26 “But don’t be afraid of those who threaten you. For the time is coming when everything that is covered will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all.27 What I tell you now in the darkness, shout abroad when daybreak comes. What I whisper in your ear, shout from the housetops for all to hear!
28 “Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell.[a]29 What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin[b]? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it.30 And the very hairs on your head are all numbered.31 So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.
32 “Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.33 But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.
34 “Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword.
35 ‘I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 Your enemies will be right in your own household!’[c]
37 “If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine.38 If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine.39 If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.
40 “Anyone who receives you receives me, and anyone who receives me receives the Father who sent me.41 If you receive a prophet as one who speaks for God,[d] you will be given the same reward as a prophet. And if you receive righteous people because of their righteousness, you will be given a reward like theirs.42 And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded.”
Jesus and John the Baptist
11 When Jesus had finished giving these instructions to his twelve disciples, he went out to teach and preach in towns throughout the region.
2 John the Baptist, who was in prison, heard about all the things the Messiah was doing. So he sent his disciples to ask Jesus,3 “Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting,[e] or should we keep looking for someone else?”
4 Jesus told them, “Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen—5 the blind see, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor.”6 And he added, “God blesses those who do not fall away because of me.[f]”
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