Luke 19-21 Common English Bible (CEB)
A rich tax collector
19 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through town. 2 A man there named Zacchaeus, a ruler among tax collectors, was rich. 3 He was trying to see who Jesus was, but, being a short man, he couldn’t because of the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed up a sycamore tree so he could see Jesus, who was about to pass that way. 5 When Jesus came to that spot, he looked up and said, “Zacchaeus, come down at once. I must stay in your home today.” 6 So Zacchaeus came down at once, happy to welcome Jesus.
7 Everyone who saw this grumbled, saying, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”
8 Zacchaeus stopped and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my possessions to the poor. And if I have cheated anyone, I repay them four times as much.”
9 Jesus said to him, “Today, salvation has come to this household because he too is a son of Abraham. 10 The Human One[a] came to seek and save the lost.”
11 As they listened to this, Jesus told them another parable because he was near Jerusalem and they thought God’s kingdom would appear right away. 12 He said, “A certain man who was born into royalty went to a distant land to receive his kingdom and then return. 13 He called together ten servants and gave each of them money worth four months’ wages.[b] He said, ‘Do business with this until I return.’ 14 His citizens hated him, so they sent a representative after him who said, ‘We don’t want this man to be our king.’ 15 After receiving his kingdom, he returned and called the servants to whom he had given the money to find out how much they had earned. 16 The first servant came forward and said, ‘Your money has earned a return of one thousand percent.’ 17 The king replied, ‘Excellent! You are a good servant. Because you have been faithful in a small matter, you will have authority over ten cities.’
18 “The second servant came and said, ‘Master, your money has made a return of five hundred percent.’ 19 To this one, the king said, ‘You will have authority over five cities.’
20 “Another servant came and said, ‘Master, here is your money. I wrapped it up in a scarf for safekeeping. 21 I was afraid of you because you are a stern man. You withdraw what you haven’t deposited and you harvest what you haven’t planted.’ 22 The king replied, ‘I will judge you by the words of your own mouth, you worthless servant! You knew, did you, that I’m a stern man, withdrawing what I didn’t deposit, and harvesting what I didn’t plant? 23 Why then didn’t you put my money in the bank? Then when I arrived, at least I could have gotten it back with interest.’
24 “He said to his attendants, ‘Take his money and give it to the one who has ten times as much.’ 25 ‘But Master,’ they said, ‘he already has ten times as much!’ 26 He replied, ‘I say to you that everyone who has will be given more, but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 27 As for my enemies who don’t want me as their king, bring them here and slaughter them before me.’”
28 After Jesus said this, he continued on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.
Procession into Jerusalem
29 As Jesus came to Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives, he gave two disciples a task. 30 He said, “Go into the village over there. When you enter it, you will find tied up there a colt that no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If someone asks, ‘Why are you untying it?’ just say, ‘Its master needs it.’” 32 Those who had been sent found it exactly as he had said.
33 As they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?”
34 They replied, “Its master needs it.” 35 They brought it to Jesus, threw their clothes on the colt, and lifted Jesus onto it. 36 As Jesus rode along, they spread their clothes on the road.
37 As Jesus approached the road leading down from the Mount of Olives, the whole throng of his disciples began rejoicing. They praised God with a loud voice because of all the mighty things they had seen. 38 They said,
“Blessings on the king who comes in the name of the Lord.
39 Some of the Pharisees from the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, scold your disciples! Tell them to stop!”
40 He answered, “I tell you, if they were silent, the stones would shout.”
Jesus predicts Jerusalem’s destruction
41 As Jesus came to the city and observed it, he wept over it. 42 He said, “If only you knew on this of all days the things that lead to peace. But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 The time will come when your enemies will build fortifications around you, encircle you, and attack you from all sides. 44 They will crush you completely, you and the people within you. They won’t leave one stone on top of another within you, because you didn’t recognize the time of your gracious visit from God.”
Jesus clears the temple
45 When Jesus entered the temple, he threw out those who were selling things there. 46 He said to them, “It’s written, My house will be a house of prayer, but you have made it a hideout for crooks.”[c]
47 Jesus was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests, the legal experts, and the foremost leaders among the people were seeking to kill him. 48 However, they couldn’t find a way to do it because all the people were enthralled with what they heard.
Controversy over authority
20 On one of the days when Jesus was teaching the people in the temple and proclaiming the good news, the chief priests, legal experts, and elders approached him. 2 They said, “Tell us: What kind of authority do you have for doing these things? Who gave you this authority?”
3 He replied, “I have a question for you. Tell me: 4 Was John’s baptism of heavenly or of human origin?”
5 They discussed among themselves, “If we say, ‘It’s of heavenly origin,’ he’ll say, ‘Why didn’t you believe him?’ 6 But if we say, ‘It’s of human origin,’ all the people will stone us to death because they are convinced that John was a prophet.” 7 They answered that they didn’t know where it came from.
8 Then Jesus replied, “Neither will I tell you what kind of authority I have to do these things.”
Parable of the tenant farmers
9 Jesus told the people this parable: “A certain man planted a vineyard, rented it to tenant farmers, and went on a trip for a long time. 10 When it was time, he sent a servant to collect from the tenants his share of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants sent him away, beaten and empty-handed. 11 The man sent another servant. But they beat him, treated him disgracefully, and sent him away empty-handed as well. 12 He sent a third servant. They wounded this servant and threw him out. 13 The owner of the vineyard said, ‘What should I do? I’ll send my son, whom I love dearly. Perhaps they will respect him.’ 14 But when they saw him, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Let’s kill him so the inheritance will be ours.’ 15 They threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16 He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.”
When the people heard this, they said, “May this never happen!”
