1As thousands of people crowded together, so that they were stepping on each other, Jesus said first to his disciples, “Be on guard against the yeast of the Pharisees — I mean their hypocrisy.2Whatever is covered up will be uncovered, and every secret will be made known.3So then, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in broad daylight, and whatever you have whispered in private in a closed room will be shouted from the housetops.
4“I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot afterwards do anything worse.5I will show you whom to fear: fear God, who, after killing, has the authority to throw into hell. Believe me, he is the one you must fear!
6“Aren't five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one sparrow is forgotten by God.7Even the hairs of your head have all been counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth much more than many sparrows!
8“I assure you that for those who declare publicly that they belong to me, the Son of Man will do the same before the angels of God.9But those who reject me publicly, the Son of Man will also reject before the angels of God.
10“Whoever says a word against the Son of Man can be forgiven; but those who say evil things against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
11“When they bring you to be tried in the synagogues or before governors or rulers, do not be worried about how you will defend yourself or what you will say.12For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”
The Parable of the Rich Fool
13A man in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide with me the property our father left us.”
14Jesus answered him, “My friend, who gave me the right to judge or to divide the property between you two?”15And he went on to say to them all, “Watch out and guard yourselves from every kind of greed; because a person's true life is not made up of the things he owns, no matter how rich he may be.”
16Then Jesus told them this parable: “There was once a rich man who had land which bore good crops.17He began to think to himself, ‘I haven't anywhere to keep all my crops. What can I do?18This is what I will do,’ he told himself; ‘I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, where I will store my corn and all my other goods.19Then I will say to myself, Lucky man! You have all the good things you need for many years. Take life easy, eat, drink, and enjoy yourself!’20But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night you will have to give up your life; then who will get all these things you have kept for yourself?’ ”
21And Jesus concluded, “This is how it is with those who pile up riches for themselves but are not rich in God's sight.”
22Then Jesus said to the disciples, “And so I tell you not to worry about the food you need to stay alive or about the clothes you need for your body.23Life is much more important than food, and the body much more important than clothes.24Look at the crows: they don't sow seeds or gather a harvest; they don't have storerooms or barns; God feeds them! You are worth so much more than birds!25Can any of you live a bit longerby worrying about it?26If you can't manage even such a small thing, why worry about the other things?27Look how the wild flowers grow: they don't work or make clothes for themselves. But I tell you that not even King Solomon with all his wealth had clothes as beautiful as one of these flowers.28It is God who clothes the wild grass — grass that is here today and gone tomorrow, burnt up in the oven. Won't he be all the more sure to clothe you? How little faith you have!
29“So don't be all upset, always concerned about what you will eat and drink.30(For the pagans of this world are always concerned about all these things.) Your Father knows that you need these things.31Instead, be concerned with his Kingdom, and he will provide you with these things.
32“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the Kingdom.33Sell all your belongings and give the money to the poor. Provide for yourselves purses that don't wear out, and save your riches in heaven, where they will never decrease, because no thief can get to them, and no moth can destroy them.34For your heart will always be where your riches are.
35“Be ready for whatever comes, dressed for action and with your lamps lit,36like servants who are waiting for their master to come back from a wedding feast. When he comes and knocks, they will open the door for him at once.37How happy are those servants whose master finds them awake and ready when he returns! I tell you, he will take off his coat, ask them to sit down, and will wait on them.38How happy they are if he finds them ready, even if he should come at midnight or even later!39And you can be sure that if the owner of a house knew the time when the thief would come, he would not let the thief break into his house.40And you, too, must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you are not expecting him.”
41Peter said, “Lord, does this parable apply to us, or do you mean it for everyone?”
42The Lord answered, “Who, then, is the faithful and wise servant? He is the one that his master will put in charge, to run the household and give the other servants their share of the food at the proper time.43How happy that servant is if his master finds him doing this when he comes home!44Indeed, I tell you, the master will put that servant in charge of all his property.45But if that servant says to himself that his master is taking a long time to come back and if he begins to beat the other servants, both the men and the women, and eats and drinks and gets drunk,46then the master will come back one day when the servant does not expect him and at a time he does not know. The master will cut him in piecesand make him share the fate of the disobedient.
47“The servant who knows what his master wants him to do, but does not get himself ready and do it, will be punished with a heavy whipping.48But the servant who does not know what his master wants, and yet does something for which he deserves a whipping, will be punished with a light whipping. Much is required from the person to whom much is given; much more is required from the person to whom much more is given.
