Luke

Written in Greek by Paul's traveling companion Luke the Physician about 62-CE,
partially based on the Gospel of Matthew.

Note: Much of Luke's Gospel was written as poetry, for this is apparently how Jesus spoke many of his parables,
and Luke in particular told of these parables. As the result, we have attempted to restore the rhythm of his words as closely as possible
to the original poetic style, while attempting to maintain their exact meanings. And to those who would object, claiming that exact words
are more important than style, we ask: Then why did Jesus put so much effort into style?
The answer is obvious; He wanted at least some of his words to be remembered and quoted as parables or proverbs.
Also, this unique teaching style tends to indicate that Jesus was the Lord who spoke the words of God (Jehovah)
to many of the ancient Prophets, since most of those messages were also originally transmitted in poetry.

Chapter 1

1 Since many others have already taken on the job of putting together a statement of the facts regarding the things we believe 2 as they were given to us by those who were eyewitnesses from the earliest [times] and by caretakers of the message; 3 it seemed good for me to trace everything accurately from the start, then write it down for you in the order that it happened, O mighty TheoPhilus, 4 so that you can have confidence in the things you've been taught by word of mouth.

5 In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a Priest named ZechariAh who was of the division of AbiJah. He had a woman named EliZabeth, who was a descendant of Aaron. 6 Both of them were found righteous by God, because they obeyed all the commandments and requirements of Jehovah. 7 However they never had children, and as they were both well up in years, EliZabeth was [beyond child-bearing age].

8 But it was while he was assigned as the Priest before God in his division of Priests that 9 (following the custom of the Priesthood) [ZechariAh] had been chosen by lot to enter the Most Holy of Jehovah to burn incense there. 10 And because it was the hour that the incense was to be offered, a large crowd of people had assembled outside to pray. 11 It was then that Jehovah's messenger appeared to [ZechariAh], just to the right of the incense altar.

12 Well, ZechariAh was very disturbed and frightened by what he saw. 13 However, the messenger said to him: 'Don't be afraid ZechariAh, because the things that you've begged for in your prayers have been favorably heard. So your woman EliZabeth will give birth to a son for you, and you must call his name John (gr. YoHanainJehovah Is Merciful). 14 This will make you very happy and you'll dance with joy… in fact, many people will rejoice at his birth, 15 because he will be great in the eyes of Jehovah.

'[This son] may not drink any wine or liquor at all, and he will be filled with [God's] Holy Breath while he's still in his mother's womb. 16 Thereafter, he will turn many sons of IsraEl back to their God Jehovah, 17 and he will travel before the Lord with the power and spirit of EliJah as he prepares a people for his [coming] by turning the hearts of fathers back to their children and the [hearts] of those who don't obey to righteous good sense (see Malachi 4:5, 6).'

18 But ZechariAh asked the messenger: 'How can I be sure of this? After all, I'm old and my woman is well up in years.'

19 Then the messenger replied: 'I am GabriEl – someone who stands before God – and I was sent to bring this good news to you. 20 But because you didn't believe these words (which will come true right on time), {Look!} you will be silent and you won't able to talk until the day that these things happen.'

21 Meanwhile, the people who were waiting [outside] for ZechariAh started wondering why he was taking so much time in the Most Holy. 22 Then when he came out and couldn't speak, they realized that he had just seen something very unusual… he could gesture signs to them, but he couldn't talk.

23 Well, when the period of his assigned [Temple] service was finished, he went back home, 24 and that's when EliZabeth (his woman) became pregnant. However, she hid herself for five months, because she said: 25 'It is Jehovah's Will that I do this, so that people won't laugh at me.'

26 Then in her sixth month, the Messenger GabriEl was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin who was engaged to a man named JoSeph who was from the house of [King] David. This virgin's name was Mary (gr. Mariam). 28 And when he came to her, he said, 'Rejoice, you most beloved person, because Jehovah is with you!' 29 These words bothered her, because she wondered just what type of greeting that was.

30 Then the messenger said: 'Don't be afraid Mary, because you've found God's favor. 31 Look! You will conceive in your belly and give birth to a son whom you are to name Jesus (heb. YehoShuah or Jehovah's Salvation). 32 He will be great and he'll be called the Son of the Most High, and Jehovah God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 He will then rule over the house of Jacob through the ages, and there will be no end to his Kingdom.'

34 But Mary asked the messenger: 'How can this be possible, since I haven't been with a man?'

35 And the messenger replied: 'The Holy Breath of God will come over you and the Power of the Most High will overshadow you… so what will be born will be called Holy… God's Son. 36 Look! Your relative EliZabeth is also pregnant with a son, even in her old age. And this is the sixth month for this so-called sterile woman, 37 because nothing is impossible when God says it will happen.'

38 Then Mary said: 'Look! I'm Jehovah's slave girl! May this thing that you said happen to me!' And at that, the messenger left her.

39 So after that, Mary got up and quickly traveled to a Judean city located in the hill country, where she 40 entered the home of ZechariAh to speak to EliZabeth. 41 And just as EliZabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby in her womb jumped, and EliZabeth was filled with the Holy Breath [of God], 42 for she shouted aloud: 'You're a blest woman, and the fruit of your womb is blest! 43 So, how is it that the mother of my Lord has come to me? 44 Look! When I heard the sound of your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy! 45 So the woman who believes will be blest, and all things that were spoken to her by the Lord will come true.'

46 Then Mary said:
'I give glorify to Jehovah with my whole soul,
47 And over my God and my Savior,
My body will cry out in joy,
48 Because He's looked down on His lowly slave girl.

'{Look!} By all generations, I'll be called blest,
49 For the Almighty One did great things for me…
The One whose Name is Most Holy.

50 'For generations, He has shown mercy
To those who show that they fear Him.
51 But with His strong arm, He will scatter
Those who think in their hearts that they're better.

52 'He removes kings from their thrones,
And He puts the humble in charge.
53 He fills the hungry with good things,
And He sends the rich off as hungry.

54 'He sent help to IsraEl, His child,
And He's remembered His mercy
55 As He promised to AbraHam, our father,
And to his seed, through the ages.'

56 So Mary stayed there with EliZabeth for about three months, then she went back home.

57 Well, it soon came time for EliZabeth to deliver her baby, and she had a son. 58 So when her neighbors and relatives heard how Jehovah had shown such magnificent mercy toward her, they were all overjoyed. 59 But when they went to circumcise the boy on the eighth day, they expected that he would be named after his father, ZechariAh. 60 However, his mother said: 'Absolutely not! He'll be called John.' 61 But [the neighbors] said, 'That isn't the name of any of your relatives!' 62 So they nodded to the father, to ask what he wanted to call it. 63 And after asking for a tablet, he wrote, 'His name is John'… which really caused them to wonder.

64 And at that, [ZechariAh] suddenly opened his mouth… his tongue came loose, and he started speaking and praising God 65 (which frightened all the neighbors). And thereafter, these things were talked about throughout the hills of Judea. 66 And everyone who heard about it made a note of it in their hearts, for they were all wondering what this little boy would [grow up to] be, since the hand of Jehovah was upon him,

67 Then ZechariAh ([the boy's] father) became filled with [God's] Holy Breath and he spoke this prophesy:

68 'Praise Jehovah, IsraEl's God,
For He looked down and set free His people.
69 He raised the horn of salvation for us
In the house of his servant David,
70 As He promised through the mouths of the holy
Back in the age of the Prophets,
71 To save us from our enemy's hands,
And from the hands of all those who hate us,
72 To fulfill [His] mercy to our fathers
By remembering His Holy Sacred Agreement,
73 And His oath to AbraHam, our father,
74 That we shouldn't fear our enemy's hands,
Because He'll save us, to serve Him,
75 And to loyally stand here before Him
As those who are righteous, through [the rest of] our days.

76 'But, as for you, little boy;
A Prophet of the Most High, you will be called.
For, you will travel in front of the Lord,
And prepare the road that's before him.

77 'You'll tell his people how [they can] be saved
By seeking forgiveness of their sins,
78 Through the tender mercies of God,
Who looks down on us from above
As though it were a new day,
79 Which is shining upon those in the darkness,
And on those who are sitting in the shadow of death.
For he'll straighten [the paths for] our feet,
And guide us in the ways that are leading to peace.'

80 Well, the little boy thereafter grew and he kept getting stronger in the Breath [of God]. Then he went and lived in the desert until the day that he presented himself to IsraEl.

Chapter 2

1 Back in those days, Caesar Augustus had decreed that everyone in the land had to be registered, 2 and this first registration took place when QuiRinius was the governor of Syria. 3 So, everyone had to return to his hometown to be registered. 4 And as the result, JoSeph had to travel from Nazareth in Galilee to David's city of BethLehem in Judea (because he was from the house and family of David) 5 to be registered with Mary, whom he married as he promised, and who was pregnant.

6 It was while they were there that it came time for her to have her baby. 7 So she gave birth to her first son and wrapped him tightly in a cloth, then laid him in a feed trough, because there wasn't any room for them in the lodge.

8 At that time, there were some shepherds staying outdoors in the surrounding countryside, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 Then a messenger of Jehovah [appeared] to them and the glory of Jehovah started shining around them, which frightened them. 10 But the messenger told them: 'Don't be afraid. Look! I'm bringing you good news of great joy for everyone. 11 Because, a Savior – the chosen Lord – has been born to you today in David's city. 12 This is the sign to look for: You'll find an infant wrapped tightly in a cloth and lying in a feed trough.'

13 Then a large heavenly army suddenly appeared with the messenger, praising God and saying:
14 'Glory in the highest to God,
And on the earth, [may there be] peace
Among the people with whom He is pleased.'

15 So, after the messengers [of God] went back into the sky, the shepherds said to each other: 'Let's go to BethLehem and see this thing that Jehovah has revealed to us.' 16 And at that, they went and quickly found Mary and JoSeph, along with the infant who was lying in the feed trough. 17 So when they saw this, they told them what they had been told about the little boy.

18 Well, all those who heard about this were amazed by the things that the shepherds said, 19 and Mary started preserving all these words, drawing conclusions in her heart. 20 However, the shepherds kept on glorifying and praising God for all the things that they saw and the things that they'd heard, just as it had been spoken to them.

21 Then eight days later when the time arrive to circumcise the boy, he was given the name Jesus (gr. YaySous, heb. YehoShua), the name that [God's] messenger said he was to be called before he was conceived in [Mary's] womb.

22 Then at the end of the [seven] days of purification that were required by the Law of Moses, they took him to JeruSalem to present him to Jehovah, 23 exactly as it was written in His Law, 'Every male that opens a womb must be called holy to Jehovah.' 24 So they offered the sacrifice that was specified in the Law; a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.

25 {Look!} [At the time], there was a man in JeruSalem named SimeOn. He was a righteous and devout person who had been awaiting IsraEl's comforter, and [God's] Holy Breath was in him. 26 For it had been divinely shown to him by the Holy Breath that he wouldn't die before he saw the Anointed of Jehovah. 27 And it was because [God's] Breath was leading him that he came to the Temple that day.

So as the parents were bringing the boy (Jesus) in to do what the Law customarily required, 28 [SimeOn] took him in his arms and praised God saying:
29 'Now, O Sovereign Lord,
You can set Your slave free in peace, as You said,
30 For my eyes have seen this one who will save…
31 The one You provided for all men to see…
32 The revealing light to all nations,
And a glory to IsraEl, Your people.'

33 Well, [Jesus'] father and mother were amazed by all the things that he said about him, 34 and SimeOn also blest them. However he said this [Jesus'] mother (Mary):
'Look… this child has been appointed
To lift and lower many within IsraEl.
For he'll serve as a sign that is spoken against,
35 And your soul will be pierced by a sword,
Which will show the thoughts many have in their hearts.'

36 There was also the Prophetess AnNa (a daughter of the tribe of Asher). This woman was well up in years and had only been married for seven years from her virginity. 37 She was now an eighty-four-year-old widow who was always at the Temple, serving there day and night, fasting, and praying. 38 And in that same hour, she stood up and gave thanks to God as she talked about [the child] to all those who were awaiting JeruSalem's release by ransom.

39 Then, after [JoSeph and Mary] did everything that Jehovah's Law required, they went back to their home in Nazareth of Galilee. 40 So the little boy grew to become strong and filled with wisdom, as God continued to show favor upon him.

41 Well each year, his parents would travel to JeruSalem for the Festival of the Passover. 42 And when he was twelve years old, they again followed the custom of going to the festival. 43 But after the festival days were over and as they were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in JeruSalem… and his parents didn't notice it. 44 So, assuming that he was somewhere in the company of the people traveling together, they were a day's journey away before they finally started searching for him among their relatives and friends. 45 And when they couldn't find him, they returned to JeruSalem to look for him.

46 It took them three days, but they finally found him in the Temple sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking questions… 47 and his understanding and answers amazed everyone who heard him.

48 Well, since they had been in a panic as they searched for him, his mother said: 'Child; Why did you treat us this way? Your father and I have been worried to death searching for you!'

49 But he replied: 'Why did you have to search for me? Didn't you know that I had to be in the House of my Father?' 50 However, they really didn't understand what he was saying.

51 Then, after he returned home to Nazareth with them, he always obeyed them, and his mother carefully kept all these things that were said in her heart. 52 So Jesus continued to progress in wisdom, physical growth, and in the favor of God and men.

Chapter 3

1 It was in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea and Herod was district ruler of Galilee (but Philip his brother was district ruler of the countries of Ituraea and Trachonitis), and Lysanias was district ruler of Abilene, 2 in the days of High Priests AnNas and CaiAphas, that God's words came to John, the son of ZechariAh, [while he was] in the desert. 3 So he traveled throughout the country around the Jordan preaching a baptism of repentance for forgiveness of sins, 4 just as it was written about him in the book of the Prophet IsaiAh:

'Listen!
Someone calls out in the desert:
Prepare the way for the Lord.
Straighten out all of his roads;
5 Fill the gullies and level the mountains and hills;
Straighten the curves and smooth-out the ruts,
6 So all flesh will be able to see
What God has provided to save them.'

7 And as he saw the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, he said to them: 'Children of vipers; Who has frightened you into fleeing the rage that is about to arrive? 8 First you must produce the type of fruit that shows you're ready for repentance!

And you shouldn't say of yourselves, We have AbraHam as our father, because I tell you that God has the power to raise children of AbraHam from these stones! 9 Why, the ax is now lying at the roots of the trees and every tree that doesn't produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire!'

10 So the crowds started asking him: 'Then what we must do?'

11 And he replied: 'Those who have two suits of clothes should share them with those who have none, and those who have something to eat should do the same thing.'

12 Why, even the tax collectors came to be baptized. And when they asked, 'Teacher, what should we do?' 13 He told them, 'Just collect a fair tax.'

14 Also, when those in the military came and asked him what they should do, he told them that they shouldn't harass or falsely accuse anyone, and to be satisfied with just their provisions.

15 Since the people had been looking for [the coming of the Messiah] at the time, everyone was wondering in their hearts whether John was the Anointed One. 16 But John told them this: 'My part is just to baptize in water. However, someone greater is coming behind me whose sandals I'm unfit to untie, and he'll baptize you people with fire and the Breath [of God]. 17 His shovel is already in his hand, and he's going to sweep his threshing floor clean. Then he'll carry the wheat to his barn, but he'll burn the chaff with an unquenchable fire.'

