Throughout John's story the world has been judged by the presence of Jesus, and the world has in turn judged him. The whole Gospel is thus a description of a trial (cf. Harvey 1976), a theme that reaches a climax as Jesus is brought before the authorities. As he is put on trial we see revealed both his own identity as King and his confident trust in his Father.
The force that came out to arrest Jesus was composed of both Jews and Romans, and Jesus will now be arraigned before both Jewish and Roman officials. In the Synoptics Jesus is brought first before Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin and then before Pilate. Luke adds a further appearance before Herod Antipas (23:6-12). John begins, here in our present text, with Jesus' earlier appearance before Annas, an interrogation not mentioned in the Synoptics. John will then move on to the interrogation by Pilate, leaving out a description of the appearances before Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin and before Herod. It is clear that he knows of the trial before Caiaphas (v. 24) but has chosen not to include it in his account.
John weaves together the confrontation between Jesus and Annas and the confrontation going on at the same time between Peter and the people in the courtyard. This textured scene, which shifts between what is going on inside with Jesus and what is going on outside with Peter, is paralleled in the scene that follows by Pilate's encounter with Jesus inside the governor's palace and his dealings with the Jewish opponents outside. Such juxtaposition enables John to make comparisons between Jesus and the other characters in the story. The inner and outer scenes in the story also reflect John's purpose to show us here, as throughout his Gospel, the inner and outer dimensions of the events themselves—the eternal reality being manifested in the midst of the world as the Word comes to his own and the eternal significance of the events that unfold.
IVP New Testament Commentaries are made available by the generosity of InterVarsity Press.
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