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Escaping the Courtyard

by Rev. Kirby Williams

John's masterful narrative of the epic encounter between Jesus and the evil Annas, while Peter struggles in the courtyard.

Text: John 18:12-27
Date: 05/03/2020, the Combined service.
Series: "John: Encountering Love" Part 175

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In this message, we will continue to notice John's selective reporting of the events leading up to Jesus' Crucifixion. After "descending" from the spiritual heights of the High Priestly Prayer to the standoff with evil in the Garden, Jesus is arrested and taken directly to an interview with Annas, the evil and manipulative power behind the priesthood. John masterfully intertwines Peter's desperate spiritual struggle in the courtyard of the priest's palace with the confrontation between Jesus and Annas. The imagery is stunning as the righteous High Priest meets the evil high priest and Peter's soul lies in the balance. We will compare Peter's struggle to the dilemma of the church as it faces evil from false teachers and priests like Annas every day of its existence. Ultimately we will realize how vital it is we remain in the protective care of our Great High Priest, who through His sacrifice and intercession makes it possible for all who believe in Him to "escape the courtyard"!

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I. Introduction, Gen. 3:1,4,5.
II. Exposition of the text, John 18:12-27.
A. Context
1. The High Priestly Prayer.
2. The standoff in the Garden.
3. Peter in the spotlight.
B. Confrontation with evil.
1. Overview.
a. John's approach.
b. A condensed version.
2. From the garden to the palace, vs. 12-14.
a. Jesus arrested, vs. 12.
i. Revisiting the "band".
ii. The ultimate evil.
iii. The infinite Lord-- bound, John 8:34,36, 5:22.
b. Sorting out the issue of the high priests, vs. 13-14.
i. Will the real high priest stand up, vs. 13.
• The "high priest of evil".
• A profound contrast.
ii. Little chance of a fair trial, vs. 14.
3. Peter's first denial, vs. 15-18.
a. Setting the scene, vs. 15-16.
i. The "other" disciple, vs. 15.
• Peter: the paradox.
• The identity of the "other" disciple.
ii. Getting Peter inside, vs. 16.
b. Peter's first denial, vs. 17.
i. The portress's question.
ii. Peter's response, John 13:37, Matt. 26:41, Matt. 10:33.
c. A man in "immortal" danger, vs. 18.
i. Harmonizing the Gospels.
ii. Teetering on the edge of darkness, John 18:5, 17:9,15,12.
4. The interview with Annas, vs. 19-24.
a. The question from the snake, vs. 19.
b. Jesus' response, vs. 20-21.
i. A sharp contrast, vs. 20.
ii. Exposing the injustice, vs 21.
c. The slap in the face, vs. 22-24, John 3:19-20.
5. Peter's subsequent denials, vs. 25-27.
a. Re-acclimating to the courtyard, vs. 25a, Luke 22:61.
b. The second denial, vs. 25b.
c. The third denial, vs. 26-27, John 13:38.
C. Interpretation
III. Application
IV. Conclusion
Previous sermons covering these verses...
4/22/2011 -- Agony and Ecstasy in the Garden; John 18:1
4/06/2012 -- The Kiss of Betrayal; John 18:2-3
3/29/2013 -- The Prophet, Priest and King of Gethsemane; John 18:4-9
4/18/2014 -- Fracas in the Garden; John 18:10-12
3/25/2016 -- Interview with the King of Thieves; John 18:12-14,19-24
3/30/2018 -- Portraits of Denial; John 18:15-18, 25-27

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