18 [John] also said many encouraging things as he was preaching the good news to the people.

19 However, Herod (the district ruler) had been scolded [by John] because of Herodias (his brother's woman), and because of all the other bad things that he was doing. 20 And [eventually], Herod added to this [badness] by locking John in jail.

21 Well, it was after all the [other] people had been baptized that [John] also baptized Jesus. And as he was praying, the sky opened up 22 and the Holy Breath came down upon [Jesus] in the shape of a dove. Then a voice came out of the sky [that said]: 'You're My beloved Son and I approve of you.'

23 Well, Jesus came into his power when he was about thirty years old, being the son (as the opinion was) of JoSeph, of Heli, 24 of MatThat, of Levi, of Melchi, of JanNai, of JoSeph, 25 of MatTathias, of Amos, of Nahum, of Esli, of NagGai, 26 of MaAth, of MatTathias, of Semein, of JoSech, of Joda, 27 of JoAnan, of Rhesa, of ZerubBabel, of ShealthiEl, of Neri, 28 of Melchi, of Addi, of Cosam, of ElMadam, of Er, 29 of JoShua, of EliEzer, of JoRim, of MatThat, of Levi, 30 of Symeon, of Judas, of JoSeph, of JoNam, of EliAkim, 31 of Melea, of MenNa, of MatTatha, of Nathan, of David, 32 of Jesse, of Obed, of Boaz, of Salmon, of NahShon, 33 of AmiNadab, of Arni, of HezRon, of Perez, of Judah, 34 of Jacob, of IsaAc, of AbraHam, of Terah, of Nahor, 35 of Serug, of Reu, of Peleg, of Heber, of SheLah, 36 of Kainan, of ArPachShad, of Shem, of Noah, of Lamech, 37 of MethuSelah, of Enoch, of Jared, of MaHalaleEl, of Kainan, 38 of Enosh, of Seth, of Adam, of God.

Chapter 4

1 [Well after this happened], Jesus became filled with the Holy Breath. Then he left the Jordan, and [God's] Breath led him into the desert, 2 where he was tempted by the Slanderer for forty days. But because he hadn't eaten anything during that entire period, he became very hungry. 3 So the Slanderer came to him and said: 'If you are a son of The God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread!'

4 But Jesus told him, 'It is written: People can't live on just bread… they also need the Word of God.'

5 So [the Slanderer] took him up on a mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the earth in an instant of time, 6 and he said: 'I will give you glory and power over all of these. For they've all been given to me, and I can give them to whomever I wish. 7 They will all be yours if you'll just bow to your face before me.'

8 But Jesus replied: 'It is written:
You should bow low before Jehovah, your God,
And Him alone, should you serve.'

9 Then [the Slanderer] took him into JeruSalem and put him on one of the Temple's highest towers, and said: 'If you're a son of The God, jump down from here; 10 for it is written:
He'll order His messengers to protect you;
11 So they'll lift you up on their hands,
So you won't bump your foot on a stone.'

12 But Jesus replied: 'It is also said, You must not put Jehovah your God to the test.'

13 So after the Slanderer finished his tempting, he left him until the appointed time.

14 Then the Power of [God's] Breath moved Jesus to return to Galilee, and his fame spread throughout all that area. 15 He also started teaching in the synagogues, where he was honored by everyone.

16 Well, when he got to Nazareth (where he was brought up); as was his custom on the Sabbaths, he went into the synagogue and stood up to read. 17 Then someone handed the scroll of the Prophet IsaiAh, so he opened it and found the place where it said:
18 'Jehovah's Breath is upon me,
And I've been anointed by Him
To teach good news to the poor.

'He sent me to heal broken hearts;
To proclaim a release to the captives;
A regaining of sight to the blind;
Deliverance to those who have been oppressed;
19 And to announce a year of [God's] favor.'

20 Then he rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant and sat back down, as everyone in the synagogue was staring at him. 21 And he said: 'Today, this scripture that you just heard, has been fulfilled!'

22 Well after that, everyone started praising him as they marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth. But they were also asking: 'Isn't this JoSeph's son?'

23 So he told them: 'You would undoubtedly like to apply the words to me, Heal yourself, doctor! And, Do all the things that we heard you did in CapharNaum here in your own hometown!'

24 Then he said, 'I tell you the truth: No Prophet is ever accepted in his own hometown. 25 Therefore, though it's a fact that there were many widows in IsraEl back in the days of EliJah – back when the skies were closed up for three-and-a-half years, causing a terrible famine in the land – 26 EliJah wasn't sent to any of them; he was just sent to a widow in the land of Sidon. 27 And though there were many lepers in IsraEl during the time of the Prophet EliSha; the only one who was cleansed was NaAman, a Syrian.'

28 Well, this made everyone who heard him say this in the synagogue very angry, 29 so they got up and pushed him outside to the edge of the mountain upon which the city was built, and they wanted to throw him down headfirst. 30 But he just walked through their midst and continued on his way.

31 From there, he went on to CapharNaum (a city in Galilee), where he again taught on the Sabbath. 32 And those [people] were amazed by his way of teaching, because he spoke with such great authority. 33 There he found a man in that synagogue [who was possessed by] an unclean demon. And [the demon] shouted at him: 34 'Ah! What dealings do we have with you, Jesus… you Nazarene? Did you come here to destroy us? I know exactly who you are; [You're] the Holy One of God!'

35 But Jesus scolded it saying, 'Put a muzzle on it and come out of him!' So the demon threw the man down in their midst, then it came out without hurting him.

36 Well, everyone was astonished and they all started speaking to each other and asking, 'What kind of talk is this? He gives orders to unclean spirits with authority and power, and out they come!' 37 So the news about him was echoed everywhere throughout that entire region.

38 Then, after he left that synagogue, he went to Simon's house. And there, Simon's mother-in-law was ill with a high fever, so they asked him to help her. 39 Then he stood over her, scolded the fever, and it left her. So she got right up and started serving him.

40 Well at sunset, all those who had people that were sick with various infirmities brought them to him, and he laid his hands on each one and cured them. 41 Demons also came out of many of them, shouting, 'You're the Son of The God!' But because they knew that he was the Anointed One, he scolded them and he wouldn't allow them to speak.

42 Then the next day, he left and walked out to an isolated place. But the crowds started searching for him, and when they finally found him, they tried to prevent him from leaving. 43 But he told them: 'I have to preach the good news of the Kingdom of God to other cities… for that's the reason why I was sent here.'

44 So thereafter, he preached in the synagogues throughout all of Galilee.

Chapter 5

1 Well, there was an occasion when people were crowded very close to [Jesus], listening to the word of God, while he was standing beside Lake GenNesaret. 2 So, noticing two boats that were docked at the lakeside where the fishermen had gotten out and were washing off their nets, 3 [Jesus] got into one of the boats that belonged to Simon, and he asked him to pull a short distance from the land. Then he sat down and he started teaching the crowds from the boat. 4 And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon: 'Now, pull out to where it's deep and let down your nets for a catch.'

5 But Simon replied: 'Lord; We worked all night long and we didn't catch anything. However, because you asked, I'll lower the nets.'

6 Well when they did this, they netted a huge number of fish. In fact, their nets started to rip, 7 so they waved to their partners in another boat to come help them. And when they got there, they filled both boats to the point where they were about to sink!

8 And at seeing this, Simon (Peter) fell down at Jesus' knees and said, 'Get away from me, because I'm a sinful man, O Lord!' 9 [He said this] because, when they brought in so many fish, Simon and those who were with him were amazed and overwhelmed… 10 as were his partners James and John (the sons of Zebedaiou).

But Jesus said to Simon: 'Stop being afraid! For from now on, you're going to be catching men!' 11 So then they rowed their boats back to land and they just walked away from everything to follow him.

12 On another occasion, while he was in one of the cities, {Look!} there was a man who was full of leprosy. And when he saw Jesus, he fell to his face and begged: 'Lord; If you just want to, you can make me clean!'

13 So [Jesus] stuck out his hand and touched him, saying, 'I want to… be clean.' And immediately, the leprosy left the man. 14 Then he ordered the man not to tell anyone about this, saying, 'Go and show yourself to the Priests and give an offering for your cleansing as a witness to them, just as Moses commanded.'

15 However, word about him kept spreading, and huge crowds would assemble to listen and to be cured of their illnesses. 16 As the result, [Jesus] had to go off into the desert even to pray.

17 Well, several days later (as he was teaching), some Pharisees and teachers of the Law were there [sitting among a crowd] of people who had come from every village of Galilee, Judea, and from JeruSalem, because [Jesus] was healing by the power of Jehovah. 18 Then {Look!} some men arrived who were carrying a paralyzed man that was lying on a cot, and they were trying to find a way to bring the man to [Jesus]. 19 But because they couldn't get through the crowd, they climbed up on the roof and lowered the little cot through the tiles, down in front of Jesus. 20 And when he saw their faith, he said: 'Man; Your sins are forgiven!'

21 Well at that, the scribes and Pharisees started asking each other, 'Just who is this that talks so blasphemously? Who can forgive sins other than The God?'

22 But Jesus recognized what they were thinking and he asked them: 'What are you concluding in your hearts? 23 Which is easier to say, Your sins are forgiven, or, Get up and walk? 24 But, just so you'll know that the Son of Man has been given the authority to forgive sins on the earth,' he then said to the paralyzed man: 'I tell you; Get up, pick up your little cot, and go home!' 25 And at that, the man stood right up before them all, then he picked up the [cot] that he had been lying on and went home, glorifying God. 26 Well, everyone was delighted and they too started glorifying God. But they were also frightened and said, 'We've seen some very strange things today!'

27 Well after that, [Jesus] went out and he noticed a tax collector named Levi sitting in the tax office, and he said to him, 'Come be my follower!' 28 Well, [Levi] got right up, and leaving everything behind, he started following him.

29 And thereafter, Levi held a big reception feast for [Jesus] in his home, where a large crowd of tax collectors and others were reclining with him at the meal. 30 So the Pharisees and their scribes started complaining to the disciples, asking, 'Why is he eating and drinking with the tax collectors and sinners?'

31 But Jesus told them: 'Those who are healthy don't need a doctor, only the sick do. 32 So I came to call sinners to repentance, not righteous people.'

33 Then later on, they also said: 'John's disciples and those of the Pharisees fast frequently in order to make requests [of God]. But your [disciples] just go on eating and drinking!'

34 And Jesus told them: 'Friends of the bridegroom can't be expected to fast while the groom is with them, can they? 35 But the days will surely come when the groom will be taken away; and in those days, they will fast.'

36 Then he gave them this illustration:
'No one cuts a patch from new clothes
To repair a rip in the old;
For, if they do, the patch will rip out…
And the new patch won't match the old anyhow.

37 'And they don't put new wine in old wineskins.
For new wine will burst the old skins,
Breaking the skins and spilling the wine…
38 So new wine is put in new wineskins.
39 And all who have tasted the old wine,
Don't want the new, anyhow;
For they say that the old [wine] is better!'

Chapter 6

1 Now, [Jesus] happened to be walking through some grain fields on a Sabbath and his disciples had been picking the grain, rubbing it in their hands, and eating it. 2 So some of the Pharisees asked him, 'Why are they doing something that isn't legal on the Sabbath?'

3 And Jesus replied: 'Haven't you ever read how David did the same thing when he and his men got hungry… 4 how he went into the Temple of God and ate the presentation bread, sharing some with his men… something that isn't legal for anyone to eat other than the Priests?' 5 Then he added, 'The Son of Man is the Lord of the Sabbath!'

6 And on another Sabbath, he again went into the synagogue and started teaching. Well, there he found a man whose right hand was withered, 7 and the scribes and Pharisees were watching [Jesus] closely to see if he would cure him on the Sabbath, so they could accuse him of some wrongdoing. 8 However, because [Jesus] knew what they were thinking, he said to the man with the withered hand: 'Get up and go stand in the center [of the room].' So [the man went over there] and stood. 9 Then Jesus asked them all: 'Is it legal to do good or bad, or to save a life or destroy it on the Sabbath?' 10 And after looking around at everyone, he said to the man: 'Now stretch out your hand.' And when he did, his hand was healed! 11 Nevertheless, [the scribes and Pharisees] went into a rage, and they started talking to each other about what they could do to Jesus.

12 It was also about this time that Jesus went up a mountain to pray, and he spent the whole night there in prayer to God. 13 Then the next day, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them whom he started calling Apostles (Sent Ones). 14 There was Simon (whom he also named Peter) and his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, BarTholomew ([NathaniEl]), 15 Matthew, Thomas, James ([the son] of AlphaEus), Simon (who is called the zealous one), 16 Judas ([ThadDaeus]) [the son] of James, and Judas IsCariot (who turned traitor).

17 Well, after they came down [the mountain], he found a level spot where a large group of his disciples (as well as a huge crowd of people from Judea, JeruSalem, and the seaside areas of Tyre and Sidon) came to listen to him and to be healed of their illnesses. 18 And there, as many people who had been bothered by unclean spirits were being healed, 19 everyone in the crowd was trying to touch him; so power flowed from him, and he healed them all.

20 Then he looked at his disciples and he said this to them:
'Blest are the poor, for theirs is the Kingdom of God;
21 Blest are the hungry, for they will be filled;
And blest are those who are crying,
For they will find reasons to laugh.

22 'You are blest whenever men hate you
And do not wish to be with you;
Or when they say bad things about you
And call you wicked for the Son of Man's sake.
23 In that day, be happy, and jump for joy,
For {Look!} your reward in the heavens is great,
Since these are the very same things
That their fathers used to say of the Prophets.

24 'But, woe to you who are rich,
For you won't receive any comfort.
25 And woe to you with full [stomachs],
For you will be the ones going hungry.
Also, woe to you who are laughing,
Because you will cry out and mourn.
26 Yes, woe when they say nice things about you,
For that's what their fathers said of false prophets.

27 'I say this to you who will listen:
You should love all those who oppose you,
And do good to all those who hate you.
28 Yes, praise the ones who would curse you,
And pray for those who insult you.

29 'If someone should slap you on [the right] cheek,
Turn [your left] to him also.
And if someone should take all your clothes,
Offer your underwear too.

30 'To each one who asks, you should give,
And don't tell them that they must repay you…
31 Treat others as you wish to be treated.

32 'If you love just those who love you,
What kind of good are you doing…
Even sinners love those who love them.

33 'And if you're good to just those who do good for you,
What kindness are you really showing…
Even sinners will do the same thing.

34 'Also, if you lend without interest
To those whom you expect to repay,
What kind of good deed are you doing…
For, sinners lend to sinners without interest
When they know that they'll be repaid.

35 'So, love those [who hate you] and do what is good,
And lend without hope of return;
Then you will receive a better reward…
You'll be the sons of the Most High,
Who is kind to even the bad and ungrateful.
36 So show mercy as your Father shows mercy.

37 'Do not judge [others], so you won't be judged…
Don't condemn, and you won't be condemned…
Set free, and you'll be free.

38 'Give to others and you will receive…
They'll give you a generous portion,
Overflowing and tightly packed down.
For the amount that you measure [to others]
Is the amount that they'll measure to you.

39 Then he spoke these parables to them:

'If a blind man leads a blind man, won't they both fall into a pit?

40 'A disciple isn't over his teacher, but those who learn [from their teachers] will become like their teachers.

41 'Why look for chaff in the eye of your brother, when you can't see the rafter in your own eye? 42 For, how can you say to your brother, Let me remove that [chaff] from your eye, when you can't see the rafter in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the rafter from your own eye, and then you'll be able to clearly see how you can remove the [chaff] from your brother's eye.

43 'A good tree doesn't produce rotten fruit and a rotten tree doesn't produce good fruit… 44 and all trees are known by their fruit. So as you don't pick figs from briers, and you don't cut grapes from thorn bushes; 45 a good man brings good things from the good that he's treasured in his heart, while the wicked just bring bad things, because their mouths speak from the wickedness that they've treasured in their hearts.

46 'And why call out to me and say, Lord, Lord, if you don't choose to do the things that I tell you to do? 47 Those who come here to listen to me and then do what I say 48 are like the man who dug down to solid rock to lay the foundation for his house. So when the floods came and the river washed against it, his house wasn't shaken because it had a strong foundation. 49 But those who listen to me and don't do what I say are like the man who built his house on the ground without a foundation. So when the river washed against it, it collapsed, resulting in great damage.'

Chapter 7

1 Well, after he had finished saying all these things within earshot of the people, he traveled on to CapharNaum. 2 And there, a [Roman] centurion who had a trusted servant that was sick and near death 3 sent some Judean elders to ask him to come and save his slave's life (for he'd heard about Jesus). 4 So they quickly went to Jesus and begged him, saying: '[The centurion] is worthy of your doing this for him, 5 because he loves our nation and he built a synagogue for us!' 6 So Jesus went off with them.

However, he wasn't very far from the house when the centurion sent his friends to say, 'Sir, don't bother [to come here], because I'm unfit to have you under my roof. 7 It's only because I consider myself so unworthy that I didn't come to you personally. So just say the word and [I know that] my servant will be healed. 8 For I'm also a man who has been given authority, since I have soldiers that are under me. So if I tell this one to leave, he leaves, and if I tell that one to come, he comes… whatever I tell my servants to do, they do.'

9 Well when Jesus heard this, he was amazed, and he turned to the crowd that was following him and said: 'I tell you; I haven't found this much faith anywhere in IsraEl!' 10 And then, after the friends who were sent returned to the man's house, they found his slave to be in good health.

11 Then from there, Jesus traveled with his disciples (there was quite a crowd of them) to a city called Nain. 12 And as he was approaching the city gate, {Look!} they happened to be carrying out [the body] of a man who had just died… the only son of a woman who was a widow and who was being followed by a large crowd [of mourners]. 13 So when the Lord saw her, he was moved with pity and he said to her, 'Stop crying.' 14 Then he went over and touched the open casket, so the pallbearers stopped. And he said: 'Young man; I tell you to get up!'

15 Well at that, the dead man sat straight up and started talking… and then [Jesus] gave him to his mother.

16 Of course, everyone was startled by this, and they all started glorifying God, saying, 'A great Prophet has been raised among us,' and, 'God has started paying attention to His people!' 17 So thereafter, the news about him was spread throughout all of Judea and all the lands roundabout.

18 Meanwhile, John's disciples had been reporting back to him about the things that were happening. 19 So John called two of his disciples and sent them to the Lord to ask, 'Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?' 20 And when they got to [Jesus], the men told him: 'John the Baptist sent us to ask if you're the Anointed One, or if we are to expect someone else.'

21 Well during that hour, Jesus cured many people who were ill, or in great pain, or who had wicked spirits, and he granted many blind people the gift of vision. 22 And after that, he told [John's disciples]: 'Now, go back and report what you've seen and heard to John. [Tell him that] the blind are seeing, the lame are walking, the lepers are being cleansed, the deaf are hearing, the dead are being raised, and the poor are hearing the good news… 23 so the one who isn't stumbled by me will be blest.'

24 Well, after John's messengers left, he asked the crowd this about John:
'What did you go to the desert to see…
Reeds being blown in the wind?
25 Yes, what did you go out to see…
A man who is dressed in soft clothes?
Those who dress and live well,
Are those who are living in mansions.

26 'So, what did you go out to see… a Prophet? Yes, and I say, much more than a Prophet, 27 for he's the one of whom it was written:
{Look!} I'm sending My messenger before him,
To prepare the road that he'll travel.

28 'I tell you this: Of those born of women, no one is greater than John. Yet, the least in the Kingdom of God will be greater than him.'

29 Well, when all the common people and the tax collectors heard this, they praised God's righteousness, because they had been baptized with John's baptism. 30 But the Pharisees and those who were trained in the Law disregarded this counsel from God and they didn't go out to be baptized by John. 31 [So, Jesus said to them]: 'To whom should I compare this generation… who are they really like? 32 They're like children in the markets that shout at each other and say:
We played the flute, but you didn't dance…
We wailed, but you didn't cry.

33 For when John the Baptist arrived, he didn't feast and he didn't drink any wine… so you said that he has a demon! 34 But when the Son of Man came eating and drinking, you called him an alcoholic and a glutton… a friend to tax collectors and sinners! 35 However, wisdom is proven righteous by her children.'

36 Then one of the Pharisees invited [Jesus] to dine with him, so he went to the Pharisee's house and reclined at his table. 37 There, {Look!}when a woman of the city (a known sinner) learned that [Jesus] was going to recline for a meal in the house of the Pharisee, she brought in an alabaster jar of perfumed ointment, 38 and she reclined behind him at his feet and wept, wetting his feet with her tears then wiping them dry with her hair, as she kissed his feet tenderly and greased them with the perfumed ointment.

39 Well when the Pharisee who invited him saw this, he thought to himself: 'If this man was truly a Prophet, he'd know who it is and just what kind of woman is touching him… she's a sinner!'

40 Then Jesus said: 'Simon, I have something to tell you.'

And [Simon] replied: 'Go ahead and tell it, Teacher!'

41 'Two men each owed money to a certain lender; one was in debt for five hundred silver coins and the other for fifty. 42 Well, when neither could pay him back, he freely forgave them both. So, which one will love him more?'

43 Then Simon answered: 'I guess it's the one for whom he forgave the most.'

And [Jesus] said: 'You judged correctly.'

44 Then Jesus turned and looked at the woman, and he said to Simon: 'Do you see this woman? When I entered your house, you didn't give me any water for my feet… yet this woman wet my feet with her tears and she wiped them dry with her hair. 45 And you didn't greet me with a kiss… yet from the time that I entered, this woman has been tenderly kissing my feet. 46 You didn't grease my head with oil either… yet this woman greased my feet with perfumed ointment. 47 So I tell you: Although she has many sins, they are forgiven because she showed a lot of love. However, someone who hasn't been forgiven much, doesn't love much.'

48 Then he told her: 'Your sins are forgiven.'

49 Well at that, those who were reclining at the table with him started wondering within themselves, 'Just who is this man that [thinks he can] even forgive sins?'

50 But he said to the woman: 'Your faith has saved you. Go your own way in peace.'

Chapter 8

1 Well after that, [Jesus] started traveling from city to city and village to village with the twelve, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God. 2 Also [traveling with him] were some women whom [he had] cured of wicked spirits and illnesses. There was Mary (who is called the Magdalean) from whom seven demons had come out, 3 Joanna (the wife of Chuza, Herod's top aid), as well as Susanna and many others who were serving his needs from their possessions.

4 Well, when a large crowd had gathered (along with those who were traveling with him from city to city), he spoke to them using this parable:
5 'A farmer went out to plant seeds.
And as he was planting, some fell by the road,
Which were walked on, and birds came to eat them.
6 Others fell among rocks,
Where they dried up after they sprouted
Because there was too little water.
7 Still others fell among thorns,
Which grew and then choked them out.
8 But some fell on the good soil and grew,
Producing fruit a hundred times more.'

And after he said this, he shouted: 'Let those who have ears to hear, listen to me!'

9 Well, his disciples later asked him what this parable meant. 10 So he said: 'While you've been allowed to understand the mysteries of the Kingdom of God, the rest just hear the stories. So when they look, they look in vain, and when they hear, they don't understand.

11 'Now, the illustration means this: The seeds are the Word of God. 12 Those [that fall] by the road are those that hear, but the Slanderer comes and snatches the Word from their hearts, so they don't believe and get saved.

13 'Those that fall on the rocks are the ones that hear and welcome the word with joy; but because they don't have any roots, they only believe for a season. For when a time of testing comes along, they fall away.

14 'As for those that fall among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard, but because of their daily concerns such as [seeking] wealth and the pleasures of living, they are choked out and fail to produce any fruit.

15 'However, [those that fall] on the good soil have good and pure hearts; and after hearing the Word, they remember it and keep bearing fruit. 16 For, no one who lights a lamp thereafter covers it with a pot or hides it under a bed… they put it on a lampstand, so those who step in can see by the light.
17 So there's nothing hidden that will not be shown,
Or anything covered that will not be known,
And then be brought out in the open.

18 'So pay attention to the way that you listen;
For, those who have will be given more.
But, as for those who have nothing;
What they think that they have will be taken from them.'

19 It was then that [Jesus'] mother and brothers came to see him, but they were unable to reach him because of the crowd. 20 So someone came up to him and said: 'Your mother and brothers are standing outside and [they] want to see you.'

21 But he replied: 'My mother and brothers are these who hear the word of God and obey it.'

22 Well, some days later, [Jesus] and his disciples got into a boat, and he said to them: 'Let's cross over to the other side of the lake.' So they set off. 23 And as they were sailing, he fell asleep. However, a violent windstorm soon came down on the lake and the boat started taking on water, putting them in a dangerous situation. 24 So [the disciples] went over and woke Jesus up and said, 'Master… Master… We're about to drown!' Then when he awoke, he scolded the wind and the raging water, which made them become very calm and peaceful. 25 And he asked them: 'Where is your faith?'

Well, they were frightened and awestruck [by what had happened], and they started asking each other, 'Who really is this? For he even orders the wind and waves and they obey him!'

26 Then from there, they sailed on to the country of the GeraSenes, which is on the shore directly across from Galilee. 27 And when he stepped out on land, a demonized man from the city came to meet him. This man hadn't worn clothing for some time, and he didn't live in a house, for he stayed among the tombs. 28 And when he saw Jesus, he screamed and fell down in front of him, shouting: 'What dealings do I have with you, Jesus, you Son of the Most High God? I beg you… Don't torment me!' 29 ([He said this, because Jesus] had ordered the unclean spirit to come out of the man).

[This man had been] arrested repeatedly, then bound with chains and leg irons, and put under guard. But he would break the chains, and the demons forced him to [live in] such isolated places.

30 So Jesus asked him: 'What is your name?'

And they replied: 'Legion' (because many demons had entered him). 31 And they kept begging him not to order them to go away into the abyss.

32 Well, a large herd of pigs was feeding there on the mountain; so they begged [Jesus] to allow them to go into [the pigs]… and he gave them permission. 33 Then the demons came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the whole herd ran down a steep drop-off into the lake and drowned. 34 So when the herders saw what had happened, they ran and reported it throughout the city and countryside. 35 As the result, the people all came to see what had happened; and when they got to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had come out wearing clothes and in his right mind there at Jesus' feet… and this frightened them.

36 Then those who saw all that had happened told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured. 37 And the huge number who came from the surrounding area started begging [Jesus] to leave them, because they were so frightened. So he stepped back into the boat for their return.

38 However, the man from whom the demons had come out started begging [Jesus] to let him go back with him. But he sent the man away, saying, 39 'Just go home and tell everyone about all the things that God has done for you.' So the man went away and spread the word about what Jesus had done throughout the whole city.

40 Well, a crowd was waiting for Jesus when he got back, because they were all expecting him. 41 And {Look!} a man named JaiRus (who was a presiding officer of the [local] synagogue) came to him and fell at Jesus' feet, begging him to come to his home, 42 because his only daughter (who was about twelve years old) was dying.

Then, as he was on his way [to the man's house], the people were all crowded around him. 43 And a woman who had [been experiencing] a blood flow for some twelve years (and whom no one had been able to cure) 44 came up behind him and touched the fringe of his robe… and her flow of blood stopped instantly.

45 So Jesus asked, 'Who touched me?'

Well, everyone denied it. And Peter said: 'Master; there's a whole crowd of people around you [and they're all] touching you!'

46 But Jesus said: 'Someone else touched me, because I felt the power leaving me.'

47 So, seeing that [what she did] didn't go unnoticed, the woman came up trembling and fell down in front of Jesus, then she told everyone why she touched him and of how she had been healed instantly. 48 So [Jesus] said to her: 'Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go your own way in peace.'

49 Then, as he was still talking, someone came up beside the presiding officer of the synagogue and said, 'Your daughter has died, so don't bother the teacher anymore.'

50 But when he heard this, Jesus said to the man: 'Don't be afraid; just have faith and she'll be saved.'

51 Well when he got to the man's house, he wouldn't let anyone go inside with him other than Peter, John, James, and the girl's father and mother. 52 Meanwhile, the people were all crying and beating themselves in grief over her. So he said to them: 'Stop crying! The girl isn't dead, she's just sleeping.'

53 Well, they all started laughing at him, because they all knew that she had died. 54 But then he went inside and took her by the hand and called her, saying, 'Child, get up'… 55 and she started breathing, then she stood up! So he told [her parents] to give her something to eat. 56 They were of course beside themselves [with joy]… but he warned them not to tell anyone what had really happened.

Chapter 9

1 Thereafter, he assembled the twelve and he gave them power and authority over the demons and [the power] to cure illnesses. 2 And then he sent them off to preach about the Kingdom of God and to do healing. 3 He told them: 'Don't carry anything with you… not a staff, or a food pouch, or bread, or silver, or even two pairs of underwear. 4 But wherever you enter a home, lodge there and go out [to preach]. 5 And wherever people fail to welcome you, shake the dust off your feet as you are leaving that city, as a witness against them.'

6 So they left and traveled throughout all the villages, declaring the good news and curing people everywhere.

7 Now, Herod (the district ruler) had heard about everything that was happening, and he was bothered by doubts. For, some were saying that he was really John who had been raised from the dead, 8 while others were saying that EliJah had appeared, and still others were saying that he was one of the ancient Prophets who had risen. 9 So Herod said: 'Since I beheaded John, who is this about whom I'm hearing such things?' And he looked for an opportunity to see [Jesus].

10 Well, after the Apostles had returned [from their preaching], they told [Jesus] about everything that they had done. Then he took them along with him to a place where they could all be alone, close to a city called BethSaida. 11 However, when the crowds learned where he was going, they followed him… and he kindly welcomed them and started speaking to them about the Kingdom of God, as he healed those who needed a cure.

12 Well, as the day was drawing to a close, the twelve came to him and said: 'You should dismiss the crowd so they can go into the villages and surrounding countryside to find provisions and a place to rest, because this is a very desolate place.'

13 But he said: 'Why don't you give them something to eat?'

And they replied: 'We don't have anything… other than five loaves [of bread] and two fish. Should we go out and buy food for all these people… 14 for there are about five thousand of them!'

But he told his disciples: 'Have them recline as they do at meals in rows of about fifty each.'

15 So [the Apostles] did this, and everyone reclined on the ground. 16 Then he took the five [loaves of] bread and the two fish, and after looking up to the heavens, he spoke a blessing over them, broke them up, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. 17 Then everyone ate until they were satisfied… and [afterward], they picked up twelve baskets of leftovers!

18 Well later, as he was praying in a quiet spot, his disciples came to him and he asked them: 'Who are the crowds saying that I am?

19 And they replied: 'Some say you're John the Baptist or EliJah, while others are saying that you're one of the ancient Prophets who has been raised.'

20 Then he asked: 'You though; Who do you say that I am?'

And Peter replied: '[You're] the Anointed of God.'

21 And at that, he firmly instructed them not to say this to anyone. 22 Then he told them: 'The Son of Man must suffer many things… he will be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and he will be killed. But on the third day, he will awaken.'

23 And after that, he said this to everyone: 'If anyone wishes to follow me, he must forego all his wants, then pick up his impaling pole each day and just keep following me. 24 For those who wish to save their lives will lose them, while those who lose their lives for my sake will save them. 25 Indeed, what profit is there for a man who gains the whole world just to lose it or to be destroyed? 26 But if anyone is ashamed of me and what I'm saying; the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he arrives in his glory and the glory of the Father and His holy messengers. 27 Yet I tell you the truth; Some [of you who are] standing here will not taste death until you've seen the Kingdom of God!'

28 Well, just as he said, this is what happened about eight days later. For he'd taken Peter, John, and James up on a mountain to pray; 29 and as he was praying, his face changed and his clothes started to glow. 30 Then {Look!} two men appeared and started talking to him… it was Moses and EliJah31 they could recognize them! And these men started talking [to Jesus] about his departure that was about to be fulfilled in JeruSalem.

32 Well, Peter and the others had been very sleepy. But when they saw his glory and the two men standing with him, they were suddenly wide-awake. 33 And through the separation between them, Peter said to Jesus: 'Master; It's good for us to be here, so let us erect three tents… one for you, one for Moses, and one for EliJah' (but he really didn't know what he was saying). 34 And just as he said that, a cloud formed and started to cover them. Then [Moses and EliJah] disappeared into the cloud, which frightened [the Apostles]. 35 And a voice came from the cloud that said, 'This is My Son… the one whom I've chosen. Listen to him!'

36 Well, after they heard the voice, they suddenly saw Jesus standing all by himself. But back then, they didn't say anything or tell anyone about the things that they saw.

37 Then the next day, as they were coming down the mountain, they were met by a huge crowd. 38 And {Look!} a man shouted from the crowd: 'Teacher! I beg you to take a look at my son, for he's the only one that I have! 39 Look! A spirit comes over him and he screams; then it throws him into convulsions and he foams [at the mouth]. And though it stops after that, it leaves him all bruised. 40 I begged your disciples to throw it out, but they couldn't do it!'

41 So Jesus said: 'O faithless and twisted generation; How much longer must I stay among you and put up with you? Bring your son over here!'

42 However, just as [the son] was approaching, the demon threw him to the ground and forced him into a violent convulsion. But Jesus scolded the unclean spirit, healed the boy, and gave him back to his father… and everyone was astonished by the majestic Power of God.

43 Now, his disciples were stunned by all the things that [Jesus] was doing, but he said to them: 44 'Let these words live in your ears: The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men!' 45 However, they still didn't understand what he was saying. In fact, it was hidden from them so they couldn't understand, and they were afraid to ask him anything more.

46 It was then that they started wondering which of them would be the greatest. 47 But Jesus knew what they were thinking in their hearts; so he took a little boy and sat him down next to him, 48 then he said: 'Whoever welcomes this young child in my name, welcomes me. And whoever welcomes me, welcomes the One who sent me. Therefore, the one who acts as the least one among you will be the greatest.'

49 Well later, John said: 'Master, we saw a man casting out demons by using your name and we tried to stop him, because he isn't one of us!'

50 But Jesus said to him: 'Don't try to stop him, because those who aren't against you are for you!'

51 Now, since the number of days before he was going to be taken were about to be fulfilled, Jesus became firm in his resolve to go up to JeruSalem. 52 So he sent messengers ahead of him, and they entered a Samaritan village in order to prepare [for his arrival]. 53 However, [the people there told them] that he wasn't welcome if he was headed toward JeruSalem. 54 And when the Disciples James and John [heard about] this, they asked Jesus, 'Lord, do you want us to call fire down from the sky to wipe them out?' 55 But he turned and scolded them, 56 and they traveled on to another village.

57 Well, as they were traveling along the road, someone said to [Jesus]: 'Lord, I'll follow you wherever you go!'

58 And Jesus told him: 'Foxes have burrows, and [birds] in the skies have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.'

59 Well after that, he said to someone else, 'Become my follower.'

But the man replied: 'First let me go and bury my father.'

60 And [Jesus] told him: 'Let the dead bury their own dead. You should go out and preach about the Kingdom of God!'

61 Then another one said, 'I'll follow you Lord… but first let me say goodbye to those in my home.'

62 However Jesus told him: 'No man who looks back after he puts his hands to a plow is well suited for the Kingdom of God.'

Chapter 10

1 Well after that, the Lord appointed seventy others whom he sent out ahead of him in pairs into every city and place that he was about to go. 2 And he told them: 'There's a huge harvest, but there aren't enough workers. So, beg the Master of the harvest to force more workers to do the harvesting. 3 Now, get going! Look; I'm sending you out as lambs among wolves. 4 Therefore, don't carry a bag of money or a food pouch or sandals, and don't [stop to] greet people along the road. 5 Then as you enter each house you should say, May this house have peace. 6 And if a son of peace lives there, your peace will rest upon him… but if not, it will return to you. 7 So, stay in that house and eat and drink the things they provide, because a worker deserves his wages… don't keep moving from one house to another.

8 'Also, whenever you enter a city and they welcome you, eat whatever they set before you, 9 then cure their sick and tell them that the Kingdom of God is near! 10 But whenever you enter a city and they fail to welcome you, go into its main streets and say, 11 We're wiping off the dust that got stuck on our feet in this city and giving it all back to you!

'Remember this: The Kingdom of God is really near! 12 And I tell you; It will be easier for Sodom to endure [the Judgment] day than for such a city to do so.

13 'So, woe to you ChoraZin, and woe to you BethSaida; for if the powerful things that happened in you had also happened in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented in sackcloth and ashes a long time ago. 14 This is why it will be easier for Tyre and Sidon to endure the Judgment Day than for you. 15 And you, O CapharNaum; Will you be lifted into the heavens? [No]! You will go down to the place of the dead!

16 'Those who listen to you are also listening to me, but those who ignore you are also ignoring me… and those who are ignoring me are ignoring the One who sent me.'

17 Well, when the seventy who had been sent out in pairs finally returned, they joyfully said: 'Lord, even the demons obeyed us when we used your name!'

18 And he replied: {Look!} 'I saw the Opposer falling like lightning from the sky. 19 For I've given you the authority to walk on serpents, scorpions, and on the power of the enemy… and nothing will harm you! 20 However, don't be happy because [evil] spirits obeyed you; be happy because your names have been written in the heavens!'

21 Then the Holy Breath caused him to shout joyfully: 'I publicly praise You Father, Lord of the heavens and the earth, because You've hidden these things from the wise and understanding but You've uncovered them to infants. Yes Father; this is why such clear reasoning was approved by You.

22 'My Father has given me everything! Yet, no one knows the Son but the Father, [and no one knows] the Father but the Son… and those to whom the Son wishes to reveal Him.'

23 Then with that, he turned to his disciples and said to them privately: 'The eyes that are seeing the things you're seeing, are blest; 24 for I tell you that many prophets and kings wished to see the things that you're seeing, and didn't see them, and to hear the things you're hearing, but didn't hear them.'

25 {Look!} Then a man who knew the Law very well stood up, and to test [Jesus], he asked: 'Teacher, what must I do to inherit age-long life?'

26 And [Jesus] replied: 'What is written in the Law… what have you read there?'

27 Then the man said: 'You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart, soul, strength, and mind, and your neighbor as yourself.'

28 And [Jesus] replied: 'That's the right answer. Keep on doing that and you'll live.'

29 But [the man] wanted to show how righteous he was, so he asked Jesus: 'Well then, just who really is my neighbor?'

30 And this is how Jesus replied: 'A man was traveling from JeruSalem to JeriCho when he was jumped by some robbers. They stripped him, beat him up, and left him for dead. 31 Well, it so happened that a Priest was traveling along the same road. But when he saw [the injured man], he passed on the opposite side. 32 In the same way, when a Levite reached that place and saw him, he too passed on the opposite side. 33 However, when a Samaritan came along and saw him, he felt pity for him. 34 So he got down and poured oil and wine on his wounds and bandaged them. Then he mounted the man on his own animal and carried him to an inn, where he cared for him. 35 And the next day, he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper, and told him, Attend to this man and I'll repay you for all that you spend beyond this when I return.

36 'Now, which of the three men seems to have made himself a neighbor to the person who had been jumped by the robbers?'

37 And the [young man] answered: 'The one who showed mercy to him.'

Then Jesus said: 'Go on your way and do the same thing.'

38 Now, as they were traveling along, they entered a certain village where there was a woman named Martha, who welcomed him into her home. 39 This woman had a sister named Mary, who then sat down at the feet of the Lord and listened to all that he was saying. 40 Meanwhile Martha was distracted, because she was busy preparing [a meal]. So she came to him and said: 'Lord, doesn't it bother you that my sister has left me to do all the preparing by myself? Tell her to give me a hand!'

41 But the Lord replied: 'Martha, Martha; You're worried and upset about [preparing] many things, 42 when all we need is just a few things… or just one. Mary has chosen the best part… something that they can't take away.'

Chapter 11

1 Jesus was in a certain place praying; and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him: 'Lord, teach us how to pray, as John taught his disciples.'

2 Then he told them, 'When you pray, you should say:
Our Father who is in the heavens;
May Your Name be treated as Holy,
And may Your Kingdom arrive.
May Your Will be done on the earth
As it is done in the heavens.
3 Give us the bread that we need for each day,
4 And [please] forgive us our sins
As we forgive those indebted to us.
Into temptation, don't let us be led,
And from the evil one, save us.'

5 Then he asked: 'Which of you has a friend to whom you could go at midnight and say, Friend, loan me three loaves [of bread] 6 because another friend of mine has arrived after a long journey, and I don't have anything [to feed him]? 7 Wouldn't he call to you from inside [his house] and say, Don't give me any trouble; my door is already locked and my kids are here in bed with me, so I can't get up and give you anything! 8 But I tell you the truth; Although he won't get up to give you anything because he's your friend, he will get up and give you what you need if you keep on bothering him.

9 'Therefore,
If you keep asking, you will receive;
If you keep searching, you'll find;
And if you keep knocking, it will be opened.
10 For, those who keep asking, will [get what they ask];
Those who keep searching will find [what they want];
And for all who keep knocking, the door will be opened.

11 'Now, which father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, who would hand him a scorpion? 13 Therefore, if you in your wicked condition know to give good gifts to your children; how much more will your Father in heaven give Holy Breath to those who keep asking Him!'

14 Well, [Jesus] had once cast out a demon that was causing a man to be unable to talk. And after the demon came out, the man spoke, which amazed the crowds. 15 But some of [the Pharisees] said, 'He's throwing out the demons with the help of BeElZebub, the ruler of the demons.' 16 And at the same time, others were trying to tempt him by asking him to give them a sign from heaven. 17 But, knowing what they were thinking, he said this:
'A kingdom that's divided can be conquered,
And a house that's [divided] can fall.
18 So if the Opposer is opposing himself,
How can his kingdom survive?

'Now, you say that I'm casting out demons by the power of BeElZebub. 19 But if I'm casting out demons by BeElZebub; whose [power] are your sons using when they do the same? It's over things such as this that you're going to be condemned. 20 For if I'm really casting out demons by the finger of God, you've been overrun by His Kingdom!

21 'When a strong, well-armed man guards his mansion,
All of his things will be safe.
22 But if someone who's stronger should come there
And take the weapons in which he put trust;
He will divide up the loot.

23 'Now, those who aren't with me are against me, and those who don't gather with me are pushing people away!

24 'For when an unclean spirit comes out of a man,
It travels through [many] dry places
In search of a [good] place to rest.
And when it doesn't find one, it says:
I'll go back to the house that I moved from.

25 'Then, when he sees it swept and arranged,
26 He goes back with seven more spirits
That are even more wicked than he.
And after they get back inside,
They'll all continue to live there.
And so, the end result for that man
Is worse than it was at the start.'

27 Now, as he was saying these things, a certain woman in the crowd shouted, 'Blest is the womb that carried you and the breasts that you sucked!'

28 But he replied: 'No, blest are those who hear the word of God and obey it!'

29 Well, a crowd was starting to form, so he said: 'This is a wicked generation that is always looking for signs. But no sign will be given to it other than the sign of Jonah… 30 for as Jonah was a sign to the people of Nineveh, so the Son of Man will be to this generation.

31 'Why, the Queen of the South will be raised in the Judgment along with this generation, and she will condemn it. For she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon's wisdom. But look! Something more than Solomon is here!

32 'The people of Nineveh will be raised in the Judgment along with this generation, and they will also condemn it. For they repented at what Jonah preached. But look! Something more than Jonah is here!

33 'No one lights a lamp and then hides it,
Nor do they put it under a basket.
They set it on a lampstand instead,
So people can see where they're going.

34 'Now, the body's lamps are your eyes.
And when you keep your eyes simple,
They'll make your whole body bright;
But, if you have eyes that are wicked,
They'll make your whole body dark.

35 'So be sure that your light isn't darkness.
36 For if your body is bright, with no dark parts,
It will serve a lamp to shine on your way.'

37 Well after he said this, a Pharisee asked [Jesus] to dine with him, so he went in and reclined at his table. 38 However, the Pharisee was surprised to see that Jesus hadn't washed up before dinner. 39 But the Lord said to him: 'You Pharisees like to wash the outsides of dishes and cups while their insides are still filled with wickedness and things that are stolen. 40 Unreasonable people; Didn't the One who made the insides also make the outsides? 41 However, if you will be charitable to those who are in need, {Look!} not just your outsides, but everything about you will be clean!

42 'But, woe to you Pharisees; for though you offer even your mint and your rue when you tithe, you keep overlooking justice and the love of God! Yes, you do all that [the Law] requires of you… but then you bypass all the rest.

43 'Yes, woe to you Pharisees; for you love [to sit in the] front seats in the synagogues and [to receive] all the greetings in the markets… 44 yes, woe to you, for you're like the hidden graves that men unwittingly walk on.'

45 Well in reply, someone who was trained in the Law said to him: 'Teacher; you know that when you say things like this, you're insulting us!'

46 But [Jesus] replied: 'Woe to you who are trained in the Law, for you pile loads upon men so high that they can't be carried and which you wouldn't touch with even a finger! 47 Yes, woe to you; for you build tombs for the Prophets that were murdered by your fathers! 48 And in so doing, you're testifying against yourselves, since you're approving of these very same things that were done by your fathers when they murdered those Prophets… those whose tombs you're now building.

49 'It was concerning such things that the Wisdom of God said this:
I'm sending Apostles and Prophets to you
Whom you'll persecute and you'll kill.

50 And this is why the blood of all the Prophets that's been spilled since this system was founded will be laid upon this generation… 51 from the blood of Abel that of ZechariAh, who [was murdered] between the [Temple] and Altar. Yes I tell you; it will all be laid upon this generation!

52 'So, woe to you who are trained in the Law, for though you accept the key to [great] knowledge, you fail to enter through [the door]… and you even block the way for the rest who are trying to enter!'

53 And after that, he got up and left.

Well, the scribes and Pharisees were always trying to pin him down, constantly asking him questions about things, 54 because they were just lying in wait and trying to trap him in anything that he might say.

Chapter 12

1 Well, a huge crowd had gathered… there were so many thousands that they were literally stepping on each other. Then [Jesus gave this warning to] his disciples. He said: 'Watch out for the fermentation of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
2 For there's nothing hidden that won't be exposed,
And no secret that will not be known.
3 So the things that you say in the darkness
Will be all heard in the light;
And whatever is whispered within private rooms
Will be shouted aloud from the rooftops!

4 'I tell you this, my friends;
Fear not those who can kill the body,
But who can do no more than that.
5 Let me show you whom you must fear:
Fear the One, who after killing [the body],
Can throw it into the garbage
Yes, He's the One you must fear!

6 'Though you can buy five sparrows with just two small coins,
In the eyes of God, they're not overlooked…
7 And He's even numbered the hairs on your head.
So you have no reason for fear,
Since, more than many sparrows, is your value!

8 'I tell you this:
For those who'll admit before others
That they are united with me;
The Son of Man will also admit
That they're one with him before angels.
9 But for those who deny me to others,
I'll deny knowing them before angels.

10 'Now, those who speak against the Son of Man can be forgiven; but those who blaspheme [God's] Holy Breath will not be forgiven. 11 So when they drag you up before synagogues, or authorities, or government officials; don't worry about what you must do or what you must say in your defense, 12 for you will be taught what to say by [God's] Holy Breath in that hour.'

13 Then, someone in the crowd said: 'Teacher; tell my brother to share his inheritance with me!'

14 And [Jesus] said: 'Man, who appointed me as the judge or arbitrator between the two of you?'

15 Then he [went on] to say this:
'Keep your eyes open and guard against greed;
For the things that you own will not give you life.'

16 And then he gave them this parable:
'A rich man's fields produced well,
17 So he thought about this and then asked himself:
What should I do, since there's not enough room
In which to store all my crops?

18 'Then he said:
Ah, I will do this:
I'll tear down my barns and build larger,
And that's where I'll put all my wheat
As well as my other good things.

19 'Then I will say to myself:
You now have many good things
Saved away [to last] many years.
So, you can just take it easy…
Yes, eat, drink, and enjoy it!

20 'But God said:
O foolish man;
Tonight, they're demanding your life.
So, who will now own all these things?

21 'You see; this is what happens to a man who lays away treasures for himself, but fails to gain wealth with God.'

22 Then he said to his disciples: 'This is why I've told you not to worry about your lives and about what you will eat, or about your bodies and what you will wear. 23 For your lives are worth so much more than food, and your bodies are worth [so much more] than clothes.

24 'Notice the ravens; for they don't plant or harvest, and they don't have barns or storage sheds, since they are fed by God… and [think about] how much more you are worth than those birds!

25 'And which of you through worry add even a smidgen to your lives? 26 So if [worry] is unable fix little things, why be concerned about all the rest?

27 'Also notice how the lilies grow. For although they don't work or spin cloth; I tell you that even Solomon in all of his glory wasn't as well-dressed as they are. 28 So if God so well clothes the plants in the fields that are here today and thrown into an oven tomorrow; how much more would He rather clothe you… you with so little faith?

29 'Therefore, stop searching for things to eat and drink, and don't worry about how you're going to get them. 30 For these are the kinds of things that the gentiles are pursuing. However, your Father already knows that you need all these things. 31 And if you'll keep seeking His Kingdom first, you'll receive all the rest.

32 'Don't be afraid, little flock; for it is the delight of your Father to give you the Kingdom. 33 Therefore, sell everything that you own and give it to those who really need it, and make purses for yourselves that won't wear out… the unfailing treasures in the heavens, which can't be consumed by thieves or by moths. 34 For where your treasures are is where your hearts will be.

35 'Therefore, wrap on your sashes and light up your lamps, 36 then act like men who are awaiting their master's return from his wedding banquet, so that when he arrives and starts knocking, you can open [the door] to him right away.

37 'Blest are those slaves that are watching
When their master arrives!
For I tell you this as the truth:
He will then put on his apron
And make them recline at his table;
Then, he will come there and serve them!

38 'If it's in the second watch that he should arrive,
Or even if it's during the third;
You'll be blest if he finds you doing these things!

39 'Recognize this:
If the master of the house would have known
The time when the thieves would arrive,
He would have been keeping watch
And not let them get into his house.

40 'Likewise, you must also be ready;
For the Son of Man will arrive
At a time you consider unlikely.'

41 Then Peter asked: 'Lord, are you giving this parable to just us, or to everyone?'

42 And the Lord said:
'Who is the faithful house steward
The sensible one, assigned by his lord
To be in charge over his faithful friends,
And to provide their meals at the right times?
43 Such a slave will be blest
If he's found doing that when his master arrives.
44 I tell you the truth…
He'll put him in charge of all that he owns!

45 'But, if that slave should say in his heart:
My master's delayed in returning;
And then he starts beating [the Lord's] boys and girls,
And he feasts and drinks, then gets drunk…
46 His master will arrive on an hour and day
That he has not been expected,
And he'll whip him and count him among the unfaithful.

47 'So the slave who knows what his master expects
And doesn't prepare or do what he wants
Will be lashed with a whip many times.
48 But the one who does not understand
And does things for which he deserves to be whipped,
Will be beaten with [just a] few [strokes].

'For from those to whom much is given,
Much is also expected.
And from those who've been put in charge over much,
Much is also required.

49 'I came here to start a fire on the earth; so what more could I possibly wish than to see it already lit? 50 However, there's a baptism coming that I will have to endure… and I'm under great pressure until it arrives.

51 'Do you think that I came to bring peace on earth? No, I've come here to create divisions! 52 So if there are five in a house, they'll be divided three against two and two against three. 53 Fathers will be against their own sons and sons [will be] against their own fathers… mothers will be against their own daughters and daughters will be against their own mothers. It will be mothers-in-law against daughters-in-law and daughters-in-law against mothers-in-law!'

54 Then he said this to the crowd:
'When you see a cloud arise in the west,
You say that a storm is approaching… and it happens.
55 And when you see the wind blow in from the south,
You say that a heat wave is coming… and it happens.
56 Hypocrites!
Since you know how to read the land and the sky;
Why can't you read the [signs of the] times?

57 'Why not decide what is righteous for yourselves?
58 For, rather than taking a case to a ruler,
You should try to resolve it as you're on the way,
So you won't be dragged in front of the judge,
Who will hand you over to the bailiff,
Who will then throw you in jail.
59 I tell you;
If that happens, you won't be set free
Until you've paid your last cent.'

Chapter 13

1 Well at the time, some people who were there spoke to Jesus about certain Galileans whose blood had been mixed with their sacrifices by [Pontius] Pilate. 2 So [Jesus] asked them: 'Do you think those Galileans suffered such things because they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? 3 No! For I tell you this: If you don't repent, you'll be destroyed that same way! 4 And what about those eighteen people upon whom the tower at SiloAm fell and killed; Do you think they were worse sinners than all the others who live in JeruSalem? 5 No! I tell you this: If you don't repent, you'll all be destroyed that same way!'

6 Then he gave them this parable:
'There was a man who had a fig tree in his vineyard, and when he looked for fruit, he found none. 7 So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard: I've been looking for fruit on this tree for the past three years, but so far I haven't found any. Therefore, you should just cut it down, for why should it be wasting the space?

8 'But [the vinedresser] gave this reply: Master, leave it alone for just one more year. I'll cultivate and fertilize it, and then it might bear fruit in the future… but if not, I'll cut it down.'

10 Well, [on another occasion], he happened to be teaching in one of the synagogues on a Sabbath 11 where {Look!} there was a woman who'd endured a spirit of weakness for some eighteen years… she was bent over and unable to straighten herself. 12 And when Jesus saw this, he called to her and said: 'Woman, you're now free from this weakness.' 13 Then he laid his hands on her and she straightened up instantly and started glorifying God.

14 However, the chief of the synagogue resented this because Jesus had performed the cure on the Sabbath. So he said to the crowd: 'There are SIX DAYS when work should be done. Come to be cured on THOSE DAYS, not on the Sabbath!'

15 But the Lord replied: 'Hypocrite! Don't you untie your bulls and burros from their stalls and lead them out to drink on the Sabbath? 16 Yet, this is a daughter of AbraHam whom the Opposer has held tied {Look!} for some eighteen years! So, isn't it appropriate for her to be untied from this type of bondage on the Sabbath?'

17 Well after he said that, all those who opposed him were ashamed; and the crowd started rejoicing over all the glorious things that he was doing.

18 Then he went on to say:
'To what can the Kingdom of God be compared…
To what can it really be likened?

19 'It's like the seed of the mustard
That a man had planted in his garden.
For it grew and became as tall as a tree,
In whose branches, the birds of the skies came to roost.'

20 And once again, he said:
'To what can the Kingdom of God be compared?
21 It's like a little fermentation
That a woman hid in three scoops of flour,
Until the mass rose and was filled with [the yeast].'

22 Well, he did all of this as he was teaching in city after city and village after village on his way to JeruSalem.

23 Then someone asked: 'Lord, will only a few be saved?'

And he said to him:
24 'You must strive to enter through the gate that is narrow,
For I tell you that many will try to get in,
But they won't have enough strength.
25 So when the master gets up and latches the lock;
If you find yourself on the outside
Knocking and shouting, Lord, open to us!
He'll say, I don't know where you're from!

26 'And if you should say,
Before you, we ate and we drank,
And you taught us along our main streets!

He will then give this reply:
27 I don't know where you're from…
Get away from me, you unrighteous men!

'Then you'll be crying and grinding your teeth
When you see AbraHam, IsaAc, and Jacob
With all the Prophets in the Kingdom of God,
As you are left on the outside.

29 'For they'll come from the east, west, north, and the south
To recline at the table in the Kingdom of God.
30 But {Look!} those who are last will be first,
And those who are first will be last.'

31 Well in that very same hour, some Pharisees came to him and said: 'You'd better get out of here and go, because Herod is looking to kill you!'

32 But he replied: 'Go tell the old fox that I'll keep on casting out demons and healing today and tomorrow, and I'll be finished on the third day. 33 However, I'll also keep on moving [on toward JeruSalem] today, tomorrow, and the next day, since it wouldn't be fitting for a Prophet to be destroyed outside of [that city].

34 'O JeruSalem, JeruSalem… you murderer of the Prophets and stoner of those who've been sent to you. How often I've wanted to gather your young as a hen brings her chicks under her wings… but that isn't what you've wanted, 35 so {Look!} your house has been taken from you! And now I'm telling you that won't see me again until [you are ready to] proclaim, Praised is this one who has come in the Name of Jehovah!'

Chapter 14

1 Well, there was a time when [Jesus] went to eat a meal at the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees on a Sabbath… and there everyone was watching him closely. 2 Then {Look!} a man came to him who had [a fluid-buildup condition called] dropsy. 3 So Jesus asked those students of the Law and the Pharisees this: 'Is it legal to cure on the Sabbath or not?' 4 However, they wouldn't answer.

So he took hold of [the man], healed him, and then sent him away. 5 And he asked them: 'If your son or your bull were to fall into a well on the Sabbath, which of you wouldn't immediately go and pull him out?'

6 Well, they were unable to come up with a reply.

7 Then, after noticing how the guests were choosing the best spots at the table, he gave them this parable:
8 'If you are invited to a wedding reception,
Don't go and recline in the very best place.
For if someone more honored arrives,
9 The host must then come there and say:
Let this man have that spot.
And you'll be shamed when you're sent to the least honored place.

10 'So whenever you're invited [to a banquet],
Go and recline in the very last spot.
Then when the host arrives, he will say:
Friend, take a better position!
And you'll be honored before all his guests.
11 For the self-exalting will be humbled,
And the humble will be lifted high.'

12 Then Jesus said to the man who invited him:
'When you spread a dinner or a supper,
Don't call your friends and your brothers,
Nor your kin or rich neighbors;
For you will then get your reward
When they, in turn, invite you.

13 'But whenever you're planning a banquet,
Invite the crippled and poor,
As well as the lame and the blind…
14 Those who cannot repay you;
For then you'll receive your reward
When the righteous are standing again.'

15 Well, when one of the guests heard this, he shouted: 'Aren't those who [are invited to] dine in the Kingdom of God the ones that will be blest?'

16 And [Jesus] said:
'There was a man who prepared a large supper,
And he invited many [friends] to come there and dine.
17 So, after the meal was prepared,
He sent his slave out to tell them:
Come on, for [the banquet] is ready!

18 'But, each then gave an excuse.
Said the first, I must look at a field that I've bought;
So, please let me be excused
.

19 'And then another said this:
I've purchased five pairs of oxen,
And I must now go to inspect them;
So, please let me be excused.

20 'Still another replied:
Because I'm about to get married,
I'm unable to come at this time
.

21 'Well when the slave returned and reported these things,
The master of the house became angry,
And this is what he said to his slave:

'Go quickly to the main streets and alleys,
And bring the crippled and poor,
As well as the blind and the lame
.

22 'And when he returned, the slave told him:
Though I've done all you told me to do,
There is still plenty of room!

23 'So the master then gave this instruction:
Go out to the roads and backyards,
And make people come, so my house will be filled!
24 For I tell you that none I invited
Will get even a taste of my supper
.'

25 Well, since there was a large crowd that had come there with him, he then turned to them and said: 26 'Unless those who come to me care less for their fathers, mothers, wives, children, brothers, and sisters – yes, even for their own lives – they cannot become my disciples, 27 nor can anyone follow me who's unwilling to carry his own impaling pole! 28 For, which of you who might choose to build a tower for yourself wouldn't first sit down to calculate the costs, so you'd be sure that you have enough [funds] to complete it? 29 For if you laid the foundation and then found out that you're unable to finish the project, everyone who sees it would make fun of you and say, 30 This man started the job, but then he couldn't complete it!

31 'Or, what king, when he's marching [to battle], doesn't first sit down and ask his advisors if his ten thousand troops can possibly beat the one who is coming with twenty thousand? 32 For if he's unable to do that; while [his enemy] is still far away, he'll send his ambassadors to sue for peace.

33 'So, you too must be sure! For those of you who aren't willing to give up everything that you own are qualified to be my disciples!

34 'Yes, salt is good; but if salt should lose all its strength, what value will it have to season your food? 35 If it isn't good for soil or manure, people will just throw it away. Now, let those who have ears that can hear pay attention!'

Chapter 15

1 Well, tax collectors and sinners kept coming to [Jesus] to listen to the things he was saying. 2 And because of this, the Pharisees and scribes started murmuring, 'This man welcomes sinners… and look, he even eats with them!'

3 So he then told them this parable: 4 'Which of you who owns a hundred sheep and loses just one, wouldn't leave the ninety-nine out in the fields to search for the one that was lost until he finds it? 5 And when you find it, you'll rejoice and [carry it home] on your shoulders. 6 Then when you get back home, you'll call your friends and neighbors and say: Come and rejoice with me, because I've found my sheep that was lost!

7 'So in the same way, I tell you this:
There is more rejoicing in heaven
Over just one sinner who's turned from bad ways,
Than over ninety-nine of the righteous
Who have no need of repentance.

8 'Or when a woman with ten silver coins finds that she has lost one, she'll light [all her] lamps and carefully sweep her whole house to search for it until she finds it. 9 And then when she finds it, she'll call her friends and neighbors to say: Come and rejoice with me, for I've found the silver coin that I lost!

10 'So I tell you:
There is joy among the angels of God
Over each sinner who repents.'

11 Then he said: 'There once was a man who had two sons. 12 And the youngest of them came to him and said: Father, give me my share of the things that I'll inherit! So he gave him the portion that was his.

13 'Well just a few days after that, this younger son gathered his things and traveled to a far away land where he quickly squandered all that he had.

14 'Then after he'd spent [all his money], a famine came to that land, which left him in a very bad spot. 15 So he went to work for a man in that country who sent him out into the field to take care of his pigs. 16 And soon he even started longing for the carob pods that he was feeding the animals, because the man wouldn't give him anything [to eat].

17 'Then when he finally came to his senses, he asked himself this: Since my father's hired-hands have plenty of bread; why am I here, dying from hunger? 18 I think I'll just get up and return to my father! And since I've sinned against heaven and him, 19 I'll admit that I'm unworthy to be called his son anymore, and I'll tell him that all I want to do is to work for him as one of his hired hands.

20 'So then he got up and returned to his father.

'However, while he was still far way, his father recognized him in the distance, and in pity, he ran and fell on his neck and tenderly kissed him. 21 But the son said: Father, I've sinned against both heaven and you, so I'm unworthy to be called your son… just let me be one of your hired hands.

22 'But the father said this to his slaves: Quickly bring him a robe… bring the very best one, then put a ring on his hand and put some shoes on his feet. 23 Also, slaughter the calf that we've fattened with wheat, then let's hold [a feast] and have a good time! 24 For my son who was dead is alive again… he was lost, but now he's been found! So thereafter, they held a banquet.

25 'Meanwhile, the older son had been out in the fields. And as he returned and got close to his home, he could hear [the sounds] of music and dancing. 26 So he called to one of the servants and asked, What's going on?

27 'And in reply, [the servant] told him: Your brother has just returned, so your father had us slaughter the fattened calf, because [your brother] has returned in good health!

28 'Well at that, [the son] became very angry and he wouldn't go inside. So his father came outside to beg him to come on in. 29 But this is what he said to his father: Though I've slaved for you all these years and I've never broken your rules, you've never given me so much as a kid goat to enjoy with my friends. 30 But as soon as this son who spent all his money on whores returns, you slaughtered the fattened calf!

31 'But this is what his father told him: Child, you have always been with me, and everything I have is yours also. 32 However, we had to celebrate and rejoice, because your brother who was as one of the dead has now been brought back to life… the one who was lost has been found!'

Chapter 16

1 Then [Jesus] went on to tell his disciples: 'There was a rich man who had a house manager that was accused of mishandling his belongings. 2 So [the rich man] called him in and asked, What is this that I'm hearing about you? Turn in your things, for you'll no longer manage [my] house!

3 'Then the [man] thought to himself: What should I do now that my master is taking away my position? I'm not strong enough to dig and I'd be ashamed to beg. 4 Ah! I know what I'll do when I lose my job… I'll do something to cause people to welcome me into their homes!

5 So he called in all those who owed debts to his master, and he asked the first one: How much do you owe my master?

6 'He replied, Nine hundred gallons of olive oil.

'Then he told him: Here, take your contract then sit down and quickly write four hundred and fifty.

7 'He also asked the next, How much do you owe?

'And he replied: Thirty-six thousand quarts of wheat.

'Then he told him: Take your contract and write twenty-nine thousand.

8 'Well, although he was unrighteous, his master spoke in praise of [the servant], for he showed very good sense. As you can see; the sons of this age are better than the sons of the light when it comes to understanding how to deal with this generation. 9 Therefore, I'm telling you to make friends for yourselves with unrighteous wealth, so that when all else fails, they'll welcome you into their tents through the ages.

10 'For the one who is faithful in small things
Will also be faithful in much.
But the one who's unrighteous in small things
Will also be unrighteous in much.
11 So if you fail to prove yourselves faithful
With the unrighteous wealth [of this world];
Who will trust you with things that are true?
12 And if you fail to prove yourself faithful
With things belonging to others;
Which of us will trust you with things that are ours?

13 'You cannot slave for two masters;
For one you'll dislike, but the other you'll love,
So you'll stick to the one and despise the other…
Thus you can't slave for God and for wealth.'

14 Now, the Pharisees (who loved silver) were listening to him as he was saying these things, and they were looking at him with contempt. 15 So he said to them: 'You claim to be righteous before men, but God knows what's really in your hearts… and the things that are important to men are disgusting in the eyes of God.

16 'Until John, there was the Law and the Prophets; but since then, the Kingdom of God is what has been preached, and everyone is trying to force their way into it. 17 However, it would be easier for the land and sky to pass away than for a single stroke on one of the Law's letters to fail. 18 So, whoever releases his woman and marries another has committed adultery. And whoever marries a released woman has also committed adultery.

19 'Now, there once was a very rich man who dressed himself in purple and linen, and he enjoyed the very best things each day. 20 There was also a poor man named Lazarus, who used to sit at his gate. This [poor] man was covered with sores, 21 and all he wanted was to eat some of the things that fell from the rich man's table. Also, he had dogs come to lick his sores.

22 'Well, the poor man [eventually] died, and [God's] messengers carried him off to the most-favored position of AbraHam. Then the rich man also died and was buried. 23 And from the place of the dead he raised his eyes, and he was tormented when he saw AbraHam off in the distance and Lazarus lying there before him. 24 So [the rich man] called out and said, Father AbraHam, have mercy on me! Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water to cool off my tongue, for I'm suffering in these flames!

25 'But AbraHam replied: Child; remember that you had all the good things in life, as Lazarus [had just] the bad. So now he's here [receiving my] comfort, while you are there suffering. 26 Also, an abyss has been placed here between us so that those who are here can't go there, and those who are there can't come here.

27 'Well at that, [the rich man] said: Then I beg you… please father, send him to the house of my father, 28 for I have five brothers… have him testify to them, so they don't end up in this place of torment!

29 'But AbraHam replied: They already have the Prophets and Moses… [your brothers] should listen to them!

30 'Then [the rich man] said: No indeed, Father AbraHam; for they would surely repent if someone were to come to them from the dead!

31 'But [AbraHam] said: No, if they won't listen to the Prophets or Moses, they wouldn't be persuaded even if someone should arise from the dead!'

Chapter 17

1 And after that, [Jesus] said to his disciples: 'It's unavoidable that there will be snares. However, woe to those who set them! 2 It would be better if a millstone were hung around [such a man's] neck and he was thrown into the sea, than to stumble one of these least ones. 3 So, pay attention to yourselves!

'If your brother sins [against you], go to him and discuss it. Then if he repents, forgive him! 4 Why, even if he sins against you seven times a day; if he comes back seven times to say I'm sorry; you should forgive him!'

5 Then the Apostles said, 'Lord, give us more faith!'

6 And he told them: 'If you had faith [the size of] a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, Pull out of the ground and then plant yourself in the sea… and it would likely obey you.

7 'Which of you has a slave who, after he's been plowing or tending a flock, would say to him when he returns: Come over here and recline at my table? 8 No, it's more likely that you'd tell him: Put on an apron and prepare my supper, then serve it to me. [You can wait] until I'm done eating and drinking, and thereafter you can get yourself something to eat and drink. 9 You won't be grateful to that slave because he did what he was assigned, will you? 10 So you too… after you've done all that you've been assigned, say: We are just worthless slaves, and we are doing what we are expected to do.'

11 Well, as [Jesus] was on his way to JeruSalem, he traveled through the midst of Samaria and then into Galilee. 12 And as he entered a certain village, ten men with leprosy -- 13 started shouting: 'Jesus! Lord! Have mercy on us!'

14 And when [Jesus] saw them, he said: 'Go and present yourselves to the Priests.' Then as they were leaving, each one was made clean. 15 And one of them, when he realized that he had been healed, came back glorifying God in a loud voice 16 and fell to his face at [Jesus'] feet to thank him (this one was a Samaritan).

17 So Jesus asked: 'Weren't there ten who were cleansed? So where are the other nine? 18 Was this man of another race the only one who returned to glorify God?'

19 Then he told him: 'Get up and go, for your faith has saved you!'

20 Well [later], there was a Pharisee who asked [Jesus] when the Kingdom of God was coming. And this is the reply that he gave: 'The coming of the Kingdom of God won't be easily noticed, 21 so people won't be saying, Look, it's here, or, Look, it's over there! Rather, the Kingdom of God is within you!'

22 Then he went on to say to his disciples: 'The time is coming when you'll wish that you could see just one these days of the Son of Man… but you'll no longer be able to see them. 23 And though people will be saying, Look, he's here, or, See, he's there; don't follow them. 24 For when the Son of Man arrives, it will be like lightning that flashes across the whole sky.

25 'However before that, he will have to endure many things, and then he'll be rejected by this generation. 26 For as it was in Noah's day is how it will be in the day of the Son of Man. 27 Back then they were eating and drinking, getting married and being taken in marriage right up to the day that Noah entered the chest, and then the Downpour arrived destroying them all.

28 'The same thing happened in Lot's day; for they were also eating and drinking, buying, selling, planting, and building 29 right up to the day that Lot [fled from] Sodom. Then fire and sulfur rained from the sky, destroying them all. 30 Yes, this is how it will be in the day that the Son of Man is revealed.

31 'In that day, the man [who is] on his roof must not go back into his house to retrieve the things that he owns, and the person who is out in a field shouldn't return for the things he's left behind. 32 Rather, you should remember [what happened to] Lot's woman. 33 For those who try to save their lives will lose them, while those who lose them will live.

34 'I tell you this:
In that night, there'll be two in one bed;
One will be taken along,
And the other will be left behind.
35 Two will be grinding at [the same] mill;
One will be taken along,
And the other will be left behind.' 36 ––

37 So then they asked him: 'When [is this going to happen], Lord?'

And he replied: 'When the vultures gather at the carcass.'

Chapter 18

1 Then he gave them an illustration to show them why they should keep praying and never give up. 2 He said:
'There once was a judge in a city
Who had no fear of The God,
And who couldn't be shamed before other men.

3 'But a widow in that city kept coming and saying:
I want justice from the man that I [sued].

4 'Well at first, [the judge] did nothing at all,
But then he started to reason:
Although I do not fear God,
Nor can any man shame me;
5 Since this widow keeps coming and making more work,
I will see that she receives justice
So she doesn't just nag me to death.'

6 Then the Lord asked, 'Now, did you hear what this unrighteous judge said? 7 So won't God, who is patient, also give justice to His chosen ones who keep calling out to Him all day and all night long? 8 Yes, I tell you; He'll bring speedy justice for you! Yet, when the Son of Man arrives, will he really find the faith on earth?'

9 Then he gave this illustration to some who were trusting in themselves, believing that they were righteous, while everyone else was just nothing. He said:
10 'Two men went up to the Temple to pray… one was a tax collector and the other was a Pharisee. 11 Now, the Pharisee stood up and said this concerning himself in his prayer: I thank You O God, that I'm not like all the rest, who are robbers, unrighteous, and adulterers… or like that tax collector [over there]. 12 Why, I fast twice each week and I contribute a tenth of everything that I receive.

13 'But the tax collector, who stood at some distance, wouldn't raise his eyes toward the sky. He just beat on himself as he said: God, please don't be angry with this sinner!

14 'Well, I tell you that this man returned to his home as the more righteous one, because the self-promoters will be humbled, and the humble will be promoted.'

15 Thereafter, people started bringing their young children for [Jesus] to touch them. But when the disciples saw this, they started scolding them. 16 However, Jesus called [the disciples] to him and said: 'Let the young children come to me… don't try to stop them, because the Kingdom of God belongs to people like this. 17 I tell you the truth: Those who don't welcome the Kingdom of God as would a little child, won't enter it at all.'

18 Then a certain ruler asked him: 'Good teacher; What must I do to inherit age-long life?'

19 But Jesus asked him: 'Why are you calling me good? No one is good except One… The God! 20 You know the Commandments: Don't commit adultery, don't murder, don't steal, don't provide false testimony, honor your father and mother… '

21 Then [the ruler] replied, 'Well, I've guarded all these [things] since my youth!'

22 And Jesus said: 'But there's still one thing that you're lacking… go sell all that you have and give to the poor, then come be my follower, and you'll have your treasures in the heavens.'

23 Well when he heard this, [the ruler] became very sad, because he was extremely rich.

24 So Jesus looked at him and said:
'How hard it will be for those who are rich
To find their way into the Kingdom!
25 It's easier to thread a rope through a needle
Than for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God.'

26 Well at that, those who heard him say this, asked: 'Then, who can possibly be saved?'

27 And he replied: 'Things that are impossible for men are still possible with God.'

28 But Peter said: 'Look, we've left everything to follow you!'

29 And [Jesus] said to him: 'I tell you the truth;
There's no one who loses a house or a woman,
Or brothers, parents, or children
For the sake of the Kingdom of God
30 Who won't receive much more in this age,
And life in the age that is coming.'

31 Then he took the twelve aside and said to this them: 'Look! We're on our way up to JeruSalem, where everything that the Prophets wrote about the Son of Man is now going to be fulfilled. 32 He'll be handed over to the gentiles and made fun of; he'll be treated shamefully and spit on; 33 and then after flaying him with a whip, they'll kill him… but on the third day, he'll be resurrected.'

34 However, they just didn't grasp the meaning of any of these things, because what he said was hidden from them and they couldn't understand it.

35 Well later, as he was approaching JeriCho, there happened to be a blind man who was sitting alongside the road begging. 36 Then, as he heard the crowd moving past, he asked what was happening, 37 and he was told: 'Jesus the Nazarene is coming!' 38 So he started shouting: 'Jesus! Son of David! Have mercy on me!'

39 Well, those who were walking in front [of Jesus] told him to be quiet, but he just shouted louder: 'Son of David, have mercy on me!' 40 So Jesus stopped and gave orders to have him brought over. And when [the blind man] got to him, [Jesus] asked: 41 'What is it that you want me to do for you?'

And he answered: 'Lord, let me see again!'

42 So Jesus said: 'Then, see again… for your faith has saved you!' 43 And instantly, his sight returned… then he started following [Jesus], glorifying God, and the people were also praising God after they saw this.

Chapter 19

1 Well after that, as [Jesus] was continuing on through JeriCho, 2 {Look!} there was a rich man called ZacChaeUs (he was the chief tax collector) 3 and he wanted to see just who this Jesus was, but he couldn't because of the crowd, since he was too short. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a fig-sycamore tree where [Jesus] was walking, so he could see him.

5 Well, when Jesus reached that spot, he looked up and said: 'ZacChaeUs, hurry and get down from there, because I'll be staying at your house today.' 6 So he quickly got down, rejoicing that he could welcome him as his guest. 7 But when [the crowds] saw this, they all started grumbling: 'Is he going to spend the night at the home of a man who's a sinner?'

8 But then ZacChaeUs stood up and said this to [Jesus]: 'Lord, I will give half of my belongings to the poor, and whatever I got from anyone by extortion and false accusations, I'll repay four times over!'

9 So Jesus said: 'Salvation has come to this house today, for he's also a son of AbraHam! 10 And the reason why the Son of Man came was to search for and save those who are lost.'

11 Then as they were listening to him say these things, Jesus gave them this parable (because he was getting close to JeruSalem and they all thought that the Kingdom of God was coming right away): 12 So he said:
'A certain man of noble birth
Traveled to a far-away land
To be appointed as king.

13 'So he called for ten of his slaves,
And he gave them each a large silver coin, saying,
Do business [with this], until my return.

14 'But he was hated by some of his subjects,
Who sent envoys ahead to say this about him:
We don't want this man as our ruler!

15 'Well, when he returned, appointed as king,
He summoned all [ten] of those slaves
To whom he'd entrusted his silver,
To find out how much they had gained.

16 'So the first one came up and said this:
Lord; With your coin, I've earned ten silver coins!

17 'And [the king] said this in reply:
Well-done, my good [faithful] slave!
Since you have proved faithful in small things,
I'll appoint you over ten cities.

18 'Then the second [slave] came up and said:
Lord; With your coin, I've earned five silver coins!

19 'So [the king] said this in reply:
I'll appoint you over five cities.

20 'But the last came up and said this:
Lord; Here's the silver coin that you gave me,
Which I wrapped up in a bandanna.
21 I feared, for I know you're a very harsh man…
One who picks up what he doesn't put down
And harvests where he hasn't planted.

22 'Then [the master] said:
O wicked slave;
From the words of your own mouth, I've judged you…
So you know that I am a very harsh man
Who picks up what he doesn't put down
And harvests what he hasn't planted?
23 Why didn't you put my coin in a bank,
So it likely would have added some interest?

24 'Then he said this to those who were standing nearby:
Take away the coin that I gave him
And give it to the one who has ten!

25 'But when they said, O Lord, he already has ten!,
26 He said, More will be given to those who have much,
But all will be taken from those who have none.

27 'Now, bring all my enemies here…
Those who didn't want me to serve as their king,
And before me, slaughter them all!
'

28 Then after he said all these things, he got up and started leading the way to JeruSalem. 29 And when he got close to BethPhage and BethAny (near the hill called the Mount of Olives), he sent two of the disciples ahead, 30 telling them: 'Go into that village opposite us; and as you're entering it, you'll find a colt that is tied, which no one has ridden before. Untie it and bring it here. 31 And if anyone asks why you're untying it, just tell him that the Lord needs it.'

32 Well, those who were sent ahead found things exactly as he said they would be. 33 So when the owners asked why they were untying the colt, 34 they just replied, 'The Lord needs it.' 35 So they then led it to Jesus, threw their robes over the colt, and set Jesus on [top of it]. 36 And as he traveled along, they were all spreading their robes over the road.

37 Then, as soon as he got close to the road that comes down the Mount of Olives [into JeruSalem], huge crowds of his disciples started rejoicing and praising God, shouting about all the powerful things that they had seen, 38 and saying, 'Praise this one who comes as King in the Name of Jehovah! Peace in the heavens and glory in the highest places!'

39 However, some of the Pharisees among the crowd came up to him and said, 'Teacher! Scold your disciples!'

40 But Jesus replied, 'I tell you this: If they were to remain silent, these stones would be doing the shouting!'

41 Well, as he was approaching the city, he looked at it and shed tears over it, saying:
42 'If you just knew this today…
The things that [would have led you] to peace…
But now, they've been hidden from your eyes.
43 For the days are coming when your enemies will arrive
And build around you a fort of pointed stakes.
Yes, they will completely surround you…
They'll come at you in force from all sides
44 And toss you and your young to the ground…
They won't leave a stone on top of a stone,
Because you failed to recognize
The time of your being inspected.'

45 Then from there he entered the Temple and started throwing out the vendors, 46 saying to them, 'Though it's written, My house will be a house of prayer, you've made it a den of thieves!'

47 So he taught in the Temple every day after that; and although the chief priests, scribes, and prominent people were looking to destroy him, 48 they couldn't come up with a just reason for doing this, since all the people were gathering around him and listening to him.

Chapter 20

1 Then one day, while he was teaching the people in the Temple and preaching the Good News; the chief priests, scribes, and elders came up 2 to him and said, 'Tell us where you got the authority to do these things… who told you that you could this?'

3 So he replied: 'Let me ask you a question… tell me this: 4 Was the baptism of John from heaven or from men?'

5 Then they got together and reasoned among themselves, saying: 'If we say, From heaven, he'll ask, Then, why didn't you believe him? 6 But if we say, From men, all the people will stone us, because they believe that John was a Prophet.' 7 So they came back and told him that they didn't know where it came from.

8 And Jesus said: 'Then I'm not telling you where I got the authority to do these things.'

9 Well after that, he gave the people this parable:
'A man once planted a vineyard
And contracted it out to some farmers;
Then he traveled abroad for a very long time.

10 'So, when it came time for the harvest,
He sent a slave to the farmers
To ask for some fruit from his vineyard.
But the farmers then had [that slave] whipped,
And sent him away empty-handed.

11 'Thereafter, [the man] did the same thing again,
Sending a different slave.
This one, they whipped and dishonored,
And they sent him away empty-handed.

12 'Thereafter, he sent them a third slave,
Whom they wounded and then threw him out.

13 'So the owner asked himself what else he could do,
And he said, I'll send my dearly-loved son,
For I'm sure that they will respect him.

14 'But when those farmers saw him arriving,
They discussed it, and then they said this:
This is the heir, so let us kill him,
And then his inheritance will be ours!

15 'So they threw him out of the vineyard,
And thereafter, they put him to death.

'So now, what do you think the owner will do? 16 Won't he come and destroy those [bad] farmers, then entrust his vineyard to others?'

Well when they heard this, the [Pharisees] said: 'Nothing like that will never happen!'

17 But he looked at them and said: 'Then, what is the meaning of the thing that was written, which says:
The stone that the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone?

18 I tell you that all who fall on this stone will be broken, and it will smash all those upon whom it falls.'

19 Well after that, the scribes and chief priests started looking for ways to arrest him, for they realized that his parable was about them. However, they were still afraid of the people, 20 so they just kept watching him closely.

Then they sent men who pretended to be righteous so as to trick him into saying something that would give them a reason to hand him over to the government and to the power of its governor. 21 So they came up to him and said: 'Teacher, we know that what you say and teach is right, and that you aren't swayed by a man's appearance… for you truthfully teach the ways of God. 22 So now, tell us; Should we pay the taxes to Caesar or shouldn't we?'

23 Well, recognizing what they were up to, he said: 24 'Show me a coin… whose image and inscription is on it?'

And they replied, 'Caesar's.'

25 Then he said: 'So then, pay Caesar's things to Caesar and pay God's things to God.'

26 Well as the result, they weren't able to catch him in anything that he said there in front of the people, and they were amazed by his answers, so they didn't say anything more to him after that.

27 However, some of the Sadducees (who say there is no resurrection) went up to him and asked him this: 28 'Teacher; Moses wrote that if a man dies leaving his woman childless, his brother should take the brother's woman and sire offspring for him.

29 'Now, let's say there were seven brothers. The first took a woman and then he died childless. 30 So the second one and then 31 the third took her, and the same thing happened to all seven… they all died before siring children. 32 Finally, the woman also died. 33 So, whose woman will she be in the resurrection, since all seven had her as theirs?'

34 And Jesus replied: 'Though the sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, 35 those who have been found worthy of that age and the resurrection from the dead won't marry or be given in marriage, 36 nor can they die anymore; for they'll have the power of the angels, since, as sons of the resurrection, they [will also be] sons of God.

37 'Even Moses showed that the dead will be raised. For when [he was] at the [burning] bush, he called Jehovah the God of AbraHam, the God of IsaAc, and the God of Jacob. 38 So He isn't a God of the dead but of the living, since they're all living to Him!'

39 Then some of the scribes said: 'Teacher, that was a fine answer.' 40 And they didn't have the courage to ask him anything more after that.

41 So [Jesus] then asked them: 'Why do they say that the Anointed One is David's son? 42 For David himself said in the scroll of the Psalms:
Jehovah said this to my lord:
Sit here at My right hand,
Til I set your enemies as a stool for you feet.

44 'So if David called him Lord, how could he be his son?'

45 Meanwhile, all the people were there listening to him. So he turned and said this to his disciples: 46 'Watch out for the scribes who like to walk around in robes, to be greeted in the markets, to have the front seats in the synagogues, and to have the most prominent places at the suppers. 47 For they swallow down the homes of widows and then cover their wrong by saying long prayers. This is why they'll receive a heavier judgment.'

Chapter 21

1 Well, as he looked up, he saw the rich dropping their gifts into the [Temple] treasury chests. 2 Then he saw a poor widow drop in two small copper coins, 3 and he said: 'I tell you the truth; although this widow is poor, she dropped in more than they all did, 4 since they dropped in gifts from their surplus, while this needy person dropped in her whole means of living!'

5 Then, as certain ones were discussing the Temple (how fine its stonework was and how nicely it was adorned), 6 he said: 'When it comes to these things that you see; the days are coming when there won't be a stone left on top of a stone that won't be thrown down here.'

7 So they asked him: 'Teacher, when will these things take place… what will be the signs when they're about to happen?'

8 And he replied: 'Be careful that no one misleads you, for many will come in my name and say, I'm the one, and The time has arrived, but don't follow them!

9 'You'll also hear about wars and disorders, but don't be frightened by this, for all those things must happen first. However, the end doesn't come right away.'

10 And he told them: 'Then nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, 11 there'll be many great rumblings, and there'll be famines and plagues everywhere, as well as fearful sights and signs in the skies. 12 However, before all these things happen, they're going to persecute you and arrest you, then lead you up before religious courts and have you locked up. Yes, because of my name, they'll drag you before governors and kings… 13 and that will be your sign!

14 '[But when this happens], resolve not to plan your defense; 15 for I'll give you a mouth and enough wisdom so that anyone who lies about you will be unable to resist or contradict you.

16 'However, your brothers and your parents… yes, even your own families and friends will betray you and kill some of you.17 And although everyone will dislike you because of my name, 18 not a hair on your heads will be harmed. 19 So by your endurance, you'll have gained your lives!

20 'Now, when you see armies camped around JeruSalem, know that her destruction is near. 21 Then those in Judea should run to the mountains… yes, everyone in her midst should flee, and those who are in [fields] must not enter her. 22 For those will be days of avenging and accomplishing all that has been written about her.

23 'Woe to those who are pregnant and nursing babies in those days, for there'll be great distress in the land as [God's] wrath comes upon these people. 24 They'll either be cut down with swords or be carried to the nations as captives. For JeruSalem will be trampled by the gentiles until the times of the nations are filled.

25 'At that time there'll be signs in the sun, moon, and stars; and on the earth, the nations will all be in distress, for they'll be confused by the roaring and the rolling surges of the seas. 26 Then men's hearts will become weak with fear in expectation of the things that will be coming upon the habitation of mankind, as [they see] the powers in the heavens being shaken. 27 For that's when they'll see the Son of Man coming on a cloud with great power and glory. 28 But as [you see] these things start to happen, you should stand erect and raise your heads high, for know that your time of deliverance has drawn near!'

29 Then he gave them this parable:
'Consider the figs and all other trees;
30 For, when they start putting out buds,
You can see that summer is near.

31 'Thus, when you see all these things start to happen,
You should know that the Kingdom of God has drawn near.

32 'I tell you the truth;
This generation will not pass away
Until all these things have been fulfilled…
33 Though the lands and the skies may all pass away,
My words will not pass away!

34 'So, pay close attention to yourselves
That your hearts don't become overburdened…
Don't allow the worries of life
To make your hearts reel and get drunk,
And let that day sneak up on you.
35 For it will arrive like a snare
Upon all who is sit on the face of the earth.

36 'So in every season, you must keep watch,
Praying that you'll have the strength
To escape all of these things that will happen,
And be able to stand before the Son of Man.'

37 Well, [Jesus] taught in the Temple during the daytime, and at night he would go and camp on the hill called The Mount of Olives. 38 Then all the people would come to the Temple early each morning to listen to him.

Chapter 22

1 Now, the Festival of Passover was getting near, 2 and the chief priests and scribes were looking for a way to get rid of Jesus. However, they were still afraid of the people. 3 Then the Opposer entered Judas (the one called IsCariot, who was one of the twelve), 4 and he went off and talked to the chief priests and [Temple] captains about ways that he could betray [Jesus] to them.

5 Well, they were delighted by this, and they agreed to pay him in silver coins, 6 which he accepted. So he started looking for an opportunity to betray [Jesus] when there were no crowds around.

7 Then, [just before] the day of No Fermentation (which is when the Passover was sacrificed), 8 [Jesus] sent Peter and John ahead of him, saying: Go and prepare for us to eat the Passover.' 9 And when they asked, 'Where do you want us to prepare it?' 10 he told them: '{Look!} When you go into the city, you'll be met by a man who is carrying a clay jar of water. Follow him into the house that he enters. 11 Then tell the master of the house that the Teacher wants to know where the guest room is where he can eat the Passover with his disciples. 12 And he will show you a large furnished upstairs room. Prepare it there.'

13 So they left and found things just as he said; and they prepared for the Passover.

14 Then when it was time, he reclined at the table with his Apostles, 15 and he said to them: 'I really wanted to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you that I won't eat it again until it's fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.' 17 And at that, he took a cup, gave thanks for it, and said, 'Take this and pass it among yourselves. 18 I tell you that from this point on, I definitely will not be drinking the fruit of the vine again until after the Kingdom of God has arrived.'

19 Then he took a loaf [of bread], gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them saying, 'This is my body, which is being handed over for you. Continue to do this in memory of me.' 20 And he did the same thing with the cup after supper, saying, 'This cup is the New Sacred Agreement of my blood that is being poured out on your behalf. 21 But look… the hand of my betrayer is with me here at this table! 22 So the Son (who indeed is from among mankind) will be going the way that has been marked out for him… yet, woe to that man through whom he's being betrayed!'

