SINGLE READ, SINGLE STORY

of the LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST

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1

INTRODUCTION

1.1 The origin of the good news of Jesus Christ.       

1.2 Before everything else was, the Word had been with God, and the Word was God.

He created everything else. The life which gives light to mankind was in him, and shines in this worlds darkness which cannot overpower nor comprehend it.

God sent John the Baptist, not being the light but to witness only about the light, so that everyone might believe through him. Then the One who is the true light came to fully enlighten everyone in the world.

   Although he created the world, it did not recognize nor receive him when he came to his own. But to them who received him, who believed in his name, he gave authority to become Gods children - reborn not through physical birth, nor parental desire, but of God.1

So the Word, full of grace and truth, became flesh and lived among us. We saw his glory as of the Fathers only Son. John testified about him saying, “This is he of whom I said, He who follows me ranks above me because he existed before me.” We all have received countless blessings from his superabundance of grace. For while Moses gave condemning law, justifying grace and truth2 came through Jesus Christ.3 No one has ever seen God, but Gods Son who is in the Fathers heart has revealed Him.”

1.3 Six months after Elizabeth, her relative, became pregnant with John the Baptist, God sent angel Gabriel to Nazareth to virgin Mary, who was engaged to Joseph, a descendant of David. Gabriel went to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” These words troubled Mary who wondered what they meant. The angel said, “Dont fear, Mary, God has favored you. You will conceive and have a son and shall name him Jesus. He will be great and be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him his ancestor Davids throne to reign over Israel   in an eternal kingdom.”

   Mary asked, “How will this be? Im a virgin!” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So, your holy child will be called the Son of God. Your aged relative, Elizabeth, is now in her sixth month of pregnancy. For every word of God shall not1 be impossible.” Mary replied. “Im the Lords servant.

Let it be as you say.” Then the angel left her. 

1.4 The ancestral record of Jesus Christ.  He was descended from David and Abraham: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah and his brothers; then Perez and Zerah

(their mother was Tamar), Hezron, Ram, Amminadab, Nahshon, Salmon, Boaz (his mother was Rahab), Obed (his mother was Ruth), Jesse, King David, Solomon

(his mother was Bethsheba, Uriahs wife), Rehoboam, Abijah, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Joram, Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amon, Josiah, Jeconiah and his brothers at the time of the Babylonian exile.

After  the  Babylonian  exile,  Jeconiah,  Shealtiel, Zerubbabel, Abiud, Eliakim, Azor, Zadok, Achim, Eliud, Eleazar, Matthan, Jacob, Joseph, the husband of Mary who bore Jesus the Christ.

So there were fourteen main generations from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the Babylonian exile, fourteen from the exile to Christ.       Jesus was supposedly the son of Joseph, whose father was Heli, and whose forefathers were Matthat, Levi, Melchi, Jannai, Joseph, Mattathias, Amos, Nahum, Esli, Naggai, Maath, Mattathias, Semein, Josech, Joda, Joanan, Rhesa, Zerubbabel, Shealtiel, Neri, Melchi, Addi, Cosam, Elmadam, Er, Joshua, Eliezer, Jorim, Matthat, Levi, Simeon, Judah, Joseph, Jonam, Eliakim, Melea, Menna, Mattatha, Nathan, David, Jesse, Obed, Boaz, Salmon, Nahshon, Amminadab, Ram, Hezron, Perez, Judah, Jacob, Isaac, Abraham, Terah, Nahor, Serug, Reu, Peleg, Eber, Shelah, Cainan, Arphaxad, Shem, Noah, Lamech, Methuselah, Enoch, Jared, Mahalaleel, Cainan, Enos, Seth, and Adam, who was son of God.

 

2

BIRTH AND CHILDHOOD

  2.1 Jesus Christs birth happened this way. Mary was engaged to Joseph, but before they came together, she was pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Her future husband Joseph, being considerate and not wanting to disgrace her,  decided  to  break  their  engagement secretly. Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, dont fear, take Mary as your wife, for her pregnancy is of the Holy Spirit. When born, name the child, Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this happened to fulfill this Lords saying through the prophet: A virgin will become pregnant bearing a son they will call Immanuel, which means “God with us.1

   When Joseph woke up, he did as instructed and married Mary. They had no sexual relation however, until she bore a son whom he called Jesus.

2.2 In those days, Quirinius was Syrias governor, Emperor Caesar Augustus decreed the first global census. So everyone went to his hometown. Joseph with Mary heavily pregnant, left Nazareth for Bethlehem, the city of his ancestor David. There she bore her first son, wrapped in swaddles and laid in a manger, because there was no room in the inn.

Nearby, shepherds were watching their flocks all night. Suddenly the Lords glory shone around them and His angel appeared; this frightened them.

  The angel said, “Dont fear. I bring you great joy for all mankind. Today in Bethlehem,1 a Savior has been born for you; He is Christ the Lord. As a sign, you will find a baby wrapped in swaddles and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a multitude of angels joined, praising God, “Glory to God in heaven and peace on earth to men who please Him.” After the angels returned to heaven, the shepherds said, “Lets go to Bethlehem and see this event revealed to us by the Lord.”

They hurried there and found Mary, Joseph and the baby in the manger. The shepherds related what had been said about the baby. All who heard it were amazed. Mary treasured and thought about these things. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had witnessed.

2.3 The eighth day, on circumcision, the baby was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before conception. Then, after Marys purification as required by Moses law, they took Jesus as firstborn male to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, and to offer the Laws sacrifice of two doves or young pigeons.

In Jerusalem, lived a righteous and devout man named Simeon, who was constantly expecting    Israels consolation - the coming Messiah. The Holy Spirit was on him and had assured him that he would not die until he had seen the Messiah.

    Led by the Spirit into the temple when the parents had brought Jesus to fulfill the law requirements, Simeon carried him in his arms and praised God, saying, “Lord, now let your servant depart in peace as you promised. For my eyes have seen your salvation which you prepared openly before all - a light for revelation to the nations and for glory to your people Israel.” Jesus parents marveled at this saying. Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, “This child will make many fall or rise in Israel and will be a sign that many will reject, for he will expose their secret thoughts.1 Even your own soul will be pierced.”

   Prophetess Anna, daughter of Phanuel of Ashers tribe, widowed after seven years of marriage, was eighty-four years old. She worshipped day and night, fasting and praying, never leaving the temple. She came in then and overheard Simeon talking to Mary and Joseph. She thanked God for the Messiah and spoke of him to all who were expecting redemption in Jerusalem.

All law requirements fulfilled, they returned home to Nazareth in Galilee.

2.4 After Jesus birth in Bethlehem during King Herod the Greats days, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn King of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”

    Hearing this, King Herod and all Jerusalem were disturbed. So he called the chief priests and scholars and asked them where the Christ was to be born. They replied, “In Bethlehem,1 as the prophet wrote, And from you, Bethlehem, though you are small among the rulers of Judah, will come One who will be ruler over Israel.” Then Herod secretly called the wise men to ask them the exact time the star appeared.

He told them, “Find the child and report to me, that I also may go and worship Him.”

After leaving Herod, the wise men were filled with joy on again seeing the star which had risen in the east, leading them to the exact place where the child was.

    On entering the house and seeing the child with Mary, they bowed down and worshipped him. Opening their treasures, they gave him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Being warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their country by another way.

2.5 After their departure, an angel of the Lord told Joseph in another dream, saying, “Rise up, flee to Egypt with the child and Mary, till I further direct. Herod will seek the child to kill him.” Rising, Joseph took them by night, left for Egypt and stayed there until Herods death - thus fulfilling what the Lord said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt, I called My Son.”

     Herod, furious at being outwitted by the wise men, ordered all male children two years old and under killed in Bethlehem and vicinity, born from the time he learnt from the wise men; thus fulfilling this prophecy of Jeremiah: “A great mourning is heard in Ramah, Rachel weeping for her children and could not be comforted, because they are no more.”

2.6 After Herods death, an angel instructed Joseph in a dream, “Rise and return to Israel with mother and child, for they who wanted to kill the child are dead. On rising, he obeyed. On hearing that Herods son, Archelaus, was reigning in Judea, and having been warned in another dream, he went to Nazareth in Galilee, fulfilling the prophecy that Jesus would be called a Nazarene.

There the child grew and became strong, being filled to the full with wisdom, and Gods grace was upon him.

   2.7 Yearly at Passover, his parents went to Jerusalem. When Jesus was twelve, they made the annual trip and after the feast they started for home, unaware that Jesus stayed behind. After a days journey, they searched for him in their caravan. As they couldnt find him among relatives and friends, they returned to Jerusalem. After three days, they found him in the temple among the teachers, hearing and questioning them. All who heard him were amazed at his understanding and answers. His parents were astonished to find him there, and Mary said, “Son, why have you treated us this way? We have been searching for you.”

    Jesus asked, “Why did you? Didnt you know I had to be in my Fathers house?” But what he meant escaped them. He returned with them to Nazareth and was obedient to them. Mary treasured all these events in her heart as Jesus increased in wisdom, stature and favor with God and man.

The emboldened portions in Sections 2.6 and 2.7 are for emphasis and both agree that Jesus grew up in the then usual Jewish tradition, learning two trades. In his case, carpentry1 and the priesthood. While he was daily being filled with wisdom and growing in the favor and grace of both God and man, until he reached the fullness of both disciplines at thirty years, when the Jewish priesthood could commence. It took that long, eighteen years, to achieve excellence in both fields.2

 

3

PREPARATION FOR MINISTRY

  3.1 In the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesars reign, when Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod Antipas ruler of Galilee, his brother Philip, that of Iturea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias that of Abilene. During the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, Gods word came to John the Baptist, Zechariahs son, in the desert. John wore camels hair and a leather waist belt. His food was locusts and wild honey. Throughout the Jordan River basin, he preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins saying, “Repent, for Gods Kingdom is near,” as the prophet Isaiah wrote:

     “The voice of one crying in the desert: Prepare the Lords way, straighten his path. Every valley will be filled and every high place leveled. Crooked places will be straightened, rough places smoothened, and all humanity will see Gods salvation.

The crowds coming from Jerusalem, Judea and all around Jordan for baptism and confessing their sins included Pharisees and Sadducees. John told them, “You breed1 of snakes! Who warned you to escape the coming wrath? Produce fruit of repentance. Dont excuse yourself by saying Abraham is our father.2 I say that God can raise children for Abraham from these stones.3 The axe of Gods judgment is poised ready to cut down4 for burning, the root of every tree not producing good fruit.”

     The crowd asked, “What shall we do?”

John answered, “Share your clothing and food with those who are needy.”

Tax collectors5 coming for baptism asked, “Master, what shall we do?” “Collect only what you should.” John answered.

Soldiers also asked, “What shall we do?” He replied,  “Dont intimidate or blackmail. Be content with your wages,”

Many people pondered expectantly if John might be the Christ. John answered them, “I baptize you with water, but One6 greater than I is coming, whose sandals Im unworthy to loosen. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand to thresh and store the wheat in his barn, and burn the chaff with unquenchable fire.” He taught and preached, among other things, the good news as well.

  3.2 Then Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee asking to be baptized. John protested, saying, “I need to be baptized by you instead. Why come to me?”

Jesus said, “Let it be so for now to fulfill all righteousness.”

After baptism, when Jesus was coming out of the water, praying,1 the heavens opened and John saw2 Gods Spirit descend bodily like a dove upon Jesus, and a voice from heaven3 said, “This is My Son, My Beloved, in whom I am well pleased.” Jesus started teaching at about thirty years of age.4

  3.3 When Jewish priests and Levites delegation from Jerusalem asked John who he was, he confessed, “Im not the Messiah.” “Are you Elijah?” they asked.

“No,” he replied. “Are you the prophet?” “No,” he answered. “Who then are you? We must inform those who sent us. Tell us about yourself,” they continued.

He replied, “Im just a voice crying in the wilderness, Prepare for the Lords coming, as prophet Isaiah said.” Then those sent by the Pharisees asked, “If you arent the Messiah, Elijah or the prophet, why do you baptize?”

   John said, “I baptize with water, but One stands unknown among you. He is the coming One,1 whose sandals Im unfit to loosen.”

This happened in Bethany beyond Jordan where John was baptizing.

The next day John saw Jesus approaching and said, “See, Gods Lamb2 who takes away the worlds sin!   I meant him when I said, One greater than I is coming, who existed before me. I didnt know him, but I came baptizing with water to reveal him to Israel.” John witnessed, “I saw3 the Spirit descend from heaven as a dove and rest on him. I didnt know him, but the One who sent me to baptize said, The One on whom the Spirit descends and remains is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit. This I saw and I testify that he is the Son of God.”

  3.4 Immediately Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was Spirit-led into the desert among wild beasts. There he fasted and was tempted by Satan for forty days and nights, after which he was hungry. Satan said, “If you are Gods Son, tell this stone to become bread.”

Jesus replied, “It is written, Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from   Gods mouth.

    Then lifting him to a high mountain, Satan showed him, in an instant, all the worlds kingdoms and told him, “I will give you all this authority1 and their glory, for they are mine to give to whomever I please.

Worship me and they will be yours.”

Jesus answered, “It is written, Worship the Lord your God and serve only Him.”

Then Satan led him to the temples gable in Jerusalem and said, “If you are Gods Son, throw yourself down, for it is written, He will command his angels to protect and carry you lest your foot hits a stone.”

Jesus replied, “It also says, Do not test the Lord your God.

   His temptations ended, Satan departed for a time, and angels came and served Jesus.

4

BEGINNING OF MINISTRY

  4.1 The next day, John with two of his disciples saw Jesus passing by and said, “See, the Lamb1 of God.” Hearing this, the disciples followed Jesus who turned around and asked, “What do you want?” They said, “Teacher, where are you staying?”

“Come and see,” he said. So they went with him and spent that day with him, since it was about four in the afternoon. One of these two was Andrew who found his brother Simon Peter and told him, “We have found the Messiah - Christ.” Then he brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, “You are Simon, Johns son, from now youll be called Peter.”

    The next day before Jesus left for Galilee, he found Philip,2 who like Andrew and Peter, was from Bethsaida, and told him, “Follow me.” Philip found Nathanael and told him, “Weve found him of whom Moses3 and the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, son of Joseph.” “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” Philip replied.

Jesus saw Nathanael coming and said, “See, a true Israelite, a man without deceit!” Nathanael asked, “How do you know4 me?”

Jesus replied, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Nathanael replied, “Master, You are Gods Son and Israels king!”

    Jesus asked, “Do you believe because I said I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than that.” He added, “Truly, you will see heaven open and Gods angels ascending and descending on the Son of man.”

4.2 On the third day, Jesus, his mother and disciples were guests at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. When the wine finished, Jesus mother came to him saying, “They have no more wine.”

“Why involve me? My hour hasnt yet come.1 Jesus replied. Then she told the servants, “Do whatever he says.” Six water-pots used for ceremonial washing were there, each holding about twenty to thirty gallons.

    Jesus told them, “Fill them with water.” So they did. Then he said, “Bring some out and take to the headwaiter.” When the headwaiter tasted the water now turned wine, not knowing its source, he called the bridegroom over and said, “Everyone serves the choice wine first and when the people have well drunk, then the cheaper. You saved the best until now.”

This was the first of the signs by which Jesus revealed his glory and his disciples believed in him. Then with his mother, brothers and disciples, Jesus went to Capernaum for a few days.

  4.3 As the Jewish Passover approached, Jesus went to Jerusalem. There in the temple1 he found those selling cattle, sheep and doves, and moneychangers. Making a whip from cords, he expelled them: men, sheep and cattle, overturned their tables and scattered their coins. To dove sellers he said, “Take these out! Stop making my Fathers house a marketplace.” Then his disciples remembered the scripture, “Zeal for Your house will consume me,” The Jews challenged Jesus, “What sign2 can you show us for your action?”

Jesus replied, “Destroy3 this temple and Ill raise it in three days.” They said, “It took forty-six years to build this temple and you can raise it in three days?” But Jesus meant the temple of his body. After his resurrection, the disciples remembered this his saying and believed scripture and his words.

   While he was in Jerusalem for Passover,4 many believed in his name because of the miracles he performed. However, Jesus didnt trust them, for he knew all men, and didnt need mans witness about man.

4.4 Nicodemus,1 a Pharisee and Jewish ruler, came to Jesus one night and said, “Master, we know that you are a teacher from God, for the signs you perform cant be done except with God.”

Jesus answered, Truly, unless one is reborn2 from above, one cant see Gods kingdom. Nicodemus said, “How can an adult re-enter his mothers womb and be reborn?”

    Jesus replied, “Truly, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cant enter Gods kingdom.3 Mankind reproduces by flesh, but the Spirit gives birth, spirit to spirit. Dont be shocked by my saying you must be born again from above. The wind blows where it pleases and you hear it, but you do not know its origin or destination. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” “How can these happen?” Nicodemus answered.

Jesus said, “You, an Israeli teacher, dont know these things? Truly, we speak and testify to what we know and have seen, and our testimony you dont accept.

     When I talk of earthly things and you dont believe, how can you believe when I talk about heavenly things? No one has ever ascended into heaven except the One who descended from heaven - the Son of man. As Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must I be lifted4 up, that everyone believing in me may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. God did not send His Son to condemn, but through him to save the world. Whoever believes in him escapes judgment; but the unbeliever stands condemned, because he doesnt believe in the name of Gods only begotten Son.

    The judgment is this: Light entered the world, but men preferred darkness because their works were evil. Evildoers hate the light, avoiding it because it reproves their works. Whoever practices truth wants light on it, so that it may be clear that his works have been done through God.”

4.5 Afterwards, Jesus and his disciples went to Judea and baptized people there. Meanwhile John the Baptist was baptizing many in Aenon near Salim, where water was plentiful. (This was before John was imprisoned.) Some of Johns disciples argued with Jews about ceremonial washing. They came to him, saying, “Master, the one you testified about is baptizing across the Jordan, and everyone is going to him.”  John replied, “Each mans role is given from heaven.

   You know I said I am not the Christ but his predecessor. The bride belongs to the bridegroom.

The bestman stands by listening and rejoicing on hearing the bridegrooms voice, and so my joy is complete. He must increase; I must decrease.

“He who is of the earth speaks of earthly things. He who comes from heaven is above all, and witnesses to what he has seen and heard, but none believes. He who believes him affirms Gods truthfulness, for His emissary1 speaks Gods words. Him, God gives the Spirit without limit. Him, God loves and gives all authority. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever disobeys him will not see life, but Gods wrath rests upon such a person.”

    4.6 When the Lord learnt that the Pharisees heard that he was gaining and baptizing more followers than John, though actually the disciples did the baptizing, he left Judea and returned to Galilee.

When John rebuked Herod the tetrarch for his affair with Herodias, his brothers wife, and other evils, Herod topped it all by imprisoning John.1

4.7 Jesus had to pass through Samaria and came to Sychar about mid-day. Weary from his journey, he sat down by Jacobs well near the land he gave his son Joseph. His disciples had gone to town to buy food.

   A Samaritan woman came for water, and Jesus asked her for a drink. The woman asked Jesus, “How can you, a Jew, ask a Samaritan woman for water.” (For Jews dont deal with Samaritans.1)

Jesus answered, “If you knew Gods gift and who I am, you would ask me for living water.”

She replied, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water and the well is deep. From where will you get this living water? Are you greater than our forefather Jacob, who gave us this well from which he, his family and animals drank?”

Jesus replied, “He who drinks this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks the water I give will never thirst again. It will become a fountain within, springing into eternal life.”

    She said, “Sir, give me this thirst-quenching water so I dont have to come here again.”

Jesus answered, “Go get your husband.” “I have none,” she replied.

“Yes, in fact, for youve had five, and the one you now have isnt your husband,” he said. She replied, “Sir, I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshipped on this mountain, why do you Jews say people must worship in Jerusalem?

Jesus replied, “Believe me, woman, an hour is coming when youll neither worship here nor in Jerusalem. You worship ignorantly, we worship knowledgeably, for salvation is from the Jews. Now is the hour when true worshippers, whom the Father seeks, will worship in spirit and truth, for God is Spirit.”

   “I know that the Christ, Messiah, is coming to explain everything to us,” she replied.

4.8 “I1 (the one speaking to you) am the Christ,        Messiah,” declared Jesus.

4.9 His disciples, on returning, marveled at his talking with the woman, but didnt ask why, or what he wanted. Leaving her water-pot, the woman returned to town to tell the people, “Come see a man who told me everything I did. Could this be the Christ?” So they came out of town to him.

    Meanwhile the disciples urged Jesus to eat. But he said, “I have food you know nothing about.” While still asking themselves if someone had brought him food, he said, “My food is to do the will of, and finish the work of Him who sent me. Dont say it is yet four months before harvest.1 I say, open your eyes and see that the fields are ready for harvest. Already, he who reaps receives wages and gathers fruit into eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together, confirming the saying that one sows, and another reaps. I sent you to reap that for which you didnt work. Others did the work, and you benefit from of their labor.”

    Many Samaritans2 believed in him because of the womans testimony, “He told me everything I did.” The Samaritans urged him to stay with them. He stayed two days, and many more believed because of his word. This they told the woman, “We believe, not because of your report. Now weve heard him and do know he is truly this worlds Savior.” After the two days, Jesus left for Galilee.

 

5

GREAT MINISTRY IN GALILEE

5.1 Jesus returned to Galilee in the Holy Spirits power, after Johns imprisonment, preaching the good news of Gods kingdom, saying, “The time has come.  Gods kingdom is near. Repent and believe the good news.” His fame spread throughout the region, and all praised him as he taught in their synagogues.

5.2 Though Jesus often said that a prophet has no honor in his own country, the Galileans welcomed him, having seen the great things he did at the Passover1 feast. He visited Cana in Galilee where he had turned water into wine. A nobleman, whose son was ill in Capernaum, on hearing that Jesus had returned from Judea, came and asked him to come and heal his dying son.

   Jesus told him, “Without signs and wonders you people wont believe!” He replied, “Sir, come before he dies.”

Jesus replied, “Go, your son lives.2” He believed and left. Servants met him and said his son was alive. On his inquiring when, they said, “the fever left him at one in the afternoon yesterday.” Then the father knew it was the exact hour3 that Jesus said, “Your son lives.” So he and all his household believed.

This was Jesus second miracle after leaving Judea for Galilee.

5.3 Coming to Nazareth, where he grew up, Jesus went into the synagogue on the Sabbath as usual.

He stood and read from the scroll of Isaiah given to him, after finding this passage,

“The Lords Spirit has anointed me,

to preach good news to the poor,

to heal the broken-hearted,

to proclaim freedom to captives,

the recovery of sight to the blind,

to release the oppressed,

and to proclaim the year of the Lords favor.”

All eyes were on him as he finished and sat down. Then he said, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your ears.” Everyone praised him, and the words1 of grace that came from his mouth amazed them, and they asked, “Isnt2 this Josephs son?”

Jesus said, “Surely you will quote me this proverb, Physician,3 heal yourself, do here at home what we heard you did in Capernaum. Truly, no prophet is accepted in his hometown.

