|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
18:28-32 It was unjust to put one to death who had done so much good, therefore the Jews were willing to save themselves from reproach. Many fear the scandal of an ill thing, more than the sin of it. Christ had said he should be delivered to the Gentiles, and they should put him to death; hereby that saying was fulfilled. He had said that he should be crucified, lifted up. If the Jews had judged him by their law, he had been stoned; crucifying never was used among the Jews. It is determined concerning us, though not discovered to us, what death we shall die: this should free us from disquiet about that matter. Lord, what, when, and how, thou hast appointed.
Verse 32. - In order that the word of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spake, signifying by what manner of death he was about to die. Thus the very political order of the world, the whole process by which Judaea became a Roman province, was part of the wondrous plan by which Jew and Gentile should together offer up the awful sacrifice, and all the world be guilty of the death of its Lord. The manner of the death had been foretold by our Lord. In John 3:14 he spoke of being lifted up (ὑψωθήαι), in John 8:28 he charged the Jews with the intention of so lifting him up to die (ὅταν ὑψώσητε), implying a method of capital punishment which was contrary to their ordinary habits; and in John 12:32 he declared that this lifting up of the Son of man would create part of his sacred and Divine attraction to the human race. In the synoptists he is said to have repeatedly spoken of his σταυρός (Luke 14:27; Mark 8:34; Matthew 10:38; Matthew 16:24); but in Matthew 20:19 he had clearly predicted his crucifixion by the Gentiles (cf. Luke 9:22, 23). The manner or kind of death was full of significance; it provided opportunity for the royal demission of his own life; it gave conditions for much of the sublime self-manifestation of the closing hours; it has proved, notwithstanding all the shame and curse of the proceeding, eminently symbolic of the compassion with which he embraced the human race in all its defilement and all the variety of its need. We are not surprised to find that the evangelist saw, in the complicated relations of Jewish and Roman authority, a divinely ordered arrangement, and a clearly foreseen and predicted consummation. Luke 23:2 shows that the charge brought against Jesus was made to receive a coloring likely to prejudice the Roman governor against him: "We found this Man perverting our nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King." The uproar and the false and malicious charge would be more likely than any other to move Pilate against him; and thus the synoptic narrative, being presupposed, gives an explanation of the first question which John, as well as the synoptists, represents Pilate as first of all pressing upon the Divine Sufferer. Without Luke's statement, Pilate's question is abrupt and in. explicable; but it must be admitted that there is in John's narrative no direct hint of Luke's addition; and Christ's counter-question to the inquiry of Pilate (which last is given in the same form by all four evangelists) implies that he had not overheard the false charge which the Jews had brought into the court. The Lord was within the Praetorium. Pilate and the Jews were on the open, external space, where the altercation proceeded. We may also, with Steinmeyer, observe that nothing could appear more anomalous to Pilate than that these bigoted and rebellious priests, who perpetually resisted the claims of Roman governors to enforce tribute, should now hypocritically pretend that a prophet-leader of their own had been guilty of such a charge. Instead of resisting, the Pharisees would have fostered a demagogue who had taken such a disloyal part. Pilate would at once have suspected that there was something ominous in the very charge itself, when tumultuously pressed by a party who were accustomed to regard such proceedings as patriotic; and he saw with shrewdness that the Jews had merely cloaked their real antagonism by presenting an incrimination which, under ordinary circumstances, they would have treated as a crowning virtue.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
That the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled,.... That he should be delivered by the Jews to the Gentiles, to crucify him; and that he should be lifted up from the earth, and as the serpent upon the pole:
which he spake, signifying what death he should die; Matthew 20:19 and which was brought about this way, by the providence of God conducting this whole affair; and was cheerfully submitted to by Christ, in great love to his people, to redeem them from the curse of the law, being hereby made a curse for them.
Wesley's Notes on the Bible
18:32 Signifying what death he should die - For crucifixion was not a Jewish, but a Roman punishment. So that had he not been condemned by the Roman governor, he could not have been crucified. John 3:14.
John 18:32 Parallel Commentaries
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