Matthew 26:51-75 The Message Bible

51  One of those with Jesus pulled his sword and, taking a swing at the Chief Priest's servant, cut off his ear. 52  Jesus said, "Put your sword back where it belongs. All who use swords are destroyed by swords. 53  Don't you realize that I am able right now to call to my Father, and twelve companies - more, if I want them - of fighting angels would be here, battle-ready? 54  But if I did that, how would the Scriptures come true that say this is the way it has to be?" 55  Then Jesus addressed the mob: "What is this - coming out after me with swords and clubs as if I were a dangerous criminal? Day after day I have been sitting in the Temple teaching, and you never so much as lifted a hand against me. 56  You've done it this way to confirm and fulfill the prophetic writings." Then all the disciples cut and ran.

Jesus before the Council

57  The gang that had seized Jesus led him before Caiaphas the Chief Priest, where the religion scholars and leaders had assembled. 58  Peter followed at a safe distance until they got to the Chief Priest's courtyard. Then he slipped in and mingled with the servants, watching to see how things would turn out. 59  The high priests, conspiring with the Jewish Council, tried to cook up charges against Jesus in order to sentence him to death. 60  But even though many stepped up, making up one false accusation after another, nothing was believable. 61  with this: "He said, 'I can tear down this Temple of God and after three days rebuild it.'" 62  The Chief Priest stood up and said, "What do you have to say to the accusation?" 63  Jesus kept silent. Then the Chief Priest said, "I command you by the authority of the living God to say if you are the Messiah, the Son of God." 64  Jesus was curt: "You yourself said it. And that's not all. Soon you'll see it for yourself: The Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Mighty One, Arriving on the clouds of heaven." 65  At that, the Chief Priest lost his temper, ripping his robes, yelling, "He blasphemed! Why do we need witnesses to accuse him? You all heard him blaspheme! 66  Are you going to stand for such blasphemy?" They all said, "Death! That seals his death sentence." 67  Then they were spitting in his face and banging him around. They jeered as they slapped him: 68  "Prophesy, Messiah: Who hit you that time?" Denial in the Courtyard

Peter Denies Jesus

69  All this time, Peter was sitting out in the courtyard. One servant girl came up to him and said, "You were with Jesus the Galilean." 70  In front of everybody there, he denied it. "I don't know what you're talking about." 71  As he moved over toward the gate, someone else said to the people there, "This man was with Jesus the Nazarene." 72  Again he denied it, salting his denial with an oath: "I swear, I never laid eyes on the man." 73  Shortly after that, some bystanders approached Peter. "You've got to be one of them. Your accent gives you away." 74  Then he got really nervous and swore. "I don't know the man!" 75  Peter remembered what Jesus had said: "Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times." He went out and cried and cried and cried.

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