17 Staring at them, Jesus said, “Then what is the meaning of this text of scripture: The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone?[d] 18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be crushed. And the stone will crush the person it falls on.” 19 The legal experts and chief priests wanted to arrest him right then because they knew he had told this parable against them. But they feared the people.
An attempt to trap Jesus
20 The legal experts and chief priests were watching Jesus closely and sent spies who pretended to be sincere. They wanted to trap him in his words so they could hand him over to the jurisdiction and authority of the governor. 21 They asked him, “Teacher, we know that you are correct in what you say and teach. You don’t show favoritism but teach God’s way as it really is. 22 Does the Law allow people to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”
23 Since Jesus recognized their deception, he said to them, 24 “Show me a coin.[e] Whose image and inscription does it have on it?”
“Caesar’s,” they replied.
25 He said to them, “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” 26 They couldn’t trap him in his words in front of the people. Astonished by his answer, they were speechless.
Question about the resurrection
27 Some Sadducees, who deny that there’s a resurrection, came to Jesus and asked, 28 “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies leaving a widow but no children, the brother must marry the widow and raise up children for his brother.[f] 29 Now there were seven brothers. The first man married a woman and then died childless. 30 The second 31 and then the third brother married her. Eventually all seven married her, and they all died without leaving any children. 32 Finally, the woman died too. 33 In the resurrection, whose wife will she be? All seven were married to her.”
34 Jesus said to them, “People who belong to this age marry and are given in marriage. 35 But those who are considered worthy to participate in that age, that is, in the age of the resurrection from the dead, won’t marry nor will they be given in marriage. 36 They can no longer die, because they are like angels and are God’s children since they share in the resurrection. 37 Even Moses demonstrated that the dead are raised—in the passage about the burning bush, when he speaks of the Lord as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.[g] 38 He isn’t the God of the dead but of the living. To him they are all alive.”
39 Some of the legal experts responded, “Teacher, you have answered well.” 40 No one dared to ask him anything else.
41 Jesus said to them, “Why do they say that the Christ is David’s son? 42 David himself says in the scroll of Psalms, The Lord said to my lord, ‘Sit at my right side 43 until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.’[h] 44 Since David calls him ‘Lord,’ how can he be David’s son?”
Jesus condemns the legal experts
45 In the presence of all the people, Jesus said to his disciples, 46 “Watch out for the legal experts. They like to walk around in long robes. They love being greeted with honor in the markets. They long for the places of honor in the synagogues and at banquets. 47 They are the ones who cheat widows out of their homes, and to show off they say long prayers. They will be judged most harshly.”
A poor widow’s offering
21 Looking up, Jesus saw rich people throwing their gifts into the collection box for the temple treasury. 2 He also saw a poor widow throw in two small copper coins worth a penny.[i] 3 He said, “I assure you that this poor widow has put in more than them all. 4 All of them are giving out of their spare change. But she from her hopeless poverty has given everything she had to live on.”
The temple’s fate
5 Some people were talking about the temple, how it was decorated with beautiful stones and ornaments dedicated to God. Jesus said, 6 “As for the things you are admiring, the time is coming when not even one stone will be left upon another. All will be demolished.”
7 They asked him, “Teacher, when will these things happen? What sign will show that these things are about to happen?”
8 Jesus said, “Watch out that you aren’t deceived. Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I’m the one!’ and ‘It’s time!’ Don’t follow them. 9 When you hear of wars and rebellions, don’t be alarmed. These things must happen first, but the end won’t happen immediately.”
10 Then Jesus said to them, “Nations and kingdoms will fight against each other. 11 There will be great earthquakes and wide-scale food shortages and epidemics. There will also be terrifying sights and great signs in the sky. 12 But before all this occurs, they will take you into custody and harass you because of your faith. They will hand you over to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors because of my name. 13 This will provide you with an opportunity to testify. 14 Make up your minds not to prepare your defense in advance. 15 I’ll give you words and wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to counter or contradict. 16 You will be betrayed by your parents, brothers and sisters, relatives, and friends. They will execute some of you. 17 Everyone will hate you because of my name. 18 Still, not a hair on your heads will be lost. 19 By holding fast, you will gain your lives.
20 “When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then you will know that its destruction is close at hand. 21 At that time, those in Judea must flee to the mountains, those in the city must escape, and those in the countryside must not enter the city. 22 These are the days of punishment, when everything written will find its fulfillment. 23 How terrible it will be at that time for women who are pregnant or for women who are nursing their children. There will be great agony on the earth and angry judgment on this people. 24 They will fall by the edge of the sword and be taken away as captives among all nations. Jerusalem will be plundered by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are concluded.
25 “There will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars. On the earth, there will be dismay among nations in their confusion over the roaring of the sea and surging waves. 26 The planets and other heavenly bodies will be shaken, causing people to faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world. 27 Then they will see the Human One[j] coming on a cloud with power and great splendor. 28 Now when these things begin to happen, stand up straight and raise your heads, because your redemption is near.”
A lesson from the fig tree
29 Jesus told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. 30 When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. 31 In the same way, when you see these things happening, you know that God’s kingdom is near. 32 I assure you that this generation won’t pass away until everything has happened. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will certainly not pass away.
34 “Take care that your hearts aren’t dulled by drinking parties, drunkenness, and the anxieties of day-to-day life. Don’t let that day fall upon you unexpectedly, 35 like a trap. It will come upon everyone who lives on the face of the whole earth. 36 Stay alert at all times, praying that you are strong enough to escape everything that is about to happen and to stand before the Human One.”[k]
37 Every day Jesus was teaching in the temple, but he spent each night on the Mount of Olives. 38 All the people rose early in the morning to hear him in the temple area.