SINGLE READ, SINGLE STORY
of the LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST
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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 world’s 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 God’s 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 Father’s 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 God’s Son who is in the Father’s 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, “Don’t 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 David’s throne to reign over Israel in an eternal kingdom.”
Mary asked, “How will this be? I’m 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. “I’m the Lord’s 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, Uriah’s 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.
BIRTH AND CHILDHOOD
2.1 Jesus Christ’s 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, don’t 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 Lord’s 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 Syria’s 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 Lord’s glory shone around them and His angel appeared; this frightened them.
The angel said, “Don’t 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, “Let’s 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 Mary’s purification as required by Moses’ law, they took Jesus as firstborn male to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, and to offer the Law’s sacrifice of two doves or young pigeons.
In Jerusalem, lived a righteous and devout man named Simeon, who was constantly expecting Israel’s 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 Asher’s 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 Great’s 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 Herod’s 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 Herod’s 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 Herod’s 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 God’s 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 day’s journey, they searched for him in their caravan. As they couldn’t 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? Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s 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
PREPARATION FOR MINISTRY
3.1 In the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar’s 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, God’s word came to John the Baptist, Zechariah’s son, in the desert. John wore camel’s 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 God’s Kingdom is near,” as the prophet Isaiah wrote:
“The voice of one crying in the desert: ‘Prepare the Lord’s 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 God’s 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. Don’t 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 God’s 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, “Don’t 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 I’m 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 God’s 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, “I’m 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, “I’m just a voice crying in the wilderness, ‘Prepare for the Lord’s coming,’ as prophet Isaiah said.” Then those sent by the Pharisees asked, “If you aren’t 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 I’m unfit to loosen.”
This happened in Bethany beyond Jordan where John was baptizing.
The next day John saw Jesus approaching and said, “See, God’s Lamb2 who takes away the world’s sin! I meant him when I said, ‘One greater than I is coming, who existed before me.’ I didn’t 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 didn’t 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 God’s 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 God’s mouth.’”
Then lifting him to a high mountain, Satan showed him, in an instant, all the world’s 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 temple’s gable in Jerusalem and said, “If you are God’s 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.
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, John’s son, from now you’ll 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, “We’ve 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 God’s Son and Israel’s 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 God’s 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 hasn’t 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 Father’s 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 I’ll 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 didn’t trust them, for he knew all men, and didn’t need man’s 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 can’t be done except with God.”
Jesus answered, “Truly, unless one is reborn2 from above, one can’t see God’s kingdom.” Nicodemus said, “How can an adult re-enter his mother’s womb and be reborn?”
Jesus replied, “Truly, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he can’t enter God’s kingdom.3 Mankind reproduces by flesh, but the Spirit gives birth, spirit to spirit. Don’t 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, don’t know these things? Truly, we speak and testify to what we know and have seen, and our testimony you don’t accept.
When I talk of earthly things and you don’t 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 doesn’t believe in the name of God’s 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 John’s 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 man’s 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 bridegroom’s 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 God’s truthfulness, for His emissary1 speaks God’s 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 God’s 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 brother’s 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 Jacob’s 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 don’t deal with Samaritans.1)
Jesus answered, “If you knew God’s 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 don’t have to come here again.”
Jesus answered, “Go get your husband.” “I have none,” she replied.
“Yes, in fact, for you’ve had five, and the one you now have isn’t 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 you’ll 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 didn’t 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. Don’t 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 didn’t work. Others did the work, and you benefit from of their labor.”
Many Samaritans2 believed in him because of the woman’s 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 we’ve heard him and do know he is truly this world’s Savior.” After the two days, Jesus left for Galilee.
GREAT MINISTRY IN GALILEE
5.1 Jesus returned to Galilee in the Holy Spirit’s power, after John’s imprisonment, preaching the good news of God’s kingdom, saying, “The time has come. God’s 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 won’t 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 Lord’s 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 Lord’s 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, “Isn’t2 this Joseph’s 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 Elijah’s day, during the three-and-a-half year severe famine, he wasn’t sent to the many widows here in Israel, but to a widow in Zarephath of Sidon. And of many lepers in Israel during Elisha’s 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 God’s 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; I’m a sinful man,” For he, his team, and James and John, Zebedee’s sons who were his partners, were amazed at the huge catch.
