THE NEW TESTAMENT:
AN UNDERSTANDABLE VERSION
Table of Contents

LUKE



CHAPTER ONE

1) Your Excellency Theophilus: Since so many people have undertaken the task of compiling a narrative of events that have happened among us, 2) [that is, people] who were ministers of the word and original eyewitnesses [of these events], and who passed them on to us; [and since] 3) I have thoroughly investigated the entire series of events [myself], I felt it would be good for me also to write you an orderly account of them. 4) Then you could know how reliable the information is that you have been told.

5) In the days of King Herod, of Judea, there was a certain priest named Zacharias of the AAbijah@ division. He had a wife named Elizabeth who was a descendant of Aaron. 6) They both did what was right in God=s sight [by] living blamelessly according to all the commandments and requirements of the Lord. 7) But they had no children, because Elizabeth was unable to bear offspring due to their both being very old.

8) Now it happened that when Zacharias= turn came in his division, 9) to perform his customary duties as a priest before God, he drew the responsibility [that day] of entering the Temple of the Lord to burn the incense offering. [Note: This was done on a golden Altar in the Temple by a priest twice a day]. 10) There was a whole crowd of people praying outside because it was the time for burning the incense offering.

11) Just then an angel from the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the incense altar. 12) Zacharias became disturbed when he saw the angel and was gripped by fear. 13) But the angel said to him, ADo not be afraid Zacharias, for your earnest prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will give birth to a son and you will name him John. 14) And you will have joy and happiness and many people will rejoice when he is born. 15) For he will be great in the sight of the Lord and he will not drink any wine or intoxicating drinks [Note: This restriction suggests that John may have taken the special vow of consecration making him a ANazarite@]. And he will be filled with the Holy Spirit from the time he is born. 16) And he will influence many Israelites to turn to the Lord their God. 17) He will go on ahead of the Messiah [See verse 76], in the spirit and power of Elijah, to rekindle the affections of fathers for their children, and [to influence] disobedient people to live wisely like righteous people. And he will prepare the people to be ready for [the coming of] the Lord.@ 18) And Zacharias said to the angel, AHow will I know this? For I am an old man and my wife is [also] very old.@ 19) The angel answered him, AI am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20) And consider this, you will [have to] remain a mute and be unable to speak until the day when these things happen because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in due time.@

21) Now the people who waited [outside] for Zacharias were very surprised that he was staying in the Temple so long. 22) And when he [finally] came out, he was not able to talk to them. Then they realized he had seen a vision while in the Temple. So, he remained a mute and had to make [hand] signs to them [i.e., in order to be understood].

23) And so it happened, when he had completed the [required] days of his ministry, he went home.

24) After those days, his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and she stayed in seclusion for five months, saying, 25) AThe Lord has done this for me, and at this time [in my life] He has favored me by removing the stigma placed on me by people [i.e., for not having children].@

26) Now in the sixth month [of Elizabeth=s pregnancy] the angel Gabriel was sent from God to the Galilean town of Nazareth, 27) to a virgin engaged to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. The virgin=s name was Mary. 28) The angel came to her and said, AGreetings, you are someone greatly favored [i.e., by God]; the Lord is with you.@ 29) But she became very troubled by what he said and wondered what such a greeting could mean. 30) Then the angel said to her, ADo not be afraid Mary, for you have received favor from God. 31) And consider this, you will become pregnant and give birth to a son and you will name Him Jesus. 32) He will be great and will be called the Son of the Highest [i.e., God], and the Lord will give Him the throne of His forefather King David. 33) And He will rule over the [spiritual] descendants of Jacob forever and there will be no end to His kingdom.@ 34) And Mary said to the angel, AHow can this be, since I have never had sex with a man?@ 35) The angel answered, AThe Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Highest [i.e., God] will overshadow you. Therefore, the child you carry will be called the holy Son of God. 36) And consider this, your relative Elizabeth is also pregnant with a son in spite of her old age, and [even though] she was said to be unable to have children, she is now six months along. 37) For nothing that God says [will happen] is impossible.@ 38) And Mary said, AHere I am, the Lord=s slave-girl; let it happen to me according to what you say.@ Then the angel left her.

39) About that time Mary made a hurried trip to a Judean town in the hill country. [Note: This was be the same province in which Jerusalem was located]. 40) [Upon arriving] she entered the home of Zacharias and greeted [his wife] Elizabeth. 41) And it happened when Elizabeth heard Mary greet her, the baby in Elizabeth=s womb Akicked,@ and she was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42) Then she spoke out in a loud voice and said, A[Mary], you are [truly] blessed [from] among [all] women, and the child you will bear [i.e., Jesus] is blessed [as well]. 43) But why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to [visit] me? 44) For listen, when I heard your voice greeting me, the baby in my womb Akicked@ for joy. 45) And she who [has] believed [the promises made by the Lord] is [truly] blessed, for the things which have been spoken to her [i.e., to Mary] by the Lord will [indeed] be fulfilled.@

46) Then Mary said, AMy soul lifts up the Lord, 47) and my spirit has rejoiced in God, my Savior. 48) For He has looked favorably on the humble circumstances of His servant-girl. And consider this, all generations of people will call me >blessed= from now on. 49) For the Mighty One has done great things for me, and His name is holy. 50) He shows mercy to generation after generation of people who have reverence for Him. 51) He has demonstrated power with His arm. He has scattered those who are proud in the thoughts of their heart. 52) He has dethroned rulers and has exalted humble people. 53) He has filled the hungry with good things and has sent the rich away empty-handed. 54) (As He said to our forefathers), He has helped His servants, the Israelites, [showing] that He remembered to be merciful 55) to Abraham and his descendants forever.@

56) So, Mary stayed with [her relative] Elizabeth for about three months [i.e., until about the time John was born. See 1:26-31], and then returned to her home.

57) Now when Elizabeth was due to deliver, she gave birth to a son. 58) When her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had extended great mercy toward her [i.e., in giving her a child], they rejoiced with her.

59) And it happened on the eighth day [i.e., since the baby was born] that they came to circumcise the child [i.e., to perform the Jewish rite of identity, signifying the responsibility to observe the Law of Moses]. And they [i.e., probably the neighbors and/or relatives of Elizabeth and Zacharias] suggested that they name him Zacharias, after his father. 60) But his mother answered, ANo, he will be named John.@ 61) And they replied to her, A[But] there are not any of your relatives named that.@ 62) And [so] they made [hand] signs to the [baby=s] father to find out what he wanted to name him. 63) Then Zacharias asked for a writing tablet and wrote [the words] AHis name is John.@ And they were all amazed. 64) Just then his mouth was capable of uttering speech, and his tongue could form words, and he praised God. 65) Then all those who lived in the area became afraid; and people were talking about all these things throughout the entire hill country of Judea. 66) And everyone who heard about this incident remembered it [i.e., for some time]. They were saying, AWhat will this child become? For the hand of the Lord was [surely] with him.@

67) Then his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying, 68) AMay the Lord be praised, [who is] the God of the Israelites, for He has come to [the aid of] His people and bought them back [i.e., from bondage]. 69) He has provided a horn of salvation [i.e., His saving strength] for us from a descendant of His servant King David [i.e., Jesus, born of Mary] 70) (as He spoke through the message of the holy prophets of long ago). 71) [He has provided] salvation from our enemies, and from the [destructive] hand of all those who hate us, 72) in order to show mercy to our forefathers and to remember His holy Agreement. 73) [This Agreement was] the oath by which He swore to Abraham, our forefather, 74) that we would be delivered from the [destructive] hand of our enemies and [then] serve Him without fear 75) by living holy and righteous lives before Him all of our days. 76) Yes, you [my] child [i.e., John], will be called the prophet of the Highest [i.e., God], for you will go ahead of the Lord=s presence to prepare His ways. 77) And [you will] provide the knowledge of salvation to His people, by [granting them] the forgiveness of their sins 78) because of God=s merciful compassion. Therefore, the morning sun from above will arise 79) to shine on those who are sitting in darkness and [are under] the shadow of death, and to direct our feet into the way of peace.@

80) So, the child [i.e., John] grew and became strong in [his] spirit and stayed in the desert until the day when he appeared publicly to the Israelites.



CHAPTER TWO

1) Now it happened in those days that a decree was sent out from Caesar Augustus [the Emperor of the Roman Empire] requiring [people from] the whole empire to be registered [i.e., for taxation purposes]. 2) This was the first registration made while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3) And everyone went to register in his own home town.

4) So, Joseph also went from the Galilean town of Nazareth to David=s town, which was the Judean town of Bethlehem, because he was among the descendants and family of David. 5) [He went] to register, along with Mary, who was engaged to him and who was pregnant [at the time]. 6) And it happened while they were there that the due date came for her to have the baby. 7) So, she bore her firstborn Son and wrapped Him in [linen] cloths and laid Him in an animal=s feeding trough because there was no room for them in the lodge.

8) Now there were [some] shepherds in that region who were living in the fields and guarding their flocks [of sheep] at night. 9) [Suddenly] an angel from the Lord [was seen] standing near them and the glorious presence of the Lord shone around them, and they were very afraid. 10) And the angel said to them, ADo not be afraid; for look, I am bringing good news that will cause great joy to all people. 11) For a Savior has been born today in David=s city [i.e., Bethlehem], who is Christ the Lord [i.e., God=s specially chosen one]. 12) And this is the sign [that will verify it] to you: You will find a baby wrapped in [linen] cloths lying in an animal=s feeding trough.@

13) Then suddenly there appeared with the angel a large number of the heavenly Aarmy@ [i.e., of angels], who were praising God and saying, 14) AMay there be glory to God in the highest [heavens], and may there be peace on earth among men who are pleasing to God.@

15) And it happened when the angels left them and returned to heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, ALet us go to Bethlehem now and see what all happened that the Lord told us about.@ 16) So, they went quickly and found both Mary and Joseph with the baby, lying in the animal=s feeding trough. 17) And when they saw this, they told [everyone] what the angel had said about this baby. 18) And all who heard it marveled at the things the shepherds told them. 19) But Mary treasured all these things and wondered about them [often]. 20) Then the shepherds returned [to their fields], honoring and praising God for everything they had heard and seen, for it all happened just as they had been told.

21) Eight days later it was time to circumcise Jesus [i.e., to perform the Jewish rite of identity, signifying the responsibility to observe the Law of Moses], and they named Him Jesus, which was the name given by the angel before He was [even] conceived.

22) Then when the days of their purification according to the Law of Moses were completed [Note: This was a set procedure required for a Jewish mother on the birth of a child. See Lev. 12:1-8], Joseph and Mary brought Jesus up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord. 23) (It is recorded in the law of the Lord [Ex. 13:2, 12] that every firstborn male child be considered holy [i.e., specially dedicated] to the Lord.) 24) They came to offer a sacrifice of two doves or two young pigeons, in accordance with what is written in the Law of Moses.

25) Now there was a righteous and devoted man named Simeon at Jerusalem, who was expecting the consolation of the Israelites [i.e., the coming of the Messiah to save them], and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26) Now it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die until he had seen the Lord=s Christ [i.e., God=s, specially chosen one]. 27) And he was led by the Holy Spirit into the Temple, and when Joseph and Mary brought the baby Jesus in, so they could do to Him what was customary under the Law of Moses, 28) Simeon took Jesus in his arms, praised God and said, 29) AMaster, you may now allow your servant to be released [i.e., die] in peace, according to what you said. 30) For my eyes have seen your salvation [i.e., Jesus], 31) which [i.e., whom] you have prepared before all people [i.e., for their benefit], 32) [to be] a light for revealing [God=s way of salvation] to the [unconverted] Gentiles, and a [source of] glory to your people, the Israelites.@

33) And Jesus= [step-] father and His mother were amazed at the things said about Him. 34) Then Simeon [asked God to] bless them and said to Jesus= mother Mary, ALook, many Israelites will be caused to fall [i.e., into spiritual ruin] or rise [i.e., to spiritual renewal] because of Him. And [He will be] a >sign= [for people] to speak against, 35) and thus reveal the thoughts of many hearts. Yes, and a sword will cut you [Mary] to the heart [i.e., causing you inward pain].@

36) And there was a woman prophet named Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, from the tribe of Asher [i.e., she was a descendant of one of Jacob=s son]. (She was very old, having lived with her husband for [only] seven years after being married, 37) and has been a widow [all these years], and is now eighty-four years old.) She has never left the Temple, but worships [God] by fasting [i.e., going without food and/or water for religious reasons] and praying night and day. 38) She came forward at that very time and thanked God [in prayer] and spoke about the child [Jesus] to everyone [in the Temple area] who was expecting the redemption of the people of Jerusalem [i.e., their liberation from sin].

39) So, when Joseph and Mary had completed everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to their [current home] town of Nazareth, in Galilee. 40) And the child [i.e., Jesus] grew and became strong. He was filled with wisdom and God=s favor was upon Him.

41) Now Jesus= parents went to Jerusalem every year to attend the Passover Festival. [Note: This was the annual Jewish festival commemorating Israel=s deliverance from Egyptian bondage under Moses= leadership]. 42) When Jesus was twelve years old, they [all] went up to the Festival as usual. 43) And when they had completed [all] the days [of festivities], and were returning [home], the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. Now His parents did not know this, 44) so thinking He was in the caravan, they continued traveling for an entire day [before] they began looking for Him among their relatives and friends. 45) And when they could not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for Him. 46) And it happened after three days that they found Him in the Temple, sitting in the middle of the [Jewish] teachers, listening to them and asking questions. 47) And all of them who heard Him were amazed at His understanding [i.e., of spiritual matters] and His answers [to questions they would ask Him]. 48) When His parents [finally] saw Him, they were very surprised and His mother asked Him, ASon, why have you treated us this way? Look, your [step-] father and I have been anxiously searching for you.@ 49) And He replied to them, AWhy were you looking for me? Did you not know that I had to be in my Father=s house [i.e., the Temple]?@ 50) But they did not understand what He meant when He said that to them.

51) So, Jesus went down to Nazareth with them and [continued] to obey them. And His mother kept all these things [stored up] in her heart.

52) And Jesus advanced in wisdom; He grew up and [increased] in favor with God and men.



CHAPTER THREE

1) Now it was the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar. Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod was ruler of Galilee, his brother Philip was ruler of the regions of Ituraea and Trachonitus [Note: These two men were sons of Herod the Great (See Matt. 2:1) and ruled over provinces east of the Jordan River] and Lysanias was ruler of Abilene [Note: This was a province just north of the two previously mentioned ones]. 2) [During this time], while Annas and Caiaphas [Note: This man was Annas= son-in-law. See John 18:13] were head priests, God=s message came to John [the Immerser], son of Zacharias, [when he was] in the desert [of Judea]. 3) He went into the whole region around the Jordan River proclaiming that those immersed on the basis of their repentance [i.e., determining to change their hearts and lives] would receive the forgiveness of sins [from God]. 4) This was according to what is written in the book containing the words of Isaiah, the prophet [Isa. 40:3ff], AThe voice of a man who speaks out in the desert [urging people] to make the road for the Lord ready [for Him to travel]; to make a straight pathway for Him [to walk on]. 5) Every valley will be filled up and every mountain and hill will be leveled. And crooked [roads] will become straight and rough ones smoothed out. 6) And all mankind will see the salvation of God [i.e., become available to them].@

7) He said to the crowds of people that went out [to the desert] to be immersed by him, AYou children of snakes, who warned you to run away from the coming wrath [of God]? 8) Demonstrate by your lives that you have [really] repented, and quit saying to yourselves, >We claim Abraham as our forefather,= because I tell you, God is able to make Abraham=s children out of these stones. 9) And even now the axe is also ready to chop down the trees at their roots [i.e., you Jews]. Every tree [i.e., person] that does not produce wholesome fruit [i.e., a godly life] will be cut down and thrown into the fire [i.e., the punishment of hell].@

10) Then the crowds asked him, AWhat then must we do [i.e., to demonstrate our repentance]?@ 11) And he answered them, AThe person who has two coats should give [one of them] to the person who does not have any; and the person who has food should do the same thing.@

12) Then some tax collectors came to him to be immersed and asked him, ATeacher, what must we do [i.e., to demonstrate our repentance]?@ 13) And he answered them; ADo not collect any more [tax money] than you are required to.@

14) Some soldiers on duty also asked him, AAnd what must we do [i.e., to demonstrate our repentance]?@ And he answered them, ADo not force people to give you money or accuse them falsely, and be content with your pay.@

15) Now as people were anticipating [what would happen] and everyone was wondering in their hearts if perhaps John were the Christ [i.e., God=s specially chosen one], 16) John answered [their concerns] by saying to all of them, AI am [the one] immersing you in water, but One who is more powerful than I will follow my [ministry]. I am not [even] worthy to loosen the straps of His sandals. He will immerse you people with the Holy Spirit and with fire [i.e., the punishment of hell. See Matt. 3:10-12]. 17) His separating shovel is in His hand and He will completely clear off His threshing floor [i.e., by removing all of the husks]. And He will gather the wheat into His barn, but will burn up the husks with a fire that will never go out.@

18) So, John preached the good news to the people with many different appeals. 19) But because he had rebuked Herod, the tetrarch, for [marrying] his brother=s wife Herodias, and for all the other bad things he had done, 20) to top it off, Herod put John in prison.

21) Now it happened when all the people had been immersed [by John], that Jesus was also immersed [by him]. And while Jesus was praying, heaven was opened 22) and the Holy Spirit came down on Him in a physical form, as a dove, and a voice spoke out of heaven [saying], AYou are my dearly loved Son. I am very pleased with you.@

23) And Jesus was about thirty years old when He began to teach. (It was assumed that) He was the son of Joseph, who was the [legal] son of Heli [Note: A lineage through Jesus= mother Mary follows:] 24) [Heli was] the son of Matthat, who was the son of Levi, who was the son of Melchi, who was the son of Jannai, who was the son of Joseph, 25) who was the son of Mattathias, who was the son of Amos, who was the son of Nahum, who was the son of Esli, who was the son of Naggai, 26) who was the son of Maath, who was the son of Mattathias, who was the son of Semein, who was the son of Josech, who was the son of Joda, 27) who was the son of Joanan, who was the son of Rhesa, who was the son of Zerubbabel, who was the son of Shealtiel, who was the son of Neri, 28) who was the son of Melchi, who was the son of Addi, who was the son of Cosam, who was the son of Elmadam, who was the son of Er, 29) who was the son of Jesus, who was the son of Eliezer, who was the son of Jorim, who was the son of Matthat, who was the son of Levi, 30) who was the son of Symeon, who was the son of Judas, who was the son of Joseph, who was the son of Jonam, who was the son of Eliakim, 31) who was the son of Melea, who was the son of Menna, who was the son of Mattatha, who was the son of Nathan, who was the son of David.

