John 18:35
Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done?
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(35) Pilate answered, Am I a Jew?—His question would say, “You surely do not suppose that I am a Jew?” The procurator’s Roman pride is fired at the very thought. He was the governor of the subject race. What did He know, or care to know, of their subtleties and distinctions?

Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me.-” So far from the question coming from me,” his words mean, “It is thine own nation, and especially the chief priests, who have delivered Thee unto me.” And then, weary of the technicalities with which a Roman trial had nothing to do, he asks the definite question, “What hast Thou done?”

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.Am I a Jew? - Am I likely to be influenced by Jewish prejudices and partialities? Am not I, being a Roman, likely to judge impartially, and to decide on the accusations without being blessed by the malignant charges of the accusers?

Thine own nation ... - In this Pilate denies that it was from anything that he had observed that Jesus was arraigned. He admits that it was from the accusation of others; but then he tells the Saviour that the charge was one of moment, and worthy of the deepest attention. It had come from the very nation of Jesus, from his own countrymen, and from the highest authority among the people. As such it demanded consideration, and Pilate besought him to tell him what he had done - that is, what there had been in his conduct that had given occasion for this charge.

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. The sum of this is no more than that he did not devise this captious question, for he was no Jew, not concerned in nor regarding what they had in their books of the law and the prophets; but he was accused to him by those of his own nation, and he was desirous to find out the truth, and to know what he had done.

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!

Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done?
John 18:35-36. The answer of the procurator, irritated and haughty, gives in μήτιεἰμι an indirect denial of the first question, and therewith also an affirmation of the second.

μήτι ἐγὼ Ἰουδαῖός εἰμι] ʼΕγώ, with proud emphasis: you do not surely suppose that I, I your procurator, am a Jew? How should I of myself think of trying thee as a Jew and as king of the Jews? The emphasis of ἐγώ, Nonnus denotes by: μὴ γὰρ Ἰουδαῖος κἀγὼ πέλον;—the opposite of that: Thine own nation (τὸ ἔθνος τὸ σόν), and especially (καί) the high priests, have delivered thee to me; what hast thou done? No further ceremony!

Jesus now confesses His kingship,[231] but, in the first instance, only negatively (positively: John 18:37): “The kingdom which is mine does not arise (like other kingdoms) out of this world (which endures only until the establishment of my kingdom); if the kingdom which is mine proceeded out of this world, the servants whom I (οἱ ἐμοί) have would assuredly fight that I should not be delivered (which is done, John 19:16) to the Jews (the hierarchical opposition); but as it is (since they do not fight for me), my kingdom is not from thence” (ἐντεῦθεν = ἐκ τοῦ κόσμ. τούτου).

Note in this Demonstratio ad oculos the solemn repetition of ἐκ τοῦ κόσμον τ. and of Ἡ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΊΑ Ἡ ἘΜΉ, as well as that ἘΝΤΕῦΘΕΝ, from here, hence, is expressed deictically, as a vivid opposition to that which is coelitus, and, finally, that in ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου τούτου, not ΤΟΎΤΟΥ, which might also have been omitted, but ΚΌΣΜΟΥ bears the emphasis. The ὙΠΗΡΈΤΑΙ ΟἹ ἘΜΟΊ are not the servants whom He would have in the case supposed (Lücke, Tholuck, Hengstenberg, and several others), but He has His servants, they are His disciples and adherents (not the angels, as Luthardt thinks), John 12:26; 1 Corinthians 4:1; 2 Corinthians 6:4; 2 Corinthians 11:23; 1 Timothy 4:6; but even not from this world (John 17:16), they also do not fight, etc. Note how also, in the designation of His own by ὑπηρέται, the kingly consciousness expresses itself.

[231] This confession must, according to Schenkel, have probably teen spoken on another occasion. Groundless supposition. Comp. 1 Timothy 6:13, and Huther in loc.

John 18:35. To this Pilate with some heat and contempt replies: Μήτι ἐγὼ Ἰουδαῖός εἰμι; “Am I a Jew?” How can you suppose that I have any personal interest in such a matter?—τὸ ἔθνος τὸ σὸνἐμοί. “Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me.” It is their charge I repeat. τί ἐποίησας; “what hast Thou done?” He scouts the idea that he should take any interest in the Jewish Messiah, and returns to the practical point, “what have you done?”

35. Am I a Jew?] ‘Is it likely that I, a Roman governor, have any interest in these Jewish questions?’

have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done?] Better, delivered Thee unto me: what didst Thou do to make Thine own people turn against Thee?

John 18:35. Μή τι, I am not a Jew, am I?) That is to say, certainly it is not of myself that I say this: the Jews have told it to me.—τὸ σὸν, Thy own nation) of which Thou art called the King.—ἀρχιερεῖς, the high priests) The chief ministers themselves.—τί ἐποίησας, what hast Thou done?) Pilate glances at the question concerning Jesus being King.

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? John 18:35Am I a Jew?

As if Jesus' question implied that Pilate had been taking counsel with the Jews.

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