Easy Read Study Bible                                         Front Page

FRAMEWORKS: Matthew's Gospel

(Return to New Testament Contents)


FRAMEWORKS: Matthew, chapter 26


v.1-5 The Plot Against Jesus

v.6-13 Jesus Anointed at Bethany

v.14-16 Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus

v.17-30 The Last Supper

v.31-35 Jesus Predicts Peter's Denial

v.36-46 Praying in the Garden of Gethsemane

v.47-56 Jesus Arrested

v.57-68 Jesus Before the Sanhedrin

v.69-75 Peter Disowns Jesus



v.1-5 The Plot Against Jesus


v.1 (Jesus turns to his disciples) When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples,

v.2 (he warns Passover will mean his death) “As you know, the Passover is two days away—and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.”

v.3,4 (the authorities are planning to kill him) Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and they schemed to arrest Jesus secretly and kill him.

v.5 (but didn't want to with too many people in the city for the feast) “But not during the festival,” they said, “or there may be a riot among the people.”


[Comment: Yet again Jesus warns his disciples of his impending death, while the authorities plot to arrest and kill him.]



v.6-13 Jesus Anointed at Bethany


v.6,7 (at a meal in Bethany a woman pours oil over Jesus' head) While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.

v.8 (the disciples are indignant) When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked.

v.9 (what a waste of money) “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”

v.10 (Jesus chided them) Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me.

v.11 (I won't always be here) The poor you will always have with you, [Deut 15:1] but you will not always have me.

v.12 (she [figuratively] prepared me for burial) When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial.

v.13 (this will be told in memory of her) Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”


[Comment: While in Bethany, Jesus is anointed and Jesus sees this as preparing him for his death and burial.]



v.14-16 Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus


v.14,15 (Judas Iscariot went to the authorities and agreed to betray Jesus) Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver.

v.16 (so started looking for an opportunity) From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.


[Comment: Meanwhile Judas goes to the authorities and agrees to betray Jesus when an opportune moment arrived.]



v.17-30 The Last Supper


v.17 (the disciples enquire about where to have the supper) On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”

v.18 (Jesus directs them) He replied, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.'”

v.19 (so they do this) So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.

v.20 (so he's at table with the Twelve) When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve.

v.21 (he announces that one of them will betray him) And while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.”

v.22 (they wonder who) They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, “Surely you don't mean me, Lord?”

v.23 (one of you here) Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me.

v.24 (it will be as prophesied but bad for him) The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”

v.25 (Judas queried it) Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely you don't mean me, Rabbi?” Jesus answered, “You have said so.”

v.26 (he broke bread saying it was his body) While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”

v.27 (he also took wine with them all) Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.

v.28 (saying, this is my blood given for forgiveness of sins) This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

v.29 (this will be the last time before the kingdom is truly ushered in [salvation brought about by his death]) I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.”

v.30 (they leave for the Mount of Olives) When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.


[Comment: Jesus instructs the disciples on setting up the Passover Supper. While there, he breaks bread and hands round the cup – Communion or ‘The Lord's Supper' is thus instigated.]



v.31-35 Jesus Predicts Peter's Denial


v.31 (Jesus warns them they will be scattered) Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: “‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.' [Zech. 13:7]

v.32 (but after he is raised they will go back to Galilee) But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”

v.33 (Peter denies he will leave him) Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”

v.34 (indeed, says Jesus, you will deny me three times tonight) “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”

v.35 (no way, says Peter) But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same.


[Comment: While at the table Jesus warns them what will happen including Peter's threefold denial which Peter declares will never happen.]



v.36-46 Praying in the Garden of Gethsemane


v.36 (they go to Gethsemane to pray) Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”

v.37 (he takes the inner three aside to pray with him) He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled.

v.38 (he asks them to watch with him) Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

v.39 (he prays in anguish but submitting to his Father's will) Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

v.40 (but finds the three asleep) Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn't you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter.

v.41 (it's tough to stay awake) “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

v.42 (he prayed the same a second time) He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”

v.43 (again they had fallen asleep) When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy.

v.44 (a third time he prays the same) So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.

v.45 (and a third time they cannot stay awake) Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners.

v.46 (Jesus sees the time has come) Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”


[Comment: After supper Jesus leads them to the Garden of Gethsemane where he prays and they sleep.]



v.47-56 Jesus Arrested


v.47 (Judas and soldiers arrive) While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people.

v.48 (Judas had arranged a signal in the dark) Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.”

v.49 (he goes up to and kisses Jesus) Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him.

v.50 (so they grab and arrest Jesus) Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.” Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him.

v.51 (one of the disciples lashes out with a sword) With that, one of Jesus' companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.

v.52,53 (Jesus stops anything more happening) “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?

v.54 (but the scriptures said it would be like this) But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?”

v.55 (Jesus chides the arresting group) In that hour Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me.

v.56 (but it is as prophesied. The disciples flee) But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.


[Comment: Jesus sees the band of soldiers coming to arrest him, Judas gives Jesus away and violence occurs and the disciples flee.]



v.57-68 Jesus Before the Sanhedrin


v.57 (Jesus is taken to the high priest) Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the teachers of the law and the elders had assembled.

v.58 (Peter followed from a distance) But Peter followed him at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the high priest. He entered and sat down with the guards to see the outcome.

v.59 (the authorities look to falsify evidence to convict him) The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death.

v.60,61 (but cannot, even misusing his quote about rebuilding the temple) But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward. Finally two came forward and declared, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.'”

v.62 (the high priest challenges him) Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?”

v.63 (he applies a sacred oath to get Jesus to speak) But Jesus remained silent. The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”

v.64 (Jesus replies with old prophecy to be fulfilled through him) “You have said so,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” [Psa 110:1; Dan 7:13]

v.65 (the high priest takes this as blasphemy) Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy.

v.66 (the others agree it is worthy of death) What do you think?” “He is worthy of death,” they answered.

v.67,68 (they abuse Jesus) Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him and said, “Prophesy to us, Messiah. Who hit you?”


[Comment: Jesus is taken before Caiaphas the high priest and the mock, rigged trial takes place as they declare him guilt of blasphemy and worthy of death.]



v.69-75 Peter Disowns Jesus


v.69 (outside Peter is challenged) Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. “You also were with Jesus of Galilee,” she said.

v.70 (he denies knowing Jesus) But he denied it before them all. “I don't know what you're talking about,” he said.

v.71 (another girl challenges him) Then he went out to the gateway, where another servant girl saw him and said to the people there, “This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth.”

v.72 (a second time he denies it) He denied it again, with an oath: “I don't know the man!”

v.73 (a third time he is challenged) After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, “Surely you are one of them; your accent gives you away.”

v.74 (a third time he denies it) Then he began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don't know the man!” Immediately a rooster crowed.

v.75 (Peter remembers Jesus' words and weeps) Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.


[Comment: Meanwhile, Peter watching from a distance disowns Jesus three times.]



Continue to Chapter 27