IX. The Sermon: Jesus’ Words – Rev. Kyle McClellan, Senior Minister, Grace Presbyterian Church;
The Sermon Passage: John 18:12-27
The Big Idea: Since Jesus is God, His words are true and eternal – while the words of Annas and Peter are subject to Divine sovereignty.
I. Historical Clarity: keep it in “the family” (vv. 12-14, 19, 24).
Who controls access to get to God? In the temple in that day it was the high priest. Annas is really like the godfather here. Though he is not technically the high priest, he is, however, calling the shots and is the one with power according to Josephus.
II. Sovereign irony – just like Balaam’s donkey (v. 14).
God used a donkey to speak truth. In the same way, God uses Chiaphis to say more than he knows. He says that someone must die for all the nation. He says Jesus’ death is substitutionary in nature.
III. “All flesh is grass” (vv. 15-18; 25-27).
Simon and John enter into the house and courtyard of the high priest. John goes in because he knows them but Peter stays out because he is not known. It is here that Peter denies Jesus three times.
In John 13:36ff Jesus is telling the disciples of his death that he must die and that Peter will deny him. Then in chapter 18, three times to protect his disciples Jesus replies that he is the I AM. On the other hand in contrast, three times Peter says I AM NOT. Why? Because Peter is doing what human beings do – they deny Christ. Peter should have known better because Jesus already told him this was in Peter’s heart. The psalmist reminds us that all flesh is grass but the word of God stands forever.
In Isaiah 10:12, God reminds us that even though Assyria thinks they are conquering Israel, God is behind all their actions. The Assyrians don’t know it and do not recognize it but God is prevailing his purposes.
Because Jesus is God, the word he speaks about Peter is true and comes about.
IV. The just among the unjust (vv. 19-24).
Peter warming his hands at night is to underscore to us that all that happens to Christ happens to him at night and is shady. Witnesses were to come during the course of the day to the courts. Jesus is pointing out that he would like a fair trial. They do not care. They want him dead.
Did Jesus’ mission fail? The Jews want to kill him. The ones who recognized him as the messiah are gone. His very own dearly loved disciples leave him. But it is not over! The same hand that rescued Peter from the water will rescue Peter here too.
Thamkdully, this is not the final scene!
12 So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound him. 13 First they led him to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. 14 It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it would be expedient that one man should die for the people.
15 Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he entered with Jesus into the court of the high priest, 16 but Peter stood outside at the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the servant girl who kept watch at the door, and brought Peter in. 17 The servant girl at the door said to Peter, “You also are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.” 18 Now the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves. Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself.
19 The high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. 20 Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. 21 Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me what I said to them; they know what I said.” 22 When he had said these things, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?” 24 Annas then sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.
25 Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, “You also are not one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” 26 One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?” 27 Peter again denied it, and at once a rooster crowed.