1At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the reports about Jesus,2and he said to his attendants, "This is John the Baptist; he has risen from the dead! That is why miraculous powers are at work in him."3Now Herod had arrested John and bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife,4for John had been saying to him: "It is not lawful for you to have her."5Herod wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of the people, because they considered him a prophet.6On Herod's birthday the daughter of Herodias danced for them and pleased Herod so much7that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked.8Prompted by her mother, she said, "Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist."9The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he ordered that her request be granted10and had John beheaded in the prison.11His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who carried it to her mother.12John's disciples came and took his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus.Matthew 11:2-19
2When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples3to ask him, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?"4Jesus replied, "Go back and report to John what you hear and see:5The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.6Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me."7As John's disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: "What did you go out into the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind?8If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings' palaces.9Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.10This is the one about whom it is written: "'I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.'11I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.12From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.13For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John.14And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come.15He who has ears, let him hear.16"To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others:17"'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.'18For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon.'19The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners." ' But wisdom is proved right by her actions."20Then Jesus began to denounce the cities in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent.21"Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.22But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you.23And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths. If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day.24But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you."25At that time Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.26Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.27"All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.28"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."==Chapter 12==1At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them.2When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, "Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath."3He answered, "Haven't you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry?4He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread--which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests.5Or haven't you read in the Law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple desecrate the day and yet are innocent?6I tell you that one greater than the temple is here.7If you had known what these words mean, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the innocent.8For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."9Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue,10and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, they asked him, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?"11He said to them, "If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out?12How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath."13Then he said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other.14But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.15Aware of this, Jesus withdrew from that place. Many followed him, and he healed all their sick,16warning them not to tell who he was.17This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:18"Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations.19He will not quarrel or cry out; no one will hear his voice in the streets.20A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he leads justice to victory.21In his name the nations will put their hope."22Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see.23All the people were astonished and said, "Could this be the Son of David?"24But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, "It is only by Beelzebub, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons."25Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.26If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand?27And if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges.28But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.29"Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man's house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can rob his house.30"He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.31And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.32Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.33"Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.34You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.35The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.36But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.37For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned."38Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, "Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you."39He answered, "A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.40For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.41The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here.42The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon's wisdom, and now one greater than Solomon is here.43"When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it.44Then it says, 'I will return to the house I left.' When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order.45Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation."46While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him.47Someone told him, "Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you."48He replied to him, "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?"49Pointing to his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers.50For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother."==Chapter 13==1That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake.2Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore.3Then he told them many things in parables, saying: "A farmer went out to sow his seed.4As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.5Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow.6But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.7Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants.8Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop--a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.9He who has ears, let him hear."10The disciples came to him and asked, "Why do you speak to the people in parables?"11He replied, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.12Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.13This is why I speak to them in parables: "Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.14In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: "'You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.15For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.'16But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.17For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.18"Listen then to what the parable of the sower means:19When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path.20The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy.21But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away.22The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.23But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown."24Jesus told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field.25But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away.26When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.27"The owner's servants came to him and said, 'Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?'28"'An enemy did this,' he replied. "The servants asked him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?'29"'No,' he answered, 'because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them.30Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.'"31He told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field.32Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches."33He told them still another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough."34Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable.35So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet: "I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world."36Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, "Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field."37He answered, "The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man.38The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one,39and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.40"As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age.41The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.42They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.43Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.44"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.45"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls.46When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.47"Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish.48When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away.49This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous50and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.51"Have you understood all these things?" Jesus asked. "Yes," they replied.52He said to them, "Therefore every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old."53When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there.54Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. "Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?" they asked.55"Isn't this the carpenter's son? Isn't his mother's name Mary, and aren't his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?56Aren't all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?"57And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, "Only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honor."58And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.