   In Elijahs day, during the three-and-a-half year severe famine, he wasnt sent to the many widows here in Israel, but to a widow in Zarephath of Sidon. And of many lepers in Israel during Elishas time, none was cleansed but Naaman the Syrian.” Jesus words enraged all the synagogue. They rose and took him out to the edge of the hill on which the town was built in order to push him off, but he escaped from their midst.4

5.4 He then moved from Nazareth to live in Capernaum by the Galilean Sea, fulfilling what was spoken by Isaiah, “Land of Zebulun and Naphtali, by the sea beyond the Jordan, internationalized Galilee,  the people sitting in darkness saw a great light; on those sitting in the land and shadow of death, a light shone.”

  5.5 One time, as Jesus stood by the Galilean Sea,       a crowd pressed for Gods word. He saw two boats shored by fishermen who were washing their nets, and got into the one owned by Simon and asked him to push offshore a little. From there, he sat down and taught the people. When he finished, he told Peter, “Row into the deep and lower your nets1 for a catch!” Simon answered, “Master, we fished hard all night and caught nothing,2 but because you say so, I will try again.” As they did, they caught so much fish their nets tore. They signaled for help from their partners in the other boat, who then came and filled both boats to the point of sinking.

     Seeing this, Simon Peter fell at Jesus knees, saying, “Leave me, Lord; Im a sinful man,” For he, his team, and James and John, Zebedees sons who were his partners, were amazed at the huge catch.

Jesus said to Peter, “Dont fear, from now on you will be fishers of men.” Immediately, they, Andrew inclusive, beached their boats, left all and followed him.3 Further on, he saw Zebedees sons, James and John in their boat mending nets. Immediately he called them, they left4 their father Zebedee in the boat with hired men and followed5 Jesus.

  5.6 Reaching Capernaum, Jesus taught on a Sabbath with such authority, unusual with scholars, as amazed the people. In the synagogue a man with an unclean spirit cried out, “What is between you and us, Jesus of Nazareth, our destruction? I know who you are, Gods Holy One!1

Jesus commanded, “Be quiet! Come out!” Throwing the man violently, the demon screamed and came out harmless. Amazed onlookers asked themselves, “What a new teaching? With authority2 and power, he commands demons and they obey!” His fame spread throughout Galilee area.

5.7 Leaving the synagogue, Jesus, James and John went to Andrew and Peters house, where Peters mother-in-law was in bed with high fever. On hearing this, Jesus went to her, rebuked the fever and pulled her up by the hand. The fever left, and instantly she rose and served them.

That evening, the whole city brought all the sick and demon-possessed to Peters house. With a word Jesus healed all1 who had various diseases, thus fulfilling Isaiahs prophecy: “He took our infirmities and carried our diseases.2 He cast out many demons which shouted, “You are Gods Son.” And he forbade them speak, because they knew him to be the Christ.                          

5.8 Jesus rose long before daybreak, went to the desert and prayed.1 Simon and the other followers searched for him and on finding him, said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.”

Jesus replied, “Lets visit some neighboring towns to preach Gods kingdom, it is for this purpose2 I came.” Jesus traveled throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of Gods kingdom and healing all kinds of sicknesses and diseases3 among the people. His reputation spread up to Syria. They brought to him those with many diseases and torments; the demon-possessed, the insane, the epileptic and paralytic. He healed them all.4

Huge crowds, from Galilee throughout Judea to beyond Jordan, followed him.

5.9 In one city, a leper came on his knees and begged him, “If you are willing, you can1 cleanse me.” Compassionately, Jesus touched him, saying, “Im willing. Be clean.” Instantly, the leprosy was cured. Jesus dismissed him, saying, “Dont publicize this. Instead, show yourself to the priest and make the offering as Moses commanded, for a testimony.” But he went spreading the news2 so freely, that Jesus could no longer enter a town openly. Jesus stayed in the countryside, yet people came to him from everywhere to hear him and be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to the desert and prayed.3

       5.10 Some days later, he returned home to Capernaum. Pharisees and scholars from every village in Galilee through Judea and Jerusalem sat that no room remained, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them and the Lords power was present with him to heal. Four men carried a paralytic to him, but were unable to penetrate the crowd. They removed some roof covering, made an opening and lowered the stretcher before Jesus. Seeing their faith, he said, “Cheer up, son, your sins are forgiven.”1

Certain scribes and Pharisees were thinking within themselves, “Why does he talk like this? He blasphemes! Who, but God, can forgive2 sins!”

   Jesus, inwardly knowing3 their thoughts asked, “Why are you thinking such evil? Which is easier to tell the paralytic, Your sins are forgiven, or, Rise, take up your bed and walk?4 To let you know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins, I say, Rise! Take up your bed and go home.

Immediately he rose, took his bed and walked out before all. The amazed crowd praised God, saying, “We have never seen5 such!” They glorified God for giving such authority6 to men.

5.11 He went again to the seaside, where great crowds gathered around him and he taught them. Departing, Jesus saw Matthew Levi, son of Alphaeus, sitting at the tax collectors booth. Jesus told him, “Follow me!” He rose, left all and followed1 Jesus. Later, Matthew hosted a great dinner for Jesus and his disciples, where many tax collectors and sinners sat and ate. The Pharisees and scribes asked the disciples, “Why does your master and you eat with tax men and sinners?”2

Jesus overheard them and replied, “Its not the healthy, but the sick, who need doctors. Go and learn what this means, I desire mercy3 and not sacrifice. I didnt come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

  5.12 Johns disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. They came to Jesus asking, “Why dont your disciples also pray and fast often as we do, they always eat and drink?”1

Jesus replied, “Should wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is around? They shouldnt. Days are coming when the bridegroom will be taken from them. Then they will fast. No one uses an unshrunken patch on an old garment, lest the patch tears away and the tear worsens. Nor do men put new wine into old wineskins which would burst, wasting both wine and container. Putting new wine into new container preserves both. And no one drinking old wine wants the new, for he says, The old is better.

  5.13 Later, Jesus visited Jerusalem for a Jewish feast. Near the sheep gate is the Bethesda pool having five porches, there  many sick lay. The blind, the lame and the deformed lay waiting for the moving of the water. Jesus saw and learnt about one, who had been invalid for thirty-eight years, and asked him, “Do you want healing?” He replied, “Sir, I have nobody to help me into the pool, when it is stirred, (supposedly by an angel who heals only the first entrant) someone always enters before me.”

Jesus said, “Rise! Take your mat and walk!1 Instantly the man was cured, and he walked, carrying his mat. Jews reminded him, “Its the Sabbath, the law forbids you to carry your mat.” He replied, “The man who healed me said, Take your mat and walk.” They  asked, “Who said that?” But he didnt know, for Jesus had withdrawn from the crowd there.

    Later Jesus found him in the temple and said,” See, you are healed, stop sinning or something worse may befall you.” The man left and told the Jews that it was Jesus who healed him. So the Jews persecuted Jesus because he did this on the Sabbath. He replied, “My Father works till now and I work.2 This made the Jews more desirous of killing him; he not only broke the Sabbath but also called God his own Father, making himself equal3 with God.

Jesus replied, Truly, the Son cannot do anything except what he sees the Father doing.4 The Father loves the Son and shows him all that He does. To your surprise, He will show him greater works than these. As the Father raises and gives life to the dead, so the Son gives life to anyone he pleases.

    For, the Father has entrusted all judgment to the Son, so all may honor5 the Son as they honor the Father. He who doesnt honor the Son, doesnt honor the Father who sent him. Truly I say, he who hears my word and believes Him who sent me, has passed from death and judgment to eternal life. Yes, an hour will come soon, when the dead who will hear my voice will live.6 For as the Father possesses life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in himself. As the Son of man, he has authority given him to judge. Dont marvel at this, in a future hour, all in the graves will hear his voice and come out. Those who did good will rise to life; those who did evil will rise to judgment.

    I can do nothing on mine own. I judge as I hear. My judgment is just, because I do my Fathers will, and I dont seek to please myself. My testimony concerning myself is not enough. Another bears witness of me, which witness I know is true. Youve asked John the Baptist and he has testified to the truth.7 Not that mans testimony is acceptable to me, but through it you may be saved. John was a shining lamp which you enjoyed for a time. The works8 the Father gave me to complete are greater testimony of me than John, and confirm that the Father sent me, which the Father Himself witnesses of me.

    Youve never heard His voice9 nor seen His form, nor is His word in you, for you dont believe in the One He sent. You search the scriptures which testify about me, supposing by them you have eternal life. Yet you wont come to me to have life. I dont accept mens praises,10 but I know you, and Gods love isnt in you. Ive come in my Fathers name, and you reject me, but another coming in his own name you will accept. How can you believe when you receive praise, one from another, and not from the only God?

       Dont think I will accuse you before the Father. Moses11 whom you trust is your accuser. If you believed him, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. Since you dont believe his words, how will you believe mine?”12

5.14 On a Sabbath, Jesus and his disciples were walking through a cornfield. His disciples were hungry, and they plucked, rubbed with hands, and ate some corn. Seeing this, the Pharisees said to Jesus, “See, your disciples are breaking the Sabbath.”

Jesus replied, “Havent you read that when David and his companions were hungry, they entered the temple, when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the consecrated bread, so permitted only to priests? Or how on Sabbath days, working temple priests break the Sabbath and yet are innocent? I tell you, One greater than the temple is here. Had you known what this scripture means, I desire mercy1 and not sacrifice, you wouldnt have condemned the innocent. For the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath: the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

5.15 On another Sabbath, he taught in the synagogues and a man with shrunken right hand was there. The scribes and Pharisees, wanting to accuse him, watched closely if Jesus would heal on the Sabbath1 and asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” Knowing their thoughts,2 Jesus said to the handicapped, “Rise to the middle.” He did. Then Jesus asked them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or evil, to save or destroy life? If your sheep falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you rescue it? How much more valuable a man is than a sheep. So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.3 He glanced around in anger and grief at their hard hearts, then said to the man, “Stretch your hand!” He did and it was fully restored like the other.

   These religious leaders were angry and discussed what to do with Jesus. The Pharisees left and immediately with Herodians plotted how to kill Jesus.

5.16 Jesus knew1 their plans and left. Many followed him and he healed them all.2 Jesus and his disciples   withdrew to   the  seashore.   Crowds   from   Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, across the Jordan and around Tyre  and Sidon heard of his works3 and came to him. Because the crowds pressed against him, he asked the disciples to keep a small boat near, lest they crush him. Because he had healed many,4 those with diseases were falling over to touch him. Unclean spirits fell down before him, crying, “You are the Son of God.”

  But he forbade their making him known. That the saying of prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled, “Behold My chosen servant, My beloved in whom My soul delights. I will put My Spirit on him and he will announce judgment to the world. He wont argue, shout or be heard in the streets. He wont break a bruised reed or quench a smoldering wick, until justice is victorious. In his name, will the world trust.”

5.17 One day, Jesus went up the mountain and spent all night praying1 to God. At dawn, he called his followers and chose the twelve he named apostles, who were to be with him that he might send them to preach and to expel demons.2 The twelve were: Simon Peter, Zebedees sons James and John - whom he nicknamed Boanerges, meaning “sons of Thunder”- Andrew, Peters brother, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus3 or Judas4 of James, Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, the betrayer.

 

6

INITIAL TRAINING  OF THE TWELVE

6.1 Jesus descended with them and stood on a level place. A great crowd of followers and a huge multitude from Judea, Jerusalem, Tyre and Sidon came to hear him and be healed. Many with evil spirits were healed. Everyone wanted to touch him, because power was coming from him, healing them all.1 Seeing the crowd, he climbed the mountain. Seated, he began teaching his disciples:

6.2 Blessed are all these;

The poor in spirit, for theirs is Gods kingdom.

Those who mourn, will be comforted.

Those who are humble, will inherit the earth.

Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,

will be satisfied.

Those who show mercy, will receive mercy.

Those with pure hearts, will see God.

Those who are peacemakers, will be called children of  God.

Those persecuted for righteousness sake ,will inherit the kingdom of heaven.

You, those insulted, persecuted and slandered for my sake; rejoice and be glad, your heavenly reward will be great, for so their fathers treated prophets before you.”

      “Woe to all these;

The rich, for you have received your comfort.

The well-fed, for you will hunger.

You who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep.   You, the well-spoken of, for so their fathers praised the false prophets of old.”

6.3 “You are the earths preserving salt,1 if the salt loses taste, how will it regain saltiness? Such salt is good only for disposal and for stepping on. You are the worlds light. A hilltop city cannot be hidden. Neither is already lit candle2 hidden under a bowl. It is placed on a holder to give its light to those in the house. Let your light so shine for all to see your good works, and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

   “Do not think I came to destroy the law or the prophets, but to fulfill them. Truly, not one dot of the law will pass away until all is fulfilled. Anyone breaking the least of the commandments and teaching others to do so, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. Anyone obeying them and teaching others to do so, will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses the hypocrisy of Pharisees and scribes, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

6.4 “You have heard for ages, Do not kill, or you will be judged. But I say, whoever is angry with his brother must stand trial; and whoever calls his brother a fool must face the court, or whoever says, You idiot, is in danger of hell fire.

  Therefore, if while bringing your gift to the altar you remember that a brother has something against you, first go and make peace with your brother. Then return and offer your gift. Settle1 quickly with your opponent out of court, lest the judge convicts you to imprisonment until youve paid the last coin.”

“You have heard it said, Do not commit adultery. But I say, whoever looks at a woman lustfully, commits adultery in his heart. If your right eye lures you to sin, pluck and cast it out. Better one part perishes than the entire body be cast into hell. If your right hand causes you to sin, cut and throw it away. Better lose a hand than your entire body going into hell.”

“It was also said, Whoever divorces his wife should give her a letter of divorce. But I say, whoever divorces his wife except for fornication makes her an adulteress, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. And a woman divorcing her husband and marrying another commits adultery.”      “Again youve heard it said to the ancients, You shall not break oaths, but keep your oaths to the  Lord. But I say, dont swear at all: either by heaven, it is Gods throne, or by earth, it is His footstool, nor by Jerusalem, it is the great Kings city. Neither swear by your head, you cannot make one hair2 white or black. Let your answers be Yes or No. Anything more is of evil.”
       “You have heard it said, Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth. But I say, do not resist evil. To anyone who hits you on the right cheek, turn the other. And to anyone suing for your shirt, give also your coat. Should someone co-opt you for a mile, go two. Give to whoever asks you, and do not refuse the borrower.” “You have heard it said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies and pray for your persecutors, so you will be sons of your heavenly Father, who makes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and the rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
       If you love only those who love you, what reward have you? Even tax collectors do. If you greet only your brethren, what merit have you? Even unbelievers do. If you lend to those who do so in return, what is your reward? Even sinners do this expecting in return.  But love your enemies, do good and lend expecting no return, and your reward will be great as sons of God Most High; for He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be both perfect and merciful like your heavenly Father.”

6.5 “Be careful not to do your good works for show,1 or you will have no reward from your heavenly Father. When you give to charity, dont blow your horn, as hypocrites do in synagogues and streets to be praised of men. This is their reward. When you give alms, dont let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so your giving may be in secret, and your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you. When you pray, dont be like hypocrites who love to pray publicly to be seen by men. Truly, so doing they have received their reward. Instead go into your room, shut the door, pray to your Father secretly, and He who sees in secret will repay you openly. While praying, do not speak empty words like unbelievers do, who think their many words will make them be heard. Dont be like them; God your Father knows all you need, even  before you ask Him.”
6.6 “Pray like this:1

Our Heavenly Father,

Honor to Your name,

Your kingdom come,

Your will be done on earth as in heaven,

Give us today our bread for everyday,

Forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors,

Keep us from temptation and deliver us from evil,

For Yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory, 

For ever and ever, Amen.”
       “Your heavenly Father will forgive2 you, if you forgive others their sins. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father forgive you.  When fasting, dont wear sad looks and long faces as hypocrites do, so everyone sees they are fasting. So doing, they have received their reward. Instead, anoint your head and wash your face, so no one knows besides your Father, who is and who sees in secret, and He will reward you openly.

6.7 Do not store up earthly treasures.1 These can be  destroyed by moth and rust or be stolen. Store your treasures in heaven where such losses do not occur.  Where your treasure is, there also your heart will be.

The eye is the bodys lamp.2 If your eye is holy, your whole body will be shining. If your eye is evil, your whole body will be dark. If darkness is your light, how great indeed is your bodys darkness. No one can serve two masters. Either he hates one and loves the other, or reveres one and despises the other; you cannot serve God and riches.3

         So I tell you, dont worry4 about your needs for food, drink, shelter and clothe. Isnt life more important than food, and body more than clothe. See how your heavenly Father cares for the birds, yet you are far more valuable. Anxiety cannot add half a yard to ones stature. Why worry for clothing? Consider the lilies,5 how they grow without laboring. Even Solomon in all his glory was not better clothed. Therefore, if God so decorates the transient fields with such beauty, wont He even clothe you the more? O you of little faith.
Dont worry about how all your daily needs will be met, nor pursue them as unbelievers do. Your heavenly Father knows your needs. Seek first Gods kingdom6 and His righteousness, and He will add all these things to you. Let tomorrow worry about itself. Each day has enough evil of its own.
       6.8 Do not judge and you wont be judged; do not condemn and you wont be condemned; forgive and you will be forgiven; give and gifts will be given you in good measure,1 pressed down, well shaken and overflowing, just as you have measured to others.2 Jesus spoke this parable: “Can the blind3 lead the blind? Wont both fall into a pit? A disciple is not above his teacher,4 but everyone who is perfect will be like his teacher.” Why look at the speck in your brothers eye and say, Let me remove it, when you overlook the log in your own eye? You hypocrite! First remove the log from your own eye, then you will see clearly to remove the speck from his.”
  “Dont give what is sacred to the dogs, nor throw your pearls to pigs, lest they trample them pearls underfoot and then tear you up.”

6.9 “Ask,1 for everyone who asks receives. Seek, for everyone who seeks finds. Knock, for surely the door will be opened to you.” “If your son asks for bread, will you give him stone? Or if he asks for fish, will you give him snake? If you evil men know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask2 Him?”

       6.10 THE GOLDEN RULE IS: “Deal with others1 as you would want them to deal with you. This is the law and the prophets.”

6.11 a “Enter through the narrow1 gate, for wide is the gate and broad the way leading to destruction, and many go in. Narrow are both the gate and the way leading to eternal life, and only few find it.

b Beware of false prophets who are hungry wolves disguised as sheep. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?

    c So it is, that good trees produce only good fruit, and bad trees only bad fruit. Trees that dont produce good fruit are cut down and burnt. Therefore, by their fruits you will know them.

The good man brings good things out of the good stored in his heart,2 and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored in his heart. For from the abundance of his heart, his mouth speaks.”

d “Not everyone who calls me, Lord, Lord! will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does my heavenly Fathers will. In that day many will say, Lord, have we not prophesied and expelled demons and done many wonders in your name? But I will reply, I never knew you. Depart from me, evildoers!

         Whoever hears my sayings and does them is like a wise man who built his house on a rock, which house withstood floods and windstorms. One who only hears without obeying is like a foolish man who built his on sand; and rain, wind and floods easily destroyed the house.”
       When Jesus concluded his address, the people were amazed at his teaching, for he taught with authority,3 not quoting like scholars. As he came down the hillside, great crowds followed.
       6.12 Then Jesus went to Capernaum where a  captains dear servant was ill, paralyzed and near death. The officer sent Jewish elders to beg Jesus to come and heal his servant. The elders pleaded, saying, “This man deserves your help, because he loves our nation and built us a synagogue.” Jesus accompanied them, but as they neared the house, the captain sent friends saying, “Lord, dont trouble yourself. Im unworthy to receive you or to come to you. Just speak the word and my servant will be healed. I, too, am under authority, with soldiers under my authority, who obey my orders to Go, or Come, and when I command my orderly, Do this, he does.”

Jesus marveled at the mans message, turned to those following and said, “Truly, I havent found such great faith in Israel. Many will come from the east and west to sit1 with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the heavenly kingdom; while the supposed sons of the kingdom,2 will be banished to outer darkness, where there will be tears and torment.”

        Jesus replied the captain, “Go, it will be done to you as you believe.3 The messengers returned to the centurions house and found the servant healed that very hour.4

6.13 The next day, Jesus with his disciples went to Nain and a multitude followed. Approaching the town gate, he saw a widows only son dead, being carried out, and a large crowd of townspeople with her. Jesus felt compassion for her and said, “Dont cry.” Then he came and touched the coffin and the bearers stopped. He said, “Young man, I tell you, arise!” The dead sat up and began speaking. Jesus then gave him to his mother.

       Everyone feared and praised God, saying that, “A great prophet has risen among us. God has visited His people.”1 This news spread throughout Judea and all the region.

6.14 When John the Baptist heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent two disciples to ask him, “Are you the expected Messiah, or do we look for another?”

       Jesus replied, “Report to John all youve just seen and heard: the blind seeing, the lame walking, lepers cleansed and the deaf hearing; the dead raised and the good news preached to the poor.1 Blessed is the one who doesnt lose his faith in me.2

               As Johns disciples left, Jesus spoke to the crowd about him. “What did you go into the desert to see? A wind-blown reed? A man dressed in fine clothing? See, those who dress luxuriously are in kings palaces. A prophet? Yes, a prophet and more.  For John is the one of whom this is written, Behold, I send My messenger and he will prepare the way before Me. Truly, John is greater than anyone born of women, yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. Since his time until now, the heavenly kingdom was being invaded by forceful men. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. If you will accept it, he is Elijah who was to come. Whoever has ears, let him hear.”
    All the people and tax collectors3 praised God when they heard this, for they were baptized by John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God for themselves not having been baptized. “How do I compare this generation? Like kids seated in the marketplace calling one another, We played wedding music but you didnt dance. We played funeral music but you didnt mourn. For John came neither eating nor drinking and you say, He is crazy. The Son of man came eating and drinking4 and you say, See, a gluttonous wine drinker, tax collectors and sinners friend. Wisdom is justified by her result.”

6.15 Then Jesus began to reprove the unrepentant cities where he did numerous miracles: “Woe1 to Chorazin and Bethsaida! If the miracles done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. On judgment day, it will be more tolerable for them than for you. And you Capernaum, exalted to heaven, shall descend into hell. If the miracles done in you were done in Sodom, it will still be standing today. Yes, Sodom will be better off on judgment day than you.”

At that time Jesus prayed, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for hiding these things from the wise and intelligent and revealing them to babes, for so it pleased2 you. My Father has entrusted all to me. Only He knows the Son and only the Son knows Him, as do only those to whom the Son reveals Him. Come to me. all you labor-burdened ones and I will give you rest. Take my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

       6.16 One of the Pharisees invited Jesus for dinner. When a certain sinful woman in town heard Jesus was there, she brought an alabaster box of perfume and stood at his feet while he reclined. She wept much unto his feet and kept wiping them with her hair and kissing them while anointing1 them with the perfume. But the Pharisee thought, “If Jesus were a prophet he would have known2 this woman is sinful.” Jesus said, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” The Pharisee replied, “Say it, Teacher.” “Two men owed a certain creditor, one owed five hundred daily wages, the other fifty. As they couldnt pay, he forgave both. Which of them will love him more?” Simon replied, “I suppose the one he forgave the more.”

