- The story of the crucifixion is told in seven incidents, namely verses 17-18, 19-22, 23-24, 25-27, 28-29, 30, 31-37.
How does each incident manifest, some fresh aspect of the glory of the suffering Savior?
- Which scriptures are quoted in this portion as having found fulfillment in this hour?
To which aspects of Jesus’ sufferings and of his saving work do they point?
The trial before Pilate.
- Trace through this passage the attempts made by Pilate to spare Jesus from death, and the steps taken by the Jews to counter his efforts.
The full charge brought against Jesus is given in Luke 23:2.
(Note the Jews’ use of both religious and political threats to overcome Pilate’s resistance; see 19:7, 12.)
What features of the character of Pilate and of the Jews are revealed here?
Could we be guilty of similar injustice?
- ‘The king of Jews.’ Note how this title forms the central interest from 18:33 to 19:22.
What is the real nature of Jesus’ kingship?
How does it differ from the world’s?
How is Jesus’ royal dignity shown here?
How does the use of the title reveal the sin of the Jews, and the glory of Jesus’ sacrifice?
- 18:28. ‘Palace of the Roman governor’ (‘praetorium’): the headquarters of the Roman governor.
- 18:31b. The Romans did not allow the Jews to inflict capital punishment. Hence Pilate’s words in 19:6 imply that there was no ground in Roman law for Jesus’ death. However, he spoke a deeper truth than he realized.
Jesus’ arrest trial before Caiaphas.
- In verses 4-11 and 19-23 what qualities of our Lord’s character appear in relation to:
(a) those who came to arrest him,
(b) his disciples, and
(c) his accusers?
- How did Peter’s own actions contribute to his fall?
Of what was he afraid? Does fear ever prevent you from declaring your association with Jesus Christ?
- Verses 5, 6, 8 ‘I am he’: the thrice-repeated use of this phrase point to its special significance.
It is virtually a reiteration of the divine name, ‘I AM’. Cf. Exod. 3:14; John 8:58.
Note the effect of Christ’s statement on the hearers.
- What is our relationship to the world?
How should we ourselves pray regarding people in the world?
- Verses 20-23. Is the Lord praying for the uniting of all branches of the Christian church as in the ecumenical movement?
What is the object of his prayer?
What will its fuller realization mean?
- Observe the significance of the ‘word’ or ‘words’ of the Father and the Son in this passage.
- ‘A little while’. In the light of verses 16-22 do you consider that this refers to the time between the death of Jesus and his resurrection; between his ascension and Pentecost; or both?
- Notice in verse 23, ‘You will no longer ask me anything.’
With the Spirit to enlighten (cf. verses 12-15) and the Father to supply our needs, what do we learn in verses 23-28 about the place of prayer?
On what do we rely when we pray in the name of Jesus Christ?
Cf. 14:13, 14; 15:16.
- In verse 33 Jesus sums up the situation.
In what two opposing spheres would the disciples live?
What would be their experience in the one and in the other?
What can be the ground of your courage and confidence?
- What evidence do you find in 16:1-7 that the disciples were cast down by Jesus’ words?
Why did he say that he had not spoken of these things before, and why did he speak of them now? Notice, however, that he did not lighten in any way the dark picture he had drawn, but rather shaded it more deeply (16:2).
- What new force, does Jesus say, will be brought to bear upon the world, and through whom (see 15:26, 27)?
What threefold result will follow (16:8-11)?
How would this make Jesus’ departure an advantage instead of a loss?
- What results ought this situation to have on the disciples:
(a) in their dependence on the Holy Spirit, and
(b) in the place of the Holy Spirit and the person of Jesus Christ in their thinking?
Is this true of us? Se 16:14, 15.
- 16:2: ‘Put you out of the synagogue’: see Note on 12:42.
- 16:5: The questions of Thomas (14:5) and Peter (13:36, 37) concerned their own following of Jesus. No-one was now asking about the glory to which Christ was going in his return to the Father.
- 16:8-11. The Holy Spirit will convince men of their false standards of sin, righteousness and judgment (cf. Is. 55:8, 9).
He will show them that the essence of sin is unbelief in Christ; that true righteousness is not that of the Pharisees (works of the Law) but the righteousness seen in Christ, and declared in the gospel; and that judgment awaits all who follow the ruler of this world.
At Pentecost the heavens were convinced by the Spirit’s witness through the apostles, exactly as Jesus says here.
- 16:13. ‘Tell you what is yet to come’: i.e., interpret the significance of Christ’s impending crucifixion and resurrection, as well as other divine actions.
- People think of the Christian life as a joyless observance of rules.
What answer to this contained in these verses?
Is it your experience?
- If we are disciples of Jesus, why must we expect hatred from the world?
Why did many hate and persecute Jesus?
- Love not only feels, but acts.
By what actions is:
(a) the love of the Father shown to the Son,
(b) the love of the Son to his disciples, and
(c) the love of the disciples to one another?
Cf. 3:35; 5:20; 1John 3:16-18.