Luke 1-22Amplified Bible (AMP)
1 Since [as is well known] many have undertaken to compile an orderly account of the things which have been fulfilled among us [by God], 2 exactly as they were handed down to us by those [with personal experience] who from the beginning [of Christ’s ministry] were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word [that is, of the teaching concerning salvation through faith in Christ], 3 it seemed fitting for [a]me as well, [and so I have decided] after having carefully searched out and investigated all the events accurately, from the very beginning, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus; 4 so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been [b]taught [that is, the history and doctrine of the faith].
Birth of John the Baptist Foretold
5 In the days of Herod [the Great], king of Judea, there was a certain priest whose name was [c]Zacharias, of [d]the division of Abijah. His wife was [e]a descendant of Aaron [the first high priest of Israel], and her name was Elizabeth. 6 They both were righteous (approved) in the sight of God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord. 7 But they were childless, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both far advanced in years.
8 Now it happened while Zacharias was serving as priest before God in the appointed order of his priestly division, 9 as was the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter [the sanctuary of] the temple of the Lord and [f]burn incense [on the altar of incense]. 10 And all the congregation was praying outside [in the court of the temple] at the hour of the incense offering. 11 And an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense. 12 When Zacharias saw the angel, he was troubled and overcome with fear. 13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, because your petition [in prayer] was heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him [g]John. 14 You will have great joy and delight, and many will rejoice over his birth, 15 for he will be great and distinguished in the sight of the Lord; and will never drink wine or liquor, and he will be filled with and empowered to act by the Holy Spirit while still in his mother’s womb. 16 He will turn many of the sons of Israel back [from sin] to [love and serve] the Lord their God. 17 It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous [which is to seek and submit to the will of God]—in order to make ready a people [perfectly] prepared [spiritually and morally] for the Lord.”
18 And Zacharias said to the angel, “How will I be certain of this? For I am an old man and my wife is advanced in age.” 19 The angel replied and said to him, “I am Gabriel; I stand and minister in the [very] presence of God, and I have been sent [by Him] to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20 [h]Listen carefully, you will be continually silent and unable to speak until the day when these things take place, because you did not believe what I told you; but my words will be fulfilled at their proper time.”
21 The people [outside in the court] were waiting for Zacharias, and were wondering about his long delay in the temple. 22 But when he did come out, he was unable to speak to them. They realized that he had seen a vision in the temple; and he kept making signs to them, and remained mute. 23 When his time of priestly service was finished, he returned to his home.
24 Now after this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant, and for five months she secluded herself completely, saying, 25 “This is how the Lord has dealt with me in the days when He looked with favor on me, to take away my [i]disgrace among men.”
Jesus’ Birth Foretold
26 Now in the sixth month [of Elizabeth’s pregnancy] the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin [j]betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, a descendant of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And coming to her, the angel said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29 But she was greatly perplexed at what he said, and kept carefully considering what kind of greeting this was. 30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 Listen carefully: you will conceive in your womb and give birth to a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 32 He will be great and eminent and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob (Israel) forever, and of His kingdom there shall be no end.” 34 Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin and have no intimacy with any man?” 35 Then the angel replied to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you [like a cloud]; for that reason the holy (pure, sinless) Child shall be called the Son of God. 36 And listen, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. 37 For with God nothing [is or ever] shall be impossible.” 38 Then Mary said, “[k]Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel left her.
Mary Visits Elizabeth
39 Now at this time Mary arose and hurried to the hill country, to a city of Judah (Judea), 40 and she entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, her baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and empowered by Him. 42 And she exclaimed loudly, “Blessed [worthy to be praised] are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed [spiritually fortunate and favored by God] is she who believed and confidently trusted that there would be a fulfillment of the things that were spoken to her [by the angel sent] from the Lord.”
46 And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies and exalts the Lord,
56 And Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months, and then returned to her home.
John Is Born
57 Now the time had come for Elizabeth to give birth, and she gave birth to a son. 58 Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown His great mercy toward her, and they were rejoicing with her.
59 It happened that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child [as required by the Law], and they intended to name him Zacharias, after his father; 60 but his mother answered, “No indeed; instead he will be called John.” 61 And they said to her, “None of your relatives is called by that name.” 62 Then they made signs to his father, as to what he wanted him called. 63 And he asked for a writing tablet and wrote as follows, “His name is John.” And they were all astonished. 64 At once Zacharias’ mouth was opened and his tongue freed, and he began speaking, praising and blessing and thanking God. 65 Then fear came on all their neighbors; and all these things were discussed throughout the hill country of Judea. 66 All who heard these things kept them in mind, saying, “What then will this little boy turn out to be?” For the hand of the Lord was certainly with him [to bring about his birth].
67 Now Zacharias his father was filled with the Holy Spirit and empowered by Him, and he prophesied, saying,
80 The child continued to grow and to become strong in spirit, and he lived in the deserts until the day of his public appearance to Israel [as John the Baptist, the forerunner of the Messiah].
Jesus’ Birth in Bethlehem
2 Now in those days a decree went out from [the emperor] [m]Caesar Augustus, that all the inhabited world (the Roman Empire) should be [n]registered [in a census]. 2 This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And everyone went to register for the census, each to his own city. 4 So Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, 5 in order to register with Mary, who was [o]betrothed to him, and was with child. 6 While they were there [in Bethlehem], the time came for her to give birth, 7 and she gave birth to her Son, her firstborn; and she wrapped Him in [[p]swaddling] cloths and laid Him in a [q]manger, because there was no [private] room for them in the inn.
8 In the same region there were shepherds staying out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord flashed and shone around them, and they were terribly frightened. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for [r]all the people. 11 For this day in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord (the Messiah). 12 And this will be a sign for you [by which you will recognize Him]: you will find a Baby wrapped in [swaddling] cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 Then suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host (angelic army) praising God and saying,
15 When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying one to another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem, and see this [wonderful] thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 So they went in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the Baby as He lay in the manger. 17 And when they had seen this, they made known what had been told them about this Child, 18 and all who heard it were astounded and wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured all these things, giving careful thought to them and pondering them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as it had been told them.
Jesus Presented at the Temple
21 At the end of eight days, when He was to be circumcised, He was named Jesus, the name given [to Him] by the angel [Gabriel] before He was conceived in the womb.
22 And when the time for their purification came [that is, the mother’s purification and the baby’s dedication] according to the Law of Moses, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord [set apart as the Firstborn] 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male that opens the womb shall be called holy [set apart and dedicated] to the Lord)” 24 and [they came also] to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord [to be appropriate for a family of modest means], “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”
25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout [carefully observing the divine Law], and looking for the [s]Consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed). 27 Prompted by the Spirit, he came into the temple [enclosure]; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, [t]to do for Him the custom required by the Law, 28 Simeon took Him into his arms, and blessed and praised and thanked God, and said,
33 And His [legal] father and His mother were amazed at what was said about Him. 34 Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, “Listen carefully: this Child is appointed and destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for [u]a sign that is to be opposed— 35 and a sword [of deep sorrow] will pierce through your own soul—so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
36 There was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old, and had lived with her husband for seven years after her marriage, 37 and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She did not leave the [area of the] temple, but was serving and worshiping night and day with fastings and prayers. 38 She, too, came up at that very moment and began praising and giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him to all who were looking for the redemption and deliverance of Jerusalem.
Return to Nazareth
39 And when they had done everything [in connection with Jesus’ birth] according to the Law of the Lord, they went back to Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. 40 And the Child continued to grow and become strong [in spirit], filled with wisdom; and the grace (favor, spiritual blessing) of God was upon Him.
Visit to Jerusalem
41 Now His parents went to Jerusalem every year for the Passover Feast. 42 And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem, according to the custom of the Feast; 43 and as they were returning [to [v]Nazareth], after spending the required number of days [at the Feast], the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem. Now His parents did not know this, 44 but supposed Him to be in the caravan, and traveled a day’s journey; and [then] they began searching [anxiously] for Him among their relatives and acquaintances. 45 When they did not find Him, they went back to Jerusalem looking for Him [everywhere]. 46 Three days later they found Him in the [court of the] temple, sitting among the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. 47 All who heard Him were amazed by His intelligence and His understanding and His answers. 48 When they saw Him, they were overwhelmed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You treated us like this? Listen, Your [w]father and I have been [greatly distressed and] anxiously looking for You.” 49 And He answered, “Why did you have to look for Me? Did you not know that I had to be [x]in My Father’s house?” 50 But they did not understand what He had said to them. 51 He went down to Nazareth with them, and was continually submissive and obedient to them; and His mother treasured all these things in her heart.
52 And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and men.
John the Baptist Preaches
3 Now in the fifteenth year of [Emperor] [y]Tiberius Caesar’s reign—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod [Antipas] was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip was tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene— 2 in the high [z]priesthood of Annas and [aa]Caiaphas [his son-in-law], the word of God came to John, the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness. 3 And he went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sin; 4 as it is written and forever remains written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,
“The voice of one shouting in the wilderness,
7 So he began saying to the crowds who were coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of [ad]vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath [of God that is] to come? 8 Therefore produce fruit that is worthy of [and consistent with your] repentance [that is, live changed lives, turn from sin and seek God and His righteousness]. And do not even begin to say to yourselves [as a defense], ‘We have Abraham for our father [and so our heritage assures us of salvation]’; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children (descendants) for Abraham [for God can replace the unrepentant, regardless of their heritage, with those who are obedient]. 9 Even now the axe [of God’s judgment] is swinging toward the root of the trees; so every tree that does not produce good fruit is being cut down and thrown into the fire.”
10 The crowds asked him, “Then what are we to do?” 11 And John replied, “The man who has two tunics is to share with him who has none; and he who has food is to do the same.” 12 Even some tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked, “Teacher, what are we to do?” 13 And he told them, “Collect no more than the fixed amount you have been ordered to [collect].” 14 Some soldiers asked him, “And what about us, what are we to do?” And he replied to them, “Do not [ae]extort money from anyone or harass or blackmail anyone, and be satisfied with your wages.”
15 Now the people were in a state of expectation, and all were wondering in their hearts about John, as to whether he was the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed). 16 John answered them all by saying, “As for me, I baptize you [only] [af]with water; but One who is mightier [more powerful, more noble] than I is coming, and I am not fit to untie the strap of His sandals [even as His slave]. He will baptize you [who truly repent] with the Holy Spirit and [you who remain unrepentant] with [ag]fire. 17 His [ah]winnowing fork is in His hand to thoroughly clear His threshing floor, and to gather the wheat (believers) into His barn (kingdom); but He will burn up the chaff (the unrepentant) with unquenchable fire.”
18 So with many other appeals and various admonitions John preached the good news (gospel) to the people. 19 But when Herod [Antipas] the tetrarch was repeatedly reprimanded [and convicted by John’s disapproval] for having [ai]Herodias, his brother’s wife [as his own], and for all the wicked things that Herod had done, 20 he also added this to them all: he locked up John in prison.
21 Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus was also baptized, and while He was praying, the [visible] heaven was opened, 22 and the [aj]Holy Spirit descended on Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came from heaven, “You are My Son, My Beloved, in You I am well-pleased and delighted!”
Genealogy of Jesus
23 When He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty years of age, being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph, the son [by marriage] of Eli, 24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, 25 the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Hesli, the son of Naggai, 26 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda, 27 the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, 28 the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, 29 the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 30 the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, 31 the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, 32 the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon, 33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Ram, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, 34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, 35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Heber, the son of Shelah, 36 the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan, 38 the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.
