Notes on the meaning of
the Gospel of Luke
in EasyEnglish (2800 word vocabulary)
A word list at the end explains words with a *star by them.
Words in italics are not in the Greek text. We believe that they are implicit.
v1-2 My noble friend Theophilus, many people saw the things that Jesus did. They were with him from the time when he started to serve God. They served God too, because they taught people God’s *Message. Many people heard what they taught. And some of those people wrote down accounts of the things that Jesus did. v3 I myself have carefully studied all these accounts. This history began before Jesus was born. Therefore, I decided to write an account for you. It seemed a good idea that I write about all these things in their order. v4 You have heard about these things before. But I want you to know the truth.
v5 King *Herod the Great ruled Judea district. At that time there was a *Jewish priest called Zechariah. He belonged to the group of priests called the Abijah group. He and his wife Elizabeth both belonged to Aaron’s family. And Aaron had been the first priest among *Israel’s people long ago. v6 God considered that both Zechariah and Elizabeth were *righteous. They obeyed perfectly all God’s commands and rules. v7 But they had no children, because Elizabeth was not able to have children. Also, she and her husband were very old.
v8 One day Zechariah and his group were doing their work in God’s great house, called the *Temple. Zechariah was serving God as a priest. v9 The other priests chose him by the way that their custom taught them. They chose him to enter the *Lord’s house on behalf of the people. He would burn *incense, which made a sweet smell inside the *Lord’s house. This was their gift to God. v10 While Zechariah was burning the *incense, many people were praying outside the door. v11 Then one of God’s *angels appeared to Zechariah. The *Lord had sent this *angel from *heaven. This *heavenly servant came to the place where the priests burned the *incense. And he was standing at the right side of this place. v12 He astonished Zechariah, who became very afraid.
v13 But God’s *angel spoke to him. ‘Zechariah, do not be afraid!’ the *angel said. ‘When you prayed to God, you asked for a son. And God heard what you prayed. So, your wife, Elizabeth, will give birth to your son, and you must name him John. v14 He will cause you to be very happy. Also, many other people will be happy because he is born,’ the *angel said.
v15 ‘God will consider your son to be a very important person. He must never drink wine or any other drink that contains alcohol. The *Holy Spirit will control him from the time that he is born,’ the *angel said to Zechariah. v16 ‘Your son will persuade many people in your nation, called *Israel. Then they will turn away from their evil deeds. He will persuade them to please the *Lord their God.’
v17 ‘God’s *Spirit will cause your son to tell God’s *Message with power. Your son will be like God’s special servant Elijah was long ago,’ the *angel said. ‘And your son will come ahead of the *Lord that God has chosen. Your son will cause parents to be at *peace with their children again. Also, many people do not obey God. But your son will cause them to obey,’ the *angel said. ‘Then they will listen to the wise things that good people tell them. And so, the people will be ready when the *Messiah comes.’
v18 Then Zechariah replied to God’s *angel. ‘I am very old, so I cannot have a son’, he said. ‘My wife is also so old that she cannot have children. I cannot believe what you say. How shall I know that this will really happen?’
v19 ‘I am God’s chief servant in *heaven. My name is Gabriel!’ the *angel answered. ‘I always do what God tells me to do! And he sent me to tell this good *Message to you. Therefore, I am telling you about what will happen to you. v20 And what I have told you will certainly happen. God has decided the time, but you did not believe my words. So now, God will cause you to be dumb. You will not be able to talk again until the day that your son is born!’
v21 While they were talking, the people outside were waiting for Zechariah. ‘Why is he staying in God’s house for such a long time?’ they wondered. v22 But when Zechariah came out, he was not able to answer them. Because he could not talk, he made movements with his hands. He was trying to show them what had happened to him. So then they realised that God had given a *vision to him in the *Temple.
v23 Zechariah’s time to work as a priest in the *Temple finished. So, he left Jerusalem and he returned to his home. v24 Some time later his wife, Elizabeth, was expecting a baby. Then she did not leave her house for 5 months. She could not tell other people about the baby earlier, because they would not believe such an old woman. v25 But she spoke to herself. ‘God has given this baby to me!’ she said. ‘At this time, he has pitied me. Now I will no longer be ashamed because I have no children!’
v26 Elizabeth had been expecting the baby for almost 6 months. Then God sent his *angel called Gabriel from *heaven, again. v27 This time, the *angel went to Nazareth town, in Galilee district. He went there to speak to a young woman. Her name was Mary and she had never been with a man. But her parents had promised that she would marry a certain man in that town. His name was Joseph. King David lived long ago, and this Joseph belonged to David’s family. v28 God’s servant, the *angel, spoke to Mary. ‘Greetings! The *Lord God is with you. He has decided to be very good to you!’ the *angel told her.
v29 But the *angel’s message confused Mary. She wondered what he meant by those words. v30 Then he spoke to her again. ‘Mary, God is very pleased with you, so do not be afraid. v31 Soon, you will have a son, and you must call him Jesus. v32 He will become great. People will say that he is God’s *Son. And God, the *Lord, will cause him to be a king like his great *ancestor King David long ago. v33 He will be the king over you *Jews for all time, all you who belong to Jacob’s family. He will never stop ruling as king!’
v34 Then Mary replied to the *heavenly servant. ‘Since I have not been with a man, how can I have a baby?’ she asked.
v35 And the *angel answered her. ‘The *Holy Spirit will come to you and you will feel God’s power in you. He will cause you to expect a baby. Therefore, the child that you will have will be special for God’s purposes. In addition, people will say that he is God’s *Son. v36 I also need to tell you something else. Although your cousin, Elizabeth, is very old, she is expecting a baby too. People said that she could never have any children. However, she has been expecting a son for almost 6 months now! v37 This news should not surprise you, because God can do everything!’
v38 ‘I want to serve the *Lord’, Mary said. ‘I have heard all that you have said to me. So let it come true.’ Then God’s *angel left her.
v39 Soon after that *angel’s visit, Mary set out. She hurried to a town in the Judea district. It was in the high country. v40 There she entered Zechariah’s house and greeted his wife, Elizabeth. v41 As soon as Mary greeted her, the baby inside Elizabeth jumped. The *Holy Spirit took complete control of Elizabeth, v42 and she spoke with a loud voice. ‘God has *blessed you more than he has *blessed any other woman!’ she said to Mary. ‘And he has *blessed your child who will be born! v43 I am not important! But God has allowed you to visit me! You will be my *Lord’s mother! v44 I heard you greet me. And at that moment, the baby inside me jumped because he was happy! He was so happy that you have come here! v45 God has *blessed you because you believed him. You believed what the *Lord told to you. And it will certainly happen.’
v46 Then Mary praised God as she said this:
‘Oh, how great the *Lord is!
v47 I am very glad deep inside me because God saves me.
v48 I was only his servant girl, so I was not very important.
But he did not forget me!
So from now on, people who live in all future ages will know about me.
They will say that I pleased God.
v49 They will hear about the things that God has done on my behalf.
He is great and wonderful, and he has all the power!
v50 He pities people who respect him.
He helps them in every age.
v51 He shows people that he is very powerful.
And he will scatter those who think proud thoughts.
v52 He will send great kings away. And he will not allow them to continue to rule.
Some good people think that they themselves are not important.
But he will make them important.
v53 He will give good things to those who are hungry.
Then they can eat.
But he will send rich people away. He will not give anything to them.
v54-55 He promised to Abraham and to all our other *ancestors since that time, that he would pity them.
And he has remembered to do what he promised.
He has helped them and me and all other people in *Israel who serve him.’
v56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then she returned to her home.
Luke 1:57-66 John, the man who *baptised people, is born
v57 At the right time, Elizabeth gave birth to her baby and he was a boy. v58 Her neighbours and relatives heard how kind the *Lord had been to her. Therefore, they were happy, just as Elizabeth was very happy.
v59 A week later, everybody gathered together for the ceremony to *circumcise the baby boy. Since his father’s name was Zechariah, the family wanted to give the baby the same name. v60 But his mother stopped them. ‘No, his name will be John,’ she said.
v61 Then the rest of the family answered her. ‘But none among your relatives is called John, so you should not give him that name!’
v62 Then they signalled with their hands to ask Zechariah. They wanted to know what name Zechariah wanted to give to his son. v63 Zechariah was still unable to speak, so he signalled to the family. Then they gave him something to write on. And he wrote on it: ‘His name is John.’ This surprised everyone there! v64 Immediately Zechariah could speak again, so he started to praise God.
v65 This event astonished all their neighbours! So, those neighbours told everybody about what had happened. And the news spread all over the high country in Judea district. v66 Everyone who heard the news was thinking deeply about it. ‘What work will this child do for God when he grows up?’ they wondered. They were sure that God would help him in a powerful way.
Luke 1:67-80 Zechariah praises God
v67 Zechariah praised God after his son was born. His words came from God, because the *Holy Spirit completely directed him.
v68 ‘Let us praise the *Lord! We are *Israel’s people.
And he is the God whom we *worship.
We *worship him because he has come to free us from our enemies.
v69 He is sending someone to us who will use his great power.
He will use his power to save us.
King David loyally served God long ago.
And this person belongs to David’s family.
v70 Long ago God caused his special servants, the *prophets,
to tell us about this person.
v71 He will rescue us from our enemies.
And he will save us from all those people who hate us.
v72 He made an agreement with our *ancestors long ago.
He said that he would be kind to all of us. We belong to their families.
And he has not forgotten what he promised to our *ancestors.
v73 He made a firm promise about this to our great *ancestor, Abraham.
v74 God promised that he would rescue us from our enemies.
Then we could serve him without fear.
v75 He would cause us to be his people only.
So then, we could live as he wants us to live for our whole lives.’
v76 Then Zechariah spoke to his little son:
‘My child, people will say that you are God’s special servant.
You will begin your work before the *Messiah comes.
You will prepare people, so that they will be ready for him.
v77 You will tell God’s people how he will save them.
He will forgive them, so that he does not have to punish them because of their *sins.
v78 Our God will do that because he is very kind to us.
A new day starts when the sun appears in the sky.
And God will do that new thing for us
when the *Messiah comes to us from *heaven.
v79 We are like people who sit in the darkness.
Such people are afraid that they will die soon.
However, when the *Messiah tells God’s *Message to us,
it will be like a bright light.
He will guide us, so that we will live in *peace.’
v80 As Zechariah’s son grew older, God’s *Spirit made him strong. He lived in the dry region until he began to teach *Israel’s people.
Luke 2:1-7 Jesus is born
v1 About that time, the Great King called *Caesar Augustus gave an order. He told his officials to write down all the people’s names. Many people lived in countries that the *Roman government controlled. And *Caesar wanted to know about everybody so that his officials could collect taxes. v2 Syria *province included Judea district. And this was the first time that they wrote down all the people’s names there. They did this while Quirinius was governing that territory. v3 Every person had to go to the town where his *ancestors had lived. So then, the officials could write down their names, by families.
v4 Joseph belonged to King David’s family. So, he left Nazareth town, where he lived in Galilee district. He went up to Bethlehem town in Judea district because King David used to live there. v5 Joseph went with Mary, whom people considered his wife. And Mary was expecting a baby. They went so that they could register their names.
v6-7 When they arrived in Bethlehem, there was no place for them. They could not stay in the house where visitors stay. So, they had to stay in the place where the animals lived. Then it was time for Mary’s baby to be born. And she gave birth to her first son in that place. She wrapped him in pieces of cloth. She had no proper place to put her baby so that he could sleep. Instead, she had to put the baby in a basin. Normally, people would use that basin to feed their animals.
Luke 2:8-20 God gives a message to some men who looked after sheep
v8 That night some men were looking after their sheep in the usual manner. They were in the fields near Bethlehem town. v9 Then the *Lord sent one of his *angels to them from *heaven. They saw this *angel when a great light from *heaven shone on them and all round them. So, they became very afraid. v10 But God’s *heavenly servant spoke to them. ‘Do not be afraid!’ he said.
