Matthew 26: Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus

What is the significance of Jesus being crucified at the time of Passover?

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Matthew 26:1–2 When Jesus had finished his discourse, he said to his disciples, “As you know, Passover begins in two days. By then, the Son of Man will be betrayed and crucified.”
King James
Matthew 26:1–2 And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said unto his disciples, Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.

Why did religious leaders gather at the high priest’s palace?

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Matthew 26:3–4 At that moment, the chief priests and Jewish leaders had convened at the palace of Caiaphas, the high priest, to plot how they would covertly capture Jesus and put him to death.
King James
Matthew 26:3–4 Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, and consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill him.

If leaders were apprehensive about arresting Jesus during Passover, why didn’t they wait until after the feast?

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Matthew 26:5 “We must not do it during the feast,” they said, “or we will cause a riot.”
King James
Matthew 26:5 But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar among the people.

Why was Jesus with Simon the leper and not be at the home of Mary and Martha?

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Matthew 26:6–7 At Bethany, Jesus was in the home of Simon the leper when a woman came with a jar made of fine gypsum filled with expensive perfume and poured it on Jesus’ head as he sat at the table.
King James
Matthew 26:6–7 Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, there came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat.

Why were the disciples upset over the wasting of expensive perfume?

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Matthew 26:6–9 At Bethany, Jesus was in the home of Simon the leper when a woman came with a jar made of fine gypsum filled with expensive perfume and poured it on Jesus’ head as he sat at the table.
The disciples were upset when they saw what she had done. “Why this waste?” they said. “That perfume could have been sold for a lot of money and given to the poor.”
King James
Matthew 26:6–9 Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, there came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat. But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.

What did the woman have that the disciples didn’t have?

Author’s Thoughts
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Matthew 26:6–9 At Bethany, Jesus was in the home of Simon the leper when a woman came with a jar made of fine gypsum filled with expensive perfume and poured it on Jesus’ head as he sat at the table.
The disciples were upset when they saw what she had done. “Why this waste?” they said. “That perfume could have been sold for a lot of money and given to the poor.”
King James
Matthew 26:6–9 Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, there came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat. But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.

How was Jesus’ knowledge of the woman’s actions different from what anyone else knew?

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Matthew 26:10–13 Jesus knew what they were saying, so he said, “Why are you criticizing the woman for doing good for me? You will always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. In pouring the perfume, she has prepared my body for burial. I assure you, everywhere the good news is proclaimed throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and told.”
King James
Matthew 26:10–13 When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me. For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always. For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.

What made the woman’s actions memorable and a story that needed to be repeated?

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Matthew 26:13 “I assure you, everywhere the good news is proclaimed throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and told.”
King James
Matthew 26:13 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.

What motivated Judas to betray Jesus? Why were religious leaders eager to pay him?

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Matthew 26:14–15 Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, went to the chief priests and said, “How much will you pay me to deliver him to you?” So they reached an agreement to pay him thirty pieces of silver.
King James
Matthew 26:14–15 Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, and said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.

What kind of opportunity was Judas looking for?

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Matthew 26:16 After that, he looked for an opportunity to betray Jesus.
King James
Matthew 26:16 And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.

Why did the disciples want to know Jesus’ plans for the Passover meal?

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Matthew 26:17 On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples said to Jesus, “Where shall we prepare for you to eat the Passover meal?”
King James
Matthew 26:17 Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover?

Why did a “certain man” in Jerusalem respect the message delivered by the disciples?

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Matthew 26:18–19 “Go into the city and tell a certain man, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is near. I will eat the Passover meal with my disciples at your house.”‘”
The disciples did exactly as Jesus instructed and prepared the Passover meal.
King James
Matthew 26:18–19 And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples. And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover.

How could disciples other than Judas question whether they could be the one who would betray Jesus?

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Matthew 26:20–23 In the evening, Jesus sat with the twelve disciples at the table. During the meal, he said, “I tell you the truth. One of you will turn against me.”
Everyone was deeply grieved and said, “Sir, you are not talking about me, are you?”
“One who eats with me will betray me.”
26:25 “Teacher,” Judas the betrayer said, “could I be the one?”
Jesus answered, “You have said so.”
King James
Matthew 26:20–23 Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve. And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I? And he answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me.
26:25 Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said.

Do you think Judas will be forgiven for betraying Jesus? Why?

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Matthew 26:24 “I, the Son of Man, must suffer according to the scriptures, but how terrible it will be for the man who turns against me. It would be better for him if he had not been born.”
King James
Matthew 26:24 The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.

In what ways were the blessed bread and wine the body and blood of Jesus?

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Matthew 26:26–28 While they ate, Jesus took the bread, blessed it, broke it, and passed it to the disciples. “Take this bread and eat. This is my body.” He held the cup, offered thanks, and passed it to the disciples. “Take this wine and drink, all of you. This is my blood of the new agreement between God and his people, to be poured out so that many offenses may be pardoned.”
King James
Matthew 26:26–28 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

When was the next time that Jesus drank wine with the disciples?