The Devil Tempts Jesus
4 Now Jesus, full of [and in perfect communication with] the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness 2 for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days, and when they ended, He was hungry. 3 Then the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to turn into bread.” 4 Jesus replied to him, “It is written and forever remains written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone[ak].’”
5 Then he led Jesus up [to a high mountain] and displayed before Him all the kingdoms of the inhabited earth [and their magnificence] in the twinkling of an eye. 6 And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this realm and its glory [its power, its renown]; because it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. 7 Therefore if You worship before me, it will all be Yours.” 8 Jesus replied to him, “It is written and forever remains written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and serve only Him.’”
9 Then he led Jesus to Jerusalem and had Him stand on the pinnacle (highest point) of the temple, and said [mockingly] to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here; 10 for it is written and forever remains written,
‘He will command His angels concerning You to guard and protect You,’
‘they will lift You up on their hands,
12 Jesus replied to him, “It is said [in Scripture], ‘you shall not tempt the Lord your God [to prove Himself to you].’”
13 When the devil had finished every temptation, he [temporarily] left Him until a more opportune time.
Jesus’ Public Ministry
14 Then Jesus went back to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and the news about Him spread through the entire region. 15 And He began teaching in their synagogues and was praised and glorified and honored by all.
16 So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. 17 The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,
20 Then He rolled up the scroll [having stopped in the middle of the verse], gave it back to the attendant and sat down [to teach]; and the eyes of all those in the synagogue were [attentively] fixed on Him. 21 He began speaking to them: “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing and in your presence.” 22 And [as He continued on] they all were speaking well of Him, and were in awe and were wondering about the words of grace which were coming from His lips; and they were saying, “Is this not Joseph’s son?” 23 So He said to them, “You will no doubt quote this proverb to Me, ‘Physician, heal Yourself! Whatever [miracles] that we heard were done [by You] in Capernaum, do here in Your hometown as well.’” 24 Then He said, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, no prophet is welcome in his hometown. 25 But in truth I say to you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the sky was closed up for three years and six months, when a great famine came over all the land; 26 and yet Elijah was not sent [by the Lord] to a single one of them, but only to Zarephath in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 27 And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and not one of them was cleansed [by being healed] except Naaman the Syrian.” 28 As they heard these things [about God’s grace to these two Gentiles], the people in the synagogue were filled with a great rage; 29 and they got up and drove Him out of the city, and led Him to the crest of the hill on which their city had been built, in order to hurl Him down the cliff. 30 But passing [miraculously] through the crowd, He went on His way.
31 Then He came down [from the hills of Nazareth] to Capernaum, a city of Galilee [on the shore of the sea], and He was teaching them on the Sabbath; 32 and they were surprised [almost overwhelmed] at His teaching, because His message was [given] with authority and power and great ability. 33 There was a man in the synagogue who was possessed by the spirit of an unclean demon; and he cried out with a loud and terrible voice, 34 “Let us alone! [al]What business do we have [in common] with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!” 35 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent (muzzled, gagged) and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown the man down among them, he came out of him without injuring him in any way. 36 They were all astonished and in awe, and began saying to one another, “What is this message? For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits and they come out!” 37 And the news about Him spread into every place in the surrounding district (Galilee).
Many Are Healed
38 Then Jesus got up and left the synagogue and went to Simon’s (Peter’s) house. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Him to help her. 39 Standing over her, He rebuked the fever, and it left her; and immediately she got up and began serving them [as her guests].
40 While the sun was setting [marking the end of the Sabbath day], all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to Jesus; and laying His hands on each one of them, He was healing them [exhibiting His authority as Messiah]. 41 Demons also were coming out of many people, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But He rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that He was the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed).
42 When daybreak came, Jesus left [Simon Peter’s house] and went to a secluded place; and the crowds were searching for Him, and [they] came to Him and tried to keep Him from leaving them. 43 But He said, “I must preach [the good news of] the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because I was sent for this purpose.”
44 So He continued preaching in the synagogues of Judea [the country of the Jews, including Galilee].
The First Disciples
5 Now it happened that while Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret (Sea of Galilee), with the people crowding all around Him and listening to the word of God; 2 that He saw two boats lying at the edge of the lake, but the fishermen had gotten out of them and were washing their nets. 3 He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little distance from the shore. And He sat down and began teaching the crowds from the boat. 4 When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon [Peter], “Put out into the deep water and lower your nets for a catch [of fish].” 5 Simon replied, “Master, we worked hard all night [to the point of exhaustion] and caught nothing [in our nets], but at Your word I will [do as you say and] lower the nets [again].” 6 When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their nets were [at the point of] breaking; 7 so they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats [with fish], so that they began to sink. 8 But when Simon Peter saw this, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Go away from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” 9 For he and all his companions were completely astounded at the catch of fish which they had taken; 10 and so were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon [Peter]. Jesus said to Simon, “Have no fear; from now on you will be catching men!” 11 After they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and [am]followed Him [becoming His disciples, believing and trusting in Him and following His example].
The Leper and the Paralytic
12 While Jesus was in one of the cities, there came a man covered with [an advanced case of] leprosy; and when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and begged Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean and well.” 13 And Jesus reached out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately the leprosy left him. 14 Jesus ordered him to tell no one [that he might happen to meet], “But go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your purification, just as Moses commanded, as a testimony (witness) to them [that this is a work of Messiah].” 15 But the news about Him was spreading farther, and large crowds kept gathering to hear Him and to be healed of their illnesses. 16 But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray [in seclusion].
17 One day as He was teaching, there were Pharisees and teachers of the Law sitting there who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was present with Him to heal. 18 Some men came carrying on a stretcher a man who was paralyzed, and they tried to bring him in and lay him down in front of Jesus. 19 But finding no way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the [an]roof [and removed some tiles to make an opening] and lowered him through the tiles with his stretcher, into the middle of the crowd, in front of Jesus. 20 When Jesus saw their [active] faith [springing from confidence in Him], He said, “Man, your sins are forgiven.” 21 The scribes and the Pharisees began to consider and question [the implications of what He had said], saying, “Who is this man who speaks blasphemies [by claiming the rights and prerogatives of God]? Who can forgive sins [that is, remove guilt, nullify sin’s penalty, and assign righteousness] except God alone?” 22 But Jesus, knowing their [hostile] thoughts, answered them, “Why are you questioning [these things] in your hearts? 23 Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24 But, in order that you may know that the Son of Man (the Messiah) has authority and power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralyzed man, “I say to you, get up, pick up your stretcher and go home.” 25 He immediately stood up before them, picked up his stretcher, and went home glorifying and praising God. 26 They were all astonished, and they began glorifying God; and they were filled with [reverential] fear and kept saying, “We have seen wonderful and incredible things today!”
Call of Levi (Matthew)
27 After this Jesus went out and noticed a tax collector named Levi (Matthew) sitting at the tax booth; and He said to him, “Follow Me [as My disciple, accepting Me as your Master and Teacher and walking the same path of life that I walk].” 28 And he left everything behind and got up and began to follow Jesus [as His disciple].
29 Levi (Matthew) gave a great banquet for Him at his house; and there was a large crowd of tax collectors and others who were reclining at the table with them. 30 The Pharisees and their scribes [seeing those with whom He was associating] began murmuring in discontent to His disciples, asking, “Why are you eating and drinking with the tax collectors and sinners [including non-observant Jews]?” 31 And Jesus replied to them, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but [only] those who are sick. 32 I did not come to call the [self-proclaimed] righteous [who see no need to repent], but sinners to repentance [to change their old way of thinking, to turn from sin and to seek God and His righteousness].”
33 Then they said to Him, “The disciples of John [the Baptist] often practice fasting and offer prayers [of special petition], and so do the disciples of the Pharisees; but Yours eat and drink.” 34 Jesus said to them, “Can you make the wedding guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? 35 But days [for mourning] will come when the bridegroom is [forcefully] taken away from them. They will fast in those days.” 36 He also told them a parable: “No one tears a piece of cloth from a new garment and puts it on an old one; otherwise he will both tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old. 37 And no one puts new wine into old [ao]wineskins; otherwise the new [fermenting] wine will [expand and] burst the skins and it will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined. 38 But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. 39 And no one, after drinking old wine, wishes for new; for he says, ‘The old is fine.’”
Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath
6 One Sabbath while Jesus was passing through fields of standing grain, it happened that His disciples were picking the heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands, and eating them. 2 But some of the Pharisees said, “Why are you doing what [ap]is unlawful on the Sabbath?” 3 Jesus replied to them, “Have you not even read [in the Scriptures] what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him— 4 how he went into the house of God, and took and ate the [aq]consecrated bread, which is not lawful [for anyone] to eat except the priests alone, and [how he also] gave it to the men who were with him?” 5 Jesus was saying to them, “The Son of Man (the Messiah) is Lord [even] of the Sabbath.”
6 On another Sabbath He went into the synagogue and taught, and a man was present whose right hand was withered. 7 The scribes and the Pharisees were watching Him closely [with malicious intent], to see if He would [actually] heal [someone] on the Sabbath, so that they might find a reason to accuse Him. 8 But He was aware of their thoughts, and He said to the man with the withered hand, “Get up and come forward.” So he got up and stood there. 9 Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you directly: Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath or to do evil, to save a life or to destroy it?” 10 After looking around at them all, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand!” And he did, and his hand was [fully] restored. 11 But the scribes and Pharisees were filled with senseless rage [and lacked spiritual insight], and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.
Choosing the Twelve
12 Now at this time Jesus went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God. 13 When day came, He called His disciples and selected twelve of them, whom He also named [ar]apostles (special messengers, personally chosen representatives): 14 Simon, whom He also named Peter, and his brother Andrew; and [the brothers] [as]James and John; and Philip, and Bartholomew [also called Nathanael]; 15 and Matthew (Levi, the tax collector) and Thomas; and [at]James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot; 16 Judas [also called Thaddaeus] the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor [to the Lord].
17 Then Jesus came down with them and stood on a level place; and there was a large crowd of His disciples, and a vast multitude of people from all over Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon, 18 who had come to listen to Him and to be healed of their diseases. Even those who were troubled by unclean spirits (demons) were being healed. 19 All the people were trying to touch Him, because [healing] power was coming from Him and healing them all.
20 And looking toward His disciples, He began [au]speaking: “Blessed [spiritually prosperous, happy, to be admired] are you who are poor [in spirit, those devoid of spiritual arrogance, those who regard themselves as insignificant], for the kingdom of God is yours [both now and forever]. 21 Blessed [joyful, nourished by God’s goodness] are you who hunger now [for righteousness, actively seeking right standing with God], for you will be [completely] satisfied. Blessed [forgiven, refreshed by God’s grace] are you who weep now [over your sins and repent], for you will laugh [when the burden of sin is lifted]. 22 Blessed [morally courageous and spiritually alive with life-joy in God’s goodness] are you when people hate you, and exclude you [from their fellowship], and insult you, and scorn your name as evil because of [your association with] the Son of Man. 23 Rejoice on that day and leap for joy, for your reward in heaven is great [absolutely inexhaustible]; for their fathers used to treat the prophets in the same way. 24 But [av]woe (judgment is coming) to you who are rich [and place your faith in possessions while remaining spiritually impoverished], for you are [already] receiving your comfort in full [and there is nothing left to be awarded to you]. 25 Woe to you who are well-fed (gorged, satiated) now, for you will be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now [enjoying a life of self-indulgence], for you will mourn and weep [and deeply long for God]. 26 Woe to you when all the people speak well of you and praise you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way.