32) [And David] was the son of Jesse, who was the son of Obed, who was the son of Boaz, who was the son of Salmon, who was the son of Nahshan, 33) who was the son of Amminadab {{Some ancient manuscripts insert Awho was the son of Admim@}}, who was the son of Arni, who was the son of Hezron, who was the son of Perez, who was the son of Judah, 34) who was the son of Jacob, who was the son of Isaac, who was the son of Abraham.

[And Abraham] was the son of Terah, who was the son of Nahor, 35) who was the son of Serug, who was the son of Reu, who was the son of Peleg, who was the son of Eber, who was the son of Shelah, 36) who was the son of Cainan, who was the son of Arphaxad, who was the son of Shem, who was the son of Noah, who was the son of Lamech, 37) who was the son of Methuselah, who was the son of Enoch, who was the son of Jared, who was the son of Mahalaleel, who was the son of Cainan, 38) who was the son of Enos, who was the son of Seth, who was the son of Adam.

[And Adam] was the son of God.



CHAPTER FOUR

1) Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River [i.e., where He had been immersed. See 3:21] and was led by the Holy Spirit [See Matt. 4:1] into the desert. 2) During the forty days He was being put to the test by the devil, He did not eat anything; then after it was over He was [very] hungry.

3) Then the devil said to Him, AIf you are the Son of God, command this stone to turn into bread.@ 4) But Jesus answered him, AIt is written [Deut. 8:3], >A person is not to live by [eating] bread only.=@

5) Then he led Him up [i.e., to a high mountain. See Matt. 4:8] and showed Him all the world=s kingdoms in a fleeting instant. 6) And the devil said to Him, AI will give you full authority [over them] and their splendor, for it has [all] been granted to me and to whom I want to give it. 7) Therefore, if you will worship in front of me it will all be yours.@ 8) And Jesus answered him, AIt is written [Deut. 6:13], >You are supposed to worship the Lord, your God, and serve only Him.=@

9) Then the devil led Jesus to Jerusalem and placed Him on the elevated wing of the Temple and said to Him, AIf you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10) for it is written [Psa. 91:11-12], >He will put his angels in charge of you, to protect you,= 11) and >They will lift you up with their hands so you do not trip over a stone.=@ 12) And Jesus answered him, AIt is said [Deut. 6:16], >You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.=@

13) And when the devil had finished every test, he left Jesus until a [later] time.

14) Then Jesus returned to Galilee with power from the Holy Spirit; and a report about Him spread through the entire surrounding region. 15) And He was honored by everyone [as] He taught in their [Jewish] synagogues.

16) Jesus then went to Nazareth where He had been brought up. He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath day, according to His custom, and stood up to read [the Scriptures]. 17) The book [i.e., actually a scroll] of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. He opened the book and found the passage where it was written [Isa. 61:1f], 18) AThe Holy Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He anointed me [i.e., specially chose me] to preach good news to poor people. He has sent me to proclaim freedom to those who are captives [i.e., to sin]; recovery of sight to the [spiritually as well as physically] blind; to set free those who are oppressed [i.e., by Satan] and 19) to proclaim the year of the Lord=s acceptance [i.e., the time when people would become His obedient followers].@

20) Then He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were focused on Him. 21) He began speaking to them [saying], AToday this [passage of] Scripture has been fulfilled as you listened to it.@

22) So, everyone spoke well of Him and marveled at the gracious words coming from His mouth. They said, AIs he not Joseph=s son?@ 23) And He replied to them, ANo doubt you will tell me this proverb, >Doctor, heal yourself,= and >Perform [the miracles] here in your own home town also that we heard you did in Capernaum.=@

24) And He said, ATruly I tell you, no prophet is acceptable in his own home town. 25) But it is true when I tell you, [while] there were many widows [living] in Israel during the time of Elijah, when it did not rain for three and a half years, causing a great famine over the entire land, 26) Elijah was not sent to any of them, except to a widow in Zarephath [i.e., a Gentile town] in the region of Sidon. 27) And [while] there were many people with infectious skin diseases [living] in Israel during the time of Elisha the prophet, none of them was healed except Naaman, the Syrian [who was also a Gentile].@

28) Then everyone in the synagogue became extremely angry when they heard these things. 29) They rose up and threw Jesus out of the city, leading Him to the top of the hill on which the city was built, in order to throw Him down [from a cliff]. 30) But He [just] walked right through them and went on His way.

31) Then He went down to the Galilean city of Capernaum and taught the Jews on the Sabbath day. 32) They were amazed at His teaching for He spoke with authority.

33) Now there was a man in the synagogue who was dominated by the spirit of an evil demon [Note: These Aevil spirits@ or Ademons@ were powerful beings sent by Satan to inhabit people, causing physical, mental and spiritual harm to them]. He was shouting with a loud voice, 34) AHa! What business do we have with you, Jesus from Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are; [you are] God=s Holy One.@ 35) Then Jesus spoke sternly to the evil spirit [in the man], saying, ABe quiet, and come out of him.@ And when the evil spirit had thrown the man down in front of them, it came out of him, without causing any harm. 36) And everyone became amazed and began saying to one another, AWhat is he saying? For with authority and power he orders the evil spirits to come out [of people], and they do." 37) Then a report about Him spread to the entire surrounding region.

38) So, He left the synagogue and entered Simon=s [i.e., Peter=s] house. Now Simon=s mother-in-law was [in bed] stricken with a high fever. And they [i.e., Andrew, James and John, besides Peter. See Mark 1:29] begged Him [to do something] for her. 39) So, He stood over her and spoke sternly to the fever. It left her and she got up [out of bed] and began serving them.

40) And when the sun was setting, everyone who had friends or relatives who were sick with various diseases brought them to Jesus and He placed His hands on each one of them and healed them. 41) And evil spirits also came out of many people, shouting [at Him], AYou are the Son of God.@ And Jesus spoke sternly to them and would not allow them to speak [anymore] because they knew He was the Christ [Note: Jesus would not accept the endorsement of these Satanic spirits].

42) And when it became daylight He left [Simon=s house] and went to a deserted place [i.e., to pray. See Mark 1:35]. The crowds were looking for Him and [upon finding Him] went to Him and tried to discourage Him from leaving them. 43) But He told them, AI must go to other towns also to preach the good news of God=s [coming] kingdom, for this is why I was sent [by God].@

44) So, He [went and] preached in the [Jewish] synagogues of Judea [also].



CHAPTER FIVE

1) Now it happened while Jesus was standing on the shore of Lake Genneseret [i.e., Lake Galilee] that the crowd was pushing closer to Him to hear God=s message. 2) He saw two boats [tied up] along the shore of the lake, for the fishermen had left them [there] and were washing their nets [i.e., on the beach]. 3) So, He entered one of the boats that belonged to Simon [i.e., Peter], and asked him to launch out a short distance from shore. Then He sat down and taught the crowds from the boat.

4) And when He had finished talking, He said to Simon, ALaunch out into deeper water and lower your nets for a catch [of fish].@ 5) Simon replied, AMaster, we worked all night, but did not catch anything. But I will lower the nets if you say so.@ 6) And when they had done this, they gathered in a large number of fish [until] their nets began to break. 7) So, they motioned to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. When they came, they filled both boats until they began to sink. 8) But when Simon Peter saw this, he fell down at Jesus= knees, saying, AGo away from me, Lord, because I am a sinful man.@ 9) For he and those who were with him were amazed at the [huge] quantity of fish they had caught. 10) Simon=s partners James and John, sons of Zebedee, were also amazed. So, Jesus said to Simon, ADo not be afraid; from now on you will catch people.@ 11) And when they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed Jesus.

12) And it happened while Jesus was in one of the towns [i.e., surrounding Lake Galilee], that a man covered with an infectious skin disease appeared and, when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face [to the ground] and begged Him, saying, AIf you want to, you can heal me.@ [Note: Throughout this narrative the terms Aheal/healing@ are originally Aclean/cleansing@ because the Jews viewed a person with such a disease as ceremonially Aunclean.@ See Lev. 13:1-3]. 13) Then He reached out His hand and touched the man, saying, AI [do] want to; be healed.@ And immediately the infectious skin disease left him. 14) Then He ordered the man not to tell anyone [about the healing], saying, AGo on your way and show yourself to the priest and offer the proper sacrifice for your healing that Moses required [Lev. 13:49; 14:2ff] as evidence to people [that you were healed].@ 15) But the news about what Jesus had done spread all the more widely, so that large crowds assembled to listen to Him and to be healed of their sicknesses. 16) So, He went away to deserted places and prayed.

17) And it happened on one of those days [in Capernaum. See Mark 2:1], as He was teaching, that some Pharisees [i.e., a strict sect of the Jewish religion] and teachers of the Law of Moses, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem, were sitting around [i.e., listening to Him]. And the power of the Lord was with Him, enabling Him to heal people. 18) Just then [four] men [See Mark 2:3] brought a paralyzed man on a cot and attempted to place him in front of Jesus. 19) But because they could not find a [suitable] way to get him in [to the house] because of the people crowded [around], they went up to the housetop [Note: This was a flat area, where people retired for rest, prayer, etc., with a stairway accessible from the outside] and lowered the man on his cot through the roof tiles into the presence of Jesus. 20) And when He saw the evidence of their faith, He said, AMan, your sins are forgiven.@

21) Then the experts in the Law of Moses and the Pharisees began to reason [in their minds], saying, AWho is this man who speaks things against God [i.e., by claiming the ability to forgive sins]? Who can forgive sins except God only?@ 22) But Jesus perceived their reasonings and answered them, AWhy are you reasoning in your hearts? 23) Which is easier, to say [to the paralyzed man], >Your sins are forgiven,= or to say, >Get up and walk=? 24) But so you will know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins, (He then said to the paralyzed man), >I say to you, get up, pick up your cot and go home.=@ 25) So, immediately he stood up in front of them and picked up what he had been lying on [i.e., his cot], and went home, giving honor to God. 26) And everyone was filled with amazement; they gave honor to God and were overwhelmed with reverence, saying, AWe have seen incredible things today.@

27) Then after these things happened, Jesus went out [i.e., probably walking along a street] and saw a publican [Note: This was a person with a bad reputation for dishonest tax collecting activities] named Matthew [i.e., the same as Levi. See Mark 2:14] sitting at the toll booth [collecting taxes] and said, ABecome my follower.@ 28) So, Matthew gave up everything, got up and followed Jesus.

29) Then Levi prepared a lavish dinner for Jesus at his house. A large number of [other] tax collectors were [also] having dinner with them. 30) Now the Pharisees and their experts in the Law of Moses complained to Jesus= disciples, saying, AWhy do you men eat and drink with tax collectors and worldly people?@ 31) And Jesus answered them, APeople who are healthy do not need a doctor, but [only] sick people do. 32) I did not come to call those who are doing right to repent [i.e., to change their hearts and lives], but [only those who are] sinners.@

33) Then they said to Jesus, AJohn's [the Immerser=s] disciples fast frequently [i.e., going without food and/or drink for religious reasons] and they offer earnest prayer requests, and the disciples of the Pharisees do the same things. But your disciples eat and drink.@ 34) Jesus answered them, ACan you force the companions of the groom to fast while the groom is [still] with them? 35) But the time will come when the groom will be taken away from them [Note: Jesus here refers to Himself]. Then they will fast at that time.@

36) And He told them a parable [i.e., a brief story to illustrate His teaching]: ANo one tears a piece [of cloth] from a new item of clothing and sews it on an old one. If he does, it will tear the new one. And besides, the piece [of cloth] from the new clothing will not match the old one. 37) And no one puts freshly squeezed grape juice into previously used bottles made of animal skins. [If he does], the newly squeezed juice will [crack and] burst the [dried out] animal skins and [all the juice will] spill out, and the animal skin bottles will [also] become useless. 38) But freshly squeezed grape juice must be put into newly made animal skins. 39) And no one who has drunk aged wine wants newly squeezed [juice], for he says, >The older [grape juice] is better.=@



CHAPTER SIX

1) Now it happened on a Sabbath day that Jesus was walking through some grain fields. His disciples picked off some heads of grain, rubbed them in their hands and ate [the kernels]. [Note: It was an accepted practice for people in that day to be permitted to do this as they walked along paths bordering a grain field]. 2) But certain Pharisees said, AWhy are you doing what is against the Law of Moses on the Sabbath day?@ 3) And Jesus answered them, AHave you never read about what King David did when he and his men were hungry [I Sam. 21:6]; 4) how he entered the house of God [i.e., the Temple] and took some >Bread of Presence= and ate it, and also gave some to his men to eat? [This practice] was not permissible according to the Law of Moses, [since the bread was reserved] only for the priests.@ 5) Then He said to them, AThe Son of man is lord [i.e., has authority over] the Sabbath day.@

6) And it happened on another Sabbath day, when Jesus entered the synagogue to teach, that a man was there whose right hand was deformed. 7) And the experts in the Law of Moses were watching Him to see if He would heal [someone] on the Sabbath day, so they could figure out how to accuse Him. 8) But He knew what they were thinking. Then He said to the man with the deformed hand, AGet up, step forward in front of everyone.@ So, he got up and stepped forward. 9) Then Jesus said to them, AI ask you, is it permitted by the Law of Moses to do something good or to do something harmful on the Sabbath day? To save a life or to destroy it?@ 10) Then He looked around at all of them [there] and said to the man, AReach out your hand.@ And [when] he did this, his hand was restored [to normal use]. 11) But the experts in the Law of Moses and the Pharisees became furious and began discussing among themselves what they could do to Jesus.

12) And it happened during that time that Jesus went out to the mountain [i.e., probably a hillside near Capernaum] to pray, and continued praying to God all night. 13) And when it was daylight, He called His disciples and chose from among them twelve, whom He also called apostles. 14) [They were] Simon, also called Peter, and his brother Andrew, James and John [also brothers], Philip, Bartholomew [i.e., the same as Nathaniel. See John 1:45], 15) Matthew [i.e., the same as Levi. See Mark 2:14], Thomas [i.e., the same as Didymus. See John 11:16], James, the son of Alphaeus, Simon, called the Zealot [i.e., the same as the Cananean. See Matt. 10:4], 16) Judas, the son of James [i.e., the same as Thaddaeus. See Matt. 10:3] and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor [to Jesus].

17) Then He came down [from the mountain] with them and stood on a level place [where] a large crowd of His disciples and a large group of people had gathered to hear Him and be healed from their diseases. 18) And [also] those who were tormented by evil spirits were healed. 19) Then the whole crowd tried to touch Him because [supernatural] power was coming from His body, and He healed all of them.

20) Then He looked at His disciples and said, AThose of you who have a [sense of personal] need are blessed, because the kingdom of God belongs to you. 21) Those of you who now have an appetite [i.e., for doing what is right] are blessed, because you will be satisfied [eventually]. Those of you who cry now [i.e., over your sins] are blessed, because you will laugh [i.e., when you are forgiven later]. 22) You are blessed when men hate you and withdraw their fellowship from you and speak abusively about you and reject your name as evil, [all] for being loyal to the Son of man. 23) Be happy at that time and jump for joy and realize that your reward in heaven will be great, for the forefathers [i.e., of your corrupt Jewish leaders] treated the prophets the same way. 24) But it is too bad for you rich people because you have [already] received [all] the comforts [you are going to get]. 25) It is too bad for you people who have plenty to eat now, because you will be hungry [later on]. It is too bad for you people who are laughing now, because you will grieve and cry [later on]. 26) It is too bad for you people when everyone speaks well about you, because the forefathers said the same thing about the false prophets.

27) But I tell you people who are listening [to me], love your enemies and do good things to those who hate you. 28) [Ask God=s] blessing on those who curse you; pray for those who treat you spitefully. 29) Whoever hits you on one side of the face, allow him [to hit you on] the other side also; and when someone takes away your coat, do not stop him from also taking away your shirt [i.e., if he insists on it]. 30) Give to everyone who asks you [for something] and do not demand that he bring back your possessions that he takes away. 31) And whatever you would like people to do to you, do the same thing to them. 32) And if you love [only] those who love you, what thanks do you deserve for doing that? For even worldly people love those who love them. 33) And if you do good things [only] to those who do good things to you, what thanks do you deserve for doing that? For even worldly people do that much. 34) And if you lend something [only] to those people from whom you expect to have it returned, what thanks do you deserve for doing that? Even worldly people lend to worldly people expecting to get the same things back. 35) But love your enemies and do good things to them; and lend to them without expecting it to be returned, and your reward [i.e., from God] will be great and you will be [considered] sons of the Highest [i.e., God]. For He is kind to unthankful and evil people [as well]. 36) You people should be merciful just like your Father is merciful. 37) And do not pass [hypocritical] judgment [on other people. See Matt. 7:1-5] and you will not receive such judgment [on yourselves]. And do not condemn [others] and you will not be condemned [yourselves]. Release people [i.e., from guilt for offending you] and you will be released [i.e., by God?] 38) Give [to others] and you will have [things] given to you. People will pour into your lap a full measure [of goods]; it will be pressed down, shaken together and running over [the edges]. Because the standard you use in giving [to others] will be the standard used [by them or God] in giving back to you.@

39) Then Jesus told them a parable [i.e., a brief story to illustrate His teaching]: ACan a blind person lead a blind person? Will not both of them fall into a ditch? 40) The disciple is not more important than his teacher, but when every person becomes complete, [then] he will be like his teacher. 41) And why do you look for the speck of sawdust in your brother=s eye but ignore the board in your own eye? 42) Or how can you say to your brother, >Brother, let me take that speck of sawdust out of your eye,= when you cannot see the board in your own eye? You hypocrite, take the board out of your own eye first; then you will be able to see clearly enough to take out the speck of sawdust that is in your brother=s eye. 43) For there is no healthy tree that produces bad fruit; nor is there a diseased tree that produces wholesome fruit. 44) For each tree is recognized by its own fruit. For people do not harvest figs from thorn bushes, nor grapes from a brier bush. 45) The good person produces good things from the goodness stored up in his heart. And the evil person produces bad things from the evil [stored up in his heart]. For his mouth speaks what his heart is filled with.

46) And why do you call me >Lord, Lord,= and [yet] not obey what I tell you to do? 47) Every person who comes to me and listens to my words and obeys them, I will show you who he is like. 48) He is like a man building a house, who dug deep to lay the foundation on rock. And when a flood came the river pounded against that house, but could not shake it because it had been well built. 49) But the person who hears [my words] and does not obey them is like a man who built a house on the ground, without a foundation. [When] the river pounded against it, immediately it collapsed and the destruction of that house was complete.@



CHAPTER SEVEN

1) After Jesus had finished telling the people all He had to say, He went into Capernaum.