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Matthew 26:29 “I tell you, I will not drink wine again until I drink with you in my Father’s Kingdom.”
King James
Matthew 26:29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.

How much did Jesus know about what the disciples would do on the night he would be arrested and what would happen afterward?

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Matthew 26:30–32 After they had sung a hymn, they left for the Mount of Olives.
“Tonight,” Jesus said, “all of you will leave me, for the scripture says, Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered. But after I have risen, I will reach Galilee before you do.”
King James
Matthew 26:30–32 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives. Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.

How many disciples said they would never abandon Jesus? How might their actions have differed from their commitments?

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Matthew 26:33–351 Peter said, “Everyone else may abandon you, but I never will.”
“I guarantee,” Jesus said, “before the rooster crows tonight, you will deny me three times.”
“Even if I have to die,” Peter said, “I will not deny you.”
The rest of the disciples said the same thing.
King James
Matthew 26:33–35 Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended. Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.

Why did Jesus take only three disciples with him to pray?

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Matthew 26:36–38 When they arrived at Gethsemane, Jesus said to his disciples, “While I go over there to pray, you sit here.”
Jesus took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, James and John. He became grieved and was filled with distress.
“Stay here and watch with me,” he said. “My heart is overcome with sorrow to the point of death.”
King James
Matthew 26:36–38 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.

If Matthew wasn’t there, how did he know what Jesus prayed? Besides what Matthew recorded, what more might Jesus have prayed?

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Matthew 26:39 He went a little farther, fell on his face, and prayed. “My Father, if possible, let me escape this suffering. Nevertheless, I want your will, not mine.”
King James
Matthew 26:39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

In this desperate hour, how could the disciples have fallen asleep? Why was it important that they stay alert and pray?

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Matthew 26:40 He returned to his disciples and found them asleep. “Can’t you watch with me for an hour?” he said to Peter.
26:43 Once more, he returned to find his disciples asleep. They could not keep their eyes open.
26:45 When he returned, he said, “How can you be at ease, sleeping? Look! It is time for the Son of Man to be handed over to wicked men.
King James
Matthew 26:40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?
26:43 And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy.
26:45 Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

When Jesus said, “The spirit is willing, but the body is weak,” who was he talking about? Why?

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Matthew 26:41 “Stay alert and pray so you do not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”
King James
Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Why did Jesus repeat what he had prayed before?

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Matthew 6:7 “When you pray, do not repeat empty words like the pagans, who think they will be heard because of their incessant babbling.”
26:42 Again, Jesus left to pray. “My Father, if this cup of suffering cannot be emptied without my drinking it, let your will be done.”
26:44 He left them for the third time and prayed the same words as before.
King James
Matthew 6:7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
26:42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.
26:44 And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.

What did Jesus see when he said it was time?

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Matthew 26:45–47 When he returned, he said, “How can you be at ease, sleeping? Look! It is time for the Son of Man to be handed over to wicked men. Get up. Let’s go! My betrayer is coming.”
While Jesus was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived with a mob carrying swords and clubs, men sent by the chief priests and Jewish leaders.
King James
Matthew 26:45–47 Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me. And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people.

Why did Judas need to identify Jesus?

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Matthew 26:48–49 To identify Jesus, the traitor had arranged a signal, saying, “The man I kiss is the one you want. Seize him.”
Without hesitation, Judas approached Jesus. “Hello, Teacher.” He gave Jesus the customary kiss of greeting.
King James
Matthew 26:48–49 Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast. And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him.

How did Jesus respond to Judas’s advance?

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Matthew 26:50 “Friend,” Jesus said, “what have you done?” ‘
Men grabbed Jesus and held him captive.
Luke 22:48 “Judas,” Jesus said, “would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?”
John 18:4–8 Jesus was fully aware of all that would happen to him and stepped forward to greet the men. “Who are you looking for?”
“Jesus of Nazareth.”
“I am he.”
Judas, the traitor, stood there with the mob.
The moment Jesus said, “I am he,” the mob backed away and fell to the ground.
Jesus again said, “Who are you looking for?”
“Jesus of Nazareth.”
“I have already told you who I am. Since I am the one you want, let these others go.”
King James
Matthew 26:50 And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and took him.
Luke 22:48 But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?
John 18:4–8 Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them. As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground. Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way:

Who cut off the high priest’s servant’s ear? Why?

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Matthew 26:51 One of the disciples drew a sword and cut off the high priest’s servant’s ear.
Luke 22:36 “But now, take money and provisions. If you have no sword, sell your clothes and buy one.”
John 18:10 Simon Peter drew a sword and cut off the right ear of Malchus, the high priest’s servant.
King James
Matthew 26:51 And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest’s, and smote off his ear.
Luke 22:36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.
John 18:10 Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.

