The feast of the unleavened bread, known as the Passover, was near. 2 The chief priest and the teachers of the law were looking for an opportunity of destroying Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. 3 Now Satan took possession of Judas, who was known as Iscariot, and who belonged to the twelve; 4 And he went and discussed with the chief priests and officers in charge at the temple the best way of betraying Jesus to them. 5 They were glad of this, and agreed to pay him.
6 So Judas assented and looked for an opportunity to betray Jesus to them, in the absence of a crowd. 7 When the day of the festival of the unleavened bread came, on which the Passover lambs had to be killed, 8 Jesus sent forward Peter and John, saying to them: “Go and make preparations for our eating the Passover.” 9 “Where do you wish us to make preparations?” they asked.
10 “Listen,” he answered, “when you have got into the city, a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you; follow him into whatever house he enters; 11 And you shall say to the owner of the house: ‘The Teacher asks you where is the room where I am to eat the Passover with my disciples?’12 The man will show you a large upstairs room, already furnished; there make preparations.”
13 So Peter and John went on, and found everything just as Jesus had told them, and they prepared the Passover. 14 When the time came, Jesus took his place at table, the apostles with him. 15 “I have most earnestly wished,” he said, “to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you that I shall not eat it again, until it has had its fulfillment in the kingdom of God.” 17 Then, on receiving a cup, after saying the thanksgiving, he said: 18 “Take this and share it among you. For I tell you that, after today, I shall not drink the juice of the grape, until the kingdom of God has come.”
19 Then Jesus took some bread, and, after saying the thanksgiving, broke it and gave to them, with the words: “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20 And in the same way with the cup, after supper, saying: “This cup is the new testament in my blood which is shed for you. 21 Yet see! The hand of the man that is betraying me is beside me upon the table! 22 True, the Son of Man is passing, as it was ordained for him, yet alas for that man by whom he is being betrayed!”
23 Then they began questioning one another which of them it could be that was going to do this. 24 And a dispute arose among them as to which of them was to be regarded the greatest. 25 Jesus, however, said: “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their oppressors are styled as benefactors. 26 But with you it must not be so. No, let the greatest among you become like the youngest, and him who leads like him who serves. 27 Which is the greater: the master at the table or his servant? Is it not the master at the table? Yet I myself am among you as one who serves.”
28 You are the men who have stood by me in my trials; 29 And, just as my Father has assigned me a kingdom, I assign you places, 30 So that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and be seated upon twelve thrones as judges of the twelve tribes of Israel. 31 Simon! Simon! Listen. Satan desires to sift you all like wheat, 32 But I prayed for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. And you, when you have returned to me, are to strengthen your brothers.”
33 “Master,” said Peter, “with you I am ready to go both to prison and to death.” 34 “I tell you, Peter,” replied Jesus, “the cock will not crow today until you have disowned all knowledge of me three times.” 35 Then he said to them all: “When I sent you out as my messengers, without either purse, or bag, or sandals, were you in need of anything?” “No; nothing,” they answered.
36 “Now, however,” he said, “he who has a purse must take it and his bag as well; and he who has not must sell his cloak and buy a sword. 37 For I tell you that passage of scripture must be fulfilled in me which says: ‘He was counted among the godless’; indeed all that refers to me is finding its fulfillment.”
8 “Master,” they exclaimed, “look, here are two swords!” “Enough!” said Jesus. 39 Jesus then went out, and made his way, as usual, to the Mount of Olives, followed by his disciples. 40 And, when he reached the spot, he said to them: “Pray that you may not fall into temptation.” 41 Then he withdrew about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and began to pray.
42 “Father,” he said, “if it is thy pleasure, spare me this cup; only, not my will but yours be done.” 43 Presently there appeared to him an angel from heaven, who strengthened him. 44 And, as his anguish became intense, he prayed still more earnestly, while his sweat was like great drops of blood falling on the ground. 45 Then he rose from praying, and came to the disciples, and found them sleeping for sorrow.
46 “Why are you asleep?” he asked them. “Rise and pray, that you may not fall into temptation.” 47 While he was still speaking, a crowd appeared in sight, led by the man called Judas, who was one of the twelve. Judas approached Jesus, to kiss him; 48 On which Jesus said to him: “Judas, is it by a kiss that you betray the Son of Man?”
49 But when those who were round Jesus saw what was going to happen, they exclaimed: “Master, shall we use our swords?” 50 And one of them struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear; 51 On which Jesus said: “Let me at least do this”; and touching his ear, he healed the wound.
52 Then, turning to the chief priests, and officers in charge at the temple, and councilors, who had come for him, he said: “Have you come out, as if after a robber, with swords and clubs? 53 When I was with you day after day in the temple courts, you did not lay hands on me; but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.” 54 Those who had taken Jesus prisoner took him away into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance.
55 But, when they had lit a fire in the center of the court-yard and had all sat down there, Peter seated himself in the middle of them. 56 Presently a maidservant saw him sitting near the blaze of the fire. Fixing her eyes on him, she said: “Why, this man was one of his companions!” 57 But Peter denied it. “I do not know him,” he replied. 58 A little while afterwards someone else—a man—saw him and said: “Why, you are one of them!” “No,” Peter said, “I am not.”
59 About an hour later another man declared positively: “This man also was certainly with him. Why, he is a Galilean!” 60 But Peter said: “I do not know what you are speaking about.” Instantly, while he was still speaking, a cock crowed. 61 And the Master turned and looked at Peter; and Peter remembered the words that the Master had said to him: “Before a cock has crowed today, you will disown me three times“; 62 And he went outside and wept bitterly.
63 The men that held Jesus kept making sport of him and beating him. 64 They blindfolded him and then questioned him. “Now play the prophet,” they said; “who was it that struck you?” 65 And they heaped many other insults on him. 66 At daybreak the national council met—both the chief priests and the teachers of the law—and took Jesus before their high council.
67 “If you are the Christ,” they said, “tell us so.” “If I tell you,” replied Jesus, “you will not believe me. 68 And, if I question you, you will not answer. 69 But from this hour ‘the Son of Man will be seated on the right hand of God Almighty.’” 70 “Are you, then, the Son of God?” they all asked. And Jesus said: “You say that I am” 71 At this they replied: “Why do we any further witnesses? For we have heard ourselves from his own mouth.”
To read the next chapter from the Book of Luke, please go to The Gospel of Luke – 23.
This Online New Testament Gospel of Luke 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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