Then asked he them again, Whom seek you? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Then asked he them again.—Their fear has passed away, so that we are not to think, as men sometimes do, that they were struck to the ground helpless. His thought is still of saving those who are with Him. The question brings the same formal answer. They have no warrant to take any of those who are with Him. They seek only Jesus of Nazareth.
Jesus of Nazareth—The stunning effect of His first answer wearing off, they think only of the necessity of executing their orders.
let these go their way, might be interpreted of the armed men that came with the officers, of whom there seemed no such need to carry away an unarmed man; yet the next words make it evident that they are to be understood of his disciples, being persons against whom they had no warrant. Our Lord hath a care of his disciples, that they might not suffer with him.
They said Jesus of Nazareth; having recovered their spirits, and being hardened in desperate malice and wickedness, impudently make this reply to him; nor would they, notwithstanding this instance of his power, own him to be the Messiah; but still contemptuously style him Jesus of Nazareth.Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)John 18:7. Declaring His identity a second time, Jesus explicitly reminds the officials that by their own acknowledgment they are instructed to arrest none but Himself, εἰ οὖν ἐμὲ ζητεῖτε … οὐδένα. In thus protecting His companions, Jesus, according to John, fulfils John 17:12; although here the fulfilment is more superficial than that which was intended. (Cf. 2 Samuel 24:17.)7. Then asked he them again] Again therefore (John 18:3) He asked them. Their first onset had been baffled; He Himself therefore gives them another opening. They repeat the terms of their warrant; they have been sent to arrest Jesus the Nazarene.Οἱ δὲ εἶπον, and [but] they said) The violence of their mad attack upon the Saviour robbed them of all consideration, or regard to so striking an omen.—V. g.]Verses 7, 8. - Again then (οϋν, regarding all the conditions, the cup, the cross, the blood-baptism, the supreme will, all are at stake) he asked them, Whom seek ye? Then, restored from their fright and spasm of conscience, produced by the presence of One whom no fetters, not even those of death itself, could bind, and reassured now by the same voice (cf. Daniel 10:10; Revelation 1:17), they reply, Jesus the Nazarene. He thus compels them to limit their design, and to single himself out for the malice and devilish plot of their masters. I told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, suffer these to depart. There is much in this that lies beneath the surface.
(1) There is an explanation of the miraculous blast which had a few moments before rolled them at his feet. They will not dare to disobey him. What may he not do, if they proceed to arrest the disciples?
(2) The disciples are discharged from the immediate function of suffering and death. They were in imminent danger, as is conspicuous from the fleeing youth, and from the language of the bystanders subsequently to Peter; but their hour was not yet come.
(3) He would tread the winepress alone. They were none who could go with him into this terrible conflict (cf. "Ye shall leave me alone; yet not alone").
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