1Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples. 2“The teachers of the Law and the Pharisees are the authorized interpreters of Moses' Law.3So you must obey and follow everything they tell you to do; do not, however, imitate their actions, because they don't practise what they preach.4They tie on to people's backs loads that are heavy and hard to carry, yet they aren't willing even to lift a finger to help them carry those loads.5They do everything so that people will see them. Look at the straps with scripture verses on them which they wear on their foreheads and arms, and notice how large they are! Notice also how long are the tassels on their cloaks!6They love the best places at feasts and the reserved seats in the synagogues;7they love to be greeted with respect in the market places and to be called ‘Teacher’.8You must not be called ‘Teacher’, because you are all members of one family and have only one Teacher.9And you must not call anyone here on earth ‘Father’, because you have only the one Father in heaven.10Nor should you be called ‘Leader’, because your one and only leader is the Messiah.11The greatest one among you must be your servant.12Whoever makes himself great will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be made great.
13“How terrible for you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees! You hypocrites! You lock the door to the Kingdom of heaven in people's faces, and you yourselves don't go in, nor do you allow in those who are trying to enter!
15“How terrible for you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees! You hypocrites! You sail the seas and cross whole countries to win one convert; and when you succeed, you make him twice as deserving of going to hell as you yourselves are!
16“How terrible for you, blind guides! You teach, ‘If someone swears by the Temple, he isn't bound by his vow; but if he swears by the gold in the Temple, he is bound.’17Blind fools! Which is more important, the gold or the Temple which makes the gold holy?18You also teach, ‘If someone swears by the altar, he isn't bound by his vow; but if he swears by the gift on the altar, he is bound.’19How blind you are! Which is the more important, the gift or the altar which makes the gift holy?20So then, when a person swears by the altar, he is swearing by it and by all the gifts on it;21and when he swears by the Temple, he is swearing by it and by God, who lives there;22and when someone swears by heaven, he is swearing by God's throne and by him who sits on it.
23“How terrible for you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees! You hypocrites! You give to God a tenth even of the seasoning herbs, such as mint, dill, and cumin, but you neglect to obey the really important teachings of the Law, such as justice and mercy and honesty. These you should practise, without neglecting the others.24Blind guides! You strain a fly out of your drink, but swallow a camel!
25“How terrible for you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees! You hypocrites! You clean the outside of your cup and plate, while the inside is full of what you have obtained by violence and selfishness.26Blind Pharisee! Clean what is inside the cup first, and then the outside will be clean too!
27“How terrible for you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees! You hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look fine on the outside but are full of bones and decaying corpses on the inside.28In the same way, on the outside you appear good to everybody, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and sins.
29“How terrible for you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees! You hypocrites! You make fine tombs for the prophets and decorate the monuments of those who lived good lives;30and you claim that if you had lived during the time of your ancestors, you would not have done what they did and killed the prophets.31So you actually admit that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets!32Go on, then, and finish what your ancestors started!33You snakes and children of snakes! How do you expect to escape from being condemned to hell?34And so I tell you that I will send you prophets and wise men and teachers; you will kill some of them, crucify others, and whip others in the synagogues and chase them from town to town.35As a result, the punishment for the murder of all innocent people will fall on you, from the murder of innocent Abel to the murder of Zechariah son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the Temple and the altar.36I tell you indeed: the punishment for all these murders will fall on the people of this day!
37“Jerusalem, Jerusalem! You kill the prophets and stone the messengers God has sent you! How many times have I wanted to put my arms round all your people, just as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you would not let me!38And so your Temple will be abandoned and empty.39From now on, I tell you, you will never see me again until you say, ‘God bless him who comes in the name of the Lord.’ ”
1Jesus left and was going away from the Temple when his disciples came to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2“Yes,” he said, “you may well look at all these. I tell you this: not a single stone here will be left in its place; every one of them will be thrown down.”
