1 Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was approaching. [Note: This was the annual Jewish festival commemorating Israel's deliverance from Egyptian bondage under Moses' leadership]. 2 And the leading priests and experts in the law of Moses were looking for a way to kill Jesus because they were afraid of the people [i.e., that people would riot if it were done during the Festival. See Matt. 26:5].
3 Then Satan entered the heart of Judas, called Iscariot, who was one of the twelve apostles. 4 So, he left [probably the house of Simon, the man healed of an infectious skin disease. See Matt. 26:6-13] and went and discussed with the leading priests and captains [i.e., of the Temple guard] how he could turn Jesus over to them. 5 And they were very pleased, so agreed to give him money. 6 So Judas consented [to their offer] and looked for a [good] opportunity to turn Jesus over to them [i.e., the Jewish leaders] when the crowd was not present.
7 Then the day came for the Festival of Unleavened Bread [to be held], on which the Passover [lamb] was to be sacrificed. 8 So, Jesus sent Peter and John [to Jerusalem], saying, "Go and prepare for us to eat the Passover [meal]."
9 And they said to Him, "Where do you want us to prepare [for it]?"
10 And He replied to them, "Look, when you have entered the city, a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you; follow him into whatever house he goes. 11 Then you should say to the owner of the house, 'The Teacher says to you, where is the guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?' 12 And he will show you a large, completely furnished upstairs room. Make preparations [for us] there [i.e., to observe the Passover Festival]."
13 So, they went and found [everything] just as Jesus told them [it would be], and they prepared for the Passover meal.
14 And when the time came [for the Passover meal], Jesus reclined with His apostles [at the table]. [Note: See Matt. 23:6]. 15 And He said to them, "I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover meal with you [men] before I suffer [i.e., torture and death]. 16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until [I do so when] it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God [See Matt. 26:29]." 17 Then Jesus took a cup [Note: This was one of the cups partaken of during the Passover meal], and after giving thanks to God [for it], He said, "Take this and share it among yourselves, 18 for I tell you, I will not drink this fruit of the vine [i.e., grape juice] from now on until [I do, figuratively, when] the kingdom of God has come."
19 Then He took a [small] loaf of bread, and after He had given thanks to God, He broke it and gave [pieces] to His apostles, and said, "This is [i.e., represents] my [physical] body which is [to be] given for you; continue to do this [i.e., eat it regularly] to remember me by."
20 And in the same way He took [another] cup, after the [Passover] meal, and said, "This cup is [i.e., represents] the New Agreement [i.e., between God and mankind] made by my blood, which is [to be] poured out for you. 21 But look, the hand of the one who is turning me over [i.e., to the Jewish leaders] is with me on the table [i.e., dipping his hand in the sauce bowl. See Matt. 26:23]. 22 For the Son of man is certainly going [to die], just as it has been [pre-] determined, but it is too bad for that person through whom He is [to be] betrayed!"
23 So, the apostles began discussing among themselves which one of them would do such a thing.
24 Then a dispute arose among the apostles as to which one of them should be considered the greatest. 25 And Jesus said to them, "The kings of the [unconverted] Gentiles lord it over their own people, and those who domineer over them are called 'Benefactors' [Note: This was a title used by Greek kings in Egypt and Syria]. 26 But it will not be that way among you, for the person who is the most important among you should become [like] the youngest [i.e., least important]. And the person who is the leader should become like the servant. 27 For who is most important, the person who reclines at the dinner table or the person who serves [him]? Is it not the person who reclines at the dinner table? But I am among you as the person who serves. 28 Now you apostles are the ones who have remained with me throughout my trials, 29 and just as my Father assigned a kingdom to me, so I am assigning a kingdom to you, 30 so you can eat and drink at my table in my [coming] kingdom. [Also] you will sit on [twelve] thrones [See Matt. 19:28], judging the twelve tribes of Israel [i.e., judging God's people through their writings].
31 "Simon, Simon [i.e., Peter], Satan has earnestly requested the right to sift you like wheat. [Note: Grain was sifted by using a sieve-like device in which grain and particles of dirt and straw were shaken together, allowing the grain to fall through while the dirt and straw remained. This was an allusion to the agitating trials Peter was soon to endure, and survive]. 32 But I prayed earnestly for you, that your faith would not fail [to be strong]. And when you have turned back [i.e., from going astray briefly], provide [spiritual] support to your brothers."
