"Come and See": A Web Commentary on the Gospel of John: Section 13 The Last Supper and Farewell Discourses

13.3 Jesus' Trial before Pilate (Jn 18.28-40)

28Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium. Now it was early and they did not go inside1 the Praetorium, so that they would not be defiled but could eat the Passover. 29Then Pilate came out to them and said, "What charge do you bring against this man?" 30They answered and said to him, "If this fellow was not an evil doer, we would not have turned him over to you." 31Then Pilate said to them, "You take him, and judge him according to your law." 'The authorities' said to him, "We are not permitted to condemn anyone to death." 32This was said2 so that Jesus' word might be fulfilled, which he spoke to indicate by what death he would die.

33Then Pilate went in again to the Praetorium and called for Jesus and said to him, "Are you the king of the Jews?" 34Jesus answered, "Do you say this of your own knowledge, or have others spoken to you about me?" 35Pilate answered him, "I'm not a Jew, am I? Your nation3 and the chief priests have turned you over to me. What did you do?" 36Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom was of this world, then my followers would fight to keep me from being turned over to 'the authorities'. But now my kingdom is not of this place." 37So Pilate said to him, "Aren't you a king then?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this was I born and for this I came into the world, to bear witness to the truth; everyone who is of the truth hears my voice." 38Pilate said to him, "What is truth?"

And after he said this, he went out again to 'the authorities' and said to them, "I find no guilt in him, 39but you have a custom that I would release one man for you at Passover. So do you want me to release the king of the Jews for you? 40So they shouted back, saying, "Not this fellow, but Barabbas." Now Barabbas was a bandit.

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1 Literally, "did not go into"

2 This was said: added for sense

3 Or your people; ethnos in Greek