The Gospel according to Matthew

26:1After Jesus had finished saying all these things, he told his disciples,26:2“As you know, the Passover is in two days. That’s when the Human will be handed over to be crucified.”26:3Then the ruling priests and elders of the people got together at the palace of the ruling priest Caiaphas,26:4where they recommended the use of treachery to have Jesus arrested and killed.26:5“But not during the festival,” they said, “or the people might riot.”

26:6Now when Jesus went into Bethany to the home of Simon the Leper,26:7a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive perfumed oil, and she poured it on his head as he reclined for dinner.26:8But the disciples were indignant and said, “What a waste!26:9This could have been sold for a lot of money and the proceeds given to the destitute.”

26:10But when Jesus realized this, he scolded them, “Why are you giving this woman such grief? She is doing an honorable thing to me.26:11You will always have the destitute with you, but you will not always have me.26:12By pouring the perfumed oil on me she is anointing my body for burial.26:13And I assure you that wherever the Gospel is proclaimed around the world, what she did will be spoken of in her memory.”

26:14Then Judas of Kerioth, one of the Twelve, went off to the ruling priests26:15and said, “What will you give me if I hand Jesus over to you?” So they offered him thirty pieces of silver,26:16and from then on he watched for an opportunity to hand him over.

26:17On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread,1 the disciples asked Jesus, “Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover?”26:18And he replied, “Go into the city and tell a certain person, ‘The teacher says the time is near for him to eat the Passover meal with his disciples at your house.’ ”26:19They did as Jesus instructed and prepared the meal.

26:20When evening came and Jesus was reclining at the table having the meal with the Twelve,26:21he exclaimed, “I tell you truly that one of you will betray me!”

26:22They all became distraught and said, “I’m not the one, am I, Master?”

26:23“One who shares the dipping sauce with me is the one who will betray me.26:24What has been written about the Human being taken away will surely happen to him. But woe to the person who is responsible for having the Human handed over! It would be better if that person had never been born.”

26:25Then Judas the Traitor said to him, “I’m not the one, am I, Rabbi?”

“You said it yourself!” Jesus replied.

26:26While they were eating, Jesus picked up the bread and blessed it, then handed it out to his disciples and said, “Take this and eat it; this is my body.”26:27Then he picked up the cup, gave thanks, and handed it to his disciples and said, “Drink from this, all of you,26:28because this is my blood, with which I am signing the new unilateral contract, and it is being poured out for many to dismiss the charges against them.26:29With absolute certainty I tell you that from now on, I will not drink the fruit of the vine until2 the day comes when I drink it fresh in the kingdom of my Father.”26:30And after they sang a festive song, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

26:31Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will fall into a trap tonight on my account. As it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd and the whole flock of sheep will scatter.’26:32But when I am raised up, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”

26:33But Peter objected, “Even if everyone else falls into a trap on your account, that will never happen to me!”

26:34“On the contrary,” replied Jesus, “you will completely disown me three times before the rooster crows!”

26:35“Even if I am bound to die with you, I will not disown you!” Peter insisted. And all the other disciples said the same.

26:36Jesus took them to a place called Gethsemane, and he told his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.”26:37Then he took along Peter and also Zebedee’s two sons. He became extremely sad and depressed26:38and said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”26:39He went a short distance away and fell on his face, praying, “My Father, if possible, please let this cup pass me by! But what matters is what you want, not what I want.”26:40Then he returned to his disciples only to find them sleeping, so he said to Peter, “Couldn’t you keep watch with me for one hour?26:41Pray that you will not be put to the test! The spirit is eager but the flesh is weak.”

26:42He went off to pray a second time and said, “My Father, if there is no other way except that I go through this, then let your decision stand!”26:43And again he found the disciples sleeping, because their eyes were heavy.26:44So he gave up on them and went off to pray a third time, repeating what he said before.26:45Then he returned to the disciples and said, “Are you going to sleep and rest forever? Look! The hour has come and the Human is betrayed into the hands of deviants.26:46Wake up, let’s go! See, here comes my betrayer!”

