Matthew 26 English Standard Version (ESV)
The Plot to Kill Jesus
26 When Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said to his disciples, 2 “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.”
3 Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, 4 and plotted together in order to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him. 5 But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people.”
Jesus Anointed at Bethany
6 Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper,[a] 7 a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table. 8 And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? 9 For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor.” 10 But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. 12 In pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare me for burial. 13 Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”
Judas to Betray Jesus
14 Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. 16 And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him.
The Passover with the Disciples
17 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the Passover?” 18 He said, “Go into the city to a certain man and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, My time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.’” 19 And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover.
20 When it was evening, he reclined at table with the twelve.[b] 21 And as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” 22 And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?” 23 He answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” 25 Judas, who would betray him, answered, “Is it I, Rabbi?” He said to him, “You have said so.”
Institution of the Lord's Supper
26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the[c] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.”
Jesus Foretells Peter's Denial
30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 31 Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ 32 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” 33 Peter answered him, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.” 34 Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” 35 Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” And all the disciples said the same.
Jesus Prays in Gethsemane
36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” 37 And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch[d] with me.” 39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” 40 And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43 And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again. 45 Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on.[e] See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”
Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus
47 While he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; seize him.” 49 And he came up to Jesus at once and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” And he kissed him. 50 Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you came to do.”[f] Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him. 51 And behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword and struck the servant[g] of the high priest and cut off his ear. 52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53 Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?” 55 At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. 56 But all this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples left him and fled.
Jesus Before Caiaphas and the Council
57 Then those who had seized Jesus led him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had gathered. 58 And Peter was following him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest, and going inside he sat with the guards to see the end. 59 Now the chief priests and the whole council[h] were seeking false testimony against Jesus that they might put him to death, 60 but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward 61 and said, “This man said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to rebuild it in three days.’” 62 And the high priest stood up and said, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?”[i] 63 But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” 64 Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 65 Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy. 66 What is your judgment?” They answered, “He deserves death.” 67 Then they spit in his face and struck him. And some slapped him, 68 saying, “Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who is it that struck you?”
Peter Denies Jesus
69 Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came up to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” 70 But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you mean.” 71 And when he went out to the entrance, another servant girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” 72 And again he denied it with an oath: “I do not know the man.” 73 After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you too are one of them, for your accent betrays you.” 74 Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately the rooster crowed. 75 And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.
Matthew 26 The Voice (VOICE)
26 And so this is what happened, finally. Jesus finished all His teaching, and He said to His disciples,
Jesus: 2 The feast of Passover begins in two days. That is when the Son of Man is handed over to be crucified.
3 And almost as He spoke, the chief priests were getting together with the elders at the home of the high priest, Caiaphas. 4 They schemed and mused about how they could trick Jesus, sneak around and capture Him, and then kill Him.
Chief Priests: 5 We shouldn’t try to catch Him at the great public festival. The people would riot if they knew what we were doing.
6 Meanwhile Jesus was at Bethany staying at the home of Simon the leper. 7 While He was at Simon’s house, a woman came to see Him. She had an alabaster flask of very valuable ointment with her, and as Jesus reclined at the table, she poured the ointment on His head. 8 The disciples, seeing this scene, were furious.
Disciples: This is an absolute waste! 9 The woman could have sold that ointment for lots of money, and then she could have given it to the poor.
10 Jesus knew what the disciples were saying among themselves, so He took them to task.
Jesus: Why don’t you leave this woman alone? She has done a good thing. 11 It is good that you are concerned about the poor, but the poor will always be with you—I will not be. 12 In pouring this ointment on My body, she has prepared Me for My burial. 13 I tell you this: the good news of the kingdom of God will be spread all over the world, and wherever the good news travels, people will tell the story of this woman and her good discipleship. And people will remember her.
14 At that, one of the twelve, Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests.
Judas Iscariot: 15 What will you give me to turn Him over to you?
They offered him 30 pieces of silver. 16 And from that moment, he began to watch for a chance to betray Jesus.
