A modern English blending of the New Testament

Table of Contents



1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23


Gospel Index

Charles Templeton Home

Anecdotal Memoir

Brad Templeton Home
Brad's Photo Pages

Brad's Panoramic Photos

RHF Home


Jesus - A blending of the New Testament - Ch. 21 - Arrested
Previous [20] Next [22]




Prayer in Gethsemane  -  the arrest  -  Peter's denial  -  Jesus is questioned by Annas  -  Jesus before the high priest.


Jesus and the apostles crossed the Ravine of Cedars, climbed the Mount of Olives, and walked to a place Jesus knew well: a garden known as Gethsemane.

"Wait here," he told the apostles. "I'm going over there to pray. Simon, James, John - you come with me."

As the three of them went with him, Jesus was suddenly almost overwhelmed with grief.

"Oh my soul!" he cried out. "The agony! I don't know whether I can stand it! Stay here and keep a lookout."

He continued on a stone's-throw and collapsed.

"Oh my Father," he prayed, "You can do anything; if it is possible, let me draw back from this agony. But let it be as you want, not I."

An angel came and strengthened him.

He continued to pray in an agony of spirit, the perspiration running down his face like blood, and dropping to the ground.

After a time he got to his feet and went back to where the apostles were. Exhausted by their grief - and because it was now early morning - they had fallen asleep. He shook Peter awake.

"You're sleeping, Simon?" he said. "Couldn't you stand watch for even an hour? Stay awake, and pray that you may escape the testing ahead. I know you want to stay awake, but the body's a weak thing."

He left them and went off to pray.

"Oh, my Father," he groaned. "If there is no other way, your will be done."

When he returned to the apostles, some time later, he found that they had fallen asleep again. He went back to the garden to pray again and then returned to where they lay.

"Go ahead, have you sleep now," he said, "But no. Look! I'm about to be betrayed. Get up men. The traitor is here."

The council had assigned a band of temple-guards to Judas. Even as Jesus was speaking, they marched toward him, their lanterns and torches lighting the darkness. Judas -  who knew where Jesus was because he'd been there often - was walking ahead of the guards. Knowing what was about to happen, Jesus stepped out of the darkness and walked toward them.

"Who are you looking for?" he asked.

"For Jesus of Nazareth."

"I'm Jesus of Nazareth."

The front rank stepped back and some of the guards fell to the ground. He spoke to them again.

"Who do you want?"

"Jesus of Nazareth."

"I am Jesus of Nazareth as I told you. So if it's me you're after let these others go." (He was concerned that the prophecy be fulfilled : I have lost none of those you gave me.)

They had assigned to Judas a cohort under the command of a tribune and some men of the temple-guard. Judas has established a pre-arranged plan."The signal will be a kiss," he had told them, "and the man I will kiss is Jesus. Arrest him and take him away safely."

He walked up to Jesus.

"Hello, Teacher," he said, and kissed him affectionately.

"Judas," Jesus said, "do you betray me with a kiss?" Then he said, "Do what you've come to do, friend."

The apostles realized what was happening. "Shall we fight, Teacher?" they whispered.

Peter didn't wait. He drew his sword and with a swipe cut off the right ear of the high priest's servant, a man by the name of Malchus.

"No more of that, Simon," Jesus said. "Put your sword away. Live by violence and you'll die by violence. Do you not want me to obey God? Surely you realize that even now I could ask him to send legions of angels to rescue me. But if I were to do that how would the scriptures be fulfilled?" He walked over to Malchus, touched his ear and healed it.

They put him under arrest, bound his hands, and prepared to lead him away.

"Why these swords and clubs?" Jesus said to the officer in charge. " You'd think I was a brigand. I've been teaching in the temple every day; why didn't you arrest me then? But no matter, this is your hour, a time for the fulfillment of scripture and a time when darkness has its way."

The apostles turned and ran.

As the soldiers marched Jesus away, a young man dressed only in a linen robe, followed. One of the soldiers seized him but he struggled free and ran off naked, leaving his robe in their hands.

The guard marched Jesus to the home of Annas, the father-in-law of the high priest. Annas interrogated him about his disciples and his teaching.

Peter and one of the other disciples followed at a distance. The other apostle was known to the high priest so, while Peter waited outside by the gate, he went in to the courtyard and got permission for Peter to enter.

As they were passed through the gate, a girl, one of the housemaids, studied Peter's face. The night was cold and the officers of the guard and some of the household servants had built a fire in the center of the enclosure. Peter stood outside the circle for awhile and then edged his way in and sat down among the group to warm himself. The housemaid had continued to watch him. She spoke up.

"Aren't you one of the that fellow's followers?" she said. "That fellow from Galilee - Jesus?"

"What are you talking about, woman?" Peter said. " I don't even know the man."

He got up and went out on the porch . Another housemaid saw him there and whispered to some of the men standing about," That man there . . . he was with Jesus. I saw him."

"You're one of them, aren't you?" one of the men called out.

"What do you mean?" Peter said. "I don't know him. I swear I don't."

An hour passed. One of the servants who had been standing out in the courtyard - a relative of Malchus - walked up to him.

"Didn't I see you with him in the Garden?"

"You most certainly did not!"

"But I did. You're one of his people.You're a Galilean. Your accent's a dead giveaway."

Peter began to curse and swear. "You're talking absolute nonsense," he shouted. "I tell you I do not know the man!"

Nearby, a rooster crowed. Jesus turned and looked at Peter. And he, remembering, went out, his body heaving with bitter sobs.

Within the house Annas had been plying Jesus with questions.

"I have spoken quite openly," Jesus told him. "I've taught frequently where the people gather; in the synagogues and in the temple. There have been no secret meetings. But why ask me about my teaching? Ask the people who've been listening to me. They'll tell you what I've been saying."

A soldier leaned across and slapped his face.

"What do you mean, talking to the high priest like that?" he said.

"If I've answered wrongly," Jesus said, "tell me in what way. But if I haven't, why have you struck me?"

Annas had him taken to Caiaphas' house, still bound and under guard. The council had been assembled there to hear potential withnesses. They were hoping to find someone whose testimony would provide them with the grounds on which to seek the death penalty. A number of men presented themselves. One man was willing to swear that he had heard Jesus say, "I'm going to tear down this manmade temple and build another untouched by human hands," but they could find no one to substantiate his story. Finally, two men came before them whose testimony agreed.

"This fellow said he could destroy God's temple and rebuild it in three days," they testified.

Caiaphas rose to his feet and turned to Jesus .

"How do you respond to these chargers?" he said. "Have you nothing to say?"

Jesus did not speak.

"Are you the Christ?" Caiaphas asked. "If you are, say so."

"If I did," he replied, "you wouldn't believe me, and if I were to put question to you, you wouldn't answer them."

"I call upon you, in the presence of the living God," Caiaphas thundered, "to tell us if you are the Christ, God's son."

"I am. And I'll tell you more. You, Caiaphas, are going to see the son of man seated at God's right hand and coming from heaven on the clouds in the sky."

Caiaphas ripped his robe ceremonially.

"Blasphemy ! You heard it - blasphemy! What do we need witnesses for? You yourselves heard him blaspheme." He turned to the council. "What is your verdict?"

"Guilty!" they said. "He deserves to die."

The soldiers who were guarding him began to slap him and to spit in his face. One of them took a blindfold and covered his eyes and then struck him.

"Come on there, prophet," he said. "Come on, Messiah, tell us who hit you?"

There was more of the same. The guards were ordered to take him away. As they led him out they continued to pummel him.
Previous [20] Next [22]