Arrested

Jesus took the disciples to a place called Gethsemane.

“Stay here,” he said, “while I go and pray.”

Taking Peter, James and John with him, he walked on a little way, becoming more and more distressed as he continued.

“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said. “Please stay here and keep watch with me.”

Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground.

“My Father,” he prayed, “if it’s possible, let this cup be taken away from me. Yet not my will but yours be done.”

When he returned to the three disciples, he found them sleeping.

“Couldn’t you watch with me for an hour?” he asked. “Watch and pray, so you don’t give in to temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak!”

Then Jesus left them for a second time.

“My Father,” he prayed, “if it isn’t possible to take away this cup without me drinking it, your will be done.”

When he came back to them again, the were asleep again because they couldn’t keep their eyes open. So he left them and prayed a third time, saying the same as before.

“Are you so unconcerned that you can sleep?” he asked, when he returned to the disciples. “Look! It’s time for the Son of Man to be betrayed into the hands of evil men! Get up and prepare yourselves! The traitor has arrived!”

Even as he was speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, came up to them. With him was a group armed with swords and clubs that the chief priests and elders had sent. Judas had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man. Arrest him.” Going straight to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and gave him a kiss.

“Do what you’ve come for, friend,” said Jesus.

Then the officers seized Jesus and arrested him. Seeing this, one of the disciples drew his sword and struck the high priest’s servant, slicing off his ear.

“Put away your sword,” said Jesus, “for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Don’t you realise I could ask my Father and he’d instantly send me twelve legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen is this way?”

Then Jesus turned to the crowd.

“Do you think that I’m leading a rebellion?” he asked. “Is that why you’ve come armed  with swords and clubs to capture me? When I sat in the temple courts teaching day after day, you never tried to arrest me. But all this is happening to fulfil everything that the prophets wrote.”

Then all the disciples abandoned Jesus and ran away.

Matthew

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