‘I have come to tell you good news. And it will cause you to be very happy! This *Message is for everyone to hear! v11 The *Message is that a special baby has been born today. He is there in Bethlehem, the town where King David lived long ago. That baby has come to rescue people from their *sin! He will be the *Messiah, your *Lord!’ the *angel said.
v12 ‘I will tell you how you can recognise him: In Bethlehem town, you will find a baby whose mother has wrapped him in pieces of cloth. Then she placed him in a basin that people would normally use to feed animals.’
v13 Suddenly an army of God’s *angels from *heaven appeared in the sky. They joined the other *angel. They were all singing and praising God.
v14 ‘May all God’s servants praise him in the highest place, which is *heaven!
God has shown how kind he is to all the people in the world.
May they be at *peace with him!’ the *angels sang.
v15 Then the *angels left and they returned to *heaven. And the men, who looked after sheep, spoke to each other. ‘God has told us that this wonderful thing has happened!’ they said. ‘Let us go to Bethlehem to see this wonderful thing for ourselves.
v16 So, the *shepherds hurried to Bethlehem. They found the place where Mary and Joseph were staying. And they saw the baby. He was lying in a basin that people would normally use to feed animals.
v17 Then the *shepherds told Mary and Joseph and other people what the *angels had told them about this child. v18 Their words astonished everyone who heard them. v19 But Mary did not talk to other people about what the *angels had said. She just continued to think a lot about it all.
v20 Then the men returned to their sheep. They had heard and seen all those things. So, they continued to thank and to praise God very much. Everything had happened just as God’s *heavenly servant had told them.
Luke 2:21-35 Simeon meets the baby, Jesus, in the *Temple
v21 A week later the proper person  *circumcised the baby. Mary and Joseph named the baby ‘Jesus’ because God’s *angel had told that name to Mary. And the *angel had promised that she would have this baby.
v22-23 Long ago, *Moses had written a *law that God told him. It referred to the time when a *Jewish woman gave birth to her first son. After a certain time, the parents must take the child to God’s great house in Jerusalem, the *Temple. There they could offer the child to the *Lord. Then, God would accept the parents’ *worship again. The time came when Mary and Joseph needed to obey this *law. So, they took Jesus to Jerusalem. v24 Also, the *Lord had ordered in this *law that, at the same time, the parents should offer a gift. They should bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons . Therefore, Mary and Joseph gave two such birds to the priest, so that he could offer them to God.
v25 At that time an old man lived in Jerusalem. His name was Simeon. He did what pleased God. He obeyed God’s *Law always. And he was waiting until God would encourage *Israel’s people. He expected God to send the *Messiah. And the *Messiah would save the people. The *Holy Spirit was guiding Simeon. v26 And the *Holy Spirit had told God’s plan to him. Simeon would see God’s *Messiah before he (Simeon) died. v27 That day the *Spirit guided Simeon to enter the yard round the *Temple. So, when the parents brought their baby, Jesus, to the *Temple, Simeon met them. They came to obey *Moses’ *Law. But the *Spirit told Simeon that this baby was the *Messiah. v28 So Simeon took Jesus up in his arms and praised God.
v29-32 ‘*Lord, I am your servant’, Simeon said.
‘You promised that I would see the *Messiah.
He is the one who will save all kinds of people.
He will rescue them from their *sins.
He will be like a light.
And he will show your truth to people who are not *Jews, also.
He will bring honour to your people, *Israel’s people.
I have now seen the one that you promised to send.
So, now let me die at *peace.’
v33 His parents wondered about all that Simeon said about Jesus. Then Simeon blessed them, and he spoke to Mary. v34 ‘Remember what I say to you now. God has chosen this child,’ Simeon said.
