Matthew

Written in Aramaic by Jesus' Apostle Matthew about 42-CE and translated into Greek in the early 2nd Century

The Poetry of Jesus: Recognize that many of the sermons and parables of Jesus were spoken poetically in order to be remembered by his followers.
And although the cadence comes through clearly to Bible translators, most have chosen not to write it as poetry due to the extra effort this requires,
and because most Bible readers simply aren't interested in the beauty of his words, but in the content. However, Jesus spoke and taught beautifully,
and you will notice how we have attempted, within the range of accuracy, to render the words of Jesus' parables as he spoke them (poetically).
Remember that there was no television, radio, or newspapers in Jesus' time, since printing and electronic media had not been invented.
So the main method for communicating widely to the public was through poetry and the words of songs that could be remembered and repeated.

Chapter 1

1 This is the scroll of the origins of Jesus the Anointed, the Son of David, the Son of AbraHam.

2 AbraHam fathered IsaAc. IsaAc fathered Jacob. Jacob fathered Judah and his brothers. 3 Judah fathered Perez and Zerah by Tamar. Perez fathered Hezron. Hezron fathered Ram. 4 Ram fathered AmiNadab. AmiNadab fathered Nashon. Nashon fathered Salmon. 5 Salmon fathered Boaz by RaHab. Boaz fathered Obed by Ruth. Obed fathered Jesse. 6 Jesse fathered David, the king.

David fathered Solomon by the wife of UriAh. 7 Solomon fathered RehoBoam. RehoBoam fathered AbiJah. AbiJah fathered Asa. 8 Asa fathered JehoShaphat. JehoShaphat fathered JehoRam. JehoRam fathered UzZiAh. 9 UzZiAh fathered JoTham. JoTham fathered Ahaz. Ahaz fathered HezekiAh. 10 HezekiAh fathered ManasSeh. ManasSeh fathered Amon. Amon fathered JosiAh. 11 JosiAh fathered JeconiAh and his brothers before the deportation to Babylon.

12 After the deportation to Babylon, JeconiAh fathered ShalathiEl. ShalathiEl fathered ZerubBabel. 13 ZerubBabel fathered AbiUd. AbiUd fathered EliAkim. EliAkim fathered Azor. 14 Azor fathered Zadok. Zadok fathered Achim. Achim fathered EliUd. 15 EliUd fathered EliAzar. EliAzar fathered MatThan. MatThan fathered Jacob. 16 Jacob fathered JoSeph (the father of Mary) from whom Jesus (who is called the Anointed One) was born.

17 So, there were fourteen generations from AbraHam to David, fourteen generations from David until the deportation to Babylon, and fourteen generations from the deportation to Babylon until [the coming of] the Anointed One.

18 This is the way that Jesus the Anointed started out: While his mother Mary was promised in marriage to JoSeph, she was found to be pregnant by [God's] Holy Breath before the marriage was consummated. 19 However, because JoSeph (her man) was righteous and didn't want to make [Mary] a public spectacle, he planned to release her secretly. 20 But after he decided to do that, {Look!} Jehovah's messenger appeared to him in a dream, saying, 'JoSeph, son of David; Don't be afraid to take Mary as your woman, because what has been fathered in her is from [God's] Holy Breath. 21 She will give birth to a son and you will call his name Jesus (Jehovah Saves), because he will save his people from their sins.'

22 This whole thing happened so that what was spoken by Jehovah through the Prophet would be fulfilled:
23 'A virgin will get pregnant and then bear a son,
Whose name you must call, ImManuEl (With Us is God).'

24 Well, after JoSeph woke up, he did what Jehovah's messenger told him to do, and he took the woman. 25 However, [JoSeph] didn't have sexual relations with her until after she had given birth to a son, whom he called by the name, Jesus.

Chapter 2

1 Then after Jesus was born (in BethLehem of Judea during the days of King Herod), {Look!} Magi from the east came to JeruSalem, 2 asking, 'Where is this one who was born to be the king of the Judeans? We saw his star in the east and we came to bow low before him.'

3 Well when he heard about this, King Herod was very disturbed (as was everyone else in JeruSalem). 4 So he gathered all the chief priests and the peoples' scribes and asked them where this Anointed One was to be born. 5 And they replied: 'In BethLehem of Judea╔ because, this is what was written through the Prophet:
6 And you, O BethLehem in the land of Judea
Will no way be the least among rulers of Judah.
For from you, will come forth a leader,
Who will shepherd IsraEl, My people.'

7 Then Herod secretly called for those Magi and carefully determined from them when the star had appeared. 8 And before he sent them on to BethLehem, he said, 'Search carefully for the young child; and when you find him, report back to me, so I can go and bow before him also.' 9 And after listening to what the king had to say, they traveled on╔ for {Look!} the star that they saw in the east went ahead of them until it stood directly over [the place] where the young child was.

10 Well, when they saw the star [do this], they were beside themselves with joy. 11 And after they entered the house, they saw the little boy with Mary (his mother), and they fell down and bowed before him. Then they opened their treasures and gave the child gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 However, because they had been given a divine warning in a dream that they weren't to return to Herod, they went back home via another route.

13 Well, after they left, {Look!} Jehovah's messenger appeared to JoSeph in a dream saying, 'Get up! Take the boy and his mother, then hurry to Egypt and stay there until I tell you otherwise, because Herod is going to search for the boy to destroy him!'

14 So he got up during the night and took the child and his mother, and they left for Egypt, 15 where they stayed until after Herod died, so that the thing that was said by Jehovah through the Prophet would be fulfilled: 'I called My son out of Egypt.'

16 Well, when Herod saw that the Magi had outwitted him, he was furious. So he sent [a proclamation] throughout BethLehem and its districts to have all the boys who were two-years-old and younger to be gathered [for destruction], since that was the period he had determined so carefully from the Magi. 17 And that's also when the thing that was spoken through the Prophet JeremiAh was fulfilled, which said:
18 'A voice was heard crying from RamAh╔
The sounds of weeping, wailing, and grief.
It was the voice of RachEl, crying for her sons,
And she refused to accept any comfort,
Because they're no longer [alive].'

19 Well, after Herod died, {Look!} Jehovah's messenger appeared in a dream to JoSeph while he was in Egypt 20 and he said: 'Get up! Take the child and his mother and return to the land of IsraEl, because those who wanted to take the child's life are now dead!'

21 So [JoSeph] got up and took the child and his mother, and returned to the land of IsraEl. 22 But when he heard that ArcheLaus had become the ruler in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there because of a divine warning that had been given to him in a dream. As the result, he traveled to the territory of GaliLee 23 and they went to live in a city named Nazareth. And by this, the thing that was spoken through the Prophet was fulfilled: 'A Nazarene is what he'll be called.'

Chapter 3

1 It was in those days that John the Baptist came preaching in the desert around Judea, 2 saying: 'Repent, for the Kingdom of the heavens (or, of God) has drawn near.' 3 He's the one about whom the Prophet IsaiAh spoke, saying:
'A voice calls out in the desert:
Prepare the way for the Lord;
Before him, straighten the roads
!'

4 John wore clothes made of camel's hair, he wore a thick leather belt around his waist, and what he ate was locusts and wild honey.

5 Then [people from] JeruSalem (as well as from the rest of Judea and the area all around the Jordan) came to him 6 to be baptized in the Jordan River, as they openly admitted their sins. 7 And when he saw many of the Pharisees and SadDucees (actually, Sad/dou/kai/um) coming to be baptized, he said to them: 'Children of vipers; Who has shown you the need to flee from the coming rage? 8 You should first produce the [type of] fruit that proves you are worthy of repentance. 9 And don't be so bold as to say, Our father is AbraHam; for I tell you that God can make children of AbraHam from these stones! 10 Why, the ax is already lying at the roots of the trees and every tree that isn't producing good fruit is going to be cut down and thrown into the fire!

11 'Indeed, I will baptize you in water [as a sign of your] repentance. But the one who is coming after me is greater than me╔ in fact, I'm unfit to remove his sandals! [When he arrives], he'll baptize you in fire and Spirit╔ 12 he'll [take] his shovel into his hands and completely clean up his threshing floor, then he'll gather the wheat into his storehouse and burn all the chaff with a fire that can't be put out!'

13 Then sometime later, Jesus came from GaliLee to see John at the Jordan River in order to be baptized by him. 14 But [John] tried to prevent him, saying, 'I'm the one who should be baptized by you! Why are you coming to me?'

15 But Jesus told him: 'Let it be like this for now╔ this is the right thing for us to do, so we can fulfill all that is righteous.' And at that, [John] no longer tried to stop him.

16 Well, after Jesus was baptized (immediately after he come up out of the water), {Look!} the heavens opened before him, and [John] saw God's Breath descending upon him [in the form of] a dove. 17 And {Look!} there was also a voice that came out of the sky that said: 'This is My dearly-loved Son who has pleased Me well.'

Chapter 4

1 Then [God's] Breath led Jesus into the desert to be tempted by the Slanderer. 2 And after he had fasted for forty days and forty nights, he was very hungry, 3 so the Tempter came to him and said, 'If you are a the Son of The God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread!'

4 And [Jesus] replied, 'It is written:
Man doesn't live by just bread alone,
But by every word that comes from God's mouth
.'

5 Then the Slanderer took him to the Holy City, put him up on one of the Temple's high battle towers, 6 and said, 'If you're a son of The God, jump down! For it's written:
He'll assign [His] messengers around you,
And on their hands, they will lift you,
So you'll not hit your foot on a stone.
'

7 But Jesus told him, 'Once again, it is written:
Don't put Jehovah your God to the test.'

8 Then the Slanderer took him along to an unusually high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said, 'I will give all of these to you if you'll just bow before me with your face to the ground.'

10 But Jesus replied, 'Go away Slanderer, because it is written:
Indeed; you must worship Jehovah, your God,
And Him alone should you serve
.'

11 Well after that, the Slanderer left him, and {Look!} [God's] messengers came and started serving [Jesus' needs].

12 It was after he heard that John had been arrested that [Jesus] returned to GaliLee╔ 13 he moved out of Nazareth and started living in CapharNaum (which is by the sea in the districts of ZebuLun and NaphTali). 14 This was done so [the prophecy] that was spoken through the Prophet IsaiAh could be fulfilled:
15 'O lands of ZebuLun and NaphTali╔
You coasts and those on the Jordan's east shore,
And you, O Galilee of the gentiles╔
16 The people who were traveling in darkness
Then saw a [very] bright light.
For a light will then shine upon those
Who live in the place of the shadow of death.'

17 Well from that time on, Jesus started preaching and saying: 'Repent, for the Kingdom of the heavens (or, of God) has drawn near!'

18 Then, it was while he was walking along by the Sea of GaliLee that he saw two brothers, Simon (the one called Peter) and his brother Andrew╔ fishermen who were casting their nets on the sea. 19 And he said to them: 'Follow me and I'll make you fishers of men!'

20 Well, they immediately dropped their nets and they started following him.

21 And traveling on from there, he saw two more brothers, James [the son] of ZebediOu, and his brother John. They were in the boat with ZebediOu their father, repairing their nets, when he called them; 22 and right away, they left the boat and their father and they also started following him.

23 Thereafter, [Jesus] traveled throughout all of GaliLee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the Kingdom, and curing all the peoples' diseases and infirmities. 24 So people heard about him all the way to the land of Syria, from which they also brought their sick (those with various diseases and ailments, the demon-possessed, as well as epileptics and paralyzed persons), and he cured them all. 25 As the result, huge crowds from GaliLee, the DecaPolis, JeruSalem and the rest of Judea, as well as those from the other side of the Jordan started following him.

Chapter 5

1 Well, when [Jesus] saw the crowds, he went up a mountain and sat down, and his disciples came to him. 2 Then he opened his mouth and started teaching them, saying:

3 'Blest are those poor in spirit;
For, theirs is the Kingdom of the heavens.

4 'Blest are those who are sad;
For, they will be given comfort.

5 'Blest are the meek;
For, they will inherit the land.

6 'Those hungering and thirsting for righteousness are blest;
For, they will find satisfaction.

7 'Blest are those who show mercy;
For, mercy is what they'll receive.

8 'Blest are those pure in heart;
For, they will [come to] see God.

9 'Blest are those who make peace;
For, they will be called Sons of God.

10 'Blest are those who receive persecution
For doing [things that are] righteous,
Since theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.

11 'You're blest when they insult and persecute you,
Then say many bad things about you
And lie about you for my sake.
12 So, rejoice and [cry out in] joy;
For your reward in the heavens is great,
Since that's how they treated the Prophets before you.

13 'You are the salt of the earth,
But if salt becomes weak, is it still salt?
No, when it no longer has strength,
It's thrown outside to be walked on.

14 'You are the light of this world
And a city on a hill can't be hidden!
15 You don't light a lamp
Then put it under a basket╔
You put it on a lampstand instead,
Where it can shine throughout the whole house!

16 'So, let your light shine before all,
Then they can speak of the good things you've done
And give glory to your Father in the heavens.

17 'Don't think that I came to destroy
The Law or the [words of the] Prophets╔
I came to fulfill, not to destroy.

18 'I'm telling you the truth when I say, it's more likely that the land and the skies would pass away than for an iota or a small point on a letter of the Law to pass away before it is all fulfilled. 19 So, whoever breaks the least of the Commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven, while those who teach and follow [the Law] will be called great in the Kingdom. 20 And I also say this to you: If you aren't more righteous than the scribes and Pharisees, you won't enter the Kingdom of the heavens (or, of God).

21 'You've heard that the ancients were told: You must not commit murder, for those who murder will be judged. 22 However, I tell you this: Whoever stays angry with his brother will also have to be judged, and anyone who calls his brother empty-headed must stand before the religious court. Also, anyone who [calls his brother] a moron will be [condemned] to the fires in the garbage-dump.

23 'If you bring a gift to [God's] Altar, but while you're on the way you remember that your brother holds something against you; 24 leave your gift at the Altar and go. First make peace with your brother, and then return to offer your gift.