==Chapter 14==1At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the reports about Jesus,2and he said to his attendants, "This is John the Baptist; he has risen from the dead! That is why miraculous powers are at work in him."3Now Herod had arrested John and bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife,4for John had been saying to him: "It is not lawful for you to have her."5Herod wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of the people, because they considered him a prophet.6On Herod's birthday the daughter of Herodias danced for them and pleased Herod so much7that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked.8Prompted by her mother, she said, "Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist."9The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he ordered that her request be granted10and had John beheaded in the prison.11His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who carried it to her mother.12John's disciples came and took his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus.13When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns.14When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.15As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, "This is a remote place, and it's already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food."16Jesus replied, "They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat."17"We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish," they answered.18"Bring them here to me," he said.19And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people.20They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.21The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.22Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd.23After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone,24but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.25During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.26When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear.27But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."28"Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."29"Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.30But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"31Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"32And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down.33Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."34When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret.35And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him36and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed.==Chapter 15==1Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked,2"Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don't wash their hands before they eat!"3Jesus replied, "And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?4For God said, 'Honor your father and mother' and 'Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.'5But you say that if a man says to his father or mother, 'Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to God,'6he is not to 'honor his father ' with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition.7You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:8"'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.9They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.'"10Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen and understand.11What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean.'"12Then the disciples came to him and asked, "Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?"13He replied, "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots.14Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit."15Peter said, "Explain the parable to us."16"Are you still so dull?" Jesus asked them.17"Don't you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body?18But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.'19For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.20These are what make a man 'unclean'; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him 'unclean.'"21Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.22A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession."23Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, "Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us."24He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel."25The woman came and knelt before him. "Lord, help me!" she said.26He replied, "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs."27"Yes, Lord," she said, "but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table."28Then Jesus answered, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.29Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up on a mountainside and sat down.30Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them.31The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.32Jesus called his disciples to him and said, "I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way."33His disciples answered, "Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?"34"How many loaves do you have?" Jesus asked. "Seven," they replied, "and a few small fish."35He told the crowd to sit down on the ground.36Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people.37They all ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.38The number of those who ate was four thousand, besides women and children.39After Jesus had sent the crowd away, he got into the boat and went to the vicinity of Magadan.==Chapter 16==1The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven.2He replied, "When evening comes, you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,'3and in the morning, 'Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.' You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.4A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah." Jesus then left them and went away.5When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread.6"Be careful," Jesus said to them. "Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees."7They discussed this among themselves and said, "It is because we didn't bring any bread."8Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, "You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread?9Do you still not understand? Don't you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered?10Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered?11How is it you don't understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees."12Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.13When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?"14They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets."15"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"16Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."17Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.18And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."20Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.21From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.22Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. "Never, Lord!" he said. "This shall never happen to you!"23Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."24Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.25For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.26What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?27For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.28I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom."==Chapter 17==1After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves.2There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.3Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.4Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters--one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah."5While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!"6When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified.7But Jesus came and touched them. "Get up," he said. "Don't be afraid."8When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.9As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, "Don't tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead."10The disciples asked him, "Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?"11Jesus replied, "To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things.12But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands."13Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.14When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him.15"Lord, have mercy on my son," he said. "He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water.16I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him."17"O unbelieving and perverse generation," Jesus replied, "how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me."18Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment.19Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, "Why couldn't we drive it out?"20He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."21(OMITTED TEXT)22When they came together in Galilee, he said to them, "The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men.23They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life." And the disciples were filled with grief.24After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax came to Peter and asked, "Doesn't your teacher pay the temple tax?"25"Yes, he does," he replied. When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. "What do you think, Simon?" he asked. "From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes--from their own sons or from others?"26"From others," Peter answered. "Then the sons are exempt," Jesus said to him.27"But so that we may not offend them, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours."==Chapter 18==1At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?"2He called a little child and had him stand among them.3And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.4Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.5"And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.6But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.7"Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come!8If your hand or your foot causes you to sin cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire.9And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.10"See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.11(OMITTED TEXT)12"What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?13And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off.14In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.15"If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.16But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.'17If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.18"I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.19"Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.20For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."21Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?"22Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.23"Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.24As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him.25Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.26"The servant fell on his knees before him. 'Be patient with me,' he begged, 'and I will pay back everything.'27The servant's master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.28"But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. 