Contemporary English Version
A Widow’s Offering
21 Jesus looked up and saw some rich people tossing their gifts into the offering box. 2 He also saw a poor widow putting in two pennies. 3 And he said, “I tell you that this poor woman has put in more than all the others. 4 Everyone else gave what they didn’t need. But she is very poor and gave everything she had.”
The Temple Will Be Destroyed
5 Some people were talking about the beautiful stones used to build the temple and about the gifts that had been placed in it. Jesus said, 6 “Do you see these stones? The time is coming when not one of them will be left in place. They will all be knocked down.”
Warning about Trouble
7 Some people asked, “Teacher, when will all this happen? How can we know when these things are about to take place?”
8 Jesus replied:
Don’t be fooled by those who will come and claim to be me. They will say, “I am Christ!” and “Now is the time!” But don’t follow them. 9 When you hear about wars and riots, don’t be afraid. These things will have to happen first, but that isn’t the end.
10 Nations will go to war against one another, and kingdoms will attack each other. 11 There will be great earthquakes, and in many places people will starve to death and suffer terrible diseases. All sorts of frightening things will be seen in the sky.
12 Before all this happens, you will be arrested and punished. You will be tried in your meeting places and put in jail. Because of me you will be placed on trial before kings and governors. 13 But this will be your chance to tell about your faith.
14 Don’t worry about what you will say to defend yourselves. 15 I will give you the wisdom to know what to say. None of your enemies will be able to oppose you or to say that you are wrong. 16 You will be betrayed by your own parents, brothers, family, and friends. Some of you will even be killed. 17 Because of me, you will be hated by everyone. 18 But don’t worry![a] 19 You will be saved by being faithful to me.
Jerusalem Will Be Destroyed
20 When you see Jerusalem surrounded by soldiers, you will know that it will soon be destroyed. 21 If you are living in Judea at that time, run to the mountains. If you are in the city, leave it. And if you are out in the country, don’t go back into the city. 22 This time of punishment is what is written about in the Scriptures. 23 It will be an awful time for women who are expecting babies or nursing young children! Everywhere in the land people will suffer horribly and be punished. 24 Some of them will be killed by swords. Others will be carried off to foreign countries. Jerusalem will be overrun by foreign nations until their time comes to an end.
When the Son of Man Appears
25 Strange things will happen to the sun, moon, and stars. The nations on earth will be afraid of the roaring sea and tides, and they won’t know what to do. 26 People will be so frightened that they will faint because of what is happening to the world. Every power in the sky will be shaken.[b] 27 Then the Son of Man will be seen, coming in a cloud with great power and glory. 28 When all of this starts happening, stand up straight and be brave. You will soon be set free.
A Lesson from a Fig Tree
29 Then Jesus told them a story:
When you see a fig tree or any other tree 30 putting out leaves, you know that summer will soon come. 31 So, when you see these things happening, you know that God’s kingdom will soon be here. 32 You can be sure that some of the people of this generation will still be alive when all of this takes place. 33 The sky and the earth won’t last forever, but my words will.
34 Don’t spend all of your time thinking about eating or drinking or worrying about life. If you do, the final day will suddenly catch you 35 like a trap. That day will surprise everyone on earth. 36 Watch out and keep praying that you can escape all that is going to happen and that the Son of Man will be pleased with you.
37 Jesus taught in the temple each day, and he spent each night on the Mount of Olives. 38 Everyone got up early and came to the temple to hear him teach.
A Plot To Kill Jesus
22 The Festival of Thin Bread, also called Passover, was near. 2 The chief priests and the teachers of the Law of Moses were looking for a way to get rid of Jesus, because they were afraid of what the people might do. 3 Then Satan entered the heart of Judas Iscariot,[c] who was one of the twelve apostles.
4 Judas went to talk with the chief priests and the officers of the temple police about how he could help them arrest Jesus. 5 They were very pleased and offered to pay Judas some money. 6 He agreed and started looking for a good chance to betray Jesus when the crowds were not around.
Jesus Eats with His Disciples
7 The day had come for the Festival of Thin Bread, and it was time to kill the Passover lambs. 8 So Jesus said to Peter and John, “Go and prepare the Passover meal for us to eat.”
9 But they asked, “Where do you want us to prepare it?”
10 Jesus told them, “As you go into the city, you will meet a man carrying a jar of water.[d] Follow him into the house 11 and say to the owner, ‘Our teacher wants to know where he can eat the Passover meal with his disciples.’ 12 The owner will take you upstairs and show you a large room ready for you to use. Prepare the meal there.”
13 Peter and John left. They found everything just as Jesus had told them, and they prepared the Passover meal.
The Lord’s Supper
14 When the time came for Jesus and the apostles to eat, 15 he said to them, “I have very much wanted to eat this Passover meal with you before I suffer. 16 I tell you that I will not eat another Passover meal until it is finally eaten in God’s kingdom.”
17 Jesus took a cup of wine in his hands and gave thanks to God. Then he told the apostles, “Take this wine and share it with each other. 18 I tell you that I will not drink any more wine until God’s kingdom comes.”
19 Jesus took some bread in his hands and gave thanks for it. He broke the bread and handed it to his apostles. Then he said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Eat this as a way of remembering me!”
20 After the meal he took another cup of wine in his hands. Then he said, “This is my blood. It is poured out for you, and with it God makes his new agreement. 21 The one who will betray me is here at the table with me! 22 The Son of Man will die in the way that has been decided for him, but it will be terrible for the one who betrays him!”
