John 18

1When Jesus finished praying, he left with his followers. They went across the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was a garden ˻of olive trees˼. Jesus and his followers went there. 2Judas knew where this place was, because Jesus met there often with his followers. Judas was the one that turned against Jesus. 3So Judas led a group of soldiers to the garden. Judas also brought some guards from the leading priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns, and weapons. 4Jesus knew everything that would happen to him. Jesus went out and asked, “Who are you looking for?” 5The men answered, “Jesus from Nazareth.” Jesus said, “I am Jesus.” (Judas, the one that turned against Jesus, was standing there with them.) 6When Jesus said, “I am Jesus,” the men moved back and fell to the ground. 7Jesus asked them again, “Who are you looking for?” The men said, “Jesus from Nazareth.” 8Jesus said, “I told you that I am Jesus. So if you are looking for me, then let these other men go free.” 9This happened so that the words Jesus said before would be true: “I have not lost any of the men you gave me.” 10Simon Peter had a sword. He took out the sword and struck the servant of the high priest. Peter cut off the servant’s right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) 11Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back in its place! I must accept the cup ˻of suffering˼ the Father has given me.” 12Then the soldiers with their commander and the Jewish guards arrested Jesus. They tied Jesus 13and brought him to Annas. Annas was the father-in-law of Caiaphas. Caiaphas was the high priest that year. 14Caiaphas was the one who had told the other Jewish leaders that it would be better if one man died for all the people. 15Simon Peter and another one of Jesus’ followers went with Jesus. This follower knew the high priest. So he went with Jesus into the yard of the high priest’s house. 16But Peter waited outside near the door. The follower that knew the high priest came back outside. He spoke to the girl that opened the gate for people. Then he brought Peter inside. 17The girl at the gate said to Peter, “Are you also one of the followers of that man ˻(Jesus)˼?” Peter answered, “No, I am not!” 18It was cold, so the servants and guards had built a fire. They were standing around it and warming themselves. Peter was standing with these men. 19The high priest asked Jesus questions about his followers. He asked Jesus questions about the things Jesus taught. 20Jesus answered, “I have always spoken openly to all people. I always taught in the synagogues and in the temple area. All the Jews come together there. I never said anything in secret. 21So why do you question me? Ask the people that heard my teaching. They know what I said.” 22When Jesus said this, one of the guards standing there hit him. The guard said, “You should not talk to the high priest like that!” 23Jesus answered, “If I said something wrong, then tell everyone here what was wrong. But if the things I said are right, then why do you hit me?” 24So Annas sent Jesus to Caiaphas the high priest. Jesus was still tied. 25Simon Peter was standing ˻at the fire˼, keeping himself warm. The other men said to Peter, “Are you one of the followers of that man ˻(Jesus)˼?” But Peter denied it. He said, “No, I am not.” 26One of the servants of the high priest was there. This servant was a relative to the man whose ear Peter had cut off. The servant said, “I think I saw you with him ˻(Jesus)˼ in the garden!” 27But again Peter said, “No, I was not with him!” And at that same time a rooster crowed. 28Then the guards took Jesus from Caiaphas’ house to the ˻Roman governor’s˼ palace. It was early in the morning. The Jews there would not go inside the palace. They did not want to make themselves unclean, because they wanted to eat the Passover meal. 29So Pilate went outside to the Jews. He asked, “What do you say this man has done wrong?” 30The Jews answered, “He is a bad man. That is why we brought him to you.” 31Pilate said to the Jews, “You Jews take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” The Jewish leaders answered, “But your law does not allow us to punish a person by killing him.” 32(This happened so that what Jesus said about how he would die would be true.) 33Then Pilate went back inside the palace. Pilate called Jesus to him. He asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?” 34Jesus said, “Is that your own question, or did other people tell you about me?” 35Pilate said, “I am not a Jew! It was your own people and their leading priests that brought you before me. What have you done wrong?” 36Jesus said, “My kingdom does not belong to this world. If it belonged to this world, then my servants would fight so that I would not be given to the Jewish leaders. But my kingdom is from another place.” 37Pilate said, “So you are a king!” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. That is true. I was born for this: to tell people about the truth. That is why I came into the world. And every person that belongs to the truth listens to me.” 38Pilate said, “What is truth?” When Pilate said this, he went out to the Jewish leaders again. Pilate said to them, “I can find nothing to charge against this man. 39But it is one of your customs for me to free one prisoner to you at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to free this 'king of the Jews’?” 40They yelled back, “No, not him! Let Barabbas go free!” (Barabbas was a rebel.)

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