3As Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him in private. “Tell us when all this will be,” they asked, “and what will happen to show that it is the time for your coming and the end of the age.”
4Jesus answered, “Be on your guard, and do not let anyone deceive you.5Many men, claiming to speak for me, will come and say, ‘I am the Messiah!’ and they will deceive many people.6You are going to hear the noise of battles close by and the news of battles far away; but do not be troubled. Such things must happen, but they do not mean that the end has come.7Countries will fight each other, kingdoms will attack one another. There will be famines and earthquakes everywhere.8All these things are like the first pains of childbirth.
9“Then you will be arrested and handed over to be punished and be put to death. All nations will hate you because of me.10Many will give up their faith at that time; they will betray one another and hate one another.11Then many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.12Such will be the spread of evil that many people's love will grow cold.13But whoever holds out to the end will be saved.14And this Good News about the Kingdom will be preached through all the world for a witness to all nations; and then the end will come.
15“You will see ‘The Awful Horror’ of which the prophet Daniel spoke. It will be standing in the holy place.” (Note to the reader: be sure to understand what this means!)16“Then those who are in Judea must run away to the hills.17Someone who is on the roof of his house must not take the time to go down and get his belongings from the house.18Someone who is in the field must not go back to get his cloak.19How terrible it will be in those days for women who are pregnant and for mothers with little babies!20Pray to God that you will not have to run away during the winter or on a Sabbath!21For the trouble at that time will be far more terrible than any there has ever been, from the beginning of the world to this very day. Nor will there ever be anything like it again.22But God has already reduced the number of days; had he not done so, nobody would survive. For the sake of his chosen people, however, God will reduce the days.
23“Then, if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or ‘There he is!’ — do not believe it.24For false Messiahs and false prophets will appear; they will perform great miracles and wonders in order to deceive even God's chosen people, if possible.25Listen! I have told you this before the time comes.
26“Or, if people should tell you, ‘Look, he is out in the desert!’ — don't go there; or if they say, ‘Look, he is hiding here!’ — don't believe it.27For the Son of Man will come like the lightning which flashes across the whole sky from the east to the west.
28“Wherever there is a dead body, the vultures will gather.
29“Soon after the trouble of those days, the sun will grow dark, the moon will no longer shine, the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers in space will be driven from their courses.30Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky; and all the peoples of earth will weep as they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.31The great trumpet will sound, and he will send out his angels to the four corners of the earth, and they will gather his chosen people from one end of the world to the other.
32“Let the fig tree teach you a lesson. When its branches become green and tender and it starts putting out leaves, you know that summer is near.33In the same way, when you see all these things, you will know that the time is near, ready to begin.34Remember that all these things will happen before the people now living have all died.35Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
36“No one knows, however, when that day and hour will come — neither the angels in heaven nor the Son;the Father alone knows.37The coming of the Son of Man will be like what happened in the time of Noah.38In the days before the flood people ate and drank, men and women married, up to the very day Noah went into the boat;39yet they did not realize what was happening until the flood came and swept them all away. That is how it will be when the Son of Man comes.40At that time two men will be working in a field: one will be taken away, the other will be left behind. 41Two women will be at a mill grinding meal: one will be taken away, the other will be left behind.
42“Be on your guard, then, because you do not know what day your Lord will come.43If the owner of a house knew the time when the thief would come, you can be sure that he would stay awake and not let the thief break into his house.44So then, you also must always be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you are not expecting him.
45“Who, then, is a faithful and wise servant? It is the one that his master has placed in charge of the other servants to give them their food at the proper time.46How happy that servant is if his master finds him doing this when he comes home!47Indeed, I tell you, the master will put that servant in charge of all his property.48But if he is a bad servant, he will tell himself that his master will not come back for a long time,49and he will begin to beat his fellow-servants and to eat and drink with drunkards.50Then that servant's master will come back one day when the servant does not expect him and at a time he does not know.51The master will cut him in piecesand make him share the fate of the hypocrites. There he will cry and grind his teeth.