23 Then the apostles started arguing about who would ever do such a thing.
An Argument about Greatness
24 The apostles got into an argument about which one of them was the greatest. 25 So Jesus told them:
Foreign kings order their people around, and powerful rulers call themselves everyone’s friends.[e] 26 But don’t be like them. The most important one of you should be like the least important, and your leader should be like a servant. 27 Who do people think is the greatest, a person who is served or one who serves? Isn’t it the one who is served? But I have been with you as a servant.
28 You have stayed with me in all my troubles. 29 So I will give you the right to rule as kings, just as my Father has given me the right to rule as a king. 30 You will eat and drink with me in my kingdom, and you will each sit on a throne to judge the twelve tribes of Israel.
Jesus' Disciples Will Be Tested
31 Jesus said, “Simon, listen to me! Satan has demanded the right to test each one of you, as a farmer does when he separates wheat from the husks.[f] 32 But Simon, I have prayed that your faith will be strong. And when you have come back to me, help the others.”
33 Peter said, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to jail and even to die with you.”
34 Jesus replied, “Peter, I tell you that before a rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will say three times that you don’t know me.”
Moneybags, Traveling Bags, and Swords
35 Jesus asked his disciples, “When I sent you out without a moneybag or a traveling bag or sandals, did you need anything?”
“No!” they answered.
36 Jesus told them, “But now, if you have a moneybag, take it with you. Also take a traveling bag, and if you don’t have a sword,[g] sell some of your clothes and buy one. 37 Do this because the Scriptures say, ‘He was considered a criminal.’ This was written about me, and it will soon come true.”
38 The disciples said, “Lord, here are two swords!”
“Enough of that!” Jesus replied.
39 Jesus went out to the Mount of Olives, as he often did, and his disciples went with him. 40 When they got there, he told them, “Pray that you won’t be tested.”
41 Jesus walked on a little way before he knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you will, please don’t make me suffer by having me drink from this cup.[h] But do what you want, and not what I want.”
43 Then an angel from heaven came to help him. 44 Jesus was in great pain and prayed so sincerely that his sweat fell to the ground like drops of blood.[i]
45 Jesus got up from praying and went over to his disciples. They were asleep and worn out from being so sad. 46 He said to them, “Why are you asleep? Wake up and pray that you won’t be tested.”
Jesus Is Arrested
47 While Jesus was still speaking, a crowd came up. It was led by Judas, one of the twelve apostles. He went over to Jesus and greeted him with a kiss.[j]
48 Jesus asked Judas, “Are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”
49 When Jesus' disciples saw what was about to happen, they asked, “Lord, should we attack them with a sword?” 50 One of the disciples even struck at the high priest’s servant with his sword and cut off the servant’s right ear.
51 “Enough of that!” Jesus said. Then he touched the servant’s ear and healed it.
52 Jesus spoke to the chief priests, the temple police, and the leaders who had come to arrest him. He said, “Why do you come out with swords and clubs and treat me like a criminal? 53 I was with you every day in the temple, and you didn’t arrest me. But this is your time, and darkness[k] is in control.”
Peter Says He Doesn’t Know Jesus
54 Jesus was arrested and led away to the house of the high priest, while Peter followed at a distance. 55 Some people built a fire in the middle of the courtyard and were sitting around it. Peter sat there with them, 56 and a servant girl saw him. Then after she had looked at him carefully, she said, “This man was with Jesus!”
57 Peter said, “Woman, I don’t even know that man!”
58 A little later someone else saw Peter and said, “You are one of them!”
“No, I’m not!” Peter replied.
59 About an hour later another man insisted, “This man must have been with Jesus. They both come from Galilee.”
60 Peter replied, “I don’t know what you are talking about!” Right then, while Peter was still speaking, a rooster crowed.
61 The Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered that the Lord had said, “Before a rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will say three times that you don’t know me.” 62 Then Peter went out and cried hard.
63 The men who were guarding Jesus made fun of him and beat him. 64 They put a blindfold on him and said, “Tell us who struck you!” 65 They kept on insulting Jesus in many other ways.
Jesus Is Questioned by the Council
66 At daybreak the nation’s leaders, the chief priests, and the teachers of the Law of Moses got together and brought Jesus before their council. 67 They said, “Tell us! Are you the Messiah?”
Jesus replied, “If I said so, you wouldn’t believe me. 68 And if I asked you a question, you wouldn’t answer. 69 But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right side of God All-Powerful.”
70 Then they asked, “Are you the Son of God?”[l]
Jesus answered, “You say I am!”[m]
71 They replied, “Why do we need more witnesses? He said it himself!”
- 21.18 But don’t worry: The Greek text has “Not a hair of your head will be lost,” which means, “There’s no need to worry.”
- 21.26 Every power in the sky will be shaken: In ancient times people thought that the stars were spiritual powers.
- 22.3 Iscariot: See the note at 6.16.
- 22.10 a man carrying a jar of water: A male slave carrying water would probably mean that the family was rich.
- 22.25 everyone’s friends: This translates a Greek word that rulers sometimes used as a title for themselves or for special friends.
- 22.31 separates wheat from the husks: See the note at 3.17.
- 22.36 moneybag. . . traveling bag. . . sword: These were things that someone would take on a dangerous journey. Jesus was telling his disciples to be ready for anything that might happen. They seem to have understood what he meant (see 22.49-51).
- 22.42 having me drink from this cup: In the Scriptures “to drink from a cup” sometimes means to suffer.
- 22.43,44 Then an angel. . . like drops of blood: Verses 43,44 are not in some manuscripts.
- 22.47 greeted him with a kiss: It was the custom for people to greet each other with a kiss on the cheek.
- 22.53 darkness: Darkness stands for the power of the devil.
- 22.70 Son of God: This was one of the titles used for the kings of Israel.
- 22.70 You say I am: Or “That’s what you say.”