27 “But I say to you who hear [Me and pay attention to My words]: [aw]Love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies, [make it a practice to] do good to those who hate you, 28 bless and show kindness to those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 Whoever [ax]strikes you on the cheek, offer him the other one also [simply ignore insignificant insults or losses and do not bother to retaliate—maintain your dignity]. Whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. 30 Give to everyone who asks of you. [ay]Whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. 31 Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. 32 If you [only] love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 If you lend [money] to those from whom you expect to receive [it back], what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners expecting to receive back the same amount. 35 But love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies, and do good, and lend, [az]expecting nothing in return; for your reward will be great (rich, abundant), and you will be sons of the Most High; because He Himself is kind and gracious and good to the ungrateful and the wicked. 36 Be merciful (responsive, compassionate, tender) just as your [heavenly] Father is merciful.
37 “[ba]Do not judge [others self-righteously], and you will not be judged; do not condemn [others when you are guilty and unrepentant], and you will not be condemned [for your hypocrisy]; pardon [others when they truly repent and change], and you will be pardoned [when you truly repent and change]. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over [with no space left for more]. For with the standard of measurement you use [when you do good to others], it will be measured to you in return.”
39 He also told them a parable: “Can a blind man guide [another] blind man? Will they not both fall into a hole in the ground? 40 A student is not superior to his teacher; but everyone, after he has been completely trained, will be like his teacher. 41 Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice or consider the log that is in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, allow me to take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite (play actor, pretender), first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye. 43 For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit. 44 For each tree is known and identified by its own fruit. For figs are not picked from thorn bushes, nor is a cluster of grapes picked from a briar bush. 45 The [intrinsically] good man produces what is good and honorable and moral out of the good treasure [stored] in his heart; and the [intrinsically] evil man produces what is wicked and depraved out of the evil [in his heart]; for his mouth speaks from the overflow of his heart.
A Secure Foundation
46 “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not practice what I tell you? 47 Everyone who comes to Me and listens to My words and obeys them, I will show you whom he is like: 48 he is like a [far-sighted, practical, and sensible] man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and yet could not shake it, because it had been securely built and founded on the rock. 49 But the one who has [merely] heard and has not practiced [what I say], is like a [foolish] man who built a house on the ground without any foundation, and the torrent burst against it; and it immediately collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.”
Jesus Heals a Centurion’s Slave
7 After He had finished all that He had to say in the hearing of the people, He went to Capernaum.
2 Now a [Roman] [bb]centurion’s slave, who was highly regarded by him, was sick and on the verge of death. 3 When the centurion heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders to Him, asking Him to come and save the life of his slave. 4 When they reached Jesus, they pleaded with Him earnestly [to come], saying, “He is worthy for You to do this for him, 5 because he loves our nation and he built us our synagogue [at his own expense].” 6 And Jesus went with them. But when He was near the house, the centurion sent friends to Him, saying, “Lord, do not trouble Yourself further, for I am not worthy for You to come under my roof. 7 Therefore I did not even consider myself worthy to come to You. But just speak a word, and my slave will be healed. 8 For I also am a man subject to authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 9 Now when Jesus heard this, He was amazed at him, and turned and said to the crowd that was following Him, “I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such great faith [as this man’s].” 10 When the messengers who had been sent returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.
11 Soon afterward Jesus went to a city called Nain [near Nazareth], and His disciples and a large crowd accompanied Him. 12 Now as He approached the city gate, a dead man was being carried out—the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the city was with her [in the funeral procession]. 13 When the Lord saw her, He felt [great] compassion for her, and said to her, “Do not weep.” 14 And He came up and touched the bier [on which the body rested], and the pallbearers stood still. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise [from death]!” 15 The man who was dead sat up and began to speak. And Jesus gave him back to his mother. 16 Fear and profound awe gripped them all, and they began glorifying and honoring and praising God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and, “God has visited His people [to help and care for and provide for them]!” 17 This news about Him spread through all of Judea and in all the surrounding countryside.
A Delegation from John
18 John’s disciples brought word to him [in prison] of all these things. 19 John called two of his disciples and sent them to the Lord, saying, “Are You the [bc]Expected One (the Messiah), or should we look for someone else?” 20 So the men came to Jesus and said, “John the Baptist sent us to You to ask, ‘Are You the Expected One (the Messiah), or should we look for someone else?’” 21 At that very hour Jesus healed many people of sicknesses and infirmities and evil spirits; and He gave [the gracious gift of] sight to many who were blind. 22 So He replied to them, “Go and tell John about everything you have seen and heard: the blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the good news (gospel) preached to them. 23 Blessed [joyful, spiritually favored] is he who does not take offense at Me.”
24 When John’s messengers left, Jesus began speaking to the crowds about John: “What did you go out to the wilderness to see? [bd]A reed shaken by the wind? 25 But what did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing [entirely unsuited for the harsh wilderness]? Those who wear splendid clothing and live in luxury are in royal palaces! 26 But what did you [really] go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and one [be]far more [eminent and remarkable] than a prophet [who foretells the future]. 27 This is the one of whom it is written [by the prophet Malachi],
‘Behold, I send My messenger ahead of You,
28 I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater [in privilege] than he.” 29 All the people and the tax collectors who heard Jesus, acknowledged [the validity of] God’s justice, having been baptized with the baptism of John. 30 But the Pharisees and the lawyers [who were experts in the Mosaic Law] annulled and set aside God’s purpose for themselves, not having been baptized by John.
31 “To what then shall I compare the people of this generation [who set aside God’s plan], and what are they like? 32 They are like children sitting in the market place and calling to one another, and saying, ‘We played the flute for you [pretending to be at a wedding], and you did not dance; we sang a dirge [pretending to be at a funeral], and you did not weep [so nothing we did appealed to you].’ 33 For John the Baptist has come neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon!’ 34 The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a man who is a glutton and a [heavy] wine-drinker, a friend of tax collectors and sinners [including non-observant Jews].’ 35 Yet wisdom is vindicated and shown to be right by all her children [by the lifestyle, moral character, and good deeds of her followers].”
The Anointing in Galilee
36 One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to eat with him, and He went into the Pharisee’s house [in the region of Galilee] and reclined at the table. 37 Now there was a woman in the city who was [known as] a [bf]sinner; and [bg]when she found out that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume; 38 and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began wetting His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head, and [respectfully] kissed His feet [as an act signifying both affection and submission] and [bh]anointed them with the perfume. 39 Now when [Simon] the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, “If this Man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching Him, that she is a [notorious] sinner [an outcast, devoted to sin].”
Parable of Two Debtors
40 Jesus, answering, said to the Pharisee, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he replied, “Teacher, say it.” 41 “A certain moneylender had two debtors: one owed him five hundred [bi]denarii, and the other fifty. 42 When they had no means of repaying [the debts], he freely forgave them both. So which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon answered, “The one, I take it, for whom he forgave more.” Jesus said to him, “You have decided correctly.” 44 Then turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house [but you failed to extend to Me the usual courtesies shown to a guest]; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair [demonstrating her love]. 45 You gave Me no [welcoming] kiss, but from the moment I came in, she has not ceased to kiss My feet. 46 You did not [even] anoint My head with [ordinary] oil, but she has anointed My feet with [costly and rare] perfume. 47 Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” 48 Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 Those who were reclining at the table with Him began saying among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” 50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith [in Me] has saved you; go in peace [free from the distress experienced because of sin].”
8 Soon afterward, Jesus began going around from one city and village to another, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve [disciples] were with Him, 2 and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and diseases: Mary, called Magdalene [from the city of Magdala in Galilee], from whom seven demons had come out, 3 and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household steward, and Susanna, and many others who were contributing to their support out of their private means [as was the custom for a rabbi’s disciples].
Parable of the Sower
4 When a large crowd was gathering together, and people from city after city were coming to Him, He spoke [to them] using a parable: 5 “The sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell beside the road and it was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the sky ate it up. 6 And some seed fell on [shallow soil covering] the rocks, and as soon as it sprouted, it withered away, because it had no moisture. 7 Other seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it out. 8 And some fell into good soil, and grew up and produced a crop a hundred times as great.” As He said these things, He called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear and heed My words.”
9 Now His disciples began asking Him what this parable meant. 10 And He said, “To you [who have been chosen] it has been granted to know and recognize the [bj]mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is in parables, so that though seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.
11 “Now [the meaning of] the parable is this: The seed is the word of God [concerning eternal salvation]. 12 Those beside the road are the people who have heard; then the devil comes and takes the message [of God] away from their hearts, so that they will not believe [in Me as the Messiah] and be saved. 13 Those on the rocky soil are the people who, when they hear, receive and welcome the word with joy; but these have no firmly grounded root. They believe for a while, and in time of trial and temptation they fall away [from Me and abandon their faith]. 14 The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, but as they go on their way they are suffocated with the anxieties and riches and pleasures of this life, and they bring no fruit to maturity. 15 But as for that seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word with a good and noble heart, and hold on to it tightly, and bear fruit with patience.
Parable of the Lamp
16 “Now no one lights a lamp and then covers it with a container [to hide it], or puts it under a bed; instead, he puts it on a lampstand, so that those who come in may see the light. 17 For there is nothing hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come out into the open. 18 So be careful how you listen; for whoever has [a teachable heart], to him more [understanding] will be given; and whoever does not have [a longing for truth], even what he thinks he has will be taken away from him.”
19 Then Jesus’ mother and His brothers came up toward Him, but they could not reach Him because of the crowd. 20 And He was told, “Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, asking to see You.” 21 But He answered, “My mother and My brothers are these who listen to the word of God and do it!”
Jesus Calms the Sea
22 Now on one of those days Jesus and His disciples got into a boat, and He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side of the lake (Sea of Galilee).” So they set out. 23 But as they were sailing, He fell asleep. And a fierce gale of wind swept down [as if through a wind tunnel] on the lake, and they began to be swamped, and were in great danger. 24 They came to Jesus and woke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are about to die!” He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging, violent waves, and they ceased, and it became calm [a perfect peacefulness]. 25 And He said to them, “Where is your faith [your confidence in Me]?” They were afraid and astonished, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and the sea, and they obey Him?”
The Demoniac Cured
26 Then they sailed to the [bk]country of the Gerasenes, which is east of Galilee. 27 Now when Jesus stepped out on land, He was met by a man from the city [of Gerasa] who was possessed with demons. For a long time he had worn no clothes, and was not living in a house, but among the [bl]tombs. 28 Seeing Jesus, he cried out [with a terrible voice from the depths of his throat] and fell down before Him [in dread and terror], and shouted loudly, “[bm]What business do we have [in common] with each other, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me [before the appointed time of judgment]!” 29 Now He was [already] commanding the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had seized him [violently] many times; and he was kept under guard and bound with chains and shackles, but he would break the bonds and be driven by the demon into the desert. 30 Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” And he answered, “Legion”; because many demons had entered him. 31 They continually begged Him not to command them to go into the abyss.
32 Now a large herd of pigs was feeding there on the mountain. The demons begged Jesus to allow them to enter the pigs, and He gave them permission. 33 Then the demons came out of the man and entered the pigs; and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.
34 When the herdsmen saw what had happened, they ran away and told it in the city and out in the country. 35 And people came out to see what had happened. They came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, clothed and in his right mind (mentally healthy); and they were frightened. 36 Those who had seen it told them how the man who had been demon-possessed had been healed. 37 Then all the people of the country of the Gerasenes and the surrounding district asked Him to leave them, because they were overwhelmed with fear. So Jesus got into the boat and returned [to the west side of the Sea of Galilee]. 38 But the man from whom the demons had gone out kept begging Him, pleading to go with Him; but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “Return home and tell [about] all the great things God has done for you.” So the man went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him.
