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Final Teachings and Arrest

The Last Supper

(14th day of the month, the Passover and the preparation day for the 15th)

On the day before the Feast of Unleavened Bread (when the Passover lamb was to be killed), the disciples asked Jesus, “Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover?”

He sent out two of his disciples and told them, “Go into the city, where you will see someone carrying a pitcher of water. Follow them, and when they enter a house tell the owner, ‘The Teacher wants to know where the reception room is so that he may eat the Passover meal with his disciples’. You will be shown a large, furnished, upper-story room; prepare it for us there.” And when the disciples went into the city, they found everything just as he said it would be, so they prepared the Passover.

When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table having the meal with the Twelve. And he said to them, “I have greatly desired to eat this Passover with you before my time of suffering.” While they were eating, Jesus picked up the bread and blessed it, then handed it out to his disciples and said, “Take this and eat it; this is my body.” Then he picked up the cup, gave thanks, and handed it to his disciples and said, “Drink from this, all of you, because this is my blood. With this I am signing the new covenant, and it is being poured out for many to dismiss the charges against them. With absolute certainty I tell you that from now on, I will not drink the fruit of the vine until the day comes when I drink it fresh in the kingdom of my Father.”

Then he exclaimed, “I tell you truly that one of you will betray me!”

They all became distraught and said, “I’m not the one, am I, Master?”

Now one of them, the one Jesus loved, was reclining near to him. Then Simon Peter motioned to him to ask what this was all about. So he leaned very close to Jesus and asked, “Master, who is it?”

“It’s the one to whom I will give the morsel of bread after dipping it,” answered Jesus. Then he dipped the morsel and gave it to the traitor Judas, son of Simon of Kerioth. Immediately Satan entered into him and he asked Jesus, “I’m not the one, am I, Rabbi?”

“You said it yourself!” Jesus replied. “What you’re about to do, do it faster!”

None of those at the table realized why Jesus said this to Judas. Some presumed that since Judas was responsible for the group’s funds, Jesus was telling him to buy what they would need for the festival, or to give something to the poor. So as soon as he had the morsel of bread, Judas went out. It was nighttime. Then Jesus continued, “What has been written about the Human being taken away will surely happen to him. But woe to the person who is responsible for having him arrested! It would be better if they had never been born.”

Before the Passover Festival, Jesus had already been keenly aware that the hour had come for him to move from this world to the Father. He was filled with love for his own in this world, and he loved them to the very end. Now, knowing that the Father had given everything into his hands, and that he had gone out from God and would soon return, he rose up from dinner, removed his outer garments and wrapped himself in a towel, then filled a basin with water and began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he was wearing. [This was the job of the lowest household servant.]

When he came to Simon Peter he objected, “Master, you’re washing my feet!”

Jesus answered, “Right now you don’t realize what I’m doing, but you will see it eventually.”

Peter still objected, “You should absolutely never wash my feet!”

“But if I don’t,” Jesus replied, “you are not in with me.”

“Master,” exclaimed Simon Peter, “Then not just my feet but also my hands and head!”

Then Jesus explained, “The one who has bathed only needs their feet washed since they are completely clean. And you all are ‘clean’… well, not all.” (He said this because he knew who was betraying him.)

When he finished washing their feet, he put on his outer garments again and reclined at the table. “Do you realize what I’ve done to you?” Jesus asked them. “Who is greater, the one reclining at the table or the one waiting tables? Is it not the one reclining? Yet here I am among you as the one waiting tables. You address me as Teacher and Master, and rightly so. But if I, your Master and Teacher, stoop to the lowest place of service, you all must do the same. I have given you an example to follow; you must do as I did. I tell you very truly that a slave is not greater than their master, nor is the one sent greater than the one sending. If you see what I’m saying and put it into practice, you will be happy.

“You have all stood with me during my trials. I now bequeath the kingdom to you, just as my Father bequeathed it to me, so that you will eat and drink at my table in the kingdom, and you will sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. But Simon, Simon! Satan has demanded that you be brought to trial to see what you’re made of. But I have pled on your behalf that your faith will not fail. And when you turn back, encourage your siblings.”

“Master,” objected Peter, “I am willing to go to jail or even be put to death with you!” And they all said the same.

But Jesus replied, “I tell you, Peter, that before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times! In fact, all of you will fall into a trap tonight on my account. As it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd and the whole flock of sheep will scatter.’”

Jesus’ final words before his suffering

“Don’t let disturbing thoughts fill your minds; trust in God, and trust in me. There are many residences in my Father’s home. If there weren’t, I would not have told you that I’m going there to prepare a place for you. So if I go and prepare a place, then I will return to you and accept you as my own, so that you can be where I am. And you know the way to where I’m going.”

But Thomas said, “Master, we don’t know where you’re going, so how can we know the way?”