Jesus said to Peter, “Don’t 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 Zebedee’s 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, God’s 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 Peter’s house, where Peter’s 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 Peter’s house. With a word Jesus healed all1 who had various diseases, thus fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy: “He took our infirmities and carried our diseases.”2 He cast out many demons which shouted, “You are God’s 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, “Let’s visit some neighboring towns to preach God’s kingdom, it is for this purpose2 I came.” Jesus traveled throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of God’s 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, “I’m willing. Be clean.” Instantly, the leprosy was cured. Jesus dismissed him, saying, “Don’t 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
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, “It’s not the healthy, but the sick, who need doctors. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy3 and not sacrifice.’ I didn’t come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
5.12 John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. They came to Jesus asking, “Why don’t 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 shouldn’t. 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, “It’s 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 didn’t 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 doesn’t honor the Son, doesn’t 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. Don’t 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 Father’s will, and I don’t seek to please myself. My testimony concerning myself is not enough. Another bears witness of me, which witness I know is true. You’ve asked John the Baptist and he has testified to the truth.7 Not that man’s 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.
You’ve never heard His voice9 nor seen His form, nor is His word in you, for you don’t believe in the One He sent. You search the scriptures which testify about me, supposing by them you have eternal life. Yet you won’t come to me to have life. I don’t accept men’s praises,10 but I know you, and God’s love isn’t in you. I’ve come in my Father’s 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?
Don’t 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 don’t 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, “Haven’t 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 wouldn’t 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.”
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 won’t argue, shout or be heard in the streets. He won’t break a bruised reed or quench a smoldering wick, until justice is victorious. In his name, will the world trust.”
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 God’s 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 earth’s 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 world’s 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 you’ve 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 you’ve heard it said to the ancients, ‘You shall not break oaths, but keep your oaths to the Lord’. But I say, don’t swear at all: either by heaven, it is God’s throne, or by earth, it is His footstool, nor by Jerusalem, it is the great King’s 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.”
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.”
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 body’s 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 body’s 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
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?”
6.11 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 don’t 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 Father’s 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!’
Jesus marveled at the man’s message, turned to those following and said, “Truly, I haven’t 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.”
6.13 The next day, Jesus with his disciples went to Nain and a multitude followed. Approaching the town gate, he saw a widow’s only son dead, being carried out, and a large crowd of townspeople with her. Jesus felt compassion for her and said, “Don’t 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.
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 you’ve 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 doesn’t lose his faith in me.”2
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.”
Jesus said, “Correct.” Turning to the woman, he said to Simon, “See this woman? When I arrived, you didn’t 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 didn’t 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.”
6.18 They entered a house and crowds gathered again so much that they couldn’t 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,”Isn’t this David’s son,1 the promised Messiah?”
Hearing this, the Pharisees and scribes from Jerusalem said, “This man expels demons by Beelzebub, prince of devils.”2
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 God’s will is my brother, sister and mother.”1
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 haven’t. Whoever has, is given more, so he has in abundance.2 Whoever hasn’t, 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, Isaiah’s 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 didn’t.”
Jesus asked, “If you don’t understand this parable, how will you understand all others? Now listen to the meaning. The seed is God’s word. When anyone hears the message of the kingdom and doesn’t 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.”
6.27 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 landowner’s men came to ask him, ‘Sir, didn’t 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.’”
6.29 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 earth’s beginning.” Privately,2 he explained all to his disciples.
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 Father’s kingdom.2 Let anyone with ears hear!”
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.”
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?”
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.”
Jesus overheard and said to Jairus, “Don’t 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.
6.40 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
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 God’s 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.
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, don’t worry about how or what to speak. At that time, you will be given appropriate words, as your Father’s 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? Don’t 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
Don’t 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 don’t 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.
Whoever receives you, receives20 me and God who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet as one, will receive a prophet’s reward. He that receives a righteous man as one, will receive a righteous man’s 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
SPECIAL TRAINING OF THE TWELVE
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 don’t 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.”
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
Jesus calmed them saying, “Cheer up. Don’t fear. It is I.” Peter called out, “Lord, if it’s 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 didn’t yet understand the lesson of the loaves, since their minds were closed.
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 said, “Stop murmuring! No one comes to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I’ll raise him up on the last day. The prophets wrote, ‘They’ll 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?”
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 don’t 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 added, “You leave God’s 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 God’s word with your tradition. You do many other similar things.”
“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.
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 Father’s. And I say, you are Peter, upon this rock I’ll 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.
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.
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 couldn’t. Lord have mercy on him, for he’s 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!”
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 couldn’t we expel it?”
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 men’s 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.
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 you’ll find a coin enough for us both to give them.”
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.”
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 Christ’s, 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 God’s kingdom with one eye than go with two into hell, where the worms and flames never die.”
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 God’s kingdom worldwide.” Another said, “Lord, I’ll 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 God’s kingdom.”