Miracles of Healing
40 Now as Jesus was returning [to Galilee], the people welcomed Him, for they had all been expecting Him. 41 Now a man named Jairus, a synagogue official, came [to Him]; and he fell at Jesus’ feet and began begging Him to come to his house; 42 for he had an only daughter, about twelve years old, and she was dying. But as Jesus went, the people were crowding against Him [almost crushing Him].
43 And a woman who had [suffered from] a hemorrhage for twelve years [bn][and had spent all her money on physicians], and could not be healed by anyone, 44 came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His outer robe, and immediately her bleeding stopped. 45 Jesus said, “Who touched Me?” While they all were denying it, Peter [bo][and those who were with him] said, “Master, the people are crowding and pushing against You!” 46 But Jesus said, “Someone did touch Me, because I was aware that power [to heal] had gone out of Me.” 47 When the woman saw that she had not escaped notice, she came up trembling and fell down before Him. She declared in the presence of all the people the reason why she had touched Him, and how she had been immediately healed. 48 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith [your personal trust and confidence in Me] has made you well. Go in peace (untroubled, undisturbed well-being).”
49 While He was still speaking, someone from the synagogue official’s house came and said [to Jairus], “Your daughter is dead; do not inconvenience the Teacher any further.” 50 But Jesus, hearing this, answered him, “Do not be afraid any longer; only believe and trust [in Me and have faith in My ability to do this], and she will be made well.” 51 When He came to the house, He allowed no one to enter with Him, except Peter and John and James, and the girl’s father and mother. 52 Now they were all weeping loudly and mourning for her; but He said, “Do not weep, for she is not dead, but is sleeping.” 53 Then they began laughing scornfully at Him and ridiculing Him, knowing [without any doubt] that she was dead. 54 But Jesus took hold of her hand and spoke, saying, “Child, arise!” 55 And her spirit returned, and she got up immediately; and He ordered that she be given something to eat. 56 Her parents were greatly astonished [by the miracle]; but He instructed them to tell no one what had happened.
Ministry of the Twelve
9 Now Jesus called together the twelve [disciples] and gave them [the right to exercise] power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases. 2 Then He sent them out [on a brief journey] to preach [bp]the kingdom of God and to perform healing. 3 And He said to them, “Take nothing for your journey [that might encumber you]—neither a walking stick, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not even have two [bq]tunics apiece. 4 Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that city [to go to another]. 5 And as for all those who do not welcome you, when you leave that city, shake the dust off your feet [breaking all ties with them] as a testimony against them [that they rejected My message].” 6 So they began going from village to village, preaching the gospel and healing the sick everywhere.
7 Now Herod [Antipas] the tetrarch [who governed a portion of Palestine including Galilee and Perea] heard about all that was being done [by Jesus], and he was thoroughly perplexed, because it was said by some that John [the Baptist whom he had ordered beheaded] had been raised from the dead, 8 and by others that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the [other] prophets of old had been resurrected. 9 Herod said, “I personally had John beheaded. Who is this man about whom I hear such things?” And he kept trying to see Jesus.
10 When the apostles returned, they told Him all that they had done. He took them with Him and He privately withdrew [across the Jordan] to a city called Bethsaida. 11 But when the crowds learned of it, they followed Him; and He welcomed them and He began talking to them about the kingdom of God, and healing those who needed to be healed.
Five Thousand Fed
12 Now the day was ending, and the twelve [disciples] came and said to Him, “Send the crowd away, so that they may go into the surrounding villages and countryside and find lodging, and get provisions; because here we are in an isolated place.” 13 But He said to them, “You give them something to eat.” They said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish—unless perhaps we go and buy food for all these people.” 14 (For there were [br]about 5,000 men.) And He said to His disciples, “Have them sit down to eat in groups of about fifty each.” 15 They did so, and had them all sit down. 16 Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and He looked up to heaven [and gave thanks] and blessed them, and broke them and kept giving them to the disciples to set before the crowd. 17 They all ate and were [completely] satisfied; and the broken pieces which they had left over were [abundant and were] picked up—twelve baskets full.
18 Now it happened that as Jesus was praying privately, the disciples were with Him, and He asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” 19 They answered, “John the Baptist, and some say, Elijah; but others, that one of the ancient prophets has come back to life.” 20 And He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter replied, “The Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed) of God!” 21 But He strictly warned and admonished them not to tell this to anyone, 22 saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected [as the Messiah] by the elders and chief priests and scribes (Sanhedrin, Jewish High Court), and be put to death, and on the third day be raised up [from death to life].”
23 And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to follow Me [as My disciple], he must deny himself [set aside selfish interests], and take up his cross daily [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me]. 24 For whoever wishes to save his life [in this world] will [eventually] lose it [through death], but whoever loses his life [in this world] for My sake, he is the one who will save it [from the consequences of sin and separation from God]. 25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world [wealth, fame, success], and loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed [here and now] of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory and the glory of the [heavenly] Father and of the holy angels. 27 But I tell you truthfully, there are [bs]some among those standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.”
28 Now about eight days after these teachings, He took along Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 As He was praying, the appearance of His face became different [actually transformed], and His clothing became white and flashing with the brilliance of lightning. 30 And behold, two men were talking with Him; and they were Moses and Elijah, 31 who appeared in glory, and were speaking of His departure [from earthly life], which He was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem. 32 Now Peter and those who were with him had been overcome with sleep; but when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and splendor and majesty, and the two men who were standing with Him. 33 And as these [men, Moses and Elijah] were leaving Him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is delightful and good for us to be here; we should make three [sacred] tents; one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not realizing what he was saying. 34 But even as he was saying this, a cloud formed and began to overshadow them; and they were [greatly] afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 Then [bt]a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, My Chosen One; listen and obey and yield to Him!” 36 When the voice had ceased, Jesus was found there alone. And they kept silent, and told no one at that time any of the things which they had seen [concerning the divine manifestation].
37 On the next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met Him. 38 And a man from the crowd shouted for help, “Teacher, I beg You to look at my son, because he is my only child; 39 and a spirit seizes him, and suddenly he cries out, and it throws him into a convulsion so that he foams at the mouth; and only with [great] difficulty does it leave him, mauling and bruising him as it leaves. 40 I begged Your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.” 41 Jesus answered, “You unbelieving and perverted generation! How long shall I be with you and put up with you? Bring your son here [to Me].” 42 Even while the boy was coming, the demon slammed him down and threw him into a [violent] convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the boy and gave him back to his father. 43 They were all amazed [practically overwhelmed] at the [evidence of the] greatness of God and His majesty and His wondrous work.
But while they were still awed by everything Jesus was doing, He said to His disciples, 44 “Let these words sink into your ears: the Son of Man is going to be betrayed and handed over to men [who are His enemies].” 45 However, they did not understand this statement. Its meaning was kept hidden from them so that they would not grasp it; and they were afraid to ask Him about it.
The Test of Greatness
46 An argument started among them as to which of them might be the greatest [surpassing the others in esteem and authority]. 47 But Jesus, knowing what they were thinking in their heart, took a child and had him stand beside Him, 48 and He told them, “Whoever welcomes this child in My name welcomes Me; and whoever welcomes Me [also] welcomes Him who sent Me; for the one who is least among all of you [that is, the one who is genuinely humble—the one with a realistic self-view]—he is the one who is [truly] great.”
49 John replied, “Master, we saw someone driving out demons in Your name; and we tried to stop him because he does not follow along with us.” 50 But Jesus told him, “Do not stop him; for he who is not against you is for you.”
51 Now when the time was approaching for Him to be taken up [to heaven], He was determined to go to Jerusalem [to fulfill His purpose]. 52 He sent messengers on ahead of Him, and they went into a Samaritan village to make arrangements for Him; 53 but the people would not welcome Him, [bu]because He was traveling toward Jerusalem. 54 When His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and destroy them?” 55 But He turned and rebuked them [bv][and He said, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are; 56 for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.”] And they journeyed on to another village.
57 As they were going along the road, someone said to Him, “I will follow You wherever You go.” 58 And Jesus told him, “Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.” 59 He said to another, “Follow Me [accepting Me as Master and Teacher].” But he said, “Lord, allow me first to go and [bw]bury my father.” 60 But He said to him, “Allow the [spiritually] dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and spread the news about the kingdom of God.” 61 Another also said, “I will follow You, Lord [as Your disciple]; but first let me say goodbye to those at my home.” 62 But Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back [to the things left behind] is fit for the kingdom of God.”
The Seventy Sent Out
10 Now after this the Lord appointed [bx]seventy others, and sent them out ahead of Him, two by two, into every city and place where He was about to go. 2 He was saying to them, “The harvest is abundant [for there are many who need to hear the good news about salvation], but the workers [those available to proclaim the message of salvation] are few. Therefore, [prayerfully] ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest. 3 Go your way; listen carefully: I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4 Do not carry a money belt, a provision bag, or [extra] sandals; and do not [by]greet anyone along the way [who would delay you]. 5 Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘[bz]Peace [that is, a blessing of well-being and prosperity, the favor of God] to this house.’ 6 And if anyone of peace is there [someone who is sweet-spirited and hospitable], your [blessing of] peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. 7 Stay in that house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not move from house to house. 8 Whenever you go into a city and they welcome you, eat what is set before you; 9 and heal those in it who are sick [authenticating your message], and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But whatever city you enter and they do not welcome you, go out into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your city which clings to our feet we wipe off in protest against you [breaking all ties]; yet understand this, that the kingdom of God has come near [and you rejected it].’ 12 I tell you, it will be more bearable in that day [of judgment] for Sodom than for that city.
13 “Woe (judgment is coming) to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented and changed their minds long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes [to show deep regret for sin]. 14 However, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the judgment than for you. 15 And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will descend to Hades (the realm of the dead).
16 “The one who listens to you listens to Me; and the one who rejects you rejects Me; and the one who rejects Me rejects Him [My heavenly Father] who sent Me.”
The Joyous Results
17 The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” 18 He said to them, “I watched Satan fall from heaven like [a flash of] lightning. 19 Listen carefully: I have given you authority [that you now possess] to tread on [ca]serpents and scorpions, and [the ability to exercise authority] over all the power of the enemy (Satan); and nothing will [in any way] harm you. 20 Nevertheless do not rejoice at this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.”
21 In that very hour He was overjoyed and rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and He said, “I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things [relating to salvation] from the [cb]wise and intelligent, and have revealed them to infants [the childlike and untaught]. Yes, Father, for this way was [Your gracious will and choice, and was] well-pleasing in Your sight. 22 All things have been transferred and turned over to Me by My Father and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal Him.”
23 Then turning to His disciples, Jesus said privately, “Blessed [joyful, spiritually enlightened, and favored by God] are the eyes which see what you see, 24 for I say to you that many prophets and kings longed to see what you see, and they did not see it; and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.”
25 And a certain lawyer [an expert in Mosaic Law] stood up to test Him, saying, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 Jesus said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 27 And he replied, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 Jesus said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this habitually and you will live.” 29 But he, wishing to justify and vindicate himself, asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
Parable of the Good Samaritan
30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he encountered robbers, who stripped him of his clothes [and belongings], beat him, and went their way [unconcerned], leaving him half dead. 31 Now by coincidence a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite also came down to the place and saw him, and passed by on the other side [of the road]. 33 But a Samaritan (foreigner), who was traveling, came upon him; and when he saw him, he was deeply moved with compassion [for him], 34 and went to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them [to sooth and disinfect the injuries]; and he put him on his own pack-animal, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 On the next day he took out two denarii (two days’ wages) and gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I return.’ 36 Which of these three do you think proved himself a neighbor to the man who encountered the robbers?” 37 He answered, “The one who showed compassion and mercy to him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and constantly do the same.”
