John 18:1-14 JESUS: THE MODEL SUFFERER
Intro: Our study of John's Gospel is swiftly reaching its conclusion. As
we approach the end of this book, we are also approaching the end of our Lord's life and
ministry here on the earth. In this 18th chapter of John we are presented with
a suffering Christ. At this point, He is being betrayed, He is being arrested and He is
being tried before His enemies. Yet, through it all, He manifests a strength of character
that paints a wonderful picture for you and me. In these verses, we are shown Jesus: The
Model Sufferer. You see, when it came time for Jesus to fulfill His destiny and go to the
cross, we do not find Him shrinking from the task. On the contrary, we find Him standing
tall and carrying out the redemptive plan of His heavenly Father without flinching nor
failing. Isaiah saw this time many centuries before and described Jesus in this manner,
Isa. 50:6. Even the Gospel writers were moved by His determination, Luke 9:51. All of this
leads us to see that Jesus was no shrinking violet. He was no victim of circumstance. No!
Instead, He was the Master of the moment. As we go through these verses, it will be clear
to any thinking person that Jesus Christ suffered humiliation, betrayal and eventually
death with His head held high and His eyes firmly fixed on the goal. This morning, as the
Lord gives liberty, I would like for us to take a moment and look together at Jesus: The
My aim this morning is to show you what He suffered for you and why He
did what He did. My desire is to help you to see that Jesus has made a way for you to be
saved. That He has done everything that is necessary to deliver you from Hell and from
judgment. I want to show you that He is worthy of your trust and faith this morning. Now,
let's look into these verses and look at John's portrait of Jesus: The Model Sufferer.
I. V. 1-11 WE SEE HIM IN HIS DEITY
(Ill. Several times in this chapter, Jesus proved His identity to those
around Him. Through our His ministry, He had claimed to be God in the flesh, John 10:30;
John 8:58. He had also proven this claim time and again. Yet, here, in the closing hours
of His life, He once again steps up and claims equality with God Almighty.)
A. V. 4-7 His Claim - When the soldiers come to
arrest Jesus, He asks them Who they are seeking. They respond by saying, "Jesus of
Nazareth." His simple response is to say, "I AM!" This exclamation from
Christ was a claim of deity! By saying "I AM" He was again claiming to be God.
Notice what happened when He said this. Verse 6 tells us that they all fell backward to
the ground! Verse 3 tells us that this was "band" of soldiers. This means that
somewhere between 400 and 600 highly trained and well conditioned Roman soldiers fell to
the ground when Jesus spoke the simple, single syllable words, "I AM!"
(Ill. I don't know about the rest of you, but if I had been in that
number, I would have had second thoughts about trying to arrest this fellow!)
(Ill. What does this mean for us? Simply this, Jesus is God! John 1:1
and 14 make this perfectly clear. My friend, you will never be saved until you first come
to the place where you acknowledge and receive Jesus as more than a teacher, as more than
a good man, as more than some religious leader. You can never be saved until you come face
to face with and accept the fact that Jesus Christ is God in the flesh! The soldiers never
saw and they became participants in the death of Jesus. They were given a sign and an
opportunity to back down. Yet, they pressed on in their unbelief and eventually perished
in Hell! Don't let that happen to you! Receive Jesus today!)
(Ill. In Luke 22:70 and again in John 18:37, Jesus claimed deity during
His trial. When He was asked point blank about his relationship to God and where He was
the actual Son of God, Jesus responded by saying, "You said it!" Now the
question that comes into my mind this morning for you is this, "Whom say ye that He
is?" (Matt. 16:15-16).)
B. V. 8-9 His Concern - The deity of Jesus is
also seen in the concern He possessed for His Disciples. He is concerned that they not be
arrested, but that they be allowed to go free. You see, Jesus was concerned with the
protection of His men. They were special to Him and He was determined to see that their
need was met that night. How does this demonstrate His deity? By the simple fact that He
cared more for their welfare than He did for His own! In His actions you do not see the
selfishness manifested by most humans. He shows a self-sacrificing love that defies
description. Only God is able to love to that degree!
(Ill. May I remind you this morning that things have not changed? Jesus
is still very concerned about the needs you and I have this morning. His concern
translates into action on our behalf. After all, God has promised to take care of our
needs - Phil.. 4:19.)
C. V. 10-11 His Compassion - When the soldiers
come to take Jesus away, Peter draws his sword and cuts the ear off of a man named
Malchus. I do not for a minute believe that Peter was trying to wound Malchus, but that He
was trying to kill him graveyard dead. But, Peter missed and only got and ear. When this
happened, Jesus reached out to Malchus and restored his ear, Luke 22:51. Folk, only God
can do things of that nature!