2) And a certain military officer=s slave [was there], whom the officer highly valued. This slave was [so] sick that he was about to die. 3) And when the officer heard about Jesus, he sent [some] Jewish elders to Him asking that He come and heal his slave. 4) And when they came to Jesus, they begged Him earnestly, saying, AThis officer deserves that you should do this for him [i.e., heal his slave], 5) for he loves our nation and he is the one who built the synagogue for us.@ 6) So, Jesus went with them. And when He got close to the military officer=s house, the officer sent [his] friends to Jesus, saying to Him [i.e., speaking on behalf of the military officer], ASir, do not trouble yourself, for I do not deserve for you to come into my house; 7) [and] for the same reason I did not think I deserved to come to you either. So, [just] say the word and [I know] my slave will be healed. 8) For I also am a man [who was] placed under the authority [of others], and I have soldiers [who serve] under me. I can say to this one, >Go,= and he goes; and to another one, >Come,= and he comes; and to my slave, >Do this,= and he does it.@ 9) And when Jesus heard these things, He was amazed and said to the crowd that was following Him, AI tell you, I have never found [anyone with] such great faith, not [even] among the Israelites.@ 10) And those who were sent [i.e., the officer=s friends. See verse 6] returned to the house and found the slave completely well.

11) And it happened soon after this that Jesus went to a town called Nain [Note: This was a town of Galilee about 6 miles southeast of Nazareth]. His disciples and a large crowd [also] went with Him. 12) Now when He approached the town gate, He saw a dead man being carried out; it was the only son of his widowed mother. And many people from the town were with her. 13) Now when the Lord saw her, He felt very sorry for her and said to her, ADo not cry.@ 14) Then He went near the casket and touched it; [immediately] the pallbearers stopped. Jesus said, AYoung man, I tell you, get up.@ 15) And the dead man sat up and began talking. And Jesus gave him [back] to his mother [alive].

16) Then everyone was gripped with fear and gave honor to God, saying, A[Surely] a great prophet has arisen among us and God=s [presence] has come to His people.@ 17) And the report of this [incident] about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the entire surrounding district.

18) Then the disciples of John [the Immerser] told him all about these things [i.e., what Jesus was doing]. 19) So, John called to him two of his disciples and sent them to the Lord to ask, AAre you the One who was to come, or should we look for someone else?@ 20) And when these men came to Jesus they said, AJohn the Immerser has sent us to you to ask, >Are you the One who was to come, or should we look for someone else?=@

21) At that very time Jesus was healing many people from diseases, those plagued with serious illnesses and those dominated by evil spirits. He [also] restored sight to many blind people. 22) So, Jesus answered them, AGo and tell John the things you have seen and heard; [how] blind people are receiving back their sight, and crippled people are walking [again], and people with infectious skin diseases are being healed, and deaf-mutes are hearing [and speaking (?) again], and people are being raised [from the dead], and poor people are having the good news preached to them. 23) The person who does not find an occasion for having doubts about my identity is fortunate indeed.@

24) And when the messengers sent by John left, Jesus began saying to the crowds about John, AWhat did you expect to see when you went out into the desert? A tall stem swaying in the wind? 25) What did you expect to see? A man dressed in fancy clothes? Look, people who wear elaborate outfits and bask in luxury live in kings= palaces. 26) But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I will say [he is], and much more than a prophet. 27) He is the one about whom it was written [Mal. 3:1], >Look, I [will] send my messenger on ahead of you. He will prepare the pathway in front of you.= 28) And I tell you, among [all] those born of women, there is no one greater than John [the Immerser], yet the least significant person in the kingdom of God is greater than he.@

29) And when all the people, together with the tax collectors, heard this they praised God for being so just, and were immersed with the immersion [preached] by John. 30) But the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law of Moses, who would not be immersed by John, rejected God=s purpose for themselves.

31) AWhat then should I compare the people of this generation with?@ [Jesus asked]. AAnd what are they like? 32) They are like children sitting in the open shopping market, calling to one another, saying, >We [pretended we] were making music [at a wedding] but you did not dance; we [pretended we] were wailing [at a funeral] but you did not cry [along with us].= 33) For when John the Immerser came, he did not eat bread or drink wine [on festive occasions] and you said, >He is dominated by an evil spirit.= 34) [Then] the Son of man came eating and drinking [at festive occasions] and you said, >Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of tax collectors and worldly people.= 35) It proves that [God=s] wise counsel is right in the eyes of all of her children [i.e., in the eyes of people known for their wisdom].@

36) Then one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have a meal with him. So, He went to the Pharisee=s house and reclined at the [dinner] table. [Note: Matt. 23:6]. 37) And when a sinful woman from the town learned that He was having dinner at the Pharisee=s house, she brought an alabaster [i.e., stone] jar of liquid perfume, 38) and stood behind Jesus, at His feet, crying. She began wetting His feet with her tears and wiping them dry with the hair of her head. Then she kissed His feet and poured the perfume on them.

39) Now when the Pharisee who had invited Jesus saw this, he said to himself, AIf this man were a prophet, he would have known who touched him and what kind of a woman she was --- a sinner.@ 40) Then Jesus said to him, ASimon [See verse 43], I have something to say to you.@ And he replied, ATeacher, [go ahead and] say it.@ 41) [Jesus then gave this parable]: A certain moneylender had two men who owed him money; one owed him five hundred coins [Note: The total amount was 500 days of a farm laborer=s pay, or about $35,000 in 1994], and the other man [owed him] fifty coins [Note: About $3,500 in 1994]. 42) When these two men did not have [the money] to repay him, the moneylender canceled [the debts of] both of them. Now which of them will love him more?@ 43) Simon answered, AThe one who had the largest debt canceled, I suppose.@ Jesus said to him, AYou are right.@ 44) Then Jesus turned to the woman [who had just poured the perfume on Him] and said to Simon, ADo you see this woman? I came into your house and you did not give me any water for [washing] my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them dry with her hair. 45) You did not give me a kiss [of greeting], but from the time I came in [to your house] she has not stopped kissing my feet. 46) You did not pour [aromatic] oil on my head, but she poured perfume on my feet. 47) For this reason, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven, for she has loved much. [Note: This suggests that her forgiveness was the result of her loving, but the point Jesus makes better fits the idea that her forgiveness produced love]. But the person who is forgiven of little [i.e., of only a few sins], loves [only] a little bit.@ 48) Then Jesus said to the woman, AYour sins are forgiven.@ 49) And those who were reclining at the [dinner] table with Him began saying among themselves, AWho is this person who can even forgive sins?@ 50) Then Jesus said to the woman, AYour faith has saved you [i.e., from condemnation]. Go [away] in peace.@



CHAPTER EIGHT

1) And it happened soon after this that Jesus went through one town and village after another, preaching and proclaiming the good news about the kingdom of God. [Traveling] with Him were the twelve apostles 2) and certain women who had been healed from [domination by] evil spirits and diseases. [These women were] Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven evil spirits had been driven out, 3) and Joanna, the wife of Chuzas, Herod=s property manager, and Susanna and many others. These [all] had provided the material support for the group from their own means.

4) Then when a large crowd assembled and people from every town were coming to Jesus, He told them this parable [i.e., a brief story to illustrate His teaching]: 5) A farmer went out [to his field] to plant grain. And as he sowed [i.e., scattering seeds by hand], some of it landed along side of the road; it was stepped on by people and [eventually] birds of the sky came and ate it. 6) And other [seed] fell on rocky ground and as soon as it started to grow, it [quickly] withered away, because it had no moisture. 7) And other [seed] fell among thorns, which grew up with it and [eventually] choked out [the tender sprouts]. 8) And [still] other [seed] fell into fertile soil; it grew and produced a crop of one hundred times [as much as was planted]. As He said these things, He called out; AThe person who has ears to hear with ought to listen [to this] carefully.@

9) Then Jesus= disciples asked Him what this parable meant. 10) And He said to them, AYou [disciples] are being given an understanding of the secrets of the kingdom of God, but the rest of the people [are being told] in parables, so that [even though they appear to be] seeing, they will not [actually] see; and [even though they seem to] hear, they will not understand. 11) Now [the meaning of] the parable is this: The seed represents the word of God. 12) And those people [represented by the seed falling] along side of the road are those who have heard the word [of God], but the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they do not believe it and receive salvation. 13) And those people [represented by the seed falling] on rocky ground are those who, upon hearing the word [of God], accept it gladly, but since they have no root [system], they believe it for [only] awhile, and [then] in times of trial fall away [from God]. 14) And those people [represented by the seed] that fell among thorns are the ones who have heard [the word], and as they go about their business, they become choked by worry, by money and by worldly pleasures, and produce no mature crop. 15) And those people [represented by seed falling] in the fertile soil are those who possess a good and honest heart when they hear the word [of God]. They hold on to it and patiently [continue until they] produce a crop.

16) And no one lights an [olive oil] lamp and then covers it with a basket or puts it under a bed. But he places it on a stand so that those entering [the house] will see [by] the light. 17) For there is nothing done in obscurity that will not be made known [openly], and nothing done secretly that will not [eventually] become known and be revealed. 18) Pay attention to how you listen, for to the person who [already] has something, [more] will be given, but from the person who has [virtually] nothing, even what he thinks he has will be taken away from him.@

19) Then Jesus= mother and [half-] brothers came to Him, but they could not get near Him because of the [large] crowd. 20) And it was told to Him [by someone], AYour mother and your brothers are standing outside wanting to see you.@ 21) But He replied to them, AMy mother and my brothers are those people who hear God=s word and obey it.@

22) Now it happened on one of those days that Jesus entered a boat with His disciples. He said to them, ALet us go over to the other side@ [i.e., the east side of Lake Galilee]; so they launched out. 23) But while they were sailing, Jesus fell asleep. A windstorm blew down on the lake and [the boat] began filling with water so they were in great danger [of sinking]. 24) The disciples approached Jesus and woke Him, shouting, AMaster, Master, we are sinking.@ And He woke up and spoke sternly to the wind and the raging water; [then] the storm [immediately] stopped and [everything] became calm. 25) Then He said to the disciples, AWhere is your faith?@ They became afraid and were amazed, saying to one another, AWho can this [man] be, that he can even command the winds and the water and they obey him?@

26) [Finally] they arrived at the district of the Gerasenes, which is opposite [i.e., across the lake from the province of] Galilee. [Note: Matt. 8:28 says >Gadara.= Geresa and Gadara were two towns about twelve miles apart in the same region east of Lake Galilee]. 27) And when He stepped out [of the boat] onto the shore, He was met by a certain man from the town, who was dominated by evil spirits. He had not worn any clothes for a long time and lived in the graveyard instead of a house. 28) And when he saw Jesus, he fell at His feet [i.e., in worship. See Mark 5:6] and shouted out with a loud voice saying, AWhat do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Highest God? I beg you, do not torture me.@ 29) For Jesus was commanding the evil spirits to be driven out of the man, because they had been controlling him for a long time. The man was continually being guarded and his hands and feet were bound with chains. [Sometimes] he broke loose from the chains and was driven into the desert by the evil spirits. 30) Then Jesus asked him, AWhat is your name?@ And he answered, A[My name is] >Legion=@ [Note: This word means a number consisting of between 5,000 and 6,000], for many evil spirits had entered the man. 31) And the evil spirits begged Jesus not to require them to go away into the Apit@ [Note: This appears to be the place reserved for the devil and his evil spirits. See Rev. 9:1-11; 20:1-3]. 32) Now a herd of many [wild?] hogs was grazing on a [nearby] mountain, so the evil spirits begged Jesus to give them permission to enter [the bodies of] the hogs. So, He gave them permission [to do it]. 33) Then the evil spirits went out of the man and entered the hogs. The herd [immediately] rushed down the cliff into the lake and was drowned. 34) And when those who had been grazing the hogs saw what had happened, they ran and told it in the town and [around] the country. 35) People went out to see [i.e., to find out] what had happened. And [when] they came to Jesus and found the man from whom the evil spirits had been driven out sitting down at Jesus= feet with his clothes on and perfectly sane, they were afraid. 36) Those who saw this told others how the man dominated by evil spirits was restored. 37) Then all the people around the district of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave their area because they were gripped with great fear. So, He entered a boat and returned. 38) But the man from whom the evil spirits had been driven out begged Jesus to allow him to travel with Him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39) AReturn to your house and tell people about the great things God has done for you.@ So, he went on his way, proclaiming throughout the whole town [i.e., Geresa. See verse 26] the great things Jesus had done for him.

40) Then as Jesus returned [i.e., to the northwest shore of the lake, probably to the vicinity of Capernaum], a crowd was waiting for Him and welcomed Him. 41) And just then an official of the [Jewish] synagogue named Jairus came to Him and fell at His feet [i.e., worshiping. See Matt. 9:18] and begged Him to go to his house, 42) for the official=s only daughter, who was about twelve years old, was dying.

As Jesus was going, large crowds pressed in on Him. 43) Then a woman, who had been bleeding for twelve years, and who had spent all her income on doctors without being healed by any of them, 44) came up behind Jesus and touched the edge of His robe. Immediately her bleeding stopped. 45) Jesus said, AWho touched me?@ And when everyone denied [doing it], Peter and the disciples said, AMaster, many people are pressing in on you and crowding you.@ 46) But Jesus replied, ASomeone did touch me, for I perceived that [healing] power had gone out from me.@ 47) And when the woman realized that she had not escaped notice, she came trembling [with fear] and fell down in front of Him, declaring before all the people why she had touched Him and how she had been immediately healed. 48) Then Jesus said to her, ADaughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace.@

49) While He was still speaking, someone came from the synagogue official=s house, saying [to him], AYour daughter is dead; do not bother the Teacher.@ 50) But when Jesus heard this, He said [to the man], ADo not be afraid. Just believe [i.e., in my power to restore your daughter] and she will be made well [i.e., restored to life].@

51) And when Jesus came to the [synagogue official=s] house, He did not allow anyone to enter with Him except Peter, James, John and the girl=s father and mother. 52) And all the people [in the house] were crying and beating their chests in mourning, so Jesus said [to them], ADo not cry, for the girl is not [really] dead but [only] sleeping.@ 53) And they laughed at Him scornfully, knowing that she was [already] dead. 54) But taking her by the hand, He called to her, saying, AChild, get up.@ 55) And immediately her spirit returned and she stood up. Then Jesus ordered them to give her something to eat. 56) Her parents were amazed, but Jesus ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.



CHAPTER NINE

1) Jesus then called the twelve apostles together and gave them power and authority over all evil spirits and [the ability] to heal diseases. 2) And He sent them out to preach the [coming] kingdom of God and to heal sick people. 3) He said to them, ADo not take anything with you during your travels; not [even] a walking stick [Note: By comparing this and the restriction in Matt. 10:10 with the permission given in Mark 6:8, the harmony seems to be Aif you do not already have a walking stick, do not get one@], or a traveling bag [for personal belongings], or food, or money, or [even] two coats [Note: Mark 6:9 says, Atake only one coat@ confirming the idea that Jesus was saying, in effect, Ado not take anything extra, go just as you are@]. 4) And whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that place. 5) And those people who do not welcome you, shake the dust off of your shoes as evidence against them.@ [Note: This was a Jewish custom showing disdain, and intended to suggest their unworthiness] 6) So, they left and went throughout the villages preaching the good news and healing people everywhere.

7) Now when King Herod, the tetrarch [i.e., governor of that district] heard about all that was happening [concerning Jesus], he was perplexed because some people were saying that John [the Immerser] had risen from the dead; 8) some [were saying] that [the prophet] Elijah had appeared; and [still] others [were saying] that one of the [other] prophets of old had risen again [from the dead]. 9) Then Herod said, AI had John decapitated, so who is this person about whom I hear such things?@ And he became eager to see Jesus.

10) When the apostles returned they told Jesus what they had done. Then Jesus took them and went away privately to a town called Bethsaida. [Note: This town was on the east side of Lake Galilee, and apparently was a different ABethsaida@ from the one mentioned in Mark 6:45]. 11) But the crowds found out about it [i.e., where Jesus had gone], so they followed Him [there]. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the [coming] kingdom of God and cured those who needed healing.

12) Then late in the day the twelve apostles came and said to Jesus, ASend the crowd away so they can go into the villages and the surrounding countryside to find lodging and food because this place is deserted.@ 13) But He said to the apostles, AYou men give them something to eat.@ But they replied, AWe have only five loaves of [barley] bread [See John 6:9] and two [probably smoked] fish, unless we go and buy [more] food for all these people.@ 14) For there were about five thousand men [there]. So, He said to His disciples, AHave these people recline [on the grass. See Matt. 14:19] in groups of about fifty each.@ 15) So, the disciples did this, and had all the people recline [on the grass in groups]. 16) Then Jesus took the five loaves of bread and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, asked God=s blessing on the food. [Then] He broke it [in pieces] and gave it to the disciples to distribute to the crowds. 17) They all ate until they were full, then gathered up twelve baskets [full] of the remaining broken pieces.

18) And it happened while Jesus was praying off by Himself that His disciples joined Him. He asked them, saying, AWho are the crowds saying that I am?@ 19) And they answered, A[Some say you are] John the Immerser, while others say [the prophet] Elijah, and [still others say] that one of the [other] prophets of old has risen again [from the dead].@ 20) Then Jesus said to them, ABut who do you men say that I am?@ And Peter answered, A[You are] the Christ of God [i.e., God=s specially chosen one].@ 21) Then He sternly ordered them not to tell this to anyone, 22) saying, AThe Son of man must suffer many things and be rejected by the [Jewish] elders, leading priests and experts in the Law of Moses. Then He will be killed and [yet] be raised up on the third day.@

23) Then He said to everyone, AIf anyone wants to be my follower, he should deny self [i.e., of always having its own way] and accept his cross [i.e., his responsibilities, with all their difficulties] everyday, and [then he can] become my follower. 24) For whoever would [try to] save his life [i.e., by neglecting spiritual things] will lose it [i.e., miss out on the blessings of God]. But whoever [willingly] loses his life [i.e., in commitment to God=s service] for my sake, that person will save it [i.e., obtain both temporal and spiritual blessings]. 25) For what is a person benefited if he gains the whole world [i.e., of material things] and [yet] loses [his spiritual life] or gives himself up [to spiritual ruin]? 26) For whoever will be ashamed of me and of my words, the Son of man will [also] be ashamed of him when He returns in His own splendor and that of the Father and of the holy angels. 27) But I tell you the truth, there are some people standing here who will surely not experience death until they see that God=s kingdom has come [i.e., in a demonstration of power. See Mark 9:1].@

28) And it happened about eight days after Jesus said these things that He took Peter, John and James with Him and went up in the mountain to pray. [Note: This was probably Mt. Tabor, which was nearby]. 29) And as He was praying, the appearance of His face was [miraculously] changed and His clothing became dazzling white. 30) Then suddenly two men were [seen] talking with Jesus. They were Moses and Elijah, 31) who appeared in splendor, and were speaking of Jesus= [coming] departure [i.e., His imminent death], which He was soon to experience at Jerusalem. 32) Now Peter and those with him [i.e., James and John] had been very sleepy, but became wide awake when they saw the splendor of Jesus and the two men standing with Him. 33) And it happened, as the two men were leaving Him, that Peter said to Jesus, AMaster, it is [so] good for us to be here. Let us make three [small] shelters, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.@ [But] he did not realize what he was saying. [See note at Matt. 17:4]

34) And while he was speaking, a cloud appeared and engulfed them and the apostles were afraid as Moses and Elijah entered the cloud [i.e., and disappeared]. 35) Then a voice spoke out of the cloud, saying, AThis is My Son, [whom] I have chosen; listen to Him.@ 36) And after the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. But the apostles kept quiet [about this incident], and did not tell anyone at that time about anything they had seen.

37) And it happened on the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, that a large crowd met Jesus. 38) Just then a man from the crowd shouted out, ATeacher, I beg you, look at my son [i.e., favorably], for he is my only child. 39) For when an evil spirit takes hold of him he suddenly screams and [then] it throws him into convulsions so that he foams [at the mouth]. And it does not want to leave him, [even after] severely bruising him. 40) And I begged your disciples to drive it out, but they could not.@ 41) And Jesus replied, saying, AYou perverse generation of faithless people! How long must I be [patient] with you, and put up with you [i.e., before you understand]? Bring your son here.@ 42) And while the boy was approaching [Jesus], an evil spirit threw him to the ground in a convulsion. But Jesus spoke sternly to the evil spirit and [then] returned him to his father healed. 43) And everyone was amazed at [seeing] the greatness of God.

But while they were all amazed at everything Jesus was doing, He said to His disciples, 44) APay close attention to what I am saying, for the Son of man will be handed over to [evil] men.@ 45) But they did not understand what He was talking about, for it was hidden from them, so that they would not understand its meaning. And they were afraid to ask Him about what He had said.

46) Then a dispute developed among Jesus= disciples as to which one of them was the greatest. 47) When Jesus knew what they were disputing about in their minds, He took a small child and placed him at His side, 48) and said to the disciples, AThe person who welcomes this little child in my name [i.e., because he belongs to me], welcomes me [also]. And the person who welcomes me [i.e., into his life?] welcomes God, who sent me. For that person who is the least [significant] among you men is the one who is the greatest [in importance].@

49) Then [the apostle] John answered and said, AMaster, we saw someone driving out evil spirits by [using] your name, so we told him not to, because he was not following [you] with us.@ 50) But Jesus said to him; ADo not try to stop him, for the person who is not against you is for you.@

51) And it happened when the time came for Jesus to be taken up [to heaven] that He firmly determined to go to Jerusalem. 52) So, He sent messengers on ahead of Him, who went and entered a Samaritan village to prepare for Him [i.e., for His food and lodging]. 53) And these Samaritans did not welcome Him because He was heading for Jerusalem. [Note: They perceived He was a Jew and Samaritans did not associate with Jews]. 54) And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said [to Him], ALord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to burn them up?@ 55) But He turned to them and spoke sternly. {{Some manuscripts add AYou do not know what kind of a spirit you represent, 56) for the Son of man did not come to destroy men=s lives but to save them@}} So, they went to another village.

57) And as they were going along the road, a certain man [i.e., an expert in the Law of Moses. See Matt. 8:19] said to Him, AI will follow you wherever you go.@ 58) Jesus replied to him, AThe foxes have dens [in which to live] and the birds of the sky have nests [in which to roost], but the Son of man does not have anywhere to lay His head.@ 59) And [then] He said to another person, ABecome my follower.@ But he replied, ALord, allow me to go and bury my father first.@ 60) But Jesus replied to him, ALet the [spiritually] dead bury their own dead [i.e., let them care for their family members until they die], but you go and proclaim the [coming] kingdom of God.@ 61) Then another person said [to Jesus], ALord, I will become your follower, but first let me say goodbye to my family.@ [Note: There was the likelihood that family members might try to dissuade him from his commitment to follow the Lord]. 62) But Jesus said to him, ANobody who begins plowing [a field] and then looks back [i.e., in regret for beginning such an arduous task] is suited for [serving in] the kingdom of God.@



CHAPTER TEN

1) Now after these things [happened] the Lord appointed seventy-two other disciples [Note: Some ancient manuscripts say Aseventy.@ This group would have been in addition to the twelve. See Luke 9:1], and sent them two by two on ahead of Him into every town and locality that He planned to visit. 2) And He said to them, AThere is certainly plenty to harvest, but there are [too] few people to do the work. You should pray to the Lord of the harvest to send [more] workers out into the field to gather His crop. 3) [So], go on; See, I am sending you out as lambs among wolves. 4) Do not carry a money belt, or a traveling bag [for personal belongings] or shoes; and do not extend [elaborate] greetings to anyone along the way. 5) And whatever house you enter, first say, >Let peace be upon this household.= 6) And if a son of peace is there [i.e., a peace-loving person], your [request for] peace will rest upon him. But if he is not [a peace-loving person], your [blessing of] peace will return to [rest on] you. 7) And you should remain in that same house [i.e., the peace-loving one], eating and drinking whatever they serve you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move from house to house [i.e., wasting time]. 8) And into whatever town you enter and are welcomed, eat whatever is placed in front of you, 9) and heal the sick people who live there. Say to them, >The kingdom of God has come near to you.= 10) But whatever town you enter that does not welcome you, go out into its streets and say [to them], 11) >We are wiping off even the dust of your city that has stuck to our feet [in protest] against you. Yet you should know this, that the kingdom of God has come near [to you].= 12) I tell you, the people of Sodom will be shown more leniency on that day [i.e., the Day of Judgment] than that town will receive.

13) AIt is too bad for you, Chorazin! It is too bad for you, Bethsaida! For if the powerful miracles had been performed in Tyre and Sidon which were performed in your presence, they would have repented long ago by sitting in ashes and wearing sackcloth. [Note: This sackcloth was a coarse cloth made of goat hair and indicated deep remorse or mourning]. 14) But Tyre and Sidon will be shown more leniency in the judgment [day] than you will. 15) And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up [as high] as heaven? [Certainly not], you will be brought down to the unseen place of departed spirits [i.e., you will become obscure or obliterated as a city]. 16) The person who listens to you, [actually] listens to me. And the person who rejects you, [actually] rejects me. And the person who rejects me, [actually] rejects Him who sent me [i.e., God].@

17) So, the seventy-two disciples returned with joy, saying, ALord, even the evil spirits submitted to us in your name [i.e., by your authority].@ 18) And Jesus said to them, AI saw Satan falling from heaven as lightning. 19) See, I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions [i.e., to receive protection from accidental contact with venomous creatures. See Acts 28:5] and [to have authority] over all the power of the enemy [i.e., Satan. See verse 18]. And nothing at all will hurt you. 20) Nevertheless, do not rejoice over the [evil] spirits submitting to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven [i.e., in the book of life. See Rev. 3:5; Heb. 12:23].@

21) At that very time Jesus rejoiced in [the power of] the Holy Spirit, and said [in prayer], AI praise you, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you concealed these things [i.e., His divine revelations] from those [claiming to be] wise and intelligent and have revealed them to babies [i.e., to simple, sincere, common people]. Yes, Father, this was pleasing to you. 22) Everything has been handed over to me by my Father and no one knows the Son except the Father. And [no one knows] the Father except the Son and whatever person the Son wants to reveal Him to.@

23) Then Jesus turned to the disciples and said privately, AThe eyes that see the things you see are [truly] blessed, 24) for I tell you, many prophets and kings wanted to see the things that you see, but did not [get to] see them. And [they wanted] to hear the things that you hear, but did not [get to] hear them.@

25) Just then a certain teacher of the Law of Moses stood up and [attempted to] test Jesus, saying, ATeacher, what must I do to inherit [never ending] life?@ 26) And Jesus said to him, AWhat is written in the Law of Moses? How do you read it?@ 27) And the man answered Him, [Deut. 6:5], AYou must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind.@ And [Lev. 19:18 says], A[You must love] your neighbor just as [you love] yourself.@ 28) Then Jesus said to him, AYou have answered correctly; [if] you do this, you will live@ [i.e., forever. See verse 25]. 29) But, wanting to justify himself, the teacher of the Law of Moses asked Jesus, AAnd who is my neighbor?@ 30) Jesus answered him, AA certain man was traveling down from Jerusalem to Jericho [Note: This was a town about eighteen miles northeast of Jerusalem], when he was attacked by robbers, who stripped him [of his clothing and belongings] and beat him up, then went away leaving him half dead. 31) And it just happened that a certain priest was traveling down that [same] road, and when he saw the [injured] man, he went around him on the opposite side of the road. 32) In the same way, a Levite [Note: Levites were assistants to the priests], when coming to that place and seeing the [injured] man, also went around him on the opposite side [of the road]. 33) But [then] a certain Samaritan [Note: This was a person despised by the Jews and regarded by them as a >half-breed=], as he traveled along, came to where the [injured] man was [lying], and upon seeing him [lying there], felt deep pity [for him]. 34) So, he went over to him, poured oil and wine on him [i.e., as emergency medical treatment], then bandaged his wounds, placed him on his own animal, and took him to a lodge where he took care of him. 35) Then the next day he gave the lodge keeper two coins [Note: These coins amounted to two days of a farm laborer=s pay, or about $140 in 1994] and told him, >Take care of this [injured] man; and whatever more you have to spend on him I will repay you when I come back [this way] again.= 36) [Now] which of these three men do you think acted like a neighbor to the man attacked by the robbers?@ 37) And the teacher of the Law of Moses said, AThe person who showed pity on him.@ Then Jesus replied, AYou go and do the same thing.@

38) Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a certain village [i.e., Bethany. See John 11:1], and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. 39) And she had a sister named Mary who was also sitting at the Lord=s feet, listening to what He said. 40) But Martha was preoccupied with all the preparations [i.e., for entertaining her beloved guest] and came up to Jesus and said, ALord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Ask her to help me.@ 41) But the Lord answered her, AMartha, Martha; you are worried and bothered about [so] many things. 42) But only one thing is [really] needful. For Mary has made the better choice, which will not be taken away from her.@



CHAPTER ELEVEN

1) And it happened as Jesus finished praying at a certain place that one of His disciples said to Him, ALord, teach us [how] to pray, just like John [the Immerser] taught his disciples.@

2) And He said to them, AWhen you pray you should say, >Father, may your name be highly honored. May your kingdom come [to earth]. 3) Give us day by day our bread for each day. 4) And forgive us of our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone who has wronged us. And do not allow us to be put to the test.=@

5) And Jesus said to His disciples, ASuppose one of you who has a friend would go to him at midnight and say to him, >[Please] lend me three loaves of bread, 6) for a friend of mine has come to [visit] me while on a trip and I do not have anything to feed him= 7) Then the man will answer from inside [his house], >Do not bother me. My door is [already] locked, my children are [already] in bed with me and I cannot get up to give you anything.= 8) I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him something because he is a friend, yet because of his friend=s persistence, he will [eventually] get up and give him whatever he needs. 9) And I tell you, ask [God for something] and it will be given to you; look [to God for something] and you will find it; knock [on the door of opportunity] and it will be opened up to you. 10) For every person who asks will [certainly] receive; and the one who looks will [certainly] find; and to the person who knocks, the door will [certainly] be opened up. 11) And what father among you, whose son asks [him] {{Some ancient manuscripts add for a loaf of bread, will give him a stone [instead]? Or, [if he asks]}} for a fish, will give him a snake [instead]? 12) Or, if he asks [him] for an egg, will give him a scorpion [instead]? [Note: While at rest a scorpion rolls up in a ball that resembles an egg]. 13) If then you know how to give good gifts to your children, even though you are sinful [human beings], how much more [likely] is it that your Father in heaven will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?@

14) [Once] Jesus was driving out an evil spirit from a [man who was] mute. And it happened when the evil spirit left [him] that the [former] mute began to speak. And the crowds were amazed. 15) But some of the people said, AHe is driving out evil spirits by [the power of] Beelzebub, the chief of evil spirits.@ 16) Then others, trying to test Him, asked Him to perform a [supernatural] sign from heaven.

17) But, knowing their thoughts, Jesus said to them, AEvery kingdom [plagued] with internal division will end in ruin. And a household divided from within will fall. 18) And if Satan also is divided against himself, how [then] can his kingdom stand? I tell you this because you are saying that I drove out evil spirits by [the power of] Beelzebub. 19) But, if I drive out evil spirits by [the power of] Beelzebub, by whom do your followers drive them out? So, they will be your judges. 20) But, if I drive out evil spirits by the finger of God [i.e., by God=s direct, supernatural intervention], then [that is evidence that] the kingdom of God has come into your midst [i.e., by my presence and ministry]. 21) When a fully armed strong man guards his own courtyard [i.e., homestead], his possessions are safe. 22) But when someone stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away all the armament the strong man relied on, and [then] divides up his storehouse of possessions. [Note: The word here translated Apossessions@ may be translated Aarms@ so the meaning could be Adivides up his armament@]. 23) The person who is not on my side is [actually] against me. And the person who does not gather [people to me] is [actually] driving them away [from me].

24) AWhen an evil spirit has been driven out of a man, it roams through desert regions trying to find rest, but [when it] cannot find any, it says [to itself], >I will return to my house from which I came [i.e., the body of the person it dominated].= 25) But when it returns [to that body] it finds it cleaned out and [newly] decorated. 26) Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits, more evil than itself, and they reenter [the body] and [begin] to live there, so that the latter state of that person becomes worse than the former state.@

27) And it happened as He said these things that a certain woman called out to Him from the crowd, saying, AThe woman who gave you birth and nursed you is [certainly] blessed.@ 28) But Jesus said, AYes, but those who listen to God=s message and obey it are [more] blessed.@

29) And when the crowds thronged around Jesus, He began saying, AThis generation of people is evil, [for] it is looking for a [supernatural] sign. But no [such] sign will be given to it except the sign [demonstrated in the life] of Jonah. 30) For just like Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh [Note: Nineveh was the capital of ancient Assyria], so the Son of man will also be [a sign] to this generation of people. 31) The queen of the South [Note: This queen was from Sheba, which was probably in Arabia. See I Kings 10:1] will stand up on the judgment day, along with the people of this generation, and will condemn them because she came from a great distance to hear [and see] Solomon=s wisdom [I Kings 10:1ff] and [now] Someone greater than Solomon is here [i.e., Jesus]. 32) The people of Nineveh will stand up on the judgment day with the people of this generation and will condemn them because they repented [i.e., changed their hearts and lives] when hearing the preaching of Jonah [Jonah 3:5-10] and [now] Someone greater than Jonah is here [i.e., Jesus].

33) ANo one lights an [olive oil] lamp and [then] places it in a hidden place or under a bushel-sized container, but on its stand, so that those who enter [the room] can see [by] the light. 34) Your eye is [like] a lamp to your body [i.e., your life]. When your eye sees things correctly, [then] your whole body [i.e., your entire life] is illuminated [i.e., directed into proper conduct]. But when it sees things wrongly, [then] your body [i.e., your life] is also full of darkness [i.e., is not being lived properly]. 35) Look therefore [to see] whether or not the light that is in you [i.e., your perspective on things] might [actually] be darkness [i.e., a distorted perspective]. 36) If therefore your whole body [i.e., your entire life] is full of light [i.e., sees and responds to things correctly], with no blind spots [i.e., areas where you do not see and act correctly], your body [i.e., your life] will be fully illuminated [i.e., directed into proper conduct] just like a bright, shining lamp illuminating you [i.e., enabling you to see and respond to things properly].@

37) Now while Jesus was speaking, a Pharisee [i.e., a strict sect of the Jewish religion] invited Him to have a meal with him. So, Jesus went in [to his house] and reclined [at the dinner table]. [Note: See Matt. 23:6]. 38) And when the Pharisee observed this, he was surprised that Jesus had not first washed himself ceremonially before the meal. 39) And the Lord said to him, ANow you Pharisees [meticulously] clean the outside of the cup and the dish [i.e., this was an allusion to their lives], but you are filled with greed for wealth and [other] evils on the inside. 40) You foolish people! Did not the One [i.e., God] who made the outside [i.e., your body] also make the inside [i.e., your spirit]? 41) But you should give to poor people what you have inside. [Note: This means either what is inside the dish, or what is inside your heart]. And [then] you will see that everything is [ceremonially] clean to you [as well].

42) ABut it is too bad for you Pharisees! For you give a tenth of your mint, rue and every [other] herb [Note: These were small garden plants used for seasoning or medicine] and [yet] neglect [demonstrating] justice and the love of God [toward others]. But you should have done these things and not neglected to do the other things [as well].

43) AIt is too bad for you Pharisees! For you love [to occupy] the principal seats in the synagogues and [to receive special] greetings in the open shopping markets.

44) AIt is too bad for you! For you people are like obscure grave sites that people walk over without knowing it.@

45) Then one of the teachers of the Law of Moses answered Jesus, saying, ATeacher, you insulted us too by saying this.@

46) And He replied them, AIt is too bad for you teachers of the Law of Moses also! For you heap heavy responsibilities on people, which are difficult to bear, while you do not even lift a finger to bear them yourselves.

47) AIt is too bad for you! For your forefathers killed the prophets and you build grave monuments to them [i.e., the prophets]. 48) So, [by doing this] you are witnesses [against yourselves] that you approve of the deeds of your forefathers, for they killed the prophets and you build grave monuments to them. 49) Therefore, the wisdom of God said, [Note: Is this a reference to Jesus? See I Cor. 1:30 and Matt. 23:34-36], >I will send prophets and apostles to them [i.e., the Jewish people] and they will kill and persecute some of them, 50) so that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the beginning of the world, may be required of this generation of people.= 51) Yes, I tell you, this generation will be punished [for the death of the prophets], from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zachariah, who died between the Altar and the sanctuary [i.e., in the Temple area]. [Note: This punishment began about 37 years later in the war with the Romans, when Jerusalem was destroyed].

52) AIt is too bad for you teachers of the Law of Moses! For you took away the key of knowledge [i.e., preventing people from understanding God=s plan]. You did not enter [the kingdom of heaven. See Matt. 23:13] yourselves and [you even] prevented those who [wanted] to enter [to get in].@

53) And when Jesus left there [i.e., probably the Pharisee=s house. See verse 37], the experts in the Law of Moses and the Pharisees began opposing Him with hostility and bombarding Him with many questions, 54) [and] plotting to trap Him by something He might say.



CHAPTER TWELVE

1) About this time, while a crowd of many thousands had assembled, [so large that] people were trampling on one another, Jesus first began telling His disciples, AWatch out for the leavening [effect] of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2) But there is nothing [they do that will remain] covered up; it will [all] be exposed. [And there is] nothing done secretly that will not be made known [openly]. 3) Therefore, whatever you have said in the darkness [i.e., in obscurity] will be heard in the light [i.e., openly]. And what you have whispered in someone=s ear in a back room, will be declared from the housetops. 4) And I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who can kill your body and after that can do nothing more. 5) But I am warning you about whom you should fear. Fear the One [i.e., God] who, after He has killed [i.e., the body], has power to throw [you] into hell [See note on Matt. 5:29]. Yes, I tell you, fear Him. 6) Are not five sparrows sold [i.e., in the market as food] for two coins? [Note: The coins here amount to just over one hour=s worth of a farm laborer=s pay, or about $8 in 1994]. Yet in the presence of God, not a [single] one of them is forgotten. 7) [God even knows] the number of hairs on your head [Note: The average full head of hair has approximately 25,000 hairs]. [So], do not be afraid, for you are [much] more valuable than many sparrows.

8) AAnd I tell you, every person who acknowledges me in front of people [i.e., to be his Lord and Christ], the Son of man will also acknowledge him in front of God=s angels. 9) But that person who disowns me in front of people [i.e., denies that I am the Christ, or that he is a disciple. See John 18:15-17, 25-27], will be disowned in front of God=s angels. 10) And every person who speaks an [abusive] word against the Son of man will be forgiven of it, but the person who speaks abusive words against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven of it. 11) And when people bring you in front of synagogue assemblies and rulers and authorities [i.e., for judgment], do not worry about how to speak or what you should say. 12) For the Holy Spirit will teach you what you should say at that very time.@

13) Then someone out of the crowd said to Jesus, ATeacher, tell my brother to divide the [family] inheritance with me.@ 14) But He said to him, AMan, who appointed me to judge or [decide on how] to divide [the property] between you two?@ 15) And [then] He said to them, ABe careful and guard yourselves against [practicing] all forms of greed, for a person=s life does not consist of having a lot of possessions.@

16) And He told them a parable [i.e., a brief story to illustrate His teaching], saying, AThe land of a certain rich man produced a bumper crop, 17) so he thought to himself, >What should I do, because I do not have any [more] room to store my crops?= 18) Then he said [to himself], >This is what I will do. I will tear down my barns and build larger [ones]; then I will store all my grain and [other] goods there [i.e., farm supplies]. 19) And I will say to myself, >Soul, you have plenty of goods [i.e., grain and supplies] stored up for many years, [so], take it easy; eat, drink and have fun.= 20) But God said to him, >You fool! Tonight your life will be taken away from you. And [then] who will get the things you have stored up [for yourself]?= 21) This is [the way it will be with] the person who stores up treasures for himself, and [yet] is not rich toward God [i.e., does place enough importance on spiritual things].@

22) Then Jesus said to His disciples, ASo, I tell you, do not worry about [the material things of] your life, [such as] what you will eat or what you will wear on your body. 23) For there are more important things in life than food, and [more important things about] your body than the clothing [you wear]. 24) Look at the ravens; they do not plant seeds or harvest [a crop]; they do not have a storage locker or a barn, and [yet] God feeds them [adequately]. Are you not a lot more valuable than those birds? 25) And which one of you can worry yourself into living a single day longer? 26) So, if you are not able to do even a little thing like that, why are you worrying about the rest?

27) AConsider how [wild] lilies grow; they do not work or weave, yet I tell you, even Solomon, clothed in his very finest royal robes, was never dressed [as luxuriously] as one of these [flowers]. 28) But if God so [beautifully] dresses the grass in a field, which is [green] today, and [then] tomorrow [dries up and] is thrown into the oven [i.e., as fuel], will He not do even more in providing your clothing, you people with such little faith? 29) So, do not look [anxiously] for what you will eat, and what you will drink, and do not be [continually] worried [i.e., about such things]. 30) For all these things are what the [unconverted] nations of the world keep trying to get. But your Father [already] knows you need these things. 31) So, look for God=s kingdom and these things [i.e., food, drink and clothing] will be provided for you.

32) A[And], do not be afraid, little flock [Note: Jesus refers to His small band of disciples as sheep following Him as their Shepherd], for your Father was pleased to give you the kingdom. 33) Sell your possessions and give [the money] to poor people; provide yourselves with money belts that do not wear out [i.e., from the constant use of carrying much money all the time, instead of investing it in others= needs]. [Then you will possess] an inexhaustible treasure in heaven, where no thief can approach, nor moth destroy. 34) For wherever you store your valuables, that is where your heart [i.e., your real concern] will be also.

35) AFasten your belts [i.e., get things ready], keep your lamps lit, 36) and be like men expecting their master to return from the wedding reception, so that when he does come and knock [at the groom=s house, See note on Matt. 25:1-12], they will immediately open [the door] to him. 37) Those slaves whom their master finds being watchful when he returns are [certainly] blessed. Truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt [i.e., get things ready] and have them recline [at his dinner table] and will come and serve them. 38) And if he comes between nine o=clock and midnight or between midnight and three o=clock in the morning and finds them being watchful, those slaves will be blessed [for doing so]. 39) But you should realize this, if the owner of the house had known exactly when the burglar was coming, he would not have allowed his house to be broken into. 40) So, you also should be ready, for the Son of man will return at a time when you least expect Him.@

41) Then Peter said, ALord, are you telling this parable for our benefit [only] or for all people?@ 42) And the Lord answered, AWho then is the trustworthy and sensible property manager, to whom his master will assign the management of his household, to provide adequate and timely meals for its members? 43) That servant will be happy when his master returns to find him doing [his job] well. 44) Truly I tell you, he will put that slave in charge of his entire estate. 45) But if that slave should think to himself, >My master will not be back soon,= and then becomes physically abusive to his men and women servants, and eats and drinks and gets drunk, 46) that slave=s master will return on a day that he least expects, and at an hour unknown [to him]. And [that master] will whip him to shreds and will turn him over to suffer the same fate as unfaithful servants receive. 47) And that slave who knew what his master wanted, but did not make preparations [i.e., for his master=s return], or do what his master wanted, will be whipped with many lashes. 48) But the one who did not know [i.e., what his master wanted], yet did things deserving of punishment, will be whipped with few lashes. And to the person who has been given much [responsibility], there will be much required [of him]. And to whom people entrust much [responsibility], they will ask [much] more from him.

49) AI have come to bring fire to the earth. [Note: This means division within families. See verses 51-53] And how I wish that fire were already started [i.e., so I could complete my mission sooner]! 50) But I have an immersion to experience [i.e., overwhelming suffering to undergo. See Mark 10:38-39], and what stress I am under until it happens! 51) Do you think that I came to bring [only] peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but division instead. 52) For from now on there will be a household of five persons divided [against one another], three against two and two against three. 53) And a father will be divided against his son and the son against his father; a mother [will be divided] against her daughter and the daughter against her mother; a mother-in-law [will be divided] against her daughter-in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.@

54) And Jesus also said to the crowds, AWhen you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say, >A rainstorm is coming up,= and sure enough, it does. 55) And when there is a south wind blowing, you say, >It is going to be a scorching day,= and sure enough, it is. 56) You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky, but why do you not know how to interpret [events of] this present time?

57) AAnd why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? 58) And while you are on your way to court with your opponent, make every effort to be reconciled [to him] so that he does not drag you in front of the judge, and then the judge turns you over to the officer, and the officer throws you into prison. 59) I tell you, you will not be released from there until you have paid the last coin [Note: This coin amounted to about five minutes of a farm laborer=s pay, or about fifty cents in 1994].



CHAPTER THIRTEEN

1) Now there were some there at that very time who told Jesus about some people from Galilee whose blood Pilate [the Roman governor] had mixed with their sacrifices [i.e., he had them murdered while they were offering their sacrifices]. 2) And He answered them, ADo you think those Galileans were worse sinners than all [other] Galileans because they suffered such a fate? 3) No, I tell you; but unless you repent [i.e., change your hearts and lives], you [too] will all be destroyed just as they were. 4) Or do you think that those eighteen persons who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them were worse offenders than all the [other] men who lived in Jerusalem? 5) No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you [too] will all be destroyed just as they were.@

6) Then He told them this parable: A certain man had a fig tree [which had been] planted in his orchard. When he came looking for figs on it, he did not find any. 7) So, he said to the orchard worker, ALook, I have been coming [here] looking for figs for three years now, but have not found any. Cut down the tree, [for] why should it waste the space [i.e., by not producing]?@ 8) And the orchard worker answered him, ALeave it alone for [just] this year, sir, until I cultivate it and fertilize it. 9) And [then] if it begins to produce, fine; but if it does not, [then] you should cut it down.@

10) Now Jesus was teaching in one of the [Jewish] synagogues on the Sabbath day. 11) And just then [He met] a woman who had an [evil] spirit that had caused her to be deformed for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not raise herself up. [Note: This was probably osteomyelitis or osteoporosis]. 12) And when Jesus saw her, He called and said to her, AWoman, you are freed from your deformed condition.@ 13) Then He placed His hands on her and immediately she straightened up and praised God.

14) But the official of the synagogue became angry because Jesus had healed [someone] on the Sabbath day. [Note: This was viewed as a violation of proper Sabbath day observance by certain Jews who interpreted the Law of Moses with narrow legalism]. So, the official said to the crowd, AThere are six days [in the week] for people to work. Therefore, you should come to be healed on one of them, and not on the Sabbath day.@ 15) But the Lord answered them, AYou hypocrites! Does not every one of you untie his ox or his donkey from its stall and lead it to water on the Sabbath day? 16) So, should not this woman, being a daughter [i.e., descendant] of Abraham, whom Satan has bound [with this disease] for eighteen years, have been released from this bondage on the Sabbath day?@

17) And as He said these things, all of His enemies felt ashamed [i.e., for objecting to such a noble act], but the whole crowd rejoiced over all the wonderful things He was doing.

18) Then Jesus asked, AWhat is the kingdom of God like? And what shall I compare it to? 19) It is similar to a seed from the mustard tree, which a man took and planted in his garden. And it grew and became a [large] tree, and the birds of the sky roosted in its branches.@

20) And again He asked, AWhat shall I compare the kingdom of God to? 21) It is similar to yeast, which a woman worked into three batches of dough, until the dough was completely permeated [by it].@

22) Then Jesus went through [various] towns and villages, teaching as He traveled on to Jerusalem. 23) [Along the way] someone asked Him, ALord, will [only] a few people be saved?@ And He answered them, 24) AYou should try hard to enter [God=s kingdom] by means of the narrow door, for I tell you, many people will try to enter it but will not be able to. 25) Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, leaving you standing outside knocking on the door, [and] saying, >Sir, [please] open [the door] for us.= and he answers you, >I do not know you or where you came from,= 26) then you will begin to say, >We used to eat and drink with you, and you taught in our streets.= 27) And He will say [i.e., the Lord is represented as saying this in the judgment. See Matt. 7:23; 8:11-12], >I tell you, I do not know where you came from, [so] go away from me, all you people who have done sinful things.= 28) [Then] there will be crying and excruciating pain, when you will see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God and [you will see] yourselves thrown outside. 29) And people will come from the east and west and from the north and south to sit down in the kingdom of God. 30) And certainly, those [who appear to be] last will be first [i.e., in importance and blessings], and those [who appear to be] first will [end up] being last.@

31) At that very time certain Pharisees came to Jesus saying, AGet out of here and go someplace else, for King Herod wants to kill you.@ 32) And He said to them, AGo and tell that fox [Note: This is a metaphor signifying the sly, cunning nature of King Herod], >Look, I am driving out evil spirits and performing [miraculous] healings today and tomorrow, but on the third day I will be finished.= 33) Nevertheless, I must continue to travel today and tomorrow and the next day, for it is not possible for a prophet to be killed outside of Jerusalem.

34) AO, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you people who murdered the prophets and stoned those who were sent to you! How often I have wanted to gather you people together, even as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! 35) Look, your house [i.e., the Jewish Temple] is being abandoned [by me ?]. You will not see me until [the time when] you will be saying, >Praise the One who is coming in the name of the Lord.=@



CHAPTER FOURTEEN

1) And it happened on a Sabbath day, when Jesus went to the house of one of the leading Pharisees for a meal, that they [i.e., probably other Pharisees who were also guests] were watching Him closely. 2) And there He saw a certain man suffering from dropsy [Note: This is a condition in which the tissues of the body retain too much fluid]. 3) So, Jesus asked the teachers of the Law of Moses and the Pharisees, saying, AIs it permissible by the Law of Moses to heal people on the Sabbath day, or not?@ 4) But they did not say anything. So, Jesus took hold of the [sick] man, and [after] healing him, sent him away.

5) Then He said to them, AWhich one of you, who has a son or an ox that falls into a well, would not immediately pull him out on a Sabbath day?@ 6) And they were not able to give an answer to these things.

7) Then Jesus told a parable to those who had been invited [i.e., the dinner guests at the Pharisee=s house. See verse 1], because He noticed how they were choosing places of honor [at the dinner table]. [So], He said to them, 8) AWhen somebody invites you to a wedding reception, do not recline at the head of the table [Note: See Matt. 23:6], for maybe someone more honorable than you has been invited by the host. 9) Then the one who invited both of you will come [over] and say to you, >Give this man your seat [at the table],= and then you will be embarrassed and have to move to the least important seat. 10) But when you are invited [i.e., to a wedding reception], go and recline at the least important seat, so that when the host comes [over to you], he will say, >Friend, move up to a better seat.= Then you will be shown honor in front of everyone at the dinner table. 11) For every person who exalts himself [as important] will be humbled, but the person who humbles himself will be exalted [as important].@

12) Then Jesus also said to the Pharisee who had invited Him [to dinner], AWhen you prepare a breakfast or a supper, do not invite your friends, or brothers, or relatives or rich neighbors [only], for maybe they will invite you back, and [then] you will be repaid [for your kindness]. 13) But when you prepare a banquet, invite people who are poor, handicapped, crippled and blind [as well]. 14) Then you will receive a blessing, because these people do not have anything to pay you back with, for you will be paid back when righteous people are raised from the dead.@

15) And when one of the people who were reclining at the [supper] table with Jesus heard this, he said to Him, AThe person who will eat bread in the [coming] kingdom of God is [certainly] blessed.@ 16) But Jesus replied to him, AA certain man prepared a lavish supper and invited many [guests]. 17) When the supper was about ready, he sent his slave out to tell those who were invited, >Come, for everything is [now] ready.= 18) Then all of them, in the same way, began to excuse themselves [from attending]. The first one said to the host, >I just bought some land and I need to go out and look it over, so please excuse me [from attending the supper].= 19) And another person said, >I just bought five teams of oxen and I need to go and test them out, so please excuse me [from attending the supper].= 20) And the third person said, >I just got married, so I cannot attend [the supper].= 21) Then the slave returned and told his master about these things. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his slave, >Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring people who are poor, and handicapped, and blind and crippled in here [i.e., to the supper].= 22) And the slave said, >Master, I did what you ordered me to do, and still there is room [at the dinner table].= 23) Then the master said to the slave, >Go out into the roads and along the brushy trails and urge people to attend [the supper] so that my house will be full [of guests].= 24) For I tell you, not one of those who were invited will [even] taste my supper.@

25) Now large crowds were following Jesus and He turned [around] and said to them, 26) AIf anyone comes to me [i.e., to be my disciple], and does not hate his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brothers and sisters and, yes, even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27) [And] whoever does not carry his own cross [i.e., his responsibilities with all their difficulties] and follow me cannot be my disciple. 28) For which one of you who wants to build a [lookout] tower will not first sit down and calculate its cost, to see whether he has enough [money and materiel] to complete it? 29) For if he does not, maybe after he has laid the foundation and [then] is not able to complete [the tower], everyone who sees it will ridicule him, 30) saying, >This man began to build [a tower] but was not able to finish it.= 31) Or what king, planning to engage another king in war, will not first sit down and evaluate whether he will be able, with ten thousand [soldiers], to defeat someone who attacks him with twenty thousand [soldiers]? 32) Or maybe, while the enemy is still a long way off, he will send representatives to ask for peace terms. 33) So therefore, every one of you who does not say >goodbye= to everything he owns cannot be my disciple. 34) Therefore salt is good, but if it loses its flavoring [ability], how will it ever get it back again? 35) It is not suitable for the soil [i.e., for growing crops] or for fertilizer, but [only] for people to throw out. [See note on Matt. 5:13]. The person who has ears to hear with ought to listen [to this] carefully.@



CHAPTER FIFTEEN

1) Now the tax collectors and worldly people were all gathering around Jesus to listen to Him. 2) And the Pharisees and experts in the Law of Moses both complained, saying, AThis man welcomes worldly people and [even] eats with them.@

3) So, Jesus told them this parable, saying, 4) AWhich one of you who has a hundred sheep, and loses one of them, would not leave the ninety-nine in a deserted place and go looking for the lost one until he finds it? 5) And when he finds it, he places it on his shoulders [i.e., to return it], and is so glad. 6) And when he gets home, he calls his friends and neighbors together and says to them, >Rejoice with me, for I found my sheep that was lost.= 7) I tell you that, in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinful person who repents [i.e., changes his heart and life], than over ninety-nine persons who do not need to repent.