25 'Also, while you're on your way [to a court], you should quickly work out an agreement with your adversary so won't have to leave the matter in the hands of the judge who may hand you over to the bailiff, who will then lock you in jail. 26 If that happens, I tell you this for a fact: You won't be released until you've paid your last cent.

27 'You've also heard that it's said: You must not commit Adultery. 28 But I tell you that any man who stares at a woman and develops a desire [to have] her, has committed adultery [with her] in his heart. 29 So if your right eye becomes a trap to you, pull it out and throw it away! For it's better to lose a piece of yourself than to lose your whole body in the garbage dump. 30 Or if your right hand becomes a trap to you, cut it off and throw it away! For it's better to lose a piece of yourself than to lose your whole body in the garbage dump.

31 'It is said that whoever releases his woman should give her a certificate of rejection. 32 But I say: Whoever releases his woman except for sexual immorality, leads her into adultery. And whoever marries a woman who has been so released is committing adultery.

33 'Again, you heard it was said long ago: You must not swear false oaths; rather, you must do as you vow before Jehovah. 34 However, I tell you this:
Swear oaths by nothing at all!
Don't swear by heaven, for that is God's throne;
35 Don't swear by the earth, because that's His footstool;
And do not swear by JeruSalem,
Because, that's the city of the great king.
36 Don't swear by the hairs on your head,
For you can't turn a hair black or white!
37 So, let your yes just mean yes,
And your no just mean no,
For it's things like this that lead you to badness.

38 'You've also heard it was said: Eye for eye and tooth for tooth. 39 But I say to you: Don't oppose evil men. If someone slaps your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 And if someone wants to take you to court and sue you for your underwear, give him the rest of your clothes! 41 Or if someone forces you to serve him for a mile, go with him for two miles! 42 Yes, give freely to all those who ask, and don't turn away anyone who wishes to borrow.

43 'You've heard the saying that goes: You must love your neighbors and dislike your enemies. 44 But I say: Show love for your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; 45 for by doing this, you'll prove yourselves the sons of your Father in the heavens who allows the sun to rise upon both the wicked and the good, and who sends rain to both the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you only love those who love you, what reward are you due╔ don't tax collectors do the same thing? 47 And if you only greet your brothers, what are you doing that's so special╔ don't the gentiles do the same thing? 48 You must be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect!'

Chapter 6

1 'Be careful not to practice your righteousness before other men so that they can see what you're doing, for if you do, you won't receive a reward from your Father in the heavens. 2 And when you're giving gifts to the needy, don't blow a trumpet in the synagogue or out in the streets like the hypocrites do so they can be praised by the people. I tell you the truth; when they do this, that's the only reward they'll receive. 3 Rather, when you give gifts to the needy, don't so much as [tell] your left hand what your right hand is doing. 4 Give your gifts to the needy in secret, and then your Father who watches in secret will be [the One] who repays you.

5 'And don't pray like the hypocrites do, for they [like to] pray as they're standing in their synagogues and on the corners of the main streets so that people will notice what they're doing. I tell you the truth; that is their full reward. 6 Rather, when you pray, go into your room and after shutting the door, pray to your Father in secret. Then you'll be repaid by your Father who is watching in secret.

7 'And when praying, don't babble the same words as the gentiles do. For they think that they may only be heard through the use of many words. 8 No, don't act like them, for your God and Father already knows everything that you need before you ask Him.

9 'Now, this is how you should pray:
Our Father who is in the heavens;
May Your Name be treated as Holy;
10 May Your Kingdom arrive;
And may Your Will take place on the earth
As it has in the heavens.

11 'Give us our bread for this day
12 And please forgive all our debts
As we've forgiven those who owe us.
13 Into temptation, may we not be led,
And from the wicked [one], save us.

14 'For if you're willing forgive other people's errors, your Father in heaven will overlook yours. 15 However, if you aren't willing to forgive their errors, your Father won't forgive yours.

16 'Also, when you fast, don't put on a sad face like the hypocrites do, because they contort their faces to make sure that everyone knows they're fasting. I tell you the truth; this is all the reward they'll receive. 17 But whenever you fast, wash your face and rub your head with oil 18 so that no one will know that you're fasting other than your Father who is watching in secret╔ and then your Father who's watching in secret will be [the One] who repays you.

19 'Stop storing up treasures on earth, which can be eaten by rust and by moths, or which thieves can break in and steal. 20 Rather, store your treasures in the heavens where they can't be consumed by moths or by rust, and where thieves can't break in and steal them. 21 For wherever your treasures are, is where your hearts will be.

22 'Your eyes are the lamps of your bodies, and if [you keep] your eyes simple, they will make your whole bodies bright. 23 But if your eyes are just wicked, they'll make your whole bodies dark. And when the only light within you is darkness; how great that darkness will be!

24 'No one can slave for two masters; for you'll [find that] you won't care for the one, but you'll love the other╔ you'll be devoted this one, but you'll despise the other╔ and this is why you can't slave for God and for wealth!

25 'I'm also telling you that you shouldn't worry about your lives and about the things that you'll eat --- or about your bodies and what you'll wear. For the person you are on the inside is more important than food and [your] body is more important than clothes. 26 Rather, notice the birds in the skies╔ they don't plant seeds, or harvest, or put things in storage sheds, because your Father in the heavens provides them their food╔ and aren't you [greater than] they are? 27 Which of you can through worry add even a smidgen of the length to your lives?

28 'Also, when it comes to clothes, why worry? Rather, pay attention to the way that lilies grow in the fields. Although they don't work or spin cloth,29 not even Solomon in all of his glory was as well-dressed as they are. 30 So if God so well dresses the plants in the fields that are here today and thrown into the oven tomorrow; wouldn't He rather clothe you╔ you with so little faith?

31 'Therefore, never be worried and ask, What are we going to eat and drink, or, What are we going to wear? 32 For these are the types of things that the gentiles are concerned with╔ and your Father in the heavens already knows that you need these things! 33 Rather, put the Kingdom and righteousness first, and then all these other things will be given to you. 34 No, don't worry about what tomorrow will bring, because tomorrow will have its own problems and each day will have its own badness.

Chapter 7

1 'Do not judge others, so you won't be judged.
2 For the [rules] by which you judge others
Are the rules they will use to judge you;
And the standards you're setting for them
Are the standards that they'll set for you.

3 'Why look for the chaff in the eye of your brother
When you can't see the rafter in yours?
4 For, how can you say to your brother,
Let me remove this chaff from your eye,
When {Look!} there is a rafter in yours?

5 'Hypocrites!
First remove the rafters from your own eyes,
And then you'll be able to see
How to take chaff from the eye of your brother.

6 'Don't lay your holy things before dogs
Nor throw your pearls before pigs
So they cannot trample them under their feet
And then turn around and gore you.

7 'Keep asking and you will receive╔
Keep searching and you will find╔
Keep knocking and it will be opened.
8 For, all will receive, who keep asking╔
All who keep searching, will find╔
And [the door] will be opened to all those who knock.

9 'For about which man, isn't this true:
If his son should ask him for bread,
He will not hand him a stone.
10 Or if he should ask for a fish,
He will not hand him a snake.
11 So if you, in your wicked condition
Provide good gifts to your children;
How much more will your Father in heaven
Give good things to those who keep asking?

12 'Also, as you would like to be treated,
Is the way that you should treat others.
For, that's [the point] of the Law and the Prophets!

13 'You should enter through the gate that is narrow,
For the road to destruction is both broad and wide,
And that's where most people are going.
14 But the gateway to life is narrow and tight,
And few are those who can find it.

15 'Beware of false prophets who come dressed as sheep,
But on the inside, are just hungry wolves.
16 You'll recognize them by the fruit that they bear╔
For you don't pick grapes from a brier,
And you don't pick figs from a thistle.

17 'Good trees produce fruit that is good,
While the rotten trees give fruit that's bad.
18 A good tree will not bear bad fruit,
And a rotten tree won't bear what's good.
19 Then the trees that don't bear good fruit
Will be cut down and thrown in a fire╔
20 So you'll recognize them by the fruit that they bear!

21 'Not all who call out Lord, Lord, to me
Will enter the Kingdom of heaven╔
Just those who are doing the Will
Of my Father in the heavens.

22 'Yet, many will say, O Lord;
In your name, didn't we prophesy╔
In your name, didn't we cast out demons
Haven't we done great deeds in your name?

23 But I'll tell them that I never knew them╔
Get away from me, you lawbreakers!

24 'Now, those who listen and do what I say
Are like the very wise man
Who founded his home upon rock.
25 And because of its solid foundation,
It will be able to stand
When winds, floods, and rains beat on his house.

26 'But those who hear and don't do what I say
Are like fools who found their houses on sand.
27 For when they face winds, rains, and floods,
They will fall in a mighty collapse.'

28 Well, after Jesus finished said these things, the crowds were awe-struck by his way of teaching. 29 Because, unlike their scribes, he taught with authority.

Chapter 8

1 Then, as he was coming down the mountain (followed by a large crowd), 2 {Look!} a man with leprosy came up and bowed low before him, saying, 'Lord, if you just want to, you can make me clean!'

3 So [Jesus] stuck out his hand and touched him, saying, 'I want to╔ be clean.' And [the man] was immediately wiped clean of his leprosy.

4 Then Jesus said to him: 'Don't tell anyone [about this]╔ just go and show yourself to the Priests, then offer the gift that Moses specified, so they can testify to what has happened.'

5 And as he was entering CapharNaum, a [Roman] Centurion came to him pleading: 6 'Lord; My [house]boy is so paralyzed that he can't leave my home, and he's in a lot of pain!' 7 So [Jesus] said to him: 'I'll cure him when I get there.'

8 However, the Centurion said: 'Sir, I'm unfit to have you enter my house╔ so just say the word and I know that he will be healed. 9 I'm also a man who has been given a lot of authority, because I have many soldiers under me. So if I tell this one, Be on your way, he's on his way; or if I say to another, Come, he comes; or if I tell my slave to do this, he does it.'

10 Well, Jesus was amazed, and he said this to those who were following him: 'I tell you the truth; I haven't found anyone in IsraEl with this much faith. 11 And I tell you; many will come from where the sun rises to where it sets, and they will recline [at the table] along with AbraHam, IsaAc, and Jacob in the Kingdom of the heavens (or, of God), 12 while the Sons of the Kingdom will be thrown outside into the darkness, where they'll cry and grind their teeth.'

13 Then Jesus said to the Centurion: 'Go on╔ let it be just as you've believed!' And the man's [house]boy was healed in that very hour.

14 Well, when he got to Peter's house, Jesus saw [Peter's] mother-in-law lying down because she had a fever. 15 So he touched her hand, and the fever left her. Then she got up and started serving him.

16 Then later that evening, people started bringing him many who were demon-possessed. So he cast out the spirits with a word and he cured all those who were ill, 17 so that the words which were spoken through the Prophet IsaiAh could be fulfilled: 'He took our infirmities and bore our diseases.'

18 However, when Jesus saw that a huge crowd had started to form, he said to [his disciples], 'Let's leave for the other side [of the Sea of GaliLee].' 19 But [as they were leaving], a scribe came up to him and said: 'Teacher, I'll follow you wherever you go!' 20 And Jesus said to him:
'Though foxes have burrows and birds in the skies have their nests,
The Son of Man has no place to lay his head.'

21 Then another disciple came up and said to him: 'Lord, please allow me to go and bury my father first.'

22 But Jesus told him: 'Keep following me and let the dead bury their own dead.'

23 Then he and his disciples stepped into a boat and left. 24 But thereafter, {Look!} the sea became agitated and waves started crashing over the boat. Meanwhile, [Jesus] was just lying there asleep. 25 So [the disciples] went over and woke him up, saying, 'Lord save us, for we're about to be destroyed!'

26 But [Jesus] asked, 'Why are you so afraid╔ you with so little faith?' Then he got up and scolded the winds and the sea, and a great calm set in, 27 which caused the [disciples] to start wondering and asking each other, 'What kind of person is this; for even the winds and the seas obey him!'

28 Well, when they got to the other side [of the sea], into the country of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men came out from among the tombs to meet him. They were so unusually fierce that no one else had the courage to even pass that way. 29 And {Look!} they started shouting, 'What do you want with us, O Son of God? Did you come here before the appointed time to torment us?'

30 Meanwhile, there was a large herd of pigs feeding [in a field] some distance away. 31 So the demons started begging [Jesus], saying, 'If you're going to cast us out, send us into that herd of pigs!'

32 And [Jesus] said to them: 'Then, go!'

So they came out and went into the pigs, and {Look!} the entire herd ran down a steep cliff into the sea, where they [drowned] in the water.

33 Well when that happened, the people who were keeping watch over the pigs in that field ran away. And when they got to the city, they told everyone what they saw╔ including what [he had done] to the demon-possessed men. 34 So {Look!} all the people in the city came out to meet Jesus. But when they saw him, they begged him to just cross back [over the sea], away from their district.

Chapter 9

1 So he stepped into the boat and traveled back to the town where he was staying. 2 And when he got there, {Look!} some people brought him a paralyzed man who was lying on a cot. Then when he saw that the man had a lot of faith, Jesus said to him: 'Take courage child; your sins are forgiven.'

3 However, {Look!} some scribes [who overheard this] were thinking to themselves: 'He's blaspheming!'

4 But Jesus (who knew what they were thinking) asked: 'Why are you thinking such wicked things in your hearts? 5 Is it easier to say, your sins are forgiven, or just, get up and walk? 6 However, I want you to know that the Son of Man has the power to forgive sins here on the earth.' So he said to the paralyzed man: 'Now, get up, pick up your cot, and go home.' 7 And at that, the man got up and went home.

8 Well, when the crowds saw this they were all frightened and they started praising The God who gives such powers to men.

9 Then he left that place, and while he was traveling on, Jesus noticed a man named Matthew sitting in a tax office, and he said to him: 'Be my follower.' And immediately, [Matthew] got up and started following him.

10 Then later, while [Jesus] was reclining at the table in [Matthew's] home, {Look!} many tax collectors and sinners started coming in and reclining next Jesus and his disciples. 11 But on seeing this, the Pharisees asked [Jesus'] disciples: 'Why is your teacher eating with these tax collectors and sinners?' 12 But when [Jesus] heard this, he said to them: 'Healthy people don't need a doctor╔ only the sick do. 13 So, go and learn the meaning of the words, I want mercy, not sacrifice. For I didn't come here to call the righteous, just the sinners.'

14 Then some of John's disciples came to [Jesus] and said to him: 'Both we and the Pharisees fast regularly╔ so why don't your disciples fast?'

15 And Jesus answered: 'The bridegroom's friends don't have any reason to be sad as long as he is with them, do they? But the day is coming when the bridegroom will be taken away from them╔ and then they will fast.'

16 [Then he gave them this parable]: 'No one sews a patch of un-shrunk cloth onto old clothes, because its [shrinking] strength would pull the clothes and make the tear worse. 17 And people don't put new wine into old wineskins; for if they do, the wineskins will burst, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. So people put new wine into new wineskins, and both things are preserved.'

18 Well as he was saying this, {Look!} a certain ruler came up and bowed low saying: 'By now, my daughter may have died╔ so please come and lay your hands on her to bring her back to life!' 19 At that, Jesus got up and followed the man (as did his disciples). 20 But [on the way], {Look!} a woman who had suffered from a blood flow for some twelve years came up behind him and touched just the fringes on [the bottom] of his robe. 21 [She did this] because she kept saying, 'If I can just touch his clothes, I'll be saved [from this illness].' 22 And when Jesus turned around and saw her, he said: 'Take courage daughter; Your faith has saved you.' And from that hour on, the woman was healed.

23 Then when he got to the house of the ruler and saw flute players and a wailing crowd, 24 Jesus said: 'You should all leave, because the little girl isn't dead, she's just sleeping!' Well, everyone started laughing and making fun of him. 25 But after the crowd had been ushered outside, [Jesus] went in and just took hold of her hand, and the little girl got up. 26 Then after that, word of what had happened there quickly spread throughout the whole area.

27 And it was just as Jesus was leaving that two blind men came up and started following him, hoarsely shouting, 'Have pity on us, O Son of David!' 28 And even when he entered the house [where he was staying], these blind men followed him inside. So Jesus asked them, 'Do you really believe that I can do this thing?'

And they answered, 'Yes, Lord!'

29 So he touched their eyes and said: 'As you believed, may it happen to you'╔ 30 and their eyes were opened. Then Jesus warned them sternly: 'Don't tell anyone about this!' 31 But after they left, they started spreading the news [about what he had done] throughout all that area.

32 Then, before he could leave, {Look!} some more people brought him a man who couldn't speak, because he was demon possessed. 33 And after Jesus cast out the demon, the man was able to speak. Well, the crowds were amazed and said: 'Nothing like this has ever been seen in IsraEl.' 34 But the Pharisees were saying: 'He's casting out demons by the ruler of the demons!'

35 Well thereafter, Jesus traveled throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in the synagogues, preaching the good news of the Kingdom, and curing every sort of disease and infirmity. 36 For when he looked at the crowds, he felt sorry for them since they were scraped and knocked about like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples: 'There is in fact a huge harvest, but there aren't enough workers. 38 So beg the Master of the harvest to send more workers into the field to do His harvesting.'

Chapter 10

1 Then he called twelve of his disciples to him and he gave them the power to dominate and throw out unclean spirits and to cure every sort of disease and infirmity. 2 These are the names of those twelve Apostles: First, there was Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew. And there was James the son of ZebediOu and his brother John. 3 There was also Philip, BarTholomew ([NathaniEl]), Thomas, Matthew (the tax collector), James (the son of Alpheus), ThadDeus ([Judas]), 4 Simon (the Cananaean), and Judas IsCariot (who [later] betrayed him).

5 Jesus sent these twelve out, giving them the orders: 'Don't go to the gentiles or to any of the Samaritan cities╔ 6 just go to the lost sheep of the house of IsraEl. 7 [You should each] go your own way; and as you go, you should proclaim that the Kingdom of the heavens has drawn near. 8 Cure sick people, raise the dead, make lepers clean, and throw out demons╔ you received it all freely, so give it freely! 9 You won't have to carry along any gold, silver, or copper [coins] in your waist sashes 10 or a food pouch for the trip; nor should you carry two pairs of underwear, or extra sandals, or walking sticks, because the worker has earned his provisions.

11 'Then whenever you enter a city or village, search for those who are deserving and stay with them until you must travel on. 12 And when you enter a house, offer the household a greeting of peace. 13 Then if the house is worthy, let peace come into it. But if it isn't worthy, let the peace return to you. 14 For wherever people don't take you in or listen to your words; when you leave that house or that city, just shake the dust off your feet. 15 I tell you the truth; On the Judgment Day, it will be more bearable for the lands of Sodom and GomorRah than for that city.

16 'Look, I'm sending you out as sheep among wolves. So prove yourselves to be as cautious as snakes but as innocent as doves.

17 'Now, be careful, because men will carry you before religious courts and they'll whip you in their synagogues. 18 You'll be taken before governors and kings for my sake as a witness to them all╔ as well as to the gentiles. 19 But when they bring you up [for trial], don't worry about what you should say or how you should say it, because what you must say will be given to you at that time╔ 20 you won't be the one doing the talking, the Breath of your Father will be speaking through you.

21 'For brothers will betray their own brothers for death,
As fathers will do to their children.
Children will rise against their own parents
And hand them over for death╔
22 Yes, all will hate you because of my name.
But, those endure to the end will be saved.

23 'So, when they chase you out of a city,
[You should just] run to another.
For I tell you this as the truth:
You may not reach all the cities in IsraEl
Before the Son of Man has arrived.

24 'A disciple isn't higher than his teacher,
Nor can a slave be higher than his master.
25 But a disciple may become like his teacher
And a slave may become like his master.
But if they're calling the master BeElZebub;
How much more [will they say this] of those in his home?
26 So, you should [expect this] and not be afraid!

'There's nothing that's covered which will not be shown
And there are no secrets that will not be known.
27 What I say in darkness, you must say in the light;
And whatever is whispered into your ear
Must be proclaimed from the rooftops!

28 'Don't fear those who can kill the body
But can't kill the person within.
Rather, fear the One who can fully destroy
The person and his body in the garbage.

29 'Don't two sparrows cost very little?
Yet whenever one of the falls to the ground,
Your Father's aware that this happened╔
30 And He's even counted the hairs on your head!
31 So you have no reason to fear;
For, more than many sparrows, is your value to Him!

32 'If you'll admit that you're with me to others,
I'll also admit that I am with you
Before my Father in the heavens.
33 But if you deny that you know me to men,
I'll also deny that I know you
Before my Father in heaven.

34 'Don't think that I came to bring peace to the earth;
For I'm not bringing peace╔ just the sword!
35 I came to divide fathers from sons,
As well as daughters from their mothers
And brides from their mothers-in-law.

36 'So your enemies will be those in your own homes;
37 But the one who cares less for me
Than for his own father or mother,
Isn't worthy of me.
And the one who cares less for me
Than for his sons or his daughters,
Isn't worthy of me.

38 'Those who won't pick up their own torture poles
And follow behind me, aren't worthy.
39 For those who seek life will lose it;
But they'll find it if they if they'll lose it for my sake.

40 'Those who'll invite you into [their homes]
Are also inviting me in.
And those who are inviting me in
Are inviting the One by whom I was sent.

41 'Those who'll welcome a Prophet because he's a Prophet
Will receive a Prophet's reward.
And those who'll welcome the righteous because they are righteous
Will receive the reward of the righteous.

42 'For whoever gives one of these least ones
So much as a cold cup of water
Because he is my disciple╔
I swear that he will not lose his reward.'

Chapter 11

1 Now, after Jesus had finished giving his twelve disciples these instructions, he went out to preach and teach in their cities. 2 But because John [the Baptist] (who was in jail) heard about the things that the Anointed One was doing, he sent his disciples to ask him 3 whether he was really the one who was to come, or if they should expect someone else. 4 And this is what Jesus told them: 'Go back and report to John all that you're seeing and hearing. 5 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, the poor are being taught the good news, 6 and that anyone who doesn't stumble over me will be blest.'

7 Then after [John's disciples] had left, Jesus asked the crowd this about John:
'What did you go to the desert to see╔
Reeds being blown in the wind?
8 Yes, what did you go out to see╔
A man who is dressed in soft clothes?

'Since those wearing soft clothes live in mansions,
9 Why did you really go out there?
Did [you go there] to [visit] a Prophet?
Yes, and one who's more than a Prophet!
10 For, this is the one of whom it was written:
{Look!} I will be sending My messenger
To prepare the road that's before him!

11 'I tell you the truth;
Of those who've been born to women,
None have been raised that are greater than John.
But the least in the Kingdom of heaven (or, of God)
Will be greater than him.

12 'From the time of John [until now],
The Kingdom of the heavens has been taken by force,
And the forceful are those who have seized it.
13 Indeed, this was all prophesied
In the Law and the Prophets.
14 And if you're willing to accept it;
He's the EliJah that was to come [first]╔
15 Let those who have ears pay attention!

16 'To whom can I liken this generation?
They're like children in the markets who shout at their mates:
17 We played the flute, but you didn't dance╔
We wailed, but you didn't beat on yourselves!

18 'But when John came along;
Because he didn't eat fine food or drink any [wine],
They said that he had a demon!
19 But because the Son of Man loves fine food and wine,
They call him an alcoholic and glutton╔
A friend of tax collectors and sinners!
Yet, wisdom is proven righteous by its results.'

20 And then he started berating the cities where he had done most of his powerful deeds because they hadn't repented. He said:
21 'Woe to you, O ChoraZin,
And woe to you, O BethSaida;
For if the powerful deeds that had happened in you
Had happened in Tyre and Sidon,
They would have repented in sackcloth and ashes.
22 So I say that the Day of the Judgment
Will be easier for Tyre and Sidon than for you.

23 'And you, CapharNaum;
Will you be lifted to heaven?
No, you will go down to the place of the dead!
For if the powerful deeds that happened in you
Had also happened in Sodom,
It would still be here today.

24 'So I tell you that it will be better
For the land of Sodom in the Judgment
Than it will then be for you.'

25 It was concerning this that Jesus prayed:
'I publicly praise you [my] Father,
Lord of the heavens and earth;
For You've hidden these things from the smart and the wise,
But You have revealed them to infants.
26 Yes, [my] Father;
This is the way that You have approved.

27 'For I've received it all from my Father.
And none know the Father as well as His son.
Also, none know the son as well as His Father
And those to whom he reveals Him.

28 'Come to me, O you who've worked hard
And you who must bear heavy loads;
For I will provide you refreshment!

29 'Learn from me and put on my yoke,
For I'm meek and I have a kind heart,
So your souls will find refreshment in me,
30 Since my yoke is gentle
And the load that I give you is light.'

Chapter 12

1 Well, as Jesus was traveling through some grain fields on a Sabbath, his disciples got hungry and they started plucking some of the grain and eating it. 2 But when the Pharisees saw this, they said: 'Look! Your disciples are doing what's illegal on the Sabbath!'

3 And [Jesus] said to them: 'Haven't you read what David did when he and his men got hungry╔ 4 how they entered the House of God and ate the show bread, which wasn't legal for them to eat, since it was only for the Priests? 5 Or haven't you read in the Law that the Priests in the Temple can break the Sabbath rules [by offering sacrifices] and not be found guilty? 6 So now I'm telling you that something greater than the Temple is here! 7 And if you understood what the words mean, I want mercy, not sacrifices, you probably wouldn't be condemning these innocent ones. 8 And [let me also point out that] the Son of Man is the Lord of the Sabbath!'

9 Then from there, he went to their synagogue, 10 where {Look!} he found a man who had a withered hand. So [those Pharisees] then asked [Jesus]: 'Is healing on the Sabbath something that's legal?' (They said this so they could find something that they could accuse him of doing wrong).

11 But he answered:
'If you had a sheep that fell into a ditch on the Sabbath;
Which of you wouldn't go there to lift it out?
12 So since this man is worth much more than a sheep;
It is legal to do good things on the Sabbath.'

13 Then he said to the man: 'Now, stretch out your hand.' And when he stretched it out it became healthy, just like the other hand!

14 However, the Pharisees then went out and assembled a counsel to destroy him╔ 15 and Jesus knew this, so he left that place.

Yet, many stayed with him and he cured them all. 16 However, he sternly warned them not to expose him, 17 so that the words spoken through the Prophet IsaiAh might be fulfilled:
18 '{Look} My servant whom I've chosen╔
My loved one who's approved by My Soul!
In him, I will now put My Breath,
And he'll tell the nations about My decisions.
19 He will not argue or shout,
Nor will his voice be heard in main streets.
20 Even bruised reeds, he won't crush,
Nor will he extinguish a smoking flax wick
Until he makes justice triumphant
21 And the nations put hope in his name.'

22 Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and couldn't speak, and he cured him so that he could both speak and see. 23 So all the crowds were amazed and started asking, 'Isn't this the Son of David?'

24 But on hearing [what the people were saying], the Pharisees said: 'He's throwing out demons by [the power of] BeElZebub, the ruler of the demons!' 25 And because he knew what they were thinking, [Jesus] said to them:
'A kingdom that's divided will fall,
And a city or house that's divided won't stand.
26 So if the Opposer casts out the Opposer,
He's just fighting himself and his kingdom won't stand.
27 Therefore, if I'm using BeElZebub's [power]
In order to cast out those demons;
What [power] do your sons use when they cast them out?

'It is things like this that condemn you;
28 For if it's by God's Breath that I'm casting out demons,
You've been overrun by God's Kingdom!

29 'Of course, you can't break in and steal from a strong man unless you tie [him up] first╔ only then can you loot his house. 30 So those that aren't with me are against me, and those who aren't on my side will be scattered.

31 And I'm also telling you this:
All sins and blasphemies can be forgiven,
But not when you blaspheme [God's Holy] Breath
Such things will not be forgiven!

32 'If someone speaks badly against the Son of Man,
This is something that can be forgiven.
But if someone speaks ill of [God's] Holy Breath,
He will not be forgiven╔
No, not in this age or in that to come.

33 'So declare the tree and its fruit to be good
Or declare it [all] to be rotten;
For you recognize trees by the fruit that they bear.

34 'O you offspring of vipers;
How can you evil ones speak of good things,
Since what you're saying comes from your hearts?
35 A good man brings good from the good [in his heart],
While the evil just bring bad from their treasures.

36 'I say that, when the Judgment Day comes,
You will answer for the things that you've said to mislead.
37 You'll either be found to be righteous,
Or you'll be condemned for the things that you've said.'

38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to him: 'Teacher, we want to see a sign from you!'

39 And [Jesus] replied:
'A wicked and adulterous generation
[Is always] looking for signs.
However, they will not receive one
Other than the sign of Jonah the Prophet.

40 'For as Jonah was in the sea creature's belly
For three days and three nights;
The Son of Man will be in the heart of the ground
For three days and three nights.

41 'Then men of Nineveh will stand in the Judgment
Along with this generation,
And they'll speak out and condemn it;
For, they repented at what Jonah preached.
But look╔ something more than Jonah is here!

42 'And in the Judgment, the Queen of the South
Will face and condemn this generation;
For she came from the ends of the earth
To listen to Solomon's wisdom.
But look╔ something more than Solomon is here!

43 'When an unclean spirit comes out of a man,
It travels through [many] dry places
Searching for a [good] place to rest.
But if it can't find one, it says:
44 I'll return to the house that I left.

'And then, upon his return;
If he finds [the house] empty, furnished, and swept,
45 He'll move in, bringing seven more spirits
That are even more wicked than him.

'So, after [he] gets inside [of the man],
The others will dwell in him also,
Making things worse than before╔
And that's how this generation will be.'

46 Well, while he was still talking to the crowds, {Look!} his mother and brothers arrived and they were standing outside waiting to speak to him. 47 So someone said to [Jesus]: 'Look, your mother and brothers are standing outside and they want to talk to you.'

48 But he asked that person: 'Just who is my mother, and who are my brothers?' 49 Then he held out his hand toward his disciples and said: 'Look╔ my mother and my brothers! 50 For all those who are doing the Will of my Father in heaven are my brothers, sisters, and mother.'

Chapter 13

1 Then there was the day when Jesus came out of the house and was sitting by the sea, 2 and a huge crowd gathered around him. So he stepped into a boat and sat down, as the crowd was standing on the beach, 3 And he started speaking to them in parables, saying:

'{Look!} A farmer went out to do planting. 4 And as he was planting, some [seeds] fell by the side of the road, where birds came along and ate them. 5 Others fell among rocks where there wasn't much soil, and they quickly sprouted. 6 But when the sun came up, they were scorched and they withered, because they [had no place to] spread their roots. 7 Still others fell among briers, which [quickly] grew and choked them out. 8 But the rest fell on the good soil and started producing [much] fruit╔ this one a hundred, that one sixty, and the other thirty. 9 Let those who have ears, pay attention!'

10 Well later, the disciples came to him and asked him why he was speaking to the crowd in parables. 11 And he replied: 'Though you've been allowed to understand the mysteries of the Kingdom of the heavens (or, of God), they haven't. 12 So those who have will be given more, and they'll have more than enough. But as for those who don't have╔ even what they own will be taken from them. 13 So, this is why I'm speaking to them in parables; because when they look they can't see, and when they listen they don't hear or understand the meaning of it. 14 'Thus the prophecy of IsaiAh is being fulfilled in them that says:
By listening, you will hear, but not understand,
And by looking, you will look, but not see.

15 For the hearts of these people have grown thick, so they listen heavily with their ears, and their eyes are all closed╔ so they can't see with their eyes, hear with their ears, or understand with their hearts, then turn back so that I can heal them. 16 But your eyes are blest because they can see, as are your ears, because they can hear.

17 'I tell you the truth; many of the Prophets and righteous men wished to see the things that you're seeing today, but they didn't see them; and [they wished] to hear the things that you're hearing, but they didn't hear them.

18 'So now, listen to the [meaning of the] parable of the farmer who planted: 19 Whenever someone hears about the Kingdom but doesn't understand it, the wicked one comes and snatches away what has been planted in his heart. This one was planted alongside the road.

20 'As for the one that was planted among the rocks; he hears the word and quickly accepts it with joy. 21 But because he has no roots, he's just here for a short time╔ when hard times or persecution come along because of the word, he's immediately trapped.

22 'As for the one planted among the thistles; this one hears the word, but the concerns of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke out the word, so he doesn't produce any fruit.

23 'But as for the one planted on good soil; he hears the word, understands it, and actually puts out fruit╔ this one a hundred, that one sixty, and the other thirty.'

24 He then gave them another parable, saying: 'The Kingdom of the heavens is like a man who had good seeds planted in his field. 25 But while his men were all sleeping, an enemy came and scattered weed [seeds] over the wheat, and then left. 26 So when the blades sprouted with fruit, the weeds also appeared.

27 'Then the master's slaves came and asked, Lord, weren't those good seeds [that you gave us] to plant in your field? So, why are there so many weeds?

28 'And he replied: It was an enemy of mine who did this.

'So they asked: Then, do you want us to go and pull up [the weeds]?

29 'And he replied: No, for as you're pulling out the weeds, you might uproot the wheat! 30 Just let them both grow together until it's time for the harvest. Then I'll tell the reapers to collect the weeds first and put them into bundles and burn them; and thereafter, they can gather the wheat into my storehouse.'

31 So he went on and told them another parable, saying: 'The Kingdom of the heavens is like a mustard seed that a man planted in his field. 32 Though it's [one of] the smallest of seeds; it can grow to become one of the largest of vegetables╔ [as large as] a tree where the birds in the skies can roost in its branches.'

33 And he told them another parable: 'The Kingdom of the heavens is like a little fermentation that a woman hid in three scoops of flour, which soon became filled with [yeast].'

34 Jesus said all these things to the crowds in parables. And it's a fact that if he wasn't using parables, he wasn't talking to them. 35 This was done in order to fulfill what was spoken through the Prophet, who said:
'With parables, I'll open my mouth.
And I'll talk about things that have been hidden
Since the founding of the system of things.'

36 Then, after dismissing the crowds, he went back into the house. Then his disciples came to him and asked him to explain the parable of the weeds in the field. 37 So [Jesus] told them this: 'The one who planted the good seeds is the Son of Man, 38 and the field is this system of things. The good seeds are the sons of the Kingdom, the weeds are the sons of the wicked one, 39 and the enemy who planted them is the Slanderer. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are [God's] messengers. 40 So, just as the weeds are collected and burned in a fire; that's what will happen at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send his messengers to collect all the snares and all the lawless people out of his Kingdom, 42 and they will be thrown into a flaming furnace, where they will cry and grind [their] teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine as brightly as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father╔ let those who have ears pay attention to this! 44 For the Kingdom of the heavens is like a treasure that a man found and hid in a field. Then to [get that treasure], he went and sold everything he had to buy that field. 45 The Kingdom of the heavens is also like a traveling merchant who was searching for good pearls; 46 and when he found one very valuable pearl, he went away and quickly sold everything that he had to buy it.

47 'Again, the Kingdom of the heavens (or, of God) is like a net that is dropped into the sea and collects all sorts [of sea creatures]; 48 then when it's full, they haul it onto the beach and sit down to collect the good things, which they put into baskets, and they throw away all the bad things. 49 Yes, that's how it will be at the end of the age╔ [God's] messengers will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous, 50 and they will throw [the wicked] into a flaming furnace, where they'll cry and grind their teeth.'

51 [Then Jesus asked them], 'Did you understand all these things?'

And they replied, 'We do.'

52 Then Jesus said: 'This is how all the disciples of the Kingdom of the Heavens will teach╔ they'll be like a man (a master of his house) who brings both old and new things out of his treasures.'

53 Well, after Jesus had finished explaining these parables, he left that area 54 and traveled to the place where he was raised, and there he started teaching in their synagogue. This dumbfounded the people, for they asked, 'Where did this man get such wisdom and powers? 55 Isn't he the carpenter's son? Isn't his mother called Mary, and aren't his brothers James, JoSeph, Simon, and Judas? 56 And his sisters╔ aren't they all with us? Where did he get all these things?'

57 So they were stumbled over him. But Jesus said:
'A Prophet is never dishonored
Except in the place where he was raised
And within his own home.'
58 So he didn't do many powerful deeds there, because of their lack of faith.

Chapter 14

1 It was around this time that Herod (the ruler over that area) heard about Jesus. 2 And he said to his boys: 'This is really John the Baptist. He was raised from the dead, and this is why he can do such powerful things!'

3 Note that Herod had arrested John and thrown him in prison because of his brother's (Philip's) wife. 4 For John had kept telling him that he had broken the Law by taking her. 5 And so [Herod] wanted to kill [John]. [However he couldn't] because he was afraid of the people, since they considered [John] to be a Prophet.

6 But at Herod's birthday party, the daughter of Herodias [came out and] danced before him, and this pleased Herod so much 7 that he promised with an oath to give her anything that she asked for. 8 So (with her mother's coaching) she said: 'Then give me the head of John the Baptist on a platter!'

9 Well, the king was really saddened by this; but because he had given his word (and because of those who were eating at the table with him), [Herod] gave the command 10 to have John beheaded in prison. 11 Then when his head was brought in on a platter, he gave it to the young girl, who took it to her mother.

12 Well afterward, [John's] disciples went to get his body and buried it, then they reported everything that had happened to Jesus. 13 And when Jesus heard this, he got into a boat to find a quiet place where he could be alone. However, the crowds noticed [where he was going] and they followed him on foot from the towns. 14 So when he got there, he saw a huge crowd of people. And because he felt sorry for them, he went on to heal their sick.

15 Then later that evening, [Jesus'] disciples came to him and said: 'This is a very remote place and it's getting late, so we should send the crowds off into the villages around here so they can buy something to eat!'

16 But Jesus replied: 'They don't have to go; why don't you give them something to eat?'

17 And [the disciples] answered: 'But all we have is just five loaves [of bread] and two fish!'

18 So Jesus told them: 'Bring them to me.' 19 Then he told the crowd to lie down on the grass, and he took the five loaves and two fish, and after looking up into the sky, he spoke a blessing. Then he started breaking the bread and handing it to the disciples, who then passed it out it the crowd╔ 20 and everyone ate until they were full! And when they picked up the scraps, they found that there were twelve baskets full of leftovers. 21 Yet, there were about five thousand men (as well as many women and children) who ate.

22 Well after that, [Jesus] dismissed the crowd and he told his disciples to take the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side [of the sea]. 23 And after most of the people had left, he went up the mountain to a private spot where he could pray; and although it was getting dark, he stayed there all alone.

24 Meanwhile, the boat [that the Apostles were rowing] had gotten a long way from land, but they had been fighting the waves, because [a strong] wind was blowing against them. 25 Then sometime before sunrise, [Jesus] came to them, walking across the sea.

26 Well when they saw him walking on the water, the disciples were terrified and they shouted, 'It's a phantom!' And they started screaming out of fear. 27 But right away, Jesus told them: 'Be brave╔ don't be afraid, it's me!'

28 Then Peter said: 'Lord; If it's you, then command me to come out to you on top of the water!'

29 So [Jesus] said, 'Then come on!'

Well, Peter got out of the boat and he started walking across the water toward Jesus. 30 But he got distracted by the windstorm and he got frightened╔ and then he started to sink and he shouted, 'Lord, please save me!' 31 So Jesus immediately reached out his hand and grabbed him, and he said: 'You with so little faith; Why did you start to doubt?' 32 And after they both got into the boat, the windstorm subsided, 33 and the others in the boat all bowed low before him and said: 'You truly are the Son of The God!'

34 Well, when they finished the crossing, they landed in GenNesaret. 35 And there the people recognized him and sent word throughout the surrounding countryside, so people started bringing him all those who weren't doing well╔ 36 they were begging to just touch the fringes on his clothes. And all those who touched them were made completely well.

Chapter 15

1 It was sometime later that some Pharisees and scribes came from JeruSalem to see Jesus, and they asked him: 2 'Why are you allowing your disciples to overstep the traditions of the elders? For example, they don't wash their hands before they eat bread!'

3 But [Jesus] asked: 'Well, why do you overstep the Commands of God with your traditions? 4 For God told you to honor your fathers and mothers, and to have those who speak badly to their fathers or mothers put to death! 5 Yet you tell your fathers and mothers that all you might give them is already [dedicated] as a gift [to God]. 6 So [what you're really saying] is that you don't have to honor your parents at all. And when you do this, you're voiding the word of God with your traditions. 7 You hypocrites! How well IsaiAh prophesied about you, when he said:
8 Though they offer Me praise with their lips,
They're far away from Me in their hearts!
9 So it's in vain that they come to bow before Me,
Since they're teaching the ideas and instructions of men
.'

10 Then he called the crowds closer and said to them: 'Listen and understand! 11 It isn't the things that go into a man's mouth that dirty him; it's the things that come out of his mouth that pollute him!'

12 Well at that, the disciples came up to him and said: 'Don't you know that the Pharisees were stumbled by what you said?'

13 But he replied: 'Anything that my heavenly Father didn't plant will be uprooted. 14 So let them go, for they're just blind guides! And if a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.'

15 And Peter said: 'Well then, explain the meaning of that parable to us.'

16 And [Jesus] asked: 'Don't you get the point? 17 Don't you realize that whatever you put in your mouth just goes into your belly and then into the sewer? 18 But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart╔ these are the things that dirty a man. 19 For out of the heart comes wicked thinking, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, thievery, false testimonies, and blasphemy. 20 These are the things that pollute a man! But eating with unwashed hands doesn't make him dirty.'

21 Well, on leaving that place, Jesus traveled up into areas of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And there, {Look!} a Phoenician woman who lived near there came to him and started shouting: 'Have mercy on me O Lord, son of David! For my daughter is badly demon possessed.' 23 And though [Jesus] didn't pay any attention, his disciples begged him to [do something for her], because she kept following them and shouting at them. 24 But he told them: 'I wasn't sent to [help] anyone other than just the lost sheep of the house of IsraEl.'

25 However, the woman then came up to [Jesus]. She bowed low and said: 'Lord, please help me!'

26 And he said to her: 'It isn't right to take bread from the children and throw it to the puppies.'

27 But she replied: 'Yes Lord, but aren't puppies allowed to eat the crumbs that fall from the tables of their masters?'

28 Then Jesus said to her: 'O woman; you have a lot of faith. So, may it be as you wish.' And her daughter was healed from that hour on.

29 Well, going cross-country from there, Jesus traveled close to the Sea of GaliLee. There he climbed a mountain and sat down, 30 and large crowds came to him, bringing along people who were lame, injured, blind, and those who were unable to speak (along with many others). They almost threw them at his feet, and he cured them all. 31 So the crowds were amazed when they saw the speechless talking, the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they praised the God of IsraEl.

32 Then later, Jesus called his disciples to him and said, 'I'm concerned for the crowds, because they've stayed with me for three days and they don't have anything left to eat. I certainly don't want to send them away hungry, because they might give out on the road!'

33 However, the disciples asked: 'Where could we get enough bread to satisfy this large a crowd in such a remote location?'

34 So Jesus asked them: 'How many loaves do you have?'

And they replied: 'Seven, plus a few little fish.'

35 Well at that, he told the crowd to recline on the ground. 36 Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and after offering thanks, he broke them up and gave them to the disciples, who [distributed them] among the crowd╔ 37 and everyone ate until they were satisfied. And [afterward], they picked up seven full provision baskets of scraps, 38 though there were some four thousand men, plus women and children, who ate!

39 Finally, after dismissing the crowd, he got into the boat and they traveled to the area of MagaDan.

Chapter 16

1 This is where the Pharisees and SadDucees (actually, Sad/dou/kai/um) came to [Jesus] and tried to tempt him by asking for a sign from heaven. 2 --- 3 --- But he said:
4 'A wicked and adulterous generation
Is always looking for signs.
However, no sign will be given
Other than the sign of Jonah [the Prophet].'
Then he just walked away and left them.

5 Well, after he and his disciples arrived on the other side [of the sea], they [realized that they] had forgotten to bring along any bread. 6 And when Jesus told them, 'Keep your eyes open and watch out for the fermentation of the Pharisees and SadDucees,' 7 the disciples started saying to each other, 'Why [did he say this]? Is it because we didn't bring any bread along?'

8 Well, because Jesus knew [what they were thinking], he said: 'You with so little faith; Why are you talking about not having any bread? 9 Don't you get the point╔ don't you remember how many baskets you picked up after [we fed] five thousand [with just] five loaves; 10 or how many provision baskets you picked up after we fed four thousand with just seven loaves? 11 Why don't you understand that I'm not talking about bread╔ [I'm telling you to] watch out for the fermentation of the Pharisees and SadDucees!'

12 Well with that, they [finally] realized that he wasn't telling them to watch out for fermentation in bread, but for the teachings of the Pharisees and SadDucees.

13 Thereafter, he traveled on to Caesarea Philippi, and there Jesus asked his disciples: 'Who are people saying the Son of Man is?'

14 So they told him: 'Some say you're John the Baptist, others EliJah, and still others are saying that you are JeremiAh or one of the Prophets.'

15 Then he asked them: 'But, who do you say that I am?' 16 And Simon Peter answered: 'You're the Anointed One; the Son of the Living God.'

17 So Jesus said to him: 'You are blest, Simon, son of Jonah, because this wasn't shown to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in the heavens.

18 'I also tell you this: As you are Rock (Peter), I will build my congregation on this bedrock so that the gates of the place of the dead won't overpower it. 19 I will also give you the keys to the Kingdom of the heavens, so that whatever you bind on earth will be bound in the heavens, and whatever you set free on the earth will be set free in the heavens.'

20 Then he sternly warned the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Anointed One. 21 And that's when Jesus (the Anointed) started showing his disciples that he would have to go to JeruSalem and suffer many things at [the hands of] the elders, chief priests, and scribes╔ and though he would be killed, [he would thereafter be] raised on the third day.

22 But at that, Peter took him aside and started scolding him, saying, 'Be kind to yourself Lord; this isn't going to happen to you!' 23 However [Jesus] turned to Peter and said: 'Get behind me opposer! You're a trap to me, because you aren't thinking God's thoughts, but those of men.'

24 Then Jesus said this to his disciples: 'If anyone wants to follow me, he'll have to deny his own needs, then pick up his impaling pole and walk behind me. 25 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 [You might wonder] what good it would do for a man to gain the whole world, if he just loses his life╔ for what will a man give [to save] his life? 27 Well, the Son of Man is about to come into the glory of his Father and of His messengers, and then he will repay each one for the things that he has done. 28 And I tell you the truth; some of you who are standing here won't taste death at all until you see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.'

Chapter 17

1 Well, it was just six days later that Jesus took Peter, James, and John (the brother of James), and to a private spot on a high mountain, 2 where he changed form in front of them╔ his face became as bright as the sun and his clothes became as white as light╔ 3 and {Look!} they saw Moses and EliJah speaking to [Jesus]. 4 So Peter said to Jesus: 'Lord, it's good for us to be here╔ and if you want, I'll put up three tents; one for you, one for Moses, and one for EliJah.' 5 But just as he said this, {Look!} a bright cloud covered them and {Look!} a voice came out of the cloud that said: 'This is my loved Son of whom I approve╔ listen to him!'

6 Well when they heard that, the disciples were frightened and they fell to their faces. 7 But Jesus went over to them and touched them, and said, 'Get up; don't be afraid!' 8 Then when they looked up, they saw just Jesus all by himself.

9 Well, as they were walking down the mountain, Jesus gave them a warning, saying: 'Don't tell anyone what you saw here until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.'

10 Then sometime later, the disciples asked him: 'Why do the scribes say that EliJah must come first?'

11 And Jesus told them: 'EliJah does indeed come and he restores everything. 12 However, I tell you that EliJah has already come and they didn't recognize him, so they did whatever they wanted to him╔ and this is the same way that the Son of Man is about to suffer at their hands!'

13 Well it was then that the disciples finally realized that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.

14 And as they were approaching a crowd, a man came up to him, kneeled down, and said: 15 'Lord, please show mercy on my son! He gets moonstruck and he often falls into the fire or into the water. 16 Although I brought him to your disciples, they haven't been able to cure him!'

17 But Jesus said: 'O faithless and twisted generation, how much longer must I be with you╔ how much longer will I have to put up with you? Bring him here to me!' 18 So Jesus scolded the demon and it came out, and the boy was cured from that hour on.

19 Then the disciples came to Jesus while he was alone and asked, 'Why couldn't we cast it out?'

20 And he replied: 'Because of your lack of faith! I tell you the truth; If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, Move from here to there, and it would go╔ nothing would be impossible for you!'

21 ——

22 Then, while they were all gathered in GaliLee, Jesus said to them: 'The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men 23 who will kill him╔ but he will be raised on the third day.' And this made them all very sad.

24 Well, after they arrived in CapharNaum, the men who collected the double-silver [tax] came up to Peter and asked, 'Doesn't your teacher pay the double-silver [tax]?'

25 And he replied, 'Yes he does.'

Then when he went into the house, Jesus was already ahead of him and he asked [Peter], 'What do you think, Simon; From whom do the kings of the earth get their duties and head taxes╔ from their sons, or from strangers?'

26 And [Peter] answered, 'From strangers.'

Then Jesus said: 'So the sons are really tax-free, aren't they! 27 But because we don't want to stumble them, go over to the sea and cast out a hook, then take the first fish that you catch; and when you open its mouth you'll find a coin. Take [the coin] and give it to them for both you and me.'

Chapter 18

1 It was less than an hour later that the disciples came up to Jesus and asked, 'Which [of us] will be the greatest in the Kingdom of the heavens (or, of God)?' 2 So [Jesus] called a little boy over and stood him in their midst, and he said: 3 'I tell you the truth; Unless you change your ways and become like this little boy, you won't get into the Kingdom of the heavens! 4 But the one who humbles himself like this little boy will be the greatest in the Kingdom of the heavens. 5 And whoever welcomes someone like this little boy in my name, welcomes me. 6 But if anyone sets a snare before one of these little ones that believes in me; it would be better for him to have the type of millstone that's turned by a burro hung around his neck and then to be dropped into the open sea.

7 'Woe to this system of things because of its snares! Of course, the snares will be there╔ but woe to the man who sets them! 8 If your hand or your foot is a snare, cut it off and throw it away. For it's better to enter life maimed or lame than to be thrown into the age-long fire with two hands or two feet. 9 Also, if your eye is a snare, rip it out and throw it away. For it's better to enter life with one eye than to be thrown with two eyes into the fires of the garbage dump.

10 'This is why you should never disregard any of these little ones! For I tell you: Their messengers in the heavens gaze upon the face of my Father in the heavens! 11 ——

12 'What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them strays, won't he leave the ninety-nine --- and search for the one that strayed? 13 Then if he happens to find it, I tell you; he'll be happier over that one than over the ninety-nine that didn't stray!

14 '[The same is true of] my Father in the heavens. He doesn't want even one of these little ones to perish. 15 Therefore, if your brother should fail in some way, take him aside and discuss it between you and him alone; then if he listens to you, you'll have won over your brother. 16 But if he doesn't listen, bring along one or two others so that whatever is said can be proven by the mouths of two or three witnesses. 17 Then if he refuses to listen to them, you should speak to the congregation. And if he refuses to listen to even the congregation, let him become as a man of the nations or a tax collector to you.

18 'I tell you the truth; everything that you bind on the earth will be bound in the heavens, and everything that you set free on the earth will be set free in the heavens.

19 'Again I truthfully say; If two of you agree to anything on this earth that you need to request, it will happen because of my Father in heaven. 20 For wherever two or three are gathered in my name, I will be there among them.'

21 Then Peter came up to him and asked: 'Lord, how many times must I forgive my brother when he sins against me╔ up to seven times?'

22 But Jesus replied: 'I tell you; not up to seven times, but up to seventy-seven times! 23 To illustrate; The Kingdom of the heavens (or, of God) is like a man, a king, who wanted to settle some accounts with his slaves. 24 So he started by bringing in a man who owed him ten thousand large silver coins. 25 But because he couldn't repay it, the master ordered that he, his wife, his children, and everything that he owned was to be sold to make the payment. 26 However, the slave fell down with his face to the ground before [the master] and begged: Be patient with me and I'll pay back everything that I owe you!'

27 'Well [the king] was moved to pity at this, so he forgave him and freed him from his entire debt. 28 But shortly thereafter, the slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him just a hundred small coins, and he grabbed him and started choking him, saying: Pay me back everything that you owe me! 29 Then his fellow slave fell down and started begging him, saying, Be patient with me and I'll pay you back. 30 However, [the first slave] had the man locked up until he could pay everything that he was owed.

31 'Well, when all the other slaves saw this they became very upset, so they went and told their master what had happened. 32 Then the master summoned him and said this: Wicked slave; I canceled all that debt for you because you begged me. 33 So, why didn't you see the need to show the same type of mercy for your fellow slave that I had shown to you? 34 And the master became so furious that he had him taken off to jail until he could repay all that he owed. This is how my heavenly Father will deal with you if you don't forgive your brothers from your hearts.'

Chapter 19

1 Well, after Jesus had finished saying these things, he left GaliLee and traveled to the Judean border across the Jordan River, 2 and huge crowds followed along, so he cured them there. 3 However, the Pharisees came to test him, asking: 'Is it legal for a man to divorce his woman on any grounds?'

4 And [Jesus] replied: 'You've read that the One who created them long ago made them male and female 5 and said, This is why a man will leave his father and mother and join to his woman making the two one flesh. 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, no man should split apart what The God has yoked together!

7 And they said: 'Then, why did Moses say that we could give them divorce certificates and dismiss them?'

8 And he replied: 'Moses realized how hardhearted you are, so he allowed you to release your women╔ but that hasn't always been the way! 9 I tell you that whoever divorces his woman except on the grounds of sexual immorality and marries another, is an adulterer! And whoever marries a released woman is an adulterer.'

10 Then his disciples commented: 'If this is true of a man and his woman, then it's probably best not to marry at all!'

11 And Jesus said: 'But that's something not every man can do╔ just those who have the gift. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way, eunuchs who were made that way by men, and those who have made themselves eunuchs for the Kingdom of the heavens. Let those who can make room for it, make room for it!'

13 Well after that, [people] started bringing their young children to him so that he could lay his hands on them and offer a prayer, but the disciples started scolding them. 14 However, Jesus told them: 'Leave the children alone and don't stop them from coming to me, because the Kingdom of the Heavens is for people like this!' 15 And after he laid his hands on them, he traveled on.

16 Then later, {Look!} someone came up to him and asked: 'Teacher, what sort of good things must I do to get age-long life?' 17 And [Jesus] replied: 'Why do you ask me about doing what is good? There's just One who is truly good. But if you want to enter into the life, just follow the Commandments!'

18 Then [the man] asked, 'Which ones?' And Jesus replied: 'You must not murder, you must not commit adultery, you must not steal, you must not testify falsely, 19 you must honor [your] father and mother, and you must love your neighbor as [you love] yourself.'

20 Then the young man said to him: 'Well, I've kept all these things╔ so what else am I lacking?' 21 And Jesus said to him: 'If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your belongings and give to the poor, then come follow me and you'll have treasures in the heavens.' 22 But after the young man heard this, he left very sad, because he owned many things.

23 So Jesus said to his disciples, 'I tell you the truth; It will be difficult for a rich man to get into the Kingdom of the heavens. 24 Let me put it this way: It's easier [to thread] a rope through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into the Kingdom of God.'

25 Well, the disciples were very surprised at hearing this, and they asked: 'Then, who can really be saved?'

26 And looking them straight in their faces, Jesus said: 'With men, this is an impossibility. However, all things are possible with God.'

27 But Peter said to him: '{Look} Since we've left everything to follow you, what will we really get?'

28 And Jesus replied: 'I tell you the truth; In the rebirth – when the Son of Man sits down on his glorious throne – you who have followed me will sit on twelve thrones and you'll judge the twelve tribes of IsraEl. 29 Also, anyone who has left a house, or his brothers, sisters, father, mother, children, or land for the sake of my name will receive many times more and he will inherit age-long life. 30 But many who are the first will be the last, and the last will be the first.

Chapter 20

1 'For the Kingdom of the heavens is like a man, the master of his house, who went out very early in the morning to hire men to work his vineyard. 2 And when they agreed on a payment of one silver coin per day, he sent them out to work in his field.

3 'However, he went out again (about the third hour) and noticed others who were standing in the marketplace looking for work, 4 and he said, You go into the vineyard also, and I'll pay you whatever is fair. 5 So off they went.

'Then he went out again about the sixth and the ninth hours and he did the same thing. 6 And finally (about the eleventh hour), he went out and found more workers standing around, and he asked them, Why have you been standing here all day long unemployed? 7 And they said, Because nobody has hired us. So he said to them, You go into the vineyard also.

8 'Well that evening, the master of the vineyard told the man who was in charge to call in all the workers and pay them their wages╔ and he told him to pay the last ones first. 9 So [after] the eleventh hour, the men came in and he started paying each of them a silver coin. 10 However, when it came time [to pay] the first, these figured that they would be getting more╔ yet they were also paid a [single] silver coin. 11 And as they were receiving it, they started complaining about the master, saying, 12 Though these last ones just put in one hour's work, you paid them the same as those of us who worked all day long in the burning heat!

13 'But in reply to one of them, [the master] said: Man, I haven't done you any wrong! Didn't we agree on one silver coin? 14 Take what is yours and go. I paid the last ones the same as you, because I wanted to! 15 And isn't it legal for me to do whatever I wish with my own things╔ are you viewing me as wicked because I've done something good?

16 'So, understand that the last will be the first and the first will be the last.'

17 Then, as they were starting down the road to JeruSalem, Jesus took the twelve disciples off privately and explained this to them, saying: 18 '{Look!} We're heading up to JeruSalem, where the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death. 19 Then they'll hand him over to the gentiles, who will make fun of him, whip him, and impale him╔ but on the third day he'll be raised!'

20 Well afterward, the mother of the sons of ZebediOu came up to him with her [two] sons, and she bowed low as if to request something. 21 So he asked her, 'What do you want?'

And she said: 'Give the word that my two sons will sit, one at your right hand and one on your left, in your Kingdom.'

22 But Jesus replied: 'You don't really know what you're asking╔ can they drink from the cup that I'm about to drink?'

And [her sons] answered: 'We can!'

23 So he said to them: 'You will indeed drink from my cup! But, sitting on my right and left isn't mine to give╔ it belongs to those for whom my Father has prepared it.'

24 Well, when the ten other [disciples] heard what the brothers had done, they became very angry with them. 25 But Jesus called them all to him and said: 'You know how the rulers of the nations like to be masters over [the people] and keep them under their feet╔ 26 but you shouldn't be like that! Rather, whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. 28 For isn't this how the Son of Man came╔ not to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many?'

29 Well, as they were leaving JeriCho, there was a large crowd following him. 30 And {Look!} when two blind men that were sitting alongside the road heard that Jesus was passing by, they shouted: 'Lord╔ have mercy on us, Son of David!' 31 But when the crowd told them to be quiet, they shouted even louder: 'Lord╔ have mercy on us, Son of David!' 32 So Jesus stopped and called them over, and asked: 'What do you want me to do for you?' 33 And they replied: 'Lord; We want you to open our eyes!'

34 Then moved with pity, Jesus touched their eyes, and immediately they were able to see╔ and they started following him.

Chapter 21

1 Well, when they got close to JeruSalem and arrived at BethPhage (on the Mount of Olives), Jesus sent two disciples ahead, 2 telling them: 'Go into the village that's across from us, and you'll immediately find a burro that's tied next to its colt. Untie them and bring them here to me. 3 If anyone asks you about it, just tell him that the Lord needs them, and he'll send them with you.'

4 Of course, the reason why this happened is so that the thing spoken through the Prophet might be fulfilled:
5 'Say this to the daughter of Zion:
Look! Your King is coming to you!
[He's] gentle and comes riding the colt of a burro╔
The foal of a creature that bears heavy loads
.'

6 So the disciples went and did just as Jesus told them. 7 They brought the burro and its colt to him, then they put their robes [over its back] for him to sit on. 8 Then many in the crowd spread their robes out on the road ahead of him, while others cut branches from trees and spread them out on the road. 9 So part of the crowd walked ahead of him while the rest followed behind him shouting: '[God] save the Son of David! Praise the one who comes in the Name of Jehovah╔ save, we pray, from the heights!'

10 Well, as he was entering JeruSalem, this caused quite a stir throughout the city, [for people were asking], 'Who is this?' 11 And the crowd [that was with Jesus] replied: 'This is Jesus, the Prophet from Nazareth of GaliLee!'

12 Well from there, Jesus went to the Temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling. He also overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the benches of those who were selling doves, 13 saying to them, 'It's written: My house will be called a house of prayer╔ but you're turning it into a den of thieves!'

14 And after that, people who were blind and lame started coming to him in the Temple, and he cured them. 15 But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he was doing and they heard all the children shouting in the Temple, '[God] save the Son of David,' they became very upset. 16 So they said to him, 'Don't you hear what they're shouting?'

And Jesus replied, 'Yes! Haven't you ever read this:
From the mouths of infants and babies
You have ordered up praises.
'
17 And then he left them╔ he walked out of the city and went to BethAny, where he spent the night.

18 Well, it was while he was on the way back to the city early the next morning (and because he was hungry) 19 that he walked over to a fig tree that was growing alongside the road. However, when he found nothing on it but leaves, he said: 'Let no fruit come from you anymore through the rest of the age.' And the fig tree withered instantly.

20 Then when the disciples saw this, they wondered, 'How can a fig tree wither instantly?' 21 And Jesus said, 'I tell you the truth; If you have faith (and you must not doubt), not only will you do what I did to this fig tree, but you could say to this mountain, Lift up and be thrown into the sea, and it will happen╔ 22 you will receive anything you ask for in prayer if you have faith.'

23 Then after he had entered the Temple and started teaching, the chief priests and the peoples' elders came up to him and asked, 'Who authorized you to do these things╔ who said you could do this?'

24 In reply, Jesus said: 'Let me ask you something, and if you answer me, I'll tell you who authorized me to do these things. 25 What was the source of John's baptizing╔ did it come from heaven or from men?'

So they started reasoning among themselves and saying to each other, 'If we say from heaven, he'll ask us, Then why didn't you believe him? 26 But if we say from men, we'll have to deal with the crowd, because they think John was a Prophet.' 27 So they told Jesus: 'We don't know.'

And he told them: 'Then I'm not going to tell you where I got the authority to do the things that I'm doing.

28 'What do you think? There was once a man who had two children. He went to the first one and said, Son, I want you to work in the vineyard today. 29 This one answered, Yes sir╔ but he didn't [do it]. 30 Then [the man] went to the second son and said the same thing. And he replied, I don't want to╔ but he later felt sorry and he did go [to work in the vineyard]. 31 So, which of the two did what their father wanted?'

And they replied, 'The second one.'

Then Jesus said to them: 'I tell you the truth; tax collectors and whores will go ahead of you into the Kingdom of God, 32 because John came to you [preaching] the ways of righteousness, but you didn't believe him. However, tax collectors and whores believed him╔ and although you saw this, you didn't feel sorry later and put faith in what he was saying.

33 'Listen to another parable: There was a man – the master of his house – who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a wine press in it, built a tower [to protect it], and hired [people to] cultivate it before he traveled abroad. 34 Then when the [harvest] season arrived, he sent his servants to the farmers to collect the fruit. 35 However, the farmers took his slaves and beat the first one up, they threw stones at the second, and they killed the third one. 36 So he sent other slaves to them (more than the first)╔ but they did the same things to these.

37 'Finally, he sent his son to them, saying, They will respect my son. 38 But when they saw the son, the farmers said, This is the heir! Let's kill him and get his inheritance! 39 So they grabbed him and threw him out of the vineyard, then they killed him.'

40 'Now, when the owner of the vineyard returns, what do you think he'll do to those farmers?'

41 And they replied: 'Because they're so bad, he'll destroy them in a painful way, then he'll hire others who will cultivate the vineyard and give him the fruit when it's due.'

42 And Jesus said to them: 'Haven't you ever read in the Scriptures,
The stone that the builders rejected
Has become the head cornerstone╔
And this is a wonderful thing in our eyes?

43 'This is why I tell you; The Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation that produces its fruit. 44 For the person who falls on this stone will be shattered, and anyone it falls on will be smashed!'

45 Well when the chief priests and the Pharisees heard these parables, they understood that he was talking about them. 46 And although they were looking to grab him, they didn't because they were afraid of the crowds, since [the people] viewed him as being a Prophet.

Chapter 22

1 Then Jesus gave them another parable: 2 'The Kingdom of the heavens (or, of God) is like a man╔ a king, who arranged a wedding banquet for his son. 3 Then he sent his slaves out to call all those whom he wished to invite. However, none of the people wanted to come. 4 So he sent other slaves, and he told them: Tell those whom I've invited that {Look!} the banquet is ready╔ bulls and fattened animals have been slaughtered, and everything is prepared, so you should come to the meal! 5 However, none of them paid any attention. One went out to his field, another to his business, 6 and the rest grabbed his slaves, abused them, and then killed them. 7 Of course, this sent the king into a rage! So he sent his army to destroy those murderers and to burn their city.

8 'Well after he did that, he told his slaves: The marriage feast is indeed ready, but those whom I invited were unworthy. 9 So now, go to the roads that lead out of the city and invite everyone you find to my wedding banquet! 10 Therefore, the slaves went to the roads and gathered everyone they could find (both the wicked and the good), and the banquet hall was filled with people reclining at the tables.

11 However, when the king came in to inspect the guests, he noticed a man who wasn't properly dressed for a wedding celebration. 12 And he asked him, How did you get in here [dressed like that]?

'Well, the man was speechless. 13 Then the king said to his servants: Tie him hand and foot and throw him into the darkness outside, where he can cry and grind his teeth. 14 For many are the called, but few are the chosen.'

15 Well after that, the Pharisees all went off and held a meeting [to discuss ways to] trap [Jesus] in something he might say. 16 So they sent some of their disciples along with some of the followers of Herod to ask him this: 'Teacher, we know that you tell the truth and what you teach about the way of God is right. We also know that you aren't overly impressed by anyone, because you don't look at what men seem to be on the outside. 17 So tell us what you think╔ Is it right for us to pay Caesar's head tax, or not?'

18 But Jesus (knowing their wickedness) asked them: 'Why are you testing me, you hypocrites? 19 Show me the coin that you use to pay the head tax.'

So they brought him a silver coin, 20 and he asked them: 'Whose image and inscription is on this?'

21 And they replied: 'Caesar's.'

Then he said to them: 'Give Caesar's things to Caesar, but God's things to God.'

22 Well when they heard that, they were bewildered. So they left him and went away.

23 Then on that same day, the SadDucees (actually, Sad/dou/kai/um) (who don't believe in a resurrection) approached [Jesus] and asked him this: 24 'Teacher; Moses said that if a man dies without having children, his brother must take his woman and sire [children] for his brother. 25 So now, let's say there were seven brothers. The first one married and died without having [children], leaving his woman to his brother. 26 Then the same thing happened to the second and to the third, until [she had gone] through all seven. 27 Finally, the woman died. 28 So, to which of the seven will she be married in the resurrection, since they all had her?'

29 And Jesus replied: 'This is why you're headed in the wrong direction╔ for you don't understand the Scriptures or the power of God. 30 In the resurrection they won't marry or be given in marriage, for they'll be like the angels in the heavens.

31 'Also, haven't you read what God told you about the resurrection of the dead [when he said], 32 I am the God of AbraHam, the God of IsaAc, and the God of Jacob? He isn't the God of the dead, but of the living!'

33 Well when the crowds heard that, they were amazed by his [way of] teaching.

34 Then, after the Pharisees heard how he had muzzled the SadDucees, they came to him as a group. 35 And one of them (who was well-versed in the Law) asked (to test him): 36 'Teacher, which is the greatest Commandment of the Law?'

37 And he replied: 'You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart, soul, and mind. 38 This is the first and the greatest Commandment. 39 The second, which is like it, is this: You must love your neighbor as yourself. 40 These two commandments are the basis of the whole Law and all the [words of the] Prophets.'

41 Then as all the Pharisees were still there in front of him, Jesus asked them: 42 'What do you believe about the Anointed One╔ whose son is he to be?'

And they replied, 'David's.'

43 So he said: 'Then, why did David (through the Breath [of God]) call him his Lord, when he said,
44 Jehovah said this to my lord:
Sit here at my right hand,
Til I set your enemies as a stool for your feet?

45 If David called him his Lord, then how could he be his son?'

46 Well, nobody was able to say even a word in reply, nor did anyone dare to ask him any more questions from that day on.

Chapter 23

1 Well after that, Jesus spoke to the crowd and to his disciples, and said this: 2 'Since the scribes and Pharisees have put themselves in the seat of Moses, 3 you should do whatever they tell you to do╔ yes, do and pay attention! But don't do as they do, because they like to talk but they don't [practice what they preach]. 4 Rather, they bundle heavy loads to lay on men's shoulders, which they are unwilling to lift with a finger, 5 since everything that they do is done just to be seen by men. They broaden the [scripture-carrying] cases they wear, they make the fringes [on their clothes] a bit longer, 6 they like the first places at meals and the front seats in the synagogues, 7 and they enjoy being greeted in the markets and having people call them Rabbi. 8 But not you! Don't [have people] call you rabbi, for you have but one teacher, while you are all just brothers. 9 Nor should you address anyone on earth as Father, because there's just One who's your Father, the Heavenly One. 10 Don't even be called leaders, because you have but one Leader, the Anointed One. 11 Rather, the greatest one among you must be your servant. 12 For those who promote themselves will be humbled, while those who humble themselves will be promoted.