26:47While he was still speaking, suddenly Judas, one of the Twelve, came along with a large crowd from the ruling priests and elders of the people, all carrying swords and clubs.26:48The traitor had prearranged this sign: “Whoever I greet affectionately is the one; arrest him!”26:49So he went up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” while kissing him fondly.

26:50“What are you doing here, buddy?” asked Jesus. And they grabbed him and put him under arrest.

26:51Suddenly one of those with Jesus reached for his sword, drew it out, and then struck the slave of the ruling priest, cutting off his ear.

26:52“Sheath your sword!” said Jesus. “Those who wield swords will die by swords.26:53Don’t you realize that I could say the word and my Father would put at my disposal more than twelve legions of Messengers?26:54But then, how would the scriptures be fulfilled? This has to happen!”

26:55Then at that time Jesus turned to the crowd and said, “You came with swords and clubs to arrest me, as if I’m some kind of robber. But every day I sat in the temple compound and taught, and you didn’t arrest me then.26:56Yet all of this happened in order to fulfill what the prophets wrote.” And at that point, all his disciples took off and ran away.

26:57Having arrested Jesus, the crowd led him away to the ruling priest Caiaphas, where the scripture scholars and elders had gathered.26:58Now Peter had been following at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the ruling priest. He went inside and sat with the deputies to wait for a verdict.26:59Meanwhile, the ruling priests and the whole Sanhedrin tried to produce false witnesses against Jesus, so they could have him executed.26:60But though many false witnesses came forward, they couldn’t find anything.

Finally two of them came forward26:61and said, “We heard him claim that he was going to demolish the temple of God and then rebuild it in three days!”

26:62Then the ruling priest stood up and said, “Have you nothing to say to the accusation brought by these two?”26:63But Jesus said nothing. So the ruling priest said, “I am putting you under oath before the living God to tell us if you are the Anointed, the God-Man!”

26:64“You said it yourself!” Jesus answered. “Furthermore, I assure you that after this you will see the Human sitting down to the right of The Power,3 and coming in the clouds of the sky!”

26:65At that, the ruling priest tore his tunic4 and exclaimed, “He has defamed God! Why do we need any further testimony? You heard it yourselves;26:66what is your verdict?”

“He deserves the death penalty!” they all replied.26:67Then they spat in his face, and while they were beating and slapping him26:68they mocked, “Prophesy, Anointed One! Who hit you?”

26:69Meanwhile, Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard, when a servant girl came up to him and said, “You were with Jesus the Galilean!”

26:70But he denied it in front of them all: “I don’t know what you’re talking about!”

26:71He went out of the gate, but another one saw him and said to the others there, “This one was with Jesus the Nazarene!”

26:72Again he denied it: “I swear, I do not know that person!”

26:73A short time later, some standing there came up to Peter and said, “You have to be one of them; your accent gives you away!”

26:74Then Peter began to curse and swear: “I don’t know the guy!” And immediately a rooster crowed.26:75Then he remembered what Jesus had said: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!” So he went outside, sobbing bitterly.

  1. 1The Feast of Unleavened Bread is described in Exodus 12:1-9 as a seven-day period beginning Nisan 14 in the mid/late afternoon. There were “Sabbaths” on the first and last day, on which no work was to be done. The day just before this began was called the Preparation. All yeast had to be removed from every household for the duration of the week.
  2. 2There is no word meaning “again” in Jesus’ statement about not drinking from the cup. Neither does the passage indicate that Jesus actually drank the wine or ate the bread.
  3. 3“The Power” was a respectful way to refer God.
  4. 4To tear one’s clothing indicated guilt according to the Talmud. But in this capacity the council was equivalent to a modern jury, so they could not do the actual sentencing.