“I am the way,” said Jesus, “and the truth and the life; no one can come to the Father except through me. If all of you have known me you will also know my Father. And from now on you know him and have seen him.”

Then Philip said to him, “Master, show us the Father and we will be content.”

“Philip,” Jesus replied, “I’ve been with you all this time, and you still don’t know me! Whoever has seem me has seen the Father, so how can you say, ’show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and he is in me? The things I’ve been telling you are not of my own accord; rather, the Father who remains in me does his work.

“Trust me when I tell you that I am in the Father and he is in me. But if that isn’t enough, then believe me because of what I do. I tell you very truly, that those who put their trust in me will do the same things I do— and even greater things, because I’m going to the Father. And whatever you ask as my representative, I will do it, so that the Father is honored in the Son. Yes, anything you ever ask as my representative, I will do.

“If you love me, protect my precepts. And I will implore the Father to give you another advocate to console you and be with you forever: the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot accept, whom it can neither see nor know. But you all know this Spirit, for it remains with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you.

“Soon the world will no longer see me, but you see me. And since I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my precepts and practices them is the one who loves me, and the one who loves me will be loved by my Father; I will love that one and reveal myself to them.”

Then Judas (not the one from Kerioth) asked him, “Master, why is it that you intend to reveal yourself to us but not to the world?”

Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will protect my sayings, and my Father will love them; we will come to them and take up residence with them. But anyone who doesn’t love me doesn’t protect my sayings. This saying you are hearing is not my own but is from the Father who sends me. I have spoken all this to you while remaining with you. But now the Advocate, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send on my behalf, will teach you everything and remind you of everything I said to you.

“My peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you, and I don’t give as the world does. Don’t let your minds be disturbed or timid. You heard me say ‘I am going away and coming back’, and ‘If you loved me you would be happy I’m going to the Father, for he is greater than I’. And now I have declared this ahead of time, so that when it does happen, you will believe.

“I will not be speaking with you much longer, because the ruler of the world approaches, and he has nothing to do with me. But I do as the Father directs me, so that the world may know that I love the Father.

“I am the true vine and my Father is the cultivator. He discards every branch that produces no fruit, but prunes the ones that produce some, so they can make even more. You all are pruned already by means of the things I’ve said to you. Remain in me as I remain in you. Just as the branch cannot produce fruit if it’s detached from the vine, neither can you if you don’t remain in me.

“I am the vine and you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in them produces a lot of fruit, but apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not remain in me is like a branch that is tossed aside and dried up. Such branches are then collected and thrown into the fire to be burned. But if you always remain in me and my teachings remain in you, ask for anything you want and it will be granted to you.

“If you produce a lot of fruit and become my disciples, it brings honor to my Father. Just as the Father loves me, so also do I love you; remain in my love. If you protect my precepts you will remain in my love, just as I have protected my Father’s precepts and remain in his love. I have spoken these things to you so that my happiness will remain in you and fill you up.

“My precept is that you love each other as I have loved you. And there is no greater love than to lay down your life for your friends. You are my friends if you do what I direct you to do. I no longer call you servants, because servants are not included in their master’s activities. But now I call you friends, since I have shared with you everything I heard from my Father. You didn’t choose me, I chose you, and I appointed you to go out and produce a lot of fruit. If your fruit endures, ask the Father for anything you want as my representatives and he will grant it. I am giving you these directions so that you may love each other.

“If the world hates you, understand that it hated me first. If you had belonged to the world it would have considered you its friends. But the world despises you because you’re no longer part of it, since I chose you out of it. Remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than their master.’ If they persecuted me they will also persecute you, but if they protected my sayings, they will protect yours too. They will do all these things to you because of my name, since they have failed to acknowledge the one sending me.

“If I had not come and spoken to them they would not be at fault, but now they have no excuse; whoever despises me despises my Father as well. If I hadn’t done things among them that no one else had done, they would not be at fault. But now they have seen, and they have despised both me and my Father. Yet this fulfills what has been written in the law about them: ‘They hated me for no reason’.

“When the Advocate I’m sending from the Father arrives— the Spirit of Truth departing from him— he will testify about me. And you will testify as well, since you have been with me from the beginning. I have told you these things so that you will not walk into a trap when they expel you from fellowship. Yet the time is coming when whoever kills you will think they’re serving God, and they will do these things to you because they knew neither me nor my Father. But I have told you these things so that when their time comes you will remember I told you, though I didn’t say them at first. Yet now I am going back to the one who sent me, and none of you is asking me where I’m going [since you know now].

“I see that what I’ve said to you has filled you with sorrow. But I tell you honestly that my leaving is for your benefit; if I don’t go away, the Advocate will not come to you. His arrival will convict the world about sin, justice, and judgment: about sin, because they don’t put their trust in me; about justice, because I am returning to my Father and you will no longer see me; about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.