(Ill. Most of us would have been glad to see our friends fighting for us
and inflicting damage on the enemy. Not Jesus! He was moved with compassion for one who
was His enemy and reached out to Him in love. By the way, that's what He did for you! You
and I were the enemies of God, Rom. 8:7. Yet, He still reached out to us through His
matchless, marvelous grace, Eph. 2:8-9. Oh, what a Savior! Oh what a Lord! I am glad this
morning that the Lord was moved with compassion when He saw me. Had it not been for the
love and compassion of our Lord, I would be dead and in Hell this morning and so would
you. That is something to rejoice over and to think about!)
D. V. 11b His Commission - A final proof of His
deity is seen in the fact that He seems determined to go to the cross! Had this been you
or I, we would have been looking for a way out. We would have been looking for some escape
clause. We would have tried to cut a deal. Not Jesus! No, He set His face like a flint and
went to the cross and drank the bitter cup of death for you and me!
(Ill. Folk, I am grateful this morning that Jesus did not flinch in the
face of Calvary. I am so thankful today that He was willing to go to the cross and to die
for my sins so that I could be saved. I tell you, we serve a wonderful Lord who deserves
to be exalted and praised for the unspeakable gift He gave us when He willingly died on
the cross for our sins! What a Savior!)
I. We See Him In His Deity
II. V. 12-36 WE SEE HIM IN HIS DIGNITY
(Ill. Even as Jesus was being lead away to an illegal trial on trumped
up charges, He was retained His dignity. Not one time do we see Him begging for mercy.
Never do we hear Him cry for freedom. Not one time do the lips of our glorious Savior part
and ask men to let Him go free. He was dignified at all times. That may not mean much to
you, but it speaks worlds to my heart! It just reminds me that He knew what He was doing
the whole time. Not one aspect of the trial caught Him by surprise. He knew every bend in
the road and He faced it like a true man, like a true God-man!)
A. V. 12-13 In His Arrest - When the soldiers
came to carry Jesus way, He did not resist and He did not retaliate. He submitted to them
and went to trial because He was determined to die on the cross so that you and I might
have a means whereby we could be saved.
(Ill. At any moment Jesus could have destroyed all His capture with one
word from His lips, yet He allowed it be cause He loved us!)
B. V. 19-24; 28-36 His Arraignment - After Jesus
was arrested, He was forced to appear before Caiaphas, the High Priest, then He was tried
by Pilate and be Herod. During His trial, Jesus was subjected to many injustices. In fact,
there are several reasons why His trial would have been illegal in that day they are:
The Illegal Aspects Of Christ's Trial
- Arrests could not be made at night.
- The time and date of the trial were illegal because it took place at
night and on the eve of the Sabbath. This time precluded any chance for the required
adjournment to the next day in the event of a conviction.
- A guilty sentence could only be handed down on the day following the
- The Sanhedrin was without authority to instigate charges. It was only
supposed to investigate charges brought before it. In Jesus' trial, the court itself
formulated the charges.
- The charges against Jesus were changed during the trial. He was initially
charged with blasphemy based upon His statement that He would be able to destroy and
rebuild the Temple of God within three days, as well as His claim to be the Son of God.
When He was brought before Pilate, the charge was that Jesus was a King and did not
advocate paying taxes to the Romans.
- The requirement of two witnesses in agreement to merit the death penalty
was not met. (Deut. 17:6; 19:15; Mark 14:65)
- The court did not meet in the regular meeting place of the Sanhedrin, as
required by Jewish law.
- Christ was not permitted a defense. Under Jewish law, an exhaustive
search into the facts presented by the witnesses should have occurred.
The Sanhedrin pronounced the death sentence. Under law, the Sanhedrin
was not allowed to convict and put the death sentence into effect. (John 18:31)
(Ill. Through all the injustice and through all the lies and deception,
Jesus retained His dignity. He stood, the Creator before the creature and took every blow
that came His way. He did this so that you and I might have a plan of salvation to place
our faith in today. Like the song says, "He suffered it all because He loved me!?)
C. V. 2-3; 15-18, 25-27; 38-40 His Alienation -
Perhaps the hardest part of the whole process for Jesus was the utter and bitter rejection
by the very people He came to save in the first place. In this chapter, we find Jesus
suffering at the hands of friend and enemy alike. Notice those who turned on Him in these
1. V. 2-3 He Was Betrayed By Judas - This man
who had lived and walked with Jesus for 3 years turned on Him and led His captors to Him.