'Pay back what you owe me!' he demanded.29"His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, 'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.'30"But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt.31When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened.32"Then the master called the servant in. 'You wicked servant,' he said, 'I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to.33Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?'34In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.35"This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."==Chapter 19==1When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan.2Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.3Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?"4"Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,'5and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'?6So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."7"Why then," they asked, "did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?"8Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.9I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery."10The disciples said to him, "If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry."11Jesus replied, "Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given.12For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it."13Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them.14Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."15When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.16Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?"17"Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments."18"Which ones?" the man inquired. Jesus replied, "'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony,19honor your father and mother,' and 'love your neighbor as yourself.'"20"All these I have kept," the young man said. "What do I still lack?"21Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."22When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.23Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.24Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."25When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, "Who then can be saved?"26Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."27Peter answered him, "We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?"28Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.29And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.30But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.==Chapter 20==1"For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard.2He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.3"About the third hour he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing.4He told them, 'You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.'5So they went. "He went out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour and did the same thing.6About the eleventh hour he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, 'Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?'7"'Because no one has hired us,' they answered. "He said to them, 'You also go and work in my vineyard.'8"When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, 'Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.'9"The workers who were hired about the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius.10So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius.11When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner.12'These men who were hired last worked only one hour,' they said, 'and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.'13"But he answered one of them, 'Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn't you agree to work for a denarius?14Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you.15Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?'16"So the last will be first, and the first will be last."17Now as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside and said to them,18"We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death19and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!"20Then the mother of Zebedee's sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him.21"What is it you want?" he asked. She said, "Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom."22"You don't know what you are asking," Jesus said to them. "Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?" "We can," they answered.23Jesus said to them, "You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father."24When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers.25Jesus called them together and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.26Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,27and whoever wants to be first must be your slave--28just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."29As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him.30Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!"31The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!"32Jesus stopped and called them. "What do you want me to do for you?" he asked.33"Lord," they answered, "we want our sight."34Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.==Chapter 21==1As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples,2saying to them, "Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me.3If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away."4This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:5"Say to the Daughter of Zion, 'See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.'"6The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them.7They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them.8A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.9The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Hosanna in the highest!"10When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, "Who is this?"11The crowds answered, "This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee."12Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves.13"It is written," he said to them, "'My house will be called a house of prayer,' but you are making it a 'den of robbers.'"14The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them.15But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple area, "Hosanna to the Son of David," they were indignant.16"Do you hear what these children are saying?" they asked him. "Yes," replied Jesus, "have you never read, "'From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise'?"17And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.18Early in the morning, as he was on his way back to the city, he was hungry.19Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, "May you never bear fruit again!" Immediately the tree withered.20When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. "How did the fig tree wither so quickly?" they asked.21Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done.22If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."23Jesus entered the temple courts, and, while he was teaching, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him. "By what authority are you doing these things?" they asked. "And who gave you this authority?"24Jesus replied, "I will also ask you one question. If you answer me, I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things.25John's baptism--where did it come from? Was it from heaven, or from men?" They discussed it among themselves and said, "If we say, 'From heaven,' he will ask, 'Then why didn't you believe him?'26But if we say, 'From men'--we are afraid of the people, for they all hold that John was a prophet."27So they answered Jesus, "We don't know." Then he said, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.28"What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, 'Son, go and work today in the vineyard.'29"'I will not,' he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.30"Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, 'I will, sir,' but he did not go.31"Which of the two did what his father wanted?" "The first," they answered. Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you.32For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.33"Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and went away on a journey.34When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit.35"The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third.36Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way.37Last of all, he sent his son to them. 'They will respect my son,' he said.38"But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, 'This is the heir. Come, let's kill him and take his inheritance.'39So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.40"Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?"41"He will bring those wretches to a wretched end," they replied, "and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time."42Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the Scriptures: "'The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone ; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes'?43"Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.44He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed."45When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus' parables, they knew he was talking about them.46They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet.==Chapter 22==1Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying:2"The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son.3He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.4"Then he sent some more servants and said, 'Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.'5"But they paid no attention and went off--one to his field, another to his business.6The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them.7The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.8"Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come.9Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.'10So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.11"But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes.12'Friend,' he asked, 'how did you get in here without wedding clothes?' The man was speechless.13"Then the king told the attendants, 'Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'14"For many are invited, but few are chosen."15Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words.16They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. "Teacher," they said, "we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren't swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are.17Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?"18But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, "You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me?19Show me the coin used for paying the tax." They brought him a denarius,20and he asked them, "Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?"21"Caesar's," they replied. Then he said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."22When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.23That same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question.24"Teacher," they said, "Moses told us that if a man dies without having children, his brother must marry the widow and have children for him.25Now there were seven brothers among us. The first one married and died, and since he had no children, he left his wife to his brother.26The same thing happened to the second and third brother, right on down to the seventh.27Finally, the woman died.28Now then, at the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them were married to her?"29Jesus replied, "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.30At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.31But about the resurrection of the dead--have you not read what God said to you,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."33When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at his teaching.34Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together.35One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:36"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"37Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'38This is the first and greatest commandment.39And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."41While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them,42"What do you think about the Christ ? Whose son is he?" "The son of David," they replied.43He said to them, "How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him 'Lord'? For he says,44"'The Lord said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet."'45If then David calls him 'Lord,' how can he be his son?"46No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions.==Chapter 23==1Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples:2"The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat.3So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.4They tie up heavy loads and put them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.5"Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long;6they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues;7they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them 'Rabbi.'8"But you are not to be called 'Rabbi,' for you have only one Master and you are all brothers.9And do not call anyone on earth 'father,' for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.10Nor are you to be called 'teacher,' for you have one Teacher, the Christ.11The greatest among you will be your servant.12For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.13"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.14(OMITTED TEXT)15"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.16"Woe to you, blind guides! You say, 'If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.'17You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred?18You also say, 'If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gift on it, he is bound by his oath.'19You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred?20Therefore, he who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it.21And he who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it.22And he who swears by heaven swears by God's throne and by the one who sits on it.23"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices--mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law--justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.24You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.25"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.26Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.27"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean.28In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.29"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous.30And you say, 'If we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.'31So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets.32Fill up, then, the measure of the sin of your forefathers!33"You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?34Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town.35And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.36I tell you the truth, all this will come upon this generation.37"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.38Look, your house is left to you desolate.39For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'"==Chapter 24==1Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings.2"Do you see all these things?" he asked. "I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down."3As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. "Tell us," they said, "when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?"4Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you.5For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ, ' and will deceive many.6You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.7Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.8All these are the beginning of birth pains.9"Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.10At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other,11and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.12Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,13but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.14And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.15"So when you see standing in the holy place 'the abomination that causes desolation,' spoken of through the prophet Daniel--let the reader understand--16then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.17Let no one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of the house.18Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak.19How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers!20Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath.21For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now--and never to be equaled again.22If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.23At that time if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or, 'There he is!' do not believe it.24For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect--if that were possible.25See, I have told you ahead of time.26"So if anyone tells you, 'There he is, out in the desert,' do not go out; or, 'Here he is, in the inner rooms,' do not believe it.27For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.28Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.29"Immediately after the distress 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 heavenly bodies will be shaken.'30"At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.31And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.32"Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near.33Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door.34I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.35Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.36"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.37As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.38For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark;39and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.40Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left.41Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.42"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.43But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.44So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.45"Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time?46It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns.47I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.48But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, 'My master is staying away a long time,'49and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards.50The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of.51He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.==Chapter 25==1"At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.2Five of them were foolish and five were wise.3The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them.4The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps.5The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.6"At midnight the cry rang out: 'Here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!'7"Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps.8The foolish ones said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.'9"'No,' they replied, 'there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.'10"But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.11"Later the others also came. 'Sir! Sir!' they said. 'Open the door for us!'12"But he replied, 'I tell you the truth, I don't know you.'13"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.14"Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them.15To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey.16The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more.17So also, the one with the two talents gained two more.18But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money.19"After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them.20The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.'21"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'22"The man with the two talents also came. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.'23"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'24"Then the man who had received the one talent came. 'Master,' he said, 'I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed.25So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.'26"His master replied, 'You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed?27Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.28"'Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents.29For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.30And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'31"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory.32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'46"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."