|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
18:33-40 Art thou the King of the Jews? that King of the Jews who has been so long expected? Messiah the Prince; art thou he? Dost thou call thyself so, and wouldest thou be thought so? Christ answered this question with another; not for evasion, but that Pilate might consider what he did. He never took upon him any earthly power, never were any traitorous principles or practices laid to him. Christ gave an account of the nature of his kingdom. Its nature is not worldly; it is a kingdom within men, set up in their hearts and consciences; its riches spiritual, its power spiritual, and it glory within. Its supports are not worldly; its weapons are spiritual; it needed not, nor used, force to maintain and advance it, nor opposed any kingdom but that of sin and Satan. Its object and design are not worldly. When Christ said, I am the Truth, he said, in effect, I am a King. He conquers by the convincing evidence of truth; he rules by the commanding power of truth. The subjects of this kingdom are those that are of the truth. Pilate put a good question, he said, What is truth? When we search the Scriptures, and attend the ministry of the word, it must be with this inquiry, What is truth? and with this prayer, Lead me in thy truth; into all truth. But many put this question, who have not patience to preserve in their search after truth; or not humility enough to receive it. By this solemn declaration of Christ's innocence, it appears, that though the Lord Jesus was treated as the worst of evil-doers, he never deserved such treatment. But it unfolds the design of his death; that he died as a Sacrifice for our sins. Pilate was willing to please all sides; and was governed more by worldly wisdom than by the rules of justice. Sin is a robber, yet is foolishly chosen by many rather than Christ, who would truly enrich us. Let us endeavour to make our accusers ashamed as Christ did; and let us beware of crucifying Christ afresh.
Verse 35. - Pilate answered, with the proud and haughty tone of a Roman military judge or procurator, Am I a Jew? The ἐγώ is very emphatic, and the force of the question requires a negative. You know that it would be insult to me to make such a supposition. The nation that is thine, not mine, and the chief priests, delivered thee to me. An unequivocal statement that he had no reason of his own to assume that Jesus was a political aspirant. Whatever inner reasons these Jews had to malign Jesus and confuse Pilate's mind with the ambiguity of the title, the governor is innocent as yet of any such theocratic or religious meaning in the charge. More than this, the humiliation of the Divine Lord of men, the King of Israel, is grievously aggravated by the very use of the word. "Thy own nation has delivered thee up, has betrayed thee to me." The crime of Judas has been adopted by the religious authorities and the patriotic leaders of the people. "He came unto his own, and his own people received him not." Christ frequently anticipated this result of his ministry; and he regarded it as the climax of his indignity (see especially Luke 9:44; and cf. the language of St. Peter, Acts 3:13), that the anointed King should by his own people be "delivered" up to lawless Gentile hands to be crucified and slain. Pilate assures him that, if he is now in his hands, the cause of it is simply that his own people had utterly repudiated his claims, whatever they may have been. What didst thou do to transform into thy bitter enemies those who would naturally condone or favor any such claim as that of being a seditious rival to the Roman Caesar?
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Pilate answered, am I a Jew?.... This he said, in a sort of derision and contempt; who was not a Jew, neither by birth, nor by religion, and so had never imbibed any notions of their King Messiah, nor read anything about him; and knew nothing of his distinguishing characters and properties, by which he was described, and might be known; and therefore it remained, that what he had said, though not expressed, was not of himself, of his own knowledge or observation, but arose from some intimations and suggestions the Jews had given him:
thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me; that is, the men of his nation, his countrymen the Jews, who best understood their own laws and books of prophecy; and what expectations they had formed from thence, concerning their king, and his kingdom; and the principal of the priesthood, who were accounted men of the greatest learning, piety, and integrity, they had brought him bound before him; they had entered a charge against him, and had delivered him up into his hands, as an enemy to Caesar, and a traitor to his government:
what hast thou done? as an occasion of such treatment, and as the foundation of such a charge; surely there must be something in it, or men of such character would never impeach a man altogether innocent, and one of their own country too!
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
35. Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests delivered thee to me: What hast thou done?—that is, "Jewish questions I neither understand nor meddle with; but Thou art here on a charge which, though it seems only Jewish, may yet involve treasonable matter: As they state it, I cannot decide the point; tell me, then, what procedure of Thine has brought Thee into this position." In modern phrase, Pilate's object in this question was merely to determine the relevancy of the charge.
John 18:35 Parallel Commentaries
John 18:35 NIV
John 18:35 NLT
John 18:35 ESV
John 18:35 NASB
John 18:35 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible