The Gospel according to Matthew

1:1This is the account of the lineage of Jesus the Anointed, descendant of David and Abraham:

1:2Abraham fathered Isaac, who fathered Jacob, who fathered Judah and his siblings.1:3Judah fathered Perez and Zara by Tamar, and Perez fathered Hezron, who fathered Aram,1:4who fathered Aminadab, who fathered Nahshon, who fathered Salmon,1:5who fathered Boaz by Rahab. Boaz fathered Obed by Ruth, and Obed fathered Jesse,1:6who fathered King David, who fathered Solomon by Uriah’s wife.

1:7Solomon fathered Rehoboam, who fathered Abijah, who fathered Asa,1:8who fathered Jehosophat, who fathered Joram, who fathered Uzzaiah,1:9who fathered Jotham, who fathered Ahaz, who fathered Hezekiah,1:10who fathered Manasseh, who fathered Amos, who fathered Josiah,1:11who fathered Jechoniah and his siblings at the time of the deportation to Babylon.

1:12After the Babylonian exile, Jechoniah fathered Shealtiel, who fathered Zorobabel,1:13who fathered Abiud, who fathered Eliakim, who fathered Azor,1:14who fathered Zadok, who fathered Achim, who fathered Eliud,1:15who fathered Eleazar, who fathered Matthan, who fathered Jacob,1:16who fathered Joseph the husband of Mary, who gave birth to Jesus who is called Anointed.

1:17So there were fourteen generations from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the Babylonian exile, and fourteen from the Babylonian exile to the Anointed.

1:18Now this is the account of the birth of Jesus the Anointed: His mother Mary was engaged to Joseph, but before they were married it was discovered that Mary was pregnant by the Holy Spirit.1:19But her husband Joseph, being a decent person, didn’t want to make a public spectacle of her, so he intended to divorce her quietly.1

1:20While he was mulling all these things over, suddenly a Messenger of the Master appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, descendant of David, don’t hesitate to accept Mary as your wife, because what is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.1:21She will give birth to a son, and you will give him the name Jesus, since he will save his people from their faults.”

1:22This all happened in order to fulfill that which the Master spoke through the prophet:1:23“Look! The unmarried2 woman will become pregnant and give birth to a son. And they will give him the name Emmanuel, which means ‘God is with us’.”1:24Then Joseph woke up from his sleep and did as the Messenger told him. He married her1:25but had no intimacy with her until she gave birth to a son, whom she named Jesus.

2:1Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, and in the days of King Herod,3 official advisors came to Jerusalem from the east.2:2They asked, “Where is the one born King of the Judeans? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”2:3This disturbed not only King Herod but all of Jerusalem as well.

2:4So he summoned all the ruling priests and scripture scholars to determine where the Anointed was to be born.2:5And they told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea. This is how it is written through the prophet:2:6‘And you, Bethlehem of Judah: you are not at all the least significant among the governors of Judah! For out of you will come a leader who will shepherd my people Israel.’ ”

2:7Then Herod consulted privately with the official advisors to determine the precise time when the star appeared.2:8And he sent them into Bethlehem with these instructions: “Go and search carefully for the little one, and if you find him, tell me so that I can come and worship him.”2:9Upon hearing this from the king they went off, when suddenly the star they had seen in the east appeared! It went ahead of them until it came to a stop above the little one’s location.2:10They were extremely happy to see the star.

2:11Now when they arrived at the house they saw the little one with his mother Mary. They fell down and worshiped him, and they presented him with gifts such as gold, frankincense, and myrrh.42:12But they were warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, so they took another route to their homeland.

2:13After they had gone, suddenly a Messenger of the Master appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Wake up! Take the little one and his mother, and run away to Egypt. Stay there until I talk to you again, because Herod intends to kill the child.”2:14So he woke up and took the child and his mother away that very night to Egypt,2:15where he stayed until Herod died. This was in fulfillment of the word of the Master through the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

2:16When Herod realized that the official advisors had made him look like a fool, he was extremely furious. So he had all the children in Bethlehem killed if they were two years old or younger, according to the precise time he had learned from the official advisors.2:17Then the writing of the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:2:18“A sound is heard in Ramah, of wailing and deep grief. Rachel is sobbing for her children, and she cannot be consoled, for they are dead and gone.”

2:19After Herod died, a Messenger of the Master appeared to Joseph in a dream while he was still in Egypt.2:20He told him, “Wake up! Take the little one and his mother back to the land of Israel, because those who were out to take the child’s life are dead.”2:21So he woke up and took the little one and his mother to the land of Israel.2:22But when he heard that Archelaus had succeeded his father Herod to rule in Judea, he was afraid to go there. And having been divinely warned in another dream, he went into the province of Galilee.2:23He settled in the city of Nazareth in fulfillment of the declaration of the prophet, “He will be called a Nazarene.”

3:1It was in those days that John the Immerser came along, proclaiming in the Judean wilderness,3:2“Change your minds, for the kingdom of the heavens has arrived!”3:3He was the one mentioned by the prophet Isaiah: “A voice calls out in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the road for the Master! Straighten his paths!’ ”3:4John dressed himself with cloth made from camel hair, his belt was made of leather, and he lived on locusts and wild honey.

3:5Then everyone from Jerusalem, Judea, and the area around the Jordan went out to him.3:6They were immersed by him in the Jordan River as they admitted their faults.3:7But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was immersing, he said to them, “You den of poisonous snakes! Who advised you to run away from impending doom?3:8Prove that you’ve changed your minds.3:9And don’t think to yourselves, ‘Our father is Abraham!’ For I tell you that God is able to raise up children for Abraham out of these stones!

3:10“The ax is already poised to strike the root of the tree, and any tree not producing good fruit is to be chopped down and thrown into the fire.3:11I do indeed immerse you in water to signify a change of mind. But after me comes someone stronger than I am, whose shoes I am unworthy to carry, and he will immerse you in the Holy Spirit and fire.3:12He has a broom in his hand, and he is about to sweep the floor clean! He will collect his grain and store it away, but the chaff will be burned in a fire that cannot be extinguished.”

3:13Jesus came from Galilee to be immersed by John in the Jordan.3:14But John objected, “I’m the one who needs to be immersed by you, yet you come to me?”

3:15“It has to be this way for now,” replied Jesus, “for we must do what is right.”

3:16So he consented to immerse him. And immediately as Jesus came up out of the water, suddenly the heavens opened up, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and landing on him.3:17At that moment there was a voice from heaven saying, “This is my dear son; I am quite pleased with him!”

4:1Then Jesus was led by the Spirit to go into the wilderness to be tested by the False Accuser.4:2After having gone forty days and nights without food, Jesus was hungry.4:3So the Tester came to him and said, “If you’re really the God-Man, tell these stones to become bread.”

4:4“It is written,” Jesus replied, “that a person does not live on bread alone but on every word uttered by God.”

4:5Then the False Accuser took him into the holy city and stood him on the highest point of the temple compound.4:6And he said to him, “If you’re really the God-Man, throw yourself down. As it is written, ‘He will command his Messengers concerning you, that they will lift you up with their hands so you won’t strike your foot against a stone.’ ”

4:7“It is written,” Jesus replied, “You must not provoke the Master your God!”

4:8Next the False Accuser took him up into a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in all their splendor.4:9And he said to him, “I will give all of this to you, if you will fall down and worship me!”

4:10“Get away from me, Adversary!” Jesus replied. “For it is written: ‘It is only the Master your God you must worship; serve no one else!’ ”4:11Then the False Accuser left him, and suddenly Messengers came and attended to Jesus’ needs.

4:12When Jesus heard that John had been put under arrest, he went into Galilee.4:13Then he moved out of Nazareth and settled in Capernaum by the sea, in the area near Zebulon and Naphtali,4:14in order to fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah:

4:15

“The land of Zebulon and the land of Naphtali, the road to the sea, on the other side of the Jordan, in Galilee of the non-Judeans:4:16The people sitting in darkness have seen a great light; to those sitting in the shadowy place of death, a light has risen on them.”

4:17And from then on Jesus began to announce, “Change your minds, for the kingdom of the heavens has come!”

4:18As he walked along the seaside in Galilee, he saw two brothers: Simon (called Peter) and Andrew. They were throwing a fishing net into the sea, because that’s how they made their living.4:19And he said to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!”4:20So they immediately dropped their nets and followed him.4:21From there, he saw two other brothers: James and John, sons of Zebedee. They were in the boat with their father, preparing the nets. He called to them,4:22and immediately they followed him, leaving the ship and their father.

4:23Jesus went all over Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and announcing the Gospel of the kingdom, and he also healed all sorts of diseases and weaknesses the people had.4:24His fame spread throughout Syria, and they brought him all the people afflicted with various serious diseases and torments, including the demonized, those with convulsions, and the paralyzed; he healed them all.4:25A large crowd followed him from Galilee, the Ten Cities, Jerusalem, Judea, and the other side of the Jordan.

5:1When Jesus saw the crowd, he went up into the mountain and sat down. His disciples came to him5:2and he began to teach them:

5:3“Happy are the destitute, spiritually speaking,5 for the kingdom of the heavens is theirs.

5:4“Happy are the grieving, for they will be consoled.

5:5“Happy are the even-tempered, for they will inherit the earth.

5:6“Happy are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.

5:7“Happy are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

5:8“Happy are those with clean minds, for they will see God.6

5:9“Happy are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.

5:10“Happy are those who are persecuted for doing right, for the kingdom of the heavens is theirs.

5:11“Happy are those who, on my account, are disgraced, persecuted, defamed, and lied about;5:12yes, be very happy and overjoyed! For you will have great reward in the heavens. This is the same way they persecuted the prophets before you.

5:13“You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its seasoning, how can it be made salty again? It’s good for nothing but being thrown outside where people will trample it.5:14You are the light of the world. A city on a high hill cannot be hidden;5:15no one lights a lamp and then puts it under a jar. Rather, they set it on a lampstand so it provides light to everyone in the house.5:16Likewise, let your light shine for everyone so they can see the good that you do and give honor to your Father in the heavens.

5:17“Don’t think that I have come to dismantle ‘the Law and the Prophets’;7 I have not come to dismantle them but to fulfill them.5:18Let me make this clear: as long as the earth and sky remain, not even the smallest letter or stroke of a pen will be taken away from the Law before everything is accomplished.5:19So if anyone tries to weaken even the smallest part of these commands and teaches others the same, that person will be the smallest in the kingdom of the heavens. Conversely, if anyone practices them and teaches others the same, that person will be the greatest in the kingdom of the heavens.

5:20“I tell you that if your righteousness isn’t any better than that of the scripture scholars and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of the heavens!5:21For you have heard that people a long time ago were told, ‘You must not murder, and whoever murders will be held to account’.5:22But I tell you that whoever is angry with a sister or brother for no reason8 will be held to account. Whoever says to them, ‘You’re worthless!’, will have to stand before the court, and whoever says to them, ‘Idiot!’, will be thrown into the fire of Gehenna.9

5:23“If you’re ever on your way to make an offering and remember that your brother or sister has a reason to be upset with you,5:24leave your gift at the altar and first go back and reconcile with them; then you can make your offering.5:25Reach a quick settlement with the one bringing you to court, while you are still on the way there. Otherwise your opponent might hand you over to the judge, who will hand you over to the deputy, who will throw you into prison.5:26And I tell you that you won’t get out of there until you pay every last bit of what you owe!

5:27“You have heard that it was said, ‘You must not commit adultery’.5:28But I say to you that whoever lusts after a woman has already committed it in his mind.5:29So if your right eye is a trap for you, take it out and throw it away! It’s better for you to lose a body part than for your whole body to be thrown into Gehenna.5:30Or if your right hand is a trap for you, cut it off and throw it away! It’s better for you to lose a body part than for your whole body to go into Gehenna.

5:31“It has been said that ‘Whoever wants to be rid of his wife only needs to give her a divorce notice’.5:32But I say to you, that whoever gets rid of his wife, except for promiscuity on her part, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries her also commits adultery.10

5:33“Another thing you’ve heard that was said long ago: ‘Do not swear an oath you don’t intend to keep; you must fulfill your oaths to the Master.’5:34But I say to you, don’t swear any oath at all: not by heaven (it is the throne of God),5:35not by earth (it is the footstool of God), not by Jerusalem (it is the city of the Great King),5:36and not even by your own head, since you can’t turn one hair white or black.5:37Just say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and mean it; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

5:38“You’ve heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’5:39But I say to you, don’t take an adversarial stance11 against an aggressor. If they slap you on the right cheek, present the other side as well.5:40If someone takes you to court and wins your shirt, give them your coat as well.5:41And if someone conscripts you to go with them for a thousand paces, go along for two thousand.125:42Give to the one who asks of you, and lend to the one who wants to borrow from you.

5:43“You’ve heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and despise your enemy.’5:44But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,5:45so that you will be children of your Father in the heavens. For the sun rises on good and bad people alike; rain falls on both the righteous and the unrighteous.5:46If you only love those who love you, do you expect to be rewarded? Even tax contractors do that!5:47And if you only welcome your sisters and brothers, what great thing have you done? Even the non-Judeans do that!5:48But if you do these things, you will be complete, just as the heavenly Father is complete.

6:1“Be careful that you don’t do good deeds just to impress people; if you do, you will not get any reward from your Father in the heavens.6:2So whenever you give to charity, don’t make a big show of it like those pendants,13 who do so in the synagogues and streets to be praised by the people. I can assure you that they’ve been paid in full!6:3Instead, do your giving discreetly;6:4keep it secret. Then your Father, who sees what you do in secret, will reward you.

6:5“And whenever you pray, don’t be like the pedants who love to pray standing in the synagogues and city squares so people can see them. I can assure you that they’ve been paid in full!6:6Instead, whenever you pray, go into your closet and lock the door so you can pray to your Father in secret. Then your Father, who sees what you do in secret, will reward you.

6:7“Also, don’t repeat the same prayers endlessly like the non-Judeans do, who think that all their words get them attention.6:8Don’t be like them, because your Father knows what you need before you ask.6:9Pray more like this:

‘Our Father in the heavens, may your name be revered!6:10May your kingdom appear; may your intentions be carried out on earth just as they are in heaven.6:11Give us what we need for the day,6:12and forgive our debts to you just as we forgive debts owed to us.6:13Please don’t put us to the test but get us safely away from the evil one.’

6:14“(If you forgive other people’s blunders, your Father in heaven will forgive your blunders;6:15and if you don’t, he won’t.)

6:16“Whenever you fast, don’t be like the pedants who go around with sad faces so people know they’re fasting. I can assure you that they’ve been paid in full!6:17But when you fast, put on a pleasant fragrance and wash your face6:18so people don’t know you’re fasting. And your Father, who sees what you do in secret, will reward you.

6:19“Don’t store up valuables here on earth, where moth and rust erode, and where thieves break in and steal.6:20Instead, store them in heaven where that can’t happen.6:21For your mind will be on what you value.

6:22“Your eye is the light of your body. So if your eye is innocent, your whole body will be filled with light.6:23But if your eye is evil, your whole body will be filled with darkness. So if the light in you is really darkness, what deep darkness it is!6:24And no one can serve two masters; they’d love one and hate the other, or despise one and support the other. You cannot serve both God and Wealth.

6:25“What I’m telling you is not to worry, whether it’s about where your food and drink will come from, or what you’ll cover your body with. Doesn’t your life mean much more than food, and your body much more than clothing?6:26Observe the birds of the sky: they don’t plant seeds, they don’t harvest, and they don’t put food in storage, yet your Father in heaven feeds them. Aren’t you worth far more than birds?6:27And which of you can prolong your life by worrying?

6:28“Why do you also worry about clothing? Study the wild flowers and how they grow; they don’t do any work or spin thread.6:29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his majesty was dressed as well as one of those flowers!6:30So if the grass of the field is here one day and thrown into an oven the next, won’t God clothe you all the more, you skeptics?

6:31“So then, stop worrying about what you’ll eat, what you’ll drink, or what you’ll wear.6:32The people of other nations are always looking for these things, but your Father in heaven knows you need them.6:33If you make the kingdom of God and his righteousness your priority, all these other things will be provided for you.6:34So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself; don’t borrow tomorrow’s problems today.

7:1“Don’t judge, so that you won’t be judged.147:2For whatever judgment you make may be used to judge you, and whatever measurement you use will be used to measure you.7:3Why do you take note of the splinter in your brother or sister’s eye, while there is a whole plank of wood in your own eye?7:4How can you say to your sister or brother, ‘Here, let me get that splinter out of your eye’ while there’s a plank in your own eye?7:5Pedant! First get that plank out of your own eye so you can clearly see how to get the splinter out of your brother or sister’s eye.

7:6“Don’t give what is holy to those dogs; stop throwing your pearls in front of hogs, who will just trample on them and then turn and attack you.15

7:7“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.7:8For all those who ask, receive; those who seek, find; to those who knock, the door will be opened.7:9After all, which of you would give your child a rock if they asked for bread?7:10Who would give them a snake if they asked for fish?7:11Now if you, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in the heavens give good things to those who ask him!7:12So to sum up, treat people the way you’d like them to treat you; this is what the Law and the Prophets are all about.

7:13“Go in through the narrow gate. There are many who go through the wide gate and travel the multi-lane highway to ruin.7:14But the difficult road to life is through the narrow gate, and few find it.

7:15“Beware of false prophets; they appear to be sheep, but on the inside they are ravenous wolves.7:16You can identify them by what they do: you don’t pick grapes from thorn bushes, and you don’t pick figs from thistles.7:17A good tree gives appealing fruit, but a rotten tree gives disgusting fruit,7:18and neither can produce the other’s fruit.7:19Trees that don’t make good fruit are chopped down and thrown into the fire.7:20So you can identify them by what they do.

7:21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Master, Master!’ will be admitted into the kingdom of the heavens, but only those who do what my Father in the heavens wants.7:22In that day, many will say to me, ‘Master, Master! Didn’t we prophesy in your name, and didn’t we throw out demons and perform many powerful deeds in your name?’7:23And I will have to reply, ‘I never knew you; get away from me, all you lawless people!’

7:24“So then, everyone who hears what I say and does it, is like a wise man who built his house on rock.7:25The rain came down on it, the water rushed toward it, and the wind blew against it, but it could not be knocked over since it was founded on rock.7:26But the one who hears what I say yet doesn’t do it, is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.7:27The rain came, the water rushed, and the wind blew, pounding against that house. It fell, and what a huge crash it was!”

7:28Now when Jesus had finished saying all these things, the crowd was awestruck by his teachings.7:29He taught with authority, not like their scripture scholars.

8:1As Jesus went down the mountain, he was followed by a large crowd.8:2Suddenly a leper came toward him, and he worshiped him and said, “Sir, if you choose, you can make me clean!”

8:3“I so choose!” said Jesus, reaching out to touch him. “Be clean!” And immediately his leprosy was completely gone.8:4Then Jesus added, “See to it that you speak to no one, but go straight to show yourself to the priest and confirm your healing by offering the gift commanded by Moses.”

8:5Then Jesus entered Capernaum, where he was approached by a Roman army captain. He pleaded,8:6“Sir, my servant is paralyzed and homebound, suffering terribly!”

8:7“I will come to heal him,” said Jesus.

8:8“Master,” replied the Roman officer, “I am unworthy to have you come under my roof. But just say the word and my servant will be healed.8:9After all, I too am one who is under the authority of another, and I have soldiers under me. I tell one of them ‘Go!’ and he goes; I tell another ‘Come!’ and he comes; I tell my slave ‘do this!’ and he does it.”

8:10When Jesus heard this, he was very surprised and said to those following him, “I sure haven’t found anyone in Israel with that much faith!8:11And I tell you this: many will come from east and west to dine with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of the heavens,8:12yet the subjects will be exiled to the darkness outside, where people will wail and grind their teeth.”8:13Then he said to the Roman officer, “Go! You have what you believed.” And his servant was healed that very hour.

8:14Then Jesus came to Peter’s house, where he saw that Peter’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever.8:15So he touched her hand, and the fever left her. Then she got up and served him a meal.8:16By evening, many people were brought to him suffering from demon possession. He threw the demons out by speaking to them, and he healed all who were sick.8:17In this way he fulfilled the words of the prophet Isaiah, “He took away our illnesses and lifted our burdens.”

8:18When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave the order to go to the other side [of the lake].8:19But a scripture scholar came up to him and said, “Teacher, I’ll follow you wherever you go.”

8:20“Foxes have burrows to live in, and the birds of the sky have nests,” he replied, “But the Human has no place to sleep tonight.”

8:21Another one of his disciples said to him, “Master, first let me go and bury my father.”

8:22“Follow me,” said Jesus, “and let the dead bury their own dead.”

8:23So then Jesus got into the boat, and his disciples followed him.8:24But suddenly there was a tremendous storm at sea, such that the boat was about to be overcome by the waves. Somehow Jesus was sleeping through it,8:25so they went and woke him up and said, “Master, help us! We are about to die!”

8:26“What cowards you are!” he replied. “Such skeptics!” So he got up and rebuked the wind and sea, and there was a great calm.8:27The people were astounded and said, “Who is this, that the wind and the sea listen to him?!”

8:28When they got to the other side in the area of the Gerasenes, they were met by two demonized people coming out from among the graves. They were so ferocious that no one was able to pass through there.8:29Suddenly they shouted, “What do you want with us, God-Man? Have you come here to torture us before you’re supposed to?”

8:30There was a herd of hogs in the distance,8:31so the demons pleaded with him, “If you’re going to throw us out, send us into that herd of hogs.”8:32He told them to go ahead, and they went into the hogs. Suddenly the whole herd stampeded over the cliff and into the sea, where they all drowned.8:33The herders ran away into the city, and they told them everything that had happened, especially about the demonized people.8:34Suddenly the whole city went out to see Jesus, and when they did, they begged him to leave their area.

9:1Jesus got into the boat and crossed over to his hometown.9:2Suddenly there were people bringing a paralyzed person on a cot, and when Jesus saw their faith he told the paralyzed one, “Cheer up, child! Your faults are forgiven.”9:3But immediately some of the scripture scholars said to themselves, “He is claiming to be God!”16

9:4But Jesus knew what they were thinking and said, “What evil thing are you thinking about?9:5Which is easier to say: ‘Your faults are forgiven’ or ‘Get up and walk’?9:6But just to show you what authority the Human has here on earth to forgive failures…” He said to the paralyzed one, “Get up; pick up your cot and go home!”9:7and he did!9:8And when the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe and praised God for giving such authority to people.

9:9As Jesus went along from there, he saw someone sitting in a tax contractor’s office. His name was Matthew, and Jesus said to him, “Follow me!” and he did.9:10And when he was reclining for dinner in the house, suddenly many other tax contractors and deviants were coming to eat with him and his disciples.9:11When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does this teacher of yours eat with tax contractors and deviants?”

9:12But Jesus heard them and said, “It isn’t the healthy who need a physician, but the sick.9:13Now go and learn what this means: ‘I want compassion, not sacrifice’. I didn’t come to call the righteous, but the unrighteous.”

9:14Then some of John’s disciples came to him and said, “Why is it that we and the Pharisees fast regularly, yet your disciples do not?”

9:15“The wedding guests cannot mourn while they have the bridegroom with them,” Jesus replied. “But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.9:16No one patches an old article of clothing with unshrunk cloth, because the patch would pull away and cause an even bigger tear than before.9:17Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins, because the wineskins will burst and spill out all the wine, and the wineskins will be ruined. Instead, they pour new wine into new wineskins so both are preserved.”

9:18While he was still talking, suddenly a ruler came and worshiped him, and he said, “My daughter just died, but if you come and place your hand on her, she will live!”9:19So Jesus got up and went with him, as did his disciples.9:20But suddenly a woman who had been hemorrhaging for twelve years came up behind him and touched the hem of his cloak9:21(she had said to herself, ‘If only I can touch his clothing, I will be restored!’).9:22Then Jesus turned around and saw her, and he said to her, “Cheer up, daughter! Your faith has restored you.” And the woman was restored that very hour.

9:23Jesus arrived at the ruler’s house, and when he saw the flute players and the fuss the crowd was making,9:24he said, “Get out! The young girl is not dead but only asleep.” And they laughed at him.9:25But after he had thrown them all out, he grasped her hand and she woke up.9:26So the news about this went out all over that whole land.

9:27As Jesus went on from there, he was followed by two blind people who kept shouting, “Have pity on us, descendant of David!”9:28When he entered a house, they came to Jesus and he asked them, “Do you believe I can do this?”

“Yes, sir!” they replied.

9:29So he touched their eyes and said, “Let it be as you believe!”9:30And their eyes were opened. Then Jesus sternly warned them, “See to it that you tell no one!”9:31But they went out and spread the news all over that land.

9:32After he left, suddenly people brought him someone who was mute and demonized.9:33When the demon was thrown out, the mute person could talk. The crowd was amazed and said, “We’ve never seen anything like this in Israel!”9:34But the Pharisees said, “It’s because of the ruler of the demons that he is able to throw them out.”

9:35Jesus went around to all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the Gospel of the kingdom, as well as healing all the diseases and illnesses.9:36But he looked at the crowd with compassion, because they were troubled and lost, like sheep without a shepherd.9:37And he remarked to his disciples, “Indeed, the harvest is abundant but the workers are few.9:38So plead with the master of the harvest to send out more workers to help.”

10:1Then he called together twelve of his disciples, and he gave them authority to throw out unclean spirits and heal all diseases and illnesses.10:2He designated them Ambassadors as follows: Simon (called Peter) and his brother Andrew, James son of Zebedee and his brother John,10:3Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew the tax contractor, James son of Alpheus, Thaddaios,10:4Simon the Zealot, and Judas from Kerioth, who would eventually betray Jesus.

10:5Jesus commissioned these Twelve and gave them this mission: “Don’t go out to the non-Judeans or the Samaritans,10:6but only to the lost sheep of Israel.10:7And as you go, proclaim to them that the kingdom of the heavens has arrived.10:8Heal the feeble, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, and throw out demons. Give freely, because you have received freely.

10:9“Don’t take along any money, not even pocket change.10:10Don’t pack an extra shirt, shoes, or even a walking stick, because the worker deserves to be compensated.10:11When you enter a city, find out who the decent people are and stay with them until you move on.10:12And when you enter the house, be cordial to the people there.10:13If it is a worthy house, bless it with peace; but if not, take your blessing back.

10:14“Now if the people there won’t accept you or listen to what you have to say, go out of that house or city and shake the dust from your feet.1710:15I can assure you that on the day of judgment, it will be more tolerable for the lands of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that city!

10:16“Take note of this: I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as serpents yet as pure as doves.10:17Beware of people; they will hand you over to stand before tribunals, and they will flog you in the synagogues.10:18On my account you will be taken to stand before governors and kings, as a testimony to them and to the non-Judeans.10:19But don’t worry about what to say, because it will be given to you just when you need it.10:20So it won’t be you talking but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

10:21“Siblings will hand each other over to death; likewise, parents will betray children and children will have their parents executed.10:22You will be despised by everybody on account of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be rescued.10:23And if they pursue you in one city, run away to the next. I can assure you that you will not finish with all the cities in Israel before the Human arrives.

10:24“The student is not over the teacher, nor is the slave over their master—10:25though the student may become like their teacher and the slave may become like their master. So if the homeowner is being called Beelzeboul, what will they call the others in the house?!

10:26“Don’t be afraid of them, because nothing is veiled that won’t be revealed, and nothing is concealed that won’t be made known.10:27What I tell you in the dark, you must tell in the light; what I whisper in your ear, you must proclaim from the housetops.10:28And don’t fear those who can kill the body but not the soul; instead, fear the one who can destroy both body and soul in Gehenna.

10:29“Aren’t two sparrows sold for pocket change? Yet not one of them can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it.10:30Even the hairs on your head are numbered!10:31So don’t be afraid; you are worth far more than many sparrows.10:32And whoever acknowledges me in front of others is the one I will acknowledge in the presence of my father in the heavens.10:33But whoever renounces me in front of others is the one I will renounce in the presence of my father in the heavens.

10:34“Don’t think that I came to establish peace on the earth; no, not at all. What I brought was a sword10:35that will cut between father and son, mother and daughter, mother-in-law and daughter-in-law.10:36A person’s enemies will be under their own roof!10:37So whoever favors their father or mother over me is unworthy of me; whoever favors their son or daughter over me is unworthy of me;10:38whoever will not pick up their cross and follow me is unworthy of me.10:39The one who finds their life will lose it, but the one who loses their life because of me will find it.

10:40“Whoever accepts you is really accepting me, and whoever accepts me is really accepting the one who sent me.10:41Whoever accepts a prophet just for being a prophet will receive the same reward as a prophet. Likewise, whoever accepts a righteous person just for being righteous will get the same reward as the righteous.10:42And if you give one of my followers a cup of cold water to drink, just for being my disciple, I can assure you that you will not lose your reward.”

11:1After Jesus had finished giving the assignment to his Twelve disciples, he went from there to teach and proclaim in all those cities.11:2Now John was in prison, and when he heard about all the things the Anointed was doing, he sent his disciples11:3to ask him, “Are you the Coming One, or should we look for someone else?”11:4And Jesus’ response was, “Go and tell John what you’re seeing and hearing:11:5the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the destitute are being given good news.11:6Happy are those who aren’t tripped up because of me.”

11:7When John’s disciples had gone, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about him: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed being bent by the wind?11:8No? Maybe you went out to see someone dressed in fancy clothes; but no, such people are found in the palaces of kings.11:9So what is it you went out to see? A prophet? Yes; but I assure you, much more than a prophet!11:10He is the one about whom it is written: ‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you. He will prepare the road in front of you.’

11:11“I tell you truly that no one born of women in this generation is greater than John the Immerser! Yet the least significant in the kingdom of the heavens is greater than he.11:12From the time of John the Immerser until now, there have been people trying to barge into the kingdom of the heavens when they have no legal right to it, interfering with others’ rights to it.11:13But this was all prophesied in the Law and Prophets.11:14And if you choose to accept it, John is the Elijah who was to come.11:15If you have ears, listen!

11:16“How can I describe this generation? It’s like children sitting in the marketplace calling out to each other,11:17‘We played the flute but you didn’t dance; we mourned but you didn’t grieve.’11:18For John doesn’t go around eating and drinking, and they say, ‘He’s possessed!’11:19But the Human does go around eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at that glutton and drunkard! He hangs around with tax contractors and deviants!’ But Wisdom is validated by all who accept it.”18

11:20Then he began a rant against those cities in which he had displayed the most of his power, because they did not change their minds:11:21“Woe to you, Chorazin! And woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the power displayed in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have changed their minds long ago and expressed deep grief and shame.11:22Yet they will be better off than you on Judgment Day!11:23And as for you, Capernaum, you will not be lifted up to heaven but go down to Hades! For if the power displayed in you had been done in Sodom, it would still be there today.11:24Yet I tell you that the land of Sodom will be better off on Judgment Day than you!”

11:25At the end of that Jesus concluded, “I acknowledge you, Father, Master of heaven and earth, because you concealed these things from the wise and educated, and you revealed them to those of no reputation.11:26Yes, Father, this is what pleased you.

11:27[Then he turned to the people and said,]19 “Everything has been handed over to me by my Father. No one can really know the Son except the Father, nor can anyone know the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.11:28So come to me, all who labor under a heavy load, and I will relieve you.11:29Put my harness on you and learn from me, for I am gentle and considerate. Then you will find rest for yourselves,11:30because my harness is gentle and the load is light.”

12:1In those days Jesus went through some grain fields on a Sabbath with his disciples, who were hungry and started to pick heads of grain to eat.12:2But the Pharisees saw it and said to him, “Hey! Your disciples are doing what is forbidden on the Sabbath!”

12:3But Jesus said, “Haven’t you ever read20 what David did when he and those with him were hungry?12:4He went into the house of God and they ate the bread that had been presented in offering, which was not legal for them to do, but only for the priests.12:5And haven’t you read that according to the law, the priests violate every Sabbath but are not guilty?

12:6“But I say to you that there is someone here who is greater than the temple!12:7And if you had known what this means, ‘I want compassion rather than sacrifice’, you would not condemn the innocent.12:8For the Human is Master of the Sabbath.”

12:9Moving on from there, he went into their synagogue.12:10Suddenly there was someone there with a shriveled hand, and they asked Jesus whether it was permissible to heal on the Sabbath, so they could have some reason to accuse him.12:11But he said to them, “If you had a sheep that fell into a ditch on the Sabbath, which of you would not grab it and pull it out?12:12And how much more important is a person than a sheep? So then, it is permissible to do good on the Sabbath.”12:13So he turned to the person and said, “Hold out your hand.” The person did so and it was immediately restored to complete health, just like the other hand.

12:14The Pharisees’ response was to go out and convene a council to plot how to kill Jesus.12:15But he knew this and went away from there. Crowds followed him, and he healed them all.12:16But he sternly warned them not to reveal his identity,12:17in order to fulfill what was written by the prophet Isaiah:

12:18

“Look at my chosen child, the one I love and am pleased with! I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim righteousness to the non-Judeans.12:19He will not fight or shout; his voice will not be heard in the streets.12:20He will not even step on a reed and break it, nor snuff out a smoldering wick, until his victory brings justice12:21and the non-Judeans put confidence in his name.”

12:22Someone with a demon causing blindness and deafness was brought to Jesus. He healed him so that he could immediately see and talk.12:23All the people were beside themselves and said, “Could this be the Descendant of David?”12:24But when the Pharisees heard this they said, “It is by the power of Beelzeboul, ruler of the demons, that he throws them out!”

12:25Jesus knew what they were thinking and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will self-destruct, and every city or house divided against itself cannot stand.12:26So if the Adversary is throwing himself out, how can his kingdom stand, since it’s divided?12:27And if I’m throwing out demons by the power of Beelzeboul, then by whose power are your own people throwing them out? So it is they who will judge you!12:28Yet if I throw them out by the Spirit of God, it follows that the kingdom of God is certainly here.

12:29“How would anyone be able to break into a strong person’s house and pilfer all their belongings, unless they first tied up the strong person? Only then could they make off with all the loot.12:30So whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me is scattering.12:31What I’m saying in all this is that people will be forgiven for every fault and slander, except slander against the Spirit.12:32You will be forgiven for speaking against the Human, but not for speaking against the Holy Spirit— not now or ever.

12:33“If you plant a good tree you get good fruit, but if you plant a bad tree you get bad fruit. So a tree is known by the fruit it makes.12:34You pit of poisonous snakes! How can good speech come from evil people? The mouth speaks whatever comes from the mind,12:35so a good person expresses the good stored inside of them, and an evil person expresses the evil stored inside of them.12:36And on Judgment Day, people will have to account for every little remark they made.12:37You will either be acquitted or condemned by your own words.”

12:38Then some of the scripture scholars and Pharisees said to him, “Teacher, we want you to perform a miraculous sign for us.”12:39But he replied, “An evil and adulterous generation looks for a sign! But none will be given except that of the prophet Jonah.12:40For just as Jonah was in the belly of the sea monster for three days and three nights, so also the Human will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.

12:41“The people of Ninevah will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it. They changed their minds in response to Jonah’s proclamation, but here in front of you is someone more important than Jonah.12:42The Queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it. She came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, but here in front of you is someone more important than Solomon.

12:43“Whenever an unclean spirit goes out from a person, it passes through arid places looking for rest, but it finds none.12:44So it says to itself, ‘I’ll go back to the house I left.’ Then it goes and finds the place vacated, swept clean, and put in order,12:45so it gets seven other spirits more evil than itself and re-enters the house. That person was much worse off in the end than they were at first. This is what will happen to this evil generation!”

12:46While he was still speaking to the crowd, suddenly his mother and siblings were standing outside, wanting to talk to him.12:47And someone said, “Look, your mother and siblings are standing outside, wanting to talk to you.”12:48But he replied, “Who is my mother, and who are my siblings?”12:49Then he pointed toward his disciples and said, “See, these are my mother and siblings!12:50For whoever does the will of my Father in the heavens is my brother and sister and mother.”

13:1Later that day Jesus left the house and sat down beside the sea.13:2A large crowd gathered to him, so he got into a boat and sat there, while the crowd stayed on the shore.13:3Then he gave them many object lessons: “Picture someone going out to scatter seeds.13:4Some of them fell on the edges of the path, and the birds came along and ate them.13:5Others fell on thin, rocky soil. They sprang up quickly but had little depth,13:6so when the sun came up it scorched them, and they withered due to having no root.13:7Still others fell among thorns, which sprang up and choked them out.13:8But some fell on good soil and produced thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times more than was scattered.13:9If you have ears, listen!”

13:10Then his disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to them in object lessons?”

13:11“The secrets of the kingdom of the heavens have been revealed to you but not to them,” he replied.13:12“For more will be given to those who already have, and they will have plenty. But from those who have little, what they have will be taken away.13:13So I speak to them in object lessons because no matter how much they see and hear, they don’t understand.

13:14“This fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah where it says, ‘You will hear the report but not understand; you will watch but not see.13:15For this people’s mind has become thick; they can barely hear and they’ve shut their eyes. Otherwise, they’d see with their eyes, hear with their ears, and understand with their minds. Then they would change their minds and I would miraculously heal them.‘13:16But be happy that your eyes see and your ears hear.13:17For I can assure you that many prophets and righteous people wanted to see what you see and hear what you hear, but they could not.

13:18“Now pay attention to the object lesson of the seed being scattered:13:19Some who hear the message of the kingdom don’t understand it, so the evil one snatches away the message from their minds; this relates to the seeds falling along the edges of the path.13:20The seeds that fell on rocky soil relates to those who hear the message and gladly accept it right away.13:21But because they are shallow and have no root, they don’t last long. When the problems and tests of life come along, the message planted in them is quickly sidetracked.

13:22“The seeds falling among thorns relates to those who hear the message, but the anxieties of life and the allure of wealth choke it out, so they produce nothing.13:23But the seeds that fell onto good soil relate to those who hear the message and understand it, so they produce a good crop up to thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times more than what was planted.”

13:24Here is another one of his object lessons: “The kingdom of the heavens is like someone who scattered good seed in his field,13:25but during the night while everyone was asleep, his enemy came and scattered wheat-weeds21 all over the place and went away.13:26So when the grain sprouted and grew, so did the weeds.

13:27“Then the workers went to the owner and told him, ‘Sir, didn’t you plant good seed in your field? So where did these wheat-weeds come from?’

13:28“ ‘An enemy did this!’ he replied.

“ ‘Do you want us to go and pull them out?’ asked the workers.

13:29“ ‘No,’ he answered, ‘In the process of pulling the weeds you might accidentally uproot the wheat.13:30Let them all grow up together until the harvest. Then I’ll tell the reapers, “First gather up the weeds and tie them into bundles to be burned, and then gather up the wheat and put it in my silo.”’ ”

13:31Another object lesson he presented to them: “The kingdom of the heavens is like a mustard seed that someone planted in their field.13:32Though it is among the smallest of seeds, it grows to become one of the larger plants. In fact, it becomes the size of a tree, big enough for the birds to build nests in its branches.”

13:33Yet another object lesson he gave them: “The kingdom of the heavens is like yeast that a woman added to three measures of flour, making all the dough rise.”

13:34Jesus said all of these things to the crowd in the form of object lessons; in fact, he never told them anything that wasn’t an object lesson.13:35This was to fulfill that which was declared through the prophet, “I will speak to them using object lessons; I will express what has been concealed since the world was established.”

13:36After dismissing the crowd, Jesus went into the house. Then his disciples came to him and said, “Please explain the object lesson of the wheat-weeds in the field.”13:37So he explained, “The one who planted good seed represents the Human,13:38the field represents the world, the good seed represents the citizens of the kingdom, the weeds represent the servants of the evil one,13:39and the enemy who planted the weeds is the False Accuser. The harvest represents the end of the age, and the reapers represent the Messengers.

13:40“Just as the weeds are gathered and burned, so also will it be at the end of the age.13:41The Human will send out his Messengers, and they will uproot from his kingdom all traps and all who are lawless.13:42These will be thrown into the blazing furnace, where they will lament and grind their teeth.13:43But the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, listen!

13:44“The kingdom of the heavens is like a treasure hidden in a field. When someone discovers it, they cover it up again and then gladly go out and sell everything they have in order to buy that field.13:45Or think of it as a merchant looking for beautiful pearls.13:46When they find a superb specimen, they go out and sell everything they have in order to buy it.

13:47“Yet another way to think of it is like a dragnet thrown into the sea, where it collects all kinds of fish.13:48When it’s full, it’s hauled to shore and they sort the fish, putting the good ones into containers and throwing the bad ones back.13:49This is how it will be at the end of the age. The Messengers will go out and separate the evil from among the righteous,13:50and the evil will be thrown into the blazing furnace where they will lament and grind their teeth.

13:51“Do you understand this now?” Jesus asked.

“Yes,” they replied.

13:52Then Jesus said to them, “So then, every scripture scholar who becomes a disciple of the kingdom of the heavens is like someone who owns a house and furnishes it with both new things and old things from storage.”

13:53After he was finished with the object lessons, Jesus left there and went to his hometown.13:54He taught in their synagogues, and they were astonished: “Where did he get this wisdom and power?13:55Isn’t he the son of the craftsman and Mary? And aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas?13:56And aren’t his sisters here too? So where did all this come from?”13:57So they took offense at him, and Jesus responded, “Only in their hometown and among their own relatives is a prophet dishonored!”13:58And he didn’t display much power there because of their lack of faith.

14:1It was around that time that Herod, ruler over one-fourth the country, heard reports about Jesus14:2and said to his servants, “This is John the Immerser, come back to life! That’s how he has these powers.”14:3Now Herod had arrested and jailed John on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife,14:4since John had said, “It’s illegal for you to have her.”14:5Herod wanted to have John killed, but he feared the crowd, since they considered him a prophet.

14:6But at Herod’s birthday party, Herodias’ daughter danced for them. He was so pleased14:7that he promised, on oath, to give her anything she might ask for.14:8So, at the prompting of her mother, she said, “Give me the head of John the Immerser on a platter!”14:9The king was greatly disturbed, but because of his oaths and dinner guests, he gave the order,14:10and John was beheaded in the prison.14:11His head was put on a platter and carried to the young girl, who gave it to her mother.14:12Then John’s disciples came for his body and buried it, and then they told Jesus what happened.

14:13Upon hearing this, Jesus went off alone by boat to a solitary place. But the crowd found out and followed on foot from all the cities.14:14And when Jesus came out of there he saw the large crowd and was moved with compassion for them, so he healed the chronically ill among them.

14:15When it was late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is an isolated place and the hour is getting late. Dismiss the crowd so they can go off to the villages and buy themselves some food.”

14:16But Jesus said to them, “There’s no need for them to go; you feed them!”

14:17“All we have are five loaves of bread and two fish!” they exclaimed.

14:18“Bring them to me,” Jesus replied.

14:19He ordered the crowd to recline on the grass for a meal. Then, taking the five loaves and two fish, he looked up to the sky and blessed them, then broke them up and gave them to his disciples. The disciples then passed them out to the crowd,14:20and they all ate until they were full; the leftovers filled twelve wicker baskets.14:21The number of men who had eaten was around five thousand, not counting the women and children.

14:22Immediately Jesus had his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side of the lake, while he stayed and dismissed the crowd.14:23Having released them, he went up into the mountain alone to pray. It was late when he was there alone,14:24and by that time the boat had already gone far from land.

14:25At about three in the morning Jesus came to them, walking on the sea.14:26And when his disciples saw him walking around on the water, they were very disturbed and shouted out in terror, “It’s a ghost!”14:27But right away Jesus said to them, “Have courage, it’s me! Don’t be afraid.”

14:28Then Peter said to him, “Master, if it’s really you, command me to come to you on the water.”

14:29“Come on!” replied Jesus. So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water. He came near Jesus14:30but then got distracted by the strong wind. He became afraid and started to sink, so he called out to him, “Master, save me!”

14:31Immediately Jesus reached out and grabbed Peter, and he said to him, “You skeptic! Why did you doubt?”14:32As soon as they got into the boat, the wind died down.14:33So they worshiped him and said, “Truly you are the God-Man!”

14:34They crossed over and landed at Gennesaret.14:35And when the people there recognized him, they sent word throughout the whole area and brought him all the sick people.14:36They begged to be allowed to touch the hem of his cloak, and whoever did was restored to health.

15:1Then Pharisees and scripture scholars came from Jerusalem and said to Jesus,15:2“Why is it that your disciples violate the tradition of the elders by not ceremonially washing their hands before they eat?”

15:3“And why do you violate the command of God with your traditions?” Jesus retorted.15:4“For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother; whoever speaks abusively against their father or mother must be put to death.‘15:5But you say that someone can get out of helping their father or mother by telling them, ‘Any help you would have received from me is a gift [to God]’.15:6So you override the word of God by your tradition!15:7Pedants! Isaiah prophesied about you very well when he said,15:8‘These people honor me with their lips but their hearts are far away from me.15:9They revere me for no reason, and their teachings are the edicts of mere humans.’ ”

15:10He called the crowd to himself and said to them, “Listen and understand:15:11It isn’t what goes into the mouth that makes a person ‘unclean’, it’s what comes out of the mouth.”

15:12Then his disciples came to him and said, “Do you realize that the Pharisees were offended by what you said?”

15:13And Jesus replied, “Every plant that my Father in heaven didn’t plant will be uprooted!15:14Leave them; they are blind leaders of the blind. And if one blind person leads another, both will fall into a ditch.”

15:15Then Peter asked him to explain the object lesson,15:16and Jesus replied, “Are you really that dense?15:17Don’t you understand that everything that goes into the mouth goes through the belly, then into the toilet?15:18But what comes out of the mouth comes from the mind, and that’s what contaminates a person.15:19From the mind come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, promiscuity, theft, false testimony, and slander;15:20these are what contaminate a person, not how they wash their hands before eating!”

15:21From there, Jesus went away to the areas of Tyre and Sidon.15:22Suddenly there was a Canaanite woman from around there, and she shouted out, “Have pity on me, sir, Descendant of David! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon possession.”15:23But he did not respond to her. So his disciples went up to him and said, “Dismiss her, because she’s shouting at us!”

15:24Then he said to her, “I was only sent to the lost sheep of Israel.”

15:25But she came and worshiped him and said, “Sir, please help!”

15:26“We shouldn’t take the children’s food and toss it to the puppies,” he replied.

15:27“Yes, sir,” countered the woman. “But the puppies do get the scraps that fall from their master’s table.”

15:28“Dear lady,” Jesus replied, “You have great faith! What you wanted will happen.” And her daughter was healed that very hour.

15:29Next Jesus went from there to the edge of the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up the mountain and sat down.15:30Crowds of people came to him, bringing the lame the blind, the crippled, the deaf, and many others. They were placed at Jesus’ feet, and he healed them.15:31It impressed the crowd very much to see the deaf/mute talking, the crippled well, the lame walking around, and the blind seeing. So they honored the God of Israel.

15:32Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I am moved with compassion for the crowd, because they’ve already been here with me for three days and have nothing to eat. But if I dismiss them without food, they might faint along the way.”

15:33“Where are we supposed to get enough food to satisfy a crowd like this in such a desolate place?” his disciples asked.

15:34“How many loaves to you have?” he asked.

“Seven,” they answered, “and a few small fish.”

15:35Then Jesus had the crowd sit down on the ground.15:36He took the seven loaves and the fish, gave thanks for them, broke them up, and handed the pieces to his disciples. Then the disciples passed them out to the crowd,15:37and they all ate till they were full. The leftovers filled seven large baskets,15:38even though the number of men was around four thousand, not counting the women and children.15:39Then he dismissed the crowd and got into the boat, and he went to the area of Magadan.

16:1The Pharisees and Sadducees came along to test Jesus, so they asked him to show them a miraculous sign from heaven.16:2But instead he said, “If the sky is red in the evening, you say that the weather will be nice the next day.16:3And if it’s red in the morning, you say that the weather will be foul. But why can’t you interpret the signs of the times?16:4An evil and adulterous generation looks for signs, but none will be given except the sign of Jonah.” And with that, he went off and left them behind.

16:5When his disciples arrived at the other side of the lake, they realized they had forgotten to get bread.16:6And Jesus said to them, “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees!”16:7But they talked it over among themselves and concluded, “It’s because we forgot to get bread.”

16:8But Jesus knew what they were talking about so he said, “Why are you talking about not having bread, you skeptics?16:9Don’t you understand or remember what happened with the five loaves and the five thousand, and how many baskets full of leftovers you picked up?16:10Or what about the seven loaves and the four thousand, and all the leftovers?16:11So how can you possibly think that I was talking about bread when I said, ‘Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees’?”16:12Then it finally dawned on them that he wasn’t referring to literal yeast in bread but to the teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

16:13When Jesus reached the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Human is?”

16:14“Some say John the Immerser,” they replied. “Others say Elijah, or maybe Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.”

16:15“But who do you say I am?” Jesus asked.

16:16And Peter spoke up, “You are the Anointed, the son of the living God.”

16:17“You are blessed, Simon son of Jonah,” Jesus replied. “For this was not revealed to you by ordinary means, but by my Father in the heavens.16:18I hereby declare that you are Peter, and it is upon this rock22 that I will build my Congregation, which will withstand all the assaults of Hades.16:19I will give you the keys to the kingdom of the heavens, so whatever you restrain on earth will also be restrained in the heavens, and whatever you let loose on earth will also be let loose in the heavens.”

16:20Then he told his disciples not to say a word about his being the Anointed.16:21And from then on, he began to tell his disciples that he would have to go into Jerusalem to suffer many things at the hands of the elders, ruling priests, and scripture scholars. Then he would be killed yet arise the third day.16:22But Peter scolded him and said, “Master, this will never happen to you!”

16:23Jesus turned around to Peter and exclaimed, “Get out of my face, Adversary! You are setting a trap for me, because you are thinking like people instead of God.”

16:24Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone wants to follow me, they must completely renounce themselves, pick up their cross, and follow me.16:25For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life on my account will find it.16:26After all, what good is it to gain the whole world but forfeit one’s own life? Or what would a person give in exchange for their life?16:27The Human is going to come with his Messengers in the majesty of his Father, and he will reward each one according to what they have done.16:28And I can assure you that some standing here today will not experience death until they first see the Human coming in his kingdom.”

17:1Six days later Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother John up into a high mountain alone.17:2Then he transformed before their eyes: his face shone like the sun and his clothing became as white as the light.17:3Then all of a sudden Moses and Elijah appeared and were talking with him.17:4And Peter blurted out to Jesus, “Master, it’s great for us to be here! If you’d like, I could set up three sanctuaries: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

17:5While he was still speaking, suddenly they were enveloped by a luminous cloud, and from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my dear son and I’m very pleased with him. Listen to him!”17:6When the disciples heard this, they fell face-down on the ground and were utterly terrified.17:7But Jesus came and touched them and said, “Don’t be afraid!”17:8So they looked up, but they saw no one except Jesus.

17:9As they went down the mountain, Jesus ordered them not to tell anyone what they had seen until after the Human had risen from the dead.17:10Then his disciples asked, “Why do the scripture scholars say that Elijah must come first?”

17:11“Elijah will indeed come to restore everything,” Jesus answered.17:12“In fact, Elijah has already come, but they didn’t recognize him and treated him as they wished. So also must the Human be treated by them.”17:13And then the disciples realized that he was talking about John the Immerser.

17:14Then as they came up to a crowd, one person approached Jesus, dropped to his knees,17:15and said, “Sir, please have pity on my son! He is having convulsions and suffers terribly, and he’s always falling into the fire or water.17:16I asked your disciples for help but they were unable to heal him.”

17:17“You faithless and twisted generation!” Jesus replied. “How long will I be with you, and how long will I put up with you? Bring him to me.”

17:18So Jesus rebuked the demon and it left him, and the child was healed at that very hour.

17:19Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and asked, “Why couldn’t we throw it out?”

17:20“Because of your lack of faith,” he replied. “I can assure you that if your faith were even as tiny as a mustard seed, you could order this mountain to move over there and it would! Nothing would be impossible for you.”17:21

17:22While they were getting together in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Human must be handed over to people17:23who will kill him, but the third day he will rise again!” This distressed them greatly.

17:24Now when they went into Capernaum, those who collect the annual temple tax came up to Peter and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the tax?”17:25And Peter replied, “Yes, of course.” But when they went inside, Jesus anticipated him and said, “What do you think, Simon? Who is it that the kings of the earth tax: their own people or foreigners?”

17:26“Foreigners,” Simon answered.

“So then, the citizens are exempt,” Jesus replied.17:27“But just so we don’t offend them, go to the sea and cast a line. Take the first fish you catch and open its mouth. Inside you will find a coin; use it to pay for my taxes and yours.”

18:1Shortly thereafter Jesus’ disciples came to him and asked, “So who is greater in the kingdom of the heavens?”

18:2Jesus had a child stand in front of them18:3and said, “I can assure you that unless you change your attitude and become like one of these little ones, there is no way you will even enter into the kingdom of the heavens!18:4So those who humble themselves to the level of this child are greater in the kingdom of the heavens.18:5And those who accept such a child on my account are really accepting me.

18:6“If anyone sets a trap for the least significant of those who trust me, it would be better if that person had a large millstone hung around their neck and were drowned the sea!18:7And woe to this world full of such traps. Such things must be, but woe to the person who sets them up!

18:8“If your hand or foot becomes a trap for you, cut it off and throw it away! Better to enter life crippled or lame than to have both hands or feet but be thrown into the eternal fire.18:9And if your eye becomes a trap for you, pluck it out and throw it away! Better to enter life with one eye than to keep both eyes and be thrown into fiery Gehenna.18:10So see to it that you don’t scorn these lowly ones. For I tell you that their Messengers in the heavens are always in the presence of my Father in the heavens.18:11

18:12“What do you think? If someone has a hundred sheep and one wanders off, won’t they leave the other ninety-nine on the hills and go out looking for it?18:13And once they find it, I can assure you that they are happier about that one than the other ninety-nine that didn’t wander off!18:14And so it is with your Father in the heavens; he does not want even one of these lowly ones to be lost.

18:15“If your brother or sister errs, go and confront them privately. If they listen to you, you have won them back.18:16But if they don’t listen, take one or two others with you, so that ‘every charge is confirmed by two or three witnesses’.18:17If they still don’t listen, tell it to the congregation, and if they don’t even listen to the congregation, consider them to be like a non-Judean or a tax contractor.

18:18“I can assure you that whatever you restrict on earth will be restricted in heaven, and whatever you release on earth will be released in heaven.18:19I will say it again: If just two or three of you agree on anything in the world you may ask about, it will be granted by my Father in the heavens.18:20For where two or three have gathered on my account, there I am with them.”

18:21Then Peter came up to him and asked, “Master, how many times can a sister or brother fail me, and I still have to forgive them? Up to seven times?”

18:22“Not only up to seven times, but seventy times seven!” Jesus replied.23

18:23“It’s like this in the kingdom of the heavens: A certain king wanted to settle accounts with his servants.18:24And as he began, someone who owed him an enormous sum of money was brought before him.18:25But he couldn’t pay it, so the master ordered that he, his wife and children, and all his possessions were to be sold in order to pay the debt.

18:26“The slave fell down before him and begged, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full!’18:27The master was moved with compassion and forgave the debt. But after he was let go,18:28the slave went out from there to go after a fellow slave who owed him about a year’s wages. Grabbing him by the throat he demanded, ‘Pay back what you owe me!’18:29So that slave begged him, ‘Be patient with me and I will pay you back!’18:30But he refused and had him thrown into prison until he paid back every bit of his debt.

18:31“But the other slaves saw what he did and were very upset. So they went to the master and informed him of what had happened.18:32Then the master called that slave in and said to him, ‘You evil slave! I forgave all that debt you owed me, just because you asked.18:33So why didn’t you have the same pity on your fellow slave?’18:34Then in his rage his master handed him over to the torturers until he had paid every last bit of his debt.18:35And so it will be with my Father in the heavens, if you won’t forgive your sisters and brothers from the heart.”

19:1When Jesus finished saying these things, he left Galilee and entered the area of Judea on the other side of the Jordan.19:2A large crowd followed him, and he healed them there.19:3Then the Pharisees came to test him: “Is ‘No-Fault Divorce’ legal?”24

19:4“Haven’t you read,” replied Jesus, “that God made them male and female from the very beginning,19:5and that ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’?19:6So then, what God has joined together, people must not separate.”

19:7“Then why did Moses command that she be given a certificate of divorce and released?” they asked.

19:8“Moses permitted it because of your stubbornness,” Jesus answered.“ But it was not originally that way.19:9So it follows that if any man divorces his wife when she hasn’t been unfaithful, and he marries someone else, he is committing adultery.”25

19:10Then his disciples remarked, “If that’s how it is between a husband and wife, it would be better not to marry!”

19:11“Not everyone can accept this,” Jesus replied.“ But only those to whom it has been given.19:12Some men were born eunuchs, others were castrated, and still others have chosen to be celibate for the sake of the kingdom of the heavens. Those to whom this applies can accept it.”

19:13Next some people brought their little ones to present to Jesus so he could pray for them, but the disciples rebuked them.19:14So Jesus said, “Leave them alone! Don’t forbid them to come to me, because the kingdom of the heavens is composed of such people.”19:15Then he blessed them and went on from there.

19:16Suddenly someone came up to him and said, “Teacher, what good things must I do in order to have eternal life?”

19:17“Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “Only One is truly good. But if you want to enter into eternal life, hold tight to the commandments.”

19:18“Which ones?” asked the young person.

“Don’t murder, don’t commit adultery, don’t steal, don’t give false testimony,19:19honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself,” Jesus answered.

19:20“I’ve kept all those since my youth,” the person replied. “What am I missing?”

19:21“If you want to be complete,” replied Jesus, “go and sell all your possessions and give the proceeds to the destitute, and you will have treasure in the heavens. Then come and follow me.”

19:22Now when the young person heard this, he went away dejected, because he was very wealthy.19:23So Jesus remarked to his disciples, “It is truly difficult for the rich to enter into the kingdom of the heavens!19:24I tell you, it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle26 than for the rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

19:25This shocked the disciples, so they asked, “Then who can possibly be saved?”

19:26Then Jesus looked at them and said, “This is impossible for people, but God can do anything!”

19:27Then Peter spoke up: “See, we’ve given up everything to follow you. So what will happen to us?”

19:28And Jesus answered, “I can assure you who have followed me, that when everything is made new again and the Human sits on his majestic throne, you Twelve will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.19:29Everyone who has given up houses, brothers or sisters, father or mother, children, or land on my account, will be given back a hundred times as much, along with inheriting eternal life.19:30And the prominent will be least important, while the least important will be prominent.

20:1“Let me tell you about the kingdom of the heavens: It’s like a landowner who went out one morning to hire workers for his vineyard.20:2He offered the usual amount for a day’s work and they agreed, so he sent them off to his vineyard.20:3About three hours later he went out and saw others loitering in the marketplace,20:4so he said to them, ‘Go out to my vineyard and I’ll pay you a fair wage.’

20:5“They went off to work, and then after about another three hours he repeated this, and again three hours after that.20:6Even a couple hours after that he still found more people standing around, and he said to them, ‘Why have you been standing around all day, doing nothing?’

20:7“ ‘No one has hired us,’ they replied.

“ ‘Come to my vineyard,’ he said.

20:8“Now when evening came the owner said to his paymaster, ‘Call in the workers and pay them their wages, starting with the last hired and ending with the first.’20:9Then the last ones hired came and were given a full day’s wages,20:10so the first ones hired expected to be given more. But when they too were given a full day’s wages,20:11they complained to the landowner:20:12‘These who only worked one hour were given the same pay as we who did the bulk of the work and endured the scorching heat!’

20:13“So the landowner explained to one of the workers, ‘Buddy, I have not cheated you. Didn’t you agree to a day’s wages?20:14Take your pay and go; isn’t it my business if I want to give the last hired the same pay as you?20:15Can’t I do what I want? Are you angry with me because I am kind?’20:16“And so it will be: the last will be first, and the first will be last.”27

20:17Then Jesus went up toward Jerusalem, and along the way he took the Twelve aside and spoke to them privately:20:18“Look, we’re about to enter Jerusalem, where the Human will be handed over to the ruling priests and scripture scholars. They will condemn him to death20:19and hand him over to the non-Judeans, who will jeer at him and flog him and crucify him. But he will arise on the third day.”

20:20Then he was approached by the mother of Zebedee’s sons, who brought them to him and knelt down before him to ask him something.

20:21“What is it you want?” asked Jesus.

“Grant that these two sons of mine will sit beside you in your kingdom, one at the right and one at the left,” she said.

20:22“Neither of you realize what you’re asking,” Jesus replied. “Can you drink from the same cup I must drink from?”

“Yes!” they said.

20:23“Indeed you will!” Jesus responded. “But it is not up to me to say who will sit at my right and left. Those places are for the ones predetermined by my Father.”

20:24When the Ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers.20:25So Jesus called them all to himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the nations exercise mastery over their people, and their high officials wield authority over them.20:26But it must not be this way among you! For whoever wants to be in charge of you must become your servant,20:27and whoever wants to be the most prominent among you must be your slave.20:28After all, the Human did not come to be waited on but to be the waiter, and to give his life as a ransom payment for many.”

20:29As he left Jericho, a large crowd followed along.20:30At one point they came to two blind people sitting beside the road, and when the blind ones heard that Jesus was passing by, they shouted out, “Have pity on us, Sir, Descendant of David!”20:31The crowd told them to shut up but they shouted all the louder, “Have pity on us, Sir, Descendant of David!”

20:32Jesus stopped and called to them, “What is it you want me to do for you?”

20:33“Sir, we want to see!” they replied.

20:34Jesus, moved with compassion, touched their eyes, and instantly they could see. So they followed him.

21:1When they got near Jerusalem, they came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives. Then Jesus sent out two disciples21:2with these instructions: “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey and her colt hitched. Untie them and bring them to me.21:3If anyone asks you, just tell them ‘The Master needs them’ and they’ll let them go without question.21:4This has to happen in order to fulfill what the prophet declared:21:5‘tell the daughter of Zion, “Look! Your king is coming to you gently, riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the offspring of a beast of burden.”’ ”

21:6The disciples went off and did as Jesus told them.21:7They brought the donkey and colt, then put their outer garments on them so Jesus could sit on them.21:8Then many in the crowd spread out their garments on the road in front of him, while others used tree branches that they had cut off.21:9And both those in front of him and those behind went along saying, “Celebrate the Descendant of David! Blessed is the one bearing the name of the Master! Celebrate in the presence of God!”21:10When he entered Jerusalem, the entire city was shaken. Some asked, “Who is this?”21:11and the crowd answered, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee!”

21:12Then Jesus entered the temple compound and threw out all the merchants and customers there. He overturned the tables of the brokers and the benches of those selling doves,21:13and he said, “It has been written, ‘my house will be called a house of prayer’, but you have turned it into a hideout for robbers!”

21:14The blind and lame came to him in the temple compound, and he healed them.21:15But when the ruling priests and scripture scholars saw the wonderful things he was doing, and when they heard the children there shouting “Celebrate the Descendant of David!”, they were indignant.21:16So they said to Jesus, “Do you hear what these children are saying?”

“Yes,” replied Jesus. “Haven’t you ever read that ‘You have prepared praise to come of the mouths of toddlers and infants’?”21:17And he left them there and went out of the city to spend the night in Bethany.

21:18In the morning he headed back to the city. He was hungry,21:19and along the way he saw a fig tree. But when he got close to it he couldn’t find a single fig on it; there were only leaves. So he said to it, “You will never produce figs again!”28 Instantly the tree dried up,21:20and when the disciples saw it they were surprised and asked, “How did it dry up so fast?”

21:21“Let me assure you of this,” Jesus answered, “If you have faith and don’t doubt, you will be able to do more than I did to this fig tree. You will be able to say to this mountain, ‘Get up and throw yourself into the sea!’, and it will happen.21:22Everything you ask for in prayer, you will have— if you believe.”

21:23When he was teaching in the temple compound, the ruling priests and elders of the people came and demanded, “What authority do you have to do these things? Who gave you jurisdiction?”

21:24“Let me ask you a question,” Jesus replied, “And if you can answer my question, then I’ll answer yours.21:25The immersion of John… was it from heaven or from people?”

They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say ‘From heaven’, he’ll say ‘Then why didn’t you believe?’21:26But if we say ‘From people’, we fear what they’d do to us since they consider him a prophet.”21:27So they finally said, “We don’t know.”

