Luke 14:25-17:10 Amplified Bible (AMP)
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 [a]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] [b]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 [c]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 [d]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 [e]measures of [olive] oil.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write [f]fifty.’ 7 Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred [g]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 [h]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 [i]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 [j]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 [k]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.’”
John 11:1-37 Amplified Bible (AMP)
The Death and Resurrection of Lazarus
11 Now a certain man named Lazarus was sick. He was from [a]Bethany, the village where Mary and her sister Martha lived. 2 It was the Mary who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. 3 So the sisters sent word to Him, saying, “Lord, he [our brother and Your friend] whom You love is sick.” 4 When Jesus heard this, He said, “This sickness will not end in death; but [on the contrary it is] for the glory and honor of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.” 5 Now Jesus loved and was concerned about Martha and her sister and Lazarus [and considered them dear friends]. 6 [b]So [even] when He heard that Lazarus was sick, He stayed in the same place two more days. 7 Then He said to His disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.” 8 The disciples said to Him, “Rabbi (Teacher), the Jews were only recently going to stone You, and You are [thinking of] going back there again?” 9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours [of light] in the day? Anyone who walks in the daytime does not stumble, because he sees [by] the light of this world. 10 But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because there is no light in him.” 11 He said this, and after that said, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him.” 12 The disciples answered, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” 13 However, Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that He was referring to natural sleep. 14 So then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15 And for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16 Then Thomas, who was called Didymus (the twin), said to his fellow disciples, “Let us go too, that we may die with Him.”
17 So when Jesus arrived, He found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb [c]four days. 18 Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles away; 19 and many of the Jews had come to see Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning [the loss of] their brother. 20 So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet Him, while Mary remained sitting in the house. 21 Then Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give to You.” 23 Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise [from the dead].” 24 Martha replied, “I know that he will rise [from the dead] in the resurrection on the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “[d]I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in (adheres to, trusts in, relies on) Me [as Savior] will live even if he dies; 26 and everyone who lives and believes in Me [as Savior] will never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to Him, “Yes, Lord; I have believed and continue to believe that You are the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed), the Son of God, [e]He who was [destined and promised] to come into the world [and it is for You that the world has waited].”
28 After she had said this, she left and called her sister Mary, privately whispering [to her], “The Teacher is here and is asking for you.” 29 And when she heard this, she got up quickly and went to Him.
30 Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met Him. 31 So when the Jews who were with her in the house comforting her, saw how quickly Mary got up and left, they followed her, assuming that she was going to the tomb to weep there. 32 When Mary came [to the place] where Jesus was and saw Him, she fell at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her sobbing, and the Jews who had come with her also sobbing, He was [f]deeply moved in spirit [to the point of anger at the sorrow caused by death] and was troubled, 34 and said, “Where have you laid him?” They said, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus wept. 36 So the Jews were saying, “See how He loved him [as a close friend]!” 37 But some of them said, “Could not this Man, who opened the blind man’s eyes, have kept this man from dying?”
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