LATER JUDEAN MINISTRY
Jesus said, “My teaching is from Him who sent me. Anyone wanting to do God’s 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. Didn’t 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 said, “For a short time I’m with you, then I go to Him who sent me. You’ll seek me but you won’t 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?”
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.
Jesus replied, “Even though I do, my witness is true for I know where I’m from and where I’m going, which you don’t know. You judge carnally, but I don’t judge anyone. If I judge, my judgment is true because I’m not alone, the Father who sent me is with me.
Your law says two people’s testimony is valid. Both I and the Father who sent me testify about me.” They asked him, “Where is your Father?”
Jesus continued, “I’m 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, I’m from above and not of this world. That’s why I said you’ll die in your sin, unless you believe that I am He.” “Who are you?” they asked.
So Jesus said, “When you lift5 up the Son of man, then you’ll 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 you’ll know the truth and it will set you free.” They answered, “We are Abraham’s seed and never have been enslaved. How can you say that we’ll be set free?”
I know you are Abraham’s seed, yet you want to kill me, because my word is repulsive to you. I tell you what I’ve seen in the Father’s presence, as you do what you’ve 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 aren’t bastards, God is our Father.”
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?”
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 don’t know. He’s 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 began insulting him, saying, “You’re his disciple! We follow Moses! God spoke to Moses, but we don’t even know where this Jesus came from.” The man answered, “How strange! You don’t know where he’s from, yet he opened my eyes.
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 wouldn’t be sinners, but you say ‘We see,’ so your sin remains.”
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 didn’t listen to them.
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 another’s 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 Father’s command to lay it down and take it again.”
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 enemy’s powers. But don’t rejoice that demons submit to you, but that your names are recorded in heaven.”
“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 man’s neighbor?” Jesus asked. The lawyer said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said, “Go and act similarly!”
The Lord answered, “Martha, Martha, you are worried about so many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary chose that good part, which won’t be taken from her.
“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 we’re already in bed. I cannot rise to give you anything.’ I tell you, though he won’t normally get up and meet his friend’s 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!”
8.14 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 God’s word.”
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 lamp’s rays.”
The Lord said, “You Pharisees clean the outside, but inside you are filled with greed and wickedness. Fools! Didn’t 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 God’s 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.”
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.
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
When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, don’t worry about what to say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that hour what to say.”13
Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me your judge or arbiter? Beware of greed, for a man’s 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 I’ll do about crop storage. I’ll pull down my barns, build bigger ones to store these grains and crops. ‘Then I’ll 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.”
Don’t 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.
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 master’s 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 master’s will and doesn’t prepare or do it, will be severely beaten. But that servant, who doesn’t know and who does things deserving beating, will be punished lightly. Much more is expected from anyone given and entrusted with much.
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 it’s hot. Hypocrites! You predict the weather, but why can’t 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.”
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! Don’t you, on the Sabbath1 untie your animals from their stalls to water them? Then shouldn’t 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.
8.23 Again he said, “What is God’s kingdom like? It is like the yeast1 a woman mixed into three measures of flour till it permeated the whole dough.”
8.25 ‘I am God’s Son?1 Don’t believe me if I don’t do my Father’s works.2 But if I do them, even though you don’t 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
LATER PEREAN MINISTRY
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 don’t 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 God’s 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
Jesus replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I expel demons and heal today and tomorrow, and I’m 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 won’t see me again until you say, ‘Blessed2 is He who comes in the Lord’s name.’”
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 can’t 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.’”
‘Or what king, warring against another, doesn’t 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.’
9.8 All the tax collectors and sinners were coming to hear Jesus. Pharisees and scribes grumbled, “He welcomes and eats with sinners.”
The son said, ‘Father, I’ve sinned against heaven and you, and I’m 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.’
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.’”
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.
He said, “You justify yourselves in men’s eyes, but God knows your hearts. That which is very highly esteemed by men is abominable to God.
“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? Doesn’t 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.’”
When Jesus heard this, he said, “This illness won’t end in death, it’s for God’s glory, so that by it God’s Son may be glorified.’ Jesus loved Lazarus and his sisters, yet he stayed where he was for two days. Then he told his disciples, “Let’s return to Judea.” They asked, “Master, the Jews there have just tried to stone2 you, and you are returning there?”
Jesus explained, “Lazarus is dead, yet I’m glad I wasn’t there, so that you may believe. Let’s go to him.” Thomas, the twin,4 said to fellow disciples, “Let’s also go, that we may die with him.” When they arrived, Jesus found that Lazarus had been four days in the tomb.
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?”
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.”
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.
“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, “Weren’t 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.”
The Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. Won’t 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 replied, “Because of your stubborn hearts, Moses allowed what wasn’t 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, it’s 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 God’s kingdom. Let him who can, accept this.”
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 answered, “It is impossible with men, but all things are possible with God.” Peter exclaimed, “See, what’s our lot, we who left everything to follow you!”
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 day’s wage. So those hired first came thinking they would receive more, but were also paid a day’s 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, ‘Didn’t you agree to work all day for a day’s wage? Take what is yours and go. I’ll pay the last person the same as you. Is it not lawful to do with mine money as I wish. Are you envious because I’m generous?’ So the last will be first, and the first, last.”1
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 don’t 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.
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.
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 Abraham’s son.2 For the Son of man came to seek and save what was lost.”3 The crowd, expecting God’s kingdom4 to appear immediately because he was near Jerusalem, listened while Jesus told this parable:
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 don’t invest and reap where you don’t sow.’
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.
LAST PUBLIC MINISTRY IN JERUSALEM
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.
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 won’t leave one stone on top of another, because you didn’t know this time when God visited you.”
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 didn’t 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 couldn’t, for they feared the people who hung in wonder on his words, listening most attentively.
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
Jesus answered, “This voice spoke for your sake, not mine. Now this world is judged,5 now this world’s ruler will be expelled. But when I’m lifted up,6 I’ll 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?”
Even after Jesus had done so many miracles, they wouldn’t believe in him. This fulfilled10 Isaiah’s prophecy, “Lord, who has believed our report? To whom has the Lord’s arm been revealed?” So, they couldn’t 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
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 don’t judge those who hear my words without obeying, for I didn’t 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 didn’t 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.”
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 don’t 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 I’ll tell you. Was John’s baptism from God or from men?”
They debated among themselves, saying, “If we say ‘from God,’ Jesus will say, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ If we say, ‘From men’, we fear the people’s reaction, for they considered John a prophet.” Finally they answered, “We don’t know.”
Then Jesus said, “Neither will I answer your question.”
Jesus said, “Truly, tax collectors and harlots will enter1 God’s kingdom before you. John came preaching righteousness, but you didn’t believe him, tax collectors and harlots did. After seeing this, you didn’t later repent and believe him.”
They replied, “He will totally destroy the bad men and hire his vineyard to honest tenants.”
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.
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.”
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?” “Caesar’s,” they replied.
Jesus said, “Then, give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God, what is God’s.” Hearing this, they marveled and went away silenced.2
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 God’s kingdom.” After that, no one dared question him any more.2
But don’t follow their example, for they don’t practice what they teach. They lay heavy burdens on men’s 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.’ Don’t 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, 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 God’s 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 God’s throne and by Him who occupies it.
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.
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 won’t see me until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.’”
LAST MOMENTS WITH DISCIPLES
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.
Heavenly powers will be shaken. The sign of the Son of man will appear in the sky,3 and all earth’s 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.
“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 Noah’s day before the flood, when they were eating, drinking, marrying and betrothing, up to the day Noah entered the ark.1 They didn’t 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.
11.6 It’s like a traveler who leaves his household1 in the care of servants, after assigning each one’s work and the doorkeeper to watch. For you do not know the time of the master’s return, whether at midnight or dawn. Keep watch, lest he comes suddenly and finds you sleeping. So I say to all, Watch!
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 master’s coming is delayed,’ he mistreats fellow servants, eats and drinks with drunkards. That servant’s master will come unexpectedly, severely cut him up and assign him a portion with hypocrites, where they will be weeping and grinding their teeth.”
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!’
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.”
He answered, “On entering the city, you’ll 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?’ He’ll show you a large upper room already set. Make preparations there.” They left and found everything as Jesus said, and prepared the Passover.
Jesus answered, “You don’t yet realize what I’m doing, but you will later.” Peter said, “No, you’ll never wash my feet!”
Jesus replied, “Unless I do, you are not part of me.” Peter answered, “Lord, wash also my hands and head.”
The sorrowing disciples eyeing one another asked, ‘Is it I, Lord?’ The one Jesus loved, resting on him and acting on Peter’s 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, Simon’s son. Judas, the betrayer replied, “Is it I, Teacher?” Jesus said, “You say.” Judas took the bread, then Satan entered him.2
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, I’ll be with you a little longer. Then you will seek me, and as I told the Jews, I repeat, ‘Where I’m 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.”
Jesus replied, “You cannot follow me now, but you will later.” Peter asked, “Why can’t I, Lord? I’ll 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, I’ll 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, I’m ready for both prison and death with you!” The other disciples said the same.
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, “It’s 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 won’t drink wine again until that day, when I drink it with you new in my Father’s kingdom.”1 They sang a hymn and left for Mount Olives.
