When Jesus had finished praying, he left with his disciples. They crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was a grove of olive trees. Jesus and his disciples went into it.
Judas knew the place. He was going to hand Jesus over to his enemies. Jesus had often met in that place with his disciples.
So Judas came to the grove. He was guiding a group of soldiers and some officials. The chief priests and the Pharisees had sent them. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.
Jesus knew everything that was going to happen to him. So he went out and asked them, "Who is it that you want?"
"Jesus of Nazareth," they replied. "I am he," Jesus said. Judas, who was going to hand Jesus over, was standing there with them.
When Jesus said, "I am he," they moved back. Then they fell to the ground.
He asked them again, "Who is it that you want?" They said, "Jesus of Nazareth."
"I told you I am he," Jesus answered. "If you are looking for me, then let these men go."
This happened so that the words Jesus had spoken would come true. He had said, "I have not lost anyone God has given me."#1(John 6:39)#2
Simon Peter had a sword and pulled it out. He struck the high priest's servant and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus.
Jesus commanded Peter, "Put your sword away! Shouldn't I drink the cup of suffering the Father has given me?"
Then the group of soldiers, their leader and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus. They tied him up
and brought him first to Annas. He was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest at that time.
Caiaphas had advised the Jews that it would be good if one man died for the people.
Simon Peter and another disciple were following Jesus. The high priest knew the other disciple. So that disciple went with Jesus into the high priest's courtyard.
But Peter had to wait outside by the door. The other disciple came back. He was the one the high priest knew. He spoke to the woman who was on duty there. Then he brought Peter in.
The woman at the door spoke to Peter. "You are not one of Jesus' disciples, are you?" she asked him. "I am not," he replied.
It was cold. The servants and officials stood around a fire. They had made it to keep warm. Peter was also standing with them. He was warming himself.
Meanwhile, the high priest questioned Jesus. He asked him about his disciples and his teaching.
"I have spoken openly to the world," Jesus replied. "I always taught in synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. I didn't say anything in secret.
Why question me? Ask the people who heard me. They certainly know what I said."
When Jesus said that, one of the officials nearby hit him in the face. "Is this any way to answer the high priest?" he asked.
"Have I said something wrong?" Jesus replied. "If I have, give witness to it. But if I spoke the truth, why did you hit me?"
While Jesus was still tied up, Annas sent him to Caiaphas, the high priest.
Simon Peter stood there. He was warming himself. Then someone asked him, "You aren't one of Jesus' disciples, are you?" He said, "I am not."
One of the high priest's servants was a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off. He said to Peter, "Didn't I see you with Jesus in the olive grove?"
Again Peter said no. At that very moment a rooster began to crow.
Then the Jews led Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. By now it was early morning. The Jews did not want to be made "unclean." They wanted to be able to eat the Passover meal. So they did not enter the palace.
Pilate came out to them. He asked, "What charges are you bringing against this man?"
"He has committed crimes," they replied. "If he hadn't, we would not have handed him over to you."
Pilate said, "Take him yourselves. Judge him by your own law." "But we don't have the right to put anyone to death," the Jews complained.
This happened so that the words Jesus had spoken about how he was going to die would come true.
Then Pilate went back inside the palace. He ordered Jesus to be brought to him. Pilate asked him, "Are you the king of the Jews?"
"Is that your own idea?" Jesus asked. "Or did others talk to you about me?"
"Am I a Jew?" Pilate replied. "It was your people and your chief priests who handed you over to me. What have you done?"
Jesus said, "My kingdom is not part of this world. If it were, those who serve me would fight. They would try to keep the Jews from arresting me. My kingdom is from another place."
"So you are a king, then!" said Pilate. Jesus answered, "You are right to say I am a king. In fact, that's the reason I was born. I came into the world to give witness to the truth. Everyone who is on the side of truth listens to me."
"What is truth?" Pilate asked. Then Pilate went out again to the Jews. He said, "I find no basis for any charge against him.
But it is your practice for me to set one prisoner free for you at Passover time. Do you want me to set 'the king of the Jews' free?"
They shouted back, "No! Not him! Give us Barabbas!" Barabbas had taken part in an armed struggle against the country's rulers.