33 And Peter replied, "Lord, I am ready to go to prison and to death with you."
34 And Jesus said, "I tell you, Peter, you will deny [even] knowing me three times before the rooster crows today."
35 Then Jesus said to them, "When I sent you out without a money belt, or traveling bag [i.e., for personal belongings], or sandals, did you lack anything"? And the apostles answered, " [No], nothing."
36 Then He said to them, "But this time the person who has a money belt should take it, and also [he should take] a traveling bag. And if he does not have a sword, he should sell his coat and buy one. 37 For I tell you that this [passage of Scripture], which was written about me, must be fulfilled [Isa. 53:12]: 'And He [i.e., Jesus] was counted with [i.e., as though He were one of] the criminals.' For the part [of that passage] that refers to me is being fulfilled."
38 And the apostles said, "Look, Lord, we have two swords [here]." And Jesus replied, "That is enough." [Note: Possibly Jesus means, "enough talk about weapons"].
39 Then Jesus went out to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed to doing [each evening during His final week], and His disciples followed Him. 40 And when He got there He said to them, "Pray that you do not give in [i.e., to the devil] under trials." 41 Then Jesus went away from them about the distance of a stone's throw and knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup [i.e., of suffering] away from me; nevertheless, let it not be what I want, but what you want [for me]."
43 Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him and strengthened Him. [See Matt. 4:11]. 44 And He became anguished as He prayed more fervently; even His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. 45 And when He got up from praying He went to His disciples and found them asleep, exhausted from grief. 46 So, He said to them, "Why were you sleeping? Get up and pray so you do not give in [to the devil] under trials."
47 While He was still speaking suddenly one of the twelve apostles, named Judas, [who was] leading a crowd, came near Jesus to kiss Him. 48 But Jesus said to him, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of man with a kiss?"
49 And when [the rest of] the disciples, who were gathered around Jesus, saw what was about to happen, they said, "Lord, do you want us to strike them with a sword?" 50 Then a certain one of them struck the head priest's slave and sheared off his right ear. [Note: It was Peter who struck this man, whose name was Malchus. See John 18:10].
51 But Jesus replied, "Stop it; [that is] enough!" Then He touched the man's [partially severed] ear and healed him. 52 And Jesus said to the leading priests and captains of the Temple [guard] and the [Jewish] elders that came to take Him, "Have you come out [to arrest me] with swords and clubs as you would [apprehend] a thief? 53 When I was with you every day in the Temple you did not raise a hand against me. But this is your hour [i.e., the time for you to act against me] and the power of darkness [has now taken over]."
54 Then they arrested Jesus and led Him away to the head priest's house [i.e., Caiaphas. See Matt. 26:57]. But Peter followed Him from a distance [i.e., as they went to the head priest's courtyard]. 55 And when they [i.e., the priest's servants] had built a fire in the middle of the courtyard, they sat down together [i.e., to warm themselves. See Mark 14:67], with Peter [sitting] among the group. 56 Then a certain [servant] girl saw Peter sitting there in the light of the fire. As she stared at him she said, "This man was with Jesus, too."
57 But Peter denied it, saying, "Woman, I do not [even] know Him."
58 Then a little while later, someone else saw Peter and said, "You are one of them also [i.e., one of Jesus' disciples]." But Peter replied, "Man, I am not."
59 And about an hour later someone else stated emphatically, "I know for sure that this man was also with him [i.e., Jesus], for he is from Galilee [too]." [Note: Peter's accent gave him away. See Matt. 26:73].
60 But then Peter said, "Man, I do not know what you are talking about." Just then, as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 Then the Lord turned and gave Peter a [penetrating] glance. And Peter remembered the words of the Lord, how He had said to him, "You will deny [knowing] me three times before the rooster crows today." 62 Then Peter went out and cried bitterly.
63 Now the men who were holding Jesus [in custody] began mocking Him and beating Him. 64 And they blindfolded Him and asked Him, "Prophesy, who is it that hit you?" 65 And they said many other derogatory things against Him.
66 And when it became daylight, the body of [Jewish] elders of the people, [consisting of] both leading priests and experts in the law of Moses, was gathered together. Then they led Jesus away to their Council [called the "Sanhedrin"], and asked Him, 67 "Tell us if you are the Christ [i.e., God's specially chosen one]." But He replied, "You would not believe me if I [did] tell you [who I am]. 68 And if I asked you [who I am] you would not answer. 69 But from now on the Son of man will be seated at the right side of the powerful God."
70 So, they all asked [Him], "Then are you the Son of God?" And He answered them, "You [are right to] say that I am [the Christ]."
71 And they replied, "Why do we need any more evidence? For we have heard [enough] from his own mouth, ourselves."