Matthew 26:1-25 The Message Bible

The Leaders Plot against Jesus

26 1  When Jesus finished saying these things, he told his disciples, 2  "You know that Passover comes in two days. That's when the Son of Man will be betrayed and handed over for crucifixion." 3  At that very moment, the party of high priests and religious leaders was meeting in the chambers of the Chief Priest named Caiaphas, 4  conspiring to seize Jesus by stealth and kill him. 5  They agreed that it should not be done during Passover Week. "We don't want a riot on our hands," they said.

Jesus Anointed at Bethany

6  When Jesus was at Bethany, a guest of Simon the Leper, 7  a woman came up to him as he was eating dinner and anointed him with a bottle of very expensive perfume. 8  When the disciples saw what was happening, they were furious. "That's criminal! 9  This could have been sold for a lot and the money handed out to the poor." 10  When Jesus realized what was going on, he intervened. "Why are you giving this woman a hard time? She has just done something wonderfully significant for me. 11  You will have the poor with you every day for the rest of your lives, but not me. 12  When she poured this perfume on my body, what she really did was anoint me for burial. 13  You can be sure that wherever in the whole world the Message is preached, what she has just done is going to be remembered and admired."

Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus

14  That is when one of the Twelve, the one named Judas Iscariot, went to the cabal of high priests 15  and said, "What will you give me if I hand him over to you?" They settled on thirty silver pieces. 16  He began looking for just the right moment to hand him over.

Jesus Eats the Passover with His Disciples

17  On the first of the Days of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and said, "Where do you want us to prepare your Passover meal?" 18  He said, "Enter the city. Go up to a certain man and say, 'The Teacher says, My time is near. I and my disciples plan to celebrate the Passover meal at your house.'" 19  The disciples followed Jesus' instructions to the letter, and prepared the Passover meal. 20  After sunset, he and the Twelve were sitting around the table. 21  During the meal, he said, "I have something hard but important to say to you: One of you is going to hand me over to the conspirators." 22  They were stunned, and then began to ask, one after another, "It isn't me, is it, Master?" 23  Jesus answered, "The one who hands me over is someone I eat with daily, one who passes me food at the table. 24  In one sense the Son of Man is entering into a way of treachery well-marked by the Scriptures - no surprises here. In another sense that man who turns him in, turns traitor to the Son of Man - better never to have been born than do this!" 25  Then Judas, already turned traitor, said, "It isn't me, is it, Rabbi?" Jesus said, "Don't play games with me, Judas."

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