Martha and Mary
38 Now while they were on their way, Jesus entered a village [called Bethany], and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. 39 She had a sister named Mary, who seated herself at the Lord’s feet and was continually listening to His teaching. 40 But Martha was very busy and distracted with all of her serving responsibilities; and she approached Him and said, “Lord, is it of no concern to You that my sister has left me to do the serving alone? Tell her to help me and do her part.” 41 But the Lord replied to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered and anxious about so many things; 42 but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part [that which is to her advantage], which will not be taken away from her.”
Instruction about Prayer
11 It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples.” 2 He said to them,
“When you pray, [cc]say:
Parable of Persistence
5 Then He said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and goes to him at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves [of bread]; 6 for a friend of mine who is on a journey has just come to visit me, and I have nothing to serve him’; 7 and from inside he answers, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything just because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence and boldness he will get up and give him whatever he needs.
9 “So I say to you, ask and keep on asking, and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking, and you will find; knock and keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who [cj]keeps on asking [persistently], receives; and he who keeps on seeking [persistently], finds; and to him who keeps on knocking [persistently], the door will be opened. 11 What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you, then, being evil [that is, sinful by nature], know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask and continue to ask Him!”
14 And [at another time] Jesus was casting out a demon, and it was [controlling a man so as to make him] mute; when the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke. And the crowds were awed. 15 But some of them said, “He drives out demons by [the power of] [ck]Beelzebul (Satan), the ruler of the demons.” 16 Others, trying to test Him, were demanding of Him a sign from heaven. 17 But He, well aware of their thoughts and purpose, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is doomed to destruction; and a house divided against itself falls. 18 If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand and continue to survive? For you are saying that I drive out demons by [the power of] Beelzebul. 19 Now if I drive out the demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons [the Jewish exorcists] drive them out? For this reason they will be your judges. 20 But if I drive out the demons by the finger of God, then [cl]the kingdom of God has already come upon you. 21 When the strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his belongings are undisturbed and secure. 22 But when someone stronger than he attacks and overpowers him, he robs him of all his armor on which he had relied and divides his [goods as] spoil. 23 He who is not with Me [believing in Me as Lord and Savior] is against Me [there is no impartial position]; and he who does not gather with Me [assisting in My ministry], scatters.
24 “When the unclean spirit comes out of a person, it roams through waterless places in search [of a place] of rest; and not finding any, it says, ‘I will go back to my house (person) from which I came.’ 25 And when it comes, it finds the place swept and put in order. 26 Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in [the person] and live there; and the last state of that person becomes worse than the first.”
27 Now while Jesus was saying these things, one of the women in the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “Blessed (happy, favored by God) is the womb that gave birth to You and the breasts at which You nursed!” 28 But He said, “On the contrary, blessed (happy, favored by God) are those who hear the word of God and continually observe it.”
The Sign of Jonah
29 Now as the crowds were increasing [in number], He began to say, “This [present] generation is a wicked generation; it seeks a sign (attesting miracle), but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah [the prophet]. 30 For just as [cm]Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so will the Son of Man also be [a sign] to this generation. 31 The Queen of the South (the kingdom of Sheba) will rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to listen to the wisdom of Solomon, and look, something greater than Solomon is here. 32 The men of Nineveh will stand up [as witnesses] at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and look, something greater than Jonah is here.
33 “No one lights a lamp and then puts it in a cellar nor under a basket [hiding the light], but [instead it is put] on the lampstand, so that those who come in may see the light. 34 The eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is clear [spiritually perceptive, focused on God], your whole body also is full of light [benefiting from God’s precepts]. But when it is bad [spiritually blind], your body also is full of darkness [devoid of God’s word]. 35 Be careful, therefore, that the light that is in you is not darkness. 36 So if your whole body is illuminated, with no dark part, it will be entirely bright [with light], as when the lamp gives you light with its bright rays.”
Woes upon the Pharisees
37 Now after Jesus had spoken, a Pharisee asked Him to have lunch with him. He went in [the Pharisee’s home] and reclined at the table [without ceremonially washing His hands]. 38 The Pharisee noticed this and was surprised that Jesus did not first ceremonially wash before the meal. 39 But the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and plate [as required by tradition]; but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. 40 You foolish ones [acting without reflection or intelligence]! Did not He who made the outside make the inside also? 41 But give that which is within as charity [that is, acts of mercy and compassion, not as a public display, but as an expression of your faithfulness to God], and then indeed all things are clean for you.
42 “But woe (judgment is coming) to you Pharisees, because you [self-righteously] [cn]tithe mint and [co]rue and every [little] garden herb [tending to all the minutiae], and yet disregard and neglect justice and the love of God; but these are the things you should have done, without neglecting the others. 43 Woe to you Pharisees, because you love the [cp]best seats in the synagogues and to be respectfully greeted in the market places. 44 Woe to you! For you are like graves which are unmarked, and people walk over them without being aware of it [and are ceremonially unclean].”
45 One of the lawyers [an expert in the Mosaic Law] answered Him, “Teacher, by saying this, You insult us too!” 46 But He said, “Woe to you lawyers as well, because you weigh men down with burdens [man-made rules, unreasonable requirements] which are hard to bear, and you yourselves will not even touch the burdens with one of your fingers [to lighten the load]. 47 Woe to you! For you repair or build [cq]tombs for the prophets, and it was your fathers who killed them. 48 So you are witnesses and approve the deeds of your fathers, because they [actually] killed them, and you repair or build their tombs. 49 For this reason also the wisdom of God said [in the Scriptures], ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will put to death and some they will persecute, 50 so that charges may be brought against this generation [holding them responsible] for the blood of all the prophets shed since the foundation of the world, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah [the priest], who was murdered between the altar and the house of God. Yes, I tell you, charges will be brought against this generation.’ 52 Woe to you lawyers, because you have taken away the key to knowledge (scriptural truth). You yourselves did not enter, and you held back those who were entering [by your flawed interpretation of God’s word and your man-made tradition].”
53 When He left there, the scribes and the Pharisees began to be very hostile [toward Him] and to interrogate Him on many subjects, 54 plotting against Him to catch Him in something He might say.
God Knows and Cares
12 In the meantime, after so many thousands of the people had gathered that they were stepping on one another, Jesus began speaking first of all to His disciples, “Be continually on your guard against the [cr]leaven of the Pharisees [that is, their pervasive, corrupting influence and teaching], which is hypocrisy [producing self-righteousness]. 2 But there is nothing [so carefully] concealed that it will not be revealed, nor so hidden that it will not be made known. 3 For that reason, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed on the housetops.
4 “I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that have nothing more that they can do. 5 But I will point out to you whom you should fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority and power to hurl [you] into [cs]hell; yes, I say to you, [stand in great awe of God and] fear Him! 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two [ct]copper coins? Yet not one of them has [ever] been forgotten in the presence of God. 7 Indeed the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not be afraid; you are far more valuable than many sparrows.
8 “I say to you, whoever declares openly and confesses Me before men [speaking freely of Me as his Lord], the Son of Man also will declare openly and confess him [as one of His own] before the angels of God. 9 But he who denies Me before men will be denied in the presence of the angels of God. 10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but he who [cu]blasphemes against the Holy Spirit [that is, whoever intentionally discredits the Holy Spirit by attributing the authenticating miracles done by Me to Satan], it will not be forgiven him [for him there is no forgiveness]. 11 When they bring you before the synagogues and the magistrates and the authorities, do not be worried about how you are to defend yourselves or what you are to say; 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
13 Someone from the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” 14 But He said to him, “Man, who appointed Me a judge or an arbitrator over [the two of] you?” 15 Then He said to them, “Watch out and guard yourselves against every form of greed; for not even when one has an overflowing abundance does his life consist of nor is it derived from his possessions.”
Parable of the Wealthy Fool
16 Then He told them a parable, saying, “There was a rich man whose land was very fertile and productive. 17 And he began thinking to himself, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place [large enough in which] to store my crops?’ 18 Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my storehouses and build larger ones, and I will store all my grain and my goods there. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many good things stored up, [enough] for many years; rest and relax, eat, drink and be merry (celebrate continually).”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own all the things you have prepared?’ 21 So it is for the one who continues to store up and hoard possessions for himself, and is not rich [in his relationship] toward God.”
22 Jesus said to His disciples, “For this reason I tell you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; or about your body, as to what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 Consider the ravens, for they neither sow [seed] nor reap [the crop]; they have no storehouse or barn, and yet God feeds them. How much more valuable are you than the birds! 25 And which of you by worrying can add one hour to his life’s span? 26 So if you are not even able to do a very little thing [such as that], why are you worried about the rest? 27 Consider the lilies and wildflowers, how they grow [in the open field]. They neither labor nor spin [wool to make clothing]; yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory and splendor dressed himself like one of these. 28 But if this is how God clothes the grass which is in the field today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You of little faith! 29 So as for you, do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink; nor have an anxious and unsettled mind. 30 For all the [pagan] nations of the world greedily seek these things; and your [heavenly] Father [already] knows that you need them. 31 But [strive for and actively] seek His kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. 32 Do not be afraid and anxious, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
33 “Sell your possessions (show compassion) and give [donations] to the poor. Provide money belts for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing and inexhaustible treasure in the heavens, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Be in Readiness
35 “Be dressed and ready for active service, and keep your lamps continuously burning. 36 Be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that when he comes and knocks they may immediately open the door for him. 37 Blessed (happy, prosperous, to be admired) are those servants whom the master finds awake and watching when he arrives. I assure you and most solemnly say to you, he will prepare himself to serve, and will have them recline at the table, and will come and wait on them. 38 Whether he comes in the second watch (before midnight), or even in the third (after midnight), and finds them so [prepared and ready], blessed are those servants.
39 “But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time the thief was coming, he [would have been awake and alert, and] would not have allowed his house to be broken into. 40 You too, be continually ready; because the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect.”
41 Peter said, “Lord, are You addressing this parable to us [disciples], or to everyone else as well?”
Parable of the Faithful Steward
42 The Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise steward [of the estate], whom his master will put in charge over his household, to give his servants their portion of food at the proper time? 43 Blessed (happy, prosperous, to be admired) is that servant whom his master finds so doing when he arrives. 44 I assure you and most solemnly say to you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45 But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is taking his time in coming,’ and begins to beat the servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk, 46 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will [cv]cut him in pieces, and assign him a place with the unbelievers. 47 And that servant who knew his master’s will, and yet did not get ready or act in accord with his will, will be beaten with many lashes [of the whip], 48 but the one who did not know it and did things worthy of a beating, will receive only a few [lashes]. From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.
Christ Divides Men
49 “I have come to cast fire (judgment) on the earth; and how I wish that it were already kindled! 50 I have a baptism [of great suffering] with which to be baptized, and how [greatly] I am distressed until it is accomplished! 51 Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division [between believers and unbelievers]; 52 for from now on five in one household will be divided [over Me], three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
54 He also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say, ‘It is going to rain,’ and that is how it turns out. 55 And when [you see that] a south wind is blowing, you say, ‘It will be a hot day,’ and it happens. 56 You hypocrites (play-actors, pretenders)! You know how to analyze and intelligently interpret the appearance of the earth and sky [to forecast the weather], but why do you not intelligently interpret this present time?
