The Olive Orchard and the High Priests Hall
Garden of Gethsemane
Matthew xxvi: 36
Mark xiv: 32 to 72;
Luke xxii: 40 to 62;
xviii: 1 to 27.
foot of the Mount of Olives, near the path over the
hill toward Bethany, there was an orchard of olive
trees, called "The Garden of Gethsemane." The word
"Gethsemane" means "oil press." Jesus often went to
this place with his disciples, because of its quiet
shade. At this garden he stopped, and outside he
left eight of his disciples, saying to them, "Sit
here, while I go inside and pray."
He took with him the three chosen ones, Peter,
James, and John, and went within the orchard. Jesus
knew that in a little while Judas would be there
with a band of men to seize him; that within a few
hours he would be beaten, and stripped, and led out
to die. The thought of what he was to suffer came
upon him and filled his soul with grief. He said to
Peter, and James, and John:
"My soul is filled with sorrow; a sorrow that almost
kills me. Stay here and watch while I am praying."
He went a little further among the trees, and flung
himself down upon the ground, and cried out:
"O, my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass
away from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as
So earnest was his feeling and so great his
suffering, that there came out upon his face great
drops of sweat like blood, falling upon the ground.
After praying for a time, he rose up from the earth,
and went to his three disciples, and found them all
asleep. He awaked them, and said to Peter:
"What, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch
and pray, that you may not go into temptation. The
spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."
He left them, and went a second time into the woods,
and fell on his knees, and prayed again, saying:
"O, my Father, if this cup cannot pass away, and I
must drink it, then thy will be done."
He came again to the three disciples, and found them
sleeping; but this time he did not wake them. He
went once more into the woods, and prayed, using the
same words. And an angel from heaven came to him,
and gave him strength.
He was now ready for the fate that was soon to come,
and his heart was strong. Once more he went to the
three disciples, and said to them:
"You may as well sleep on now, and take your rest,
for the hour is at hand; and already the Son of man
is given by the traitor into the hands of sinners.
But rise up, and let us be going. See, the traitor
The disciples awoke; they heard the noise of a
crowd, and saw the flashing of torches, and the
gleaming of swords and spears. In the throng they
saw Judas standing, and they knew now that he was
the traitor of whom Jesus had spoken the night
before. Judas came rushing forward, and kissed
Jesus, as though he were glad to see him. This was a
signal that he had given beforehand to the band; for
the men of the guard did not know Jesus, and Judas
had said to them, "The one that I shall kiss is the
man that you are to take; seize him and hold him
Jesus said to Judas, "Judas, do you betray the Son
of man with a kiss?"
Then he turned to the crowd, and said, "Whom do you
They answered, "Jesus of Nazareth."
Jesus said, "I am he."
When Jesus said this, a sudden fear came upon his
enemies; they drew back, and fell upon the ground.
After a moment, Jesus said again, "Whom do you
And again they answered, "Jesus of Nazareth."
And Jesus said, pointing to his disciples, "I told
you that I am he. If you are seeking me, let these
disciples go their own way."
But as they came forward to seize Jesus, Peter drew
his sword, and struck at one of the men in front,
and cut off his right ear. The man was a servant of
the high-priest, and his name was Malchus.
Jesus said to Peter, "Put up the sword into its
sheath; the cup which my Father has given me, shall
I not drink it? Do you not know that I could call
upon my Father, and he would send to me armies upon
armies of angels?"
Then he spoke to the crowd: "Let me do this." And he
touched the place where the ear had been cut off,
and it came on again and was well. Jesus said to the
rulers and leaders of the armed men, "Do you come
against me with swords and clubs as though I were a
robber? I was with you every day in the Temple, and
you did not lift your hands against me. But the
words in the Scriptures must come to pass; and this
is your hour."
When the disciples of Jesus saw that he would not
allow them to fight for him, they did not know what
to do. In their sudden alarm they all ran away, and
left their Master alone with his enemies. These men
laid their hands on Jesus, and bound him, and led
him away to the house of the high-priest. There were
at that time two men called high-priests by the
Jews. One was Annas, who had been high-priest until
his office had been taken away from him by the
Romans, and given to Caiaphas, his son-in-law. But
Annas still had great power among the people; and
they brought Jesus, all bound as he was, first
Simon Peter and John, the disciple whom Jesus loved,
had followed after the crowd of those who carried
Jesus away, and they came to the door of the
high-priest's house. John knew the high-priest and
went in, but Peter at first stayed outside, until
John went out and brought him in. He came in, but
did not dare to go into the room where Jesus stood
before the high-priest Annas. In the courtyard of
the house they had made a fire of charcoal, and
Peter stood among those who were warming themselves
at the fire.
Annas, in the inner room, asked Jesus about his
disciples and teaching. Jesus answered him, "What I
have taught has been open in the synagogues and in
the Temple. Why do you ask me? Ask those that heard
me; they know what I said."
Then one of the officers struck Jesus on the mouth,
saying to him, "Is this the way that you answer the
Jesus answered the officer calmly and quietly, "If I
have said anything evil, tell what the evil is; but
if I have spoken the truth, why do you strike me?"
While Annas and his men were thus showing their hate
toward Jesus, who stood bound and alone among his
enemies, Peter was still in the courtyard, warming
himself at the fire. A woman, who was a serving-maid
in the house, looked at Peter sharply, and finally
said to him, "You were one of those men with this
Jesus of Nazareth!"
Peter was afraid to tell the truth, and he answered
her, "Woman, I do not know the man, and I do not
know what you are talking about."
And to get away from her he went out into the porch
of the house. There another woman-servant saw him,
and said, "This man was one of those with Jesus!"
And Peter swore with an oath that he did not know
Jesus at all. Soon a man came by, who was of kin to
Malchus, whose ear Peter had cut off. He looked at
Peter, and heard him speak, and said, "You are
surely one of this man's disciples, for your speech
shows that you came from Galilee."
Then Peter began again to curse and to swear,
declaring that he did not know the man of whom they
Just at that moment the loud, shrill crowing of a
cock startled Peter, and at the same time he saw
Jesus, who was being dragged through the hall from
Annas to the council-room of Caiaphas, the other
high-priest. And the Lord turned as he was passing
and looked at Peter.
Then there flashed into Peter's mind what Jesus had
said on the evening before, "Before the cock crows
to-morrow morning, you will three times deny that
you have ever known me."
Then Peter went out of the high-priest's house into
the street, and he wept bitterly because he had
denied his Lord.
Garden of Gethsemane