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The Arrest of Jesus

18 With these words, Jesus went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to a place where there was a garden. He and his disciples went in.

Judas, his betrayer, knew the place, because Jesus often used it as a meeting-place with his disciples. So Judas took a band of soldiers, with some servants of the chief priests and the Pharisees, and came there with torches, lights and weapons.

Jesus knew everything that was going to happen to him. He went out to meet them.

‘Who are you looking for?’ he asked.

‘Jesus of Nazareth,’ they answered.

‘I’m the one,’ he said to them.

Judas, his betrayer, was standing there with them. So when he said, ‘I’m the one,’ they went back a few paces, and fell down on the ground.

Jesus repeated his question.

‘Who are you looking for?’ he asked.

‘Jesus of Nazareth,’ they said.

‘I told you, I’m the one!’ said Jesus. ‘So, if you’re looking for me, let these people go.’ (He said this so as to fulfil the word he had spoken, when he said, ‘I haven’t lost any of the people you gave me.’)

10 Simon Peter had a sword. He drew it and hit the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.

11 ‘Put your sword back in its sheath!’ said Jesus to Peter. ‘Do you imagine I’m not going to drink the cup my father has given me?’

12 So the band of soldiers, with the officer and the Judaean attendants, arrested Jesus and tied him up. 13 They led him off first to Annas; he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. 14 It was Caiaphas who had given advice to the Judaeans that the best thing would be for one man to die for the people.

Peter Denies Jesus

15 Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. That other disciple was known to the high priest; he went in to the high priest’s courtyard along with Jesus, 16 while Peter stood outside by the gate. So the other disciple, being known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the woman on the gate. Then he brought Peter inside.

17 The woman on the gate spoke to Peter.

‘You’re not one of that man’s disciples too, are you?’ she asked.

‘No, I’m not,’ he replied.

18 It was cold. The slaves and the attendants had made a charcoal fire, and they were standing round it, warming themselves. Peter was standing there with them and warming himself.

19 The high priest asked Jesus about his disciples, and about his teaching.

20 ‘I’ve spoken to the world quite openly,’ replied Jesus. ‘I always taught in the synagogue and in the Temple, where all the Judaeans gather. I didn’t say anything in secret. 21 Why are you asking me? There were people who listened to me. Ask them what I said to them. Don’t you see? They know what I said.’

22 When Jesus said that, one of the attendants standing there gave him a slap on the face.

‘Is that how you answer the high priest?’ he said.

23 ‘If I’ve said something wrong,’ replied Jesus, ‘give evidence about what was wrong with it. But if what I said was true, why are you hitting me?’

24 So Annas sent him off, still tied up, to Caiaphas the high priest.

25 Simon Peter, meanwhile, was standing there and warming himself.

‘You’re not one of his disciples, are you?’ they asked him.

He denied it. ‘No, I’m not,’ he said.

26 Then one of the high priest’s slaves, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, spoke up.

‘Didn’t I see you in the garden with him?’ he said.

27 Peter denied it once more. Instantly, the cock crowed.

Pilate and the Judaeans

28 So they took Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium, the governor’s residence. It was early in the morning. They didn’t themselves go inside the Praetorium. They were anxious not to pollute themselves, so that they would still be able to eat the Passover.

29 So Pilate went outside and spoke to them.

‘What’s the charge, then?’ he asked. ‘What have you got against this fellow?’

30 ‘If he wasn’t doing wicked things,’ they replied, ‘we wouldn’t have handed him over to you.’

31 ‘Take him yourselves,’ said Pilate to them, ‘and judge him by your own law.’

‘We’re not allowed to put anyone to death,’ replied the Judaeans. 32 (This was so that the word of Jesus might come true, when he had indicated what sort of death he was going to die.)

My Kingdom Is Not from This World

33 So Pilate went back in to the Praetorium and spoke to Jesus.

‘Are you the King of the Jews?’ he asked.

34 ‘Was it your idea to ask that?’ asked Jesus. ‘Or did other people tell you about me?’

35 ‘I’m not a Jew, am I?’ retorted Pilate. ‘Your own people, and the chief priests, have handed you over to me! What have you done?’

36 ‘My kingdom isn’t the sort that grows in this world,’ replied Jesus. ‘If my kingdom were from this world, my supporters would have fought, to stop me being handed over to the Judaeans. So then, my kingdom is not the sort that comes from here.’

37 ‘So!’ said Pilate. ‘You are a king, are you?’

‘You’re the one who’s calling me a king,’ replied Jesus. ‘I was born for this; I’ve come into the world for this: to give evidence about the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.’

38 ‘Truth!’ said Pilate. ‘What’s that?’

With those words, he went back out to the Judaeans.

‘I find this man not guilty!’ he said to them. 39 ‘But look here: you’ve got this custom that I should let someone free at Passover-time. So what about it? Would you like me to release “The King of the Jews”?’

40 ‘No!’ they shouted. ‘We don’t want him! Give us Barabbas!’

Now Barabbas was a brigand.