57 “And why do you not even on your own initiative judge what is right? 58 For while you are going with your opponent [at law] to appear before a magistrate, on the way make an effort to settle, so that he does not drag you before the judge, and the judge does not [rule against you and] turn you over to the officer, and the officer does not throw you into prison. 59 I say to you, you [absolutely] will not get out of there until you have paid the very last [cw]cent.”
Call to Repent
13 Just at that time some people came who told Jesus about the [cx]Galileans whose blood Pilate [the governor] had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus replied to them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans because they have suffered in this way? 3 I tell you, no; but unless you repent [change your old way of thinking, turn from your sinful ways and live changed lives], you will all likewise perish. 4 Or do you assume that [cy]those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed were worse sinners than all the others who live in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no; but unless you repent [change your old way of thinking, turn from your sinful ways and live changed lives], you will all likewise perish.”
Parable of the Fig Tree
6 Then He began telling them this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree that had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it, but did not find any; 7 so he said to the vineyard-keeper, ‘For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree and have found none. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground [depleting the soil and blocking the sunlight]?’ 8 But he replied to him, ‘Let it alone, sir, [just] one more year until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; 9 and if it bears fruit after this, fine; but if not, cut it down.’”
Healing on the Sabbath
10 Now Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. 11 And there was a woman who for eighteen years had had an illness caused by a spirit (demon). She was bent double, and could not straighten up at all. 12 When Jesus saw her, He called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are released from your illness.” 13 Then He laid His hands on her; and immediately she stood erect again and she began glorifying and praising God. 14 But the leader of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, began saying to the crowd in response, “There are six days in which work ought to be done; so come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.” 15 But the Lord replied to him, “You hypocrites (play-actors, pretenders)! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the stall and lead it away to water it? 16 And this woman, a daughter (descendant) of Abraham whom Satan has bound for eighteen long years, should she not have been released from this bond on the Sabbath day?” 17 As He was saying this, all His opponents were being humiliated; and the entire crowd was rejoicing over all the glorious things that were being done by Him.
Parables of Mustard Seed and Leaven
18 So this led Him to say, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? 19 It is like a [cz]mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his own garden; and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the sky found shelter and nested in its branches.”
20 And again He said, “To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? 21 It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three peck measures of flour until it was all leavened.”
Teaching in the Villages
22 Jesus journeyed on through cities and villages, teaching and making His way toward Jerusalem. 23 And someone asked Him, “Lord, will only a few be saved [from the penalties of the last judgment]?” And He said to them, 24 “Strive to enter through the narrow door [force aside unbelief and the attractions of sin]; for many, I tell you, will try to enter [by their own works] and will not be able. 25 Once the head of the house gets up and closes the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door [again and again], saying, ‘Lord, open to us!’ then He will answer you, ‘I do not know where you are from [for you are not of My household].’ 26 Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets’; 27 but He will say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from; depart from Me, all you evildoers!’ 28 In that place there will be weeping [in sorrow and pain] and grinding of teeth [in distress and anger] when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves being thrown out and driven away. 29 And people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and they will sit down [and feast at the table] in the kingdom of God. 30 And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”
31 At that very hour some Pharisees came up and said to Him, “Leave and go away from here, because Herod [Antipas] wants to kill You.” 32 And He said to them, “Go and tell that fox [that sly, cowardly man], ‘Listen carefully: I cast out demons and perform healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I reach My goal.’ 33 Nevertheless I must travel on today and tomorrow and the day after that—for it cannot be that a prophet would die outside of Jerusalem. 34 [da]O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones [to death] those [messengers] who are sent to her [by God]! How often I have wanted to gather your children together [around Me], just as a hen gathers her young under her wings, but you were not willing! 35 Listen carefully: your house is left to you desolate [abandoned by God and destitute of His protection]; and I say to you, you will not see Me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed [to be celebrated with praise] is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’”
Jesus Heals on the Sabbath
14 It happened one Sabbath, when He went for a meal at the house of one of the ruling Pharisees, that they were watching Him closely and carefully [hoping to entrap Him]. 2 And there in front of Him was a man who had [db]dropsy (extreme swelling). 3 And Jesus asked the lawyers and the Pharisees, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?” 4 But they kept silent. Then He took hold of the man and healed him, and sent him on his way. 5 Then He said to them, “Which one of you, having a son or an ox that falls into a well, will not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?” 6 And they were unable to reply to this.
Parable of the Guests
7 Now Jesus began telling a parable to the invited guests when He noticed how they had been selecting the places of honor at the table, saying to them, 8 “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down [to eat] at the place of honor, since a more distinguished person than you may have been invited by the host, 9 and he who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this man your place,’ and then, in disgrace you proceed to take the last place. 10 But when you are invited, go and sit down [to eat] at the last place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; and then you will be honored in the presence of all who are at the table with you. 11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled [before others], and he who habitually humbles himself (keeps a realistic self-view) will be exalted.”
12 Jesus also went on to say to the one who had invited Him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or wealthy neighbors, otherwise they may also invite you in return and that will be your repayment. 13 But when you give a banquet or a reception, invite the poor, the disabled, the lame, and the blind, 14 and you will be blessed because they cannot repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the [dc]righteous (the just, the upright).”
15 When one of those who were reclining at the table with Him heard this, he said to Him, “Blessed (happy, prosperous, to be admired) is he who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!”
Parable of the Dinner
16 But Jesus said to him, “A man was giving a big dinner, and he invited many guests; 17 and at the dinner hour he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, because everything is ready now.’ 18 But they all alike began to make excuses. The first one said to him, ‘I have purchased a piece of land and I have to go out and see it; please consider me excused.’ 19 Another one said, ‘I have purchased five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please consider me excused.’ 20 And another said, ‘I have [recently] married a wife, and for that reason I am unable to come.’ 21 So the servant came back and reported this to his master. Then [his master,] the head of the household, became angry [at the rejections of his invitation] and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and the lanes of the city and bring in here the poor and the disabled and the blind and the lame.’ 22 And the servant [after returning] said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ 23 Then the master told the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, so that my house may be filled [with guests]. 24 For I tell you, not one of those who were invited [and declined] will taste my dinner.’”
25 Now large crowds were going along with Jesus; and He turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to Me, and does not [dd]hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life [in the sense of indifference to or relative disregard for them in comparison with his attitude toward God]—he cannot be My disciple. 27 Whoever does not carry his own cross [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow after Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me] cannot be My disciple. 28 For which one of you, when he wants to build a watchtower [for his guards], does not first sit down and calculate the cost, to see if he has enough to finish it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is unable to finish [the building], all who see it will begin to ridicule him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish!’ 31 Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one who is coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else [if he feels he is not powerful enough], while the other [king] is still a far distance away, he sends an envoy and asks for terms of peace. 33 So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not [carefully consider the cost and then for My sake] [de]give up all his own possessions.
34 “Therefore, salt is good; but if salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned? 35 It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear and heed My words.”
The Lost Sheep
15 Now all the tax collectors and sinners [including non-observant Jews] were coming near Jesus to listen to Him. 2 Both the Pharisees and the scribes began muttering and complaining, saying, “This man accepts and welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
3 So He told them this parable: 4 “What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one which is lost, [searching] until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he gets home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, because I have found my lost sheep!’ 7 I tell you, in the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance.
The Lost Coin
8 “Or what woman, if she has ten silver coins [each one equal to a day’s wages] and loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she has found it, she calls together her [women] friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, because I found the lost coin!’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents [that is, changes his inner self—his old way of thinking, regrets past sins, lives his life in a way that proves repentance; and seeks God’s purpose for his life].”
The Prodigal Son
11 Then He said, “A certain man had two sons. 12 The younger of them [inappropriately] said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that falls to me.’ So he divided the estate between them. 13 A few days later, the younger son gathered together everything [that he had] and traveled to a distant country, and there he wasted his fortune in reckless and immoral living. 14 Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to do without and be in need. 15 So he went and forced himself on one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to [df]feed pigs. 16 He would have gladly eaten the [carob] pods that the pigs were eating [but they could not satisfy his hunger], and no one was giving anything to him. 17 But when he [finally] came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough food, while I am dying here of hunger! 18 I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; [just] treat me like one of your hired men.”’ 20 So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his servants, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe [for the guest of honor] and put it on him; and give him a [dg]ring for his hand, and sandals for his feet. 23 And bring the fattened calf and slaughter it, and let us [invite everyone and] feast and celebrate; 24 for this son of mine was [as good as] dead and is alive again; he was lost and has been found.’ So they began to celebrate.
25 “Now his older son was in the field; and when he returned and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he summoned one of the servants and began asking what this [celebration] meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28 But the elder brother became angry and deeply resentful and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him. 29 But he said to his father, ‘Look! These many years I have served you, and I have never neglected or disobeyed your command. Yet you have never given me [so much as] a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends; 30 but when this [other] son of yours arrived, who has devoured your estate with immoral women, you slaughtered that fattened calf for him!’ 31 The father said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 But it was fitting to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was [as good as] dead and has begun to live. He was lost and has been found.’”
The Unjust Steward (Manager)
16 Now Jesus was also saying to the disciples, “There was a certain rich man who had a manager [of his estate], and accusations [against this man] were brought to him, that this man was squandering his [master’s] possessions. 2 So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an accounting of your management [of my affairs], for you can no longer be [my] manager.’ 3 The manager [of the estate] said to himself, ‘What will I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig [for a living], and I am ashamed to beg. 4 I know what I will do, so that when I am removed from the management, people [who are my master’s debtors] will welcome me into their homes.’ 5 So he summoned his master’s debtors one by one, and he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 He said, ‘A hundred [dh]measures of [olive] oil.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write [di]fifty.’ 7 Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred [dj]measures of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ 8 And his master commended the unjust manager [not for his misdeeds, but] because he had acted shrewdly [by preparing for his future unemployment]; for the sons of this age [the non-believers] are shrewder in relation to their own kind [that is, to the ways of the secular world] than are the sons of light [the believers]. 9 And I tell you [learn from this], make friends for yourselves [for eternity] by means of the [dk]wealth of unrighteousness [that is, use material resources as a way to further the work of God], so that when it runs out, they will welcome you into the eternal dwellings.
10 “He who is faithful in a very little thing is also faithful in much; and he who is dishonest in a very little thing is also dishonest in much. 11 Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of earthly wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you? 12 And if you have not been faithful in the use of that [earthly wealth] which belongs to another [whether God or man, and of which you are a trustee], who will give you that which is your own? 13 No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stand devotedly by the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and mammon [that is, your earthly possessions or anything else you trust in and rely on instead of God].”
14 Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and were sneering and ridiculing Him. 15 So He said to them, “You are the ones who declare yourselves just and upright in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts [your thoughts, your desires, your secrets]; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.
16 “The Law and the [writings of the] Prophets were proclaimed until John; since then the gospel of the kingdom of God has been and continues to be preached, and everyone tries forcefully to go into it. 17 Yet it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for a single stroke of a letter of the Law to fail and become void.
18 “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries one who is divorced from her husband commits adultery.
