After saying these things, Jesus crossed the Kidron Valley with his disciples and entered a grove of olive trees.
Judas, the betrayer, knew this place, because Jesus had gone there many times with his disciples.
The leading priests and Pharisees had given Judas a battalion of Roman soldiers and Temple guards to accompany him. Now with blazing torches, lanterns, and weapons, they arrived at the olive grove.
Jesus fully realized all that was going to happen to him. Stepping forward to meet them, he asked, "Whom are you looking for?"5
"Jesus of Nazareth," they replied. "I am he," a Jesus said. Judas was standing there with them when Jesus identified himself.
And as he said, "I am he," they all fell backward to the ground!
Once more he asked them, "Whom are you searching for?" And again they replied, "Jesus of Nazareth."
8"I told you that I am he," Jesus said. "And since I am the one you want, let these others go." 9
He did this to fulfill his own statement: "I have not lost a single one of those you gave me." b10
Then Simon Peter drew a sword and slashed off the right ear of Malchus, the high priest's servant.
But Jesus said to Peter, "Put your sword back into its sheath. Shall I not drink from the cup the Father has given me?"12
So the soldiers, their commanding officer, and the Temple guards arrested Jesus and tied him up.
First they took him to Annas, the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year.
Caiaphas was the one who had told the other Jewish leaders, "Better that one should die for all."
Simon Peter followed along behind, as did another of the disciples. That other disciple was acquainted with the high priest, so he was allowed to enter the courtyard with Jesus.
Peter stood outside the gate. Then the other disciple spoke to the woman watching at the gate, and she let Peter in.
The woman asked Peter, "Aren't you one of Jesus' disciples?" "No," he said, "I am not."
The guards and the household servants were standing around a charcoal fire they had made because it was cold. And Peter stood there with them, warming himself.
Inside, the high priest began asking Jesus about his followers and what he had been teaching them.
Jesus replied, "What I teach is widely known, because I have preached regularly in the synagogues and the Temple. I have been heard by people c everywhere, and I teach nothing in private that I have not said in public. 21Why are you asking me this question? Ask those who heard me. They know what I said."22
One of the Temple guards standing there struck Jesus on the face. "Is that the way to answer the high priest?" he demanded.
Jesus replied, "If I said anything wrong, you must give evidence for it. Should you hit a man for telling the truth?"24
Then Annas bound Jesus and sent him to Caiaphas, the high priest.
Meanwhile, as Simon Peter was standing by the fire, they asked him again, "Aren't you one of his disciples?" "I am not," he said.
But one of the household servants of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, "Didn't I see you out there in the olive grove with Jesus?"
Again Peter denied it. And immediately a rooster crowed.
Jesus' trial before Caiaphas ended in the early hours of the morning. Then he was taken to the headquarters of the Roman governor. His accusers didn't go in themselves because it would defile them, and they wouldn't be allowed to celebrate the Passover feast.
So Pilate, the governor, went out to them and asked, "What is your charge against this man?"
"We wouldn't have handed him over to you if he weren't a criminal!" they retorted.
"Then take him away and judge him by your own laws," Pilate told them."Only the Romans are permitted to execute someone," the Jewish leaders replied.
This fulfilled Jesus' prediction about the way he would die. d33
Then Pilate went back inside and called for Jesus to be brought to him. "Are you the King of the Jews?" he asked him.
Jesus replied, "Is this your own question, or did others tell you about me?"35
"Am I a Jew?" Pilate asked. "Your own people and their leading priests brought you here. Why? What have you done?"
Then Jesus answered, "I am not an earthly king. If I were, my followers would have fought when I was arrested by the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world."37
Pilate replied, "You are a king then?" "You say that I am a king, and you are right," Jesus said. "I was born for that purpose. And I came to bring truth to the world. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true."38
"What is truth?" Pilate asked. Then he went out again to the people and told them, "He is not guilty of any crime.
But you have a custom of asking me to release someone from prison each year at Passover. So if you want me to, I'll release the King of the Jews."
But they shouted back, "No! Not this man, but Barabbas!" (Barabbas was a criminal.)
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)