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Matthew 7-8 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Judging Others

Don’t condemn others, and God won’t condemn you. God will be as hard on you as you are on others! He will treat you exactly as you treat them.

You can see the speck in your friend’s eye, but you don’t notice the log in your own eye. How can you say, “My friend, let me take the speck out of your eye,” when you don’t see the log in your own eye? You’re nothing but show-offs! First, take the log out of your own eye. Then you can see how to take the speck out of your friend’s eye.

Don’t give to dogs what belongs to God. They will only turn and attack you. Don’t throw pearls down in front of pigs. They will trample all over them.

Ask, Search, Knock

Ask, and you will receive. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened for you. Everyone who asks will receive. Everyone who searches will find. And the door will be opened for everyone who knocks. Would any of you give your hungry child a stone, if the child asked for some bread? 10 Would you give your child a snake if the child asked for a fish? 11 As bad as you are, you still know how to give good gifts to your children. But your heavenly Father is even more ready to give good things to people who ask.

12 Treat others as you want them to treat you. This is what the Law and the Prophets[a] are all about.

The Narrow Gate

13 Go in through the narrow gate. The gate to destruction is wide, and the road that leads there is easy to follow. A lot of people go through that gate. 14 But the gate to life is very narrow. The road that leads there is so hard to follow that only a few people find it.

A Tree and Its Fruit

15 Watch out for false prophets! They dress up like sheep, but inside they are wolves who have come to attack you. 16 You can tell what they are by what they do. No one picks grapes or figs from thornbushes. 17 A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that produces bad fruit will be chopped down and burned. 20 You can tell who the false prophets are by their deeds.

A Warning

21 Not everyone who calls me their Lord will get into the kingdom of heaven. Only the ones who obey my Father in heaven will get in. 22 On the day of judgment many will call me their Lord. They will say, “We preached in your name, and in your name we forced out demons and worked many miracles.” 23 But I will tell them, “I will have nothing to do with you! Get out of my sight, you evil people!”

Two Builders

24 Anyone who hears and obeys these teachings of mine is like a wise person who built a house on solid rock. 25 Rain poured down, rivers flooded, and winds beat against that house. But it did not fall, because it was built on solid rock.

26 Anyone who hears my teachings and doesn’t obey them is like a foolish person who built a house on sand. 27 The rain poured down, the rivers flooded, and the winds blew and beat against that house. Finally, it fell with a crash.

28 When Jesus finished speaking, the crowds were surprised at his teaching. 29 He taught them like someone with authority, and not like their teachers of the Law of Moses.

Jesus Heals a Man

As Jesus came down the mountain, he was followed by large crowds. Suddenly a man with leprosy[b] came and knelt in front of Jesus. He said, “Lord, you have the power to make me well, if only you wanted to.”

Jesus put his hand on the man and said, “I want to! Now you are well.” At once the man’s leprosy disappeared. Jesus told him, “Don’t tell anyone about this, but go and show the priest that you are well. Then take a gift to the temple just as Moses commanded, and everyone will know that you have been healed.”[c]

Jesus Heals an Army Officer’s Servant

When Jesus was going into the town of Capernaum, an army officer came up to him and said, “Lord, my servant is at home in such terrible pain that he can’t even move.”

“I will go and heal him,” Jesus replied.

But the officer said, “Lord, I’m not good enough for you to come into my house. Just give the order, and my servant will get well. I have officers who give orders to me, and I have soldiers who take orders from me. I can say to one of them, ‘Go!’ and he goes. I can say to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes. I can say to my servant, ‘Do this!’ and he will do it.”

10 When Jesus heard this, he was so surprised that he turned and said to the crowd following him, “I tell you that in all of Israel I’ve never found anyone with this much faith! 11 Many people will come from everywhere to enjoy the feast in the kingdom of heaven with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 12 But the ones who should have been in the kingdom will be thrown out into the dark. They will cry and grit their teeth in pain.”

13 Then Jesus said to the officer, “You may go home now. Your faith has made it happen.”

Right then his servant was healed.

Jesus Heals Many People

14 Jesus went to the home of Peter, where he found that Peter’s mother-in-law was sick in bed with fever. 15 He took her by the hand, and the fever left her. Then she got up and served Jesus a meal.

16 That evening many people with demons in them were brought to Jesus. And with only a word he forced out the evil spirits and healed everyone who was sick. 17 So God’s promise came true, just as the prophet Isaiah had said,

“He healed our diseases
    and made us well.”

Some Who Wanted To Go with Jesus

18 When Jesus saw the crowd,[d] he went across Lake Galilee. 19 A teacher of the Law of Moses came up to him and said, “Teacher, I’ll go anywhere with you!”

20 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens, and birds have nests. But the Son of Man doesn’t have a place to call his own.”

21 Another disciple said to Jesus, “Lord, let me wait till I bury my father.”

22 Jesus answered, “Come with me, and let the dead bury their dead.”[e]

A Storm

23 After Jesus left in a boat with his disciples, 24 a terrible storm suddenly struck the lake, and waves started splashing into their boat.

Jesus was sound asleep, 25 so the disciples went over to him and woke him up. They said, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

26 But Jesus replied, “Why are you so afraid? You surely don’t have much faith.” Then he got up and ordered the wind and the waves to calm down. And everything was calm.

27 The men in the boat were amazed and said, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him.”

Two Men with Demons in Them

28 After Jesus had crossed the lake, he came to shore near the town of Gadara[f] and started down the road. Two men with demons in them came to him from the tombs.[g] They were so fierce that no one could travel that way. 29 Suddenly they shouted, “Jesus, Son of God, what do you want with us? Have you come to punish us before our time?”

30 Not far from there a large herd of pigs was feeding. 31 So the demons begged Jesus, “If you force us out, please send us into those pigs!” 32 Jesus told them to go, and they went out of the men and into the pigs. All at once the pigs rushed down the steep bank into the lake and drowned.

33 The people taking care of the pigs ran to the town and told everything, especially what had happened to the two men. 34 Everyone in town came out to meet Jesus. When they saw him, they begged him to leave their part of the country.

Footnotes:

  1. 7.12 the Law and the Prophets: See the note at 5.17.
  2. 8.2 leprosy: In biblical times the word “leprosy” was used for many different kinds of skin diseases.
  3. 8.4 everyone will know that you have been healed: People with leprosy had to be examined by a priest and told that they were well (that is “clean”) before they could once again live a normal life in the Jewish community. The gift that Moses commanded was the sacrifice of some lambs together with flour mixed with olive oil.
  4. 8.18 saw the crowd: Some manuscripts have “large crowd.” Others have “large crowds.”
  5. 8.22 let the dead bury their dead: For the Jewish people a proper burial of their dead was a very important duty. But Jesus teaches that following him is even more important.
  6. 8.28 Gadara: Some manuscripts have “Gergesa.” Others have “Gerasa.”
  7. 8.28 tombs: It was thought that demons and evil spirits lived in tombs and in caves that were used for burying the dead.

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