Musings From the Gospel of John – Number 51

The Scriptures covered in this post are from John 18:28-32

John 18:28-32 NASB reads as follows:
“Then they brought Jesus from Caiaphas into the Praetorium, and it was early; and they themselves did not enter the Praetorium, so that they would not be defiled, but might eat the Passover. Therefore Pilate came out to them and said, “What accusation are you bringing against this Man?” They answered and said to him, “If this Man were not a criminal, we would not have handed Him over to you.” So Pilate said to them, “Take Him yourselves, and judge Him according to your law.” The Jews said to him, “We are not permitted to put anyone to death.” This happened so that the word of Jesus which He said, indicating what kind of death He was going to die, would be fulfilled.”

Since celebrating the Passover was very important to the Jews, they had to remain ritually pure to partake of it. All Jews believed that Gentiles and their homes were unclean, so entering the home of a Gentile was thought to make a Jew ritually unclean and in need of purification, which was a seven day process. See Numbers 19:11-13. This is why Jews did not enter the homes of Gentiles—nor like in this particular instance, the headquarters and dwelling of Roman governors like Pilate’s Praetorium—since it prevented them from observing a feast due to their own uncleanness. And considering that John 19:14 says that Jesus was arrested and brought before Pilate on “the day of preparation for the Passover”, becoming unclean would definitely have been problematic for the accusing Jews, to partake of the pending Passover.

I encountered an informative and enlightening overview on the precise timeline of what transpired here and the methods the Jews utilized to reckon time. The Jewish historian Josephus, along with the Jewish Mishnah, both reveal that the Jews had two ways of reckoning time. Those from northern Israel in Galilee reckoned a day from sunrise to sunrise. But those from Judea in the south reckoned a day from sunset to sunset. To read this enlightening overview, which I highly recommend that you do, please click here.

Pilate accordingly accommodates them and comes out to inquire as to what accusation they are bringing against Jesus. The Jews make it very clear that the offence is criminal and warrants death, of which they (the Jews) are not allowed by the Romans to authorize nor execute on their own.

John 18:32 NASB reads as follows:
This happened so that the word of Jesus which He said, indicating what kind of death He was going to die, would be fulfilled.” John tells us this because he wants us to see how it correlates with John 12:32-33 NASB which reads as follows:
“And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to Myself.” Now He was saying this to indicate what kind of death He was going to die.”

The preciseness and detail of what John relates to us, throughout the entirety of the Gospel of John, is really amazing.

More to follow.

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!


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