1 After Jesus had said these things He went out with His disciples across the Kidron valley. [Note: This was a "wadi," or dry creek bed which carried a torrent of water during the rainy season. It ran parallel with the east wall of Jerusalem, between the city and the Mount of Olives]. There was an [olive] orchard there and Jesus and His disciples went into it. 2 Now Judas, who [was soon to] turn Jesus over [to the Jewish authorities] also knew where this place was, for Jesus had frequently met there with His disciples. 3 So, Judas took a detachment of [Roman] soldiers and some [Temple] guards sent from the leading priests and Pharisees, and carrying lanterns, torches and weapons, they went to the orchard.
4 Since Jesus knew everything that was going to happen to Him, He went out and said to them, "Who are you men looking for?"
5 They answered Him, "Jesus, from Nazareth." Jesus replied to them, "I am [He]." Judas, who was turning Him over [to the Jewish authorities] was standing there with them also. 6 Now when Jesus had said to them, "I am [He]," they [all] moved backward and fell to the ground. [Note: This appears to have been done by some miraculous power].
7 So, He asked them again, "Who are you looking for?" And they answered, "Jesus, from Nazareth."
8 Jesus said to them, "I [already] told you that I am [He]; so if you are looking for me, let these men [i.e., the apostles] go." 9 [He said this] so the words He had spoken [previously] would be fulfilled [See 17:12], "I did not lose any of those men you [i.e., God] gave me."
10 So, Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it out and struck the head priest's slave, cutting off his right ear. Now the slave's name was Malchus.
11 Then Jesus said to Peter, "Put your sword back in its sheath. Should I not drink the cup [i.e., of suffering] the Father has given me?"
12 So, the detachment of [Roman] soldiers, their commanding officer and the Jewish [Temple] guards arrested Jesus and tied Him up. 13 They led Him to Annas first [Note: This man was a former head priest. See Luke 3:2], for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was head priest that year. 14 Now Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it was profitable for one man to die for the people. [See 11:50].
15 Simon Peter followed along with another disciple. [Note: Some think this refers to the apostle John himself, but there is no strong evidence in favor of that conclusion]. Now that disciple was [well-] known to the head priest, so was able to enter his courtyard with Jesus 16 while Peter stood outside at the gate. So, the other disciple, who was [well-] known to the head priest, went outside and spoke to the girl gatekeeper, [who] then brought Peter inside [too].
17 So, the slave-girl gatekeeper asked Peter, "Are you not one of this man's disciples, too?" "[No], I am not," Peter replied. 18 Now the [head priest's] slaves and the [Temple] guards were standing around a charcoal fire they had made to warm themselves by, because it was cold. And Peter was also warming himself with them.
19 Meanwhile, the head priest asked Jesus about His disciples and His teaching. [Note: This was probably Annas, the former "head priest" who later sent Jesus to the current head priest, Caiaphas. See verse 24].
20 Jesus answered him, "I have spoken publicly to the world; I always taught in the synagogues and in the Temple, where all the Jews assemble. I have never said anything in secret. 21 Why are you asking me? Ask the people who have heard me about what I said to them. Look, these people know what I said."
22 When Jesus said this, one of the guards standing there struck Him [in the face], saying, "Is that any way to talk to the head priest?"
23 Jesus answered him, "If I have said anything wrong, tell me what it was. But if [I spoke] properly, why did you hit me?"
24 So, Annas had Him tied up and sent Him [on] to Caiaphas, the head priest.
25 Now Simon Peter had been standing and warming himself [by the outdoor charcoal fire]. So, someone asked him, "Are you not one of His disciples, too?" Peter denied it, saying, "[No], I am not."
26 One of the head priest's slaves, who was a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, said, "Did I not see you in the orchard with him?"
27 So, Peter denied it again, and immediately the rooster crowed.
28 Then, early in the morning they led Jesus from Caiaphas to [governor Pilate's] headquarters. But the Jewish authorities would not enter it, because [if they had] they would have become ceremonially unclean, and could not eat the Passover meal. [Note: This was because they regarded a Gentile house as defiling].
29 So, Pilate went outside to them and asked, "What charge do you bring against this man?"
30 The Jewish authorities answered Pilate, "If this man were not guilty of wrongdoing, we would not have turned him over to you."
31 So, Pilate said to them, "Take him yourselves and judge him according to your [own] law." [But] the Jews replied to him, "It is not permissible for us to put anyone to death." 32 [They said this] so that the words Jesus had spoken would be fulfilled, regarding the kind of death He would die. [Note: Jesus had predicted he would be "lifted up," indicating a Roman crucifixion. See 12:32-33].
33 So, Pilate went back into his headquarters and called for Jesus. He said to Him, "Are you the King of the Jews?"
34 Jesus answered, "Are you saying this of your own accord, or did other people tell you about me?"
35 Pilate answered, "Am I a Jew? Your own people and the leading priests turned you over to me. What have you done?"
36 Jesus answered him, "My kingdom does not belong to this world. If it did, then my servants [i.e., disciples] would fight to keep me from being turned over to the Jews. But now my kingdom does not belong here." [i.e., Jesus' kingdom was not based on physical, but spiritual principles].
37 So, Pilate said to Him, "Are you a king, then?" Jesus answered, "You are [correct in] calling me a 'king.' This was the [very] purpose for which I was born and came into the world, that I should testify about the truth. Every person who wants [to know and obey] the truth listens to me."
38 Pilate replied to Him, "What is truth?" After saying this, Pilate again went outside to the Jews and said to them, "I do not find him guilty of any crime. 39 But since you [Jews] have a custom that I should release to you one [prisoner] during the Passover Festival, do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?"
40 They shouted out again, "[No], not this man. [We want] Barabbas!" [Note: Ironically, Barabbas' name means "son of the father"]. Now Barabbas was a robber.