8) Or what woman, who has ten silver coins [Note: These coins each amounted to about one day of a farm laborer=s pay, or about $60-$84 in 1994], and if she loses one of them, would not light a lamp, sweep the house and search for it diligently until she finds it? 9) And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, >Rejoice with me, for I found the coin I had lost.= 10) In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God=s angels [i.e., in heaven?] over one sinful person who repents.@

11) Then Jesus said, AA certain man had two sons. 12) The younger one said to his father, >Father, [please] give me my share of your property that I have coming.= So, the father divided up what he had to live on [with his two sons]. 13) And a few days later, this younger son gathered everything together and traveled to a distant country where he squandered his possessions in wild living. 14) And when he had spent everything [he had], a severe famine occurred in that country and he became desperate for food. 15) So, he went to work for one of the citizens of that country who sent him to his fields to feed his hogs. 16) Now he wanted to fill his stomach with the [carob] pods the hogs were eating, but no one gave him any [or perhaps, anything else]. 17) But when he came to his senses, he said, >How many of my father=s hired servants have more than enough bread to eat, and here I am, dying from hunger! 18) I will get up and go to my father and say to him, Father, I have sinned against [the God of] heaven and against you. 19) I do not deserve to be called your son [anymore]. Consider me as [just] one of your hired servants.= 20) So, he got up and went to his father. But while he was still some distance [from the house], his father saw him and felt deep pity [for him], so ran and embraced him and kissed him [enthusiastically]. 21) Then the son said to him, >Father, I have sinned against [the God of] heaven and against you. I do not deserve to be called your son.= 22) But the father said to his slaves, >Quickly, bring out the best robe and put it on him. And put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23) And bring the fattened calf, kill it and let us eat and enjoy ourselves. 24) For my son here was dead [spiritually], but is [now] alive again. He was lost [from me], but [now] is found.= And they began to celebrate. 25) Now the father=s older son was [out] in the field. And when he came in and got close to the house he heard music and dancing. 26) So, he called one of the servants to him and asked what was going on. 27) And the servant said to him, >Your brother has come [home] and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he welcomed him back safe [from harm].= 28) But the older son got angry and refused to go into [the house]. So, his father came out and pleaded with him [i.e., to come in and join the celebration]. 29) But he replied to his father, >Look, I have served you [as a slave] for all these years and have never disobeyed any of your orders, yet you never gave me [even] a young goat, so I could enjoy myself with my friends. 30) But when this son of yours came [home], after having squandered all you gave him on prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.= 31) And the father replied, >Son, you are always [here] with me, and everything I have is yours. 32) But it was [only] proper that we celebrate and have a good time, for this brother of yours was dead [spiritually], but is [now] alive again; he was lost [from me] but [now] is found.=@



CHAPTER SIXTEEN

1) Then Jesus said to His disciples, AThere was a certain rich man who had a property manager who was reported to be squandering his possessions. 2) So, he called his property manager in and said to him, >What is this that I hear about you? Turn in a [full] report of [all] your financial transactions, for you are not working for me anymore.= 3) Then the property manager said to himself, What am I going to do since my master is taking away my job? I am not strong enough to dig [i.e., as a farm laborer], and I am too ashamed to beg. 4) I know what I will do, so when I am fired they [i.e., his master=s customers] will welcome me into their homes. 5) So, he called on each one of his master=s customers and said to the first one, >How much do you owe my master?= 6) And he replied, >Eight hundred gallons of [olive] oil.= And he said to him, >Take your contract and quickly sit down and write in four hundred [gallons].= 7) Then he said to another [customer], >And how much do you owe [him]?= And he answered, >One thousand bushels of wheat.= The property manager said to him, >Take your contract and write eight hundred [bushels].= 8) So, his master commended the dishonest property manager for his shrewdness. For worldly people are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of light [i.e., God=s people]. 9) Therefore, I tell you, make friends for yourselves by using worldly wealth, so that when it fails [i.e., when you run out of money] they [i.e., the friends you made with its wise and benevolent use] may welcome you into the eternal [i.e., heavenly] dwelling places. [Note: The idea here seems to be that by your shrewd use of material possessions for the benefit of others, you are actually storing up treasures for yourself in heaven].

10) AThe person who is trustworthy in regard to very small matters, [such as material possessions] is also [likely to be] trustworthy in regard to large matters, [such as spiritual values], and the person who does not do what is right in very small matters is also not [likely] to do what is right in large ones. 11) If therefore you have not been trustworthy in worldly wealth, who will put you in charge of the true [spiritual] riches? 12) And if you have not been trustworthy with what belongs to someone else, who will give you something of your own? 13) No person can serve two masters, for he will either hate the one and love the other, or else he will cling to the one [i.e., as a close friend] and look down on the other. You cannot serve God and material things [at the same time]."

14) Then the Pharisees, who loved money, heard these things and sneered at Jesus. 15) And He said to them, AYou are people who claim to be just in the eyes of [other] people, but God knows [what is in] your hearts. For that which is held up as most important among people [i.e., fame or fortune?] is disgusting in the eyes of God. 16) The Law of Moses and the prophets prophesied [See Matt. 11:13] until [the time of] John [the Immerser]. From that time onward the good news of the [coming] kingdom of God is [being] preached, and everyone is [attempting to] enter it forcibly [i.e., before its appointed time. See Acts 1:6-7]. 17) But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away [i.e., to be destroyed. See II Pet. 3:3], than for one portion of a letter of the Law of Moses to be dropped.

18) AEvery person who divorces his wife and marries another woman becomes sexually unfaithful to her [i.e., because he is still regarded by God as married to his first wife. See Matt. 19:9]. And the person who marries someone who has been divorced by her husband commits sexual sin with her [i.e., because she is still rightfully married to her first husband].

19) ANow there was a certain rich man who was dressed in purple [clothing] and soft linen [garments] and who lived every day in pleasure and luxury. 20) And a certain beggar named Lazarus, who was full of sores, was laid at the rich man=s doorway. 21) He longed to be fed with scraps that fell from the rich man=s table and even dogs came and licked his sores. 22) And it happened that the beggar died and [his spirit] was carried away by angels to a place close to Abraham. And the rich man also died and [his body] was buried. 23) And in the unseen place of departed spirits the rich man, who was being tormented, looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus close beside him. 24) And he shouted out, >Forefather Abraham, take pity on me and send Lazarus [to me], so he can dip the tip of his finger in water [and touch] my tongue to cool it, because I am in agony in these flames.= 25) But Abraham said [to him], >Son, remember how you enjoyed good things when you were alive [on earth] and how Lazarus had to put up with bad things? But now here [i.e., in the unseen place of departed spirits] he is being comforted and you are in agony. 26) And besides all this, there is a huge chasm situated between us and you so that those who wanted to go from here to there [where you are] cannot do it. And no one can cross over from there to us [over here].= 27) Then the rich man said, >I beg you therefore, forefather [Abraham], that you would send Lazarus to my father=s house, 28) where I have five brothers. Then he could warn them so that they will not [have to] come to this [terrible] place of torment also.= 29) But Abraham said, >They have [the writings of] Moses and the prophets; let them pay attention to them.= 30) Then the rich man said, >No, forefather Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, [then] they will repent [i.e., change their hearts and lives].= 31) And Abraham replied, >If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded [even] if someone rises from the dead [i.e., to come back and warn them].=@



CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

1) Then Jesus said to His disciples, AIt is inevitable that occasions which cause people to be led astray [from God] will come, but it is too bad for that person who is responsible for it happening. 2) It would be good [i.e., better] for him to have had a huge millstone tied around his neck and be thrown into the ocean [Note: This Amillstone@ was a huge, circular stone rolled over grain to crush it and was moved by an animal walking in a circle], rather than having him cause one of these little ones [i.e., humble followers of the Lord] to be led astray [from God]. 3) Pay attention to yourselves!

AIf your brother sins, rebuke him [i.e., show him where he is wrong in hope of effecting a change]; and if he repents [i.e., changes his heart and life], forgive him. 4) And if he sins against you seven times a day and [then] comes to you seven times and says, >I repent,= you should forgive him.@

5) Then the apostles said to the Lord, AGive us more faith.@ 6) And the Lord said, AIf you had faith as [small as] a mustard tree seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, >Be uprooted and replanted in the ocean,= and it would obey you.

7) ABut which of you, whose slave is plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he comes in from the field, >Come and sit right down to eat=? 8) Would you not say to him instead, >Prepare the food for my meal [first] and get ready to serve me until I have had enough to eat and drink and [then] afterward you can eat and drink [yourself]=? 9) Would he thank his slave for doing the things that he was ordered to do? 10) So, you too, after you have done everything you were told to, should say, >We are unworthy slaves. We have done [only] what we were supposed to do.=@

11) And it happened as Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem that He passed along the border between Samaria and Galilee. [Note: These were the next two provinces north of Judea]. 12) And as He entered a certain village, He was met by ten men with infectious skin diseases, who were standing some distance away [Note: Restrictions in the Jewish law prevented contact with persons having infectious diseases. See Lev. 13:45ff], 13) and shouting, AJesus, Master, have pity on us.@ 14) And when Jesus saw them, He said to them, AGo and show yourselves to the priests.@ [See Lev. 13:49; 14:2ff]. And it happened, as they went [along], that they were healed. 15) Then one of them, seeing he had been healed, returned and praised God in a loud voice. 16) And he fell on his face at Jesus= feet and thanked Him. And he was a Samaritan. [Note: Samaritans were despised by the Jews and regarded as a >half-breeds=]. 17) Jesus asked [those standing nearby], AWere there not ten men [who were] healed? Where are the [other] nine? 18) Did not anyone [else] come back to give praise to God, except this foreigner?@ 19) Then Jesus said to the one [who had returned], AGet up and go on your way. Your faith has made you well.@

20) And when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus answered them; AThe kingdom of God will not come the way you are looking for it. 21) People will not be saying, >Look, here [it is]!= or >There [it is]!= For in fact, the kingdom of God is [now] among you [i.e., as represented by the presence and ministry of Jesus].@

22) Then He said to the disciples, AThe time is coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of man [i.e., the time when the Messiah would deliver His people from tribulation], but you will not see it [i.e., such deliverance would not occur during their lifetimes]. 23) And people will be saying to you, >Look, there [He is]! Look, here [He is]! Do not leave or follow after them. 24) For the Son of man [will come] in His day just like lightning which flashes from one part of the sky and lights up the other part. 25) But first He must experience much suffering and be rejected by the people of this generation.

26) AAnd just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it will be in the days of the Son of man. 27) People were eating and drinking and [men were] marrying and [women] were being given away in marriage [right up] until the day that Noah entered the ship and the Flood came and drowned them all.

28) AIt happened in a similar way in the days of Lot [i.e., Abraham=s nephew]. People were eating and drinking and buying and selling and planting and building. 29) But on the day that Lot left Sodom, fire and sulphur rained down from the sky and consumed them all.

30) AIt will be the same way on the day the Son of man is revealed [i.e., at His second coming]. 31) On that day, the person who is on a housetop [Note: This was a flat area where people retired for rest, prayer, etc., with its stairway on the outside], whose belongings are [still] in his house, is not to go down and [attempt to] take any of them away. And the person who is in a field [i.e., doing farm work], also is not to return [to his house]. 32) Remember [what happened to] Lot=s wife! 33) Whatever person tries to gain [everything to satisfy him in] life [here on earth] will lose it [i.e., never ending life]. But whatever person [is willing to] lose [the comforts and security of] his life [here on earth] will preserve it [for eternity]. 34) I tell you, on that night [i.e., when Jesus returns. See verse 30], there will be two men in one bed; one will be taken [i.e., to be with the Lord] while the other one will be left [i.e., to be punished by the Lord]. 35) There will be two women grinding grain together [Note: This was done with a hand-operated millstone where two persons sat across from each other and rotated a circular stone over kernels of grain]; one will be taken while the other one will be left. {{Some ancient manuscripts include verse 36) There will be two men in a field [i.e., doing farm work]; one will be taken [i.e., to be with the Lord], while the other one will be left [i.e., to be punished by the Lord].@ See Matt. 24:40}} 37) And they asked Jesus, AWhere [will this happen], Lord?@ And He answered them, AWherever there is a [dead] body [you will see] vultures gathered there also.@



CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

1) Then Jesus told His disciples a parable for the purpose of showing them that they should pray continually and not become discouraged. 2) He said, AThere was a certain judge in this town who did not revere God nor respect man. 3) There was [also] a widow in that [same] town who kept coming to the judge saying, >Grant me a [favorable] judgment against my opponent.= 4) And for some time the judge refused to do it. But finally he said to himself, >Even though I do not revere God or respect man, 5) I will grant her a [favorable] judgment because she keeps bothering me [about the matter] and is about to exhaust my patience by her persistent visits.=@

6) And the Lord said, AListen to what [even] this unjust judge said [about the widow]. 7) So, will God not grant justice to His elect [i.e., His people] who call out to Him [i.e., in prayer] day and night? Will He be slow in helping them? 8) I tell you, He will grant justice to them quickly. However, will the Son of man find [very many] believing people on the earth when He returns?@

9) Then Jesus told this parable to certain ones who were relying on their own goodness and putting everyone else down: 10) ATwo men went up to the Temple [in Jerusalem] to pray. One of them was a Pharisee and the other one was a tax collector. 11) The Pharisee stood up [conspicuously] and prayed about himself this way [i.e., bragging to God about how good he was], >God, I thank you that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, sexually unfaithful to their mates, or even like that tax collector [over there]. 12) I fast [i.e., going without food and/or drink for religious reasons] twice a week and I give [to God=s work] a tenth of everything I get.= 13) But the tax collector stood at a distance [i.e., inconspicuously] and would not even look up to heaven, but struck his chest [i.e., in remorse], saying, >God, [please] have mercy on a sinner like me.= 14) I tell you, this man went back home right with God instead of the other man. For every person who exalts himself [as important] will be humbled, but whoever humbles himself will be exalted [as important].@

15) People were bringing babies to Jesus so He could touch them [i.e., to bestow a blessing on them], but when His disciples saw this, they spoke harshly to these people. 16) But Jesus called His disciples to Him and said, AAllow these little children to come to me and stop trying to prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these [i.e., humble ones. See Matt. 19:14]. 17) Truly I tell you, whoever does not welcome the kingdom of God the way a little child does, that person will by no means enter it.@

18) Then a certain ruler [Note: This man was young and rich. See Matt. 19:16-22] asked Jesus, AGood Teacher, what should I do in order to inherit never ending life?@ 19) Jesus answered him, AWhy do you call me >good=? No one is good except God only. 20) You know the commandments: Do not be sexually unfaithful to your mate. Do not murder. Do not steal. Do not give false testimony. Show honor to your father and mother.@ 21) And the ruler replied, AI have [already] been observing all of these commandments since I was [very] young.@ 22) When Jesus heard this He said to him, A[There is] one thing you still lack. Sell all your possessions and distribute [the money] to poor people; become my follower, [then] you will have treasure in heaven.@ 23) But when the ruler heard these words, he became very sad for he was extremely rich. 24) Now Jesus looked at him and said, AHow difficult [it is] for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God! 25) For it is [actually] easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a wealthy person to enter the kingdom of God.@

26) And those who heard this said, AThen who can [possibly] be saved?@ 27) Jesus answered, AThe things that are impossible with people are [certainly] possible with God.@ 28) Then Peter said, ALook, we have left our homes to follow you.@ 29) And Jesus said to the disciples, ATruly I tell you, there is no person who has left his house, or wife, or brothers, or parents, or children for the sake of the kingdom of God [i.e., to become a servant of the Lord], 30) who will not receive [back] many times as much [as he left in this life], and never ending life in the coming age.@

31) Then Jesus took the twelve apostles with Him, saying to them, ALook, we are going up to Jerusalem and [while there] everything written in [the writings of] the prophets will be fulfilled concerning the Son of man. 32) For He will be turned over to the [unconverted] Gentiles, and will be mocked, and insulted and spit on. 33) [The Romans] will flog Him and kill Him, but on the third day He will rise again [from the dead].@

34) But His disciples did not understand [what He meant by] any of these things, for this message was hidden from them so they did not comprehend what He was saying.

35) And it happened as Jesus was approaching Jericho [Note: This was a town about eighteen miles northeast of Jerusalem], that a certain blind man was [seen] sitting along side of the road, begging. 36) As he heard a crowd of people passing by, he asked [someone] what was happening. 37) And he was told that Jesus from Nazareth was passing by [that way]. 38) So, he shouted out, AJesus, you son of David, take pity on me.@ 39) But those walking in front [of Jesus] spoke harshly to the blind beggar, telling him to be quiet. But he continued shouting all the more, AYou son of David, take pity on me.@ 40) So, Jesus stopped and ordered the beggar to be brought to Him. And when he came near, Jesus asked him, 41) AWhat do you want me to do for you?@ And he replied, ALord, I want to receive my sight.@ 42) And Jesus said to him, AReceive your sight, your faith has made you well.@ 43) And immediately his sight was restored and he followed Jesus, giving honor to God. And when all the people saw this, they [too] praised God.



CHAPTER NINETEEN

1) So, Jesus [finally] entered Jericho and was traveling through it. 2) Just then, there appeared a man named Zacchaeus, who was a wealthy, chief tax collector. 3) He was trying to see which one was Jesus, but could not due to the large crowd and [because] he was so short. 4) So, he ran on ahead [of the crowd] and climbed up a mulberry tree [Note: This was a tree that produced a fig-like fruit] in order to see Jesus, who was supposed to pass that way [soon]. 5) And when Jesus came to the tree, He said to him, AZacchaeus, hurry and come down [from that tree], for I need to stay at your house today.@ 6) So, he came down immediately and welcomed Jesus gladly. 7) And when the crowd saw this, they began complaining [i.e., because Zacchaeus was a despised tax collector] and said, AHe is going to lodge with a sinful man.@ 8) Then Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, ALook, Lord, I [plan to] give half of my possessions to poor people. And if I have cheated anyone out of something, [I promise] to repay them four times as much.@ 9) Then Jesus said to him, ASalvation has come to this house today, since he too [i.e., Zacchaeus] is a descendant of Abraham. 10) For the Son of man came to search for and save those who were lost.@

11) And as the crowd listened to these things, Jesus told them another parable, because He was close to Jerusalem and they assumed the kingdom of God was going to appear right away. 12) So, He said, AA certain distinguished gentleman went to a distant country to receive a royal appointment [i.e., as king over a territory] and then return. [Note: This is the only parable of Jesus= that correlates with a known incident; that of Herod=s son Archelaus going to Rome to receive from Caesar Augustus an appointment to rule over Judea, Samaria and Idumaea in 4 B.C. See Matt. 2:22]. 13) So, he called ten of his slaves and gave each of them a sum of money [Note: The amount of each sum was equivalent to one hundred days of a farm laborer=s pay, or about $7,000 in 1994]. [Then] he said to them, >Invest this money until I return.= 14) But the citizens [of his newly acquired kingdom] hated him and sent a delegation after him [i.e., to the person who appointed the gentleman king over them], saying, >We do not want this man to rule over us.= 15) And it happened when the gentleman returned, having received his appointment as king, that he ordered the slaves to whom he had given the [sums of] money, to report to him. He wanted to find out how much [money] they had made on their investments. 16) So, the first one appeared in front of him, and said, >Master, your sum of money has earned ten times more.= 17) And the gentleman replied, >Well done, you are a good slave. Because you have proven trustworthy over a [relatively] very small matter, you will [now] have charge over ten towns.= 18) Then the second slave appeared, and said, >Master, your sum of money has earned five times more.= 19) And the gentleman said to him also, >You [will] have charge over five towns.= 20) Then another slave appeared and said, >Look, master, here is your sum of money. I kept it [safely] wrapped up in a cloth, 21) for I was afraid of you, knowing you are a hard man to deal with and that you pick up [and keep] something you did not lay down [i.e., lose], and you harvest a crop that you did not plant.= 22) The gentleman replied to him, >I will judge you [based] on what you [yourself] have [just] said, you evil slave. [Since] you knew that I am a hard man to deal with, picking up [and keeping] something I had not laid down, and harvesting a crop I had not planted, 23) then why did you not deposit my money in the bank? [Then] when I returned I could have withdrawn [the original sum of money] plus interest.= 24) Then he said to those who were standing around, >Take the sum of money away from him and give it to the one who made ten times as much [with the original sum].= 25) But the people said to him, >Master, he [already] has ten times as much money [as you gave him].= 26) [So the gentleman concluded], >I tell you, to every person who [already] has something, [more] will be given, but from that person who has [almost] nothing, even what [little] he has will be taken away from him. 27) But bring those enemies of mine here [i.e., the citizens. See verse 14], who did not want me to rule over them, and kill them in front of me.=@

28) And when Jesus had said this, He went on ahead [of His disciples. See Matt. 21:1] up to Jerusalem.

29) And it happened when Jesus got close to Bethphage and Bethany [Note: These were two small towns about two miles east of Jerusalem], at a hill called Olivet, that He sent two of His disciples, 30) saying [to them], AGo into the village just ahead of you, and upon entering [it], you will find tied up [there] a colt that no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it [here]. 31) And if anyone asks you, >Why are you untying it?= you should say, >The Lord needs it.=@

32) So, those who were sent [i.e., Jesus= disciples], went away and found [things] just as Jesus had told them. 33) And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, >Why are you untying the colt?= 34) And they replied, >The Lord needs it.= 35) So, they brought the colt to Jesus and spread their clothing on it, [then] placed Jesus on it [i.e., held the animal still as Jesus mounted it, since it had never been ridden before. See verse 30]. 36) And as He rode [along], people spread their clothing on the roadway.

37) Then, as He descended the Mount of Olives and got close to the city [i.e., Jerusalem], the entire crowd of disciples began joyfully praising God in loud voices because of all the powerful miracles they had seen [Him perform]. 38) They were saying, >May the King who comes in the name [i.e., by the authority] of the Lord, be blessed. May there be peace in heaven and praise [to God] in the highest [i.e., may this praise reach to the highest heaven].=

39) But some of the Pharisees from the crowd said to Jesus, ATeacher, speak sternly to your disciples [i.e., to prevent them from honoring Jesus].@ 40) But He answered them, AI tell you, if these people remain quiet [about me], [then] the stones will shout [about it].@

41) And when Jesus got close and saw the city [of Jerusalem], He cried over it, 42) saying, AIf [only] you people realized today those things which [could] lead [you] to peace! But now they are [being] hidden from your sight. 43) For the days will come upon you when your enemies will build a dirt wall around you, surrounding you, and hemming you in on every side. 44) They will throw you and your children, [who are] within your walls, to the ground and they will not allow one stone to remain on top of another in your city because you did not recognize that [God was] visiting you.@ [Note: This Avisitation@ refers either to the redemption which they had rejected or to the punishment of the siege and destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70].

45) Then Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out those who sold [things there], 46) saying to them, AIt is written [Isa. 56:7], >And my house [i.e., the Temple] will be a house for prayer, but [Jer. 7:11] >You have made it a hideout for thieves.=@

47) And Jesus was teaching in the Temple every day. But the leading priests and the experts in the Law of Moses and the leading men of the people were looking [for a way] to kill Him, 48) but they could not find a way to do it, because all the people were listening to Him attentively.



CHAPTER TWENTY

1) And it happened on one of the days that Jesus was teaching people in the Temple and preaching the good news, that the leading priests and the experts in the Law of Moses, [along] with the [Jewish] elders, came to Him. 2) They said to Him, ATell us, by what authority are you doing these things [i.e., miracles and teaching]? Or, who is the one who gave you this authority?@ 3) And Jesus answered them; ALet me also ask you a question. Tell me, 4) was the immersion of John [authorized] from heaven or from men?@ 5) And they discussed this among themselves, saying, AIf we say >from heaven,= He will say >Why [then] did you not believe him [i.e., believe his message]?= 6) But if we say >from men,= all the people will stone us, for they are convinced that John was a prophet.@ 7) Then they answered Jesus that they did not know [who authorized John=s immersion]. 8) So, Jesus said to them, A[Then] neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.@

9) Then Jesus began speaking to the people. [Note: And perhaps to the religious leaders as well. See Mark 11:18 with 12:1]. He told them this parable: AA man planted a vineyard, then leased it out to tenant farmers and went to another country for a long time. 10) And when the [grape harvest] season came, the owner of the farm sent a slave to the tenant farmers, asking them for the grape harvest [to be delivered to him]. But the tenant farmers beat the slave and sent him away empty handed. 11) Then he sent out another slave [i.e., to arrange for receiving the crop], but the tenant farmers beat him also, shamefully abused him and sent him away empty handed [as well]. 12) So, he sent a third [slave] and they wounded him also and threw him out [of the vineyard]. 13) Then the owner of the vineyard said, >What shall I do [about this]? I will send my dearly loved son. Hopefully, they will treat him with respect.= 14) But when the tenant farmers saw him, they began reasoning with one another, saying, >This is the heir [to the vineyard]; let us kill him so the inheritance will be ours.= 15) So, they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. Therefore, what will the owner of the vineyard do to them? [Jesus asked]. 16) He will come and kill those tenant farmers and will give the vineyard to other people.@

And when the people heard [Him say] this, they said, AMay that never happen.@ 17) But Jesus looked at them and said, AThen what does it mean that is written [Psa. 118:22], >The building block rejected by the builders [is] the same [one] that was made the principal stone by which the entire building was aligned?= 18) Every person who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, but whoever it falls on will be scattered like dust.@

19) Then the experts in the Law of Moses and the leading priests attempted to arrest Jesus right away, [but hesitated] because they feared [what] the people [might do], since they perceived that He had spoken this parable against them.

20) And they kept watching Him, [even] sending informants who pretended to be good [men], in order to get hold of something He said so they could turn Him over to the ruling authority of the governor. 21) And they asked Him, ATeacher, we know that you speak and teach correctly and that you do not show partiality to anyone, but [rather] teach the truth about God=s way. 22) Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?@ 23) But Jesus perceived their trickery, and said to them, 24) AShow me the coin [used for paying the taxes]. [Note: This coin was equivalent to one day of a farm laborer=s pay, or about $60-$84 in 1994]. Whose image and inscription are on this coin?@ And they answered Him, ACaesar=s.@ 25) He replied, AThen pay to Caesar the things that belong to Caesar and pay to God the things that belong to God.@

26) And they were not able to get hold of anything Jesus said in front of the people. And they marveled at His answer and did not say anything [further].

27) [Then] certain Sadducees came to Jesus (they are the ones who say there is no resurrection [of the dead]). 28) They said to Him, ATeacher, Moses wrote to us [Deut 25:5] that if a man=s brother dies, leaving his widow [behind] without having had any children, his brother should marry his widow and father children [by her]. These children would then be considered his [dead] brother=s. 29) [Now] there were these seven brothers; the first one got married, but when he died he did not leave any children behind. 30) Then the second one did the same thing. 31) Then the third one married the [surviving] widow [of the first two brothers]. And in the same way, all seven [brothers] married her, but left no children [behind when they died]. 32) Finally, the woman also passed away. 33) [Now] whose wife will she be in the resurrected state, for all seven [brothers] were married to her?@

34) And Jesus said to them, AThe people of this age [i.e., who live on earth] marry and are given away in marriage, 35) but those who are considered worthy of gaining that age [i.e., the future, never ending state] and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given away in marriage. 36) For they cannot die anymore either, because they are equal to the angels and are children of God, as well as children of the resurrection [i.e., people who are assured of being resurrected]. 37) But even Moses showed that dead people would be raised in the incident about the bush [Ex. 3:6], where he called the Lord, >Abraham=s God, and Isaac=s God, and Jacob=s God.= 38) So, He is not God to those who are dead, but [He is] God to those who are alive, for to God, all people are alive.@

39) Then certain experts in the Law of Moses replied to Jesus, ATeacher, you have spoken well.@ 40) For they did not dare ask Him any more questions.

41) And Jesus said to them [i.e., the Pharisees. See Matt. 22:41], AHow is it that they [i.e., the experts in the Law of Moses. See Mark 12:35] can say that the Christ [i.e., God=s specially chosen one] is the son of David? 42) For David himself said in the book of Psalms [Psa. 110:1], >The Lord [i.e., God] said to my [i.e., David=s] Lord [i.e., Jesus], sit at my right side 43) until I make your enemies the footrest [i.e., in subjection] under your feet.= 44) Since David called Him [i.e., Jesus] Lord, how could He be his son?@

45) Then Jesus said to His disciples in the hearing of all the people, 46) ALook out for the experts in the Law of Moses, who like to walk [around] in long [flowing] robes and love the special greetings they receive at the open shopping markets, and the principal seats in the synagogues, and the head places at dinner tables. 47) They consume widows' houses [i.e., by foreclosing on them] and [then] cover it up by offering lengthy prayers. These people will receive a heavier judgment.@



CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE

1) Then Jesus looked up [i.e., from his seated position at the entrance to the Temple], and saw people throwing their gifts [of money] into the treasury [Note: This was a large open-mouthed container used for receiving offerings for meeting expenses of Temple upkeep]. 2) And He saw a certain poor widow throwing two small copper coins into it [Note: These two coins amounted to about ten minutes of a farm laborer=s pay, or about one dollar in 1994]. 3) So, He said, ATruly I tell you, this poor widow has thrown in more than all the rest [i.e., referring to the many rich people who were also throwing in money]. 4) For all of them threw in from their abundance, but she threw in from her poverty all she had to live on.@

5) Then, as someone [i.e., of His disciples. See Mark 13:1], spoke of how the Temple was decorated with beautiful stones and objects dedicated as gifts, Jesus said, 6) AAs for these things you are looking at, the time will come when there will not be one stone left on another here that will not be thrown down.@ 7) So, they asked Him, saying, ATeacher, when will these things [you just spoke of] happen? And what will be the sign [that indicates] when these things are about to be fulfilled?@ 8) And He replied, APay attention, so that you are not led astray [from the truth]. For many [false teachers] will come, claiming to be me, and saying, >I am [the Christ],= and >The time is near.= [But] do not go after them. 9) And when you hear of wars and uprisings [going on], do not be afraid, for such things must necessarily happen first. But the end will not come right away.@ [Note: By Athe end@ here Jesus probably alludes to the downfall of Jerusalem, in AD 70, with its attending destruction of the Temple buildings].

10) Then Jesus said to His disciples, ANations will wage war against one another and kingdoms will attack one another. 11) And great earthquakes will happen, and at various places there will be famines and disease epidemics. And there will be fearful events and great [supernatural] signs from heaven. 12) But before all these things happen, the authorities will grab hold of you, and persecute you, and turn you over to the synagogues and prisons [i.e., for punishment and confinement]. They will take you in front of kings and governors for being loyal to me. 13) It will result in [an opportunity for] witnessing to them. 14) Determine in your hearts, therefore, not to plan ahead how you will answer them [when interrogated], 15) for I will give you a mouth [i.e., the ability to speak properly] and wisdom [i.e., the knowledge of what to say], which none of your opponents will be able to resist or speak against. 16) But you will be turned over [i.e., to the authorities for punishment] even by [your own] parents and brothers and relatives and friends. And they will [even] put some of you to death. 17) And you will be hated by all people for being loyal to me. 18) However, not one hair of your head will be lost. 19) [But], by holding out steadfastly, you will gain your life. [Note: This means either Apreserve your earthly life,@ or Aattain never ending life@].

20) ASo, when you see Jerusalem surrounded by [Roman] armies, then you will know that her total destruction is near. 21) Then those [of you] in Judea are to run away into the [nearby] mountains. And those who are inside of the city are to leave it [immediately]. And those who are in the countryside should not enter the city. 22) For these are times for punishment [i.e., to be inflicted on Jerusalem], so that everything written [i.e., by the prophets] may be fulfilled [i.e., about Jerusalem=s destruction. See Dan. 9:26-27]. 23) It will be too bad for pregnant women and those who are nursing [babies] in those days! For there will be great distress in this land [i.e., Judea, and especially Jerusalem], and raging anger [will be shown] against these people [i.e., by the Roman armies]. 24) And people will die by the sword and be led captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled on by the [unconverted] Gentiles [i.e., by the Romans and later by others] until the times of [domination by] the Gentiles are fulfilled.

25) AThen [Note: This event answers to the Aimmediately@ of Matt. 24:29, and suggests the next major event on God=s calendar] there will be [supernatural] signs [evident] in the sun and moon and stars. And on earth [there will be] distress among nations; they will be perplexed by the roaring of the ocean=s churning waves. [Note: Probably this is figurative language for highly agitated conditions on earth]. 26) Men will become despondent from fear, and from dreading the [terrible] things which will come upon the earth, for the forces of the heavens will be shaken. 27) And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great splendor [Note: This no doubt refers to the second coming of Christ. See II Pet. 3:9-10; Matt. 24:30-31; Rev. 1:7]. 28) But when these things begin to happen, stand up and lift up your heads [i.e., in anticipation], for your redemption [i.e., deliverance, either from destruction or condemnation] is getting closer.@

29) Then Jesus told them a parable: ALook at the fig tree, as well as all [other] trees: 30) When they begin to sprout their leaves you know when you look at them, without being told, that summer is near. 31) In the same way also, when you see these things happening [i.e., the above mentioned Asigns@], you can know that the kingdom of God [i.e., either its heavenly phase or the destruction of Jerusalem] is near. 32) Truly I tell you, the people of this generation will not [all] die off before all these things [i.e., mentioned above] happen. 33) Although the sky and the earth will pass away [See II Pet. 3:10], my words will not pass away [i.e., they will certainly come true].

34) ABut pay attention to yourselves so that your hearts do not become overburdened by carousing, and drunkenness, and the worries of life. [If you do], that >day= [i.e., Jesus= second coming and judgment] will arrive suddenly, like a trap [i.e., which catches an animal by surprise]. 35) For that is the way this >day= will arrive for everyone [else] living on the entire earth. 36) But you should be alert at all times, offering earnest prayers, so that you will be strong enough to escape all these things that will happen, and to appear [acceptable] in front of the Son of man [on that day].@

37) Now Jesus was teaching in the Temple every day, and He went out and lodged on the hill called Olivet every night [Note: Possibly this meant He lodged in a house in Bethany, which was situated on the side of this hill]. 38) And all the people came to hear Him early [each] morning.



CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO

1) Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was approaching. [Note: This was the annual Jewish festival commemorating Israel=s deliverance from Egyptian bondage under Moses= leadership]. 2) And the leading priests and experts in the Law of Moses were looking for a way to kill Jesus because they were afraid of the people [i.e., that people would riot if it were done during the Festival. See Matt. 26:5].

3) Then Satan entered the heart of Judas, called Iscariot, who was one of the twelve apostles. 4) So, he left [probably the house of Simon, the man healed of an infectious skin disease. See Matt. 26:6-13] and went and discussed with the leading priests and captains [i.e., of the Temple guard] how he could turn Jesus over to them. 5) And they were very pleased, so agreed to give him money. 6) So Judas consented [to their offer] and looked for a [good] opportunity to turn Jesus over to them [i.e., the Jewish leaders] when the crowd was not present.

7) Then the day came for the Festival of Unleavened Bread [to be held], on which the Passover [lamb] was to be sacrificed. 8) So, Jesus sent Peter and John [to Jerusalem], saying, AGo and prepare for us to eat the Passover [meal].@ 9) And they said to Him, AWhere do you want us to prepare [for it]?@ 10) And He replied to them, ALook, when you have entered the city, a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you; follow him into whatever house he goes. 11) Then you should say to the owner of the house, >The Teacher says to you, where is the guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?= 12) And he will show you a large, completely furnished upstairs room. Make preparations [for us] there [i.e., to observe the Passover Festival].@ 13) So, they went and found [everything] just as Jesus told them [it would be], and they prepared for the Passover meal.

14) And when the time came [for the Passover meal], Jesus reclined with His apostles [at the table]. [Note: See Matt. 23:6]. 15) And He said to them, AI have earnestly desired to eat this Passover meal with you [men] before I suffer [i.e., torture and death]. 16) For I tell you, I will not eat it again until [I do so when] it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God [See Matt. 26:29].@

17) Then Jesus took a cup [Note: This was one of the cups partaken of during the Passover meal], and after giving thanks to God [for it], He said, ATake this and share it among yourselves, 18) for I tell you, I will not drink this fruit of the vine [i.e., grape juice] from now on until [I do, figuratively, when] the kingdom of God has come.@ 19) Then He took a [small] loaf of bread, and after He had given thanks to God, He broke it and gave [pieces] to His apostles, and said, AThis is [i.e., represents] my [physical] body which is [to be] given for you; continue to do this [i.e., eat it regularly] to remember me by.@

20) And in the same way He took [another] cup, after the [Passover] meal, and said, AThis cup is [i.e., represents] the New Agreement [i.e., between God and mankind] made by my blood, which is [to be] poured out for you. 21) But look, the hand of the one who is turning me over [i.e., to the Jewish leaders] is with me on the table [i.e., dipping his hand in the sauce bowl. See Matt. 26:23]. 22) For the Son of man is certainly going [to die], just as it has been [pre-] determined, but it is too bad for that person through whom He is [to be] betrayed!@ 23) So, the apostles began discussing among themselves which one of them would do such a thing.

24) Then a dispute arose among the apostles as to which one of them should be considered the greatest. 25) And Jesus said to them, AThe kings of the [unconverted] Gentiles lord it over their own people, and those who domineer over them are called >Benefactors= [Note: This was a title used by Greek kings in Egypt and Syria]. 26) But it will not be that way among you, for the person who is the most important among you should become [like] the youngest [i.e., least important]. And the person who is the leader should become like the servant. 27) For who is most important, the person who reclines at the dinner table or the person who serves [him]? Is it not the person who reclines at the dinner table? But I am among you as the person who serves. 28) Now you apostles are the ones who have remained with me throughout my trials, 29) and just as my Father assigned a kingdom to me, so I am assigning a kingdom to you, 30) so you can eat and drink at my table in my [coming] kingdom. [Also] you will sit on [twelve] thrones [See Matt. 19:28], judging the twelve tribes of Israel [i.e., judging God=s people through their writings].

