Lesson 87: John 18:12-14 – The Word of God Is Not Bound

by Pastor Ricky Kurth

You're listening to Lesson 87 from the sermon series "The Gospel of John" by Pastor Ricky Kurth. When you're done, explore more sermons from this series.



They could put Paul in prison, but since he could still write epistles he said that “the word of God is not bound” (IITim.2:9). Well, Christ was the living Word (Jo.1:1), but He allowed Himself to be bound (18:12). In this we see the fulfillment of Genesis 22:9 and Judges 16:21.

In his arrest and binding it appeared to men that He was a sinful criminal, which He didn’t like, but He knew He had to fulfill Isaiah 53:12. Of any ordinary man we read, “he shall be holden with the cords of his sins” (Pr.5:22), but the sinless Savior was bound by our sins. There was only one kind of rope that could bind Him that day, the ropes of His love for us, just as it wasn’t nails that kept Him on the cross

What gave the soldiers the courage to arrest Him after He’d just knocked them over (Jo.18:6)? They heard the Lord tell Peter to put away the sword (v.11).

The Lord didn’t resist them because they were carrying out God’s will, but that doesn’t mean God won’t punish them. God used Nebuchadnezzar to punish Judah, then vowed to punish him (Jer.25:12) because he didn’t mean to serve the Lord in chastening His people, any more than the Assyrian did (Isa.10:5-7). But just because God knows how to capitalize on the wickedness of men doesn’t mean men won’t have to pay for their wickedness! God vowed to curse those that curse Abraham’s seed (Gen.12:3), so Nebuchadnezzar had to be cursed, and the Assyrian as well (Isa.10:12). And the same was true for these men who came to arrest the Lord. God used them to chasten the Lord (Isa.53:5), but God will someday punish them for it.

And the same is true if the government persecutes you. Paul says you have to submit to them (Rom.13:1-8), but they will be punished (IIThes.1:6). But it is your job to submit, knowing we are accounted as sheep for slaughter (Rom.8:35-37). You can resist and maybe conquer the ones who come for you, or you can submit and be more than a conqueror in God’s eyes. It gets hard when they come for your family, but that’s when you have to remember Romans 12:19. God won’t let them go unpunished, and what He has in mind is worse than anything you dish out.

You can run and hide from the government as David did, but he felt guilty just cutting Saul’s robe to prove that he could have cut his throat (ISam.24:4-7), and killed the man he thought killed Saul. It is never right to rebel (Pr.24:21).

They “led” the Lord to the high priest (Jo.18:13) as a lamb is “led” to the slaughter (Acts 8:32). All lambs were led to a priest (Lev.17:5). He had to be led out of the Garden of Gethsemane because Adam was driven out of the Garden of Paradise (Gen.3:24). This is symbolic of how He allow-ed Himself to be led out of Heaven so that we might enter back into Paradise. Gethsemane was east of Jerusalem, so to get to His trial they had to lead Him through “the sheep gate”(Neh.3:1) the gate all sacrificial lambs entered the city

Annas and Caiphas were both high priests (Jo.18:13 cf. Lu.3:2). There was only supposed to be one high priest. Annas was the New Testament spelling of Hannaniah (Jer.28:2-15), a false prophet, making him a type of Revelation 19:20. “Caiaphas” means comely, making him a type of the Antichrist, who will be what Christ wasn’t (Isa.53:2). There’s coming a day when the Lord will conquer the Beast and the False Prophet, but here He must submit to them because they are the leaders in Israel. The high priest was supposed to execute Him in faith, not crucify Him in unbelief (Ps.118:27). That’s how God will be able to rightly punish him for not doing that.

When Caiaphas said He “should die for the people” (18:14) it was his evil way of saying they should kill Him rather than let the Romans kill them out of jealousy if the Lord got too popular (11:47-50). There was no way He would get a fair trial from a man already determined He should die! John adds that being a high priest, the Spirit meant something different by his evil words (Jo.11:51). Being a prophet he didn’t know what he was saying about the sufferings of Christ (IPe.1:10-12), but they knew what to say for they spoke by the Spirit (IIPe.1:21). Caiaphas meant it for evil, but God meant it for good (cf. Gen.50:20).

Related Files: