1 Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Some bad things in this world will make other people do wrong things. You can be sure about that. But God will punish anyone who makes these bad things happen. 2 These other people may not seem to be important. But you must not make them do wrong things. Do not do that! It would be better if someone tied a big stone round your neck, and then he threw you into the sea.
17:2The unimportant people here may be children. They may be people that do not believe strongly in Jesus. They may be those that have only just started to obey him. Jesus is not telling a person that he should kill himself. But he is telling us to think very seriously about the result if we cause someone else to do wrong things.
3 Be careful how you live. If your Christian brother does something wrong, speak to him. Tell him that he has done a bad thing. He may say, “I am sorry for what I did. I will not do it again.” If he says that, you must forgive him. 4 Your brother may do a bad thing to you seven times in one day. He may turn to you each time and say, “I am sorry for what I did. I will not do it again.” If he does that, you must forgive him every time.’
5 The apostles said to the Lord Jesus, ‘Help us to believe more and more in God.’
6 The Lord replied, ‘You may believe in God only a very little bit, like a very small seed. Even if you only believe that little bit, you could say to this tree, “Pull yourself out of the ground and plant yourself in the sea.” Then the tree would obey you.
7 Think about this. You may have a servant that is ploughing your land. Or you may have a servant that is taking care of your sheep. When he comes in from his work in the evening, you would not say to him, “Sit down and eat.” 8 No, you would not say that. You would say to your servant, “Prepare my meal for me. Dress yourself properly and bring the food to me. I will eat and drink first. You can eat when I have finished.” 9 Servants should do what their masters tell them to do. When they do that, their masters do not need to thank them. 10 It is the same with you. The Master tells you what you should do. So when you have done all of it, you should say, “We are not special servants. We have only done what we should do.” ’
Ten men that had a bad illness of the skin
11 On his journey to Jerusalem, Jesus was travelling along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 When he was going into a village, 10 men came towards him. These men had a bad illness of the skin. They stopped and stood a long way away from Jesus. 13 They shouted, ‘Jesus, Master, please be kind to us.’
14 Jesus saw them and said to them, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests.’
While they were going on their way, they became well again. 15 One of these 10 men saw that Jesus had made him well. He turned back and he praised God in a loud voice. 16 He went down on his knees in front of Jesus and thanked him. This man was from Samaria.
17 Then Jesus said, ‘I made 10 men well again, didn't I? There should be another nine men somewhere! 18 But only this one man came back to thank God. And he is a foreign man from Samaria!’
19 Then Jesus spoke to the man. ‘Stand up and go on your way. You believed in me, so now you are really well.’
Jesus talks about the time when God will rule
20 Then some Pharisees asked Jesus a question. ‘When will the kingdom of God begin here?’
Jesus replied, ‘When God begins to rule here, people will not see it with their eyes. 21 Nobody will say, “Look everyone! God is ruling here,” or “Look! God is ruling over there.” No, it is not like that. God is already ruling in the lives of his people.’
22 Jesus said to his disciples, ‘The time will come when you will very much want to see me, the Son of Man, return to the earth. But you will not see that day. 23 People may say to you, “Look, there he is!” or “Here he is!” But do not go out with them to look. 24 When lightning shines, it quickly makes the whole of the sky light from one side to the other. It will be like that on the day when the Son of Man returns. 25 But before this happens, the people of today will refuse to accept me. And I will feel much pain.
26 Remember what happened when Noah was alive. It will be like that at the time when the Son of Man returns to the earth. 27 In Noah's time, people were eating their meals every day. Men and women continued to marry. They continued to do all this until the day when Noah went into his boat. Then it rained for a long time and there was deep water everywhere. The water killed all the people.
28 The same kind of thing happened when Lot was alive. People in the city called Sodom were eating their meals every day. They were buying and selling things. They were planting their seeds and they were building their houses. 29 But one day Lot went away from Sodom. On that same day, God caused it to rain fire and burning stones from the sky. This killed all the people in Sodom.
30 It will happen quickly like that, on the day when I, the Son of Man, show myself clearly. 31 On that day, a person who is up on the roof of his house must not go back down into the house. He must not get his things that are inside the house to take with him. In the same way, people that are working outside in their fields must not go back to their homes. 32 Remember what happened to Lot's wife.
17:32Before God destroyed Sodom, Lot and his wife ran away from the city. But she stopped running away and she looked back at the city. She became a rock made from salt. We can read about this in Genesis 19.
33 Whoever wants to keep his own life safe will lose it. But whoever gives his life to serve me will have true life. 34 I tell you this. At that time, two men will be sleeping in one bed. God will take one of them away but he will leave the other man behind. 35-36 Two women will be preparing food together in the same place. God will take one of them away but he will leave the other one behind.’
37 Jesus' disciples asked him, ‘Where will this happen?’ Jesus replied, ‘If a dead body is lying somewhere, vultures will come together in that place.’
17:37A vulture is a large bird that eats dead animals. Jesus did not give them a clear answer. Sometimes, people would see several vultures flying above a certain place. So they knew that there was a dead or dying animal below. The things that Jesus talked about will start to happen. Then people can know that the time is near.