The Rich Man and Lazarus
19 “Now there was a certain rich man who was habitually dressed in expensive purple and fine linen, and celebrated and lived joyously in splendor every day. 20 And a poor man named Lazarus, was laid at his gate, covered with sores. 21 He [eagerly] longed to eat the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores. 22 Now it happened that the poor man died and his spirit was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s [dl]bosom (paradise); and the rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades (the realm of the dead), being in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom (paradise). 24 And he cried out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in severe agony in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things [all the comforts and delights], and Lazarus likewise bad things [all the discomforts and distresses]; but now he is comforted here [in paradise], while you are in severe agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you [people] a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to come over from here to you will not be able, and none may cross over from there to us.’ 27 So the rich man said, ‘Then, father [Abraham], I beg you to send Lazarus to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers—in order that he may solemnly warn them and witness to them, so that they too will not come to this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have [the Scriptures given by] Moses and the [writings of the] Prophets; let them listen to them.’ 30 He replied, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent [they will change their old way of thinking and seek God and His righteousness].’ 31 And he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to [the messages of] Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’”
17 Jesus said to His disciples, “Stumbling blocks [temptations and traps set to lure one to sin] are sure to come, but woe (judgment is coming) to him through whom they come! 2 It would be better for him if a millstone [as large as one turned by a donkey] were hung around his neck and he were hurled into the sea, than for him to cause one of these [dm]little ones to stumble [in sin and lose faith]. 3 Pay attention and always be on guard [looking out for one another]! If your brother sins and disregards God’s precepts, solemnly warn him; and if he repents and changes, forgive him. 4 Even if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times and says, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him [that is, give up resentment and consider the offense recalled and annulled].”
5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith [our ability to confidently trust in God and in His power].” 6 And the Lord said, “If you [dn]have [confident, abiding] faith in God [even as small] as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree [which has very strong roots], ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea’; and [if the request was in agreement with the will of God] it would have obeyed you.
7 “Which of you who has a servant plowing or tending sheep will say to him when he comes in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat?’ 8 Will he not instead say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat, and appropriately clothe yourself [for service] and serve me while I eat and drink; then afterward you may eat and drink?’ 9 He does not thank the servant just because he did what he was ordered to do, does he? 10 So you too, when you have done everything that was assigned and commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy servants [undeserving of praise or a reward, for we have not gone beyond our obligation]; we have merely done what we ought to do.’”
Ten Lepers Cleansed
11 While Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem, He was passing [along the border] between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As He entered a village, He was met by ten lepers who stood at a distance; 13 and they raised their voices and called out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” 14 When He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were [miraculously] healed and made clean. 15 One of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, glorifying and praising and honoring God with a loud voice; 16 and he lay face downward at Jesus’ feet, thanking Him [over and over]. He was a [do]Samaritan. 17 Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten [of you] cleansed? Where are the [other] nine? 18 Was there no one found to return and to give thanks and praise to God, except this foreigner?” 19 Jesus said to him, “Get up and go [on your way]. Your faith [your personal trust in Me and your confidence in God’s power] has restored you to health.”
20 Now having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He replied, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed or with a visible display; 21 nor will people say, ‘Look! Here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For the kingdom of God is among you [because of My presence].”
Second Coming Foretold
22 Then He said to the disciples, “The time will come when you will long to see [even] one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. 23 They will say to you, ‘Look [the Messiah is] there!’ or ‘Look [He is] here!’ Do not go away [to see Him], and do not run after them. 24 For just like the lightning, when it flashes out of one part [dp]of the sky, gives light to the other part [dq]of the sky, so [visible] will the Son of Man be in His day. 25 But first He must suffer many things and be repudiated and rejected and considered unfit [to be the Messiah] by this [unbelieving] generation. 26 And just as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the [dr]time of [the second coming of] the Son of Man: 27 the people were [ds]eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, [they were indifferent to God] until the day that Noah went into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. 28 It was the same as it was in the days of Lot. People were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building [carrying on business as usual, without regard for their sins]; 29 but on the [very] day that Lot left Sodom it rained fire and brimstone (burning sulfur) from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. 31 On that day, whoever is on the housetop, with his belongings in the house, must not come down [and go inside] to take them out; and likewise whoever is in the field must not turn back. 32 Remember [what happened to] Lot’s wife [when she looked back]! 33 Whoever seeks to save his [dt]life will [eventually] lose it [through death], and whoever loses his life [in this world] will keep it [from the consequences of sin and separation from God]. 34 I tell you, on that night [when Messiah comes again] there will be two [sleeping] in one bed; the [du]one (the non-believer) will be taken [away in judgment] and the [dv]other (the believer) will be left. 35 There will be two women grinding [at the mill] together; the [dw]one (the non-believer) will be taken [away in judgment] and the other (the believer) will be left. 36 [dx][Two men will be in the field; [dy]one will be taken and the other will be left.”] 37 And they asked Him, “Where, Lord?” He answered, “Where the corpse is, there the vultures will be gathered.”
Parables on Prayer
18 Now Jesus was telling the disciples a parable to make the point that at all times they ought to pray and not give up and lose heart, 2 saying, “In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and had no respect for man. 3 There was a [desperate] widow in that city and she kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice and legal protection from my adversary.’ 4 For a time he would not; but later he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, 5 yet because this widow continues to bother me, I will give her justice and legal protection; otherwise [dz]by continually coming she [will be an intolerable annoyance and she] will wear me out.’” 6 Then the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says! 7 And will not [our just] God defend and avenge His elect [His chosen ones] who cry out to Him day and night? Will He delay [in providing justice] on their behalf? 8 I tell you that He will defend and avenge them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find [this kind of persistent] faith on the earth?”
The Pharisee and the Tax Collector
9 He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves and were confident that they were righteous [posing outwardly as upright and in right standing with God], and who viewed others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple [enclosure] to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood [ostentatiously] and began praying to himself [in a self-righteous way, saying]: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like the rest of men—swindlers, unjust (dishonest), adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing at a distance, would not even raise his eyes toward heaven, but was striking his chest [in humility and repentance], saying, ‘God, be merciful and gracious to me, the [especially wicked] sinner [that I am]!’ 14 I tell you, this man went to his home justified [forgiven of the guilt of sin and placed in right standing with God] rather than the other man; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself [forsaking self-righteous pride] will be exalted.”
15 Now they were also bringing their babies to Him, so that He would touch and bless them, and when the disciples noticed it, they began reprimanding them. 16 But Jesus called them to Himself, saying [to the apostles], “Allow the children to come to Me, and do not forbid them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 I assure you and most solemnly say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God [with faith and humility] like a child will not enter it at all.”
The Rich Young Ruler
18 A certain ruler asked Him, “Good Teacher [You who are essentially and morally good], what shall I do to inherit eternal life [that is, eternal salvation in the Messiah’s kingdom]?” 19 Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is [essentially and morally] good except God alone. 20 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not testify falsely, Honor your father and your mother.’” 21 He replied, “I have kept all these things from my youth.” 22 When Jesus heard this, He said to him, “You still lack one thing; sell everything that you have and distribute the money to the poor, and you will have [abundant] treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me [becoming My disciple, believing and trusting in Me and walking the same path of life that I walk].” 23 But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. 24 Jesus looked at him and said, “How difficult it is for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God! 25 For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man [who places his faith in wealth or status] to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 And those who heard it said, “[ea]Then who can be saved?” 27 But He said, “The things that are impossible with people are possible with God.”
28 Peter said, “Look, we have left all [things—homes, families, businesses] and followed You.” 29 And He said to them, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God, 30 who will not receive many times as much in this present age and in the age to come, eternal life.”
31 Then taking the [eb]twelve [disciples] aside, He said to them, “Listen carefully: we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things that have been written through the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled and completed. 32 He will be betrayed and handed over to the Gentiles (Roman authorities), and will be mocked and ridiculed and insulted and abused and spit on, 33 and after they have scourged Him, they will kill Him; and on the third day He will rise [from the dead].” 34 But the disciples understood none of these things [about the approaching death and resurrection of Jesus]. This statement was hidden from them, and they did not grasp the [meaning of the] things that were said [by Jesus].
Bartimaeus Receives Sight
35 As He was approaching Jericho [on His way to Jerusalem], it happened that a blind man was sitting beside the road begging. 36 Now when he heard a crowd going by, he began to ask what this was [about]. 37 They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” 38 So he shouted out, saying, “Jesus, [ec]Son of David (Messiah), have mercy on me!” 39 Those who were leading the way were sternly telling him to keep quiet; but he screamed all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 40 Then Jesus stopped and ordered that the blind man be led to Him; and when he came near, Jesus asked him, 41 “What do you want Me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me regain my sight!” 42 Jesus said to him, “Regain your sight; your [personal trust and confident] faith [in Me] has made you well.” 43 Immediately he regained his sight and began following Jesus, glorifying and praising and honoring God. And all the people, when they saw it, praised God.
19 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 And there was a man called Zaccheus; he was a chief tax collector [a superintendent to whom others reported], and he was rich. 3 Zaccheus was trying to see who Jesus was, but he could not see [ed]because of the crowd, for he was short in stature. 4 So he ran on ahead [of the crowd] and climbed up in a sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass through that way. 5 When Jesus reached the place, He looked up and said to him, “Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” 6 So Zaccheus hurried and came down, and welcomed Jesus with joy. 7 When the people saw it, they all began muttering [in discontent], “He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a [notorious] sinner.” 8 Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, “See, Lord, I am [now] giving half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anyone out of anything, I will give back four times as much.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this household, because he, too, is a [[ee]spiritual] son of Abraham; 10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Parable of Money Usage
11 While they were listening to these things, Jesus went on to tell a parable, because He was near Jerusalem, and they assumed that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately [as soon as He reached the city]. 12 So He said, “A nobleman went to a distant country to obtain for himself a kingdom, and [then] to return. 13 So he called ten of his servants, and gave them ten minas [one apiece, each equal to about a hundred days’ wages] and said to them, ‘Do business [with this] until I return.’ 14 But his citizens [the residents of his new kingdom] hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to be a king over us.’ 15 When he returned, after receiving the kingdom, he ordered that these servants, to whom he had given the money, be called to him, that he might find out what business they had done. 16 The first one came before him and said, ‘Lord, your mina has made ten more minas.’ 17 And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant! Because you proved yourself faithful and trustworthy in a very little thing, you shall [now] have authority over ten cities [in my kingdom].’ 18 The second one came and said, ‘Lord, your mina has made five minas.’ 19 And he said to him also, ‘And you shall take charge over five cities.’ 20 Then another came and said, ‘Lord, here is your mina, which I have kept laid up in a handkerchief [for safekeeping]. 21 I was [always] afraid of you, because you are a stern man; you pick up what you did not lay down and you reap what you did not sow.’ 22 He said to the servant, ‘I will judge and condemn you by your own words, you worthless servant! Did you [really] know that I was a stern man, picking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow? 23 Then why did you not [at the very least] put my money in a bank? Then on my return, I would have collected it with interest.’ 24 Then he said to the bystanders, ‘Take the mina away from him and give it to the one who has the ten minas.’ 25 And they said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten minas already!’ 26 [Jesus explained,] ‘I tell you that to everyone who has [because he valued his gifts from God and has used them wisely], more will be given; but from the one who does not have [because he disregarded his gifts from God], even what he has will be taken away.’ 27 [The king ended by saying,] ‘But as for these enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them, bring them here and kill them in my presence.’”
