New American Bible (Revised Edition)
40 When he returned to his disciples he found them asleep. He said to Peter, “So you could not keep watch with me for one hour? 41 Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test.[a] The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 [b](A)Withdrawing a second time, he prayed again, “My Father, if it is not possible that this cup pass without my drinking it, your will be done!” 43 Then he returned once more and found them asleep, for they could not keep their eyes open. 44 He left them and withdrew again and prayed a third time, saying the same thing again. 45 (B)Then he returned to his disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Behold, the hour is at hand when the Son of Man is to be handed over to sinners. 46 Get up, let us go. Look, my betrayer is at hand.”
The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus. 47 (C)While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived, accompanied by a large crowd, with swords and clubs, who had come from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48 His betrayer had arranged a sign with them, saying, “The man I shall kiss is the one; arrest him.” 49 Immediately he went over to Jesus and said, “Hail, Rabbi!”[c] and he kissed him. 50 Jesus answered him, “Friend, do what you have come for.” Then stepping forward they laid hands on Jesus and arrested him. 51 And behold, one of those who accompanied Jesus put his hand to his sword, drew it, and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his ear. 52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its sheath, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53 Do you think that I cannot call upon my Father and he will not provide me at this moment with more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But then how would the scriptures be fulfilled which say that it must come to pass in this way?” 55 [d]At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to seize me? Day after day I sat teaching in the temple area, yet you did not arrest me. 56 (D)But all this has come to pass that the writings of the prophets may be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples left him and fled.
Jesus Before the Sanhedrin.[e] 57 (E)Those who had arrested Jesus led him away to Caiaphas[f] the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled. 58 Peter was following him at a distance as far as the high priest’s courtyard, and going inside he sat down with the servants to see the outcome. 59 The chief priests and the entire Sanhedrin[g] kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus in order to put him to death, 60 (F)but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. Finally two[h] came forward 61 who stated, “This man said, ‘I can destroy the temple of God and within three days rebuild it.’” 62 The high priest rose and addressed him, “Have you no answer? What are these men testifying against you?” 63 (G)But Jesus was silent.[i] Then the high priest said to him, “I order you to tell us under oath before the living God whether you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” 64 (H)Jesus said to him in reply, “You have said so.[j] But I tell you:
From now on you will see ‘the Son of Man
seated at the right hand of the Power’
and ‘coming on the clouds of heaven.’”
65 Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has blasphemed![k] What further need have we of witnesses? You have now heard the blasphemy; 66 what is your opinion?” They said in reply, “He deserves to die!” 67 [l](I)Then they spat in his face and struck him, while some slapped him, 68 saying, “Prophesy for us, Messiah: who is it that struck you?”
Peter’s Denial of Jesus. 69 (J)Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. One of the maids came over to him and said, “You too were with Jesus the Galilean.” 70 [m]But he denied it in front of everyone, saying, “I do not know what you are talking about!” 71 As he went out to the gate, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This man was with Jesus the Nazorean.” 72 Again he denied it with an oath, “I do not know the man!” 73 [n]A little later the bystanders came over and said to Peter, “Surely you too are one of them; even your speech gives you away.” 74 At that he began to curse and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately a cock crowed. 75 (K)Then Peter remembered the word that Jesus had spoken: “Before the cock crows you will deny me three times.” He went out and began to weep bitterly.Read full chapter
- 26:41 Undergo the test: see note on Mt 6:13. In that verse “the final test” translates the same Greek word as is here translated the test, and these are the only instances of the use of that word in Matthew. It is possible that the passion of Jesus is seen here as an anticipation of the great tribulation that will precede the parousia (see notes on Mt 24:8; 24:21) to which Mt 6:13 refers, and that just as Jesus prays to be delivered from death (Mt 26:39), so he exhorts the disciples to pray that they will not have to undergo the great test that his passion would be for them. Some scholars, however, understand not undergo (literally, “not enter”) the test as meaning not that the disciples may be spared the test but that they may not yield to the temptation of falling away from Jesus because of his passion even though they will have to endure it.
- 26:42 Your will be done: cf. Mt 6:10.