‘Later, many of *Israel’s people will refuse to believe God because of this child. But he will cause many more of them to turn back to God. He will be like a sign to warn people. But many people will oppose him,’ he said.
v35 ‘Then, the fact that many people’s thoughts are really evil will become clear. The cruel things that they will do to him will be like a sword. It will be as if that sword was to cut right into your *inner being,’ Simeon said to Mary.
v36 There was also a very old woman named Anna in the *Temple. She was one of God’s special servants who tell his messages to people. Her father, Phanuel belonged to the Asher family. After she had been married only 7 years, her husband died. v37 After that, she lived alone until she was 84 years old. And she was still a widow. She stayed in the *Temple all the time, night and day, and she *worshipped God there. She often did not eat food for a time so that she could pray more.
v38 While Joseph and Mary were still in the *Temple with the baby, Jesus, Anna approached them. She thanked God for the baby, because she recognised him as the *Messiah. Many *Jewish people were expecting God to send the *Messiah. They expected the *Messiah to free their people from the *Romans. Now Anna spoke to these people about Jesus.
Luke 2:39-40 Jesus’ family return to Nazareth
v39 Joseph and Mary finished all that the law of the *Lord ordered them to do in Jerusalem. They did all that parents needed to do because of their first son. Then they returned to their own town, Nazareth, in Galilee district. v40 As the child grew up, he became strong and very wise. And God was very pleased with him.
Luke 2:41-52 The boy, Jesus, in Jerusalem
v41 Every year his parents went to Jerusalem city during the *Passover holy days. v42 This was the custom at *Passover. So, when Jesus was 12 years old, they all went up to Jerusalem city.
v43 When *Passover ended, his parents left the city to return to their home. But they did not realise that Jesus had stayed behind in Jerusalem city. v44 A lot of other people were travelling with his parents. And his parents thought that Jesus was with those people. So, they walked all day. In the evening, they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. v45 But they did not find him. So, they returned to Jerusalem city to search for him there.
v46 And three days later they found Jesus with the *Jewish teachers in the *Temple yard. He was listening to what the teachers said. And he was asking them questions. v47 Jesus’ words astonished everyone who heard him. He understood so much! And he answered so well, when the teachers asked him questions. v48 The sight really surprised Jesus’ parents when they found him. And his mother said to him, ‘My son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been very anxious about you. You should have realised that we would be worried. We have been searching for you everywhere!’
v49 ‘I am surprised that you did not know where to find me’, Jesus answered. ‘You should have known where I would be. It is necessary for me to do my *Father’s work. So I need to be in my *Father’s house!’ Jesus was speaking to them about God who was his *Father. v50 But they did not understand what his words really meant.
v51 Then Jesus returned to Nazareth town with his parents. He always obeyed them, but his mother continued to think a lot about all these things. v52 As the years passed, Jesus continued to grow bigger. And he became wiser. God continued to approve of him more and more, and so did the people.
v1 The great King Tiberius had ruled the *Roman *empire for 15 years. Pontius Pilate was governing Judea district on his behalf, and *Herod Antipas was ruling Galilee district for him. *Herod’s brother, Philip, was ruling Iturea and Trachonitis districts, and Lysanius was ruling Abilene district. v2 The names of the chief priests in Jerusalem city at that time were Annas and Caiaphas. Then God gave messages to Zechariah’s son John, while he was still living in the dry region.
v3 So John went across the area close to the Jordan River. He told people continually, ‘Do you want God to forgive you? Then you must turn back to him. You must be sorry that you did wrong things. Then ask me to *baptise you!’
v4 Long ago God’s special servant, Isaiah, wrote God’s *Messages in a book.
Now John was speaking to the people. And John’s words showed that Isaiah’s *Messages were true. Isaiah wrote:
‘Someone will shout to the people who pass by in the dry area,
‘People, prepare the road for an important official.
You must prepare yourselves to receive the *Lord!
You people, make straight paths where an important official can come.
You must make yourselves ready for the time when he comes.
v5 You people, make level all the places where the land is not level.
Use the extra soil to fill in all the valleys.
Make the path straight where it is not straight.
Make every rough place smooth.
Make a good road where a King can travel.
Just as you remove objects from the road,
you must remove all the bad things from your lives!
Those bad things are the reason why God does not *bless you!
v6 Then people everywhere will understand how God saves people.
He saves them from the blame that their *sins cause.’
v7 Large groups of *Jewish people came to John. They asked him to *baptise them. But he knew that many of them were not sincere. So, he spoke to them continually. ‘You people are evil. You are as bad as poisonous snakes!’ John said.