13 'Woe to you scribes and Pharisees – you hypocrites – for you're blocking the way into the Kingdom of the heavens. You don't enter it, and you don't allow the rest who are on their way to enter it! 14 —— 15 So, woe to you scribes and Pharisees – you hypocrites – because you travel land and sea to make a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of the garbage dump as yourselves!

16 'Woe to you blind guides who say, If someone swears an oath by the Temple, it doesn't mean anything. But if he swears by the gold in the Temple, the oath is binding. 17 Morons and blind men! Which is really greater╔ the gold, or the Temple that makes the gold holy?

18 'You also say, If someone swears an oath by the Altar, it doesn't mean anything. But if anyone swears by the gift on [the Altar], the oath is binding. 19 Blind men! Which is really greater╔ the gift, or the Altar that makes the gift holy? 20 Those who swear an oath by the Altar are not only swearing by it, but also by everything that's on it. 21 Also, those who swear an oath by the Temple are swearing by the One who dwells there, 22 and those who swear an oath by heaven are swearing by the throne of God and by the One who is sitting upon it!

23 'Yes, woe to you scribes and Pharisees – hypocrites – for though you even contribute a tenth of your mint, dill, and cumin; you ignore the deeper things of the Law, like justice, mercy, and faith! Yes, you should do those things also╔ in addition to the rest. 24 [However, you are just] blind guides who strain out weevils as you gulp down camels!

25 'Woe to you scribes and Pharisees – hypocrites – because you wash the outsides of cups and dishes that are still filled with theft and excesses on the insides. 26 Blind Pharisees; first clean the insides of the cups and dishes so that the outsides can also be clean!

27 'Woe to you scribes and Pharisees – hypocrites – because you're like whitewashed graves that look beautiful on the outside, but you're full of dead men's bones and every sort of filth on the inside╔ 28 you look like righteous men on the outside, but on the inside you're full of hypocrisy and lawlessness!

29 'Woe to you scribes and Pharisees – hypocrites – because you build tombs to dead Prophets╔ you decorate the tombs of the righteous and say, 30 If we had lived back in the days of our forefathers, we wouldn't have shared in [spilling] the blood of the Prophets. 31 But when you say this, you're testifying against yourselves that you are the sons of those who murdered the Prophets. 32 And now [it's time] for you to fully measure up to [the badness of] your ancestors!

33 'Snakes and children of vipers; How can you escape the judgment of the garbage dump? 34 Look! I will be sending you Prophets, wise men, and writers, whom you'll kill╔ you'll hang some on poles, and you'll whip others in your synagogues and chase them down in one city after another. 35 And that's when you'll become responsible for all the righteous blood that has been spilled on the earth from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of ZechariAh (the son of BarachiAh), whom you murdered between the Holy Place and the Altar. 36 Yes, I'm telling the truth when I say that all this [guilt] will be laid upon this generation!

37 'O JeruSalem, JeruSalem╔ you killer of Prophets and stoner of those who were sent to you! How often I've wanted to gather your children the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings╔ but you didn't want that! 38 So look╔ your house has been taken from you!

39 'I tell you the truth; You won't see me again until you say, Praise the one who comes in the Name of Jehovah!

Chapter 24

1 Well, after Jesus walked out of the Temple, his disciples came up to him and they were pointing admiringly toward its buildings. 2 Then he said to them: 'Do you see all these things? I tell you the truth; there won't be a stone left on top of a stone here that won't be thrown down.'

3 Then, as he was sitting in a quiet spot on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came up to him and asked, 'Tell us when these things will happen╔ what will be the signs?'

4 And Jesus replied: 'Watch out so that no one misleads you; 5 for many will come in my name, saying, I am the Anointed, and they will mislead many. 6 You'll also hear of wars and reports of wars, but don't let that frighten you, for these things must happen╔ but the end is yet to come. 7 For nations will be rising against nations and kingdoms against kingdoms, and there'll be famines and great shakings in many places╔ 8 yet these are just the beginnings of the birth pangs.

9 'Then people will hand you over to be persecuted and killed╔ you'll be hated by all the nations on account of my name. 10 And because many will be stumbled, they will dislike like each other and╩they'll turn each other in!

11 'There will also be false prophets who will arise and mislead many; 12 and because of the increasing of lawlessness, the love of most will grow cold. 13 However, whoever endures to the end will be saved. 14 'For this good news of the Kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole habitation of mankind as a testimony to all the nations before the end arrives.

15 'So when you see the disgusting destroyer that was spoken of through the Prophet Daniel standing in the Holy Place (let the reader pay attention to this), 16 those [who are living] in Judea should flee to the mountains! 17 The man who is standing on his roof shouldn't go down to remove things from his house, 18 and the man who is standing in his field shouldn't [go back home] to get his clothes.

19 'Woe to those who are pregnant and those who are nursing babies in those days╔ 20 they should keep praying that their time to run doesn't arrive in the winter or on a Sabbath! 21 For a difficult time will then come that will be unlike anything that has happened since the beginning of this arrangement until now, nor should ever happen again! 22 And if those days weren't going to be shortened, no flesh could be saved╔ but for the sake of the elected, those days will be shortened.

23 'Then if anyone should say, Look╔ here or there is the Anointed One, don't believe it! 24 Because, false anointed and false prophets will arise and they'll perform great omens and signs that can possibly mislead the elected!

25 'Now, I've warned you; 26 so if people should say, Look! He's in the desert╔ don't go there; or, Look! He's in that barn╔ don't believe it. 27 For as lightning flashes across the skies from the east to the west; that's how you'll know the Son of Man is nearby28 as when vultures gather at a carcass.

29 'Then immediately after that difficult time;
The sun will grow dark,
The moon won't give out its light,
The stars will fall from the skies,
And the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

30 'Thereafter, the Son of Man's sign will appear in the skies, and all the tribes of the earth will beat themselves in grief as they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds in the sky with great glory and power. 31 For He'll send his messengers [blowing] loud trumpets, who will then collect his elected from the four winds╔ from one end of the sky to the other.

32 'Now, learn this from the story of the fig tree:
When its young branches grow tender
And it starts putting out leaves,
You know that summer is near.
33 So when you see these [things start to happen],
Know that it's near╔ at the doors!
34 I tell you the truth;
This generation will not pass away
Until all these things are fulfilled.
35 Though the skies and the lands may all pass away,
My words will not pass away!

36 'Yet, no one knows the day or the hour, not the angels in the heavens or the Son╔ just the Father. 37 For, as it was in the days of Noah is how it will be at the arrival of the Son of Man. 38 For back in the days that led up to the downpour, the people were all eating and drinking, getting married and being taken in marriage, right up to the very day that Noah entered the Chest. 39 Yes, they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away! And that's how it will be when the Son of Man arrives.

40 'Then two men will be out in a field; one will be taken along and the other abandoned. 41 Two --- will be grinding [grain] at a mill; one will be taken along, and the other abandoned. 42 So, [you should all] stay awake, since you don't know the day that your Lord will arrive.

43 'I want you to recognize this: If the master of the house had known in which watch the thief would be coming, he would have stayed awake and not allowed his house to be [broken into]. 44 So always prove yourselves ready; for the Son of Man will arrive at a time that he isn't expected.

45 'Who is the faithful and sensible slave whom the master has put in charge of his household to provide them their food at the right times? 46 That slave will be blest if he's found doing so when his master arrives. 47 I tell you the truth; he'll put him in charge of everything that he owns! 48 But if that bad slave should ever say in his heart, My master is late in arriving, 49 and then he starts beating his fellow slaves and eating and drinking with the drunks; 50 that slave's master will arrive on a day and hour that he isn't expected, 51 and he'll cut him down and assign him among hypocrites, where he'll weep and grind his teeth.'

Chapter 25

1 'For the Kingdom of the heavens is like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the groom and his bride. 2 Five were wise, but five just didn't care. 3 For although they brought their lamps, they didn't bring any oil. 4 However, the wise brought jars of oil for their lamps.

5 'Well, as the bridegroom was taking his time, they all nodded off and went to sleep. 6 But in the middle of the night someone shouted: Look, it's the groom and his bride╔ let's go and meet them! 7 So, after all the [wise] virgins got up and started preparing their lamps, 8 the ones who didn't care said to the wise, Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are about to go out!

9 'But the wise replied: There probably isn't enough for us all, so you'd best go to the store to buy your own.

10 'Well, the bride and groom arrived just as these ones were leaving, and those who were ready entered the wedding banquet along with him╔ and then the door was closed.

11 'Well later on, the other virgins finally showed up and they shouted, Lord! Lord! Open to us!

12 'But he said to them: I tell you the truth; I don't know you.

13 'This is why you must stay awake, for you don't know the day or the hour!

14 'It's [the same] as when a man who was about to travel abroad called for his slaves to entrust his belongings to them. 15 To one he gave five [silver] coins, to another he gave two, and to another he gave just one (each according to his ability); and thereafter, he left on his trip.

16 'Well, the one who got the five went right out and put [his five coins] to work, gaining five more coins. 17 The same was true of the slave who'd received two; he gained two more. 18 But [the slave] who received just one went and dug a hole in the ground, where he buried his master's silver.

19 'Then, after some time, the master of those slaves [finally] returned and he called them in for an accounting. 20 So the one who'd received the five coins came forward carrying the five more and said, Lord, you gave me five coins, and look╔ I've gained you five more!

21 'And his master said, Well done, good and faithful slave! Since you've been faithful in a few things, I'll appoint you over many╔ enjoy the favor of your Lord!

22 'Next, the one who received the two coins came forward and said to his master: Lord, you gave me two coins, and look╔ I've gained you two more!

23 'So his master said to him: You've done well, my good and faithful slave! You were faithful over a few things, so I'll appoint you over many╔ share in the joy of your Lord!

24 'Finally, the [slave] who was given the one coin came up to his master and said, Lord, I know that you're a hard man who reaps where you don't sow and harvests where you don't plant. 25 And because I was afraid, I hid your coin in the ground. Now see; I give you what is yours!

26 'In reply, his master then said to him: O you wicked and lazy slave; so you know that I reap where I don't sow and I harvest where I don't plant, do you? 27 Then you should have deposited my silver with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received what is mine with interest! 28 Therefore, take the coin from him and give it to the one who has ten coins. 29 Because, more will be given to those who have╔ and they will have plenty. But all will be taken from those who don't have. 30 Now, throw this useless slave into the darkness outside, where he will weep and grind his teeth!

31 'So this is what is going to happen when the Son of Man arrives in his glory along with all of the messengers; he's going to sit down on his glorious throne, 32 and then all nations will be led before him. Then he'll separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He'll put the sheep on his right, but the goats on his left. 34 Then the king will say to those on his right: Come, you who've been praised by my Father; inherit the Kingdom that has been prepared for you since the founding of the arrangement. 35 For when I was hungry, you fed me; when I was thirsty, you gave me something to drink; when I was a stranger, you took me in; 36 when I was naked, you clothed me; when I was sick, you looked after me; and when I was in prison, you came to me.

37 'Then the righteous will ask: Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and take you in, or naked and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and come to your [aid]?

40 'And the king will say: I tell you the truth; when you did it for the least of my brothers, you also did it for me.'

41 'Then he will say to those on his left: Leave me, you who've been cursed into the age-long fire that was prepared for the Opposer and his messengers. 42 For when I was hungry, you didn't feed me; when I was thirsty, you gave me nothing to drink; 43 when I was a stranger, you didn't take me in; when I was naked, you didn't clothe me; and when I was sick and in prison, you didn't come to my aid.

44 'Then they will also ask: Lord, when did we see you hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and not serve your needs?

45 'And he will answer: I tell you the truth; when you didn't do it for one of these least ones, you didn't do it for me.

46 'Then these will go off into age-long punishment, but the righteous into age-long life.'

Chapter 26

1 After Jesus had finished saying all these things, he told his disciples: 2 'You know that the Passover will be here in just two days, and the Son of Man is going to be betrayed and hung on a pole.'

3 Meanwhile, the chief priests and the peoples' elders had all gathered in the courtyard of the High Priest (who was called CaiAphas) 4 to discuss sneaky ways to grab Jesus and kill him. 5 However, they decided not [to do it] at the festival, because that would have created a commotion among the people.

6 Then while Jesus was in BethAny, at the house of Simon the leper, 7 a woman carrying an expensive alabaster case of perfumed oil came to him as he lay in a reclined position, and she started pouring it over his head. 8 But when the disciples saw that, they were irritated and asked, 'Why all this waste? 9 We could have sold this for a lot [of money] and given it to the poor!'

10 And noticing this, Jesus said to them: 'Why are you bothering this woman? She just did a nice thing for me! 11 You'll always have the poor, but you won't always have me. 12 When this woman poured the oil on my body, she did it to prepare me for my burial. 13 And I tell you the truth; wherever this good news is preached throughout the entire world, what this woman did will be told in memory of her.'

14 Then one of the twelve (the one called Judas IsCariot) went to the chief priests 15 and asked, 'What will you give me if I betray him to you?' And they arranged to give him thirty silver coins. 16 So from that point on, he kept looking for a good opportunity to betray him.

17 It was [just before] the first day of No Fermentation that the disciples came to Jesus and asked, 'Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover?'

18 And he said, 'Go into the city to (a certain person), and tell him that the Teacher says, My appointed time is near, so I will celebrate the Passover with my disciples in your home.'

19 Then the disciples did just as Jesus ordered and got things ready for the Passover.

20 It was later that evening, while [Jesus] was reclining at the table 21 eating with the twelve disciples, that he said, 'I tell you the truth; one of you will betray me.'

22 And deeply saddened by this, they each asked him, 'Lord, it isn't me, is it?'

23 Then he said: 'One who has dipped his hand into this bowl with me will betray me. 24 Indeed, the Son of Man will leave╔ just as it was written about him. But woe to the one through whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would be better for him had he never been born!'

25 Then Judas (the one who was about to betray him) asked, 'That isn't what I am, is it Rabbi?'

And [Jesus] replied, 'You said it yourself.'