- 26:49 Rabbi: see note on Mt 23:6–7. Jesus is so addressed twice in Matthew (Mt 26:25), both times by Judas. For the significance of the closely related address “teacher” in Matthew, see note on Mt 8:19.
- 26:55 Day after day…arrest me: cf. Mk 14:49. This suggests that Jesus had taught for a relatively long period in Jerusalem, whereas Mt 21:1–11 puts his coming to the city for the first time only a few days before.
- 26:57–68 Following Mk 14:53–65 Matthew presents the nighttime appearance of Jesus before the Sanhedrin as a real trial. After many false witnesses bring charges against him that do not suffice for the death sentence (Mt 26:60), two came forward who charge him with claiming to be able to destroy the temple…and within three days to rebuild it (Mt 26:60–61). Jesus makes no answer even when challenged to do so by the high priest, who then orders him to declare under oath…whether he is the Messiah, the Son of God (Mt 26:62–63). Matthew changes Mark’s clear affirmative response (Mk 14:62) to the same one as that given to Judas (Mt 26:25), but follows Mark almost verbatim in Jesus’ predicting that his judges will see him (the Son of Man) seated at the right hand of God and coming on the clouds of heaven (Mt 26:64). The high priest then charges him with blasphemy (Mt 26:65), a charge with which the other members of the Sanhedrin agree by declaring that he deserves to die (Mt 26:66). They then attack him (Mt 26:67) and mockingly demand that he prophesy (Mt 26:68). This account contains elements that are contrary to the judicial procedures prescribed in the Mishnah, the Jewish code of law that dates in written form from ca. A.D. 200, e.g., trial on a feast day, a night session of the court, pronouncement of a verdict of condemnation at the same session at which testimony was received. Consequently, some scholars regard the account entirely as a creation of the early Christians without historical value. However, it is disputable whether the norms found in the Mishnah were in force at the time of Jesus. More to the point is the question whether the Matthean-Marcan night trial derives from a combination of two separate incidents, a nighttime preliminary investigation (cf. Jn 18:13, 19–24) and a formal trial on the following morning (cf. Lk 22:66–71).
- 26:57 Caiaphas: see note on Mt 26:3.
- 26:59 Sanhedrin: see note on Lk 22:66.
- 26:60–61 Two: cf. Dt 19:15. I can destroy…rebuild it: there are significant differences from the Marcan parallel (Mk 14:58). Matthew omits “made with hands” and “not made with hands” and changes Mark’s “will destroy” and “will build another” to can destroy and (can) rebuild. The charge is probably based on Jesus’ prediction of the temple’s destruction; see notes on Mt 23:37–39; 24:2; and Jn 2:19. A similar prediction by Jeremiah was considered as deserving death; cf. Jer 7:1–15; 26:1–8.
- 26:63 Silent: possibly an allusion to Is 53:7. I order you…living God: peculiar to Matthew; cf. Mk 14:61.
- 26:64 You have said so: see note on Mt 26:25. From now on…heaven: the Son of Man who is to be crucified (cf. Mt 20:19) will be seen in glorious majesty (cf. Ps 110:1) and coming on the clouds of heaven (cf. Dn 7:13). The Power: see note on Mk 14:61–62.
- 26:65 Blasphemed: the punishment for blasphemy was death by stoning (see Lv 24:10–16). According to the Mishnah, to be guilty of blasphemy one had to pronounce “the Name itself,” i.e., Yahweh; cf. Sanhedrin 7:4, 5. Those who judge the gospel accounts of Jesus’ trial by the later Mishnah standards point out that Jesus uses the surrogate “the Power,” and hence no Jewish court would have regarded him as guilty of blasphemy; others hold that the Mishnah’s narrow understanding of blasphemy was a later development.
- 26:67–68 The physical abuse, apparently done to Jesus by the members of the Sanhedrin themselves, recalls the sufferings of the Isaian Servant of the Lord; cf. Is 50:6. The mocking challenge to prophesy is probably motivated by Jesus’ prediction of his future glory (Mt 26:64).
- 26:70 Denied it in front of everyone: see Mt 10:33. Peter’s repentance (Mt 26:75) saves him from the fearful destiny of which Jesus speaks there.
- 26:73 Your speech…away: Matthew explicates Mark’s “you too are a Galilean” (Mk 14:70).