18 And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.2 He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man.3 And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’4 For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man,5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’”6 And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says.7 And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them?8 I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
The Pharisee and the Tax Collector
9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt:10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed[a]thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Let the Children Come to Me
15 Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them.16 But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.17 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”
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