“I still have a lot to say to you, but you can’t stand it right now. Yet whenever the Spirit of Truth comes, it will guide you in all truth. It will not be speaking of its own accord, but only what it hears, and it will tell you about things to come. It will honor me by telling you what I tell it. Everything the Father has is mine; that’s why I told you it will tell you what it gets from me. Soon you will no longer see me, but a short time after that you will see me again.”

Then some of his disciples said to each other, “What does he mean, ‘Soon you will no longer see me, but a short time after that you will see me again’, and, ‘I am returning to the Father’? What is this ‘short’ time he’s talking about? We don’t understand what he’s saying.”

Jesus knew what they wanted to ask him, so he said, “You’re wondering what I meant when I said you wouldn’t see me but then a short time later you would see me. I tell you very truly that you will cry and mourn while the world celebrates; you will be upset but your sadness will turn into happiness.

“When a woman goes into labor she dreads the time that has come upon her. But when the little one is born she forgets the suffering for the joy that she has brought someone into the world. Likewise, you will certainly be sad, yet I will see you again and you will be filled with happiness— a happiness no one can take away. And in that day you will not ask me for anything; I tell you very truly that whatever you ask the Father as my representatives, he will grant it to you. Up to this point you have not asked anything as my representatives; now ask, and you will receive, so you may be filled with happiness.

“I have told you these things in illustrations, but the time is coming when I will not speak this way but will clearly tell you about the Father. In that day you will ask as my representatives, but I’m not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf, because the Father himself is fond of you for being fond of me and believing that I came out from God. I left my dwelling with the Father and have come into the world; now I’m leaving the world and returning to the Father.”

Then his disciples said, “See? Now you’re speaking directly instead of using illustrations. Now we see that you know everything, and you have no need for anyone to ask you. For this, we believe that you came out from God.”

“You believe at last!” Jesus exclaimed. “Look! The time is coming— in fact it has arrived— for you all to be scattered, each one going your own way, leaving me alone. Of course, I’m not really alone, because the Father is with me. I have told you these things so that in me you will have peace. You will have oppression in the world, but take courage! I have conquered the world!”

Having said all these things, Jesus then looked up toward heaven and said, “Father, the time has come for you to honor the Son so the Son may in turn honor you. Just as you gave him authority over everyone, so also he will give eternal life to all those you gave him. This is eternal life: that they may know you, the one true God, and the one you commissioned, Jesus the Anointed One. I honored you on the earth, completing the tasks you gave me to do. And now, Father, honor me along with yourself, with the honor I had along with you before the world was made.

“I revealed your name to the people you gave me from the world. They were yours and you gave them to me, and they have stayed true to your word. Now they have understood that all you have given me is from you, because I passed on to them what you told me. They accepted it and know for a fact that I came from you and was sent by you. These are the ones I’m asking about. Now I’m not asking about the world, but about those you’ve given me, since they are yours; after all, what’s mine is yours, and yours is mine. And I have been honored in them.

“I am not remaining in the world, but these people are, and I am returning to you. Holy Father, protect those who represent you and who you have given to me, so that they may be one just as we are. When I was with them in the world I protected those you gave me as your representatives. I watched over them and not one of them was lost except for the doomed one, in fulfillment of the scriptures. Yet now I am returning to you, and I’m saying these things in the world so that they may be filled with my happiness.

“I have given them your word, and the world hated them because neither they nor I belong to the world. I’m not asking you to take them up out of the world, but that you would protect them from the evil one. Consecrate them by your truth; your word is truth. Just as you sent me into the world, so also I send them into the world. And for their sakes I consecrated myself, so that they too would be consecrated in truth.

“Now I’m not only asking about these, but also about the ones who will put their trust in me through their word. Then they may all be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you, and they too may be in us. Through this the world may believe that you sent me. And I have given them the honor you gave me, so that they may be one just as we are— I in them and you in me— that they may be a complete unity, and that the world may know that you sent me and loved them as you have loved me.

“Father, I would also prefer that those you have given me would be where I am, so they can see the honor you have given me, because you loved me before the world was established. Also, Impartial Father, the world did not know you, but I did, and these disciples know that you sent me. I made your name known to them, and I will make it known that your love for me may be in them, and I in them.”

Then he said to them, “When I sent you out without wallet or luggage or an extra pair of sandals, did you lack anything?”

“Not a thing,” they replied.

“But now,” he said, “whoever has a wallet or luggage should use it. And if you need a sword, sell some clothing and buy it. For I tell you that what is written must be fulfilled in me: ‘He was considered to be among the lawless’. Yes, that which refers to me has reached its end. Get up! We have to leave.”

So they said, “Look, Master, we have two swords here!”

“That will do,” he replied. “But when I am raised up, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” And after they sang a festive song, they went out to the Mount of Olives, where they had gone many times before.

