John 19:17-30 Bible Study Questions

– The Presentation of the King –

John 19:17-30 presents before us five steps to Jesus’ crucifixion. Indeed Jesus hung on the cross for about a few hours. We often think that the crucifixion and Jesus’ death as synonymous. But the fact is that crucifixion was a slow way full of torment to kill someone. It was shameful and despicable. Let’s look at these five steps or stages to Christ’s death. If we are careful, we will notice some last minute messages from John about our glorious Savior.

The Crucifixion of Jesus the Christ (John 19:17-18)

The first step actually describes Jesus’ crucifixion.

17 They took Jesus therefore, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. 18 There they crucified Him, and with Him two other men, one on either side, and Jesus in between.

  • What are three things we learn about Jesus’ crucifixion from John 19:17?
  • What is the significance of being crucified with two other men (John 19:17)?

Jesus the King of the Jews (John 19:19-22)

We need to realize that every Roman death had to have a sentence. Jesus was no different. The reason for His death was written above His head.

19 ¶ And Pilate wrote an inscription also, and put it on the cross. And it was written, “JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” 20 Therefore this inscription many of the Jews read, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and in Greek. 21 And so the chief priests of the Jews were saying to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews’; but that He said, ‘I am King of the Jews.’” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”

  • Why was an inscription written above Jesus’ head? What did it say?
  • What three languages was the inscription written in?
  • What was the chief priests special request to Pilate?
  • Why do you think that had this special request?
  • What is the significance of this crime of Jesus?


Jesus left nothing (John 19:23-24)

Although we think that the worst had happened, we just turn around and find another scene that makes things even worse.

 23 The soldiers therefore, when they had crucified Jesus, took His outer garments and made four parts, a part to every soldier and also the tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece. 24 They said therefore to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, to decide whose it shall be”; that the Scripture might be fulfilled, “THEY DIVIDED MY OUTER GARMENTS AMONG THEM, AND FOR MY CLOTHING THEY CAST LOTS.”

  • What do we find the soldiers doing? Why did they do that?
  • What clothing was this anyway?
  • Why do you think John brought this scene to our minds?
  • What possessions did Jesus leave to others on earth? Any special significance of this?

Jesus’ Mother (John 19:25-27)

For many, this scene with Jesus’ mother is a big surprise. Almost like the reading of His last will and statement, we see what Jesus leaves to His mother.

 25 Therefore the soldiers did these things. But there were standing by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then He said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own household.

  • Who besides the soldiers were with Jesus in His last moments?
  • With great effort Jesus spoke a few instructions as some of His last words. What did He request?
  • Why do you think John included this scene for us?

Jesus’ Death (John 19:28-30)

The crucifixion was the beginning of the end. This was the end of the end, or the beginning of beginnings, depending how one looks at this scene.

28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar full of sour wine was standing there; so they put a sponge full of the sour wine upon a branch of hyssop, and brought it up to His mouth. 30 When Jesus therefore had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head, and gave up His spirit.

  • What kind of detail was Jesus paying attention to here in His very last moments? Do you think this was something new or not?
  • What, if any, significance does Jesus words, “I am thirsty” mean?
  • What did He mean by “It is finished.”


With these things in the background of our minds, let us now take a look at the whole passage especially with reference to Jesus as king. Remember that John was showing that Christ was the Son of God.

The Gospel of John and Apologetics

There are some people that have seen the fulfillment of many prophecies through the life and death of Jesus but are not impressed. Or at least we can say, they are not changed by the gospel message. They might agree on the prophetic abilities of certain individuals but they do not see what this has to do their own life.

 Let’s take one of the prophecies of John 19:24 which is quoted from Psalm 22. Psalm 22 graphically prophesied a number of events such as Christ’s piercing and the splitting up of the clothes and the casting lots for his clothes. In and of itself, we might question whether other people could have fulfilled these prophecies. But when added together with just a few others out of the many, we see that only Jesus fulfilled these prophecies. He alone was David’s descendant and yet born of a virgin.

