Matthew 26
GOD'S WORD® Translation

1When Jesus finished saying all these things, he told his disciples, 2"You know that the Passover will take place in two days. At that time the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified."

3Then the chief priests and the leaders of the people gathered in the palace of the chief priest Caiaphas. 4They made plans to arrest Jesus in an underhanded way and to kill him. 5But they said, "We shouldn't arrest him during the festival, or else there may be a riot among the people."

6Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon, a man who had suffered from a skin disease. 7While Jesus was sitting there, a woman went to him with a bottle of very expensive perfume and poured it on his head. 8The disciples were irritated when they saw this. They asked, "Why did she waste it like this? 9It could have been sold for a high price, and the money could have been given to the poor." 10Since Jesus knew what was going on, he said to them, "Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing for me. 11You will always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me with you. 12She poured this perfume on my body before it is placed in a tomb. 13I can guarantee this truth: Wherever this Good News is spoken in the world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her."

14Then one of the twelve apostles, the one named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests. 15He asked, "What will you pay me if I hand him over to you?" They offered him 30 silver coins. 16From then on, he looked for a chance to betray Jesus.

17On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples went to Jesus. They asked, "Where do you want us to prepare the Passover meal for you?" 18He said, "Go to a certain man in the city, and tell him that the teacher says, 'My time is near. I will celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.'" 19The disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.

20When evening came, Jesus was at the table with the twelve apostles. 21While they were eating, he said, "I can guarantee this truth: One of you is going to betray me." 22Feeling deeply hurt, they asked him one by one, "You don't mean me, do you, Lord?" 23Jesus answered, "Someone who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. 24The Son of Man is going to die as the Scriptures say he will. But how horrible it will be for that person who betrays the Son of Man. It would have been better for that person if he had never been born." 25Then Judas, who betrayed him, asked, "You don't mean me, do you, Rabbi?" "Yes, I do," Jesus replied.

26While they were eating, Jesus took bread and blessed it. He broke the bread, gave it to his disciples, and said, "Take this, and eat it. This is my body." 27Then he took a cup and spoke a prayer of thanksgiving. He gave it to them and said, "Drink from it, all of you. 28This is my blood, the blood of the promise. It is poured out for many people so that sins are forgiven. 29"I can guarantee that I won't drink this wine again until that day when I drink new wine with you in my Father's kingdom."

30After they sang a hymn, they went to the Mount of Olives.

31Then Jesus said to them, "All of you will abandon me tonight. Scripture says, 'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep in the flock will be scattered.' 32"But after I am brought back to life, I will go to Galilee ahead of you." 33Peter said to him, "Even if everyone else abandons you, I never will." 34Jesus replied to Peter, "I can guarantee this truth: Before a rooster crows tonight, you will say three times that you don't know me." 35Peter told him, "Even if I have to die with you, I'll never say that I don't know you!" All the other disciples said the same thing.

36Then Jesus went with the disciples to a place called Gethsemane. He said to them, "Stay here while I go over there and pray." 37He took Peter and Zebedee's two sons with him. He was beginning to feel deep anguish. 38Then he said to them, "My anguish is so great that I feel as if I'm dying. Wait here, and stay awake with me."

39After walking a little farther, he quickly bowed with his face to the ground and prayed, "Father, if it's possible, let this cup [of suffering] be taken away from me. But let your will be done rather than mine." 40When he went back to the disciples, he found them asleep. He said to Peter, "Couldn't you stay awake with me for one hour? 41Stay awake, and pray that you won't be tempted. You want to do what's right, but you're weak."

42Then he went away a second time and prayed, "Father, if this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, let your will be done." 43He found them asleep again because they couldn't keep their eyes open. 44After leaving them again, he went away and prayed the same prayer a third time. 45Then he came back to the disciples and said to them, "You might as well sleep now. The time is near for the Son of Man to be handed over to sinners. 46Get up! Let's go! The one who is betraying me is near."

47Just then, while Jesus was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve apostles, arrived. A large crowd carrying swords and clubs was with him. They were from the chief priests and leaders of the people. 48Now, the traitor had given them a signal. He said, "The one I kiss is the man you want. Arrest him!" 49Then Judas quickly stepped up to Jesus and said, "Hello, Rabbi!" and kissed him. 50Jesus said to him, "Friend, why are you here?" Then some men came forward, took hold of Jesus, and arrested him.

51Suddenly, one of the men with Jesus pulled out his sword and cut off the ear of the chief priest's servant. 52Then Jesus said to him, "Put your sword away! All who use a sword will be killed by a sword. 53Don't you think that I could call on my Father to send more than twelve legions of angels to help me now? 54How, then, are the Scriptures to be fulfilled that say this must happen?"

55At that time Jesus said to the crowd, "Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as if I were a criminal? I used to sit teaching in the temple courtyard every day. But you didn't arrest me then. 56All of this has happened so that what the prophets have written would come true." Then all the disciples abandoned him and ran away.

57Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas, the chief priest, where the scribes and the leaders had gathered together. 58Peter followed at a distance until he came to the chief priest's courtyard. He went inside and sat with the guards to see how this would turn out.

59The chief priests and the whole council were searching for false testimony to use against Jesus in order to execute him. 60But they did not find any, although many came forward with false testimony. At last two men came forward. 61They stated, "This man said, 'I can tear down God's temple and rebuild it in three days.'" 62The chief priest stood up and said to Jesus, "Don't you have any answer to what these men testify against you?" 63But Jesus was silent. Then the chief priest said to him, "Swear an oath in front of the living God and tell us, are you the Messiah, the Son of God?" 64Jesus answered him, "Yes, I am. But I can guarantee that from now on you will see the Son of Man in the highest position in heaven. He will be coming on the clouds of heaven."

65Then the chief priest tore his robes in horror and said, "He has dishonored God! Why do we need any more witnesses? You've just heard him dishonor God! 66What's your verdict?" They answered, "He deserves the death penalty!"

67Then they spit in his face, hit him with their fists, and some of them slapped him. 68They said, "You Christ, if you're a prophet, tell us who hit you."

69Peter was sitting in the courtyard. A female servant came to him and said, "You, too, were with Jesus the Galilean." 70But Peter denied it in front of them all by saying, "I don't know what you're talking about." 71As he went to the entrance, another female servant saw him. She told those who were there, "This man was with Jesus from Nazareth." 72Again Peter denied it and swore with an oath, "I don't know the man!" 73After a little while the men standing there approached Peter and said, "It's obvious you're also one of them. Your accent gives you away!" 74Then Peter began to curse and swear with an oath, "I don't know the man!" Just then a rooster crowed. 75Peter remembered what Jesus had said: "Before a rooster crows, you will say three times that you don't know me." Then Peter went outside and cried bitterly.

GOD'S WORD® is a copyrighted work of God's Word to the Nations. Quotations are used by permission. Copyright 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. All rights reserved.

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