‘I warn people about what God will do. Some day he will punish everyone who does bad things. You may belong to Abraham’s family. But do not think that you can avoid your punishment. He will punish you, if you do not turn away from your *sins! v8 Do those things that are right! This will show that you really have turned away from your *sins!’ Some people were very proud because they belonged to Abraham’s great family, called *Israel. But John said: ‘God can change these stones here to make them children in Abraham’s family. So do not start to say to yourselves: “Since we belong to Abraham’s family, God will not punish us!” God is ready to punish you!’ John said.
v9 ‘God is like a man who has his axe ready. His axe will cut through the roots in order to cut down the bad trees. He will cut down every tree that does not produce good fruit. And he will throw those bad trees into a fire,’ John said to the people.
v10 Then various people in the crowd asked him: ‘What should we do to please God?’
v11 John answered them. ‘If someone has two shirts, he should give one of them to someone without a shirt. If someone has plenty of food, he should give some to a person without food.’
v12 Also, some men who collected taxes came to him. They asked him to *baptise them. ‘Teacher, what shall we do to please God?’ they asked him.
v13 ‘Do not take more money from the people than you should take,’ John said. ‘The *Roman government tells you the right amount to take!’
v14 Then some soldiers came to him: ‘What about us?’ they asked him. ‘What should we do to please God?’
John replied to them. ‘Do not say to people, “You must give me some money, or I will hurt you. I will take you to court. And I will say that you have done something wrong!” Instead, you must be content with your wages,’ Jesus told them.
v15 People were expecting that the *Messiah would come soon. So, many of them wondered about John. And some of the people asked him if he was the *Messiah. v16 But John replied to them all. ‘No. I use only water when I *baptise you. This shows that you want to change your lives,’ John said.
‘However, the *Messiah will come soon! He is much greater than I am,’ John said. ‘He is so great that I am not important enough to be his slave! I cannot even untie his *sandals as a slave would do! He will put his *Holy Spirit into you and he will really change your lives!’ John said. ‘But the *Messiah will punish those people who do not believe in him. They will burn in a fire.
v17 The *Messiah will be like a man who stores the wheat in his store,’ John said. ‘He throws the stems into the air with a fork to separate them from the grain. The grain falls on the ground where he separates it from the dry stems. And so, the *Messiah will separate good people from evil people. He will do as the man who gathers his wheat into the store room. But he will burn the stems with a fire that will never go out.’
v18 John urged the people to turn to God. He told them the good *Message from God in many different ways. v19 He also told King *Herod that he was wrong. The king had stolen Herodias, his brother’s wife, and he had done many other evil things. v20 But *Herod ordered his soldiers to put John in prison. That was one more evil thing that *Herod did.
v21 But before they put John in prison, he *baptised many people. He *baptised Jesus too. Then, as Jesus was praying, the sky opened. v22 And the *Holy Spirit came down upon Jesus. The *Holy Spirit appeared as a bird called a dove. Then God spoke to Jesus from *heaven. ‘You are my *son whom I love. I am very pleased with you!’ God said.
