Before the Passover festival began, Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave the world and go to the Father. He had loved those who were his own in the world, and he loved them to the last. 2 The devil had already put the thought of betraying Jesus into the mind of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon;
3 And at supper, Jesus—although knowing that the Father had put everything into his hands, and that he had come from God, and was to return to God—4 Rose from his place, and, taking off his upper garments, tied a towel round his waist. 5 He then poured some water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel which was tied round him.
6 When he came to Simon Peter, Peter said: “You, Master! Are you going to wash my feet?” 7 “You do not understand now what I am doing,” replied Jesus, “but you will learn by and by.” 8 “You shall never wash my feet!” exclaimed Peter.
“Unless I wash you,” answered Jesus, “you have nothing in common with me.” 9 “Then, Master, not my feet only,” exclaimed Simon Peter, “but also my hands and my head.” 10 “He who has bathed,” replied Jesus, “has no need to wash, unless it be his feet, but is altogether clean; and you,” he said to the disciples, “are clean, yet not all of you.”
11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said: ‘You are not all clean.’ 12 When he had washed their feet, and had put on his upper garments and taken his place, he spoke to them again. “Do you understand what I have been doing to you?” he asked. 13 “You yourselves call me ‘the Teacher’ and ‘the Master’, and you are right, for I am both. 14 If I, then—’the Master’ and ‘the Teacher’—have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet; 15 For I have given you an example, so that you may do just as I have done to you.”
16 “In truth I tell you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor yet a messenger than the man who sends him. 17 Now that you know these things, happy are you if you do them. 18 I am not speaking about all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but this is in fulfillment of the words of scripture: ‘He that is eating my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ 19 For the future I shall tell you of things before they take place, so that, when they take place, you may believe that I am what I am.”
20 “In truth I say that you who receives anyone that I send receives me; and you who receives me receives him who sent me.” 21 After saying this, Jesus was much troubled, and said solemnly: “In truth I tell you that it is one of you who will betray me.” 22 The disciples looked at one another, wondering whom he meant.
23 Next to Jesus, in the place on his right hand, was one of his disciples, whom he loved. 24 So Simon Peter made signs to that disciple, and whispered: “Tell me who it is that he means.” 25 Being in this position, that disciple leant back on Jesus’ shoulder, and asked him: “Who is it, Master?”
26 “It is the one,” answered Jesus, “to whom I shall give a piece of bread after dipping it in the dish.” And, when Jesus had dipped the bread, he took it and gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot; 27 And it was then, after he had received it, that Satan took possession of him. So Jesus said to him: “Do at once what you are going to do.” 28 But no one at table understood why he said this to Judas. 29 Some thought that, as Judas kept the purse, Jesus meant that he was to buy some things needed for the festival, or to give something to the poor.
30 After taking the piece of bread, Judas went out immediately; and it was night. 31 When Judas had gone out, Jesus said: “Now the Son of Man has been exalted, and God has been exalted through him; 32 And God will exalt him with himself—yes, he will exalt him forthwith.”
33 “My children, I am to be with you but a little while longer. You will look for me; and what I said to the Jews—’You cannot come where I am going’—I now say to you. 34 I give you a new commandment: love one another; love one another as I have loved you. 35 It is by this that everyone will recognize you as my disciples—by your loving one another.”
36 “Where are you going, Master?” asked Peter. “I am going where you cannot now follow me,” answered Jesus, “but you shall follow me later.” 37 “Why cannot I follow you now, Master?” asked Peter. “I will lay down my life for you.” 38 “Will you lay down your life for me?” replied Jesus. “In truth I tell you, the cock will not crow till you have disowned me three times.”
To read the next chapter of the Book of John, please go to The Gospel of John – 14.
This Online New Testament Gospel of John is excerpted from the book The Living Hour: The Lord’s Prayer for Daily Life (with New Century Gospels). Including over 200 bookmarked citations from the canonical Gospels, this Progressive Christian book appeals to the Unitarian spirit at the heart of all faiths.
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Gospel of Matthew 26
When Jesus had finished all this teaching, he said to his disciples: 2 “You know that in two days time, the festival of the Passover will be here; and that the Son of Man is to be given up to be crucified.” 3 Then the chief priests and the councilors of the nation met in the house of the high priest, named Caiaphas, 4 And plotted together to arrest Jesus by stealth and put him to death; 5 But they said: “Not during the festival, for fear of causing a riot.”
6 After Jesus had reached Bethany, and while he was in the house of Simon the leper, 7 A woman came up to him with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment, and poured the ointment upon his head as he was at a table. 8 The disciples were indignant at seeing this. “What is this waste for?” they exclaimed. 9 “It could have been sold for a large sum, and the money given to poor people.” 10 “Why are you troubling the woman?” Jesus said, when he noticed it, “For this is a beautiful deed that she has done to me.”
11 “You always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. 12 In pouring this perfume on my body, she has done it for my burial. 13 I tell you, wherever in the whole world this gospel is proclaimed, what this woman has done will be told in memory of her.” 14 It was then that one of the twelve, named Judas Iscariot, made his way to the chief priests, 15 And said “What are you willing to give me, if I betray Jesus to you?” The priests ‘weighed him out thirty pieces of silver‘ as payment. 16 So from that time Judas looked for an opportunity to betray Jesus.