==Chapter 26==1When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples,2"As you know, the Passover is two days away--and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified."3Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas,4and they plotted to arrest Jesus in some sly way and kill him.5"But not during the Feast," they said, "or there may be a riot among the people."6While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper,7a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.8When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. "Why this waste?" they asked.9"This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor."10Aware of this, Jesus said to them, "Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me.11The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me.12When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial.13I tell you the truth, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her."14Then one of the Twelve--the one called Judas Iscariot--went to the chief priests15and asked, "What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?" So they counted out for him thirty silver coins.16From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.17On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?"18He replied, "Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, 'The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.'"19So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.20When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve.21And while they were eating, he said, "I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me."22They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, "Surely not I, Lord?"23Jesus replied, "The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me.24The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born."25Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, "Surely not I, Rabbi?" Jesus answered, "Yes, it is you."26While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body."27Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you.28This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.29I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father's kingdom."30When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.31Then Jesus told them, "This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: "'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.'32But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee."33Peter replied, "Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will."34"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times."35But Peter declared, "Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you." And all the other disciples said the same.36Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray."37He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled.38Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me."39Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."40Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?" he asked Peter.41"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."42He went away a second time and prayed, "My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done."43When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy.44So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.45Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.46Rise, let us go! Here comes my betrayer!"47While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people.48Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: "The one I kiss is the man; arrest him."49Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, "Greetings, Rabbi!" and kissed him.50Jesus replied, "Friend, do what you came for." Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him.51With that, one of Jesus' companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.52"Put your sword back in its place," Jesus said to him, "for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.53Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?54But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?"55At that time Jesus said to the crowd, "Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me.56But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled." Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.57Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas, the high priest, where the teachers of the law and the elders had assembled.58But Peter followed him at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the high priest. He entered and sat down with the guards to see the outcome.59The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death.60But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward. Finally two came forward61and declared, "This fellow said, 'I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.'"62Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, "Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?"63But Jesus remained silent. The high priest said to him, "I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God."64"Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied. "But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven."65Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, "He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy.66What do you think?" "He is worthy of death," they answered.67Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him68and said, "Prophesy to us, Christ. Who hit you?"69Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. "You also were with Jesus of Galilee," she said.70But he denied it before them all. "I don't know what you're talking about," he said.71Then he went out to the gateway, where another girl saw him and said to the people there, "This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth."72He denied it again, with an oath: "I don't know the man!"73After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, "Surely you are one of them, for your accent gives you away."74Then he began to call down curses on himself and he swore to them, "I don't know the man!" Immediately a rooster crowed.75Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: "Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times." And he went outside and wept bitterly.==Chapter 27==1Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people came to the decision to put Jesus to death.2They bound him, led him away and handed him over to Pilate, the governor.3When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders.4"I have sinned," he said, "for I have betrayed innocent blood." "What is that to us?" they replied. "That's your responsibility."5So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.6The chief priests picked up the coins and said, "It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money."7So they decided to use the money to buy the potter's field as a burial place for foreigners.8That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day.9Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: "They took the thirty silver coins, the price set on him by the people of Israel,10and they used them to buy the potter's field, as the Lord commanded me."11Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, "Are you the king of the Jews?" "Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied.12When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer.13Then Pilate asked him, "Don't you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?"14But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge--to the great amazement of the governor.15Now it was the governor's custom at the Feast to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd.16At that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Barabbas.17So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, "Which one do you want me to release to you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?"18For he knew it was out of envy that they had handed Jesus over to him.19While Pilate was sitting on the judge's seat, his wife sent him this message: "Don't have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him."20But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed.21"Which of the two do you want me to release to you?" asked the governor. "Barabbas," they answered.22"What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?" Pilate asked. They all answered, "Crucify him!"23"Why? What crime has he committed?" asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, "Crucify him!"24When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. "I am innocent of this man's blood," he said. "It is your responsibility!"25All the people answered, "Let his blood be on us and on our children!"26Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.27Then the governor's soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him.28They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him,29and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. "Hail, king of the Jews!" they said.30They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again.31After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.32As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross.33They came to a place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull).34There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it.35When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots.36And sitting down, they kept watch over him there.37Above his head they placed the written charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS.38Two robbers were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left.39Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads40and saying, "You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!"41In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him.42"He saved others," they said, "but he can't save himself! He's the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.43He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, 'I am the Son of God.'"44In the same way the robbers who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.45From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land.46About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"--which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"47When some of those standing there heard this, they said, "He's calling Elijah."48Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink.49The rest said, "Now leave him alone. Let's see if Elijah comes to save him."50And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.51At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split.52The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.53They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus' resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.54When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, "Surely he was the Son of God!"55Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs.56Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's sons.57As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus.58Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus' body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him.59Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,60and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away.61Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.62The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate.63"Sir," they said, "we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, 'After three days I will rise again.'64So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first."65"Take a guard," Pilate answered. "Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how."66So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.==Chapter 28==1After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.2There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.3His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow.4The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.5The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.6He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.7Then go quickly and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you."8So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.9Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him.10Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me."11While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened.12When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money,13telling them, "You are to say, 'His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.'14If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble."15So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.16Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.17When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.18Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."