Here begins the account of Jesus’ last night before His trial and crucifixion.
17 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples said to Jesus,
Disciples: Where would You like us to prepare the Passover meal for You?
Jesus: 18 Go into the city, find a certain man, and say to him, “The Teacher says, ‘My time is near, and I am going to celebrate Passover at your house with My disciples.’”
They find the man’s house and secure the owner’s permission, and there they will praise God for redeeming His people from bondage in Egypt.
19 So the disciples went off, followed Jesus’ instructions, and got the Passover meal ready. 20 When evening came, Jesus sat down with the twelve. 21 And they ate their dinner.
Jesus: I tell you this: one of you here will betray Me.
22 The disciples, of course, were horrified.
A Disciple: Not me!
Another Disciple: It’s not me, Master, is it?
Jesus: 23 It’s the one who shared this dish of food with Me. That is the one who will betray Me. 24 Just as our sacred Scripture has taught, the Son of Man is on His way. But there will be nothing but misery for he who hands Him over. That man will wish he had never been born.
25 At that, Judas, who was indeed planning to betray Him, said,
Judas Iscariot: It’s not me, Master, is it?
Jesus: I believe you’ve just answered your own question.
26 As they were eating, Jesus took some bread. He offered a blessing over the bread, and then He broke it and gave it to His disciples.
Jesus: Take this and eat; it is My body.
27 And then He took the cup of wine, He made a blessing over it, and He passed it around the table.
Jesus: Take this and drink, all of you: 28 this is My blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 But I tell you: I will not drink of the fruit of the vine again until I am with you once more, drinking in the kingdom of My Father.
30 The meal concluded. Together, all the men sang a hymn of praise and thanksgiving, and then they took a late evening walk to the Mount of Olives.
Jesus: 31 Scripture says,
I shall strike the shepherd,
Just so, each of you will stumble tonight, stumble and fall, on account of Me.
32 Afterward I will be raised up. And I will go before you to Galilee.
Peter: 33 Lord, maybe everyone else will trip and fall tonight, but I will not. I’ll be beside You. I won’t falter.
Jesus: 34 If only that were true. In fact, this very night, before the cock crows in the morning, you will deny Me three times.
Peter: 35 No! I won’t deny You. Even if that means I have to die with You!
And each of the disciples echoed Peter.
It is indeed a dark, bitter night. The disciples are sad and confused, and maybe a little bit prideful. Peter can not believe that he could ever betray his Lord.
36 At that, Jesus led His disciples to the place called Gethsemane.
Jesus: I am going over there to pray. You sit here while I’m at prayer.
37 Then He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee with Him, and He grew sorrowful and deeply distressed.
Jesus: 38 My soul is overwhelmed with grief, to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with Me.
39 He walked a little farther and finally fell prostrate and prayed.
Jesus: Father, this is the last thing I want. If there is any way, please take this bitter cup from Me. Not My will, but Yours be done.
40 When He came back to the disciples, He saw that they were asleep. Peter awoke a little less confident and slightly chagrined.
Jesus (to Peter): So you couldn’t keep watch with Me for just one short hour? 41 Now maybe you’re learning: the spirit is willing, but the body is weak. Watch and pray and take care that you are not pulled down during a time of testing.
42 With that, Jesus returned to His secluded spot to pray again.
Jesus: Father, if there is no other way for this cup to pass without My drinking it—then not My will, but Yours be done.
43 Again Jesus returned to His disciples and found them asleep. Their eyes were heavy-lidded. 44 So Jesus left them again and returned to prayer, praying the same sentiments with the same words. 45 Again He returned to His disciples.
Jesus: Well, you are still sleeping; are you getting a good long rest? Now the time has come; the Son of Man is just about to be given over to the betrayers and the sinners. 46 Get up; we have to be going. Look, here comes the one who’s going to betray Me.
47 There he was, Judas, one of the twelve leading a crowd of people from the chief priests and elders with swords and clubs; the chief priests and the elders were right there, ready to arrest Jesus. 48 And Judas, the one who intended to betray Him, had said to the elders and the chief priests that he would give them a sign.