The Triumphal Entry
28 After saying these things, Jesus went on ahead [of them], going up to Jerusalem.
29 When He approached Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, He sent two of the disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village ahead of you; there, as you enter, you will find a [donkey’s] [ef]colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anybody asks you, ‘Why are you untying the colt?’ you will say, ‘The Lord needs it.’” 32 So those who were sent left and found the colt just as He had told them. 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 They said, “The Lord needs it.” 35 They brought it to Jesus, and [eg]they threw their robes over the colt and put Jesus on it. 36 As He rode along, people were spreading their coats on the road [as an act of homage before a king]. 37 As soon as He was approaching [Jerusalem], near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the entire multitude of the disciples [all those who were or claimed to be His followers] began praising God [adoring Him enthusiastically and] joyfully with loud voices for all the miracles and works of power that they had seen, 38 shouting,
“Blessed (celebrated, praised) is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!
39 Some of the Pharisees from the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples [for shouting these Messianic praises].” 40 Jesus replied, “I tell you, if these [people] keep silent, the stones will cry out [in praise]!”
41 As He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it [and the spiritual ignorance of its people], 42 saying, “If [only] you had known on this day [of salvation], even you, the things which make for peace [and on which peace depends]! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. 43 For a time [of siege] is coming when your enemies will put up a barricade [with pointed stakes] against you, and surround you [with armies] and hem you in on every side, 44 and they will level you to the ground, you [Jerusalem] and your children within you. They will not leave in you one stone on another, all because you did not [come progressively to] recognize [from observation and personal experience] the time of your visitation [when God was gracious toward you and offered you salvation].”
Traders Driven from the Temple
45 Jesus went into the temple [enclosure] and began driving out those who were selling, 46 saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer’; but you have made it a robbers’ den.”
47 He was teaching day after day in the temple [porches and courts]; but the chief priests and scribes and the leading men among the people were seeking [a way] to put Him to death, 48 and they could not find anything that they could do, for all the people [stayed close to Him and] were hanging on to [eh]every word He said.
Jesus’ Authority Questioned
20 On one of the days, as Jesus was instructing the people in the temple [area] and preaching the good news (gospel), [ei]the chief priests and the scribes along with the elders confronted Him, 2 and said to Him, “Tell us by what kind of authority You are doing these things? Or who is the one who gave You this authority?” 3 Jesus replied, “I will also ask you a question. You tell Me: 4 The baptism of John [the Baptist]—was it from heaven [that is, ordained by God] or from men?” 5 They discussed and debated it among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why did you not believe him?’ 6 But if we say, ‘From men,’ all the people will stone us to death, for they are firmly convinced that John was a prophet.” 7 So they replied that they did not know from where it came. 8 Then Jesus said to them, “Nor am I telling you by what [kind of] authority I do these things.”
Parable of the Vineyard Owner
9 Then He began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard and leased it to tenant farmers, and went on a journey for a long time [to another country]. 10 At harvest time he sent a servant [as his representative] to the tenants, so that they would give him his share of the fruit of the vineyard; but the tenants beat the servant and sent him away empty-handed. 11 So he again sent another servant; they also beat him and dishonored and treated him disgracefully and sent him away empty-handed. 12 And he sent yet a third; and this one too they wounded and threw out [of the vineyard]. 13 Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will have respect for him.’ 14 But when the tenants saw him, they discussed it among themselves, saying, ‘This [man] is the heir; let us kill him so that the inheritance will be ours.’ 15 So they threw the son out of the vineyard and killed him. What, then, will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16 He will come and put these tenants to death and will give the vineyard to others.” When the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders heard this, they said, “May it never be!” 17 But Jesus looked at them and said, “What then is [the meaning of] this that is written:
‘The [very] Stone which the builders rejected,
18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken and shattered in pieces; and on whomever it falls, it will crush him.”
Tribute to Caesar
19 The scribes and the chief priests tried to [find a way to] arrest Him at that very hour, but they were afraid of the people; because they understood that He spoke this parable against them. 20 So they watched [for a chance to trap] Him. They sent spies who pretended to be upright and sincere, in order that they might catch Him in some statement [that they could distort and use against Him], so that they could turn Him over to the control and authority of [Pilate] the governor. 21 They asked Him, “Teacher, we know that You speak and teach correctly, and that You show no partiality to anyone, but teach the way of God truthfully. 22 Is it lawful [according to Jewish law and tradition] for us to pay taxes (tribute money) to [ej]Caesar or not?” 23 But He saw through their trickery and said to them, 24 “Show Me a [Roman] denarius. Whose image and inscription does the coin have?” They answered, “[the Emperor Tiberius] Caesar’s.” 25 He said to them, “Then pay to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 26 They were not able to seize on anything He said in the presence of the people; and being unnerved at His reply, they were silent.
Is There a Resurrection?
27 Now some of the Sadducees (who say that there is no resurrection) came to Him 28 and they questioned Him, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us [a law that] if a man’s brother dies, leaving a wife and no children, his brother should [ek]marry the wife and raise children for his brother. 29 Now there were seven brothers; and the first took a wife and died childless. 30 And the second, 31 and the third married her, and in the same way all seven died, leaving no children. 32 Finally the woman also died. 33 So in the [life after] resurrection, whose wife does she become? For all seven had married her.”
34 Jesus said to them, “The sons of this [world and present] age marry and [the women] are given in marriage; 35 but those who are considered worthy to gain that [other world and that future] age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; 36 and they cannot die again, because they are [immortal] like the angels (equal to, angel-like). And they are [el]children of God, being [em]participants in the resurrection. 37 But [as for the fact] that the dead are raised [from death], even Moses showed, in the passage about the burning bush, when he calls the Lord the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. 38 Now He is not the God of the dead, but of the living [so these forefathers will be among the resurrected]; for all live [in a definite relationship] to Him.” 39 Some of the scribes replied, “Teacher, you have spoken well [so that there is no room for blame].” 40 And they did not dare to question Him further about anything [because of the wisdom He displayed in His answers].
41 Then He said to them, “How is it that people say that the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed) is David’s son? 42 For David himself says in the book of Psalms,
‘The Lord (the Father) said to my Lord (the Son, the Messiah),
44 [en]So David calls Him (the Son) ‘Lord,’ and how then is He David’s son?”
45 And with all the people listening, He said to His disciples, 46 “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes [displaying their prominence], and love respectful greetings in the [crowded] market places, and [eo]chief seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets. 47 These [men] who confiscate and devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense [to appear devout] offer long prayers. These [men] will receive the greater [sentence of] condemnation.”
The Widow’s Gift
21 Looking up, He saw the rich people putting their gifts into the treasury. 2 And He saw a poor widow putting in two [ep]small copper coins. 3 He said, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow has put in [proportionally] more than all of them; 4 for they all put in gifts from their abundance; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
5 As some were talking about the [eq]temple, that it was decorated with beautiful stones and consecrated offerings [of magnificent gifts of gold which were displayed on the walls and hung in the porticoes], He said, 6 “As for all these things which you see, the time will come when there will not be one stone left on another that will not be [er]torn down.”
7 They asked Him, “Teacher, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign when these things are about to happen?” 8 He said, “Be careful and see to it that you are not misled; for many will come in My name [appropriating for themselves the name Messiah which belongs to Me alone], saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time is near!’ Do not follow them. 9 When you hear of wars and disturbances [civil unrest, revolts, uprisings], do not panic; for these things must take place first, but the end will not come immediately.”
Things to Come
10 Then Jesus told them, “Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be violent earthquakes, and in various places famines and [deadly and devastating] pestilences (plagues, epidemics); and there will be terrible sights and great signs from heaven.
12 “But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, turning you over to the synagogues and prisons, and bringing you before kings and governors for My name’s sake. 13 This will be a time and an opportunity for you to testify [about Me]. 14 So make up your minds not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves; 15 for I will give you [skillful] words and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute. 16 But you will be betrayed and handed over even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death, 17 and you will be continually hated by everyone because of [your association with] My name. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 By your [patient] endurance [empowered by the Holy Spirit] you will gain your souls.
20 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by [hostile] armies, then understand [with confident assurance] that her complete destruction is near. 21 At that time, those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those who are inside the city (Jerusalem) must get out, and those who are [out] in the country must not enter the city; 22 for these are days of vengeance [of rendering full justice or satisfaction], so that all things which are written will be fulfilled. 23 Woe to those women who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For great trouble and anguish will be on the land, and wrath and retribution on this people [Israel]. 24 And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled (completed).
The Return of Christ
25 “There will be signs (attesting miracles) in the sun and moon and stars; and on the earth [there will be] distress and anguish among nations, in perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea and the waves, 26 people fainting from fear and expectation of the [dreadful] things coming on the world; for the [very] powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with [transcendent, overwhelming] power [subduing the nations] and with great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to occur, stand tall and lift up your heads [in joy], because [suffering ends as] your redemption is drawing near.”
Parable of the Fig Tree
29 Then He told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees; 30 as soon as they put out leaves, you see it and know for yourselves that summer is near. 31 So you too, when you see these things happening, know [without any doubt] that the kingdom of God is near. 32 I assure you and most solemnly say to you, this generation [those living at that definite period of time preceding the second coming] will not pass away until [es]everything takes place. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.
34 “But be on guard, so that your hearts are not weighed down and depressed with the giddiness of debauchery and the nausea of self-indulgence and the worldly worries of life, and then that day [when the Messiah returns] will not come on you suddenly like a trap; 35 for it will come upon all those who live on the face of all the earth. 36 But keep alert at all times [be attentive and ready], praying that you may have the strength and ability [to be found worthy and] to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand in the presence of the Son of Man [at His coming].”
37 Now in the daytime Jesus was teaching in [the porches and courts of] the temple, but at night He would go out and spend the night on the mount that is called Olivet. 38 And early in the morning all the people would come to Him in the temple to listen to Him.
Preparing the Passover
22 Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was approaching. 2 The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to put Him to death; for they were afraid of the people [who listened devotedly to His teaching, and who respected His spiritual wisdom].
3 Then Satan entered Judas, the one called Iscariot, who was one of the twelve [disciples]. 4 And he went away and discussed with the chief priests and officers how he might betray Him and hand Him over to them. 5 They were delighted and agreed with him to give him money. 6 So he consented, and began looking for a good opportunity to betray Jesus to them [at a time when He was] separated from the crowd [because the people might riot or stop them from seizing Him].
7 Then came the preparation day of [et]Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. 8 So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover meal for us, so that we may eat it.” 9 They asked Him, “Where do You want us to prepare it?” 10 He replied, “When you have entered the city, a [eu]man carrying an earthen jar of water will meet you; follow him into the house that he enters. 11 And say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks, “Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?”’ 12 Then he will show you a large upstairs room, furnished [with carpets and dining couches]; prepare the meal there.” 13 They left and found it just as He had told them; and they prepared the Passover.
The Lord’s Supper
14 When the hour [for the meal] had come, Jesus reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him. 15 He said to them, “I have earnestly wanted to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16 for I say to you, I will not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17 And when He had taken a cup and [ev]given thanks, He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves; 18 for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 And when He had taken bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 20 And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup, which is poured out for you, is the new covenant [ratified] in My blood. 21 But listen, the hand of the one betraying Me is with Mine on the table. 22 For indeed, the Son of Man is going as it has been determined; but woe (judgment is coming) to that man by whom He is betrayed and handed over!” 23 And they began to discuss among themselves which one of them it might be who was going to do this.
Who Is Greatest?
24 Now a dispute also arose among them as to which of them was regarded to be the greatest. 25 Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles have absolute power and lord it over them; and those in authority over them are called ‘Benefactors.’ 26 But it is not to be this way with you; on the contrary, the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest [and least privileged], and the [one who is the] leader, like the servant. 27 For who is the greater, the one who reclines at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves.
28 “You are those who have remained and have stood by Me in My trials; 29 and just as My Father has granted Me a kingdom, I grant you [the privilege]
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