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Teaching about Divorce

(Matthew 19.1-12; Luke 16.18)

10 After Jesus left, he went to Judea and then on to the other side of the Jordan River. Once again large crowds came to him, and as usual, he taught them.

Some Pharisees wanted to test Jesus. So they came up to him and asked if it was right for a man to divorce his wife. Jesus asked them, “What does the Law of Moses say about this?”

(A) They answered, “Moses allows a man to write out divorce papers and send his wife away.”

Jesus replied, “Moses gave you this law because you are so heartless. (B) But in the beginning God made a man and a woman. (C) That's why a man leaves his father and mother and gets married. He becomes like one person with his wife. Then they are no longer two people, but one. And no one should separate a couple that God has joined together.”

10 When Jesus and his disciples were back in the house, they asked him about what he had said. 11 (D) He told them, “A man who divorces his wife and marries someone else is unfaithful to his wife. 12 A woman who divorces her husband[a] and marries again is also unfaithful.”

Jesus Blesses Little Children

(Matthew 19.13-15; Luke 18.15-17)

13 Some people brought their children to Jesus so he could bless them by placing his hands on them. But his disciples told the people to stop bothering him.

14 When Jesus saw this, he became angry and said, “Let the children come to me! Don't try to stop them. People who are like these little children belong to the kingdom of God.[b] 15 (E) I promise you that you cannot get into God's kingdom, unless you accept it the way a child does.” 16 Then Jesus took the children in his arms and blessed them by placing his hands on them.

A Rich Man

(Matthew 19.16-30; Luke 18.18-30)

17 As Jesus was walking down a road, a man ran up to him. He knelt down, and asked, “Good teacher, what can I do to have eternal life?”

18 Jesus replied, “Why do you call me good? Only God is good. 19 (F) You know the commandments. ‘Do not murder. Be faithful in marriage. Do not steal. Do not tell lies about others. Do not cheat. Respect your father and mother.’ ”

20 The man answered, “Teacher, I have obeyed all these commandments since I was a young man.”

21 Jesus looked closely at the man. He liked him and said, “There's one thing you still need to do. Go sell everything you own. Give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven. Then come with me.”

22 When the man heard Jesus say this, he went away gloomy and sad because he was very rich.

23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “It's hard for rich people to get into God's kingdom!” 24 The disciples were shocked to hear this. So Jesus told them again, “It's terribly hard[c] to get into God's kingdom! 25 In fact, it's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to get into God's kingdom.”

26 Jesus' disciples were even more amazed. They asked each other, “How can anyone ever be saved?”

27 Jesus looked at them and said, “There are some things that people cannot do, but God can do anything.”

28 Peter replied, “Remember, we left everything to be your followers!”

29 Jesus told him:

You can be sure that anyone who gives up home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or land for me and for the good news 30 will be rewarded. In this world they will be given 100 times as many houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and pieces of land, though they will also be mistreated. And in the world to come, they will have eternal life. 31 (G) But many who are now first will be last, and many who are now last will be first.

Jesus Again Tells about His Death

(Matthew 20.17-19; Luke 18.31-34)

32 The disciples were confused as Jesus led them toward Jerusalem, and his other followers were afraid. Once again, Jesus took the twelve disciples aside and told them what was going to happen to him. He said:

33 We are now on our way to Jerusalem where the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the teachers of the Law of Moses. They will sentence him to death and hand him over to foreigners,[d] 34 who will make fun of him and spit on him. They will beat him and kill him. But three days later he will rise to life.

The Request of James and John

(Matthew 20.20-28)

35 James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, will you do us a favor?”

36 Jesus asked them what they wanted, 37 and they answered, “When you come into your glory, please let one of us sit at your right side and the other at your left.”[e]

38 (H) Jesus told them, “You don't really know what you're asking! Are you able to drink from the cup[f] that I must soon drink from or be baptized as I must be baptized?”[g]

39 “Yes, we are!” James and John answered.

Then Jesus replied, “You certainly will drink from the cup from which I must drink. And you will be baptized just as I must! 40 But it isn't for me to say who will sit at my right side and at my left. This is for God to decide.”

41 When the ten other disciples heard this, they were angry with James and John. 42 (I) But Jesus called the disciples together and said:

You know that those foreigners who call themselves kings like to order their people around. And their great leaders have full power over the people they rule. 43 (J) But don't act like them. If you want to be great, you must be the servant of all the others. 44 And if you want to be first, you must be everyone's slave. 45 (K) The Son of Man did not come to be a slave master, but a slave who will give his life to rescue[h] many people.

Jesus Heals Blind Bartimaeus

(Matthew 20.29-34; Luke 18.35-43)

46 Jesus and his disciples went to Jericho. And as they were leaving, they were followed by a large crowd. A blind beggar by the name of Bartimaeus son of Timaeus was sitting beside the road. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus from Nazareth, he shouted, “Jesus, Son of David,[i] have pity on me!” 48 Many people told the man to stop, but he shouted even louder, “Son of David, have pity on me!”

49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him over!”

They called out to the blind man and said, “Don't be afraid! Come on! He is calling for you.” 50 The man threw off his coat as he jumped up and ran to Jesus.

51 Jesus asked, “What do you want me to do for you?”

The blind man answered, “Master,[j] I want to see!”

52 Jesus told him, “You may go. Your eyes are healed because of your faith.”

At once the man could see, and he went down the road with Jesus.