Still there is doubt to all the relevance of these prophecies to our own age. So they were accurate. Other people make prophecies too. The point here is that because the prophets were ridiculously accurate, then we need to accept that they were from God. It was like the Pharisees recognized that the people considered John the Baptist was from God. If he is from God, then the people need to hear the message as if it is from God. This is the same.

The prophecies are inconsequential if this is all they did and said. The prophecies were significant in two ways. First of all, it helped us pinpoint the right and true Messiah. Only Jesus fulfilled these prophecies. This has been discussed.

Secondly, we must accept the message of the prophets. If their prophecies are correct, then their message from God is also accurate. If their message is one from God, then we had better listen to what the message is and see if any of it applies to our lives.

Gospel of John Brief Study on King

Below are the references that the Gospel of John has of the word ‘king.’ It is interesting to note that the majority of usages are in John 18 and 19 at the trial of Jesus.

Joh 1:49 Nathanael answered Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel.”

Joh 6:15 Jesus therefore perceiving that they were intending to come and take Him by force, to make Him king, withdrew again to the mountain by Himself alone.

Joh 12:13 took the branches of the palm trees, and went out to meet Him, and began to cry out, “Hosanna! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD, even the King of Israel.”



Joh 18:33 Pilate therefore entered again into the Praetorium, and summoned Jesus, and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?”

Joh 18:37 Pilate therefore said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”

Joh 18:39 “But you have a custom, that I should release someone for you at the Passover; do you wish then that I release for you the King of the Jews?”

Joh 19:3 and they began to come up to Him, and say, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and to give Him blows in the face.

Joh 19:12 As a result of this Pilate made efforts to release Him, but the Jews cried out, saying, “If you release this Man, you are no friend of Caesar; everyone who makes himself out to be a king opposes Caesar.”

Joh 19:14 Now it was the day of preparation for the Passover; it was about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold, your King!”

Joh 19:15 They therefore cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.”

Joh 19:19 And Pilate wrote an inscription also, and put it on the cross. And it was written, “JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

Joh 19:21 And so the chief priests of the Jews were saying to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews’; but that He said, ‘I am King of the Jews.’”


John 1:49 Nathaniel connects the two titles of Son of God and the King of Israel. It seems very clear that on the cross that Jesus’ claim to be the king of Jews was being challenged. In the end we see that through the Israelites response that they rather have the Romans over them than Jesus. It is odd, though. Jesus only did good. If Jesus was not a king, why would they criminalize Him as a person claiming to be king?   Did they think He was crazy? Definitely not. They knew His claims were real with all His powers and descendants and yet they rejected Him. Jesus would come and judge Jerusalem in 70 A.D.

The other side of the crucifixion was that it was the beginning. The prophecies were not just about dying but about life. Something had to happen for others to share in the new life or kingdom? What is that? Why did Jesus need to die?

In the end it was crucial for us to understand why Jesus died. He really did die and it was with purpose, a purpose to change the world for good.

Other Gospel of John articles:

Introduction to Gospel of John: Purpose, Power (7 signs, miracles), Penetration (I Am), Plan (Outlines)
John 1:1-13 The Uniqueness of Jesus Christ Bible Study Questions
John 2:1-11 The Great Transformation: Biblical Perspective on Drinking and Drugs Bible Study Questions
John 2:12-25 Opening Up Our Lives: Intimacy with God Bible Study Questions
John 5:18-23 Affirming Christ's Deity
John 5:19-20 Christian Living by Understanding Christ's Mind Bible Study Questions
John 6:1-71 Jesus the Sustainer, the Bread of Life
John 7:37-39 Rivers of Living Waters Bible Study Questions
John 8:32 Finding Life in God's Word
John 10:30 I and Father are One
John 12:20-36 The Investment of Your Life Bible Study Questions
John 14:6 Jesus is the Way, Truth and Life

John 15:1-17 Abiding in Him Bible Study Questions
John 15:15-16 Genuine Friendship
John 19:17-30 Bible Study Questions
Biblical Foundations for Freedom

By Paul J. Bucknell