31) ASimon, Simon [i.e., Peter], Satan has earnestly requested the right to sift you like wheat. [Note: Grain was sifted by using a sieve-like device in which grain and particles of dirt and straw were shaken together, allowing the grain to fall through while the dirt and straw remained. This was an allusion to the agitating trials Peter was soon to endure, and survive]. 32) But I prayed earnestly for you, that your faith would not fail [to be strong]. And when you have turned back [i.e., from going astray briefly], provide [spiritual] support to your brothers.@ 33) And Peter replied, ALord, I am ready to go to prison and to death with you.@ 34) And Jesus said, AI tell you, Peter, you will deny [even] knowing me three times before the rooster crows today.@

35) Then Jesus said to them, AWhen I sent you out without a money belt, or traveling bag [i.e., for personal belongings], or sandals, did you lack anything@? And the apostles answered, A[No], nothing.@ 36) Then He said to them, ABut this time the person who has a money belt should take it, and also [he should take] a traveling bag. And if he does not have a sword, he should sell his coat and buy one. 37) For I tell you that this [passage of Scripture], which was written about me, must be fulfilled [Isa. 53:12]: >And He [i.e., Jesus] was counted with [i.e., as though He were one of] the criminals.= For the part [of that passage] that refers to me is being fulfilled.@ 38) And the apostles said, ALook, Lord, we have two swords [here].@ And Jesus replied, AThat is enough.@ [Note: Possibly Jesus means, Aenough talk about weapons@].

39) Then Jesus went out to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed to doing [each evening during His final week], and His disciples followed Him. 40) And when He got there He said to them, APray that you do not give in [i.e., to the devil] under trials.@ 41) Then Jesus went away from them about the distance of a stone=s throw and knelt down and prayed, 42) saying, AFather, if you are willing, take this cup [i.e., of suffering] away from me; nevertheless, let it not be what I want, but what you want [for me].@ 43) Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him and strengthened Him. [See Matt. 4:11]. 44) And He became anguished as He prayed more fervently; even His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

45) And when He got up from praying He went to His disciples and found them asleep, exhausted from grief. 46) So, He said to them, AWhy were you sleeping? Get up and pray so you do not give in [to the devil] under trials.@

47) While He was still speaking suddenly one of the twelve apostles, named Judas, [who was] leading a crowd, came near Jesus to kiss Him. 48) But Jesus said to him, AJudas, are you betraying the Son of man with a kiss?@

49) And when [the rest of] the disciples, who were gathered around Jesus, saw what was about to happen, they said, ALord, do you want us to strike them with a sword?@ 50) Then a certain one of them struck the head priest=s slave and sheared off his right ear. [Note: It was Peter who struck this man, whose name was Malchus. See John 18:10]. 51) But Jesus replied, AStop it; [that is] enough!@ Then He touched the man=s [partially severed] ear and healed him.

52) And Jesus said to the leading priests and captains of the Temple [guard] and the [Jewish] elders that came to take Him, AHave you come out [to arrest me] with swords and clubs as you would [apprehend] a thief? 53) When I was with you every day in the Temple you did not raise a hand against me. But this is your hour [i.e., the time for you to act against me] and the power of darkness [has now taken over].@

54) Then they arrested Jesus and led Him away to the head priest=s house [i.e., Caiaphas. See Matt. 26:57]. But Peter followed Him from a distance [i.e., as they went to the head priest=s courtyard]. 55) And when they [i.e., the priest=s servants] had built a fire in the middle of the courtyard, they sat down together [i.e., to warm themselves. See Mark 14:67], with Peter [sitting] among the group. 56) Then a certain [servant] girl saw Peter sitting there in the light of the fire. As she stared at him she said, AThis man was with Jesus, too.@ 57) But Peter denied it, saying, AWoman, I do not [even] know Him.@

58) Then a little while later, someone else saw Peter and said, AYou are one of them also [i.e., one of Jesus= disciples].@ But Peter replied, AMan, I am not.@

59) And about an hour later someone else stated emphatically, AI know for sure that this man was also with him [i.e., Jesus], for he is from Galilee [too].@ [Note: Peter=s accent gave him away. See Matt. 26:73]. 60) But then Peter said, AMan, I do not know what you are talking about.@ Just then, as he was speaking, the rooster crowed.

61) Then the Lord turned and gave Peter a [penetrating] glance. And Peter remembered the words of the Lord, how He had said to him, AYou will deny [knowing] me three times before the rooster crows today.@ 62) Then Peter went out and cried bitterly.

63) Now the men who were holding Jesus [in custody] began mocking Him and beating Him. 64) And they blindfolded Him and asked Him, AProphesy, who is it that hit you?@ 65) And they said many other derogatory things against Him.

66) And when it became daylight, the body of [Jewish] elders of the people, [consisting of] both leading priests and experts in the Law of Moses, was gathered together. Then they led Jesus away to their Council [called the ASanhedrin@], and asked Him, 67) ATell us if you are the Christ [i.e., God=s specially chosen one].@ But He replied, AYou would not believe me if I [did] tell you [who I am]. 68) And if I asked you [who I am] you would not answer. 69) But from now on the Son of man will be seated at the right side of the powerful God.@ 70) So, they all asked [Him], AThen are you the Son of God?@ And He answered them, AYou [are right to] say that I am [the Christ].@ 71) And they replied, AWhy do we need any more evidence? For we have heard [enough] from his own mouth, ourselves.@



CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE

1) Then the entire group of them [i.e., of the Jewish elders, priests and law experts] got up [from their Council meeting] and took Jesus to [governor] Pilate. 2) They began bringing accusations against Him, saying, AWe discovered this man misleading the people of our nation and telling them not to pay taxes to Caesar, and claiming that he himself was the Messiah, a king!@ 3) So, Pilate asked Him, AAre you the king of the Jews?@ And Jesus answered him, AYou have said so.@

4) Then Pilate said to the leading priests and to the crowds [that had gathered], AI do not find anything wrong with this man.@ 5) But the group became more insistent, saying, AHe is stirring up the people and teaching [these things] throughout all Judea. He began [doing this] in Galilee and [has continued it] even to this place [i.e., Jerusalem].@ 6) When Pilate heard this, he asked if the man were a Galilean. 7) And when he realized that Jesus was under Herod=s [political] jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time.

8) Now Herod was very pleased when he saw Jesus for he had wanted to see Him for a long time. He had heard [things] about Jesus and [now] hoped to see Him perform a miracle. 9) So, he asked Him many questions, but Jesus did not respond to any [of them]. 10) Then the leading priests and experts in the Law of Moses stood up and viciously charged Him [i.e., with false accusations]. 11) Then Herod and his soldiers treated Jesus with contempt and mocked Him. They dressed Him in a luxurious robe and then sent Him back to Pilate. 12) So, Herod and Pilate became mutual friends that very day. (Now before this they had been enemies).

13) Then Pilate called together the leading priests, the [Jewish] leaders and the people, 14) and said to them, AYou brought this man to me, claiming he was inciting people to disloyalty [i.e., to the government]. And look, I questioned him in front of you people but did not find him guilty of the charges you 15) or Herod have brought [against him]. For Herod sent him back to us and now I find that he has not done anything deserving of death. 16) Therefore, I will have him punished and [then] release him.@ {{Some ancient manuscripts include verse 17) For Pilate was required to release one prisoner to the people at the [Passover] Festival}}. 18) But the people all joined together shouting, ATake this man [i.e., Jesus] and release Barabbas to us [instead].@ 19) [Now] Barabbas was a person who had been thrown into prison for [inciting] a rebellion in the city [of Jerusalem] and for committing murder. 20) Then Pilate spoke to them again [because] he wanted to release Jesus, 21) but they continued shouting, ACrucify him, crucify him.@

22) So, Pilate called out to them a third time, AWhy [should he be crucified]; what wrong has this man done? I have not found any reason for putting him to death, so I will punish him and [then] release him.@ 23) But the people loudly demanded that Jesus be crucified. And their shouting won out. 24) So, Pilate issued the sentence the people were demanding 25) and released the man they had asked for [i.e., Barabbas], who had been thrown into prison for [inciting] a rebellion and committing murder. But he turned Jesus over to the people do with Him whatever they wanted.

26) Then, as they were leading Jesus away, the soldiers [See Mark 15:16-21] grabbed hold of a man named Simon, from Cyrene [Note: This was a city in the northern African country of Libya], who was coming in from the countryside, and placed the cross [i.e., probably only the cross-beam portion] on him, so he could carry it while following Jesus.

27) A large crowd of people followed Jesus, including some women who wailed [in grief] and mourned over His plight. 28) But Jesus turned and said to them, ADaughters of Jerusalem [i.e., women citizens], do not cry over me, but cry over yourselves and your children. 29) For look, the time will come when people will be saying, >Those [women] who are without children and who have never given birth or nursed babies are [truly] happy!= 30) Then they will begin to say to the mountains [Hosea 10:8], >Fall on us,= and to the hills, >Cover us [up].= 31) For if people are doing these things [to me] while the [leaves of the] tree are green [i.e., to someone innocent of wrongdoing], what will they do when [the leaves] are dried up [i.e., to the sinful Jews of Jerusalem]?@

32) And two other men, who were criminals, were also led out with Jesus to be put to death.

33) And when they came to the place called AThe Skull@ [Note: The Latin word for this place is ACalvary@], they crucified Him there, along with the criminals, one at His right side and one at His left. 34) Then Jesus called out, AFather, forgive these people [i.e., the ones responsible for crucifying Him], for they do not know [i.e., realize] what they are doing.@ Then the soldiers [See John 19:23] divided Jesus= clothing among them by gambling for them.

35) People stood [around] watching [all this], while the leaders even sneered at Him, saying, AHe saved other people; [now] let him save himself [i.e., from dying] if he [really] is the Christ, God=s specially chosen one.@

36) The soldiers also mocked Him; they came to Him, offering Him sour wine [to drink], 37) saying, AIf you [really] are the King of the Jews, save yourself.@ 38) There was an inscription above Him [i.e., on the upright portion of the cross], stating, AThis is the king of the Jews.@

39) Then one of the criminals, who was hanging [on a cross also] spoke abusively to Him, saying, AAre you not the Christ [i.e., God=s specially chosen one]? [If you are], then save yourself and us.@ 40) But the other criminal spoke harshly to the first one, saying, ADo you not even have any fear of God [left], since you [too] are experiencing the same sentence of condemnation? 41) And for us it is truly a just sentence, for we are getting back what we deserve for our actions, but this man has not done anything wrong.@ 42) Then he said, AJesus, remember [to be merciful to] me when you come into your kingdom.@ 43) Then Jesus said to him, ATruly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise [Note: This is a place in God=s presence, referred to as Athe third heaven@ (II Cor. 12:2-4), and where overcomers will be able to eat from Athe tree of life@ (Rev. 2:7)].@

44) Now when it was about twelve o=clock noon, darkness came over all the land until three o=clock in the afternoon, for 45) the sun=s light failed to shine. Then the Temple curtain became torn down the middle. 46) Jesus called out in a loud voice, AFather, I commit my spirit into your hands.@ And after He said this, He gave up His spirit [i.e., to God in death].

47) And when the military officer in charge of one hundred men saw what had happened, he honored God [by] saying, ACertainly this man had [always] done what was right.@ 48) And after the crowds that had gathered to witness this sight saw what had happened they left, beating their chests [i.e., as an expression of anguish over witnessing Jesus= death]. 49) And all of those who knew Him, as well as the women who had followed Him from Galilee [See Matt. 27:55-56], watched all this from a distance.

50) And just then [there appeared] a member of the [Jewish] Council named Joseph from the city of Arimathea. He was a good man who tried to do what was right, 51) (and who had not agreed with the decision and action of the [Jewish] Council). He was expecting the kingdom of God [to appear soon]. 52) [So], Joseph went to [governor] Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53) [Upon receiving permission] he took it down [from the cross] and wrapped it in a linen cloth, and placed it in a grave site, cut out of [a ledge of] rock, where no one had ever been buried. 54) This happened on the Day of Preparation [for the Passover Festival], as the Sabbath day was about to begin [i.e., shortly before 6 PM on Friday].

55) The women who had accompanied Jesus from Galilee followed behind [those carrying the body] and saw where the grave site was and how His body was placed in it. 56) So, they returned [home] and prepared spices and [aromatic] oils [i.e., for embalming Jesus= body].

Then they rested on the Sabbath day according to the [fourth] commandment. [See Ex. 20:10].



CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR

1) Now at early dawn on the first day of the week [i.e., early Sunday morning], the women [See Mark 16:1] went to Jesus= grave site, taking the spices which they had prepared [for His burial]. 2) But they found the stone [had already been] rolled away from the [opening of the] grave site. 3) So, they went in [i.e., into the cave-like tomb], but did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4) And it happened, while they wondered about the situation, suddenly two men in brilliant clothing [were seen] standing beside them. 5) As the women became terrified and bowed down with their faces toward the ground [i.e., in reverence and awe], the two men said to them, AWhy are you looking for the living [One] where they bury dead people? 6) He is not here; for He has risen [from the dead]. [Do you not] remember what He told you when He was still in Galilee, saying, 7) >The Son of man must be turned over into the hands of sinful men to be crucified, but the third day [He will] rise again [from the dead]?=@ 8) Then they remembered what He had said to them.

9) When they returned from the grave site, they told all this to the eleven apostles and to all the rest [of the disciples]. 10) Now the women who told these things to the apostles were Mary from Magdala; Joanna [Note: This was the wife of Chuzas, Herod=s property manager. See Luke 8:3], Mary [the mother] of James and other women who were with them. 11) But these words seemed as nonsense to the apostles, and they refused to believe the women. {{Some ancient authorities do not include verse 12) But Peter got up and ran to the grave site. He stooped down [i.e., because of the low opening in the cave-like tomb], looked in and saw the linen cloths [lying there] by themselves. Then he went home, puzzled over what had happened.}}

13) Then, on that same day, two disciples [See Mark 16:12] were [walking along], going to a village named Emmaus, which was about seven miles [northwest] of Jerusalem. 14) And they were discussing with each other everything that had [recently] happened. 15) And it happened, as they were talking and discussing together, that Jesus came near [them] and began walking along with them. 16) But they were [miraculously?] prevented from recognizing who He was. 17) Then Jesus said to them, AWhat have you been talking about while [you were] walking along together?@ And they stopped [suddenly], looking dejected. 18) Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered Jesus, AAre you the only visitor in Jerusalem who does not know what all happened there the past few days?@ 19) And He replied, AWhat things?@ And they said to Him, AThe things concerning Jesus, from Nazareth, who was a prophet speaking powerful words and performing powerful deeds in front of God and all the people. 20) And the leading priests and our leaders turned him over to be sentenced to death and had him crucified. 21) But we had hoped that he was the one who would purchase the Israelites back [from their bondage]. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. 22) However, certain women of our group, who went to the grave site early [Sunday morning], amazed us. 23) When they did not find Jesus= body, they came and told us that they had also seen a vision of angels who said Jesus was alive. 24) Then some of our companions [i.e., Peter and John. See John 20:2-9] went to the grave site and found things just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus [either].@

25) Then Jesus said to them, AYou foolish men! How slow your minds are to believe everything the prophets have spoken [in their writings]! 26) Was it not necessary for the Christ [i.e., God=s specially chosen one] to suffer these things, and [then] to enter His glorious state [with the Father]?@ 27) Then, beginning from [the writings of] Moses and all the prophets, Jesus explained to the two men about the things referring to Himself [contained] in all these Scripture passages.

28) And as they got close to the village [i.e., of Emmaus], where the men were going, Jesus appeared as though He were planning to continue on. 29) So, the men urged Him to remain with them, saying, AStay with us [i.e., overnight], because it is getting late and the day is almost over.@ So, He went [to their house] to stay with them.

30) And it happened when Jesus had reclined at the dinner table with them [Note: See Matt. 23:6], that He took a [small] loaf of bread, asked God=s blessing on it, then broke it and gave [pieces] to the two men. 31) [Immediately] their eyes were opened [i.e., they were given insight] so they could recognize Him. And [just then] He disappeared from their view [Note: The Greek says, Abecame invisible,@ suggesting that He vanished miraculously]. 32) Then the two men said to each other, AWere not our hearts stirred up within us [i.e., our emotions thrilled] when Jesus spoke to us along the road and opened up the Scriptures [to our understanding]?@

33) So, they got up at once and returned to Jerusalem and found the eleven apostles gathered together with some other disciples. 34) The apostles [or, some think the two men] were saying, AThe Lord truly has risen and has appeared to Simon [i.e., Peter].@ 35) Then the two men recounted what happened along the road and how Jesus was recognized by them when He broke the loaf of bread.

36) And as the apostles were talking about these things, Jesus Himself [reappeared], standing among them, and said to them, AMay there be peace in your lives.@ 37) But they became frightened and [even] terrified, and assumed they were seeing a spirit. 38) Then Jesus said to them, AWhy are you [so] upset? And why are you having doubts [about me] in your minds? 39) Look at my hands and my feet and realize that it is I, myself. Feel me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones, as you see that I have.@ {{Some ancient authorities omit verse 40) And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet.}} 41) And while they still could not believe [i.e., or, could hardly believe], out of joy and wonderment, Jesus said to them, ADo you have anything here to eat?@ 42) So, they gave Him a piece of broiled fish. 43) And He took it and ate it in front of them.

44) Then Jesus said to the apostles, AThese are the words that I told you while I was still with you, [when I said] that everything written in the Law of Moses, and the prophets, and the psalms about me needed to be fulfilled.@

45) Then He opened their minds [miraculously?] so they would understand the Scriptures. 46) And He said to them, AThis is what was written: The Christ [i.e., God=s specially chosen one] will suffer, and [then] rise again from the dead on the third day. 47) And [the need for] a change of heart and life in order to receive the forgiveness of sins [from God] will be preached in Jesus= name [i.e., by His authority] to people of all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48) You apostles are [to be] witnesses of these things [i.e., they were to give their testimony of these truths. See Acts 1:8]. 49) And look, I [am going to] send upon you apostles what my Father promised [i.e., the Holy Spirit. See John 14:26]; but you should wait in the city [of Jerusalem] until you are clothed with power from above.@ [Note: This promise was fulfilled when the apostles were immersed in the Holy Spirit. See Acts 1:4 - 2:4].

50) Then Jesus led His apostles out [of Jerusalem] until they came near to Bethany [Note: This was a village fewer than two miles east of Jerusalem]. [There] He raised His hands and asked God=s blessing on them. 51) And it happened, as He was blessing them, that He left them and was taken up to heaven. 52) And the apostles worshiped Jesus, then returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 53) And they were there in the Temple [area] continually praising God [i.e., for the next ten days. See Acts 2].


Table of Contents


Copyright 1994 by William E. Paul.

Used by permission. All rights reserved. The AUV text may be quoted in any form (written, visual, electronic, or audio), up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses or less without written permission, providing the verses quoted do not amount to a complete book of the Bible, do not comprise 25% or more of the total text of the work in which they are quoted, and the verses are not being quoted in a commentary or other Biblical reference work. This permission is contingent upon an appropriate copyright acknowledgment.

The AUV database is not a shareware program and may not be duplicated.