Jesus Enters Jerusalem

(Matthew 21.1-11; Luke 19.28-40; John 12.12-19)

11 Jesus and his disciples reached Bethphage and Bethany near the Mount of Olives. When they were getting close to Jerusalem, Jesus sent two of them on ahead. He told them, “Go into the next village. As soon as you enter it, you will find a young donkey that has never been ridden. Untie the donkey and bring it here. If anyone asks why you are doing this, say, ‘The Lord[k] needs it and will soon bring it back.’ ”

The disciples left and found the donkey tied near a door that faced the street. While they were untying it, some of the people standing there asked, “Why are you untying the donkey?” They told them what Jesus had said, and the people let them take it.

The disciples led the donkey to Jesus. They put some of their clothes on its back, and Jesus got on. Many people spread clothes on the road, while others spread branches they had cut from the fields.[l]

(L) In front of Jesus and behind him, people went along shouting,

God bless the one who comes
    in the name of the Lord!
10 God bless the coming kingdom
    of our ancestor David.
Hooray for God
    in heaven above!”

11 After Jesus had gone to Jerusalem, he went into the temple and looked around at everything. But since it was already late in the day, he went back to Bethany with the twelve disciples.

Jesus Puts a Curse on a Fig Tree

(Matthew 21.18,19)

12 When Jesus and his disciples left Bethany the next morning, he was hungry. 13 From a distance Jesus saw a fig tree covered with leaves, and he went to see if there were any figs on the tree. But there were none, because it wasn't the season for figs. 14 So Jesus said to the tree, “Never again will anyone eat fruit from this tree!” The disciples heard him say this.

Jesus in the Temple

(Matthew 21.12-17; Luke 19.45-48; John 2.13-22)

15 After Jesus and his disciples reached Jerusalem, he went into the temple and began chasing out everyone who was selling and buying. He turned over the tables of the moneychangers and the benches of those who were selling doves. 16 Jesus would not let anyone carry things through the temple. 17 (M) Then he taught the people and said, “The Scriptures say, ‘My house should be called a place of worship for all nations.’ But you have made it a place where robbers hide!”

18 The chief priests and the teachers of the Law of Moses heard what Jesus said, and they started looking for a way to kill him. They were afraid of him, because the crowds were completely amazed at his teaching.

19 That evening, Jesus and the disciples went outside the city.

A Lesson from the Fig Tree

(Matthew 21.20-22)

20 As the disciples walked past the fig tree the next morning, they noticed that it was completely dried up, roots and all. 21 Peter remembered what Jesus had said to the tree. Then Peter said, “Teacher, look! The tree you put a curse on has dried up.”

22 Jesus told his disciples:

Have faith in God! 23 (N) If you have faith in God and don't doubt, you can tell this mountain to get up and jump into the sea, and it will. 24 Everything you ask for in prayer will be yours, if you only have faith.

25-26 (O) Whenever you stand up to pray, you must forgive what others have done to you. Then your Father in heaven will forgive your sins.[n]

A Question about Jesus' Authority

(Matthew 21.23-27; Luke 20.1-8)

27 Jesus and his disciples returned to Jerusalem. And as he was walking through the temple, the chief priests, the nation's leaders, and the teachers of the Law of Moses came over to him. 28 They asked, “What right do you have to do these things? Who gave you this authority?”

29 Jesus answered, “I have just one question to ask you. If you answer it, I will tell you where I got the right to do these things. 30 Who gave John the right to baptize? Was it God in heaven or merely some human being?”

31 They thought it over and said to each other, “We can't say that God gave John this right. Jesus will ask us why we didn't believe John. 32 On the other hand, these people think that John was a prophet. So we can't say it was merely some human who gave John the right to baptize.”

They were afraid of the crowd 33 and told Jesus, “We don't know.”

Jesus replied, “Then I won't tell you who gave me the right to do what I do.”


  1. 10.12 A woman who divorces her husband: Roman law let a woman divorce her husband, but Jewish law did not let a woman do this.
  2. 10.14 People who are like these little children belong to the kingdom of God: Or “The kingdom of God belongs to people who are like these little children.”
  3. 10.24 hard: Some manuscripts add “for people who trust in their wealth.” Others add “for the rich.”
  4. 10.33 foreigners: The Romans who ruled Judea at this time.
  5. 10.37 right side … left: The most powerful people in a kingdom sat at the right and left side of the king.
  6. 10.38 drink from the cup: In the Scriptures a “cup” is sometimes used as a symbol of suffering. To “drink from the cup” would be to suffer.
  7. 10.38 as I must be baptized: Baptism is used with the same meaning that “cup” has in this verse.
  8. 10.45 rescue: The Greek word often, though not always, means the payment of a price to free a slave or a prisoner.
  9. 10.47 Son of David: The Jewish people expected the Messiah to be from the family of King David, and for this reason the Messiah was often called the “Son of David.”
  10. 10.51 Master: A Hebrew word that may also mean “Teacher.”
  11. 11.3 The Lord: Or “The master of the donkey.”
  12. 11.8 spread … branches from the fields: This was one way that the Jewish people welcomed a famous person.
  13. 11.9 Hooray: This translates a word that can mean “please save us.” But it is most often used as a shout of praise to God.
  14. 11.25,26 your sins: Some manuscripts add, “But if you do not forgive others, God will not forgive you.”

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