   Jesus said, “Correct.” Turning to the woman, he said to Simon, “See this woman? When I arrived, you didnt give me water for my feet, but she washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did   not kiss me, but she has continuously kissed my feet  fervently. You didnt anoint my head with oil, but she anointed my feet with perfume. Therefore, I say her many sins are forgiven, for she loves much, but whoever is forgiven little loves little.” Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.3 Other guests asked themselves, “Who is this that even forgives4 sins?”

Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith5 has saved you, go in peace.”

       6.17 Soon afterwards, Jesus traveled through every city and village, preaching Gods1 kingdom. The twelve accompanied him, and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and diseases2 - Mary Magdalene, delivered from seven demons;3 Joanna, wife of Chuza, Herods manager; Susanna and many others who supported them from their own purse.

6.18 They entered a house and crowds gathered again so much that they couldnt even eat. When his friends heard this, they came to take him home, for they said, “He is insane.” Then a dumb blind demon-possessed person was brought to Jesus, who restored both his speech and sight. The amazed crowds asked,”Isnt this Davids son,1 the promised Messiah?”

Hearing this, the Pharisees and scribes from Jerusalem said, “This man expels demons by Beelzebub, prince of devils.”2

       Jesus, knowing3 their thoughts, said to them, “How can Satan cast out Satan? A divided kingdom will not stand; and every city or home divided will fall. If Satan expels Satan, how will his divided kingdom stand? If by his power I expel demons, by whom do your sons expel them? Therefore, they will be your judges. But if I expel demons by Gods Spirit,then Gods kingdom is here among you.4 Or how can anyone enter a strong mans house and rob him without first binding him? They that are not   gathering5 with me are against me, scattering souls. I tell you, all sin and blasphemy,6 even that against the Son of man is forgivable, except whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit. He cannot be forgiven in this age or the age to come, and is guilty of an eternal sin. For they said, “He has a demon.”
       6.19 Either grow a good tree with good fruit or a bad tree with bad fruit, for a tree is known by its fruits.
       O breed1 of vipers, how can you speak good things out of your evilness? For your mouth reveals your hearts2 content; a good man brings out good things, and an evil man evil things. I tell you every man is accountable for his idle words and will answer for them on judgment day, when by your words3 you will be justified or condemned.”
       6.20 Then some scribes and Pharisees answered him, “Teacher, we want to see a miracle.”1
He answered, “A wicked, adulterous generation wants a sign, none will be given besides that of prophet Jonah.2 For as he was in the whales belly for three days and nights, so will the Son of man be for three days and nights in the earths belly. The men of Nineveh will stand against this generation in judgment and condemn it. They repented at Jonahs preaching, and One greater than Jonah is here. The Queen of Sheba will at the judgment rise against this generation and condemn it. For she came from the ends of the earth to hear Solomons wisdom, and One greater than Solomon is here.”
       6.21 “When an unclean spirit leaves a man,1 it passes through dry places seeking rest. Finding none, it then says, I will return to where I left. On return, it sees the house swept, furnished but vacant. Then it takes along seven other worse spirits, they enter and live there, and the mans final condition is worse than the previous. So will it be with this evil generation.”

6.22 Jesus mother and brethren sent word to him while a crowd surrounded him. He was told, “Your mother and brethren are standing outside wanting to speak to you.”

“Who are my mother and brethren?” he asked. Then pointing to his disciples, he added, “Look, my mother and brethren!  Whoever hears and does   Gods will is my brother, sister and mother.”1

       6.23 Later that day, Jesus went down to the sea. As a great crowd gathered, he got into a boat, sat down and addressed the people. He taught them much in parables, saying, “A sower went out and as he sowed, some seeds fell by the road side and birds devoured them. Other seeds fell on the rock, where shallow soil caused early growth, but they quickly dried up when the sun came. Other seeds fell among thorns, which choked them. Others fell on good soil and yielded crop, thirty, sixty and hundred times that planted. Let anyone with ears, hear me!”

6.24 The disciples asked him privately,1 “Why do you speak in parables?”

He replied, You have been granted to know the secrets of the heavenly kingdom, but they havent. Whoever has, is given more, so he has in abundance.2 Whoever hasnt, even that which he has will be taken away. This is why I use parables, so they see without perceiving, and hear without understanding. For them, Isaiahs prophecy is being fulfilled:3 You will keep hearing without understanding, and keep seeing without perceiving; for the heart of this people has become hardened and their ears dull. Their eyes and ears have been closed, so they can neither see nor hear with understanding, lest they repent and I will heal them. But blessed4 are your eyes and ears for they see and hear. Truly, many prophets and righteous men have longed to see and hear these things but didnt.”

Jesus asked, “If you dont understand this parable, how will you understand all others? Now listen to the meaning. The seed is Gods word. When anyone hears the message of the kingdom and doesnt understand, the evil one snatches away that sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the roadside. That sown upon the rock is he who immediately receives the message with joy, but it only takes temporary root. When the message causes trouble or persecution he falls away. That sown among thorns is he who hears the message, but worldly cares and the deceit of riches choke it, making it unfruitful. That sown on good soil is he who hears, accepts and understands the word. With  patience, his fruit increases thirty, sixty, a hundred times.”

       6.25 He continued, “Is a lamp1 brought in to be hidden under a bed, or put on the lamp stand? For nothing is hidden or kept secret that wont be revealed2 later. Whoever has ears, listen! Examine what you  hear, for by your own measure will you be given in return. Whoever has, will be given more,3 whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken away.”
       6.26 And he said, “Gods kingdom is like a man who scatters seed on the ground. Daily he sleeps and rises, and doesnt know how the seed sprouts and grows. Spontaneously, the earth brings fruits, first the blade, then the head, then the full corn. When it ripens, he puts in the sickle, for harvest has come.”

6.27 He taught them another parable: “The heavenly kingdom is like a man who planted good seed, but at night his enemy came and planted wheat-like grass among the wheat. As the wheat matured the wheat-like grass appeared. So the landowners men came to ask him, Sir, didnt you plant good seed, how did the grass get into it? He replied, An enemy had done this. They asked, Should we pull it out? He said, No, you might uproot the wheat with it. Let them grow together. During harvest, the reapers will first bundle the grass and burn it, then gather the wheat into my barn.

       6.28 Jesus told another parable, “The heavenly kingdom is like a mustard seed1 which a man planted. This smallest of seeds becomes greater than all herbs, growing large branches where birds nest.”

6.29 He spoke another: “The heavenly kingdom is like the yeast1 a woman mixed into three measures of flour till the whole became dough.”

Jesus spoke in parables to the crowds to fulfill the prophecy, “I will open my mouth in parables and utter things kept secret since earths beginning.” Privately,2 he explained all to his disciples.

       6.30 Leaving the crowd, Jesus went into the  house. His disciples asked, “Explain the story of the wheat-like grass in the field.”

He answered, “He that planted the good seed is the Son of man. The field is the world; the sons of the kingdom1 are the good seed. The wheat-like grass are the sons of the evil one, whom the enemy, Satan, planted. The harvest is the end of the age and the reapers are angels. As grass is gathered and burnt, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of man will send his angels to rid his kingdom of everything offensive and lawless, and cast them into fire where   there will be weeping and grinding of teeth. Then, the righteous will shine bright as the sun in their Fathers kingdom.2 Let anyone with ears hear!”

       6.31 “The heavenly kingdom is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and concealed. In his wise joy, he sold all he owned and bought the field.”

6.32 “Again, the heavenly kingdom is like a merchant seeking fine pearls. On finding one of great value, he sold all he owned and bought it.”

6.33 “Again, the heavenly kingdom is like a fishing net, trapping all sorts from the sea. Drawing it ashore filled, they potted the good and threw away the bad. So will it be at the end of the age. Angels will separate the wicked from the righteous, and cast the wicked into the fire, where there is weeping and grinding of teeth.”

       6.34 Jesus asked them, “Have you understood all these?” They replied, “Yes.”  Then he said, “Every teacher who becomes a disciple of the heavenly   kingdom   is   like a house owner who displays from his treasures, things both new and old.” Jesus left the place after telling these parables.
       6.35 That evening, seeing the crowd, he said to his disciples, “Let us cross to the other shore.” They left the crowd and took him, for he was in the boat. Other boats also accompanied him. A great storm1 rose and waves covered and filled their boat. Jesus was asleep on a cushion in the stern, so they woke him and said, “Lord, save, we are drowning, dont you care if we drown?” He rose, rebuked the wind and spoke to the sea, “Peace be still!” A great calm followed.

Jesus said, “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?”2 In fearful surprise, they asked one another, “Who is this, that even the wind and water obey him?”

       6.36 They crossed the sea to the opposite shore in the Garasenes countryside, where a demon-possessed man ran up to Jesus. The demoniac lived among tombs and, because of his fierceness, no one could tame or bind him for long, not even with chains and fetters, which he always broke. He went about night and day naked in the mountains and among tombs, crying and cutting himself with stones. He prostrated before Jesus and shouted, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?1 For Gods sake,2 dont torment me!” For Jesus was saying to him, “Come out, you unclean spirit!” Then Jesus asked, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion, for we are thousands.” And he begged Jesus not to send them out of the area. Nearby, a large herd of pigs was feeding. The demons begged Jesus, “Send us into the pigs.” Jesus granted this and the demons entered into the pigs.
       The herd, about two thousand, rushed down the cliff, plunged into the sea and drowned. Their herdsmen ran off, reporting the incident to everyone in and out of town. The people came out to see what had happened. They came to Jesus and saw the former demoniac sitting, clothed and sane, and they were afraid. Eyewitnesses told them the whole story about the demoniac and the pigs. The people begged Jesus to leave their region. As Jesus boarded the boat, the former demoniac begged to go along. Jesus said, “No, go to your family and friends and tell what great things the Lord did for you, and about His mercy on you.” He obeyed and went into the ten towns (Decapolis) telling what Jesus had done for him, and all marveled.
       6.37 When Jesus had again crossed the sea, a great crowd gathered around him. Jairus, a synagogue chief, approached him and prostrated, pleading, “My only daughter is dying. Come and lay your hands on her that she may live.” Jesus went with him, followed by the great pressing crowd. A woman there had bled profusely for twelve years, spending all she had on doctors without improvement, only worsening. When she heard about Jesus, she worked her way through the crowd behind him, thinking, “If I can touch his garment, I will be healed.” She did, and immediately the bleeding stopped and she knew she was healed.
               Jesus knew instantly that power had gone from him. He turned and asked, “Who touched my garment?” His disciples replied, “With this pressing crowd, you ask, Who touched me?

Jesus looked around to see. Trembling with fear, the woman knelt before him and told him her whole story. He said, “Daughter, your faith1 has saved you. Go in peace and be completely healed.”

       6.38 While he spoke, message came to Jairus from home, saying, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher anymore?”

Jesus overheard and said to Jairus, “Dont fear, only believe.” Taking Peter, James and his brother John, Jesus went to Jairus home, forbidding others to follow. When they arrived, they entered the house where many people wept loudly. Jesus asked them, “Why all this wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” They mocked him. But Jesus put them out and took the parents, Peter, James and John into her room. Taking her by the hand, Jesus said, “Girl, I tell you, rise!” Immediately, her spirit returned, the twelve-year-old girl rose and walked, astounding those present. Jesus gave strict orders to tell no one and to feed the child. But the news went throughout the region.

       6.39 When Jesus left, two blind men followed him, crying, “Son of David,1 have mercy on us!”
They followed him into the house and Jesus asked, “Do you believe I can do this?” They replied, “Yes, Lord.” He touched their eyes, saying, “Be it to you, according to your faith.2 Their sight returned and Jesus instructed them, “Let no one know about this.” But they went out, spreading his fame in all the area.

6.40 As they departed, a dumb demoniac was brought to Jesus. When Jesus expelled the demon, the man spoke. The crowd was amazed, saving, “This has never been seen1 in Israel.” Pharisees said, “He uses prince of demons power to cast out demons.”2

       6.41 Jesus and his disciples returned to his town Nazareth. The following Sabbath, he taught in the synagogue. Many astonished listeners asked, “What wisdom1 this is! Where does he get these things and the power he displays? Isnt this Marys2 son, the carpenter, brother of James, Joses, Judas and Simon? Arent his sisters here with us?” And they lost their faith in him.3 Jesus told them, “A prophet receives honor everywhere, except in his town,4 among his relatives, and in his home.” Except for a few sick whom he laid hands on and healed, he couldnt do great works there because of their unbelief, which surprised him.
6.42 Jesus went to all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues. He preached the good news of the kingdom and healed every illness and disease.1 As he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion because they were worried and cast down as sheep without a shepherd.2 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest3 is plenty but workers are few, ask the Lord of the harvest to send workers into His harvest.”

Jesus called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority4 to expel demons and to cure diseases. He sent them out, two by two, to proclaim5 Gods kingdom and to heal the sick. The twelve apostles names are: Simon, called Peter, his brother Andrew, James and John, sons of Zebedee, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew the tax collector, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus,6 Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot the betrayer.
       Jesus instructed them, “First7 go not to the nations or Samaria, but go only to the lost sheep of Israel, proclaiming the imminence8 of Gods kingdom. Heal the sick,9 cleanse the leper, raise the dead, cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received. Take neither money, food, extra clothes, shoes nor staff. A laborer deserves his food. Wherever you go, as you enter bless them, find deserving people to house you till you depart and leave them a greeting of peace. Shake the dust off your feet when you leave a home or town that doesnt welcome you or hear your words.

       Truly, in that case, God will be more merciful on judgment day to Sodom and Gomorrah than to them. I send you forth as sheep among wolves. Be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.

Beware of men! They will deliver you to councils, flog you in synagogues, try you before governors and kings, for my sake, as witnesses to them and the nations. When they detain you, dont worry about how or what to speak. At that time, you will be given appropriate words, as your Fathers Spirit will speak through you.10

Brother will betray brother, father his child, and children their parents, to death.11 All will hate you because of me. But whoever endures to the end will be saved.

        When they persecute you in one town, escape to    another. I will return before you cover them all. No disciple ranks above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.12 The goal is for the disciple to be like his teacher and the servant like his master. If men call the master of the house Satan, what will they call his servants? Dont fear them, for all hidden and covered deeds will be exposed. What I tell you in the dark, tell in daylight, what you hear whispered, proclaim from housetops.13

Dont fear those who kill the body and not the soul. Instead, fear God14 who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Two sparrows15 cost a coin, yet none can fall to the ground without God permitting.

The very hairs16 of your head are numbered. So dont worry, you are more important than many sparrows. Whoever confesses17 me before men, I will confess before my heavenly Father and whoever denies me before men, I will deny before my heavenly Father.
       Dont suppose that I came to bring peace18 on earth. I came not to bring peace, but a sword, turning a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. A mans foes are those of his household. Anyone who loves parents or children more than me is not worthy of me, neither is he who does not take up his cross and follow me. He that finds his life, will lose it. He that loses it for my sake, finds it.19

Whoever receives you, receives20 me and God who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet as one, will receive a prophets reward. He that receives a righteous man as one, will receive a righteous mans reward. Whoever gives a cup of cold water to these little ones as my disciples, shall truly never lose his reward.”

Having instructed his disciples, Jesus left to teach and preach in their towns. They went throughout the villages preached repentance, expelled demons, anointed the sick with oil and healed everywhere.21
       

       6.43 King Herod heard about this, for Jesus name had become famous. Some said, “John the Baptist is risen from the dead, hence mighty powers are working in him.” Others said, “He is Elijah.” Still others said, “He is a prophet like of old.” But when Herod heard, he said, “John, whom I beheaded, is risen!” For Herod had jailed John because of Herodias, his brother Philips wife, whom Herod had married. For John said, “Its unlawful for you to take your brothers wife.” Therefore, Herodias nursed a grudge, wanting to kill John. But she couldnt because Herod feared John, knowing him as righteous and holy. Herod protected and listened to him gladly at times, although with embarrassment.
       6.44 Opportunity came on Herods birthday when he gave a banquet for his nobles, commanders and Galilean chiefs. Herodias daughter danced before Herod and his guests, pleasing them so much that he said to her, “Ask anything from me and Ill grant it.” He swore, “Ill give you whatever you ask, up to half of my kingdom.” She went out and asked her mother, “What shall I ask?” She answered, “John the Baptists head.” The girl immediately told the king, “I want John the Baptists head on a dish right now.” The king was very sorry, but because of his oath and the guests, he could not refuse. So he sent an executioner to bring Johns head. The man went, beheaded John,1 brought his head on a dish, gave it to the girl, who gave it to her mother.
               When Johns disciples heard the news, they came for his body, buried it, then reported to Jesus, who on hearing it, withdrew by boat to a desert place privately.

 

7

SPECIAL TRAINING OF THE TWELVE

       7.1 The apostles met with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught. Jesus said, “Come retreat to a desert place and rest awhile.” For so many people were coming and going, they didnt even have time to eat. They went by boat to their destination, Bethsaida Julias. But many saw them as they left, ran from the cities and arrived ahead of them.

7.2 Then Jesus landed on the other side of the sea of Galilee. The Jewish Passover was near, so a huge crowd followed him because they saw his healing of the sick. He had compassion on them, for they were like sheep without shepherd.1 He climbed the mountain, sat with his disciples, and taught many things about the kingdom of God and healed their sick.2

       It was late in the day when his disciples came to him, saying, “This is a desert place and it is late. Send the crowd into the countryside and villages to buy food.”3

Jesus answered, “They dont need to go, give them something to eat.4 To Philip he said, “Where do we buy bread?” Jesus said this to test him for he knew what to do. Philip replied, “Two hundred daily wages worth of bread will not be enough for everyone to have a bite.”
       Jesus said, “Go and see how many loaves you have.” When they found out, Andrew, Peters brother said, “A lad here has five barley loaves and two fishes but what are these to the crowd?”
       Jesus commanded the people to sit on the green grass in groups of hundreds and fifties. Then looking up to heaven and giving thanks, he broke the bread and divided the fish and gave them to the disciples to distribute. Everyone ate until filled, then the disciples collected twelve baskets of surplus. For he said, “Gather all remnants, for nothing must be wasted.” Those who ate numbered about five thousand men alone, besides women and children.

7.3 After seeing this miracle of Jesus, the people said, “Truly, this is the prophet coming into the world.” Knowing1 their intention to forcefully make him king, Jesus urged his disciples to leave by boat ahead of him to the Bethsaida on the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. Then he went up the mountain to pray alone until evening.2

       7.4 Out on the sea, the boat was endangered by opposing winds and waves1 on their way to Capernaum, while he was still on land. At midnight after rowing three to four miles, the disciples saw Jesus walking on the sea intending to pass them by. “Its a spirit!” they shouted in fear.

Jesus calmed them saying, “Cheer up. Dont fear. It is I.” Peter called out, “Lord, if its you, command me to come to you on the water.” Jesus said, “Come!” Peter left the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. On seeing the strong wind, Peter feared and began to sink. “Lord, save me!” he cried.

At once, Jesus caught him by the hand and said, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?2 When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshipped him, saying, “Truly, you are the Son of God!” They gladly took him in, and immediately, the boat landed at its destination. They were amazed, for they didnt yet understand the lesson of the loaves, since their minds were closed.

               After crossing, they anchored at Gennesaret. The people recognized Jesus and ran throughout the area heralding his arrival. Everywhere he went, villages, cities or countryside, they carried the sick in  beds to him in marketplaces, begging that these might just touch his garments fringe. All who touched him were healed.3

7.5 The next morning, the crowd remaining on the opposite shore discovered Jesus absence. They were surprised, because they had seen the disciples leave without him in the only boat there. Boarding several small boats from Tiberias beached near the place where they ate the bread which the Lord blessed, they went by boat across to Capernaum for Jesus. On finding him they asked, “Teacher, when did you come here?”

               Jesus replied, “Truly, you look for me because I fed you and not because of the miracles you saw. Dont work for perishable food, but for eternal food which the Son of man will give you. For God the Father has set His approval seal on him.” They asked Jesus, “How do we do Gods work?” Jesus answered, “Gods work1 is to believe on him whom He sent.” They asked him, “What sign2 can you give us so that we may believe you? Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, it is written, He gave them heavenly bread to eat.
       Jesus replied, Truly, it wasnt Moses who gave you heavenly bread. My Father gives you the true heavenly bread, for Gods bread is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” They replied, “Lord, give us this bread from now on.”
               Jesus replied, I am the bread of life. Anyone who comes to me and believes in me will neither hunger nor thirst. Though youve seen me, you dont believe. Everyone the Father gives me will come to me and I wont turn any away, for Ive come from heaven to do only the Fathers will. This is His will,3 that I lose none of those He has given me, but raise these up on the last day. His will is that everyone, who looks to the Son and believes in him, shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
               Because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven,” the Jews murmured: How can he say “Ive come from heaven.” Isnt this Josephs4 son whose parents we know?

Jesus said, “Stop murmuring! No one comes to me  unless the Father who sent me draws him, and Ill raise him up on the last day. The prophets wrote, Theyll all be taught by God. Everyone who has heard and learnt from the Father comes to me. No one but His emissary5 has seen the Father. Truly, I say, every believer has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate manna in the desert and died. I am the living bread from heaven, anyone who eats this bread will live forever. The bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” The Jews argued among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”

               Jesus told them, “Truly, I say, unless you eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of man, you have no life. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and Ill raise him up on the last day. My flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. Whoever eats and drinks both, remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of Him, so whoever feeds on me will live6 because of me. I am the heavenly bread, not such as your ancestors ate and then died. One who eats this bread will live forever.” Jesus spoke this in the synagogue in Capernaum. Many disciples hearing grumbled, “Who can accept such hard teaching?”
               Knowing their grumblings, Jesus said, “Does this offend you? What if you see the Son ascend to where he was before?7 The Spirit gives life, the flesh gives nothing. My words are spirit and life, yet some of you dont believe.” Jesus knew those disbelieving and the betrayer. He continued, “This is why I said no one can come to me unless the Father so granted him.” Since then, many of his disciples left him. Jesus asked the twelve, “Will you also go?” Peter answered, “Go to whom, Lord? You have the words of eternal life. We know and believe that you are Gods Holy One.”
               Jesus replied, “Havent I chosen you twelve? Yet among you is a devil.”(He meant Judas Iscariot, who later betrayed him.)

7.6 After this, Jesus ministered in Galilee, avoiding Judea where the Jews wanted to kill him.1 Pharisees and some scribes from Jerusalem assembled around Jesus, and saw some of the disciples eating with unwashed hands. (For the Jews after shopping dont eat unless they first wash, obeying elders tradition. They observe many other traditions, such as cup, pitcher and kettle washing.) They asked Jesus, “Why do your disciples disregard elders tradition and eat with hands ceremoniously unclean?”

               Jesus replied, “Isaiah correctly prophesied about you hypocrites, This people honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. In vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrine the commands of men.

Jesus added, “You leave Gods commandments to keep your traditions. Moses said, Honor your father and mother, he who slanders father or mother let him die. But you acquit anyone who says to his father or mother, Whatever help you might have received from me is 'Corban,' that is, given to God. That way you no longer let him help his parents. Thus you nullify Gods word with your tradition. You do many other similar things.”

               Jesus called the crowd again, saying, “Listen, everyone, and understand. It isnt what goes into a man that defiles, but what comes out.” When he left the people and entered the house, his disciples asked him: “Did you know you offended the Pharisees?” He replied, “Every plant not planted by my heavenly Father will be   uprooted.2 Ignore them, they are blind3 guides leading the blind, and both will fall into a pit.
               Peter asked what the parable meant. He replied,     Are you also without understanding? Dont you see that what goes into a man cannot defile him, because it doesnt enter his heart but his stomach, and when digested it passes out?” In saying this, Jesus pronounced all foods clean. Jesus added, “What comes out of a man defiles him, for from mens hearts come evil thought, fornication, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, witchcraft, slander, arrogance and foolishness. All these coming from within defile the man, not the eating with ceremoniously unwashed hands.
       7.7 Jesus left and went to the Tyre area. To escape notice, he entered into a house. But a Greek woman from Syro-Phoenicia, whose daughter had an unclean spirit heard of him, came and fell at his feet and begged him to expel the demon. But he didnt answer. So his disciples urged Jesus, “Send her away for she is crying after us.”
           But Jesus said, “I wasnt sent but to the lost sheep of Israel.” She replied worshipfully, “Lord, help me!” Jesus answered, “First1 let the children, the lost sheep of Israel, eat their fill. It isnt right to take their bread and throw it to puppies.” She answered, “Yes, Lord, but even the puppies under the table eat the childrens crumbs.” Jesus said, “Because of your reply of faith,2 the demon has left your daughter.” On reaching home, she found the child in bed, and the demon gone. Her daughter was healed that very hour.3
       7.8 Jesus left the Tyre area and went through Sidon to the Galilean sea in the Decapolis area. They brought to him a deaf man with a speech impediment and begged Jesus to lay hands on him. Jesus took him aside, put his fingers into his ears, spat and touched his tongue. Looking up to heaven, Jesus sighed and said, “Be opened!” Immediately his ears opened, his tongue loosened, and he spoke fluently. Jesus ordered them not to publicize it. But the more he commanded them not to, the more1 they did. The people amazed said, “He does everything well, both making the deaf hear and the dumb speak.” Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the deaf, the crippled and many others to his feet, and he healed them all.2 The crowd marveled at these miracles saying, “The dumb speak, the maim are made whole, the lame walk, the blind see,” and glorified the God of Israel.
       7.9 Then another large crowd gathered, and they had no food.1 Jesus calling the disciples, said, “I pity this crowd. They have been with me three days without food. If I send them home, some who came from afar will collapse.”2 His disciples asked, “Where can we get enough bread to satisfy this great crowd?”

“How many loaves have you?” asked Jesus. “Seven and some fishes,” they said. Jesus ordered the people to sit. Taking the seven loaves and fishes, he gave thanks, broke them, and passed them to the disciples to distribute. After the crowd was satisfied, the disciples collected seven baskets of surplus. About four thousand men were there besides women and children.

       7.10 Dismissing the people, Jesus went by boat to the Magadan region. Pharisees and Sadducees came and tested Jesus, asking him to show them a sign1 from heaven. He answered, “When evening comes you say, It will be fair weather, for the sky is red; and in the morning, A stormy day, for the sky is red and cloudy, You can interpret the skys appearance but not the signs of the times.”2 Sighing deeply in his spirit, he continued: “Why does this evil, adulterous generation seek a sign? None will be given except the sign of Jonah.3 Then Jesus and the disciples crossed to the other side taking only one loaf.
       Jesus told them, “Watch and beware of the yeast4 of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” They reasoned, “Its because we forgot bread.” But Jesus knowing5 their reasoning, said, “You faithless ones, why argue because you forgot bread? Have you unseeing eyes or unhearing ears? Dont you understand or remember the five loaves feeding five thousand men with twelve baskets left? Or the seven loaves feeding four thousand men with seven baskets left? Why do you not understand I wasnt talking about bread, but warning against the yeast of Pharisees and Sadducees?” Then they knew that he wasnt talking about bread, but about the teaching6 of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
       7.11 He reached Bethsaida where they brought a blind man to him and begged Jesus to touch him. Jesus took his hand and led him outside the town. Jesus spat on his eyes, laid hands on him and asked, “Do you see anything?” He looked up saying, “I see men as walking trees.” Jesus touched his eyes again and he was fully restored, seeing everything clearly. Jesus sent him  home, saying, “Dont enter the village.”
       7.12 When Jesus arrived at Caesarea Philippi, he asked the disciples, “Who do men say I, the Son of man, am?” They answered, “Some say John the Baptist; others, Elijah; others, Jeremiah or some other prophet.”

He asked, “Who do you say I am?” Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.

Jesus answered, “You are blessed, Peter John. This is not human revelation but my heavenly Fathers. And I say, you are Peter, upon this rock Ill build my church and the gates of hell cannot overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth would have been forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth would have been permitted in heaven.”1

Then he forbade his disciples not to tell anyone that he is the Christ.

       7.13 From then on Jesus revealed to them how he must go to Jerusalem and be persecuted by the elders, chief priests and scribes, be killed1 and on the third day resurrect. Peter rebuked Him, saying, “God forbid this happens to you, Lord!”
       Turning to him, Jesus replied, “Away from me, Satan, you stumbling block. You dont mind the things of God, but those of men.”
               Then Jesus said to the crowd and his disciples, “Anyone following me must deny himself and bear his cross; whoever wants to save his life will lose it; whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospels shall find it.2 How does a man profit if he gains the whole world, yet loses his soul? What will he give in exchange for his soul? Whoever is ashamed3 of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of man will be ashamed, when he shall come in his Fathers glory and with his holy angels, to reward everyones works.4 Truly, some are standing here who will not taste death till they see the Son of man coming in his and Gods kingdom with power.5
       7.14 About a week later, Jesus took Peter, James and John to a Mount to pray privately. While he prayed,1 his face shone as the sun and his clothing became white as light. Moses and Elijah appeared in glory2 and talked with him about his imminent departure from Jerusalem. Peter and his companions, who had been fast asleep, became fully awake and saw the glory of Jesus and the two men with Jesus. As Moses and Elijah left Jesus, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, its good we live here. Lets make three tents - one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” Peter spoke not knowing what he said, for they were very afraid. A bright cloud enveloped them. A voice spoke3 from the cloud, “Listen to This My Beloved Son, My Most Pleasing One.”4 Terrified, the disciples fell on their faces. Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise up and do not fear.” Suddenly, as they looked around, they saw only Jesus.
               As they descended the mountain, Jesus ordered them to tell nobody what they had seen, until the Son of man had risen from the dead. So they kept it secret, but discussed among themselves what “rising from the dead” meant. They asked him, “Why do our teachers say Elijah must first come?”

Jesus replied, “Truly, Elijah comes first to restore all things. I say Elijah has already come, unknowingly they treated him as they pleased, as it is written. Similarly, the Son of man will suffer much5 and be rejected.” Then the disciples understood that he was talking about John the Baptist.

       7.15 They returned to the other disciples and saw a large crowd around and scribes arguing with them. When the crowd saw Jesus, they were amazed and ran to greet him.

He asked, “What are you debating?” Someone answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, possessed by a dumb spirit, which seizes and convulses him, then he foams, grinds his teeth and he becomes rigid. It scarcely leaves him, always bruising him. I asked your disciples to expel it, but they couldnt. Lord have mercy on him, for hes lunatic and injurious.”

Jesus answered, “O unbelieving generation! How long shall I be with you and endure you? Bring him to me!” They did, and on seeing Jesus, the spirit immediately convulsed, felled and rolled the boy about foaming. Jesus asked the father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered, “Often it throws him into fire or water to kill him. If you can1 do anything, have pity and help us!”

               Jesus exclaimed, “If you can? Everything is possible for a believer.” Immediately, the father cried out, “I believe! Help my unbelief!”

Seeing a crowd gathering, Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, saying, “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and stay out of him!” The spirit screamed, convulsed him violently and came out, leaving the boy like a corpse. Some said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and he rose, and Jesus gave him to his father cured from that hour.2 And all were amazed at the majesty of God.

Later, indoors and alone, his disciples asked him, “Why couldnt we expel it?”

               He replied, “Because of your little faith. Truly if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you would say to this mountain Move from here, and it will be removed, and nothing shall be impossible to you.3 This kind can be expelled only by prayer and fasting.4

7.16 While secretly in Galilee, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let these words sink into your ears. The Son of man will be betrayed into mens hands. They will kill him,1 but on the third day he will rise.” This grieved them much. They did not understand as this was veiled from them, and being afraid, they could not ask him.

       7.17 When they reached Capernaum, temple tax collectors came to Peter and asked, “Doesnt your Teacher pay temple tax?” Replying “Yes”, he entered the house where Jesus preempted1 him and said, “Peter, from whom do earthly kings exact tax, from their sons or others?” “From others,” Peter replied.

Jesus said, “Then, sons are exempt. But lest we offend, go to the sea, cast a hook, catch the first fish, open its mouth, and youll find a coin enough for us both to give them.”

       7.18 When they came into the house in Capernaum, Jesus asked, “What were you discussing on the way?” They kept quiet because they had argued about who of them was the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Sitting down, he said to the twelve, “Anyone wanting to be first,1 shall be the last and be servant of all.” Taking a little child into their midst, Jesus said, “Truly, unless you change, becoming as little children, you cannot enter the heavenly kingdom.2 Whoever humbles himself as this child, is the greatest in the heavenly kingdom.3 Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me;4 whoever receives me receives him who sent me. The least among you is the greatest.”

       7.19 John said, “Teacher, we saw someone expelling demons in your name,1 but because he is not one of us, we stopped him.”

Jesus replied, “Why stop him, no one doing miracles in my name can easily speak against me, for he who is not against us is for us.2 Truly, anyone giving you a cup of water, because you are Christs, will not lose his reward.”3

“Whoever causes one of these little believers to sin, is better thrown off into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck. Inevitably, offences come in the world, but woe to the source.4 If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. Better live with one hand than go into hell fire with two. If your foot misleads you, cut it off. Better be maimed than have two feet and go to hell. If it is your eye, pluck it out. Better enter Gods kingdom with one eye than go with two into hell, where the worms and flames never die.”

               “Everyone will be salted with fire. Salt5 is good, but if it looses saltiness, how will you restore it? Have salt within you, and live peacefully one with another. Do not despise any of these little ones, for their angels always see the face of my Father in heaven.”
7.20 “What do you think? If a man with a hundred sheep losses one,1 doesnt he leave the ninety-nine on the mountain and then goes to find that one? On finding it, he rejoices over it more than the ninety-nine that had not gone astray. Just so it isnt the will of my heavenly Father that any little one should perish.
       7.21 “If your brother sins,1 correct him privately; if he listens, you have won your brother. If he doesnt, take one or two along to establish the charge. If he wont heed them, tell the church. If he wont hear still, regard him as a pagan or extortioner. Truly, whatever you forbid on earth would have been forbidden in heaven. Whatever you permit on earth would have been permitted in heaven.2 If two of you agree on earth regarding any matter, it will be done for them by my heavenly Father. For where two or three gather in my name, I am right there.” Then Peter asked, “If my brother sins against me should I forgive him up to seven times?”
               Jesus replied, “No! Seventy times seven! The heavenly kingdom is like a king who began to settle accounts with his servants. A man was brought to him who owed him over 150,000 years of a laborers wages. Because he could not pay, his master ordered him, wife, children and all belongings to be sold for the payment. The servant falling down begged, Lord, be patient, I will pay all. The master, moved with pity, freed him and forgave his debt. Then the man found a fellow servant who owed him 100 daily wages. Taking him by the throat, he demanded, Pay me what you owe me! His debtor knelt and begged him, Be patient and I will pay you. But he refused and had him imprisoned till he paid. When his fellow servants heard about this, they were grieved and told their master everything. The master called him and said, “You wicked servant, I forgave your debt, as you asked; shouldnt you have similarly shown mercy? And he angrily gave him over to torturers till he paid all he owed. So will my heavenly Father treat you unless you forgive3 your brother from the heart.”
       7.22 As they walked along, a scribe said to Jesus, “Lord, I will follow wherever you go!”

Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds have nests, but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head.

To another Jesus said, “Follow me!” The man answered, “Lord, let me first go bury my father.”

Jesus answered, “Let the dead bury their dead. You go and publish Gods kingdom worldwide.” Another said, “Lord, Ill follow you, but let me first say goodbye to my family.”

Jesus replied, “No one looking back, after putting his hand to the plow, is fit for Gods kingdom.

       7.23 After this, Jesus stayed in Galilee, avoiding Judea where the Jews sought his life.1 The feast of Tabernacles was near and his brothers urged him, “Leave this place and go to Judea so your disciples may see your miracles. No one seeking publicity acts secretly.2 Since you are doing these deeds, show yourself openly to the world.” For even his brothers didnt yet believe in him.
               Jesus answered, “My time hasnt come.3 but any time is your time. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I rebuke its evil ways. You go to the feast. I will go only when the time is right for me.” Saying this, he stayed in Galilee. After his brothers left for the feast, he also went secretly not publicly.4
               7.24 As the time for Jesus ascension1 neared, He resolutely set out for Jerusalem, sending messengers ahead to a Samaritan village to prepare for his arrival. But they didnt welcome him there because his face was set for Jerusalem. James and John saw this and asked, “Lord, shall we call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” Jesus rebuked them and said, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of, for the Son of man did not come to destroy, but to save mens lives.” And they went to another village.

8  

LATER  JUDEAN MINISTRY

       8.1 At the feast, Jews watched for him asking, “Where is he?”1 Among the crowds some said, “He  is a good man,” Others said, “He is a deceiver.” No one spoke openly, fearing the Jews. Midway through the feast, Jesus taught in the temple. The Jews were shocked and asked, “How did this unlettered man become so learned?2

Jesus said, “My teaching is from Him who sent me. Anyone wanting to do Gods will3 shall know whether the teaching is from God or me. Anyone whose teaching is his own honors4 himself. But there is nothing false about one who honors the one who sends him. Didnt Moses give you the law? Yet no one keeps it. So why seek my life?” The crowd said, “You have a demon, who wants to kill you?”

               Jesus replied, “I did one work and you marvel. Moses gave you circumcision (though it actually came from the patriarchs) which you perform on the Sabbath to obey the law. Why persecute me for wholly healing a person on the Sabbath? Do not judge facially, but judge righteously.”
8.2 Some from Jerusalem asked, “Isnt this the man they want to kill? But he speaks boldly without opposition. Have the rulers known he truly is the Christ? But we know where this man is from, which no one will know about the Christ.”
               “Yes, you know me and where I am from,” said Jesus in the temple, “I am not here on my own, but He who sent me is true1. You do not know Him, but I do because I am from Him.” They tried to arrest Jesus, but no one touched him, because his time had not yet come.2 Many more believed in him, saying, “When Christ comes, will he perform more miracles than this man?” On hearing this crowds opinion about him, Pharisees and chief priests sent officers to arrest Jesus.

Jesus said, “For a short time Im with you, then I go to Him who sent me. Youll seek me but you wont find me, where I am you cannot come.3 The Jews asked themselves, “What does he mean by these latter statements, where is he going that we cannot find him? To our people scattered among the Greeks, or to teach the Greeks?”

               On the last and greatest day of the feast, Jesus stood and called out, “Whoever thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within him.” He referred to the Spirit whom believers were to receive. Then the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus had not yet been glorified. Some listeners said, “Truly, this is the Prophet.” Others said, “This is the Christ.” Some asked, “Is the Christ to come from Galilee? Doesnt scripture say Christ will come from Davids family and his village, Bethlehem?4
               The crowd was divided, some wishing to arrest him, but no one touched him. The officers returned to the chief priests and Pharisees who asked, “Why didnt you bring him?” They replied, “No man ever spoke like this man.” The Pharisees asked, “Have you too been deceived? Does any of us believe in him? No! This crowd, ignorant of the law, is cursed.”

Then Nicodemus,5 the Pharisee who once visited Jesus by night, said, “Does our law judge a man without a hearing?” They answered, “Are you also from Galilee? Search and see that no prophet comes from Galilee.” Then everyone went home.

       8.3 Jesus went to Mount Olives. At dawn he returned to the temple, the people came to him, he sat and taught them. Scribes and Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They stood her before the crowd and said to Jesus, tempting him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of adultery. Moses commanded us in the law to stone such, what do you say?” Jesus stooped and wrote on the ground with his finger, when they kept questioning him, he stood and said, “Let him who is sinless throw the first stone.” Again he stooped and resumed writing on the ground. Her accusers began leaving one by one until only Jesus and the woman were left. He asked, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No sir,” she said. “Then neither do I,” Jesus declared, “Go, and sin no more.”
       8.4 Again Jesus addressed the people, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me1 wont walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Pharisees said, “Your witness isnt true because you witness about yourself.”

Jesus replied, “Even though I do, my witness is true for I know where Im from and where Im going, which you dont know. You judge carnally, but I dont judge anyone. If I judge, my judgment is true because Im not alone, the Father who sent me is with me.

Your law says two peoples testimony is valid. Both I and the Father who sent me testify about me.” They asked him, “Where is your Father?”

               “You dont know either of us,” Jesus replied, “for if you knew me, you would know Him.” He taught this near the treasury in the temple. Yet he wasnt arrested because his time had not come.2

Jesus continued, “Im going away. You will look for me but you will die in your sin. Where I go you cannot come.” The Jews asked, “What does he mean by, Where I go, you cannot come?3 Will he kill himself?”

He continued, “You are from this world below, Im from above and not of this world. Thats why I said youll die in your sin, unless you believe that I am He.” “Who are you?” they asked.

               He replied, “Just who I said initially. Ive much to say and judge about you. He who sent me is true,4 and what I have heard from him I tell the world.” They never understood that he spoke to them about his Father, God.

So Jesus said, “When you lift5 up the Son of man, then youll know that I am He. I do nothing on my own, but I speak as the Father taught me.6 He sent me and is with me for I always do what pleases Him.”

As he spoke, many believed in him. Jesus said to those who believed, “If you continue trusting my  word, you are truly my disciples. Then youll know the truth and it will set you free.” They answered, “We are Abrahams seed and never have been enslaved. How can you say that well be set free?”

               Jesus answered, “Truly, anyone who sins is a slave of sin. A slave has no permanency in a home, unlike a son. So if the Son frees you, you are free indeed.

I know you are Abrahams seed, yet you want to kill me, because my word is repulsive to you. I tell you what Ive seen in the Fathers presence, as you do what youve heard from your own father.” They replied, “Abraham is our father.”7 Jesus said, “If he were, you would do what he did. But you want to kill me, I who told you the truth which I heard from God. That Abraham never did. You are doing what your own father did.” They replied, “We arent bastards, God is our Father.”

               Jesus said, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God. I havent come on my own, He sent me. Why dont you understand? Because you cannot bear my message! Your father is the devil, and you do what pleases him. From the beginning he was a murderer, he cant stand the truth and has no truth in him. So hes a natural liar and the father of lies. Hence, you do not believe the truth I speak. Who of you convicts me of sin? He who belongs to God hears His words, but you dont, because you are not His.” The Jews answered, “Arent we correct in saying that you are a Samaritan and are demon-possessed?”
               Jesus said, “Im not demon-possessed, I honor my Father and you dishonor me. I dont seek my own glory, but there is One who seeks it and judges. Truly, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” The Jews replied, “Now we know you have a demon. Abraham and the prophets died, yet you say anyone who keeps your word wont die. Are you greater than father Abraham and the prophets who died? Who do you think you are?”
               Jesus replied, “Glorifying myself8 would mean nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, glorifies me. You dont know Him, but I do and keep His word. If I say I dont, I would be a liar like you. Abraham your father rejoiced that he was to see my day, he saw it and was glad.”9 The Jews asked, “You under fifty, have seen Abraham?”
Jesus replied, “Before Abraham was, I AM.”

8.5 They gathered stones1 to stone him, but he hid and left the temple.2

8.6 As Jesus walked along, he saw a man born blind. His disciples asked, “Master, is he born blind because he or his parents sinned?”

               Jesus replied, “Neither. He was born blind to show Gods works. We must quickly do Gods work1 who sent me, as day2 passes into night when no one can work. While Im here, I am the light of the world.” Then he spat on the ground, made mud with the saliva and applied it to the mans eyes. Then he said, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam.” The man obeyed and returned seeing. Neighbors and acquaintances asked, “Isnt this he who used to beg? Some said he was, others said he resembled him. He said he was. “How were your eyes opened?” they asked. He replied, “The man called Jesus put some mud on my eyes, and told me to wash in the pool of Siloam. I washed, and then I could see!” “Where is this Jesus?” they asked. “I   dont know,” he replied.
               They took him to the Pharisees. As it was the Sabbath when Jesus restored his sight, the Pharisees also asked him how he regained his sight. He repeated the story, so some Pharisees said, “This man Jesus isnt from God, because he doesnt keep the Sabbath.” Others said, “How can a sinner do such signs?” So they were divided. They spoke to the man, “Since he healed you, what do you say of him?” He answered, “He is a prophet.”

The Jews disbelieved his story, so they called his parents and asked them, “Is this your son who was born blind?” They answered, “Yes, he is our son who was born blind. But how he now sees or who opened his eyes, we dont know. Hes old enough to answer, ask him.” They said this, fearing the Jews who had agreed that, whoever acknowledged Jesus as Christ would be excommunicated.

               They called the man again, “Give God the glory. We know this Jesus is a sinner.” He replied, “Whether a sinner or not, I dont know, I do know this: I was blind but now I see!” They asked, “What did he do to open your eyes?” He said, “I told you, you wont believe. Why hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?”

They began insulting him, saying, “Youre his disciple! We follow Moses! God spoke to Moses, but we dont even know where this Jesus came from.” The man answered, “How strange! You dont know where hes from, yet he opened my eyes.

               We know God doesnt hear sinners, but hears the godly man who obeys Him. Opening the eyes of one born blind is unheard of. If he isnt from God,3 he couldnt have done anything.” They answered, “Do you, who was born in sin, teach us?” and they expelled him.

Jesus heard this, found the man and asked, “Do you believe in the Son of man?” He asked, “Who is He, sir, that I may believe in Him?”

Jesus replied, “I,4 you see talking to you, am He!” He said, “Lord, I believe” and worshipped him.

Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment, that the blind may see, and those who see will become blind.” Pharisees who heard this asked, “Are we blind too?”

Jesus replied, “If you were blind, you wouldnt be sinners, but you say We see, so your sin remains.”

       8.7 “I say truly, whoever doesnt enter the sheepfold through the gate is a thief and robber. The shepherd1 of the sheep enters by the gate. The gatekeeper opens for him, and the sheep hear his voice as he calls them by name and leads them all out. He goes ahead, they follow him because they know his voice. They wont follow, but will run from, a stranger whose voice is strange.” Jesus spoke this parable to them, but they didnt understand.

So Jesus said, “Truly, I tell you I am the gate of the sheep. All who came before were thieves and robbers, and the sheep didnt listen to them.

       I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes to steal, to kill and to destroy. I came so they may have life in all its fullness.

I am the good shepherd who gives his life for the sheep. A hired man abandons the sheep when he sees the wolf coming to attack and scatter them. A hireling cares little for anothers sheep. I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and they know me, as the Father knows me and I know Him. I give my life for the sheep. I have other sheep not of this fold that I must bring, who also will hear my voice. Then there will be one flock, one shepherd.2 The Father loves me because I lay down my life and will take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I have authority by my Fathers command to lay it down and take it again.”

               These words divided the Jews and many said, “He is raving mad. Why listen to him?” Others said, “These arent the words of a demon-possessed. Can a demon open blind eyes?”3
       8.8 After this, the Lord appointed1 seventy others and sent them ahead in pairs to every city he was about to visit. He said, “The harvest2 is plentiful, but workers are few. Ask the Lord to send workers into His harvest. Go,3 I send you as lambs amidst wolves. Dont carry a purse, a wallet or shoes. Any city or village you enter, inquire who in it is worthy and stay there, accepting their food and drink till you depart, for a worker deserves his wages. Any house you enter, say, Peace to this house. If a son of peace is there, your peace will stay there, if not, it will return to you. Wherever you are welcome, eat whatever they give you. Heal4 their sick, saying, Gods kingdom is near you. When a city doesnt welcome you, go into the streets, saying, Even your towns dust on our feet we remove in protest, and know that Gods kingdom has been near you. In that day, Gods judgment will be more bearable for Sodom than for that town.”
       “Woe!5 Chorazin and Bethsaida, if the miracles done in you were done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented since in mourning clothes, sitting in ashes. On the judgment day, it will be easier for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you Capernaum, exalted to heaven, will be brought down to hell.

He who hears you, hears me. He who rejects6 you, rejects me and the One who sent me.”

Joyfully, the seventy returned, saying, “Even demons submit to us in your name.”

Jesus replied, “I watched Satan fall from heaven like lightning. See, I have given you authority7 to tread, without injury, over snakes and scorpions and all the enemys powers. But dont rejoice that demons submit to you, but that your names are recorded in heaven.”

               Then, rejoicing in the Holy Spirit, Jesus said, “Thank you Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for these things, hidden from the wise and learned, you revealed to babes, for so it pleased8 you. The Father has delivered all to me. Only the Father knows who the Son is, and only the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him, know who the Father is. Then privately, he said to the disciples, “Blessed9 are your eyes, for many prophets and kings have wanted to see and hear what you see and hear, but they didnt.”
       8.9 Then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus, saying, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus asked, “What do you read in the law?” He answered,

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind; and your neighbor as yourself.1 Jesus replied, “Right, do this and you will live.” Wanting to justify himself, the lawyer asked, “Who is my neighbor?”

Jesus replied, “A man going from Jerusalem to Jericho was robbed, stripped, beaten and left half-dead. A priest who chanced on the same road saw him but passed by the other side. A Levite came along and did the same. But a traveling Samaritan2 saw him and mercifully treated his wounds with oil and wine. He carried him on his donkey to an inn and catered for him. The next day he gave two days wages to the innkeeper, saying, Care for him, and if you spend more, I will repay when I return. Of the three, who do you think proved to be the mans neighbor?” Jesus asked. The lawyer said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said, “Go and act similarly!”

       8.10 They entered a village where a woman, Martha, took him into the house. Her sister Mary sat at Jesus feet, listening to the word, but Martha distracted herself with serving. Then she came to Jesus, saying, “Dont you care that Im doing all the serving? Tell Mary to help!”

The Lord answered,  “Martha, Martha, you are worried about so many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary chose that good part, which wont be taken from her.

       8.11 One day after Jesus had prayed, a disciple said,

“Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.”

“When you pray,”1 Jesus replied, “say:

Father, honored be Your name.

Your kingdom come.

May Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us each day our daily bread.

Forgive our sins, as we forgive our debtors.

Lead us not into temptation.

Then Jesus said, “Suppose you go to a friend at midnight and ask him, Friend, lend me three loaves, because I have no bread to set before a visitor. Then from inside he answers, Do not bother me. The door is locked and were already in bed. I cannot rise to give you anything. I tell you, though he wont normally get up and meet his friends needs, however, as his friend persists, he will do so.

       So ask,2 for everyone who asks receives. Seek, for everyone who seeks finds. Knock, and surely, the door will be opened to you. What father here, whose son asks for a fish will give him a snake? Or for an egg, and will give him a scorpion? If you sinful men give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask3 Him!”

       8.12 Later, Jesus was expelling a dumb demon. When the demon left, the dumb man spoke, which amazed the crowd. Some said, “He expels demons by Beelzebubs power.1 Others demanded a heavenly sign.2 Knowing3 their thoughts, Jesus said, “Every divided kingdom comes to ruin, and a divided house falls. If Satans kingdom is divided, how will it stand? You say I expel demons by Beelzebub. If so, by whom do your sons expel them? So they will be your judges. But if I expel demons by Gods finger, then Gods kingdom”4 has reached you. When a well-armed strongman guards his palace, his possessions are safe. When someone stronger overpowers and disarms him, the stronger divides the spoils. Whoever is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather5 with me scatters souls.
       8.13 When an evil spirit leaves a man, it seeks rest in the desert places, on finding none, it returns to its former home.1 Finding it swept clean and furnished, it invites seven more evil spirits to enter inside the man, and the poor mans last state is worse off than before.”

8.14 After this, a woman called from the crowd, “Blessed is the womb that bore and the breasts that you sucked.” He said, “Rather blessed are those who hear and obey Gods word.

       As the crowds pressed, Jesus said, “This evil generation seeks a sign, but none will be given except the sign of Jonah.1 For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of man be to this generation. At the judgment, the Queen of the South will rise and condemn this generation, because she traveled far to hear Solomons wisdom, and now a greater One is here. The Ninevites will also rise and condemn this generation, because they repented at Jonahs preaching, and now a greater One than Jonah is here.

No one lights a lamp2 and hides it, but puts it on a stand so all can see. The lamp of your body is your eye. If your eyes are pure, you are full of light; if evil, you are full of darkness. So watch, lest the light in you is darkness. If you are full of light with no darkness, you are fully lit as with a lamps rays.”

       8.15 There, a Pharisee invited Jesus for dinner. He went, sat at dinner surprising the man by not first washing ceremoniously.

The Lord said, “You Pharisees clean the outside, but inside you are filled with greed and wickedness. Fools! Didnt God make both inside and outside? Purge away inward vices, then all will become clean to you.

Woe to you, because you tithe mint, rue and all garden herbs, but neglect justice1 and Gods love. These you should do without neglecting the other.

Woe to you, because you love front seats in synagogues and greetings in marketplaces.

Woe to you, because you are like unmarked graves people walk over without knowing.”

               A lawyer replied, “Teacher, your sayings insult us.”

Jesus replied, “Woe to you lawyers also. You load people with unbearable burdens without lifting a finger to help.2

Woe to you, because your erecting monuments to the prophets your forefathers murdered, shows you approve of their deeds.3 God in His wisdom said, I will send them prophets and apostles; they will kill some and persecute others. Hence this generation will answer for all the prophets blood ever shed, from Abel4 down to Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the temple.

               Woe to you lawyers, who have taken away the key of knowledge, not entering in and preventing5 others from entering.”

As Jesus said these, scribes and Pharisees vehemently urged and provoked him to speak on many issues, hoping to catch him in his words.

A crowd of many thousands had gathered, trampling on one another. Jesus warned his disciples. “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.6 Everything hidden will be revealed. Everything spoken in darkness will be heard in the light, whisperings in rooms will be publicized.”7

               I say, friends, dont fear those who kill the body, which is all they can do. I warn you to fear Him8 who, after killing the body, has authority to cast into hell. If five sparrows selling for two coins are not forgotten by God, even the hairs9 of your head are numbered, why be afraid? You are worth more than many sparrows.10 I say, whoever confesses me before men, I will confess before Gods angels. He who denies11 me before men, I will deny before Gods angels. Whoever speaks against the Son of man will be forgiven, but whoever blasphemes12 the Holy Spirit, wont be forgiven.

When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, dont worry about what to say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that hour what to say.”13

       8.16 Someone in the crowd said, “Teacher, tell my brother to share our inheritance with me.”

Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me your judge or arbiter? Beware of greed, for a mans life is not in the abundance of his possessions.”

Then Jesus told a parable, “The farm of a rich man produced well. Thinking, he said, This Ill do about crop storage. Ill pull down my barns, build bigger ones to store these grains and crops. Then Ill say to my soul, You have much laid up for years. Take rest, eat, drink and be merry. But God said, You fool! Tonight your soul is required! Whose will these things you are preparing then be? So it is with anyone who amasses wealth without being rich towards God.”

               He said to his disciples, “So I tell you, dont worry1 about your life, food or clothes. Life is more than food, and body more than clothing. Consider the ravens! They do not sow, reap or have stores or barns; yet God feeds them. How much more valuable you are than birds! Who among you by worrying can add a foot and a half to his stature? Consider the lilies, how they grow. They neither spin nor weave. Yet, Solomon in all his splendor was never as well clothed. If God so clothes plants2 that come today and are burnt tomorrow, how much more will He clothe you, O faithless ones?
               Dont worry about what to eat or drink, for these are the things the world runs after, and your Father knows you need them. But seek3 Gods kingdom, and these things will be added to you.

Dont fear, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom.4 Sell your possession and give alms. Provide yourselves with non-aging purses, an inexhaustible heavenly treasure,5 safe from thief and moth. For your heart will always be where your riches are.

       8.17 Be ready and keep your lamps burning, like men awaiting their masters return from a wedding feast, so they may immediately open the door when he comes knocking. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds alert when he comes.1 He will prepare himself to serve them at the table. Any hour he comes, they are most fortunate if he finds them ready. If a houseowner knows when a thief is coming, he would prevent entry. So be ready, for the Son of man is coming at an unexpected hour.”
       8.18 Peter asked, “Lord, is this parable for us or for all?”

Jesus answered, “Who is the faithful, wise steward the master will appoint over his house to supply food at the proper time? Happy is that servant who is so doing when his master returns!1 He will be appointed over all his masters property. But if the servant thinks, My master delays his coming, and begins to beat co-servants, eat and get drunk; his master will come unexpectedly, cut him to pieces and assign his lot with unbelievers. That servant, who knows his masters will and doesnt prepare or do it, will be severely beaten. But that servant, who doesnt know and who does things deserving beating, will be punished lightly. Much more is expected from anyone given and entrusted with much.

       8.19 I have come to bring fire on the earth, how I wish it were already ignited. I have a baptism1 which burdens me until it is over. Do you think I came to bring peace to earth? No, rather division.2 From now a family of five will be divided, three against two, two against three, parents against children, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law, and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

Jesus said to the crowd, “When you see a cloud rise in the west you predict rain and it rains. When the south wind blows, you predict a hot day and its hot. Hypocrites! You predict the weather, but why cant you predict the times3 or judge righteously? As you go with your enemy to court, try to settle4 it before you arrive there, lest you end up in prison. Then your release would only come after you have paid every last coin.”

       8.20 Some people present told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus asked, “Do you think because of this they were worse sinners than other Galileans? No! Unless you repent, you will all also perish. Or the eighteen killed, when the tower at Siloam fell on them, were they more guilty than others living in Jerusalem? No! Unless you repent, you too will perish.”
Then Jesus told this parable, “A man came looking for fruit on his fig tree but found none. So he said to the gardener, Look, three years Ive waited for fruit in vain. Cut it down! Why waste the land? The gardener said, “Give it another year while I cultivate and fertilize it, perhaps it will fruit then, if not, cut it down.
       8.21 One Sabbath, he taught in a synagogue. There was a woman who, for eighteen years, had been bent double by a spirit of infirmness, and could not stand erect. Jesus called and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your infirmity” and he laid hands on her.

Immediately, she stood erect and praised God. Indignant because Jesus healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue ruler said to the people, “There are six days for work, come for healing then, instead of on the Sabbath.”

But the Lord said, “Hypocrites! Dont you, on the Sabbath1 untie your animals from their stalls to water them? Then shouldnt this daughter of Abraham, who has been bound by Satan these eighteen years, be freed on the Sabbath?” His answer shamed his critics and the crowd rejoiced over his glorious works.

       8.22 Then Jesus said, “What is Gods kingdom like? What do I compare it with? It is like a mustard1 seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew, became a tree and the birds of the air nested in its branches.”

8.23 Again he said, “What is Gods kingdom like? It is like the yeast1 a woman mixed into three measures of flour till it permeated the whole dough.”

8.24 Then came the wintertime Dedication feast in Jerusalem. Jesus was walking in the temples Solomon porch when some Jews surrounded him and said, “Why keep us in suspense, If you are the Christ, say so plainly.1
Jesus answered, “I did, but you didnt believe. The works I do in my Fathers name bear me witness, but not being my sheep, you dont believe. I know my sheep,2 they hear my voice and follow me. I give them eternal life and they will never perish. No one can snatch them from my hand. My Father, who gave them to me, is greater than all. No one can snatch them from my Fathers hands. I and the Father are one.3 Again the Jews gathered stones4 to stone him, but Jesus said, “For which of the many good works5 Ive shown you from the Father are you stoning me?” They answered, “For none, but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.6
       Jesus replied, “Doesnt your law say Ye are gods? If scripture, which cannot be altered, calls those to whom Gods word came gods, why accuse me, whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, of blasphemy because I said that:

8.25 I am Gods Son?1 Dont believe me if I dont do my Fathers works.2 But if I do them, even though you dont believe me, believe my works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in Him. Again they tried to arrest him, but he escaped.3

       8.26 He returned to stay across the Jordan where John baptized. Many came to him there saying, “Though John never performed a miracle, everything he said about this man was true.” There many believed in him.

9

LATER PEREAN MINISTRY

       9.1 Jesus passed through cities and villages teaching on his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few be saved?”

Jesus answered, “Strive to enter the narrow1 gate, for many will seek entrance and will fail.

9.2 Once the house owner rises and locks the gate, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, Lord, open to us. But he will answer, Where are you from? Then you will say, We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets. But he will reply, I dont know where you come from. Away, all you evildoers. There will be weeping and grinding of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all the prophets in Gods kingdom, but yourselves excluded. People will come from1 the east, west, north and south to feast there. Some now last, will be first; and some now first, will be last.”2

9.3 Immediately, Pharisees came and told Jesus, “Leave this place. Herod Antipas wants to kill you.”

Jesus replied, “Go tell that fox, I expel demons and heal today and tomorrow, and Im perfected on the third day. However, I must travel these three days because no prophets should die outside Jerusalem.” “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets1 and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you refused. See! Your house is deserted. I say you wont see me again until you say, Blessed2 is He who comes in the Lords name.

       9.4 One Sabbath, Jesus ate in a prominent Pharisees house where he was closely watched. A man there had dropsy, causing Jesus to ask the lawyers and Pharisees, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath1 or not?” They said nothing. He took the man, healed him and sent him home. Then he asked, “Which of you, whose son or ox falls into well, wont immediately rescue him on the Sabbath?2 And they couldnt reply.3
       9.5 When Jesus noticed guests vying for places of honor at the table, he told this parable: “When you are invited to wedding feasts, dont take the place of honor, for someone more honored may have been invited. Then the host will come to you, saying, Give this man your place. Then, ashamed, you must take the lowest place. First choose the lowest place and your host will say, Friend, take this higher place. Then youll be honored before all. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; whoever humbles himself will be exalted.1
To the host Jesus said, “When you host a feast, dont invite friends, relatives or rich neighbors, for they may repay you by hosting you in return. Rather, invite the poor, the maim, the cripple and the blind. Youll be blessed, since they cant repay. You will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
       9.6 A guest said to Jesus, “Blessed is everyone who eats bread in Gods kingdom!”

Jesus replied, “A man giving a banquet1 invited many. At dinner time he sent his servant to tell them, Come. Dinner is ready. But they unanimously made excuses. One said, I bought a farm that I must see now. Please excuse me. Another said, I bought five ox-ploughs that I must try out. Please excuse me. A third said, I just got married, so I cant come. The servant reported to his master, who became angry and said, Go into the city streets and lanes and bring in the poor, maim, blind and lame. The servant said, Master, your order has been obeyed, but there is still room. The master said, Go to the highways and compel strangers to fill my house. For I say, none of those invited earlier will taste my dinner.

       9.7 He turned to the large crowds following him, saying, “Anyone who, on coming to me, doesnt comparatively hate1 his parents, wife, children, brothers, sisters and even his life, and isnt willing to carry his own cross, cannot be my disciple.” “Would you build a tower without first counting the cost, to see if you had enough to complete it? If after the foundation, you couldnt finish it, those seeing it would mock you, saying, He began but couldnt finish.

Or what king, warring against another, doesnt first plan whether with ten thousand men he is able to meet the one coming with twenty thousand? If he is unable, he will at a distance send messengers for peace terms. Just so, you must leave all to be my disciple.

               Salt is good, but if it loses saltiness, what can    resalten2 it? Its not good for the soil or manure, it must be discarded. Whoever has hearing ears, listen.

9.8 All the tax collectors and sinners were coming to hear Jesus. Pharisees and scribes grumbled, “He welcomes and eats with sinners.”

       a He told them this parable, “Who of you, on losing one1 of a hundred sheep, doesnt leave the ninety-nine in the field to search until he finds the lost one? Then he joyfully carries it home on his shoulder, assembles his friends and neighbors, saying, Lets rejoice, I have found my lost sheep. I say there is more joy in heaven over one repentant sinner than over ninety-nine righteous ones who dont need repentance.
b What woman with ten silver coins, who loses one, doesnt light a lamp and comb the house till she finds it? She then calls friends and neighbors, saying, Lets rejoice; Ive found my lost coin. So there is joy among Gods angels over one repentant sinner.”
       c Jesus continued, “A man had two sons. The younger told him, Father, give me my share of the inheritance. So the father divided his property between them. Soon, the younger son left for a far country and squandered his share. Then famine came, and he was in want. So he worked for a native who sent him to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with some of the husk the pigs ate, but no one gave him any. When he sobered down, he said, My fathers servants have abundant bread and here I perish from hunger. Ill return and say, “Father, Ive sinned against heaven and you, and Im unworthy to be called your son. Make me as one of your hired servants.”
               So he returned to his father who, on seeing him coming at a distance and moved with pity, ran to him and passionately embraced and kissed him.

The son said, Father, Ive sinned against heaven and you, and Im unworthy to be your son. But his father said to his servants, Put the best clothing and shoes on him, and put a ring on his finger. Kill a fat cow for us to eat and be merry, because this my son was dead and is alive again, was lost and is found.

               His elder son, returning from the field, heard the music and the dancing. He asked a servant what was happening. He said, Your brother returned and your father killed a cow for he is healthy. He got angry and wouldnt go in, so his father came to plead with him. He said to his father. All these years Ive obediently served you. Yet you never gave me a young goat for a party with my friends. But this son who wasted your wealth on harlots returns, and you killed a fat cow for him.

The father replied, Son, you are always with me, and everything mine is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for your brother was dead and is alive again, was lost and is found.

       9.9 Jesus again told his disciples, “A rich mans manager was accused of wastefulness. He called him and asked him, What do I hear of you? Give account of your services for you are no longer a manager. The manager asked himself, What can I do now that my boss has sacked me? I cannot dig and Im ashamed to beg. I know what Ill do so people will receive me into their homes. He called all his masters debtors and asked the first, How much do you owe my master? He replied, One hundred measures of oil. The manager said, Change your bill to fifty.”

He asked another, You owe how much? One hundred measures of wheat, the customer replied. Change your bill to eighty, he ordered.

The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For in this their generation, the sons of the world are wiser than the sons of light. So use worldly wealth to make friends who, when you fail, will welcome you into eternal homes.

               Whoever is honest or not in small things, is honest or not in large. If you arent honest with unrighteous wealth, who will entrust you with true riches? If you havent been honest with anothers property, who will entrust you with our property? No one can serve two masters. He will hate one and love the other, will be true to one and despise the other. You cant serve both God and riches.1 Hearing this, Pharisees who loved money mocked him.

He said, “You justify yourselves in mens eyes, but God knows your hearts. That which is very highly  esteemed by men is abominable to God.

       9.10 A certain rich man always dressed expensively and lived everyday in merriment. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed for crumbs from the rich mans table, rather dogs came and licked his sores. Eventually, Lazarus died and angels carried him into Abrahams bosom. Later the rich man died and was buried. In hell, he saw Abraham far away and Lazarus with him. He called, Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip his finger in water and cool my tongue, for Im suffering in this flame. Abraham replied, Remember, son, in your earthly life you received good things, while Lazarus received the bad. Now he is comforted while you suffer.1 Besides, there is a great divide between us which cant be crossed from either side.
               He answered, I beg you then, send Lazarus to my five brothers in my fathers house to warn them, lest they also end up here in torment. Abraham replied, They have Moses and the prophets to listen to. He pleaded, No, father Abraham, if someone goes to them from the dead, theyll repent. Abraham replied, If they dont hear Moses and the prophets, they wont, even if someone rises from the dead.2
       9.11 Jesus told his disciples, “Temptations to sin will always come, but woe to the one1 who brings them. He would be better off thrown into the sea with a millstone tied to his neck, than to tempt one of these little ones. Heed this warning!”

“If your brother sins,2 rebuke him. If he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times a day and each time says, I repent, forgive him.”

The apostles said, “Increase our faith,3 Lord!” He replied, “If you had faith as small as a mustard seed, you could command this sycamore tree to be uprooted and planted into the sea and it would obey!”

9.12 “When your servant comes in from doing farm duty, do you serve him? Doesnt he first prepare and serve your meal before he eats. Are you as the master thankful to him for obeying your orders? No! Similarly, after obeying my commands, say, We are unprofitable servants, we have only done our duty.

       9.13 Another Lazarus from Bethany, the village of Mary and Martha, was sick. His sister Mary was the one who would pour1 perfume on the Lord and wipe his feet with her hair. The sisters sent Jesus this message, “Lord, the one you love is ill.”

When Jesus heard this, he said, “This illness wont end in death, its for Gods glory, so that by it Gods Son may be glorified. Jesus loved Lazarus and his sisters, yet he stayed where he was for two days. Then he told his disciples, “Lets return to Judea.” They asked, “Master, the Jews there have just tried to stone2 you, and you are returning there?”

               Jesus replied, “Arent there twelve hours of daytime? Whoever walks by day wont stumble, because he sees this worlds light.3 Whoever walks in the night stumbles, for he hasnt the light.” Then he said, “Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but Im going to wake him.” The disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, hell recover.” Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought he meant natural sleep.

Jesus explained, “Lazarus is dead, yet Im glad I wasnt there, so that you may believe. Lets go to him.” Thomas, the twin,4 said to fellow disciples, “Lets also go, that we may die with him.” When they arrived, Jesus found that Lazarus had been four days in the tomb.

               Bethany was about four miles from Jerusalem and many Jews came to console Martha and Mary for their brothers death. Martha went to meet Jesus while Mary stayed home. Martha said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother wouldnt have died. Now, I know God will give you whatever you ask.”

Jesus said, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha replied, “Yes, I know he will in the resurrection on the last day.”