49“I came to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already kindled!50I have a baptism to receive, and how distressed I am until it is over!51Do you suppose that I came to bring peace to the world? No, not peace, but division.52From now on a family of five will be divided, three against two and two against three.53Fathers will be against their sons, and sons against their fathers; mothers will be against their daughters, and daughters against their mothers; mothers-in-law will be against their daughters-in-law, and daughters-in-law against their mothers-in-law.”
54Jesus said also to the people, “When you see a cloud coming up in the west, at once you say that it is going to rain — and it does.55And when you feel the south wind blowing, you say that it is going to get hot — and it does.56Hypocrites! You can look at the earth and the sky and predict the weather; why, then, don't you know the meaning of this present time?
57“Why do you not judge for yourselves the right thing to do?58If someone brings a lawsuit against you and takes you to court, do your best to settle the dispute with them before you get to court. If you don't, they will drag you before the judge, who will hand you over to the police, and you will be put in jail.59There you will stay, I tell you, until you pay the last penny of your fine.”
Turn from your Sins or Die
1At that time some people were there who told Jesus about the Galileans whom Pilate had killed while they were offering sacrifices to God. 2Jesus answered them, “Because those Galileans were killed in that way, do you think it proves that they were worse sinners than all the other Galileans?3No indeed! And I tell you that if you do not turn from your sins, you will all die as they did.4What about those eighteen people in Siloam who were killed when the tower fell on them? Do you suppose this proves that they were worse than all the other people living in Jerusalem?5No indeed! And I tell you that if you do not turn from your sins, you will all die as they did.”
The Parable of the Unfruitful Fig Tree
6Then Jesus told them this parable: “There was once a man who had a fig tree growing in his vineyard. He went looking for figs on it but found none.7So he said to his gardener, ‘Look, for three years I have been coming here looking for figs on this fig tree, and I haven't found any. Cut it down! Why should it go on using up the soil?’8But the gardener answered, ‘Leave it alone, sir, just one more year; I will dig round it and put in some manure.9Then if the tree bears figs next year, so much the better; if not, then you can have it cut down.’ ”
Jesus Heals a Crippled Woman on the Sabbath
10One Sabbath Jesus was teaching in a synagogue. 11A woman there had an evil spirit that had made her ill for eighteen years; she was bent over and could not straighten up at all. 12When Jesus saw her, he called out to her, “Woman, you are free from your illness!”13He placed his hands on her, and at once she straightened herself up and praised God.
14The official of the synagogue was angry that Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, so he spoke up and said to the people, “There are six days in which we should work; so come during those days and be healed, but not on the Sabbath!”
15The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Any one of you would untie your ox or your donkey from the stall and take it out to give it water on the Sabbath.16Now here is this descendant of Abraham whom Satan has kept bound up for eighteen years; should she not be released on the Sabbath?”17His answer made his enemies ashamed of themselves, while the people rejoiced over all the wonderful things that he did.
18Jesus asked, “What is the Kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it with?19It is like this. A man takes a mustard seed and sows it in his field. The plant grows and becomes a tree, and the birds make their nests in its branches.”
22Jesus went through towns and villages, teaching the people and making his way towards Jerusalem. 23Someone asked him, “Sir, will just a few people be saved?”
Jesus answered them, 24“Do your best to go in through the narrow door; because many people will surely try to go in but will not be able.25The master of the house will get up and close the door; then when you stand outside and begin to knock on the door and say, ‘Open the door for us, sir!’ he will answer you, ‘I don't know where you come from!’26Then you will answer, ‘We ate and drank with you; you taught in our town!’27But he will say again, ‘I don't know where you come from. Get away from me, all you wicked people!’28How you will cry and grind your teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God, while you are thrown out!29People will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down at the feast in the Kingdom of God.30Then those who are now last will be first, and those who are now first will be last.”
31At that same time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “You must get out of here and go somewhere else, because Herod wants to kill you.”
32Jesus answered them, “Go and tell that fox: ‘I am driving out demons and performing cures today and tomorrow, and on the third day I shall finish my work.’33Yet I must be on my way today, tomorrow, and the next day; it is not right for a prophet to be killed anywhere except in Jerusalem.
34“Jerusalem, Jerusalem! You kill the prophets, you 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!35And so your Temple will be abandoned. I assure you that you will not see me until the time comes when you say, ‘God bless him who comes in the name of the Lord.’ ”