And Jesus retorted, “Then I’m not telling you where I got this authority.

21:28“Here’s something for you to think about: Suppose someone had two children, and he told the first one to go out and work in the vineyard that day.21:29But that one said, ‘No, I don’t want to,’ yet later they felt bad about it and went out anyway.21:30The same question was put to the other one, who said, ‘Yes, sir’ but didn’t go.21:31So which one actually did what the father wanted?”

“The first,” they answered.

And Jesus replied, “I can assure you that tax contractors and the promiscuous will enter the kingdom of God before you do!21:32For John came to you walking the path of righteousness and you did not believe him. But tax contractors and the promiscuous believed him. And even when you saw that, you still didn’t have any regrets and believe him!

21:33“Listen to another object lesson: A certain landowner planted a vineyard, put up a wall around it, dug a wine press, and built a tower. Then he leased it to tenant farmers and went traveling abroad.21:34When it came time for the harvest, he sent his slaves to the tenant farmers to get the produce.21:35But they grabbed the slaves and beat up one, killed another, and stoned yet another.21:36So he sent more slaves than before, and they did the same to them.

21:37“Finally he sent his own son, thinking ‘They will respect my son!’21:38But when the tenant farmers saw him they said to each other, ‘This is the heir; come on, let’s kill him, and then we will inherit the vineyard!’21:39So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.21:40Now when the landowner comes, what do you think he’ll do to those tenant farmers?”

21:41“He will wipe out those criminals!” they replied, “And he’ll lease the vineyard to others who will give him his due share of the crop.”

21:42So then Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the scriptures, ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.29 The Master has done this, and it is a wonderful thing to see!’?21:43This is why I’m telling you that the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation that will give God what belongs to him!”21:4421:45And when they heard this, the ruling priests and Pharisees realized he was talking about them.21:46So they wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowd, who considered him a prophet.

22:1Jesus continued to give object lessons:22:2“The kingdom of the heavens is like a king arranging a wedding for his son.22:3He sent out slaves to tell the invited guests to come to the wedding, but they would not come.22:4So he sent out slaves again with the instructions, ‘Tell the invited guests, “Look, the meal is ready; the meat is prepared and everything is set. Come to the wedding!”22:5But again they ignored him; one went out to his fields, another to his business,22:6and the rest grabbed his slaves, beat them up, and killed them.

22:7“The king was furious and sent soldiers to wipe out those murderers and set their city on fire.22:8Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but the invited guests were unworthy.22:9So go out to the highways and invite anyone you find to the wedding.’22:10So they went out to the roads and gathered up whoever they found, whether good or bad, and the dining hall was full.

22:11“But when the king came in to greet the guests, he saw someone there who wasn’t wearing proper wedding attire.22:12So he said, ‘Buddy, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ But he was silent.22:13So the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him up by his hands and feet, and throw him out into the darkness, where people lament and grind their teeth!’22:14For many are invited, but few are chosen.”

22:15Then the Pharisees went off and met together to plot how to trick Jesus into saying something incriminating.22:16So they sent their disciples, along with the Herodians, to say, “Teacher, we know that you are honest and show people the true way to God, and that you aren’t intimidated by anyone because you don’t care who they are.22:17So tell us what you think: Is it permissible to pay the poll tax30 to Caesar or not?”

22:18But Jesus knew their evil intent and said to them, “Why do you test me, you pedants?22:19Show me the currency you use to pay the poll tax.” So they handed him a denarius22:20and he said, “Whose image is this, and whose name is inscribed?”

22:21“Caesar’s,” they answered.

“Then give Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give God what belongs to God,” he retorted.22:22This response stumped them, so they left and went on their way.

22:23Later that day the Sadducees, who don’t believe in the resurrection, came to him.22:24They said, “Teacher, Moses said that if someone died childless, his brother was obligated to marry the widow and produce offspring for him.22:25Now there were seven brothers, and the first married but died childless. So his brother married his widow,22:26but the same thing happened. Likewise for the third and all seven of the brothers.22:27Finally the woman died.22:28So in the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven, since she had been married to them all?”

22:29This was Jesus’ response: “You are misled, because you understand neither that scripture nor the power of God.22:30For in the resurrection, people don’t marry but are like the Messengers in heaven.22:31Now about the rising of the dead: Have you not read what God declared to you when he said,22:32‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living!”3122:33And when the crowd heard this, they were awestruck by his teaching.

22:34Now when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they had a meeting about it.22:35And one of them, a lawyer, tested him:22:36“Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the law?”

22:37“You must love the Master your God with all your heart, life, and thoughts,” Jesus answered.22:38“This is the first and greatest commandment.22:39The second is like it: You must love your neighbor as yourself.22:40The entirety of the Law and Prophets hinges on these two commandments.”

22:41Since the Pharisees were gathered there, Jesus asked them,22:42“What is your opinion about the Anointed? Whose descendant is he?”

“David’s,” they replied.

22:43“But how could David, prompted by the Spirit, call him ‘Master’?” asked Jesus. “He said,22:44‘The Master said to my Master, “Sit down at my right until I put your enemies beneath your feet.”’22:45How can David call him ‘Master’ if he’s his descendant?”

22:46No one could refute what Jesus said, so from then on nobody dared to ask him anything else.

23:1Then Jesus spoke to the crowd and to his disciples:23:2“The scripture scholars and Pharisees teach authoritatively on behalf of Moses,23:3but you must do what they say, not what they do! They don’t practice what they preach.23:4They place unbearably heavy loads on people’s shoulders, but they are not willing to lift a finger to help.

23:5“Everything they do is for show. They wear oversized amulets32 and put extra-wide hems on their cloaks to hold them.23:6They love the seats of honor at banquets and the most prominent seats in the synagogues,23:7and to be greeted in the marketplace by people calling them ‘Rabbi’.23:8But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi’, for you have only one Teacher and you are all brothers and sisters.23:9And you are not to call anyone on earth ‘Father’, because you have only one Father in heaven.23:10Don’t even be called ‘Leader’, since you have only one Leader, the Anointed.3323:11Instead, whoever wants to be great among you must be the servant;23:12whoever promotes themselves will be humiliated; whoever humbles themselves will be promoted.

23:13“Woe to you, scripture scholars and Pharisees, you pedants! You lock up the kingdom of the heavens to keep people from entering, and you won’t even go in yourselves!23:14

23:15“Woe to you, scripture scholars and Pharisees, you pedants! You travel over land and sea to win one convert, but when you succeed, you turn that person into twice as much a citizen of Gehenna as you are!

23:16“Woe to you, blind guides! You say that whoever swears an oath by the temple is not bound to it, but if they swear by the gold in the temple they are bound.23:17Blind fools! Which is greater, the gold or the temple that consecrates the gold?23:18And the same with the altar and the gift on it:23:19which is greater? How can you be so blind?23:20Whoever swears an oath by the altar also swears by everything on it;23:21whoever swears by the temple also swears by everything in it, including God who lives there;23:22whoever swears by heaven also swears by the throne of God and the God who sits there.

23:23“Woe to you, scripture scholars and Pharisees, you pedants! You are careful to tithe your little herbs: mint, dill, and cumin, yet you abandon the weightier matters of the law: discernment, compassion, and faith. You must do both!23:24Blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel!

23:25“Woe to you, scripture scholars and Pharisees, you pedants! You clean the outside of the cup and plate, but inside they are saturated with robbery and lack of self-control.23:26Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup before you clean the outside.

23:27“Woe to you, scripture scholars and Pharisees, you pedants! You are like decorated graves that look beautiful on the outside, but the inside is filled with the bones of the dead and everything unclean.23:28In the same way, you appear to people as righteous, but on the inside you are saturated with pedantry and lawlessness.

23:29“Woe to you, scripture scholars and Pharisees, you pedants! You build up the graves of the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous,23:30and you say, ‘If we had lived in those days, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’23:31So you testify against yourselves, because you admit that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets.23:32Then finish what they started!23:33Snakes! Pits of vipers! How will you escape the judgment of Gehenna?

23:34“So now, look! I am sending you prophets and wise people and scripture scholars. But you will kill and crucify some of them, and you will flog others in your synagogues and chase them from city to city.23:35For this reason, the blood of all the righteous will be on your hands, from righteous Abel to Zechariah son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.23:36I can assure you that all of these things will fall upon this generation!

23:37“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you! How many times have I wanted to gather your children as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you wouldn’t have it!23:38Now look, your temple is abandoned and deserted.23:39For I tell you that you will never see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Master.’ ”

24:1As Jesus was leaving the temple compound, his disciples came and began to remark about how the temple was built.24:2But Jesus replied, “See all these things? I can assure you that not one stone will be left on top of another!”24:3Then a while later, after he had sat down on the Mount of Olives, his disciples came to him privately and said, “Tell us when these things will happen, and what sign to look for that will signal your official arrival34 and the end of the age.”

24:4And he replied, “Watch out so that you are not deceived!24:5For many will claim to come from me, or even say, ‘I am the Anointed!’, and they will deceive many.24:6You will see wars and hear reports of wars far away, but don’t be alarmed, because such things must happen— but it will not yet be the end.24:7Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places,24:8but these are only the beginning of birth pangs.

24:9“Then they will hand you over to be persecuted and killed, and you will be despised in all nations because of me.24:10Many will be ensnared; they will betray and hate each other.24:11Many false prophets will rise up and mislead many people,24:12and due to all the lawlessness the love of many will grow cold.24:13But whoever endures to the end will be rescued.24:14The Gospel of the Kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

24:15“So whenever you see ‘the disgusting thing that completely ruins’ (as declared through the prophet Daniel) standing in the Holy Place (reader, make sure this is clear!),3524:16then those in Judea must run away into the mountains;24:17those on the housetops must not go inside to get belongings;24:18those out in the fields must not go back to get their coats.24:19Woe to women who are pregnant or nursing at that time!24:20And pray that your escape will not be in winter or on the Sabbath.

24:21“After that will be great oppression, the likes of which has never happened from the beginning of the world until now, nor will ever happen again!3624:22In fact, if those days had not been cut short, all flesh would have been wiped out, but they will be shortened for the sake of the chosen people.37

24:23“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Anointed!’ or ‘There he is!’, don’t believe it.24:24For false Anointed ones and false prophets will rise up and perform impressive miracles and signs, to the point where even the chosen ones would be misled— if that were possible.24:25That’s why I’ve warned you in advance.24:26So if they say ‘Look, here in the desert!’, don’t go; if they say ‘Look, in this hidden place!’, don’t believe it.24:27For the official arrival of the Human will be as the lightning that flashes across the whole sky.24:28And where the corpse is, there you will find the eagles.

24:29“Immediately after the oppression of those days, the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.3824:30Then the sign of the Human will appear in the sky, and all the world’s ethnic groups will be filled with self-loathing as they see the Human coming on the clouds of the sky with great power and majesty.24:31And at the blast of a trumpet he will send out his Messengers to gather his chosen people from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

24:32“Now learn a lesson from the fig tree: When you see that the branches have already become tender and the leaves have sprouted, you know that summer is about to begin.24:33Likewise, when you see all these things, you will know that it is near, right at the door.24:34I can assure you that this generation will not pass away until all these things happen.24:35The earth and sky will pass away, but not my words!

24:36“But no one knows the day or hour when this will happen; not the Messengers of heaven nor even the Son, but only the Father.24:37The official arrival of the Human will be just like the days of Noah:24:38In the days just before the Flood, people were eating, drinking, and marrying as usual, right up to the very day that Noah entered the ark.24:39They had no idea what was about to happen until the Flood took them all away. And so will it be with the official arrival of the Human.24:40Two will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left behind.24:41Two will be grinding with a millstone: one will be taken and the other left behind.

24:42“So stay alert, because you don’t know what day your Master will show up.24:43You need to understand that if the homeowner knew exactly when the thief would arrive, he would stay alert and not let his house be broken into.24:44So be prepared, because the Human will come when you least expect him.

24:45“Who, then, is a trustworthy and thoughtful slave? It is the one the master puts in charge of the household staff and sees to it that they get their meals at the right times.24:46That slave will be happy when their master arrives and finds them doing their duty.24:47I can assure you that such a slave will be put in charge of all their master’s possessions.

24:48“But what if the slave is shiftless and says to himself, ‘My master is very late in returning’?24:49So they begin to beat the other slaves, eat all the food, and go out drinking with the drunkards.24:50Their master will come on an unexpected day and time.24:51He will cut him in two and consign him to the fate of the pedants, where they wail and grind their teeth.

25:1“The kingdom of the heavens is also like this:39 Ten single women carried torches as they went out to wait for the bridegroom.25:2But five were foolish and five were sensible,25:3because the foolish ones didn’t take any extra oil along,25:4as the sensible ones did.25:5And since the bridegroom was delayed a long time, they all dozed off and fell asleep.

25:6“In the middle of the night came the shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’25:7So the single women all woke up and prepared their torches.25:8Then the foolish ones said to the sensible ones, ‘Give us some of your oil; our torches have gone out.’25:9But the sensible ones replied, ‘No, there’s not enough for all of us. You’ll have to go to the market and buy more for yourselves.’25:10While they were gone the bridegroom arrived, so the prepared ones entered with him to the wedding, and then the door was locked.25:11When the others came back later on, they pleaded, ‘Sir, sir, open the door for us!’25:12But he replied, ‘I honestly don’t know who you are.’25:13So be alert! You don’t know the day or the hour.

25:14“It’s also like this: Someone about to travel abroad called his slaves together and put them in charge of his possessions.25:15To one he gave five loads40 of money, to another two, and to another one, each according to their ability. Then he left immediately.25:16And as soon as he was gone, the one with five loads of money put it to work in the markets and earned five more.25:17Likewise, the one with two loads of money earned two more.25:18But the one with one load of money went out, dug a hole in the ground, and hid the money his master had given him.

25:19“After a long time the master returned to settle accounts with his slaves.25:20First the one with five loads of money brought that plus the five earned and said, ‘Master, you gave me five loads of money, but as you can see, I’ve earned five more.’

25:21“ ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave!’ exclaimed the master. ‘And since you were faithful with a little, I will put you in charge of a lot. Come and celebrate with me!’

25:22“Next was the one with two loads of money, who said, ‘Master, you gave me two loads of money, but as you can see, I’ve earned two more.’

25:23“ ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave!’ the master exclaimed. ‘And since you were faithful with a little, I will put you in charge of a lot. Come and celebrate with me!’

25:24“Then the last one came, and he said, ’Master, I knew that you’re a tough guy who gets other people to plant the seed while you reap the harvest,25:25and I was afraid [you’d do that to me]. So I planted your money in the ground, and here’s your harvest!’

25:26“ ‘You evil, lazy slave!’ snarled the master. ‘So you knew I reaped the benefits of other people’s work, did you?25:27Then you should have put my money on deposit at the bank where it would at least have earned interest!25:28Take the load of money from this one and give it to the one with ten loads of money,25:29for those who have a lot will be given more, and those who have little will have it taken away.25:30Then take this useless slave and throw him out into the darkness, where they wail and grind their teeth!’

25:31“When the Human comes in his majesty, accompanied by all the Messengers, he will sit on his majestic throne.25:32All the non-Judeans will be gathered in front of him, and he will separate them as a shepherd separates sheep from goats.25:33He’ll put the sheep at his right and the goats at his left.25:34And then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come here, you who are blessed by my Father, and inherit the kingdom prepared for you from when the world was established!25:35For when I was hungry you gave me food; when I was thirsty you gave me drink; when I was a stranger you took me in;25:36when I needed clothes you gave them to me; when I was ill you looked after me; when I was in prison you came to see me.’

25:37“Then the righteous will ask, ‘Master, when did we feed you when you were hungry, or give you a drink when you were thirsty,25:38or take you in as a stranger, or give you clothes you needed,25:39or look after you when you were ill, or come to see you in prison?’25:40And the King will answer, ‘I assure you that whenever you did these things for one of my lowly brothers or sisters, you did them for me.’

25:41“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Get away from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the False Accuser and his Messengers!25:42For I was hungry but you gave me no food; I was thirsty but you gave me no drink;25:43I was a stranger but you wouldn’t take me in; I needed clothes but you would not give me any; I was ill and in prison but you would not visit me.’

25:44“And they will ask, ‘Master, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or in need of clothes or sick or in prison, and didn’t help you?’25:45And he will reply, ‘I assure you that whenever you failed to do these things for one of my lowly ones, you failed to do them for me!’25:46Then these will go into eternal punishment, while the righteous will go into eternal life.”

26:1After Jesus had finished saying all these things, he told his disciples,26:2“As you know, the Passover is in two days. That’s when the Human will be handed over to be crucified.”26:3Then the ruling priests and elders of the people got together at the palace of the ruling priest Caiaphas,26:4where they recommended the use of treachery to have Jesus arrested and killed.26:5“But not during the festival,” they said, “or the people might riot.”

26:6Now when Jesus went into Bethany to the home of Simon the Leper,26:7a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive perfumed oil, and she poured it on his head as he reclined for dinner.26:8But the disciples were indignant and said, “What a waste!26:9This could have been sold for a lot of money and the proceeds given to the destitute.”

26:10But when Jesus realized this, he scolded them, “Why are you giving this woman such grief? She is doing an honorable thing to me.26:11You will always have the destitute with you, but you will not always have me.26:12By pouring the perfumed oil on me she is anointing my body for burial.26:13And I assure you that wherever the Gospel is proclaimed around the world, what she did will be spoken of in her memory.”

26:14Then Judas of Kerioth, one of the Twelve, went off to the ruling priests26:15and said, “What will you give me if I hand Jesus over to you?” So they offered him thirty pieces of silver,26:16and from then on he watched for an opportunity to hand him over.

26:17On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread,41 the disciples asked Jesus, “Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover?”26:18And he replied, “Go into the city and tell a certain person, ‘The teacher says the time is near for him to eat the Passover meal with his disciples at your house.’ ”26:19They did as Jesus instructed and prepared the meal.

26:20When evening came and Jesus was reclining at the table having the meal with the Twelve,26:21he exclaimed, “I tell you truly that one of you will betray me!”

26:22They all became distraught and said, “I’m not the one, am I, Master?”

26:23“One who shares the dipping sauce with me is the one who will betray me.26:24What has been written about the Human being taken away will surely happen to him. But woe to the person who is responsible for having the Human handed over! It would be better if that person had never been born.”

26:25Then Judas the Traitor said to him, “I’m not the one, am I, Rabbi?”

“You said it yourself!” Jesus replied.

26:26While they were eating, Jesus picked up the bread and blessed it, then handed it out to his disciples and said, “Take this and eat it; this is my body.”26:27Then he picked up the cup, gave thanks, and handed it to his disciples and said, “Drink from this, all of you,26:28because this is my blood, with which I am signing the new unilateral contract, and it is being poured out for many to dismiss the charges against them.26:29With absolute certainty I tell you that from now on, I will not drink the fruit of the vine until42 the day comes when I drink it fresh in the kingdom of my Father.”26:30And after they sang a festive song, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

26:31Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will fall into a trap tonight on my account. As it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd and the whole flock of sheep will scatter.’26:32But when I am raised up, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”

26:33But Peter objected, “Even if everyone else falls into a trap on your account, that will never happen to me!”

26:34“On the contrary,” replied Jesus, “you will completely disown me three times before the rooster crows!”

26:35“Even if I am bound to die with you, I will not disown you!” Peter insisted. And all the other disciples said the same.

26:36Jesus took them to a place called Gethsemane, and he told his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.”26:37Then he took along Peter and also Zebedee’s two sons. He became extremely sad and depressed26:38and said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”26:39He went a short distance away and fell on his face, praying, “My Father, if possible, please let this cup pass me by! But what matters is what you want, not what I want.”26:40Then he returned to his disciples only to find them sleeping, so he said to Peter, “Couldn’t you keep watch with me for one hour?26:41Pray that you will not be put to the test! The spirit is eager but the flesh is weak.”

26:42He went off to pray a second time and said, “My Father, if there is no other way except that I go through this, then let your decision stand!”26:43And again he found the disciples sleeping, because their eyes were heavy.26:44So he gave up on them and went off to pray a third time, repeating what he said before.26:45Then he returned to the disciples and said, “Are you going to sleep and rest forever? Look! The hour has come and the Human is betrayed into the hands of deviants.26:46Wake up, let’s go! See, here comes my betrayer!”

26:47While he was still speaking, suddenly Judas, one of the Twelve, came along with a large crowd from the ruling priests and elders of the people, all carrying swords and clubs.26:48The traitor had prearranged this sign: “Whoever I greet affectionately is the one; arrest him!”26:49So he went up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” while kissing him fondly.

26:50“What are you doing here, buddy?” asked Jesus. And they grabbed him and put him under arrest.

26:51Suddenly one of those with Jesus reached for his sword, drew it out, and then struck the slave of the ruling priest, cutting off his ear.

26:52“Sheath your sword!” said Jesus. “Those who wield swords will die by swords.26:53Don’t you realize that I could say the word and my Father would put at my disposal more than twelve legions of Messengers?26:54But then, how would the scriptures be fulfilled? This has to happen!”

26:55Then at that time Jesus turned to the crowd and said, “You came with swords and clubs to arrest me, as if I’m some kind of robber. But every day I sat in the temple compound and taught, and you didn’t arrest me then.26:56Yet all of this happened in order to fulfill what the prophets wrote.” And at that point, all his disciples took off and ran away.

26:57Having arrested Jesus, the crowd led him away to the ruling priest Caiaphas, where the scripture scholars and elders had gathered.26:58Now Peter had been following at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the ruling priest. He went inside and sat with the deputies to wait for a verdict.26:59Meanwhile, the ruling priests and the whole Sanhedrin tried to produce false witnesses against Jesus, so they could have him executed.26:60But though many false witnesses came forward, they couldn’t find anything.

Finally two of them came forward26:61and said, “We heard him claim that he was going to demolish the temple of God and then rebuild it in three days!”

26:62Then the ruling priest stood up and said, “Have you nothing to say to the accusation brought by these two?”26:63But Jesus said nothing. So the ruling priest said, “I am putting you under oath before the living God to tell us if you are the Anointed, the God-Man!”

26:64“You said it yourself!” Jesus answered. “Furthermore, I assure you that after this you will see the Human sitting down to the right of The Power,43 and coming in the clouds of the sky!”

26:65At that, the ruling priest tore his tunic44 and exclaimed, “He has defamed God! Why do we need any further testimony? You heard it yourselves;26:66what is your verdict?”

“He deserves the death penalty!” they all replied.26:67Then they spat in his face, and while they were beating and slapping him26:68they mocked, “Prophesy, Anointed One! Who hit you?”

26:69Meanwhile, Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard, when a servant girl came up to him and said, “You were with Jesus the Galilean!”

26:70But he denied it in front of them all: “I don’t know what you’re talking about!”

26:71He went out of the gate, but another one saw him and said to the others there, “This one was with Jesus the Nazarene!”

26:72Again he denied it: “I swear, I do not know that person!”

26:73A short time later, some standing there came up to Peter and said, “You have to be one of them; your accent gives you away!”

26:74Then Peter began to curse and swear: “I don’t know the guy!” And immediately a rooster crowed.26:75Then he remembered what Jesus had said: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!” So he went outside, sobbing bitterly.

27:1At dawn, a council convened with all the ruling priests and elders of the people to decide how to have Jesus executed.27:2Then they tied him up and handed him over to the governor.27:3When the traitor Judas saw this, he was filled with remorse and tried to return the thirty pieces of silver to the ruling priests and elders:27:4“I have betrayed innocent blood!”

“What is that to us?” they retorted. “That’s your problem.”27:5So Judas flung the silver into the temple, then went off and hanged himself.45

27:6The ruling priests picked up the silver but said, “We can’t use this as a gift offering, because it’s blood money.”4627:7So they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field, which would then serve as a graveyard for foreigners.27:8So it was known from then on as The Field of Blood.27:9This fulfilled what was said by the prophet Jeremiah: “They took the thirty pieces of silver— the price agreed upon by the people of Israel—27:10and bought the potter’s field, as my Master instructed.”

27:11Now Jesus was standing before the governor, and he asked him, “Are you the king of the Judeans?”

“You said it yourself,” replied Jesus.

27:12The ruing priests and elders were hurling many accusations, but Jesus made no responses.27:13So Pilate said, “Don’t you hear all the charges they’re making?”27:14Yet he still said nothing, which mystified the governor.

27:15Now the governor had a custom of releasing one prisoner of the crowd’s choosing during the Festival.27:16There happened to be a notorious prisoner called Bar-Abbas,27:17so when everyone was assembled Pilate said to them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Bar-Abbas or Jesus who is called Anointed?”27:18He knew very well that it was out of envy that Jesus had been handed over.27:19And while Pilate was holding court, his wife sent a message to him: “Have nothing to do with that righteous person, because I have had suffered terribly in a dream about him!”

27:20The ruling priests and elders had persuaded the crowd to ask for Bar-Abbas and have Jesus put to death.27:21So when the governor asked them, “Which of the two do you choose to be released to you?” they said, “Bar-Abbas!”

27:22“So what should I do with Jesus who is called the Anointed?” asked Pilate.

“Crucify him!” they replied.

27:23“But why?” asked Pilate. “What crime has he committed?”

Yet they only shouted louder, “Crucify him!”27:24And when Pilate saw that it was pointless and that the people were on the verge of rioting, he took some water and washed his hands in front of them all and said, “I hereby declare to you that I am not guilty of this person’s blood!”

27:25And all the people said, “May his blood be on our hands, and on the hands of our children!”

27:26Then he released Bar-Abbas to them and handed Jesus over to be scourged and crucified.27:27So the soldiers took Jesus from the governor to their headquarters. They got the whole company of soldiers together,27:28stripped him, dressed him in a crimson cloak,27:29and put a braided wreath of thorns on his head. Then they put a stick in his right hand and dropped to their knees and mocked, “Hail, King of the Judeans!”27:30And they spat on him, then took the stick and hit him in the head with it.27:31After they had their fun, they put his own clothes back on him and led him away to be crucified.

27:32On their way out they conscripted a Cyrenian named Simon to carry Jesus’ cross.27:33When they got to the place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”),27:34they offered him wine with pain-killer mixed in. But after tasting it, he wouldn’t drink it.4727:35So they crucified him, and they threw dice to see who would get which articles of his clothing.27:36Then they sat down to guard him,27:37and above his head they posted the charge against him: “This is Jesus, the King of the Judeans.”27:38Two robbers were also crucified with him, one to his right and the other to his left.

27:39Those who passed by slandered him, shaking their heads27:40and saying, “So you were going to demolish the temple and then rebuild it in three days? Then save yourself, if you’re the God-Man! Come down off the cross!”

27:41The ruling priests and scripture scholars jeered at him as well:27:42“He saved others, but he can’t save himself! If he’s the King of Israel, let him come down from the cross right now and we’ll put our trust in him!27:43Let God get him out of this if he wants. After all, he said, ‘I am the God-Man!’ ”27:44Then even the robbers being crucified joined in the shameful mockery.

27:45Darkness came upon the whole land from about noon until three in the afternoon.27:46Then Jesus cried out loudly, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you deserted me?”).27:47Some standing there said, “Look, he’s calling for Elijah!”27:48So one of them immediately ran and soaked a sponge with wine-vinegar and put it on the end of a stick, then lifted it to him to drink.27:49And they said, “Now leave him alone; let’s see if Elijah comes to save him!”

27:50Then Jesus gave one more loud shout and breathed his last.27:51Suddenly the curtain in the temple split in two from top to bottom, and the earth shook and the rocks split apart.27:52Then the graves opened up and the bodies of many righteous people woke from the dead.27:53After Jesus’ resurrection, they left their graves and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.27:54When the Roman army captain and those guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and everything else, they were terrified and exclaimed, “Surely this was the God-Man!”

27:55There were many women watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee and attended to his needs.27:56Among them were Mary of Magdala, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.

27:57When it was getting late, a rich person from Arimathea by the name of Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus,27:58approached Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Pilate granted the request,27:59so Joseph took the body and wrapped it in clean linen,27:60then placed it in a new tomb that he had quarried out of rock. Then he rolled a very large stone in front of the tomb’s opening and went away.27:61Now Mary of Magdala and the other Mary were sitting in front of the tomb.

27:62The next day following the Preparation, the ruling priests went with the Pharisees to Pilate27:63and said, “Sir, we remember that while he was still alive, that deceiver said, ‘I will arise after three days.’27:64So give the order to secure the grave until the three days are past. Then his disciples cannot steal his body and tell people he rose from the dead. The second con would be worse than the first!”

27:65“You have guards,” replied Pilate. “Secure it to your satisfaction.”27:66So they went off and secured the grave by sealing it, and the guard was posted.

28:1After the Sabbaths, when it was nearing dawn on the First of Sabbaths, Mary of Magdala and the other Mary went to see the grave.28:2Suddenly there was a tremendous earthquake because the Messenger of the Master came down from heaven, and he rolled away the stone and then sat on it.28:3His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow.28:4The guards shook with fear and passed out.48

28:5Then the Messenger said to the women, “Don’t be afraid! I know that you’re looking for Jesus, who was crucified.28:6But he isn’t here; he arose, just as he said he would! Come and see the spot where his body was placed,28:7then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead. In fact, he is going on ahead to Galilee, so you will see him there. You have your assignment!”

28:8So off they went from the tomb in a hurry, filled with great joy. They ran to announce this to his disciples,28:9when suddenly there was Jesus! “Greetings!” he said. They went over to him and worshiped while holding on to his feet.28:10Then he said to them, “Don’t be afraid! Go and tell my brothers and sisters to leave for Galilee; I will meet them there.”

28:11While they were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and told the ruling priests every detail of what had happened.28:12So they called a meeting with the elders, and they gave a sum of money to the soldiers28:13and told them, “You are to say that his disciples came during the night and stole the body while you were sleeping.28:14And if word of this reaches the governor, don’t worry; we will keep you out of trouble.”28:15So the soldiers took the payoff and did as they were told. This story was spread around throughout Judea and continues to this day.

28:16Now the eleven disciples went into Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them.28:17When they saw him they worshiped him, though some were skeptical.28:18Then Jesus said to them, “All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me.28:19So go then, make disciples throughout the nations. Immerse them by the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,28:20and teach them to hold tightly to everything I’ve commanded you. Rest assured I will be with you always, until the very end of the age.”

  1. 1The custom of the time and culture was that the engaged couple were considered husband and wife before they were actually married, so a legal divorce was required to break off the engagement.
  2. 2“unmarried” is what the Greek word means, not strictly “virgin,” and not necessarily a woman (of course, it is obvious here that a woman is meant). But this context clearly indicates that Mary’s pregnancy was caused by the Holy Spirit, so there is no reason to render the word inaccurately in order to preserve the teaching of the virgin birth. The point is that Jesus had no human father.
  3. 3There is controversy over the date that Herod died, especially concerning the time of his demotion; see this article for discussion.
  4. 4Note several things in this passage: we don’t know how many advisors there were, the list of gifts is just a sample, and they worshiped Jesus— an indication of his divinity. Also, this was not the night of his birth but as much as two years later.
  5. 5Trad. “poor in spirit,” a strange phrase whose meaning is debated. But to be consistent with all the others in the list, it should refer to a real, literal situation in this life, which is then connected to a future benefit. In this case, those who have nothing in this life will have everything in the next.
  6. 6Lit. “clean hearts”; both are possible.
  7. 7“the Law and the Prophets” refers to the Torah, that is, the law of Moses and the prophecies. Yet the end result of dismantling or fulfillment is the same; a fulfilled contract is no longer in force. This may be what Jesus meant by everything being accomplished, since his stated purpose here is to fulfill it all.
  8. 8“angry with a sister or brother” in some manuscripts is followed by “without a cause.” This seems to be implied anyway, as even Jesus became angry at times. It’s possible that this condition applies to the whole passage.
  9. 9Gehenna was the literal trash dump that was always burning due to a constant supply of material. Clearly Jesus is using it metaphorically to refer to final judgment.
  10. 10Jesus’ teaching must be seen in light of his first statement here: men divorcing their wives for no valid reason.
  11. 11“take an adversarial stance”: antistEnai is used often in the Septuagint as a word for “warfare.” It is also used in Ephesians in a context of warfare (6:13). The ancient historian Josephus was likewise in the habit of using antistEnai to mean armed struggle.
  12. 12In these three examples, Jesus is not saying that we should be doormats, but that we should demonstrate the injustice being done to us by exaggerating it. To present the other cheek, give the shirt off our back, or go the extra mile, is to shame the adversary for demanding anything at all. So rather than trying to gain justice by paying back, we should give more than they demanded.
  13. 13The word rendered “pedant” throughout the NT refers to a strict legalist focused on the tiniest details, to the point of absurdity. It can also mean having a double standard.
  14. 14“Don’t judge” is commonly taken out of context to mean “Never use discernment or stand against falsehood.” But Jesus indicates what he means by the rest of the passage: be careful how you judge, because that’s how you will be judged. (The implication is that Jesus is referring to God as the final judge.)
  15. 15Both these animals were known to “bite the hand that feeds them,” so the implication seems to be that we must not keep offering the Gospel to those who are hostile it. We should note that Jesus never spoke kindly to the Pharisees.
  16. 16The literal meaning is to slander or to dishonor God, but in this case Jesus is accused of doing so by claiming to have the same power and authority as God, thus making himself equal to God.
  17. 17Some take the gesture of shaking the dust from one’s feet as what Jews would do to show that they considered someone no better than a Gentile, since they considered even the dust on Gentile ground ritually unclean.
  18. 18“Wisdom is validated by all who accept it” is an odd-sounding proverb to the English reader, and its meaning is unclear.
  19. 19Though the text does not specify, it seems clear that Jesus now turns his attention to the people.
  20. 20Jesus’ asking the Pharisees “haven’t you read” was quite insulting, since the Pharisees prided themselves on their knowledge.
  21. 21“wheat-weeds” means weeds that are very difficult to distinguish from wheat.
  22. 22Jesus is using a play on words by essentially calling Simon “a chip off the old block.” The “rock” or foundation upon which the Congregation would be built is the kind of faith Peter displays here (or possibly Jesus himself), not Peter.
  23. 23Jesus is clearly not giving a literal forgiveness limit here, but using exaggeration to make the point that there is no certain number.
  24. 24This question about divorce is very specific regarding the “any cause” debate among the rabbis. Some interpreted the scriptures to allow a man to divorce his wife even if she did nothing to deserve it, while others believed the man had to prove that she had been unfaithful. So what they want Jesus to do is to take sides in their debate. And when he asks the Pharisees “Haven’t you read,” he insults them since they prided themselves on their knowledge of the scriptures.
  25. 25Jesus not only rejects the “any cause” side, he shows that with such a divorce the couple are still married. So sending the wife away doesn’t mean the man can remarry— which was the likely reason he divorced her in the first place.
  26. 26What Jesus said about a camel going through the eye of a needle is a simple exaggeration of the extreme difficulty of the rich giving up their money. There was no literal city gate called “The Eye of the Needle” as some far-fetched theories claim.
  27. 27On the surface it appears that Jesus is teaching that God will take advantage of those who work the hardest for him. But the emphasis is on the compassion of God, who won’t punish people simply for not being made the offer as early as others. Note that it was not the fault of the late hires that they hadn’t worked; they would have, if they’d been made the offer earlier. Note also that the previous chapter ended with the same ”first/last“ statement, so the two serve as “bookends” on the whole teaching.
  28. 28Fig trees should bear fruit before the leaves, so if the tree has leaves but no fruit it is barren. According to F. F. Bruce, “When the fig leaves appear about the end of March, they are accompanied by a crop of small knobs that precede the real figs. These are eaten by peasants and others when hungry. They drop off before the real fig is formed. But if the leaves appear alone, there will be no figs that year.” Intervarsity Press, 5th revised edition 1992, pp. 73-74. But why did Jesus curse it? Some see it as a type or foreshadow of Israel rejecting their Messiah.
  29. 29“head of the corner” and “cornerstone” mean the same thing. Some interpret “head of the corner” as a capstone (finishing stone) or keystone (the uppermost stone that holds an arch in place). But the word “corner” contradicts this, and no one would trip over an upper or finishing stone.
  30. 30The poll tax was for the purpose of reminding the Jews that they were subject to Rome.
  31. 31Had the scripture said, ‘I was the God of…’, it would have indicated that the patriarchs’ spirits were not alive.
  32. 32The amulets were strips of parchment having scriptures written on them.
  33. 33Jesus is not saying we cannot refer to our teachers as such, or our parents as such, but to not use formal titles for spiritual leaders. He is thus dispensing with human hierarchy among his followers, as he also made clear in his rebuke of James and John for seeking positions of prominence in the coming kingdom.
  34. 34The word rendered “official arrival” has that as its primary and most common meaning, as opposed to any ordinary arrival. So the disciples are asking when Jesus will come as King, as well as the separate question about when the temple would be destroyed.
  35. 35Matthew’s note to the reader refers to the person reading the text aloud to others. Jesus is quoting Dan. 9:27.
  36. 36Dan. 12:1.
  37. 37While ‘the chosen people’ could refer to followers of Jesus, it could also refer to the nation of Israel.
  38. 38Isaiah 13:10, 34:4.
  39. 39Like any analogy, this one’s purpose is to make one point, so we must be careful how we apply it. This analogy is focused on preparedness, not on depicting the church or the Jews.
  40. 40These “talent-weights” were huge sums of money. A talent-weight was enough silver to pay one worker’s standard wages for twenty years.
  41. 41The Feast of Unleavened Bread is described in Exodus 12:1-9 as a seven-day period beginning Nisan 14 in the mid/late afternoon. There were “Sabbaths” on the first and last day, on which no work was to be done. The day just before this began was called the Preparation. All yeast had to be removed from every household for the duration of the week.
  42. 42There is no word meaning “again” in Jesus’ statement about not drinking from the cup. Neither does the passage indicate that Jesus actually drank the wine or ate the bread.
  43. 43“The Power” was a respectful way to refer God.
  44. 44To tear one’s clothing indicated guilt according to the Talmud. But in this capacity the council was equivalent to a modern jury, so they could not do the actual sentencing.
  45. 45The accounts of Judas’ death as described here and in Acts 1:18 are not in conflict. The two together paint a picture of the priests buying the field after Judas apparently did a poor job of hanging himself. It was the priests who called it “blood money” and then used it to buy the land as a place to bury strangers.
  46. 46There is deep irony in the priests’ fear of breaking rules here (and later when they stayed out of Pilate’s palace in order to remain ‘clean’ for the Passover), since they were continuing to break many of them in having Jesus condemned.
  47. 47Jesus had told his disciples that he would never drink wine until he was in the new kingdom, and he held to that even when it would have helped alleviate his excruciating pain.
  48. 48Curious, that the soldiers fainted with fear, but the women did not.