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he dies, will live. Whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

               She replied, “Yes, Lord, I believe you are the Christ, Gods Son, who has come into the world.” Then she left and told Mary secretly, “The teacher is here and is calling you.” So Mary quickly went to Jesus outside of the village where Martha had met him. When many Jews consoling Mary saw her go out, they followed, thinking she was going to the tomb to mourn. When Mary saw Jesus, she fell at his feet, saying, Lord, had you been here, my brother wouldnt have died. When Jesus saw Mary and the Jews with her weeping, he groaned in the spirit, was worried and said, “Where is he laid?” “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. Jesus wept. “See how he loved him,” the Jews said. Others said, “Couldnt he, who opened the blind  mans eyes, have prevented this death?”
               Jesus, again groaning, came to the sealed cave tomb and said, “Remove the stone.” The deceaseds sister Martha protested, “Lord, hell smell badly after four days!” Jesus replied, “Didnt I tell you that if you believe, youll see Gods glory?” They removed the stone. Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you for hearing me, as you always do. I said this so this crowd around me may believe that you sent me.”

Then he shouted, “Lazarus, come out!5 The dead man came out with hands and feet bandaged and face wrapped. Jesus said, “Unbind him and let him go.”

               Many Jews visiting Mary witnessed this and believed in him. But others went to Pharisees to tell them what Jesus did. So, chief priests and Pharisees called a council. They asked, “What are we doing? This man does many miracles, if he continues, everyone will believe in him. Then the Romans will take our place and nation.” But one of them, Caiaphas, said, “You know nothing, it is better if one man dies for the people than that the whole nation perishes.6 He didnt say this on his own, but as high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus would die, not only for the nation but also for Gods children scattered abroad to unite them into one body.7

From then on they planned to kill Jesus. So, Jesus no longer walked publicly among the Jews, but went with the disciples and stayed at Ephraim city near the desert.

       9.14 On his way to Jerusalem, he passed through Samaria and Galilee and entered a village where ten lepers met him. They shouted from afar, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us.”

“Go, show yourselves to the priests,” Jesus answered. On the way, they were cleansed. One, a Samaritan, seeing he was healed, returned praising God loudly and fell at Jesus feet thankfully.

Jesus asked, “Werent ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Is this foreigner the only one to return and give glory to God?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go. Your faith has healed you.”

       9.15 The Pharisees asked Jesus when Gods kingdom would come and he replied. “The kingdom isnt coming visibly. Neither will people say, Its here, or Its there, because Gods kingdom is among you.”1 Jesus said to his disciples, “The time will come when you will long to see just one day of the Son of man, but you wont. People will tell you He is here or there, but dont go in pursuit. For the Son of man in his day will be like lightning2 flashing across the entire sky. But first, he must suffer much and be rejected by this generation. As it was in Noahs day,3 so it will be in the days of the Son of man.
               People ate, drank, married and betrothed until Noah entered the ark and the flood destroyed all. So also in Lots day. They ate, drank, bought, sold, planted and built, but when Lot left Sodom, fire and brimstone from heaven destroyed all. So it will be on the day the Son of man is revealed. On that day, no one on rooftop or on the field should go into the house for any goods. Remember Lots wife! Whoever saves his life will lose it; whoever loses his life will save it.4 I say, that night there will be two people in one bed; one will be taken, the other left. Two women will be grinding together; one will be taken, the other left. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left.” The disciples asked, “Taken where, Lord?” Jesus replied, “Where a dead body is, there   vultures5 gather.
       9.16 Jesus told his disciples a parable to teach them persistence in prayer. “A certain city judge neither feared God nor respected man. A widow there kept coming to him, saying, Justify me against my opponent. He refused her plea for a while, but finally thought, Though I dont fear God nor respect man, I will grant her justice, lest her continual coming wears me out.

The Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says.  Wont God speedily vindicate His chosen ones who cry to Him day and night? Yes, he will do them justice quickly. But when the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

               Jesus told this parable to self-righteous people who despised others. “Two men prayed in the temple, one a Pharisee, the other a tax collector. The Pharisee prayed thus: God, I thank you Im not like others: greedy, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice weekly and tithe everything I get. But the tax-man kept afar and wouldnt even raise his head, but beat his chest, saying, God, have pity on me, a sinner. I tell you, this repentant man, not the other, went home justified. For the proud will be humbled, and the humble will be exalted.1
               9.17 On finishing his speech, Jesus left Galilee for Judeas boundary across the Jordan. Great crowds followed and he, as usual, taught and healed them1 there. Some Pharisees came to test him, saying, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for every cause?” He replied, “Havent you read that in the beginning, God made them male and female and said, for this reason shall a man leave his parents and cleave to his wife and the two shall become one flesh. So, they are one flesh not two. What God has joined together, let no man separate.” The Pharisees asked, “Then, why did Moses command a decree of divorce?”

Jesus replied, “Because of your stubborn hearts, Moses allowed what wasnt ordained from the beginning. But I say, whoever divorces his wife, except for fornication, and marries another commits adultery.” His disciples said, “If it is so between husband and wife, its better not to marry.”

Jesus replied, “Everyone cannot accept this teaching, only those to whom it is given. For some are born eunuchs, some made so by men, and others make themselves eunuchs because of Gods kingdom. Let him who can, accept this.”

       9.18 When the disciples rebuked people who brought children to him to touch and pray for, Jesus said angrily, “Allow them, never prevent children from coming to me, for of such is Gods kingdom. Truly, whoever does not receive Gods kingdom like a child, wont enter1 it.” Jesus cuddled, laid hands on, and blessed the children.
       9.19 As Jesus was leaving, a man ran up and knelt before him, asking, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

Jesus said, “Why call me good? None is good except God. To enter life, keep the commandments. Do not commit adultery, nor murder, nor steal, nor witness falsely, nor cheat. Honor your parents.” He replied, “Teacher, I have obeyed them from childhood.”

Jesus looked at him, loved him and said, “One thing you lack. Sell all your belongings and give to the poor, and you will have treasure1 in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Hearing this saddened the wealthy young man and he left sorrowfully.

               Jesus glanced around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter Gods kingdom.” His words amazed them. Then he added, “Children, how hard it is to enter Gods kingdom. It is easier for a camel to go through a needles eye than for a rich man to enter Gods kingdom.” More surprised, they asked, “Who then can be saved?”

Jesus answered, “It is impossible with men, but all things are possible with God.” Peter exclaimed, “See, whats our lot, we who left everything to follow you!”

               Jesus replied, “Truly, in the new age, when the Son of man is seated on the throne of his glory, you my followers will sit upon twelve thrones ruling2 the twelve tribes of Israel. Anyone who has left3 home, wife, brothers, sisters, parents, children or land for me, the gospel and Gods kingdom, will receive in this age a hundredfold of these same things and also persecutions, and in the age to come, eternal life. But many who are now first will be last, and the now last, will be first.4
       9.20 “The heavenly kingdom is like a landowner who hired workers early in the morning. Agreeing to a days wage, he sent them into his vineyard. At midmorning, he told others who were idle at the market, Go also to my vineyard Ill pay you whatever is right. They did.

Going out again at noon and mid-afternoon, he did similarly. Late afternoon he went out and found others standing idle and asked them, Why stand idle all day? They replied, No one hired us. The landowner said, Go also into my vineyard. That evening he said to the foreman, Call the workers for pay, paying the last man first. Those hired in the late afternoon each received a   days wage. So those hired first came thinking they would receive more, but were also paid a days wage. So they protested, These last men worked one hour, but you have made them equal to us, we who bore the burden of the heat of the day.

He replied one, Didnt you agree to work all day for a days wage? Take what is yours and go. Ill pay the last person the same as you. Is it not lawful to do with mine money as I wish. Are you envious because Im generous? So the last will be first, and the first, last.1

       9.21 With Jesus leading on their way to Jerusalem, the disciples were surprised and the followers afraid. He took the twelve aside and said, “We are going to Jerusalem where, as written by the prophets,1 the Son of man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes. They will condemn him to death and deliver him to the nations to mock, to scourge, to spit on and to kill,2 but on the third day, he will rise.” But these things were hidden from them to know and understand.
       9.22 James and John, led by their mother, knelt and said, “Teacher, grant us a special request.”

Jesus said, “What can I do for you?” They replied, “Grant us two to sit, one at your right and the other at your left in glory,”  Jesus said, “You dont know what you are asking, can you drink of my cup or share in my baptism?”1 They replied, “We can.”

Jesus said, “You will drink of my cup and share in my baptism. But to sit on my right and on my left is for whoever my Father prepared them, and not mine to grant.” Hearing this, the other ten were angry with James and John.

               But Jesus, calling them together, said, “You know earthly rulers lord it over their subjects, and their great ones wield authority.2 It must not be so with you. Whoever wants to be the greatest among you must be your slave, and whoever wants to be the first must be servant3 of all. Even the Son of man didnt come to be served, but to serve and give his life a ransom4 for many.”
       9.23 As Jesus, his disciples and a large crowd left Jericho, behold, two blind beggars sat by the road. They heard that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by and they cried, “Jesus, son of David,1 have mercy on us.” The crowd dissuaded them, but they shouted the same words louder.

Jesus stopped and called them. Blind son of Timaeus was sitting by the road, they called him, “Have courage, rise, he is calling you.” Throwing off his coat, he jumped up and came to Jesus.

Jesus responded, “What can I do for you?” They replied, “Master, that our eyes may be opened.” Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes and said, “Go. Your faith2 has healed you.” Immediately,3 they saw again and followed Jesus about. The people who saw it praised God.

       9.24 Jesus passed through Jericho where Zachaeus, a rich chief tax collector lived. As he was a short man, he ran ahead of the crowd and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see him. When Jesus reached the tree. He looked up and said, “Zachaeus, come down quickly. I must stay in your house today.” So he came down to welcome him with joy. On seeing this, the people murmured, “He has gone to be a sinners guest.”1

But Zachaeus stood and said to the Lord, “I give half of my belongings to the poor, and if I blackmailed anyone, I repay fourfold.”

Jesus replied, “Today salvation came to this house, for he too is Abrahams son.2 For the Son of man came to seek and save what was lost.3 The crowd, expecting Gods kingdom4 to appear immediately because he was near Jerusalem, listened while Jesus told this parable:

       9.25 “A nobleman went to a distant country to receive a kingdom and return.1 Before leaving, he gave his ten servants ten pounds telling them, Trade with the money till I return. But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying they didnt want him as their king. He was made king, however, and on returning he called his servants to account for their profits.

The first one reported, Master, your pound gained ten. He replied, “Good! Because of your faithfulness in a small matter, take charge of ten cities.

The second reported, Master, your pound gained five His master said, Take charge of five cities. Another reported, Master, see your pound! I put it away in a napkin. I feared your hardness. You extort what you dont invest and reap where you dont sow.

               The master replied, By your words2 I will judge you. Knowing my severity, why didnt you bank3 my money, so on my returning I could get it back with interest? To those standing he said, Take the money from him and give to him who has gained ten. They replied, Sir, he already has ten.

Jesus said, “I tell you, the one who has will always be given more,4 but the one with nothing will lose what he has. Bring those enemies who opposed my kingship and kill them in my presence.” After this, Jesus went ahead to Jerusalem.

 

10  

LAST PUBLIC MINISTRY IN JERUSALEM

       10.1 Many country Jews went early to Jerusalem for purification before the coming Passover. They looked for Jesus, and asked one another in the temple, “Do you think he will come1 to the feast?” Now the chief priests and Pharisees had given orders that anyone who knew his movement should report it, so they could arrest him.

10.2 Six days before the Passover, a multitude of Jews heard that Jesus was in Bethany, so they went there to see Jesus as well as Lazarus, whom Jesus raised from the dead six weeks earlier.1 So the chief priests planned to kill Lazarus too, for because of him many Jews went and believed in Jesus.

       10.3 As they approached Jerusalem, they came to Bethphage and Bethany at Mount Olives. Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village opposite. On entering, you will find an ass and an unbroken colt tied there. Bring them here, and if anyone asks, Why are you doing this? tell him, The Lord needs them and will return them soon.” They went and found the colt tied at the gate on open street as Jesus said. As they untied it, the owners standing by asked, “Why are you untying the colt?” They  answered, The Lord needs it,” and were allowed to go. Then they  brought the colt to Jesus, spread their garments on it and Jesus mounted it.
       Also many spread their clothes and leafy branches on the way as he passed. The next day, the large crowd at the feast heard Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David!1 Blessed2 is He who comes in the Lords name, Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David, Hosanna in the highest.” Jesus found the colt and sat on it, as the scripture says, “Fear not, daughter of Zion; see, your king comes meek, sitting on a donkeys colt.” (Until Jesus was glorified His disciples didnt recognize this prophecy about him or how they helped fulfill it).
       The crowd having been with Jesus since he raised Lazarus from the dead, spread the news and many people came out. So the Pharisees said to one another, “We are getting nowhere. The whole world has gone after him.” When he came to the descent from Mount Olives, the entire procession began to shout with joyful praises for all the miracles they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the king who comes in the Lords name. Peace and glory in the highest heaven!” Some Pharisees there said, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”

Jesus replied, “If they become silent, the stones3 will cry out!” As he approached Jerusalem, he wept over it, saying, “If only you had known this day the things of peace now hidden from your sight! The time is coming when your enemies will rise up, surround and hem you in on all sides. They will destroy you and your children and wont leave one stone on top of another, because you didnt know this time when God visited you.”

               When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the city was stirred, asking, “Who is this?” The crowd replied, “The prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee. The blind and the lame came to him and he healed them all.4 But the chief priests and scribes, seeing these miracles, and hearing the children praising him, “Hosanna to the son of David” were angry, and said to Jesus, “Do you hear what they are saying?”
               Jesus replied, “Yes, havent you read: Out of the mouths of children and infants You have perfected     praise?” He left them and went to live in Bethany.

10.4 Leaving Bethany the next day, Jesus was hungry. He noticed a leafy fig tree1 and went to see if it bore fruit. When he came to it, he found only leaves, as it was not time for figs. His disciples overheard him say to the tree, “May no one eat fruit from you again!”

10.5 Jesus entered the temple,1 expelled buyers and sellers, overturned money-changers tables and the chairs of the dove sellers. He didnt allow any goods to be removed. He told them, “It is written, My house will be called a house of prayer, but you have made it a robbers den.

Daily he taught in the temple, while chief priests, scribes and leaders planned to destroy him. They couldnt, for they feared the people who hung in wonder on his words, listening most attentively.

       10.6 Greek worshippers at the feast came to Philip1 of Bethsaida in Galilee, saying, “Sir, we want to see Jesus.” Philip told Andrew, then they both told Jesus.

10.7 Jesus said, “The hour to glorify the Son has come. Truly, unless a seed of wheat falls into the soil and dies, it remains alone. But if it dies, it produces much seed. Whoever loves his life, loses it. Whoever hates his life in this world, keeps it for eternal life.1

               Whoever serves me must follow me, that where I am he will be also. The Father honors whoever serves me. As my soul is troubled,2 should I say, Father, save me from this hour? No! For this cause3 I am here. Father, glorify Your name.” So a voice from heaven spoke,4 “I_have glorified it and will do so again.” The crowd nearby heard and said it was the thunder. Others said, “An angel spoke to him.”

Jesus answered, “This voice spoke for your sake, not mine. Now this world is judged,5 now this worlds ruler will be expelled. But when Im lifted up,6 Ill draw all men to me.” He said this to indicate how he was to die. The people replied, “Our law says the Christ will remain forever.7 How can you say, The Son of man must be lifted up? Who is He?”

               Jesus said, “The light will be among you a while longer. Walk while you have the light,8 before darkness overtakes you and you wont know your destination. While you have the light, believe in the light to become sons of light.” Then he left and hid from them.9

Even after Jesus had done so many miracles, they  wouldnt believe in him. This fulfilled10 Isaiahs prophecy, “Lord, who has believed our report? To whom has the Lords arm been revealed?” So, they couldnt believe, for again Isaiah said, “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, lest they should see and understand and turn, and I will heal them.” Isaiah said this because he saw his glory and spoke about him.11

               Nevertheless, many among the leaders believed in him, but wouldnt confess him publicly, lest the Pharisees expel them from the synagogue; they loved mens approval more than Gods.12

Jesus called out, “Whoever believes in me, believes rather in Him who sent me. Whoever sees me, sees Him who sent me. I have come into the world as light, so that no believer will remain in darkness.13 I dont judge those who hear my words without obeying, for I didnt come to judge the world, but to save it. Whoever rejects me and my words, will be judged in the last day by the word I have spoken. I didnt speak on my own,14 the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and speak. I know His commandment is eternal life. Whatever He has instructed me to say, that I say.”

       10.8 Every evening he left the city to lodge in Mount Olives, and in the morning all the people came to hear him in the temple. As they passed by early the following morning, they saw the fig tree1 dried to its roots. Peter said to Jesus, “Master, look! The fig tree you cursed has dried up.”

Jesus answered, “Have faith in God. Truly, whoever says to this mountain Be moved and be cast into the sea, and has no inner doubt and believes that what he says will happen, will have it so.2 Therefore I say, whatever you ask in prayer, believe you have received them and you will have them.

When you pray, if you have anything against anyone, forgive,3 so that your heavenly Father can forgive you your offences; but if you dont forgive, neither will your heavenly Father forgive your sins.”

10.9 They reached Jerusalem again, and in the temple court as he taught and preached the good news while walking, chief priests and elders came to him and said,  “By what authority do you do these things?”

Jesus replied, “First answer a question, then Ill tell you. Was Johns baptism from God or from men?”

They debated among themselves, saying, “If we say from God, Jesus will say, Then why didnt you believe him? If we say, From men, we fear the peoples reaction, for they considered John a prophet.” Finally they answered, “We dont know.”

Then Jesus said, “Neither will I answer your question.”

       10.10 “Think of this. A man having two sons said to the first. Go and work in the vineyard today. He replied, I wont. Changing his mind later, he went. The father told the second son the same. He answered, Ill go, but didnt. Which son obeyed?” “The first,” they replied.

Jesus said, “Truly, tax collectors and harlots will enter1 Gods kingdom before you. John came preaching righteousness, but you didnt believe him, tax collectors and harlots did. After seeing this, you didnt later repent and believe him.”

       10.11 “Hear another parable. A landowner planted a vineyard, fenced it, dug a winepress and built a watchtower; after letting it to tenants, he traveled. At harvest, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his dues. But they beat one, killed one and stoned another. So he sent more servants who were similarly treated. Finally, he sent his Son, thinking they will respect him. When the tenants saw the Son, they conspired, Lets kill the heir and take the inheritance. They seized him, dragged him out and killed him. When the owner returns, what will he do to those tenants?”

They replied, “He will totally destroy the bad men and hire his vineyard to honest tenants.”

               Jesus asked, “Havent you read this scripture, The stone which the builder rejected became the cornerstone. This is the Lords doing and it is marvelous in our eyes. Hence I say, Gods kingdom will be taken from you and given to a people who will bring fruits. Whoever falls on this stone will be broken to pieces. He, on whom it falls, will be crushed to powder.”

Hearing these parables, the chief priests and Pharisees knew Jesus was referring to them. They wanted to seize him, but feared the multitudes who considered him a prophet. So they left.

       10.12 Jesus spoke again in parables, saying, “The heavenly kingdom is like a king who prepared a wedding feast1 for his son. He sent servants to call  those invited, but they refused to come. Other servants he sent out, saying, Tell those invited, Everything is ready. Come to the feast. But they went about their own thing, ignored, insulted and killed his servants. The enraged king sent his armies to destroy the murderers and burn their city. Then he said to his servants, “The feast is ready, but those invited were unworthy. Go into the street junctions and invite anyone you find.”

They gathered all they could find, both good and bad, to fill the wedding hall with guests. The king came to see the guests and noticed a man not dressed in wedding garment. He asked, How did you enter without a wedding garment? The man was speechless. The king told his servants, Tie him and throw him into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth. For many are called but few are chosen.”

       10.13 Pharisees went and planned to trap him in his words and so deliver him to the governor. They sent spies, as disciples along with Herodians, to Jesus saying, “Teacher, we know you are honest and teach Gods way truthfully and impartially, not fearing man. Give us your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar?”

Jesus knowing1 their evil plan, said, “Why are you testing me, hypocrites? Show me some tax money.” They brought him a coin and he asked,   “Whose image and inscription is this?” “Caesars,” they replied.

Jesus said, “Then, give to Caesar what is Caesars, and to God, what is Gods.” Hearing this, they marveled and went away silenced.2

       10.14 The same day, Sadducees who deny the resurrection came asking, “Teacher, Moses said that if a man dies childless, his brother should marry the widow and raise children for him. Now there were seven brothers. The first married and died childless, leaving his wife for his brother. So did the second and the third, down to the seventh. Finally, the woman died. At the resurrection, whose wife will she be since all seven had her?”
        Jesus answered, “You err because you neither understand scripture nor Gods power. Unlike sons of this age, those worthy of the new age and the resurrection, are Gods children; they dont die and wont marry, but will be like Gods heavenly angels. About the resurrection,    havent you read what God said to Moses in the burning bush, I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? God isnt God of the dead, but of the living.” Certain scribes said, “Master, you have answered well,” and stopped questioning him. The crowds were amazed at his teaching. Hearing he had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees met together.
       10.15 One of them a lawyer, tested him. “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment?”

Jesus replied, Hear O Israel, the Lord your God is One and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength. This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is like it,  Love your neighbor as yourself. The law and the prophets hang on these two.”1 The man replied, “Teacher, well said. God is one and none other exists. To love Him with all your heart, all your soul, all your understanding and all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself, is more meaningful than all offerings and sacrifices.”

Hearing his sensible response, Jesus said, “You are not far from Gods kingdom.” After that, no one dared question him any more.2

       10.16 Jesus asked the Pharisees gathering as he taught in the temple, “What do you say about the Christ. Whose Son is he?” They replied, “Davids son.”1 Jesus asked, “Then how does David, by the Holy Spirit, call Him Lord, saying, The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand till I make your enemies your footstool”? If David calls Him Lord, how can He be his son?” No one could reply, nor anyone dare ask further questions from that day on.2
       10.17 Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and his disciples, “Beware of scribes! Scribes and Pharisees occupy Moses seat, so obey and do all they say.

But dont follow their example, for they dont practice what they teach. They lay heavy burdens on mens shoulders, but are unwilling to lift a finger to help.1 They want men to see their works, so they enlarge their phylacteries and lengthen their garment fringes. They love front seats at banquets and synagogues. They love greetings in markets and being called Master. Dont be called Master, for One is your Master and you are all brothers. Call no one on earth Father, for your one Father is in heaven. Neither be called Teachers, for your one Teacher is Christ. The greatest among you will be your servant. Those priding themselves will be humbled; those humbling themselves will be exalted.2

               “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees. You hypocrites shut the heavenly kingdom in mens faces. You dont enter and you prevent others from entering.3

Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites. You devour widows houses and, for show, say lengthy prayers. Your punishment will be more severe.

Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites. You comb sea and land for a convert, only to make him twice a child of hell as yourselves.

Woe to you, blind leaders who say, To swear by Gods temple is nothing, but whoever swears by the gold in the temple is bound. To swear by the altar is nothing, but whoever swears by the gift on it is bound. Blind fools. Which is greater, the gold or the temple sanctifying it; the gift or the altar sanctifying it? Whoever swears by the altar, swears by everything on it; whoever swears by the temple, swears by it and by Him who lives there; whoever swears by heaven, swears by Gods throne and by Him who occupies it.