23 Well at that, they started discussing among themselves which one could possibly do such a thing.

24 But then, a friendly dispute also arose between them as to which one seemed to be the greatest. 25 So [Jesus] said to them: 'The kings of the gentiles rule over them, and those with power wish to be called benefactors. 26 However, you shouldn't be like them. Rather, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one taking the lead must be the servant of the rest. 27 For which is truly the greatest… the one who reclines at the table, or the one who does the serving? Isn't it the one who reclines at the table? Yet, here among you, I'm the one who has been doing the serving.

28 'Now, because you're the ones who stuck with me during my trials, 29 I'm giving this appointment to you, as my Father has given the appointment to me, for a Kingdom: 30 In my Kingdom, you'll eat and drink at my table, and you'll sit on thrones, from which you'll judge the twelve tribes of IsraEl.

31 'Simon, Simon {Look!}… the Opposer has demanded to have you so [he can] sift you like wheat! 32 However, I've pleaded with [God] on your behalf so that your faith doesn't give out… and then after you return, you can strengthen your brothers.'

33 But [Peter] said to him: 'Why Lord; I'm ready to go with you to prison and even into death!'

34 But [Jesus] said: 'I tell you this Peter; a rooster won't crow today until you've denied knowing me three times.'

35 Then he went on to say this to them: 'When I sent you out before without a money bag, or a food pouch, or extra sandals, you really didn't need anything more, did you?'

And they replied, 'No!'

36 But then he gave them this warning… he said: 'But now; if you have a money bag, you must carry it along, as well as a pouch for your food. And if you don't have a sword, you should go sell your coat and buy one. 37 For I'm telling you that this thing that was written about me must now be fulfilled: He was counted among the law breakers. Yes, this scripture is now going to be fulfilled in me.'

38 Then [the Apostles] said: 'Look, Lord… here are two swords!'

And He said to them: 'That's enough.'

39 Then he left, and as was his custom, he went to the Mount of Olives… and the disciples followed along. 40 And when he got there, he told them this: 'Now, pray that you won't be tested!'

41 Then he walked away from them about a stone's throw, and he bent down and started to pray, saying: 42 'Father; If it's Your Will, please take this cup away from me… but only if it's Your will, not mine.'

43 Then an angel from the heavens appeared to him, who gave him strength. 44 Yet, because he was still in agony, he prayed even harder; and his sweat became like drops of blood falling on the ground.

45 Well after he finished praying, he got up and returned to the disciples and found them sleeping (because they were all very grieved). 46 So he asked them: 'Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you won't be tested!'

47 But while he was still talking, {Look!} a mob approached with one of the twelve (the one called Judas) in the lead, and he walked right up to Jesus and kissed him! 48 Well at that, Jesus said: 'Judas, do you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?'

49 And when those who were around [Jesus] saw what was about to happen, they asked him: 'Lord, shall we fight them off with the sword?' 50 Well, that's when one of them struck the slave of the high priest, taking off his right ear. 51 And when that happened, Jesus said: 'It has gone far enough!' Then he touched the [man's] ear and healed him.

52 Then Jesus asked the chief priests, Temple captains, and elders who had come for him: 'Are you coming here with swords and clubs [as though I were] some thief? 53 Why, I was with you in the Temple every day, and you didn't try to grab me then… however, this is your hour and the power of darkness.'

54 So they arrested him and led him off to the house of the High Priest, as Peter followed along at some distance. 55 There they lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard, where they all sat down together, and Peter went and sat down among them. 56 But then a servant girl noticed him sitting there in the light of the fire… she looked at him very hard and said, '[This man] was with him also!'

57 But [Peter] denied it, saying, 'I don't know him, woman!'

58 And a little while later, someone else saw him and said, 'You're also one of them!'

But Peter said: 'Man, I'm not!'

59 Then, after standing around for another hour, someone started insisting, saying, 'It's true; this man was with him, because he's also a Galilean!'

60 But Peter said: 'Man, I don't know what you're talking about!' And just as he was speaking, a rooster crowed.

61 Then the Lord turned and looked at Peter, and Peter remembered the words that the Lord had said to him: 'Before the rooster crows today, you will deny knowing me three times.' 62 And he went outside and wept bitterly.

63 Well after that, the men who had taken [Jesus] into custody started making fun of him and they whipped him, 64 as they covered [his head] and were shouting, 'Now prophesy… tell us who's disciplining you!' 65 They were also saying all sorts of slanderous things about him.

66 Well, as the day was dawning, the people's body of elders assembled with the chief priests and scribes, and then they brought him before the Jewish High Court, where they said to him: 67 'If you really are the Anointed One, then say so!'

And he replied: 'If I told you, you wouldn't even start to believe it! 68 And if I asked you any questions, you wouldn't answer at all! 69 But from now on, the Son of Man will be sitting at the powerful right hand of The God!'

70 Well at that, they all asked, 'So, are you the Son of The God?'

And he replied: 'You're the ones who are saying that I am!'

71 And then they said: 'So, why do we need any more witnesses, for now we've heard it from his own mouth!'

Chapter 23

1 Well thereafter, the whole assembly got up and took [Jesus] before Pilate. 2 And there they accused him, saying: 'We found this man trying to undermine the principles of our nation by forbidding us to pay taxes to Caesar, and by saying that he's the Anointed One… a king!'

3 So Pilate asked him: 'Are you the king of the Jews?'

And he replied: 'You're the one who is saying this.'

4 Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds: 'I can't find anything wrong with this man.'

5 But they insisted, saying: 'He's been stirring up the people ---- throughout all of Judea… that's why he came here from Galilee!'

6 Well on hearing that, Pilate asked whether [Jesus] was in fact a Galilean. 7 Then, after learning that he was from Herod's realm, he sent him on to Herod (who also happened to be in JeruSalem at the time [for the Passover]).

8 Well when Herod saw Jesus, he was overjoyed, because he'd been wanting to see him for quite some time since he'd heard so much about him, and he hoped to see Jesus perform some sign. 9 So he asked many questions, but [Jesus] wouldn't answer him. 10 [And all the while], the chief priests and scribes kept standing up and accusing him.

11 But then, not knowing what to make of him, Herod and his troops made fun of Jesus by dressing him in bright clothes, and they sent him back to Pilate. 12 This is also why Herod and Pilate became friends that day, for they really hadn't liked each other prior to that.

13 So Pilate thereafter assembled the chief priests, rulers, and all the people, 14 and he told them: 'You brought this man to me as someone who was inciting the people to revolt. And look! I've examined him before you and I can't find any basis for the charges that you're bringing against him. 15 In fact, Herod didn't either, because he returned him to us. So, since he's done nothing deserving of death, 16 I'm just going to discipline him and then release him.' 17 ––

18 But with that, the entire crowd started shouting, 'Impale him and release BarAbbas to us!' 19 ([BarAbbas] was in prison because of [his involvement in] a revolt in the city, and for murder).

20 Well, Pilate shouted to them once again, because he wanted to release Jesus. 21 But they started yelling, 'Impale him! Impale him!'

22 So he asked them a third time: 'Why? What bad thing has he done? I haven't found anything that he's done to deserve death, so I'm just going to discipline him and then set him free!'

23 But they started shouting impatiently, demanding to have him hung on a pole… and their voices began to win out. 24 So Pilate gave in 25 and he released [BarAbbas] (who was in prison for rebellion and murder) to meet their demands, then he did what they wanted [him to do] to Jesus.

26 Well, as they were leading him away, they grabbed Simon (a Cyrenian who happened to be coming in from the fields) and laid the pole on him, so that he could carry it behind Jesus.

27 Meanwhile, a huge crowd of people (including many women) followed behind [Jesus], beating themselves in grief and wailing over him. 28 But Jesus turned to the women and said, 'Daughters of JeruSalem; Stop crying for me… cry instead for yourselves and for your children! 29 Because, {Look!} the days are coming when people will say: Those without any children, those whose wombs have not given birth, and those whose breasts didn't nurse, are the blest! 30 For they will then call to the mountains and say, Come and fall over us! and to the hills they'll shout, Come cover us over! 31 Because, if they've been willing to do such things when the tree is still moist, what will they do after it has withered?'

32 Well, two criminals were also being led out to be impaled along with [Jesus]. 33 And when they got to the place that was referred to as 'The Skull,' they hung him and the criminals on poles there (one on his right and the other on his left). 34 --- Then [the soldiers] threw dice for [Jesus'] clothes, 35 as the people just stood there watching. However, their rulers were looking on angrily and saying, 'He saved others, so let him save himself if he's truly the Anointed of God… His chosen one!'

36 Even the soldiers made fun of him, coming up to him and offering him soured wine 37 and saying, 'If you're the king of the Jews, save yourself!'

38 There was also a sign that had been placed above him [that said], 'This is the king of the Jews.'

39 Then one of the criminals who was hanging there started speaking badly to him, saying: 'If you're the Anointed One, save yourself… and save us too!'

40 But the other one scolded him, saying, 'Aren't you at all afraid of God, since you've received the same judgment? 41 And this is only right, because we're getting what we deserve in full measure for the bad things that we've done. However, he hasn't done anything wrong!'

42 Then he said to Jesus: 'Remember me when you come into your Kingdom.'

43 And [Jesus] replied, 'I tell you this today: You will be with me in the Paradise.'

44 Well, it was already about the sixth hour… and then the whole land became covered by a darkness [that lasted] until the ninth hour, 45 for the sunlight had failed. Then the Temple curtain split down the middle, 46 and Jesus called out in a loud voice, saying: 'Father, I entrust my breath to Your hands.' And after saying that, he died.

47 Well when the centurion saw [all of this] happening, he glorified God and said: 'This truly was a righteous man!' 48 And all the crowds that had come to watch this spectacle (after seeing all these things) started beating themselves [in grief] once again.

49 Meanwhile, those who knew him (such as the women who had followed him from Galilee) were standing at some distance and paying attention to all that was happening.

50 Then {Look!} JoSeph (a man from HariMathea, a city in Judea), who was a good and righteous man and one of the Council members 51 (one who didn't go along with what the [others] said or did, and who was also awaiting the Kingdom of God) 52 went to Pilate and asked for Jesus' body. 53 So he took it down, then he wrapped it in fine linen and laid it in a tomb that had been cut into the rock where no one had ever been placed before.

54 Well, since it was [the day of] Preparation and the Sabbath was about to arrive, 55 the women who had come with him from Galilee and who had followed along to look at the tomb to see how his body was laid out 56 and thereafter went back to prepare spices and perfumed ointments, followed the Commandments by resting on the Sabbath.

Chapter 24

1 It was on the first day of the week, at early dawn, that they went back to the tomb carrying the spices that they had prepared. 2 But when they got there, they found that the stone [that covered the tomb's entrance] had been rolled away; 3 and when they went inside, they couldn't find the Lord Jesus' body.

4 Well, as they were standing there confused, {Look!} two men in glowing clothes appeared beside them, 5 which frightened them, and they hung their heads to the ground.

Then [the men] asked: 'Why are you looking for the living among the dead? 6 [Jesus] isn't here; he got up! Don't you remember? When he spoke to you in Galilee, 7 he said that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men, then he would be hung on a pole, and [he would be] resurrected on the third day.'

8 So, that's when they remembered what he had told them, 9 and they left the tomb to report these things to the eleven and all the others.

10 It was Mary of Magdala, Joanna, Mary (the [mother] of James) and the rest of the women, who reported these things to the Apostles. 11 However, what they said sounded like nonsense, so nobody believed them.

12 However, Peter then got up and ran to the tomb. And when he leaned in, all he found was the wrappings. So he left, wondering what had happened.

13 {Look!} Also on that very same day, as two of [Jesus' disciples] were on their way to a village named EmMaus (which is about seven miles from JeruSalem), 14 they had been discussing all the things that had happened. 15 And as they were talking and reasoning, Jesus himself came up and started walking along with them… 16 however, their eyes refused to recognize him. 17 So he asked them: 'What is this subject that you're debating as you've been walking along?'

And at that, they stopped and looked very sad. 18 Then the one named CleoPas said, 'Have you been living as a recluse in JeruSalem that you don't know what has happened over the past few days?'

19 And [Jesus] asked, 'What things?'

Then they replied: 'The things [that happened to] Jesus the Nazarene… a Prophet who came with powerful words and deeds in front of God and all the people! 20 For our chief priests and rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death and hung on a pole. 21 However, we were hoping that he was the one who would set IsraEl free… it has only been three days since these things happened! 22 Then some women among us really shocked us. For they went to the tomb early [this morning] 23 and they said that they couldn't find his body. Then when they got back, they told us that they had a vision of messengers [from God] who told them that he's still alive! 24 So, some from among us went to the tomb and found it was just as the women said… they didn't see him.'

25 Well at that, [Jesus] said to them: 'O senseless ones whose hearts are slow when it comes to believing all the things that the Prophets said. 26 Wasn't it necessary for the Anointed One to suffer these things and then enter his glory?' 27 So, starting from Moses and the Prophets, he explained all the scriptures that talked about him.

28 Well, when they reached the village where they were headed, he acted as though he was going on. 29 But they pressured him, saying: 'Stay with us, because it's getting late and most of the day is already gone!' So he stayed with them.

30 Then, as he was reclining with them for a meal, he took a loaf, spoke a blessing over it, broke it, and started handing it to them. 31 Well, that's when their eyes were fully opened and they recognized him… but then he disappeared! 32 And they said to each other: 'Weren't our hearts burning as he talked to us along the road, completely explaining the Scriptures to us?'

33 So they got up right away and returned to JeruSalem. And there they found the eleven gathered with the rest, 34 who told them: 'The Lord was in fact raised, because he appeared to Simon!'

35 Then the [two men] also told [the group] what had happened [to them] on the road and of how he became recognizable when he broke the loaf.

36 Well, while they were still talking about these things, [they suddenly saw] Jesus standing there in their midst. And he said, 'May you have peace.' 37 But this frightened and terrified them, because they thought they were seeing a [wicked] spirit.

38 So he asked them: 'Why are you so worried, and what sort of conclusions are you reaching in your hearts? 39 Look… my hands and my feet… it's me! Touch me and see, because a spirit doesn't have flesh and bones as you see that I have!' 40 And as he said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.

41 But because they still didn't believe (due to both joy and confusion), he asked them: 'Do you have something to eat?'

42 So they handed him a piece of broiled fish; 43 and he took it and ate it in front of them.

44 Then he said to them: 'These are the things that I spoke to you about while I was still with you; for everything that was written about me in the Law of Moses, in the Prophets, and in the Psalms, had to be fulfilled.' 45 Then he opened their minds to fully understand the meanings of the Scriptures.

46 He said to them: 'It was written that the Anointed One would suffer this way and then rise from the dead on the third day. 47 Then in his name, [the message of] repentance for the forgiveness of sins is to be preached among all the nations, starting from JeruSalem… 48 and you [are the ones] who are to serve as the witnesses to these things!

49 'So look! I will [soon] be sending you [something] that was promised by my Father. Therefore, you must stay in the city until after you've become clothed with the power from above.'

50 And with that, he led them out along the road to BethAny… then he raised his hands and blest them. 51 And as he was blessing them, he was taken away from them into the sky.

52 Then, after bowing to their faces before him, they returned to JeruSalem filled with joy. 53 And thereafter, they were always found in the Temple, praising God.

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