Gospel of Matthew Chapter Twenty-Six

26:1 Later, after Jesus finished these teachings, he said to his disciples:
26:2 “You know, after two days is Passover, and the Servant of Humanity will be arrested and crucified.”
26:3 Around the same time, the chief priests, scribes, and the elders of the people gathered together at the palace of the high priest – who was Caiaphas.
26:4 And they discussed a plan for quietly arresting Jesus so they could have him killed.
26:5 But they agreed, “Not on the day of the festival, because there will be a protest among the people.”
26:6 Now when Jesus was in Bethany – in the house of Simon the Leper –
26:7 a woman arrived with a container of very expensive ointment and applied it to his head as he sat at the table.
26:8 But when his disciples saw this, they were indignant – saying, “What’s the purpose for such a waste?
26:9 Because this ointment could have been sold for a great amount and the money given to the poor.”
26:10 When Jesus heard this, he replied, “Don’t bother the woman – she is providing service to me.
26:11 For you will always have the poor – but you won’t always have me.
26:12 Besides, by applying the ointment for me, she is preparing my body for its burial.
26:13 Truly I tell you, where ever these teachings will be preached around the world, the memory of this woman and her service will be told.”
26:14 Then one of the twelve – Judas Iscariot – approached the chief priests –
26:15 and he said to them, “What will you give me if I deliver him to you?” Thus they settled with him for thirty pieces of silver.
26:16 From that moment on he sought out the opportunity to have him arrested.
26:17 Now on the first day of the festival of unleavened bread, the disciples approached Jesus and said, “Where do you wish we prepare a place for you to dine during the Passover?”
26:18 He replied, “Go into a city and you will find a man. Tell him, ‘The Teacher says my time is at hand and I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.’”
26:19 And the disciples did as Jesus instructed them – and they prepared for the Passover.
26:20 Now when the evening had come, he was sitting down with the twelve –
26:21 And as they ate, he said, “Truly I say to you, one of you will have me arrested.”
26:22 Thus they were especially saddened, and each of them said to him, “Master is it me?”
26:23 He replied, saying, “He who dips his hand with me into the dish – this is the one who will have me arrested.
26:24 The Servant of Humanity will leave as it has been written of him – but woe to the one who turns in the Servant of Humanity – it is better for him if he had never been born.
26:25 Then Judas – who had him arrested – replied, saying, “Teacher, is it me?” Jesus replied: “You said it.”
26:26 Then as they were eating, Jesus picked up some bread and offered it to God – and broke it and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take – eat – this is my substance.”1
26:27 Then he picked up a cup and offered it to God, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink it up, everyone.”
26:28 For this is the essence2 of my testament – to be distributed around for the forgiveness of offenses.
26:29 But I say to you that from this day forward, I won’t be refreshed from the fruit of the vine until the day I consume it fresh with you in my LORD’s realm.
26:30 After they had sung praises to God,3 they left for the Mount of Olives.
26:31 Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away from me this evening, as it is written, ‘I will strike down the shepherd and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’”4
26:32 But after I have risen from the body, I will be waiting for you in Galilee.”
26:33 Peter replied and said to him, “Even if everyone falls away from you, I will never fall away.”
26:34 Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, on this very night, before the rooster crows you will disown me three times.”
26:35 Peter said to him, “Even if I will die with you I will not disown you.” All the other disciples also said this.
26:36 Then Jesus traveled with them to a place called Gethsemane and said to the disciples: “Sit down here while I go over there and pray.”
26:37 And he took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee with him – and he became sad and troubled.
26:38 Then he said to them, “My soul is deeply saddened – to death. Wait for me here and keep watch for me.”
26:39 And he went a little farther and fell facedown and prayed, “O my LORD, if possible, please let this cup5 be taken from me - yet not what pleases me but what pleases You."
26:40 And he returned to the disciples to find them asleep. He said to Peter, “You couldn’t even keep watch for me for one hour?
26:41 Watch out and pray that you will not be tempted – for the spirit may be willing but the physical body is weak.
26:42 He left again a second time and prayed, saying “O my LORD, if this cup may not be taken from me unless I drink from it, may You be pleased."
26:43 And he returned and found them asleep again – for their eyes were heavy.
26:44 And again he left them and went away to pray a third time – saying the same thing again.
26:45 Then he returned again to the disciples, and said to them, “Go ahead and sleep now and take your rest – but look, the time has arrived for the Servant of Humanity to be arrested into the hands of the wicked.
26:46 Get up, let’s get going – the one who will have me arrested is getting close.”
26:47 While he was speaking, Judas – one of the twelve – arrived. With him was a brigade of soldiers with swords and knives – from the chief priest and elders of the people.
26:48 Now he who turned him in gave them a signal. He said, “Whoever I kiss will be him – you can arrest him.”
26:49 And right away he approached Jesus and said, “Greetings Teacher,” and kissed him.
26:50 Then Jesus said to him, “Friend, why do you come?” Then they approached and grabbed him – and arrested him.
26:51 Immediately, one of those who were with Jesus reached for and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest – cutting off his ear.
26:52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back in its place, because those who take up the sword will die by the sword.
26:53 Do you not think I can’t just pray to my LORD and He will immediately send me more than twelve legions of angels?
26:54 But then how will the Scriptures be executed – as it must be?”
26:55 Then Jesus spoke to the crowd: “Have you come out to the woods with swords to apprehend me as you would a robber? Every day I sat in the temple teaching and you didn’t seize me then.”
26:56 Yet all this took place so the Scriptures of the Prophets might be satisfied. Then all the disciples abandoned him and ran off.
26:57 Those who seized Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest – where the scribes and elders were assembled.
26:58 Peter followed him from afar into the high priest’s palace – and went in and sat with the servants to see how the events unfolded.
26:59 Now the chief priests and elders – and all of the council – tried to find false evidence about Jesus in order to condemn him to death.
26:60 But they found nothing – yes, even though many liars came forward, they found nothing. Finally two more came forward –
26:61 and said, “This man said that he could destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.”
26:62 Then the high priest rose and said to him, “Do you answer with nothing – what these witnesses say against you?”
26:63 But Jesus kept his peace. And the high priest answered, saying to him, “I request by the living God, that you tell us whether you are the Anointed of God [Messiah, Christ] – the Representative of God.
26:64 Jesus said to him, “You have said this – nonetheless I say to you that afterward you will see the Servant of Humanity sitting at the right side of the Mighty One – appearing within the spiritual realm.”
26:65 Then the high priest tore his robe – saying, “He has spoken blasphemy. Why do we still need any witnesses? Just look, now you have heard his blasphemy.
26:66 What do you think?” They replied, saying, “We condemn him to die.”
26:67 Then they spat in his face and beat him with their fists while others slapped him.
26:68 And they said, “Preach to us you Anointed of God [Messiah, Christ], who is it that will strike you?”6
26:69 Now Peter was sitting outside the palace, and a woman approached him, saying, “You were also with Jesus of Galilee.”
26:70 But he refuted this to all, saying, “I don’t know what you are talking about.”
26:71 And when he had walked out to the palace gate, another woman saw him and said to the people there, “He was also with Jesus of Nazareth.”
26:72 And again he refuted this, promising, “I do not know the man.”
26:73 Later those standing by approached him and said to Peter, “Certainly you were one of them – we can tell because of the way you speak.”
26:74 Then he began to curse and swear, saying, “I don’t know the man!” And immediately the rooster crowed.
26:75 Thus Peter remembered what Jesus said to him – ‘Before the rooster crows you will deny me three times.’ And he went out, and wept bitterly.