26 Then as they ate, Jesus took a loaf, and after giving thanks, broke it and gave it to the disciples saying, 'Take some and eat it, because this is my body.' 27 He also took a cup [of wine], and after giving thanks, he gave it to them saying, 'All of you, drink from it; 28 indeed, this is my blood of the Sacred Agreement with the many, which is being poured out for the forgiveness of sins.

29 'But now I'm telling you that I definitely won't drink the product of the vine anymore until the day that I drink it with you as it has never been drunk before, in the Kingdom of my Father.'

30 And finally, after singing songs of praise, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

31 [It was there that] Jesus said to them: 'All of you will be stumbled [by what will happen to] me tonight, because it's written: I will beat the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered. 32 But after I wake up, I'll go ahead of you into GaliLee.'

33 However, Peter said to him: 'Although all the others may be trapped, I'll never stumble!'

34 But Jesus said: 'I tell you the truth; before a rooster crows tonight, you'll have denied knowing me three times.'

35 Yet Peter just kept on saying, 'Even if I have to die with you, I'll never deny knowing you!' And all the other disciples were saying the same thing.

36 Then Jesus took his disciples to the spot called GethSemane (the Oil Press), and he said to them: 'Sit here while I go over there to pray.'

37 So he took Peter and the two sons of ZebediOu with him, and he became very sad and deeply disturbed. 38 Then he said to them: 'My soul is sad to the point of death; so wait here and stay awake with me.'

39 And going a little way forward, he fell to his face praying and said, 'My Father; if it's possible, let this cup pass from me. However, not my will, but Yours.'

40 Then when he returned to the disciples, he found them sleeping; and he asked Peter, 'Aren't you strong enough to stay awake with me for just one hour? 41 Stay awake and pray that you won't be put to the test! Indeed; although the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak.'

42 So he went off and prayed a second time, saying: 'My Father; if this can't pass and I have to drink it, may Your Will be done.' 43 And when he returned, he found them sleeping again, because their eyes were heavy.

44 Well, he left them and went to pray a third time, saying the same things again. 45 Then he came back to the disciples and told them: 'Here you are resting and sleeping╔ and look! The time has arrived when the Son of Man will be handed over to sinners. 46 Get up╔ let's go! Look! Here comes my betrayer!'

47 And while he was still speaking, {Look!} Judas (one of the twelve) came up with a large mob of Priests and elders, each of whom was carrying a sword or a club!

48 Now, the betrayer had given them a sign to watch for. He said, 'Whomever I kiss is the one╔ grab him!' 49 And going straight up to Jesus, [Judas] greeted him with the words, 'Rejoice, Rabbi!' as he kissed him tenderly.

50 But Jesus said to him: 'Man, just why are you here?'

Then [some of the mob] came up and grabbed Jesus, and tied him up. 51 But {Look!} one who was there with Jesus reached down and unsheathed his sword and struck the Chief Priest's slave, taking off his ear. 52 Then Jesus told him: 'Put your sword away; for all who take up the sword will perish by the sword! 53 Don't you realize that I can ask my Father to immediately send more than twelve battalions of angels? 54 But if [I did] that, how would the scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen this way?'

55 Then Jesus asked the mob: 'Have you come with swords and clubs to arrest me like some robber? Why, I used to sit and teach in the Temple every day, and you didn't choose to grab me then. 56 But all of this has happened so that the writings of the Prophets can be fulfilled.'

Well, all the disciples just ran away and left him. 57 Then those who'd arrested Jesus carried him off to [the house of] CaiAphas the High Priest, where the scribes and the elders had already assembled.

58 Meanwhile, Peter had followed quite some way behind all the way to the courtyard of the High Priest. Then he entered and sat among the building supervisory staff, to see how things would turn out.

59 At the time, the chief priests and those of the Judean High Court were trying to find [someone who would] lie about Jesus so they could condemn him. 60 However, of all those who came forward, none were willing to perjure themselves. But later on, two did come forward who said, 61 'This man told us that he could tear down the Most Holy Place of The God╩ and rebuild it in just three days.'

62 Well at that, the High Priest stood up and asked Jesus, 'Don't you have a reply? What is it that these people are accusing you of?' 63 But Jesus just kept silent.

So the High Priest said to him: 'By the living God; I put you under oath to tell us whether you're the Anointed One╔ the Son of The God!'

64 And Jesus replied: 'You're saying it yourself! Let me tell you something; from this point on, you will see the Son of Man sitting at [His] powerful right hand and coming on the clouds in the sky!'

65 Then the High Priest ripped his clothes and shouted, 'He has blasphemed! Why do we need any more witnesses? See╔ now you've heard the blasphemy! 66 So, what's your opinion?'

And they all replied: 'Hold him for death!'

67 Then they spit in his face and hit him with their fists, as others slapped him in the face, 68 saying, 'Prophesy to us, O Anointed One. Who hit you?'

69 Meanwhile, as Peter was still sitting outside in the courtyard, a servant girl came up to him and said: 'You were also with Jesus the Galilean!' 70 But he denied it in front of everyone, saying, 'I don't know what she's talking about!'

71 Then, as he [was walking out toward] the gatehouse, another girl noticed him and said to everyone there: 'This man was with Jesus the Nazarene!' 72 And once again he denied it with an oath, saying, 'I never knew the man!' 73 But all those who were standing around came up and said to him, 'Sure, you're one of them! Why, your accent gives you away!' 74 So Peter started cursing them and swore, 'I don't know the man!' And immediately, a rooster crowed. 75 It was then that Peter remembered Jesus' words, 'Before a rooster crows, you'll have denied that you know me three times.' So he went outside and cried bitterly.

Chapter 27

1 The next morning, all the chief priests and peoples' elders held a meeting to discuss ways to have Jesus put to death. 2 So they bound him and took him to be handed over to Governor Pilate.

3 It was then that Judas (who had betrayed [Jesus]) realized that he was condemned. So, feeling deeply regretful about what he had done, he tried to return the thirty silver [coins] to the chief priests and elders, 4 saying, 'I sinned when I betrayed righteous blood.'

But they replied: 'What is that to us? You see to it!'

5 So he threw the silver into the Temple and left; and then he went out and hung himself.

6 Well thereafter, the chief priests [picked up] the silver coins and said, 'It isn't legal to put them into the sacred treasury, because they're the price of blood.' 7 So after discussing it further, they decided to use it to purchase the potter's field as a place to bury foreigners. 8 And to this day, that field has been called 'The Field of Blood.'

9 It was then that the words of the Prophet were fulfilled:
'And they took the thirty pieces of silver
(The price that was put on a man
By some of the sons of IsraEl),
10 And used them to pay for the field of the potters;
As Jehovah had told me.'

11 Next, they stood Jesus before the governor, who asked him, 'Are you the king of the Jews?'

And Jesus replied: 'You're saying it yourself.' 12 (However, when the chief priests and elders were accusing him, he hadn't said anything).

13 Then Pilate asked: 'Don't you hear all the things that they're saying against you?'

14 But [Jesus] wouldn't answer him – he didn't say a word – and that really got the governor to wondering.

15 Now, it was the governor's custom to release whichever prisoner the crowd wanted during these festivals. 16 And at that time, they were holding a particularly notorious criminal called BarAbbas. 17 So when the people gathered before him, Pilate asked: 'Which do you want me to release to you, BarAbbas or Jesus╔ the so-called Anointed One?' 18 ([Pilate] knew that the only reason they had bound [Jesus] over, was because they were jealous of him. 19 Also, while he was sitting on his judgment seat, [Pilate's] wife had sent [a message] to him, saying, 'Don't have anything to do with that righteous man, because I suffered a lot in a dream today over to him'). 20 But the chief priests and elders persuaded the crowd to ask for BarAbbas, and they demanded to have Jesus destroyed. 21 So when the governor asked which of the two they wanted released, they shouted, 'BarAbbas!'

22 And when Pilate asked, 'Then what should I do with Jesus, the so-called Anointed One?' They all said, 'Hang him up on a pole!'

23 But when he asked, 'Why? What bad thing did he do,' they all kept shouting louder and louder, 'Hang him up on a pole!'

24 Well, when he saw that he wasn't doing any good and he was just inciting a riot, Pilate got some water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, 'I'm innocent of this man's blood╔ you take the responsibility for this on yourselves!'

25 And all the people said, 'May we and our children be responsible for his blood!'

26 Then he released BarAbbas to them, but he had Jesus whipped and bound over for impaling.

27 So the governor's soldiers took Jesus into the palace and brought in all the troops. 28 There they removed [Jesus'] clothes, wrapped a scarlet cape around him, 29 braided a crown of thorns and slipped it over his head, and they put a piece of cane in his right hand. Then kneeling down, they made fun of him by shouting the greeting, 'Rejoice, O you King of the Jews!' 30 Then they spit on him and they took the cane and started hitting him on the head with it. 31 Finally, after they had tired of their fun, they took off the cape, put his clothes back on, and took him out to be impaled.

32 Well, as they were leading him out, they found a man from Cyrene [Libya] whose name was Simon, and they made him carry the pole. 33 Then, when they got to the place called GolGotha (Skull Place), 34 they offered [Jesus] some wine mixed with gall to drink. But after he tasted it, he wouldn't drink it.

35 It was after [they had nailed] him on the pole that [the soldiers] divided his clothes by throwing lots. 36 Then they all just sat around and watched him. 37 They also put a sign over his head that showed the charge against him: 'This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.'

38 Two robbers were also hung on poles beside him╔ one on his right and the other on his left.

39 Then those who were passing by started shouting terrible things at [Jesus], shaking their heads 40 and saying: 'O you who would tear down the Most Holy and rebuild it in three days; save yourself╔ if you're a son of God, come down off the pole!'

41 That's the way the chief priests, scribes, and elders also made fun of him, saying, 42 'He saved others, but he can't save himself! If he's the King of IsraEl, let him come down from the pole and we'll believe him. 43 He has put his trust in God, so let [God] rescue him if He wants him. After all, he says, I'm God's Son.'

44 In fact, even the robbers who were hung on poles with him started saying cruel things to him.

45 Then from the sixth to the ninth hours, darkness fell over the whole land. 46 And at about the ninth hour, Jesus called out in a loud voice: 'Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?' That is, 'My God, my God; why have you abandoned me?'

47 Well, when some of those who were standing around heard this, they thought he was calling for EliJah. 48 And immediately, one of them ran and took a sponge, soaked it in vinegar, then lifted it on a reed to give him something to drink. 49 But the rest of them said, 'Leave him alone! Let's see if EliJah comes to save him!'

Finally, a man took a spear and jabbed it into his side, and blood mixed with water poured out. 50 Then Jesus cried out loudly and gave up his breath.

51 And at that, {Look!} the Temple's [inner] curtain ripped in two from top to bottom, as the ground shook and rocks split. 52 ---- 53 ----

54 But the army officer and those with him who were watching over Jesus (after they saw the earthquake and the other things that had happened) were really frightened and said, 'This truly was God's Son!'

55 Well, during this entire time, many women were standing around and watching from a distance. These women had traveled with Jesus from GaliLee in order to serve him, 56 including Mary from Magdala, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of the sons of ZebediOu.

57 Then later that afternoon, a rich man from HariMathea named JoSeph (who was also a disciple of Jesus) 58 went to Pilate and asked for Jesus' body. So Pilate commanded that it should be given to him. 59 Then JoSeph took the body, wrapped it up in fine clean linen, 60 and laid it in a new tomb that had just been quarried in the bedrock. And after rolling a large rock against the tomb entrance, he left.

61 Meanwhile, Mary from Magdala and the other Mary just sat there across from the tomb.

62 Then the next day (after the Preparation), the chief priests and Pharisees gathered and they went before Pilate to say, 63 'Lord; We remembered that while he was alive, that impostor said: In three days I will be raised. 64 Therefore, order the grave to be made secure until the third day, so his disciples don't come and steal him, then tell the people that he was raised from the dead. For that would make this last deceit even worse than the first!'

65 But Pilate replied: 'You have watchmen; Go make it as secure as you know how.' 66 So they went and made the grave secure by sealing the stone and posting guards.

Chapter 28

1 It was after the Sabbath, in the early morning light of the first day of the week that Mary of Magdala and the other Mary came to see the tomb. 2 But {Look!} a great shaking had occurred. For Jehovah's messenger had come down from heaven and rolled away the stone, and there he was sitting on top of it. 3 He looked like lightning and his clothes were as white as snow╔ 4 which made the watchmen shake in fear and become as dead men.

5 But the messenger said to the women: 'Don't be afraid, for I know that you're looking for Jesus who was impaled. 6 He isn't here, because he was raised╔ just as he said. Come and see the place where he was lying, 7 then hurry and tell his disciples that he was raised from the dead. Why look╔ he has gone ahead of you into GaliLee! Look! You'll see him there, just as I said.'

8 So, quickly leaving the tomb (with both fear and great joy), they ran to report this to his disciples. 9 Then {Look!} Jesus met up with them, greeting them with the word, 'Rejoice!' So they went up to him, caught him by his feet, and bowed low. 10 And Jesus said, 'Don't be afraid! Go and report this to my brothers, so they will go to GaliLee╔ they'll see me there.'

11 Meanwhile, as [the women] were on their way, {Look!} some of the guards returned to the city to report all that had happened to the chief priests. 12 And after holding a conference and meeting with the elders to ask for advice, they [bribed] the soldiers with enough silver, 13 and said: 'Tell the people that his disciples came in the night and stole him while you were sleeping. 14 And if the governor hears about this, don't worry; we'll persuade [him] to release you.'

15 So [the guards] took the silver and did as they were instructed. And the story they told has been spread among Judeans everywhere down to this day.

16 However, the eleven disciples went on to GaliLee, to the mountain where Jesus had arranged [to meet] them. 17 And when they saw him, they bowed low╔ though some were doubtful. 18 Then coming toward them, Jesus spoke, saying: 'All power has been given me in heaven and on earth. 19 So, go make disciples in all nations in my name, 20 and teach them to obey all the things that I commanded you. {Look!} I will be with you every day until the completion of the age.'

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