J.B. Phillips New Testament
An act of love
14 1-2 In two days’ time the festival of the Passover and of unleavened bread was due. Consequently, the chief priests and the scribes were trying to think of some trick by which they could get Jesus into their power and have him executed. “But it must not be during the festival,” they said, “or there will be a riot.”
3-9 Jesus himself was now in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper. As he was sitting at table, a woman approached him with an alabaster flask of very costly spikenard perfume. She broke the neck of the flask and poured the perfume on Jesus’ head. Some of those present were highly indignant and muttered, “What is the point of such wicked waste of perfume? It could have been sold for over thirty pounds and the money could have been given to the poor.” And there was a murmur of resentment against her. But Jesus said, “Let her alone, why must you make her feel uncomfortable? She has done a beautiful thing for me. You have the poor with you always and you can do good to them whenever you like, but you will not always have me. She has done all she could—for she has anointed my body in preparation for burial. I assure you that wherever the Gospel is preached throughout the whole world, this deed of hers will also be recounted, as her memorial to me.”
Judas volunteers to betray Jesus
10-11 Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went off to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them. And when they heard what he had to say, they were delighted and undertook to pay him for it. So he looked out for a convenient opportunity to betray him.
The Passover-supper prepared
12 On the first day of unleavened bread, the day when the Passover was sacrificed, Jesus’ disciples said, “Where do you want us to go and make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?”
13-15 Jesus sent off two of them with these instructions, “Go into the town and you will meet a man carrying a pitcher of water. Follow him and say to the owner of the house to which he goes, ‘The Master says, where is the room for me to eat the Passover with my disciples?’ And he will show you a large upstairs room all ready with the furnishings that we need. That is the place where you are to make our preparations.”
16 So the disciples set off and went into the town, found everything as he had told them, and prepared for the Passover.
The last supper together: the mysterious bread and wine
17-18 Late in the evening he arrived with the twelve. And while they were sitting there, right in the middle of the meal, Jesus remarked, “Believe me, one of you is going to betray me—someone who is now having his supper with me.”
19 This shocked and distressed them and one after another they began to say to him, “Surely, I’m not the one?”
20-21 “It is one of the twelve,” Jesus told them, “a man who is dipping his hand into the dish with me. It is true that the Son of Man will follow the road foretold by the scriptures, but alas for the man through whom he is betrayed! It would be better for that man if he had never been born.”
22 And while they were still eating Jesus took a loaf, blessed it and broke it and gave it to them with the words, “Take this, it is my body.”
23-25 Then he took a cup, and after thanking God, he gave it to them, and they drank from it, and he said to them “This is my blood which is shed for many in the new agreement. I tell you truly I will drink no more wine until the day comes when I drink it fresh in the kingdom of God!”
26 Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.
27 “Every one of you will lose your faith in me,” Jesus told them, “As the scripture says: ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered’.
28 Yet after I have risen, I shall go before you into Galilee!”
Peter’s bold word—and Jesus’ reply
29 Then Peter said to him, “Even if everyone should lose faith, I never will.”
30 “Believe me, Peter,” returned Jesus, “this very night before the cock crows twice, you will disown me three times.”
31 But Peter protested violently, “Even if it means dying with you, I will never disown you!” And they all made the same protest.
The last desperate prayer in Gethsemane
32 Then they arrived at a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to the disciples, “Sit down here while I pray.”
33 He took with him Peter, James and John, and began to be horror-stricken and desperately depressed.
34 “My heart is nearly breaking,” he told them. “Stay here and keep watch for me.”
35 Then he walked forward a little way and flung himself on the ground, praying that, if it were possible, he might not have to face the ordeal.
36 “Dear Father,” he said, “all things are possible to you. Please—let me not have to drink this cup! Yet it is not what I want but what you want.”
37-38 Then he came and found them fast asleep. He spoke to Peter, “Are you asleep, Simon? Couldn’t you manage to watch for a single hour? Watch and pray, all of you, that you may not have to face temptation. Your spirit is willing, but human nature is weak.”
39-42 Then he went away again and prayed in the same words, and once more he came and found them asleep. they could not keep their eyes open and they did not know what to say for themselves. When he came back for the third time, he said “Are you still going to sleep and take your ease? All right—the moment has come: now you are going to see the Son of Man betrayed into the hands of evil men! Get up, let us be going! Look, here comes my betrayer!”
Judas betrays Jesus
43-49 And indeed, while the words were still on his lips, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived with a mob armed with swords and staves, sent by the chief priests and scribes and elders. The betrayer had given them a sign; he had said, “The one I kiss will be the man. Get hold of him and you can take him away without any trouble.” So he walked straight up to Jesus, cried, “Master!” and kissed him affectionately. And so they got hold of him and held him. Somebody present drew his sword and struck at the High Priest’s servant, slashing off his ear. Then Jesus spoke to them “So you’ve come out with your swords and staves to capture me like a bandit, have you? Day after day I was with you in the Temple, teaching, and you never laid a finger on me. But the scriptures must be fulfilled.”
50-52 Then all the disciples deserted him and made their escape. There happened to be a young man among Jesus’ followers who wore nothing but a linen shirt. They seized him, but he left the shirt in their hands and took to his heels stark naked.
Jesus before the High priest
53-58 So they marched Jesus away to the High Priest in whose presence all the chief priests and elders and scribes had assembled. (Peter followed him at a safe distance, right up to the High Priest’s courtyard. There he sat in the firelight with the servants, keeping himself warm.) Meanwhile, the chief priests and the whole council were trying to find some evidence against Jesus which would warrant the death penalty. But they failed completely. There were plenty of people ready to give false testimony against him, but their evidence was contradictory. Then some more perjurers stood up and said, “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this Temple that was built by human hands and in three days I will build another made without human aid.’”
59-60 But even so their evidence conflicted. So the High Priest himself got up and took the centre of the floor. “Have you no answer to make?” he asked Jesus. “What about all this evidence against you?”
61 But Jesus remained silent and offered no reply. Again the High Priest asked him, “Are you Christ, Son of the blessed one?”
62 And Jesus said, “I am! Yes, you will all see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power, coming in the clouds of heaven.”
63-64 Then the High Priest tore his robes and cried, “Why do we still need witnesses? You heard the blasphemy; what is your opinion now?”
65 And their verdict was that he deserved to die. Then some of them began to spit at him. They blindfolded him and then slapped him, saying, “Now prophesy who hit you!” Even the servants who took him away slapped his face.
Peter, in fear, disowns his master
66-67 In the meantime, while Peter was in the courtyard below, one of the High Priest’s maids came and saw him warming himself. She looked closely at him, and said, “You were with the Nazarene too—with Jesus!”
68 But he denied it, saying, “I don’t understand. I don’t know what you’re talking about.” And he walked out into the gateway, and a cock crew.
69 Again the maid who had noticed him began to say to the men standing there, “This man is one of them!”
70 But he denied it again. A few minutes later the bystanders themselves said to Peter, “You certainly are one of them. Why, you’re a Galilean!”
71 But he started to curse and swear, “I tell you I don’t know the man you’re talking about!”
72 Immediately the cock crew for the second time, and back into Peter’s mind came the words of Jesus, “Before the cock crows twice, you will disown me three times.” And he broke down and wept.
The New Testament in Modern English by J.B Phillips copyright © 1960, 1972 J. B. Phillips. Administered by The Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England. Used by Permission.