1. Verse 26:26. The Greek word σῶμα (sōma) can mean the physical body or a body of men, a “society” or in a metaphorical sense, an “ethical or mystical” body, or a “heavenly body.” It can also be used to describe a vehicle of one’s consciousness, which can be, for example, a vehicle of dedication or servitude. Because Jesus is referring to bread that has been offered to the Supreme Being, we know he wasn’t referring to his physical body. His physical body did not become the bread. His physical body continued to exist separately from the bread. Rather, Jesus was using the term metaphorically to indicate that his very substance – the body of his life – like the bread he offered – is an offering to God.

2. Verse 26:28. According to the lexicon, the Greek word, αἷμα (haima) can mean “blood” when speaking literally about the physical body of men or animals – or “the seat of one's life” when speaking in a larger sense – or “of those things that resemble blood, grape juice” when speaking of those things that are the essence of other things. Within the metaphorical context of Jesus' discussion, these would be captured with the word “essence.” The fact that Jesus was not referring to physical blood is confirmed in the verse following (26:29). The “fruit of the vine” is the essence of the grape vine – the grape from which the juice comes from. Jesus has just offered this juice to the Supreme Being, and is comparing the essence of the grape vine to his essence in a metaphorical sense. Jesus indicates that the very essence of his life is an offering to God.

3. Verse 26:30. The Greek word ὑμνέω (hymneō) refers to hymns that are sung in praise of God – in the tradition of David and the other Prophets.

4. Verse 26:31.
"Awake, sword, against my shepherd, against the man who is close to me!" declares the LORD Almighty. "Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered, and I will turn my hand against the little ones.” (Zechariah 13:7 NIV)
5. Verse 26:39. Jesus is not speaking of a cup per se. This indicates a reference to his coming fate. This is a metaphorical use of the word ποτήριον (potērion). According to the lexicon: “one's lot or experience, whether joyous or adverse, divine appointments, whether favourable or unfavourable, are likened to a cup which God presents one to drink: so of prosperity and adversity.”

6. Verse 26.68. See Matthew 26:31.