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18 Jesus told them a story to teach them that they should keep on talking with God and not give up.

He said, `There was a judge in a city. He did not respect God or care about people.

There was a woman in that city whose husband was dead. The woman came to the judge again and again. She said, "Save me from my enemy!"

For a long time he would not do it. But after a time he said, "I do not respect God or care about people.

But this woman is troubling me. So I will save her from her enemy. If I do not, she will keep coming until I am tired." '

The Lord said, `The judge was a bad man. And yet you should listen to what he says.

When the people whom God has chosen call to him day and night, he will save them from their enemies. He may let them wait a time.

But I tell you, he will save them from their enemies soon. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find any people who believe in him?'

There were some people who thought they were very good. And they thought that other people were not good. Jesus told this story to them.

10 He said, `Two men went to the temple to talk with God. One was a Pharisee and the other one was a tax collector.

11 `The Pharisee stood and said to himself, "God, I thank you that I am not like other men. They steal, cheat, and commit adultery. I thank you that I am not like this tax collector.

12 Two times in the week I do not eat - I fast. I give away one tenth part of all I get."

13 `The tax collector stood far away. He did not even look up towards heaven. But he beat his chest, and said, "God, I am a bad man. Help me!"

14 I tell you, when this man went home, he was right with God. The other one was not. Everyone who puts himself up in a high place will be brought down to a low place. And everyone who puts himself in a low place will be brought up to a high place.'

15 People brought even small children to Jesus. They wanted him to put his hands on them. When the disciples saw it, they tried to stop the people.

16 But Jesus called them to him and said, `Let the children come to me. Do not try to stop them. The kingdom of God belongs to people like them.

17 I tell you the truth. If anyone does not believe in the kingdom of God like a child, he will never go in.'

18 A ruler asked Jesus, `Good Teacher, what must I do so that I will live for ever?'

19 Jesus answered him, `Why do you call me good? Only one is good, and that is God.

20 `You know the laws, "Do not commit adultery. [Do not take a man or woman who is not your husband or wife.] Do not kill. Do not steal. Do not tell lies. Respect your father and your mother." '

21 The man said, `I have kept all these laws since I was a boy.'

22 When Jesus heard that, he said to him, `You need one thing more. Sell everything you have. Give the money to poor people. You will be rich in heaven. Then come and go with me.'

23 When the man heard that, he was sad because he was very rich.

24 Jesus looked at him and said, `It is very hard for rich people to enter the kingdom of God!

25 It is easier for a big animal like a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.'

26 Those who heard it asked, `Then who can be saved?'

27 But Jesus said, `God can do what men cannot do.'

28 Peter said, `See, we have left all things and have come with you.'

30 Jesus said to them, `I tell you the truth. If any man has left his house, or his wife, or his brothers, or his father, or his mother, or his children for the sake of the kingdom of God, he will receive many times as much as he has left. He will receive that in this world. And in the next world he will live for ever.'

31 Jesus took the twelve disciples with him. He said to them, `We are going to Jerusalem. The prophets of God long ago wrote about the Son of Man. Everything they wrote will be done to him.

32 He will be given over to rulers who are not Jews. They will make fun of him. They will treat him very badly. They will spit on him.

33 They will beat him and kill him. On the third day he will rise.'

34 But the disciples did not understand any of these things. The meaning was hidden from them and they did not understand what he said.

35 When he came near the city of Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the road. He was begging for money.

36 He heard many people passing by. He asked, `Why are so many people passing here?'

37 They told him, `Jesus of Nazareth is passing this way.'

38 Then he shouted, `Jesus, son of David! Help me!'

39 The people in front said, `Be quiet!' But he shouted louder and said, `Son of David! Help me!'

40 Jesus stopped and said, `Bring him here.' When the man came close, Jesus asked him, `What do you want me to do for you?'

41 The man said, `Sir, I want to see.'

42 Jesus said, `You can see now. You are healed because you believed.'

43 Right then he was able to see. He went with Jesus and he praised God. All the people saw it and they all praised God too.