. And why? Because there can be no greater demonstration of God’s love towards us, than the giving of His perfect Son to bring us back to Him.

And Jesus responds, by asking the officer who struck Him to identify the specific wrong (according to the law) that He had committed. Note there is no response from the officer and note that Annas decides to ignore his own violation of the law and just send Jesus bound, to Caiaphas the hight priest. I can’t help but think that Annas might have indeed thought that he himself was in over his head.

Still bound, improperly questioned and now having been unjustly struck in the face, Jesus moves forward with the fulfillment of His Father’s will.

More to follow…

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!


  1. Thanks again for another interesting post Bruce. When you read through the various trials that Jesus went through, you realise that none of them were legal. As you say, they started down this road with Jesus and could not stop. They must have feared both him and the people. In over their heads is a great way of putting it! Thank you


  2. I found myself pondering the soldier who struck Jesus, how did he feel after it, how did he feel after the Crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus? We can only hope that he repented in the coming days and weeks. Thank you Bruce for these edifying studies brother, God bless you.

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    • I’ve thought the same thing Alan, you just don’t know, same with the Roman soldier that pierced Jesus’ side. After seeing and experiencing some of the things I’ve seen God do, it certainly wouldn’t surprise me to see them in heaven when we get home. Blessings brother!

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