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Blue Letter Bible offers several daily devotional readings in order to help you refocus on Christ and the Gospel of His peace and righteousness.

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Chuck Smith :: Sermon Notes for John 18:1

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A. The words of the prayer in chapter 17.
1. He went forth with His disciples over the Kidron brook.
a. If as thought by some that the 15th chapter was spoken somewhere around the temple as Jesus and the disciples were passing the gates with the emblem of the grape vines upon it. That would put the prayer of Jesus somewhere between the Temple mount and the bottom of the Kidron valley.
2. Where is Jesus going with His disciples?
a. Let us trace again the events of the evening.
1. Jesus has observed the passover supper with His disciples.
2. There He had prophesied His betrayal by one of His company.
3. Judas had left the supper to firm the deal that he had made with the priests to betray Jesus.
4. Jesus had sought to comfort the heavy hearts of the disciples, answering their questions, and promising the Comforter who would come to be with them and guide them into all truth.
5. At the end of chapter 14 they leave the upper room and begin their walk to the Garden of Gethsemene.
6. On the way they pass the Temple where Jesus speaks to them of the vine and the branches.
7. They continue their walk together toward the Mt. of Olives when Jesus pauses and offers the prayer of chapter 17.
b. They now cross the brook and enter the garden of Gethsemene which is the oil press.
3. It is in another garden that man first encountered the spiritual warfare with the enemy of his soul. The battle with Satan was lost by man, there he forfeited the rights of the earth over to Satan by yielding his will to Satan's will.
4. Now Jesus enters another garden to do battle with Satan. The issue again is God's will versus the will of Satan.
B. John seems to indicate that this was one of the favorite spots of Jesus around Jerusalem.
1. He went there often with His disciples.
2. Therefore, the place was known to Judas.
3. The chief priests were wanting to arrest Jesus away from the crowds for they knew that many of the common people believed that He was the Messiah.
4. This place and time would give them the perfect opportunity to carry out their nefarious plot.
A. Soon they will be making their way to the garden with lanterns, torches and weapons.
1. It is interesting that John does not record the thrice repeated prayer of Jesus in the Garden.
2. Perhaps because the other gospels had already been written and He knew that they covered well the prayer of Jesus in the Garden.
B. The other gospels fill us in on the details.
1. Jesus was in great agony as He prayed for the Father to let the cup pass from Him, however He submitted to the Father saying not My will but Your will be done.
2. They tell us of His sweat turning into great drops of blood falling to the ground.
3. They tell us of the disciples sleeping through most of this ordeal, so that the angels of heaven were dispatched to comfort Him.
A. He had been telling them from the beginning of their acknowledgment of His being the Messiah that He would have to suffer at the hands of men, and be crucified.
1. He knew that He would be despised and rejected by man.
2. He knew that He would be wounded for their transgressions, and bruised for their iniquities.
3. He knew the stripes that would be laid on His back.
4. He knew that they would smite Him with a rod.
5. He knew that they would mock Him to scorn, and spit on Him.
B. If you knew all this, would you have gone through with it?
1. No wonder He was asking the Father that if it were possible to let the cup pass from Him.
2. Hebrews tells us that for the joy that was set before Him He endured the cross despising the shame.
C. "He went forth."
1. He went out to meet them.
2. No endeavor to hide or to run from the will of the Father.
a. Convinced that the world can be redeemed no other way He now steps forth to pay the price.
b. "If this cup cannot pass except I drink it, Thy will be done."
c. He is now ready to give His life. "No man taketh My life from Me, I give My life."
d. He is now ready to manifest the supreme love for His disciples. "Greater love has no man than this, that a man lays down his life for his friends."
D. We see Jesus in perfect control of the situation.
1. He interrogates them. "Who are you looking for?" They responded, "Jesus of Nazareth."
2. He answered, "I Am." "Ego Emmi." As He speaks the wonderful name of God, they all fell backward on the ground.
a. John notes that Judas was standing there with them perhaps to indicate that he also fell over with them.
b. If so, this is the only account of a disciple of Jesus being so to speak, "Slain in the Spirit." Not necessarily a disciple I wish to relate to.
3. Again He asked them, "Who are you looking for?"
a. When they again affirm, "Jesus of Nazareth." He said, "I told you that I Am."
4. Jesus now commands them, "If you are seeking for Me, let these go their way."
a. He is not the victim, He is the victor.
b. The events are not out of hand, but are moving just as was planned from the beginning.
E. Here His declaration to the Father is about to be fulfilled, for in 17:12, He said, of those Who You gave Me, I have lost none.
1. As He had said to them, "Where I am going, you cannot come now."
2. He must alone pay the price to atone for sin.
3. The time will come when they shall follow Him in death, but for now He must taste the bitter cup alone.
4. He was concerned for them, and thinking of them, even while being arrested.
5. No wonder He lost none, "Oh love that will not let me go."
6. He was still protecting, guarding, shielding while being arrested.
F. Do you understand just how loved you are by Him?
1. How secure you are in Him?
2. "If God be for us, who can be against us?"
3. He knows that they do not understand what is going on, and what will be going on in the next few hours.
a. He knows how devastated their lives are going to be.
b. He knows they are not able yet to handle the things that He would have told them if they had only been able to bear it.
c. He knows that it will take the miracle of the resurrection to help them to understand.
4. Their unbelief will cost them three days of abject misery.
a. How many days of misery do we experience because of our lack of faith in the word of God and the purposes of God?
G. John tells us in 20:30, that Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples that he did not record, but he recorded these that you might believe that Jesus is the Son of God and by believing have life through His name.
1. The last great sign is about to be seen by the disciples.
2. Jesus said, "Destroy this temple and in three days I will rebuild it."
3. In response to the request of the scribes and Pharisees to show them a sign, Jesus said, "A wicked and an adulteress generation seeks after signs, but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so shall the Son of Man be three days and nights in the heart of the earth."

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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