17 On the first day of the festival of the unleavened bread, the disciples came up to Jesus, and said: “Where do you wish us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?” 18 “Go into the city to a certain man,” he answered, “and say to him: ‘The Teacher says: My time is at hand. I will keep the Passover with my disciples at your house.’” 19 The disciples did as Jesus directed them, and prepared the Passover.
20 In the evening Jesus took his place with the twelve disciples, 21 And, while they were eating, he said: “I tell you that one of you will betray me.” 22 In great grief they began to say to him, one by one: “Can it be I, Master?” 23 “The one who dipped his bread beside me in the dish,” replied Jesus, “is the one who will betray me. 24 True, the Son of Man must go, as scripture says of him, yet woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is being betrayed! For that man ‘it would be better never to have been born!’” 25 And Judas, who was betraying him, turned to him and said: “Can it be I, Rabbi?” “You have said it,” answered Jesus.
26 While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and, after saying the blessing, broke it and, as he gave it to his disciples, said: “Take it and eat it; this is my body.” 27 Then he took a cup, and, after saying the thanksgiving, gave it to them, with the words: “Drink from it, all of you; 28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 And I tell you that I shall never, after this, drink of this juice of the grape, until that day when I shall drink it new with you in the kingdom of my Father.” 30 They then sang a hymn, and went out to the Mount of Olives.
31 Then Jesus said to them: “Even you will fall away from me tonight. Scripture says: ‘I will strike down the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ 32 But, after I have risen, I shall go before you into Galilee.” 33 “If everyone else falls away from you,” Peter answered, “I shall never fall away!” 34 “I tell you,” replied Jesus, “that this very night, before the cock crows, you will disown me three times!” 35 “Even if I must die with you,” Peter exclaimed, “I shall never disown you!” All the disciples spoke in the same way.
36 Then Jesus came with them to a garden called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples: “Sit down here while I go and pray yonder.” 37 Taking with him Peter, and the two sons of Zebediah, he began to show signs of sadness and deep distress of mind. 38 “I am sad at heart,” he said, “sad even to death; wait here and watch with me.” 39 Going on a little further, he threw himself on his face in prayer. “My Father,” he said, “if it is possible, let me be spared this cup; only, not as I will, but as thou willest.”
40 Then he came to his disciples, and found them asleep. “What!” he said to Peter, “could none of you watch with me for one hour? 41 Watch and pray, that you may not fall into temptation. True, the spirit is eager, but human nature is weak.” 42 Again, a second time, he went away, and prayed. “My Father,” he said, “if I cannot be spared this cup, but must drink it, thy will be done!”
To continue reading Chapter 26 of the Gospel of Matthew, please click on page 2 below.
Gospel of Mark 14
It was now two days before the festival of the Passover and the unleavened bread. The chief priests and teachers of the law were looking for an opportunity to arrest Jesus by stealth and put him to death; 2 For they said: “Not during the festival, for fear of a riot.”
3 When Jesus was still at Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, while he was at table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of choice spikenard perfume of great value. She broke the jar, and poured the perfume on his head. 4 Some of those who were present said to one another indignantly: “Why has the perfume been wasted like this? 5 This perfume could have been sold for more than thirty pounds, and the money given to the poor.”
6 “Let her alone,” said Jesus, as they began to find fault with her, “Why are you troubling her? This is a beautiful deed that she has done for me. 7 You always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them; but you will not always have me. 8 She has done what she could; she has perfumed my body beforehand for my burial. 9 And I tell you, wherever, in the whole world, the gospel is proclaimed, what this woman has done will be told in memory of her.”
10 After this, Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went to the chief priests, to betray Jesus to them. 11 They were glad to hear what he said, and promised to pay him. So he looked for a convenient way to betray Jesus. 12 On the first day of the festival of the unleavened bread, when it was customary to kill the Passover lambs, his disciples said to Jesus: “Where do you wish us to go and make preparations for your eating the Passover?”
13 Jesus sent forward two of his disciples and said to them: “Go into the city, and there a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you; follow him; 14 And, wherever he goes in, say to the owner of the house: ‘The teacher asks, where is my room; where I am to eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 15 He will himself show you a large upstairs room, set out ready; and there make preparations for us.” 16 So the disciples set out and went into the city, and found everything just as Jesus had told them; and they prepared the Passover.
17 In the evening he went there with the twelve, 18 And when they had taken their places and were eating, Jesus said: “I tell you that one of you is going to betray me, one who is eating with me.” 19 They were grieved at this, and began to say to him, one after another: “Can it be I?” 20 “It is one of you twelve,” said Jesus, “the one who is dipping his bread beside me into the dish. 21 True, the Son of Man must go, as scripture says of him, yet woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is being betrayed! For that man ‘it would be better never to have been born!’”
22 While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and, after saying the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, and said: “Take it; this is my body.” 23 Then he took a cup, and, after saying the thanksgiving, gave it to them, and they all drank from it. 24 “This is my blood of the new testament,” he said, “which is poured out on behalf of many. 25 I tell you that I shall never again drink of the juice of the grape, until that day when I shall drink it new in the kingdom of God.” 26 They then sang a hymn, and went out up the Mount of Olives;
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To continue reading Chapter 14 of the Gospel of Mark, please click on page 2 below.