Arrest and night trials

Jesus took them to a place called Gethsemane, on the other side of the brook in Kedron (It was a place the traitor Judas was familiar with, since Jesus took his disciples there often.) He said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.” Then he took along Peter and Zebedee’s two sons. He became extremely sad and depressed and said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” He went a short distance away and fell face-down to the ground, praying, “My Father, if there is any other way, please let this cup of suffering pass me by! But what matters is what you want, not what I want.” Then he returned to his disciples only to find them sleeping, so he said to Peter, “Couldn’t you keep watch with me for one hour? Pray that you will not be put to the test! The spirit is eager but the flesh is weak.”

He went off to pray a second time and said, “My Father, if there is no other way except that I go through this, then let your decision stand!” And again he found the disciples sleeping, because their eyes were heavy, and they didn't know what to say to him. So he gave up on them and went off to pray a third time, repeating what he said before. Then he returned to the disciples and said, “Are you going to sleep and rest forever? Look! The hour has come and the Human is betrayed into the hands of scoundrels. Wake up, let’s go! See, here comes my betrayer!”

While he was still speaking, suddenly Judas, one of the Twelve, came along with a large number of deputies from the religious leaders, all carrying torches and weapons. The traitor had prearranged this sign: “Whoever I greet affectionately is the one; arrest him!” So he went up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” while kissing him fondly.

Then Jesus, knowing all that was about to happen to him, asked, “What are you doing here, friend? Who are you all looking for?”

“Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied.

He responded, “I am.” The traitor Judas was standing with them, and as Jesus said “I am,” they all drew back and fell to the ground. So he repeated the question, “Who are you looking for?”

And again they replied, “Jesus of Nazareth.”

Once again Jesus responded, “I told you that I am. And if I am the one you want, let these others go.” He said this to fulfill what he had said before: “I will not lose one of those you have given me.”

Suddenly Peter reached for his sword, drew it out, and slashed Malchos, the deputy of the ruling priest, cutting off his right ear. “Sheath your sword!” said Jesus. “Those who live by swords will die by swords. Don’t you realize that I could say the word and my Father would put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? But then, how would the scriptures be fulfilled? This has to happen! I must drink from the cup the Father has given me.”

Then at that time Jesus turned to the crowd and said, “You came with swords and clubs to arrest me, as if I’m some kind of robber. But every day I sat in the temple compound and taught, and you didn’t arrest me then. Yet all of this happened in order to fulfill what the prophets wrote.” At that point, all his disciples took off and ran away. There was also a youth among them, and he was wearing nothing but fancy pajamas. They seized him but he slipped out of his pajamas and ran away naked.

Then the garrison and commander, with the Jewish deputies, seized Jesus and tied him up. They took him first to Annas because he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the ruling priest that year. (This was the Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it would be to their advantage to let one person die for the people.) The rulers and elders had already gathered with Annas.

Now Peter and another disciple known to the ruling priest had been following at a distance, right up to the courtyard. Peter waited outside the gate, but then the one who knew the ruling priest spoke to the gatekeeper to let Peter in. He went inside and sat with the deputies to wait for a verdict. Meanwhile, all the religious leaders tried to produce false witnesses against Jesus, so they could have him executed. But though many false witnesses came forward, they couldn’t find anything, because their testimonies conflicted.

Finally two of them came forward and said, “We heard him claim that he was going to demolish the temple of God and then rebuild it in three days!” Then the ruling priest stood up and said, “Have you nothing to say to the accusation brought by these two?” But Jesus said nothing. So the ruling priest said, “I am putting you under oath before the living God! Tell us if you are the Anointed One, the God-Man, the Son of the Blessed One.”

“You said it yourself!” Jesus answered. “Furthermore, I assure you that someday you will see the Human sitting down to the right of The Power, and coming in the clouds of the sky!”

At that, the ruling priest tore his tunic and exclaimed, “He has defamed God! Why do we need any further testimony? You heard it yourselves; what is your verdict?”

“He deserves the death penalty!” they all replied. Then they spat in his face, and while they were beating and slapping him they mocked, “Prophesy, Anointed One! Who hit you?”

Meanwhile, Peter was in the courtyard with the deputies and servants, standing around a charcoal fire because it was a cold night. Suddenly the gatekeeper, a servant girl, came up to him and said, “You were with Jesus the Galilean. You’re not one of his disciples, are you?”

But he denied it in front of them all: “I don’t know what you’re talking about!”

He went out the gate, but another one saw him and said to the others there, “This one was with Jesus the Nazarene!”

Again he denied it: “I swear, I don’t know who that is!”

A short time later, others standing there came up to Peter and said, “You have to be one of them; your accent gives you away!”

Then Peter began to curse and swear: “I don’t know the guy!”, and at that moment a rooster crowed. Then he remembered what Jesus had said: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!” So he went away, sobbing bitterly.

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