               Woe to scribes and Pharisees. You hypocrites pay tithe on garden herbs, but forget the law basics of   justice,4 mercy and faith, these you should do without neglecting the other. Blind leaders, you strain out the gnat and swallow the camel.

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees. You clean the outside of the cup and plate, but inside are filled with greed and indiscipline. Blind Pharisees, first clean the inside that the outside may also be clean.

               Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees. You hypocrites are like whitewashed tombs, outwardly beautiful but inside filled with dead mens bones and decay. Outwardly, you appear righteous, but inwardly you are hypocritical and lawless.
       Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees. You hypocrites build tombs for the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, If we lived in our forefathers days, we wouldnt have joined in shedding the blood of prophets. Therefore, you witness5 that you yourselves are children of those who murdered the prophets. Thus you fill up the cup of your forefathers sins.6
               You snakes, breed7 of vipers. How will you escape hell? Therefore Im sending you prophets, wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify and flog in your synagogues and persecute from city to city. Thus upon you may fall all the blood of the righteous shed on earth, from the blood of Abel8 to Zechariah Berekiah, whom you killed between the temple and the altar. Truly these things will come upon this generation.

Jerusalem, Jerusalem! You kill the prophets9 and stone those sent to you. How often I would have gathered your children together, like a hen gathers her chicks, but you refused. Behold, your house is left deserted and, truly, you wont see me until you say, Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.

       10.18 Sitting opposite the treasury, Jesus watched people give offerings. The rich gave large sums while a poor widow put in two small copper coins. He said to his disciples, “I tell you truly, this poor widow has given more than all the others. They gave from their surplus, while she gave all her living.

 

11

LAST MOMENTS WITH DISCIPLES

       11.1 Leaving the temple, one disciple remarked, “What magnificent stone buildings!” Jesus said, “See all these buildings? Not one stone here will be left on another.” The disciples Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him later, as he sat on Mount Olives opposite the temple, “When will these things occur? What will be the sign of your coming and of the end of this age?”
       11.2 Jesus answered, “See that no one mislead you. Many will come in my name, claiming, I am the Christ, and mislead many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. Dont be perturbed.1 This must happen, but that isnt yet the end. Nations and kingdoms will rise against one another. Famines, earthquakes, epidemics, heavenly terrors and signs will occur in different places at the beginning of the hard times. You will be taken to councils, synagogues and prisons; arraigned before kings and governors as witnesses to them; then tortured, killed and hated worldwide for my names sake. Dont plan what to say, for I will give you the Holy Spirit, a mouth and wisdom unmatchable by your enemies. Many will fall away, family members will betray one another to death.2 Not a hair3 of your head shall perish. By enduring, you shall save your souls. False prophets will appear, again misleading many. Increased lawlessness will cause most peoples love to grow cold. He who endures to the end shall be saved. This good news of the kingdom will be preached as a witness to all nations, and then the end shall come.”
       11.3 “When you see the desolating abomination prophesied by Daniel standing in the holy place. Reader, note, with Jerusalem surrounded by enemies to fulfill judgment, let Judeans flee to the mountains. Those on rooftops and in the fields must not try to take anything from home. Pity pregnant and nursing mothers in those days. Pray these things wont occur in the winter or on the Sabbath, for that suffering will be the greatest the world will ever experience. Unless those days are shortened, none would survive, but for the elects sake, those days will be shortened.”

Great distress and wrath will come on the land and its people will be slain and imprisoned worldwide. Jerusalem will be downtrodden by other nations until their time is up.

       11.4 “If anyone tells you, Look, here is the Christ, or, There, dont believe. False christs and false prophets will appear, working miracles and wonders, to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have warned you. So, if any says, He is in the desert, stay home, or, He is in inner rooms, dont believe. Just as lightning1 appears in the east and flashes to the west, so will the Son of mans coming be. Wherever theres a carcass, vultures2 will gather.
               Immediately after those days calamities, the sun and the moon will be darkened. Stars will fall from heaven. Roarings of seas and waves will perplex the world, and for fear, peoples hearts will fail them.

Heavenly powers will be shaken. The sign of the Son of man will appear in the sky,3 and all earths people will mourn. They will see the Son of man coming on the clouds with power and great glory. With a loud trumpet call, he will send his angels to gather together his elect from the farthest ends of heaven and earth. When these things begin to happen, raise your heads, for your redemption is near.

       11.5 See the fig and other trees! As they burst into leaves, you yourselves know summer is near. So too, when you see these things, know that He is near. Truly, this generation wont pass away until these things happen. Heaven and earth will pass away, but not my words.”

Only the Father knows the exact day and hour, not even the Son or the heavenly angels do. The coming of the Son of man will be like Noahs day before the flood, when they were eating, drinking, marrying and betrothing, up to the day Noah entered the ark.1 They didnt know until the flood came and swept them away. So will the coming of the Son of man be. Two men will be in the field, one will be taken, the other left. Of two women grinding at the mill, one will be taken, the other left.

               Watch and pray for you dont know the time, lest it meets you deeply engrossed in the merriments and anxieties of life. That day will suddenly entrap all on earth. Watch, therefore, for you dont know the day of your Lords coming. Always watch and pray that you may escape all these things and stand before the Son of man.

11.6 Its like a traveler who leaves his household1 in the care of servants, after assigning each ones work and the doorkeeper to watch. For you do not know the time of the masters return, whether at midnight or dawn. Keep watch, lest he comes suddenly and finds you sleeping. So I say to all, Watch!

       11.7 Know this, if the master of the house1 knew the exact hour a thief is coming, he would be prepared to keep his house from being broken into. So be ready, for the Son of man is coming at an unexpected hour.

11.8 Who is a wise and faithful servant,1 who provides food and rules well over his household? He will be blessed if he is so doing when his master comes. He will be set over all possessions. But if evil, that servant says, My masters coming is delayed, he mistreats fellow servants, eats and drinks with drunkards. That servants master will come unexpectedly, severely cut him up and assign him a portion with hypocrites, where they will be weeping and grinding their teeth.”

       11.9 “Then the heavenly kingdom will be like ten virgins who took lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. The five foolish ones took no oil, whereas the five wise ones carried extra oil in cans. The bridegroom delayed, so they fell asleep. At midnight someone shouted, Look, the bridegroom! Come to meet him. The awakened virgins lit their lamps, and the foolish said to the wise, Give us some oil, for our lamps are going out. The wise replied, Lest it isnt enough for us, go buy your own. While they were gone, the bridegroom arrived, and those ready went in with him to the marriage feast and the door was locked. Later the others returned, saying, Lord, open the door! He replied, No, I dont know you. Therefore watch, for you dont know the day nor the hour of my return.”
       11.10 “The heavenly kingdom is like a man who, on traveling,1 entrusts his possession to his servants. To one, he gave five talents; to another, two, and to another, one, according to their ability, and he left. The one with five talents traded and earned five more. Similarly, the one with two gained two more. But he with one, dug a hole in the ground and hid his masters money. Returning after a long time, the master settled accounts with them. The one with five talents said, Master, by trading I have gained five other talents.

He with two talents reported, Master, I gained two more talents. To each one the master said, Well done, good and faithful servant. Because you are faithful over a little, I will set you over much. Come into my joy!

               Then the servant with one talent reported, Master, knowing you are a hard man, reaping and gathering where you never planted or sowed, I was afraid and hid your talent in the ground; Have your talent back.
       His master replied, You wicked, lazy servant. Knowing me to be that bad, you should have put my money in the bank2 so I can receive it with interest. Take the talent and give it to the one with ten. Everyone who has, will be given more and he will have abundance.3 Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken. Throw this useless servant into the outer darkness where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.
       11.11 When the Son of man comes in glory1 with his angels, he will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate them as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goat. The sheep on his right, but the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right. Come, my Fathers blessed2 ones, inherit the kingdom prepared for you since the earths foundation. For I was hungry and thirsty, and you gave me food and water. I was a stranger and you housed me; I was naked, you clothed me; I was sick, you cared for me; I was in prison, you visited me. Then the righteous will ask, Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty, and gave you food and water? When did we see you a stranger or naked, and housed and clothed you? When did we see you sick or in prison, and visited you? Then the king will answer, Whatever you did for the least of my brethren, you did for me.3
               Then he will say to those on his left, Away, cursed ones, into eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and thirsty, and you gave me no food or water. I was a stranger and you didnt house me, I was naked and you didnt clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you didnt visit me. They too will answer, Lord, when did we see you hungry, thirsty, a stranger, naked or sick, or in prison, and didnt care? He will reply, Whatever you didnt do for the least of these, you didnt do for me. You will go to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.
       11.12 On finishing these sayings, he said to his disciples, “The Passover is two days away, and the Son of man will be handed over for crucifixion.”1 The chief priests and elders met with the high priest, Caiaphas, and plotted ways to take Jesus subtly and kill him. “But not at Passover lest the people riot,” they said.
       11.13 At Bethany, Jesus was guest in Simon the Lepers home where Martha served him a dinner. Lazarus was among the guests. Then Mary took an alabaster bottle of very costly perfume and anointed1 Jesus feet and wiped them with her hair, so filling the house with fragrance. But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who later betrayed him, protested, “Why waste this perfume that can be sold for three hundred daily wages, and the money given to the poor?” Not that he cared, but he kept the purse and stole from it for his own use.

Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. She did well by her

pre-anointing2 me for burial. The poor you always have with you, but not me. Truly I say, wherever the good news is preached worldwide, what she did will be told in her remembrance.”

       11.14 Then Satan entered1 Judas Iscariot, and Judas went to the chief priests and temple guard officers and said, “How much will you give me to betray Jesus.” They were delighted and offered him thirty silver coins. He agreed and watched for an opportunity to betray Jesus secretly.
       11.15 Then came the day for the Passover lamb to be sacrificed, and Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare our Passover.” “Where should we prepare it?” They asked.

He answered, “On entering the city, youll meet a man carrying a water jug. Follow him into a house and ask the owner, Where is the hall, that the Teacher may eat the Passover with his disciples? Hell show you a large upper room already set. Make preparations there.” They left and found everything as Jesus said, and prepared the Passover.

       11.16 At the evening hour, Jesus sat down with the twelve, saying, “I craved to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it is fulfilled in Gods kingdom. Then came rivalry as to who among the twelve was the greatest. Jesus told them, “Unbelievers have kings who lord it over them, which authorities are their benefactors.2 But with you, the greatest must be the least; and the leader, the servant.3 Who is greater, the one seated at the table or the one serving? Isnt it the one seated? But I came among you to serve.4 Because you have stood by me in my trials, I give you, as my Father gave me, a kingdom,5 so that you may dine with me in my kingdom and sit on thrones, ruling6 the twelve tribes of Israel.”
       11.17 It was just before the Passover feast, Jesus knew that the time had arrived for him to leave this world and return to his Father. Having loved his own in the world, he loved them to the end. The devil had already suggested to Judas Iscariot that this was the night to betray Jesus. During supper, Jesus knowing that the Father had put everything under his power, and that he had come from and was returning to God. He rose, removed his garments and wrapped a towel around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin, washed the disciples feet and dried them with the towel. He came to Peter, who said, “Lord, will you wash my feet?”

Jesus answered, “You dont yet realize what Im doing, but you will later.” Peter said, “No, youll never wash my feet!”

Jesus replied, “Unless I do, you are not part of me.” Peter answered, “Lord, wash also my hands and head.”

               Jesus replied, “A person already bathed is wholly clean and needs only to wash the feet,” then he added, “though not all of you.” For he knew who was to betray him. After washing their feet, he put on his garments and sat down, saying, “Do you understand what Ive done? Rightly you call me Teacher and Lord, for so I am. As Teacher and Lord, Ive set an example for you to wash one anothers feet and do as I do. Truly, no servant is greater than his master,1 nor a messenger above him who sent him. You are blessed if you know and do these things. I dont speak of all, I know my chosen ones. But this fulfills the scripture, He who eats my bread has turned against me. I say this now before it happens, so when it occurs youll believe I am He. Truly, whoever receives anyone I send receives me. Whoever receives me, receives Him who sent me.2
       11.18 Then, deeply troubled, Jesus said, “Truly, I say that one of you eating with me will betray me. The Son of man goes as it is written, but woe to the betrayer.  Better for him if he were not born.1

The sorrowing disciples eyeing one another asked, Is  it I, Lord? The one Jesus loved, resting on him and acting on Peters nod, asked Jesus, “Lord, who is it?”

Jesus answered, “It is the man to whom I will give this bread after dipping it.” So he dipped the bread and gave it to Judas Iscariot, Simons son. Judas, the betrayer replied, “Is it I, Teacher?” Jesus said, “You say.” Judas took the bread, then Satan entered him.2

               “What you are planning, do quickly,” Jesus said. No one sitting there knew what he meant. All thought that since Judas had the purse, Jesus was telling him to go and pay for the feast or give money to the poor. After eating the bread, Judas immediately went out into the night.

11.19 Then Jesus said, “Now the Son of man is glorified,1 and God is glorified in him, and soon God will glorify me in Himself. Dear children, Ill be with you a little longer. Then you will seek me, and as I told the Jews, I repeat, Where Im going you cannot come.2

A new commandment I give you: Love one another! If you love one another as I have loved you, all men will know that you are my disciples.”

               “Where are you going, Lord?” Peter asked.

Jesus replied, “You cannot follow me now, but you will later.” Peter asked, “Why cant I, Lord? Ill lay down my life for you.”

Jesus said, “All of you will fall this very night, for it is written, I will strike the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered. When I resurrect, Ill go ahead of you to Galilee”3

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you like wheat. But I have prayed4 that your faith will not fail. When you repent, strengthen your brethren.”

Peter replied, “Lord, Im ready for both prison and death with you!” The other disciples said the same.

               Jesus answered, “Truly, Peter, before the cock crows twice tonight, you will deny me three times.”5

Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?” “No,” they replied.

He said, “But now if you have a purse or bag take it; if you have no sword, sell your garment and buy one. For this scripture must be fulfilled, He was identified with sinners. Everything written6 about me is being fulfilled.” They said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.” He replied, “Its enough.”

11.20 As they ate, Jesus took some bread, gave thanks and broke it. Passing it to the disciples, he said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” Then having taken the cup and given thanks, he said, “Each one drink from it. This is my blood of the new covenant which is poured out for the forgiveness of sins. I wont drink wine again until that day, when I drink it with you new in my Fathers kingdom.”1 They sang a hymn and left for Mount Olives.

11.21 “Dont let your heart be troubled.1 Believe in God; believe also in me. My Fathers house has many mansions. I would tell you if it werent so. Im going to prepare a place for you, and I will come for you so that you will always be wherever I am. You know the way to where I am going.”

               Thomas said, “Lord, we dont know your destination or the way there.”

Jesus replied, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through me. If you knew me, you would know my Father also. From now on you know him and have seen him.” Philip said, “Show us the Father and that will satisfy us.”

Jesus said, “Ive been so long with you Philip, yet you do not know me! Having seen me, youve seen the Father. Why say, Show us the Father? Dont you believe I am in the Father, and the Father is in me?2 I dont speak these words to you on my own, the Father in me is He who is doing His work.3 Believe these statements; otherwise, believe me because of the works. Truly, whoever believes in me will do the works I do and even greater works, because Im going to my Father. To glorify4 the Father in the Son, I will do whatever you ask and anything you ask me in my name.

       If you love me, you will obey my commandments. I will ask the Father and He will give you another Comforter,5 the Spirit of truth, to be with you forever. Him the world cannot receive, because it neither sees6 nor knows Him; but you know Him because He lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphaned, I will come to you. Soon the world wont see me, but you will. Because I live, you will too. You will know then that I am in the Father, you are in me and I am in you. Whoever obeys my commandments, loves me, and will be loved by my Father. And I will love him and reveal myself to him.”
               Judas7 (not Iscariot) asked, “Lord, why are you going to reveal yourself to us and not the world?”

Jesus replied, “Whoever loves me will obey my words. My Father will love him, and we will come and live with him. Whoever doesnt love me, wont obey my words. These words arent mine, but my Fathers. Ive said this while Im with you, but when the Father sends the Holy Spirit in my name, He will teach you and remind you of all that I told you. Peace I leave with you. My peace I give you, I give you unlike the world gives. Dont be afraid or troubled8 in your heart.

               You heard me say Im leaving, then returning. If you love me, youll rejoice that Im going to the Father, He is greater than I. Ive told you this beforehand, so when it occurs youll believe. I cannot talk with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has nothing in me, but so that the world knows I love the Father, I do everything the Father tells me.9 Rise lets go.”

“I am the true Vine. My Father, the Gardener, removes every unfruitful branch, and prunes every fruitful branch so it will bear more fruit. You are already pruned through my teaching. Live in me and I will live in you. A branch must remain in the vine to bear fruit. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

               I am the Vine: you are the branches. He who lives in me, and I in him, bears much fruit. Without me you can do nothing. One who doesnt live in me is removed, dried, gathered and burned. If you live in me  and my words live in you, ask what you wish and it will  be granted. By bearing much fruit, you will glorify my Father and prove to be my disciples.

I have loved you as the Father has loved me.10 Live in my love. You will, if you obey my commands, just as Ive obeyed my Fathers commands and live in His love. Ive told you this, that my joy may be in you and fill up your joy.

               My command is this: Love one another as I have loved you. The greatest love is shown by giving ones life for friends. You are my friends, if you obey me. I wont call you servants again, for a servant doesnt know the masters plans. I call you friends, because everything I learned from the Father Ive told you. You didnt choose me, but I chose you to go and bear lasting fruit. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.

This is my command: Love one another.

If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you are of the world, it would love you. Because I called you and you no longer are of the world, it hates you.

               Remember my word: No servant is greater than his master.11 If they persecuted me, theyll persecute you too. If they kept my teaching, they will keep yours. They will maltreat you for my names sake, because they dont  know12 the One who sent me. They wouldnt be guilty had I not come and spoken to them. Now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates me, also hates my Father. If I hadnt done among them what none else had done, they wouldnt be guilty of sin. Now theyve seen my work, yet they hated my Father and me. This fulfills the scripture, They hated me for no reason.

When the Comforter13 whom I will send, the Spirit of truth proceeding from the Father, comes, He will testify about me. You too will testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.

               I have told you this, so that you wont fall. They will expel you from synagogues. At a time, they will kill you thinking they are serving God. They will do these things because they did not know the Father or me. When the time comes, you will remember that I warned you. I didnt tell you earlier, because I was still with you.

Now Im going to Him who sent me, yet you dont ask Where? Because of all I said, your heart is sorrowful. Truly, it is for your good that I leave. If I do not, the Comforter will not come. He who will convict the world about sin, righteousness and judgment: about sin, because they dont believe in me; about righteousness, because I go to the Father and you see me no more; about judgment, because the prince of this world, Satan, is judged.14

               I want to say many more things, but you cant bear them now. But when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. He wont speak on His own but only what He hears,15 and He will announce future events. All the Father has is mine, which He, the Holy Spirit, will take and reveal to you, hence they are mine. In a little while Ill be gone, but a little while after that, youll see me again.” Some disciples asked, “What is he saying? What is this about not seeing me for a while and then seeing me later, because I go to the Father?”
               Jesus knew their intended16 question, so he said, “Are you asking one another what I meant when I said, In a little while you wont see me, and after a little while you will see me. Truly, I tell you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices. But soon your grief will turn to joy. A pregnant woman labors in pain, but forgets it in the joy of childbirth. So will your grief be turned to lasting joy. You wont have any questions for me then. Truly, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now, you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be full.
               Ive been speaking figuratively, but a time is coming when Ill tell you plainly about my Father. In that day you will ask in my name. Im not saying I will ask the Father on your behalf, for He loves you because youve loved me and have believed that I came from God into the world, then to return to Him again.”

His disciples said, “Now you speak plainly, and we can see you know all things and dont need anyone to question you. So we believe that you came from God.”

Jesus answered, “You now believe! But a time is coming and is here for you to be scattered to your different homes deserting me. Yet Im not alone, for the Father is with me.  Ive told you these things that in me you may have peace. In this world you have troubles. But cheer up! I have overcome the world.”

       11.22 Having finished, Jesus looked up to heaven and prayed. “Father the hour has come. Glorify Your Son that he may glorify You.1 You have given him authority2 over mankind, that he may give those You gave him eternal life, which comes from knowing3 You, the only true God, and I, Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
       11.23 I have glorified1 you by finishing what You gave me to do. Now glorify me with the glory I had with You before the world began. I revealed Your Name to those who are Yours, those You gave me out of the world, and they have kept Your word. They know that everything You gave me comes from You. Because I gave them the words You gave me and they accepted, they know I came from You and they believe You sent me. Im not praying for the world, but for those You gave me, for they are Yours. Everything mine is Yours, and everything Yours is mine, and Im glorified through them. As I am coming to You and leaving the world, Holy Father, while they remain in the world, so protect them by the power of Your name, which You gave me, that they may be one as We are one.2 While I was with them I kept them by Your name. To fulfill scripture, none has perished3 except the son of perdition.
               Now I come to You, but I speak this while Im in the world, so that my fullest joy may be theirs. I gave them Your word and the world hated them. I dont ask that You remove them from this world, but that You keep them from the evil one. Neither they nor I am of this world. Sanctify them by the truth. Your word is truth. As You sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. I sanctify myself for them that they may be sanctified by the truth.
               I dont pray for these alone, but for those who will believe in me through their word. That they may be one, as You are in me, and Im in You, that they may also be in Us, so the world will believe that You sent me. The glory You gave me Ive given them, that they will be one, as We are one. I pray they may be brought into perfect unity, that the world will know You sent me, and that I loved them even as You have loved me.4 Father, I desire that those given me will be with me where I am, to see my glory which You gave me, because You loved me before the worlds creation. Righteous Father, though the world doesnt know You, I do, and they know that You sent me. I have revealed Your name to them and will continue to reveal it, so Your love for me may be in them, and I also may be in them.”
       11.24 After this, Jesus and his disciples went as usual into Mount Olives valley across the Kidron brook. At Gethsemane, Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over to pray.”1 Taking along Peter and Zebedees sons, he became much troubled, saying, “My soul is fatally grieved.2 Keep watch with me here.” Going further, he prostrated himself and prayed, “My Father, all things are possible for you, if you will, let this cup pass from me, but your will be done, not mine.” As he agonized in prayer, an angel appeared and strengthened him, and his sweat, like drops of blood, fell on the ground.                                          
               Returning to the sleeping disciples, he said to Peter, “Couldnt you keep awake for just one hour? Watch and pray3 that you wont walk into temptation. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” Leaving again, He prayed, “My Father, if this cup cannot pass unless I drink it, Your will be done.”
       When he returned, he found them fast asleep again. So he left and prayed the same prayer a third time. Then he returned and said to them, “Sleep on and rest. Enough. Look, the hour has come for the Son of mans betrayal into sinners hands. Rise! Lets go! Here comes my betrayer!”

 

 

12

BETRAYAL AND ARREST

       12.1 Because Jesus often met there at Gethsemane with the disciples, Judas the betrayer, knew the place, and led a band of soldiers and officers, from chief priests and Pharisees, carrying lanterns, lamps and weapons.

Jesus, aware of all that was to befall Him, went out and asked, “Who do you want?” They answered, “Jesus of Nazareth.”

