47 And even as Jesus said this, Judas, one of the twelve disciples, arrived with a crowd of men armed with swords and clubs. They had been sent by the leading priests and elders of the people.48 The traitor, Judas, had given them a prearranged signal: "You will know which one to arrest when I greet him with a kiss."49 So Judas came straight to Jesus. "Greetings, Rabbi!" he exclaimed and gave him the kiss.
50 Jesus said, "My friend, go ahead and do what you have come for."
Then the others grabbed Jesus and arrested him.51 But one of the men with Jesus pulled out his sword and struck the high priest's slave, slashing off his ear.
52 "Put away your sword," Jesus told him. "Those who use the sword will die by the sword.53 Don't you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands* of angels to protect us, and he would send them instantly?54 But if I did, how would the Scriptures be fulfilled that describe what must happen now?"
55 Then Jesus said to the crowd, "Am I some dangerous revolutionary, that you come with swords and clubs to arrest me? Why didn't you arrest me in the Temple? I was there teaching every day.56 But this is all happening to fulfill the words of the prophets as recorded in the Scriptures." At that point, all the disciples deserted him and fled.
57 Then the people who had arrested Jesus led him to the home of Caiaphas, the high priest, where the teachers of religious law and the elders had gathered.58 Meanwhile, Peter followed him at a distance and came to the high priest's courtyard. He went in and sat with the guards and waited to see how it would all end.
59 Inside, the leading priests and the entire high council* were trying to find witnesses who would lie about Jesus, so they could put him to death.60 But even though they found many who agreed to give false witness, they could not use anyone's testimony. Finally, two men came forward61 who declared, "This man said, 'I am able to destroy the Temple of God and rebuild it in three days.'"
62 Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, "Well, aren't you going to answer these charges? What do you have to say for yourself?"63 But Jesus remained silent. Then the high priest said to him, "I demand in the name of the living God—tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God."
64 Jesus replied, "You have said it. And in the future you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God's right hand* and coming on the clouds of heaven."*
65 Then the high priest tore his clothing to show his horror and said, "Blasphemy! Why do we need other witnesses? You have all heard his blasphemy.66 What is your verdict?"
"Guilty!" they shouted. "He deserves to die!"
67 Then they began to spit in Jesus' face and beat him with their fists. And some slapped him,68 jeering, "Prophesy to us, you Messiah! Who hit you that time?"
69 Meanwhile, Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A servant girl came over and said to him, "You were one of those with Jesus the Galilean."
70 But Peter denied it in front of everyone. "I don't know what you're talking about," he said.
71 Later, out by the gate, another servant girl noticed him and said to those standing around, "This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.*"
72 Again Peter denied it, this time with an oath. "I don't even know the man," he said.
73 A little later some of the other bystanders came over to Peter and said, "You must be one of them; we can tell by your Galilean accent."
74 Peter swore, "A curse on me if I'm lying—I don't know the man!" And immediately the rooster crowed.
75 Suddenly, Jesus' words flashed through Peter's mind: "Before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me." And he went away, weeping bitterly.