This must have stung the heart of Jesus! Ill. The Kiss! Luke 22:47. Judas kissed the gates
of Heaven and went to Hell!
2. V. 15-18, 25-27 He Was Denied By Peter - The
very man who swore that all others might leave Jesus, but that he would stay by Him to the
death was the very one who denied Jesus publically -Matt. 26:35; Mark 14:31. This
certainly touched the heart of the Savior.
3. V. 38-40 He Was Rejected By Israel - When
Jesus came into the world, He came in fulfillment of all the Jewish prophecies concerning
the Messiah. He came to establish the Kingdom of God in the world and to liberate the
people of God. Yet, when He came they refused to have Him and demanded that He be put to
death, John 1:11; John 19:6; John 19:15; Luke 19:14. This was the ultimate blow, surely
this crushed the heart of the Savior!
(Ill. What amazes me is that men are still guilty of doing this very
same thing. Consider this, Israel and Judas rejected Jesus out of pure unbelief. Peter
denied Him in a moment of weakness. But, every day in this world, people reject Jesus in
an effort to enjoy a life of sin for a few more days. Perhaps it is out of pride that men
say no. Some do so simply because they are fools. What ever the reason that men reject the
salvation that is offered through Jesus, it is a foolish reason and is not worth dying and
going to Hell over - Mark 6:36-37.)
(Ill. Dear friend, please do not make the same mistake billions have
already made. Trust Jesus, today, while there is still time and be sure that you will miss
Hell when you leave this world. To be saved is simply! All one must do is trust Jesus and
His finished work on the cross. When we do that, we are saved eternally!)
I. We See Him In His Deity
II. We See Him In His Dignity
III. V. 37 WE SEE HIM IN HIS DESTINY
(Ill. In this wonderful verse, we see Jesus on trial before Pilate. Yet
Pilate seems like a little court jester in the presence of the King of Kings. Jesus makes
it clear to Pilate that He came to this world, not to live, but to die! Jesus had His
sights set on three majestic peaks. Jesus knew something that Pilate would never realize
in his lifetime. Jesus was looking ahead to what would be accomplished by seeing this
thing through to its conclusion. Notice with me what they are.
A. There Had To Be A Cross - Jesus plainly
states that His purpose in coming into the world was to go to the cross and die. For many
this causes confusion. They fail to understand that it takes blood to deal with sin, Heb.
9:22. If Jesus had not shed His blood on the cross, then nobody could have been saved,
ever! Salvation is totally dependent upon the blood of Jesus. Therefore, people ought to
beware of religion. Religion tells us that works is where the answer lies. Let others in
trust in the waters of the baptistry. Let others count on being good to get the job done.
Let others look to the church affiliation to get them into heaven. As for me, I'll take
the blood of Jesus.
(Ill. My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and
righteousness! What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus!)
(Ill. My dear friends, it took the death of Jesus on the cross at
Calvary to open the way into salvation for you and me. He had to suffer. He had to die. It
was the only way God could redeem fallen men, Rom. 6:23.)
B. There Had To Be A Crown - Jesus states in
this verse that He is to "bear witness to the truth." He bore witness to the
truths of His claims when three days after His death, He arose from the dead. Now, thank
God, He forever lives to make intercession for you and me, Heb. 7:25. You see, a dead
Savior could have paid for sin, but as our High Priest, Jesus had to get up from the grave
and place the sacrifice before the Lord God Almighty in Heaven. I serve a risen Savior!
How about you?
C. There Had To be A Call - Notice that Jesus
said that those who were of the truth would hear His voice! As men walk through this
world, God calls them to Him through His Spirit. When they hear His voice, they can
respond to Him and be forever saved by grace! However, before the call could be given, the
Savior had to die and rise again from the dead. This, my friends, is the Gospel! That
Jesus died for sin, rose from the dead and calls all men to come unto Him. If you will
come unto Him, you will be saved right now!
Conc: I wonder if you can understand this morning the truth that what
Jesus did, He did for you? I wonder if it makes sense to you today? Perhaps you have heard
the old, old story many times before and you have never received Jesus into your heart and
life. Maybe this morning, you feel Him calling you to come to Him. Why not do that today?
If you have never been saved, let me remind you that Jesus loves you and has made a way
for you to be born again and be liberated from sin, judgment and damnation. That Way is
none other than Jesus Himself. Won't you come to Him while He calls for you?