I am He,” Jesus replied. Hearing this, they drew back and fell. He repeated, “Who do you want?” They said, “Jesus of Nazareth.”

       Jesus answered, “I said I am He. If you seek only me, let these men go.” This event fulfilled this prophecy, “I have not lost any of those You gave me.1

Judas had agreed with them: “Quickly arrest whomever I kiss.” He went up to Jesus, saying, “Hail, Master!” And kissed him.

But Jesus said, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of man with a kiss?” “Do what you have come for.” Seeing these things, his disciples asked, “Lord, should we use our sword?” Peter drew his sword and struck Malchus, the high priests servant, severing his right ear.

Jesus reacted, “Stop this!” He touched and restored the mans ear. “Tuck in your sword. Those using the sword will perish by the sword.

               Do you think I cannot ask my Father to provide me twelve battalions of angels? But how then would scripture be fulfilled that it must be so? The cup the Father has given me, shall I not drink it?”

Jesus spoke to the crowds, the chief priests, temple officers and others: “Do you come out with swords and clubs to take me like a robber? When daily2 I taught in the temple, you didnt arrest me, this is your hour of the authority of darkness. But this is happening to fulfill scripture.” When all the disciples fled, they seized one young follower of Jesus by his night garment, he slipped away naked, leaving it behind.

       12.2 Then the soldiers, their commander and Jewish officers arrested Jesus and bound him.

13

TRIALS

       13.1 They led him first to Annas (the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year). Caiaphas it was who had advised the Jews that one mans death would better save the people.1 He questioned Jesus about his disciples and teaching.

Jesus replied, “I spoke plainly2 to the world, taught in the Jewish temple and synagogues and said nothing secretly.” Why question me? Question those who heard me. Sure, they know what I said.”

Hearing this, a nearby official slapped Jesus, saying, “Is that how to answer the high priest?”

Jesus replied, “If I spoke evil, tell me; if not, why hit me?”

       13.2 Annas sent Jesus bound to Caiaphas the high priest, where the chief priests, elders and scribes had gathered. The chief priests and the entire council sought false evidence against Jesus to kill him. They found none because many who testified gave conflicting evidence. Some said, “We heard him say, I will destroy1 this man-made temple and within three days build another without hands.” Their statements did not agree.

The high priest stood and asked Jesus, “Cant you answer these charges against you?” Jesus remained silent. Then the high priest asked, “For the living Gods sake,2 are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed God?”

               “I AM,3 Jesus answered, “and you will see the Son of man sitting at Gods right hand and coming again on heavenly clouds.4 The high priest tore his clothes, saying, “What further witness do we need? You have heard him speak blasphemy.5 What is your verdict?” They all condemned him to death. Some spat on him, others blindfolded and slugged him saying, “Prophesy! Christ, who struck you?” The guards welcomed him with slaps.
13.3 Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. Peter stood outside the high priests gate, while the other disciple, known to the high priest, was allowed to enter with Jesus. When the other disciple spoke to the girl-porter, she took Peter in. As she did, she asked him, “Are you his disciple? You also were with Jesus the Galilean.”

Peter answered, “Im not! I dont know or understand your question.” As he went to the forecourt, a cock crowed.

The servants and officials warmed themselves by a coal fire they made. Peter was with them, warming himself. He was asked again, “Arent you his disciple? You also were with the Nazarene Jesus!” Again he said, “Im not! I dont know the man.”

One of the high priests servant related to Malchus said, “Didnt I see you, a Galilean, with him in the garden?” Again Peter denied, cursing and swearing, “I dont know this man you talk about,” and immediately a cock crowed again. Jesus turned and looked at Peter who recalled his words, “Before a cock crows twice tonight, youll deny me three times.1 Peter left, weeping bitterly.

       13.4 At daybreak, the Rulers Council comprising chief priests, elders, lawyers and the entire Sanhedrin agreed on Jesus death and questioned him, “If you are Christ, tell us.”

“If I tell you,” Jesus replied, “you wont believe, and if I ask a question, you wont answer. From now on, Ill be seated at the right hand of Gods power.1 They all asked, “Are you Gods Son?”

He replied, “As you say, I AM.2 They said, “Do we need further evidence? Weve heard it ourselves from his own lips!”

       13.5 Judas, the betrayer, seeing Jesus was condemned to death, regretted and returned the bribe to the Jewish leaders, saying, “Ive sinned by betraying innocent blood.” “Its your problem,” they replied. He threw down the thirty silver coins into the temple, went out and hung himself.

The chief priest picked up the coins, saying, “It is unlawful to put these in the treasury, since it is blood money.” After meeting, they bought with it a potters field for burying strangers. This field is still known as the “Field of Blood.” This fulfilled prophet Jeremiahs saying, “They took thirty silver coins, the price set on him by Israelites, to buy a potters field, as the Lord commanded me.”

       13.6 Then the Jews led Jesus bound from Caiaphas to the governors palace. They did not enter the palace to avoid defilement, lest they couldnt eat the Passover feast. So Pilate came out and asked, “What is your charge against him?” They replied, “If he werent a criminal, we wouldnt have brought him to you.” Pilate replied, “Take him and judge him by your law.”

“But we arent permitted to crucify anyone. We found him subverting the nation, opposing tax to Caesar and calling himself Christ the King,” they objected. They spoke this to fulfill Jesus prediction concerning the kind of death he would die.1

               Pilate went inside the palace, called Jesus, and asked, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

Jesus asked, “Is that your idea or others?”

Pilate replied, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your people and their chief priests brought you to me. What have you done?”

“My kingdom2 is not earthly, if it were, my officers would fight to prevent my arrest. My kingdom is elsewhere,” Jesus replied.

“You are a real king!” Pilate exclaimed.

Jesus answered, “As you say, Im a king. I was born3 into this world to testify to this truth.4 Everyone who is of the truth believes me.”

               Pilate asked, “What is truth?” Then he went outside and said to the Jews, “I have no case against him.”5

The chief priests brought many charges, but he answered none. Pilate tried again, “Arent you going to answer their charges?” Pilate marveled that Jesus kept silent. But they insisted, “His teaching rouses the people throughout Judea, from Galilee to this city.” Then Pilate asked, “Is he a Galilean?” On hearing that he was and so under Herods jurisdiction, Pilate sent him to Herod, who also was in Jerusalem at that time.

       13.7 Herod was glad to see Jesus, because he  had heard so much about him and wanted to see him perform some miracles. He asked him many questions without getting a reply. The chief priests and scribes standing by accused him vehemently. Then Herod and his soldiers despisingly wrapped him in a gorgeous robe and returned him to Pilate. That day brought reconciliation between Herod and Pilate, ending their former enmity.
       13.8 At Passover, Pilate customarily released any one prisoner the people wanted. One named Barabbas had been imprisoned with a band which had committed murder during a riot. The crowd came asking Pilate to make his usual prisoner release. Then Pilate summoned the chief priests, rulers and people and said, “You have charged this man with inciting a rebellion, but my examination of him in your presence reveals no basis for your charges.1 Neither has Herod found any, for he returned him to us. He has done nothing deserving death.2 I will flog him and release him.” As the crowd gathered, Pilate asked, “Which one shall I release, the notorious Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Christ?” For he knew the Jewish leaders, because of envy, brought Jesus to him.
               While Pilate sat on his judgment seat, this message came from his wife, “Do nothing to that innocent man,3 I suffered much today in a dream because of him.” But the chief priests and elders incited the mob to ask for Barabbas, when Pilate asked, “Which one shall I release?” They shouted, “Barabbas.”

Then Pilate flogged Jesus. The soldiers crowned him with plaited thorns and dressed him in a purple robe.

Then they struck him in the face, saying, “Hail, the king of Jews!”

Pilate returned and said, “I bring him out to let you know, I find him not guilty.4 I will flog him and release him.” Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. “Behold the man!” Pilate exclaimed, wishing to free Jesus. What shall I do with Jesus who is called the Christ? They all shouted, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”

               “You, crucify him. What evil has he done? I have no case against him.5 Pilate said the third time.

The Jews shouted, “Crucify him! By our law he must die because he claimed to be Gods Son.6 Hearing this made Pilate more afraid; he went inside and asked Jesus, “Where are you from?” Jesus didnt answer. Pilate tried again, “Do you refuse to answer? Dont you know I have authority both to release and crucify you?”

Jesus answered, “You have no authority over me except that granted from above. Hence, my betrayer has the greater sin.”7

               Then Pilate wanted to free him, but the Jews shouted, “If you free him, youre not Caesars friend. Whoever makes himself king opposes Caesar.” Hearing this, Pilate brought Jesus out. He sat down on the judges seat in a place called The Pavement. It was about noon on the day of preparation for the Passover. Pilate said, “Behold your king!” They shouted, “Away, away and crucify him!”

“Crucify your king?” Pilate asked.

“Our only king is Caesar,” the chief priests  answered.

Fearing a riot and sensing futility, he took water and washed his hands before them, saying, “Im innocent of this mans blood. Its your responsibility!” The people answered, “His blood be on us and our children.8 Pilate wanting to please them freed Barabbas, and after flogging Jesus, delivered Jesus to them to be crucified.

14 

CRUCIFIXION

14.1 Taking him into the palace courtyard, they gathered the entire battalion of soldiers. They replaced the purple with a red robe, crowned him with plaited thorns and handed him a staff. They struck his head with a staff, spat on him and, in mock worship, knelt saying, “Hail, king of Jews.” Tired of their sport, they replaced the scarlet with his own clothes and led him, carrying his own cross for crucifixion.

A passerby from Cyrene, Simon, father of Alexander and Rufus, was forced to help carry his cross.

       14.2 A large crowd followed, including women who wailed and mourned for him. Jesus turned to them saying, “Daughters of Jerusalem, dont weep for me, but weep for yourselves and your children. Days are coming when barren women will be counted as blessed. Then, others will beg the mountains and hills to fall on and cover themselves. For if they do this to the green wood, what will happen to the dry?” They brought Jesus to Golgotha and gave him wine with myrrh and gall. He tasted it and rejected it.
       14.3 Two robbers too were led out to Golgotha also called The Skull. Then they crucified Jesus with one robber on his right, the other on his left. Pilate wrote his crime in Aramaic, Latin and Greek, and fastened it above Jesus head. It read, JESUS OF NAZARETH, KING OF THE JEWS. Many Jews read this, for Golgotha was near the city. The chief priests protested, “Do not write King of the Jews, but that he claimed to be King of the Jews.” Pilate replied, “What I have written, I have written.”
       14.4 The soldiers took Jesus garments and divided them four ways, a part for each soldier. They decided to cast lots for his one-piece seamless coat to fulfill the scripture, “They shared my garments and cast lots for my clothing.”

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they dont know what they are doing.”

Passersby mocked nodding, “He who destroys1 the temple and rebuilds it in three days, save yourself, as Gods Son, come down from the cross.” The rulers sneered. “He saved others, let him save himself2 as Gods Christ, the Chosen One.” The soldiers also mocked, offering him vinegar saying, “If you are the  king of the Jews, save yourself!”

One of the criminals next to him taunted: “Arent you the Christ? Save yourself and us!” The other retorted,  “Dont you fear God because youre in the same punishment? Were getting our just reward, but he is innocent.3 He added, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.4

               Jesus replied, Today youll be with me in Paradise.” Standing by Jesus cross were his mother, her sister, Cleopas wife Mary, and Mary Magdalane. When Jesus saw his mother and his beloved disciple nearby, he said to her. “Woman, look, your son!5 Then to the disciple, “Look, your mother!” From then on she lived in the disciples home.
       14.5 It was now about noon and darkness occurred over the land until three oclock in the afternoon.

Jesus shouted, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachtani?” Meaning “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?” Some nearby said, “He is calling Elijah.”

Jesus knowing all was completed to fulfill scripture, said, “I thirst.” Someone ran, soaked a sponge in vinegar, put it on a hyssop branch and lifted it to his lips saying, “Lets see whether Elijah will save him?”

After receiving it, Jesus said, “It is finished!”

Finally Jesus shouted, “Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit.” Then he gave up the spirit.

       14.6 The temple curtain was torn in two, the earth shook, rocks fractured, tombs opened and many dead believers1 were raised. Coming out of the tombs after Jesus resurrection, they entered the holy city and appeared to many.

The captain2 and his guard over Jesus, terrified by the earthquake and other happenings, said, “Truly, this was the Son of God.” The crowd that witnessed these events returned home beating their chests.

Many women3 watching from afar had followed Jesus from Galilee ministering to him, including Mary Magdalene, Mary, mother of James and Joseph, and Salome, the mother of Zebedees sons.

15 

                         BURIAL
 
15.1 It was now the day of preparation next to a special Sabbath. The Jews wanted the crosses empty because of the Sabbath, so they asked Pilate to break the mens legs and remove their bodies. So, the soldiers broke the legs of the men crucified with Jesus. When they saw that Jesus was already dead, they didnt break his legs. But a soldier pierced his side, and immediately blood and water gushed out. This is the true account of a honest witness, so that you also may believe.1 This fulfilled the scripture which declares, “None of his bones will be broken,” and “They look on him whom they had pierced.”

               In the evening of the Sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a righteous rich councillor and secret disciple awaiting Gods kingdom, who never agreed with their reasoning and actions, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus body. Pilate, assured by the same captain2 that Jesus was dead, gave Jesus corpse to Joseph.

15.2 Nicodemus,1 who once came to Jesus by nigh,t also came with about one hundred pounds of mixed myrrh and aloes. Together they took Jesus body, spiced and bound it with linen clothes in the Jewish custom. They laid Jesus in a new rock-hewn tomb in a garden nearby, because it was the eve of a Jewish Sabbath. Joseph rolled a huge stone against the tombs entrance and left. Mary Magdalene and Mary2 the mother of Jesus sat opposite the tomb watching. Then they returned home to prepare spices and ointments and rested on the Sabbath, according to the law.

               The day after Preparation, chief priests and Pharisees met with Pilate and said, “While he was alive, that deceiver said, After three days I will rise. So, order guard to the tomb till the third day, lest his disciples steal him and tell the people, He is risen from the dead, and this deception will be worse than the first.” Pilate said, “Take a guard and make it as secure as possible.” They went and, with the guards, locked the tomb and sealed its stone door.

 

16

RESURRECTION APPEARANCES 

       16.1 After the Sabbath, late Saturday afternoon, Mary Magdalene, James mother Mary, and Salome bought spices to anoint him.

16.2 Just after sunrise on Sunday, the women went to the tomb, wondering who would roll away the huge stone door. When they arrived, they saw it had already been rolled aside.

A great earthquake had occurred overnight and an angel of the Lord from heaven, whose appearance was like lightning and whose garment was snow white, came to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. The guards shook with fear, becoming like dead men.

On entering the tomb, the women were startled to see a white-robed man sitting to the right. He said, “Dont fear, you are looking for Jesus, the Nazarene who was crucified. He isnt here. He has risen! See where he lay. Go tell the disciples and Peter, He has gone ahead to Galilee,1 you will meet him there, just as he said.

While still perplexed and terrified, they looked downwards when two men in shining clothes joined them and said, “Why look for the living among the dead? He isnt here, he has risen. Remember what he said to you in Galilee, that the Son of man must be delivered to sinners, crucified and on the third day rise again.” Then they remembered his words.

They fled from the tomb in fear saying nothing to anyone on the way. Returning from the tomb, the    women,2 including Mary Magdalene, Joanna wife of Chuza, Mary mother of James, told these things to the other disciples. It seemed to them as fable and they disbelieved.3 Mary Magdalene ran to Peter and the other disciple whom Jesus loved, saying, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we dont know where he is laid.” The other disciple outran Peter to the tomb, looked in and saw the linen clothes, but didnt go in. Then Peter arrived and went inside where he saw the linen clothes, and the cloth which had been around Jesus head folded up by itself and wondered. When the other disciple went inside, he saw and believed.4 They still did not understand the scripture that Jesus was to rise from the dead. So the disciples returned home.

       16.3 (After rising on the first day of the week, he appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had expelled seven demons.1 She went and told others as they still mourned and wept, but they disbelieved.) Mary, still weeping outside the tomb, looked inside the tomb and saw two white-robed angels sitting each at the head and feet of where Jesus body had been. They said, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She replied, “Because theyve taken my Lord, and I dont know where he is laid.” Then she turned and saw Jesus standing there, but did not recognize him.

Jesus said, “Why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she replied, “Sir, if youve taken him, tell me where, and I will go fetch him.”

Jesus said, “Mary!” She replied, “Teacher!” He said, “Stop clinging to me, for I must first ascend to my Father.

       16.4 “Go to my brethren, and say, I ascend to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” Mary Magdalene ran to the disciples who were still weeping and mourning, saying, “Ive seen the Lord,” and gave them his message.
       16.5 When they heard that he was alive, and that she had seen him, they disbelieved. Lo! Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” They moved closer, clasped his feet and worshipped1 him. Then he said, “Dont be afraid. Go, tell my brethren to meet me in Galilee.”2

16.6 However, some of the guards went into the city and told the chief priests what had happened. They met together with the elders, who paid the guards a large bribe, telling them to say, “His disciples came at night and stole him while we slept.” They added, “Should the governor hear, we will take responsibility and protect you.” Taking the money, the guards did as instructed.

That story had been widely spread among the Jews to this day.

       16.7 That same day, two of the disciples were walking to Emmaus, a village about seven miles from Jerusalem. While they talked about all these events, Jesus approached and walked with them, but they were kept from recognizing him.

He said, “What are you talking about as you walk along?” They halted looking sad. One of them Cleopas, asked, “You are the only one in Jerusalem not familiar with the events of the last few days.”

               Jesus asked, “What events?” They replied, “The things about Jesus of Nazareth. He was a prophet, mighty in deed and word before God and all the people. Our religious leaders sentenced him to death by crucifixion. We had hoped he was Israels Redeemer, but it is now three days since his death. Some of our women amazed us. After visiting his tomb and not finding his body, they reported they had seen a vision of angels who said he was alive. Some of us went to the tomb and found it as the women said, but didnt see him.”

Then Jesus said, “O foolish men, how slow you are to believe the prophets. Wasnt it necessary for Christ to suffer1 before entering his glory? Then Jesus explained to them in all the scriptures about himself, beginning from Moses2 and all the prophets.

               As they approached Emmaus, he prepared to be going further, but they urged him to stay with them since it was getting dark. He agreed. Later, as he ate with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and was passing it when their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. Then he vanished.

They asked each other, “As he explained the scripture to us on the road, didnt our hearts burn?”

They quickly returned to Jerusalem, found the eleven and others together who were saying, “Its true! The Lord has risen and had appeared to Simon.” The two related their experience on Emmaus road, and how they recognized him when he broke bread. They left and told the rest disciples who also disbelieved.3

       16.8 That evening, as the disciples discussed these things behind closed doors fearing the Jews, Jesus stood in their midst and said, “Peace to you.” They were afraid, thinking it was a ghost. Jesus said, “Why are you so troubled and doubtful?1 See and feel my hands. It is I myself, a spirit has no flesh and bones as you see I do.” After saying so, he showed them his hands and feet.

Their joy and wonder still mixed with unbelief, he asked, “Do you have anything to eat?” They gave him some broiled fish which he ate in their presence. The disciples were glad to see the Lord.

               Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me. I send you.” He inhaled and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit, those whose sins you forgive are forgiven, those whose sins you do not forgive are not forgiven.2 The disciple Thomas, also called Twins,3 wasnt with them when Jesus came. When the others said they had seen the Lord, he said, “Unless I see and feel the nail imprints and put my hand into his side, I wont believe.”

16.9 A week later, Thomas was in the house with the disciples. Though the doors were locked, Jesus stood in their midst saying, “Peace be with you!” And to Thomas, “Touch and see my hands, and put your hand into my side. Dont doubt but believe.” Thomas answered, “My Lord and my God!”

Then Jesus said, “Because you have seen me, you believe. Blessed are those who havent and yet believed.”

       16.10 Later Jesus appeared to the disciples at the Sea of Galilee. Peter, Thomas,1 Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, Zebedees sons and two other disciples were together. “Im going fishing,” Peter said. They said they would go too, and got into the boat with Peter, but that night they caught nothing.2
       At daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach, though they did not recognize him. He called out, “Children, have you any fish?” They answered, “No!”

He said, “Drop your net3 to your right hand and you will catch.” When they did, they caught so many they could not pull in the net. Then the disciple whom4 Jesus loved told Peter, “Its the Lord!” On hearing this, Peter, who was naked, put on his coat and jumped into the water. The others remained in the boat and headed for the shore, about one hundred yards away, pulling a net full of fish. When they landed, they saw a coal fire with fish on it, and bread.

Jesus said, “Bring some of your fish.”

Simon Peter went and pulled to land the net full of one hundred and fifty three large fishes, yet the net did not tear. Jesus said, “Come to breakfast.” No one dared ask who he was for they knew it was the Lord. He served them the bread and fish. This was the third time he appeared to the disciples after his resurrection.

               Breakfast over, Jesus asked Peter, “Simon John, do you love me more than these?” He replied, “Yes, Lord. You know I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my lambs,” and again, “Simon, do you love me?” Peter replied, “Yes, Lord. You know I love you.”  The Lord said, “Shepherd my flock.”

A third time Jesus asked, “Simon, do you love me?” Peter, grieved at the Lords insistence, said, “Lord, you know everything. You know I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. When you were young you dressed yourself and went wherever you chose; but when you get old, you will stretch your hands and someone else will dress and take you where you wont want go.” Jesus said this to show the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God.

               Then Jesus said “Follow me.” Turning, Peter saw following, the disciple whom Jesus loved, who leaned on him at the supper and who asked who the betrayer would be. Peter, therefore, asked Jesus, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain till I return, what is that to you? You follow me!” A rumor spread among the brethren that this disciple wouldnt die. However, Jesus didnt say he wouldnt die, but rather, “If I want him to remain till I return, what is that to you?”
               This disciple is the author of these things and bears true witness to these happenings. If all the things that Jesus did were written in detail, the world itself could not contain the books. For Jesus did many signs in his disciples presence which arent in this book. These have been recorded that you may believe5 that Jesus is the Christ, Gods Son, and believing, you may have life in his name.

17

THE GREAT COMMISSION

       17.1 The eleven disciples went to Galilee1 to meet Jesus at the appointed mountain. When he appeared, they worshipped him; but some doubted. He came to them saying, “All authority2 in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey every command I have given you. Lo! I am with you always till the end of the age.”
               “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, unbelievers will be condemned. These signs will follow those who believe. In My name, they will expel demons, speak new tongues, handle snakes, if they drink anything deadly it wont hurt them, they will lay hands on the sick who will then recover.”
       17.2 “I told you while I was with you that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand scripture, saying, “This is what is written: That Christ must suffer1 and resurrect on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses to all this. I will send you my Fathers promised gift. But remain in Jerusalem until you are clothed with power from above.” 

18

SECOND AND FINAL ASCENSION  

       18.1 He led them near Bethany, where lifting his hands, he blessed them and departed. While they were looking, a cloud received him, he was carried up into heaven and sat at Gods right hand.

They worshipped1 him, and with great joy returned to Jerusalem, where they continually stayed in the temple praising God.

Then the disciples went and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the Word with accompanying miracles.2