Judas Iscariot: I’ll greet Him with a kiss. And you will know that the one I kiss is the one you should arrest.
49 So at once, he went up to Jesus.
Judas Iscariot: Greetings, Teacher (he kisses Him).
Jesus: 50 My friend, do what you have come to do.
And at that, the company came and seized Him. 51 One of the men with Jesus grabbed his sword and swung toward the high priest’s slave, slicing off his ear.
Jesus: 52 Put your sword back. People who live by the sword die by the sword. 53 Surely you realize that if I called on My Father, He would send 12 legions of messengers to rescue Me. 54 But if I were to do that, I would be thwarting the scriptural story, wouldn’t I? And we must allow the story of God’s kingdom to unfold. 55 (to the crowds) Why did you bring these weapons, these clubs and bats? Did you think I would fight you? That I would try to dodge and escape like a common criminal? You could have arrested Me any day when I was teaching in the temple, but you didn’t.
56 This scene has come together just so, so that the prophecies in the sacred Scripture could be fulfilled.
And at that, all the disciples ran away and abandoned Him. 57 The crowd that had arrested Jesus took Him to Caiaphas, the high priest. The scribes and elders had gathered at Caiaphas’s house and were waiting for Jesus to be delivered. 58 Peter followed Jesus (though at some distance so as not to be seen). He slipped into Caiaphas’s house and attached himself to a group of servants. And he sat watching, waiting to see how things would unfold.
59 The high priest and his council of advisors first produced false evidence against Jesus—false evidence meant to justify some charge and Jesus’ execution. 60 But even though many men were willing to lie, the council couldn’t come up with the evidence it wanted. Finally, two men stood up.
Two Men: 61 Look, He said, “I can destroy God’s temple and rebuild it in three days.” What more evidence do you need?
62 Then Caiaphas the high priest stood up and addressed Jesus.
Caiaphas: Aren’t You going to respond to these charges? What exactly are these two men accusing You of?
63 Jesus remained silent.
Caiaphas (to Jesus): Under a sacred oath before the living God, tell us plainly: are You the Anointed One, the Son of God?
Jesus: 64 So you seem to be saying. I will say this: beginning now, you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of God’s power and glory and coming on heavenly clouds.
65 The high priest tore his robes and screeched.
Caiaphas: Blasphemy! We don’t need any more witnesses—we’ve all just witnessed this most grievous blasphemy, right here and now. 66 So, gentlemen, what’s your verdict?
Gentlemen: He deserves to die.
67 Then they spat in His face and hit Him. Some of them smacked Him, slapped Him across the cheeks, 68 and jeered.
Some of the Men: Well, Anointed One, prophesy for us, if You can—who hit You? And who is about to hit You next?
69 As all this was going on in Caiaphas’s chamber, Peter was sitting in the courtyard with some servants. One of the servant girls came up to him.
Servant Girl: You were with Jesus the Galilean, weren’t you?
70 And just as Jesus had predicted, Peter denied it before everyone.
Peter: Not me! I don’t know what you’re talking about.
71 He went out to stand by the gate. And as he walked past, another servant girl recognized him.
Another Servant Girl (speaking to those standing around): That man over there—he was here with Jesus the Nazarene!
72 Again, just as Jesus had predicted, Peter denied it, swearing an oath.
Peter: I don’t know Him!
73 Peter then went to chat with a few of the servants. A little while later, some other servants approached him:
Other Servants: Look, we know that you must be one of Jesus’ followers. You speak like you are from the same area as His followers. You’ve got that tell-tale Galilean accent.
74 Cursing and swearing, Peter denied Him again.
Peter: I do not know Him!
As the exclamation left his mouth, a cock crowed. 75 And Peter remembered. He remembered that Jesus had looked at him with something like pity and said, “This very night, before the cock crows in the morning, you will deny Me three times.” And Peter went outside, sat down on the ground, and wept.