After telling the disciples to bring swords, why did Jesus reprimand them for using them?

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Matthew 26:52–54 “Put away your sword,” Jesus said to him. “Those who live by the sword will die by the sword. Don’t you know I could ask my Father, and he would immediately send twelve armies of angels? But if I did, the scriptures could not be fulfilled that say this must happen.”
Luke 22:36 “But now, take money and provisions. If you have no sword, sell your clothes and buy one.”
King James
Matthew 26:52–54 Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?
Luke 22:36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

If Jesus knew the purpose for the mob coming, why did he why they had come with swords and clubs?

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Matthew 26:45 When he returned, he said, “How can you be at ease, sleeping? Look! It is time for the Son of Man to be handed over to wicked men.”
26:55–56 Jesus looked at the mob surrounding him. “Am I a hardened criminal that you must capture me with swords and clubs? Every day, I taught in the Temple. Why didn’t you arrest me there? It has happened this way to fulfill the words of the prophets.”
All the disciples abandoned him and escaped.
King James
Matthew 26:45 Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
26:55–56 In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me. But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.

After escaping, where did the disciples go?

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Matthew 26:56 “It has happened this way to fulfill the words of the prophets.”
All the disciples abandoned him and escaped.
King James
Matthew 26:56 But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.

Who were the jurors who had gathered to judge Jesus?

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Matthew 26:57 The arresting guards took Jesus to Caiaphas, the high priest, and a gathering of Jewish leaders and teachers of the Law.
King James
Matthew 26:57 And they that had laid hold on Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled.

Why was Peter present at Jesus’ trial?

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Matthew 26:58 Peter followed at a distance and entered the high priest’s palace courtyard to see what would happen.
John 18:15 Simon Peter followed Jesus. Another disciple also followed, who was known to the high priest. He was allowed to enter the high priest’s courtyard with Jesus.
King James
Matthew 26:58 But Peter followed him afar off unto the high priest’s palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end.
John 18:15 And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple: that disciple was known unto the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high priest.

On such short notice, how were witnesses found to give false testimony about Jesus?

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Matthew 26:59 The chief priests and Jewish council brought in witnesses who were to give false testimony about Jesus so they could sentence him to die.
King James
Matthew 26:59 Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death;

Why was the agreement of testimonies important?

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Matthew 26:60–61 Although many false witnesses came, they could not get any two testimonies to agree. Finally, two men appeared before the council and said, “This man claimed he could destroy the Temple of God and rebuild it in three days.”
King James
Matthew 26:60–61 But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses, and said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.

Why did the high priest demand an answer from Jesus?

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Matthew 26:62–63 The high priest stood and looked at Jesus. “Aren’t you going to answer? What do you have to say about the charges brought against you?”
Jesus said nothing.
“By the authority of the living God, I command you to tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”
King James
Matthew 26:62–63 And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.

What is most significant about Jesus’ response to the high priest?

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Matthew 26:64 “Yes,” Jesus said, “you could say that. But I tell all of you, in the future you will see the Son of Man sitting on God’s right hand and arriving on the clouds of the sky.”
King James
Matthew 26:64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

Why was Jesus condemned to death?

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Matthew 26:65–66 “Blasphemy!” The high priest ripped his clothes. “Why do we need more witnesses? With your own ears you have heard his blasphemy. What is your verdict?”
“Guilty,” they said. “He should be put to death.”
King James
Matthew 26:65–66 Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy. What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death.

Who mocked and abused Jesus at the trial? Why did they do that?

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Matthew 26:67–68 Then they spat at him, struck him with their fists, and slapped him in the face. “Prophesy to us, Messiah,” they said. “Tell us who hit you.”
King James
Matthew 26:67–68 Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands, saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee?

Why did Peter deny his relationship with Jesus?

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Matthew 26:69–75 In the courtyard outside, a servant girl came to where Peter sat. “You are one of those who was with Jesus of Galilee.”
Before everyone around, Peter denied having been with Jesus. “It was not me,” he said. “I do not know what you are talking about.”
As he left the courtyard and came near the entrance, another servant girl noticed him. “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.”
With an oath, he denied any knowledge of Jesus. “I swear, I do not know that man.”
Later, some of those who stood near Peter said, “You must be one of them. Your accent is clearly Galilean.”
With cursing and swearing, Peter denied any connection with Jesus. “I tell you, I do not know this man.”
Immediately, a rooster crowed, and he remembered what Jesus had said: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.”
He went outside and broke down crying.
King James
Matthew 26:69–75 Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee. But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest. And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him, and said unto them that were there, This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth. And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man. And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee. Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.

After leaving the courtyard, what did Peter do?

Author’s Thoughts
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Matthew 26:75 and he remembered what Jesus had said: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.”
He went outside and broke down crying.
King James
Matthew 26:75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.