11.21 “Don’t let your heart be troubled.1 Believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many mansions. I would tell you if it weren’t so. I’m 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.”
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, “I’ve been so long with you Philip, yet you do not know me! Having seen me, you’ve seen the Father. Why say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe I am in the Father, and the Father is in me?2 I don’t 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 I’m 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.
Jesus replied, “Whoever loves me will obey my words. My Father will love him, and we will come and live with him. Whoever doesn’t love me, won’t obey my words. These words aren’t mine, but my Father’s. I’ve said this while I’m 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. Don’t be afraid or troubled8 in your heart.
“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 have loved you as the Father has loved me.10 Live in my love. You will, if you obey my commands, just as I’ve obeyed my Father’s commands and live in His love. I’ve told you this, that my joy may be in you and fill up your joy.
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.
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.
Now I’m going to Him who sent me, yet you don’t 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 don’t 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
His disciples said, “Now you speak plainly, and we can see you know all things and don’t 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 I’m not alone, for the Father is with me. I’ve 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.”
BETRAYAL AND ARREST
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.”
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 priest’s servant, severing his right ear.
Jesus reacted, “Stop this!” He touched and restored the man’s ear. “Tuck in your sword. Those using the sword will perish by the sword.
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 didn’t 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.
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?”
The high priest stood and asked Jesus, “Can’t you answer these charges against you?” Jesus remained silent. Then the high priest asked, “For the living God’s sake,2 are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed God?”
Peter answered, “I’m not! I don’t 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, “Aren’t you his disciple? You also were with the Nazarene Jesus!” Again he said, “I’m not! I don’t know the man.”
One of the high priest’s servant related to Malchus said, “Didn’t I see you, a Galilean, with him in the garden?” Again Peter denied, cursing and swearing, “I don’t 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, you’ll deny me three times.”1 Peter left, weeping bitterly.
“If I tell you,” Jesus replied, “you won’t believe, and if I ask a question, you won’t answer. From now on, I’ll be seated at the right hand of God’s power.”1 They all asked, “Are you God’s Son?”
He replied, “As you say, ‘I AM.’”2 They said, “Do we need further evidence? We’ve heard it ourselves from his own lips!”
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 potter’s field for burying strangers. This field is still known as the “Field of Blood.” This fulfilled prophet Jeremiah’s saying, “They took thirty silver coins, the price set on him by Israelites, to buy a potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.”
“But we aren’t 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
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, I’m a king. I was born3 into this world to testify to this truth.4 Everyone who is of the truth believes me.”
The chief priests brought many charges, but he answered none. Pilate tried again, “Aren’t 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 Herod’s jurisdiction, Pilate sent him to Herod, who also was in Jerusalem at that time.
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!”
The Jews shouted, “Crucify him! By our law he must die because he claimed to be God’s Son.”6 Hearing this made Pilate more afraid; he went inside and asked Jesus, “Where are you from?” Jesus didn’t answer. Pilate tried again, “Do you refuse to answer? Don’t 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
“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, “I’m innocent of this man’s blood. It’s 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.
A passerby from Cyrene, Simon, father of Alexander and Rufus, was forced to help carry his cross.
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”
Passersby mocked nodding, “He who destroys1 the temple and rebuilds it in three days, save yourself, as God’s Son, come down from the cross.” The rulers sneered. “He saved others, let him save himself2 as God’s 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: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!” The other retorted, “Don’t you fear God because you’re in the same punishment? We’re getting our just reward, but he is innocent.”3 He added, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”4
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, “Let’s 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.
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 Zebedee’s sons.
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 tomb’s 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.
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, “Don’t fear, you are looking for Jesus, the Nazarene who was crucified. He isn’t 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 isn’t 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 don’t know where he is laid.” The other disciple outran Peter to the tomb, looked in and saw the linen clothes, but didn’t 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.
Jesus said, “Why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she replied, “Sir, if you’ve 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.”
16.6 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.
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.”
Then Jesus said, “O foolish men, how slow you are to believe the prophets. Wasn’t 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.
They asked each other, “As he explained the scripture to us on the road, didn’t our hearts burn?”
They quickly returned to Jerusalem, found the eleven and others together who were saying, “It’s 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
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.
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. Don’t doubt but believe.” Thomas answered, “My Lord and my God!”
Then Jesus said, “Because you have seen me, you believe. Blessed are those who haven’t and yet believed.”
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, “It’s 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.
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 Lord’s 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 won’t want go.” Jesus said this to show the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God.
THE GREAT COMMISSION
SECOND AND FINAL ASCENSION
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