v23 When Jesus began his work for God, he was about 30 years old. People thought that he was Joseph’s son. He was Heli’s son. v24 Heli was Matthat’s son.  And Matthat was Levi’s son. Levi was Melchi’s son. And Melchi was Jannai’s son. Jannai was Joseph’s son. v25 And Joseph was Mattathias’s son. Mattathias was Amos’s son. And Amos was Nahum’s son. Nahum was Esli’s son. And Esli was Naggai’s son. v26 Naggai was Maath’s son. And Maath was Mattathias’ son. Mattathias was Semein’s son. And Semein was Josech’s son. Josech was Joda’s son. v27 And Joda was Joanan’s son. Joanan was Rhesa’s son. And Rhesa was Zerubbabel’s son. Zerubbabel was Shealtiel’s son. And Shealtiel was Neri’s son. v28 Neri was Melchi’s son. And Melchi was Addi’s son. Addi was Cosam’s son. And Cosam was Elmadam’s son. Elmadam was Er’s son. v29 And Er was Joshua’s son. Joshua was Eliezer’s son. And Eliezer was Jorim’s son. Jorim was Matthat’s son. And Matthat was Levi’s son. v30 Levi was Simeon’s son. And Simeon was Judah’s son. Judah was Joseph’s son. And Joseph was Jonam’s son. Jonam was Eliakim’s son. v31 And Eliakim was Melea’s son. Melea was Menna’s son. And Menna was Mattatha’s son. Mattatha was Nathan’s son. And Nathan was David’s son. v32 David was Jesse’s son. And Jesse was Obed’s son. Obed was Boaz’s son. And Boaz was Sala’s son. Sala was Nahshon’s son. v33 And Nahshon was Amminadab’s son. Amminadab was Admin’s son. And Admin was Arni’s son. Arni was Hezron’s son. And Hezron was Perez’s son. Perez was Judah’s son. v34 And Judah was Jacob’s son. Jacob was Isaac’s son. And Isaac was Abraham’s son. Abraham was Terah’s son. And Terah was Nahor’s son. v35 Nahor was Serug’s son. And Serug was Reu’s son. Reu was Peleg’s son. And Peleg was Eber’s son. Eber was Shelah’s son. v36 And Shelah was Cainan’s son. Cainan was Arphaxad’s son. And Arphaxad was Shem’s son. Shem was Noah’s son. And Noah was Lamech’s son. v37 Lamech was Methuselah’s son. And Methuselah was Enoch’s son. Enoch was Jared’s son. And Jared was Mahalaleel’s son. Mahalaleel was Cainan’s son. v38 And Cainan was Enos’s son. Enos was Seth’s son. And Seth was Adam’s son. And Adam was the man that God created.
v1 The *Holy Spirit controlled Jesus completely now. So, Jesus left the Jordan river valley and went into the dry area. v2 For 40 days the *Spirit led him about the dry area. And during that time, Jesus did not eat anything. So, when that time ended, he was very hungry. Then the *devil came to him and tempted him. v3 The *devil spoke to Jesus: ‘You say that you are *God’s *Son’, the *devil said. ‘So tell this stone to become bread. Then you can eat it!’
v4 But Jesus replied to the *devil: ‘No, I will not do that,’ he said. ‘The *Scriptures say, “Food alone is not enough to keep people alive.” ’
v5 Then the *devil took Jesus up to the top of a high mountain. In one moment, the *devil showed Jesus all the countries across the world. v6 Then the *devil spoke to Jesus again: ‘I will give you authority to rule all these areas,’ the *devil said. ‘I will make you famous. I can do this! I have received the authority to control the entire world. So, anyone that I wish can rule it! v7 Therefore, you must *worship me. Then I will let you rule it all!’
v8 But Jesus replied to the *devil: ‘No, I shall never *worship you. The *Scriptures say, “You must *worship the *Lord, your God. You must serve only him!” ’
v9 Then the *devil took Jesus to Jerusalem city. He took him up on the highest part of the *Temple and he spoke to him there. ‘You say that you are *God’s *Son’, the *devil said to Jesus. ‘So, throw yourself down to the ground from here. v10 If you do that, nothing will hurt you. You know what the *Scriptures say: “God will tell his *angels in *heaven to protect you.” v11 And the *Scriptures also say: “They will lift you up with their hands, so that no stone can hurt your foot.” ’
v12 But Jesus replied, ‘No, I will not do that. The Bible also says: “Nobody must do something foolish just to test the *Lord our God. People must not try to see what God will do.” ’
v13 The *devil tested Jesus in many ways, but he could not test him any more. So, he left Jesus. The *devil wanted to test Jesus again later. But he would wait until he had a good opportunity.
Luke 4:14-30 Jesus returns to Nazareth town
v14 The *Spirit gave power to Jesus, and he returned to Galilee district. People all over that region heard about what he was doing. v15 He taught people in their *synagogues and, as a result, everyone praised him.
v16 Then he went to Nazareth, the town where he grew up. On the *Sabbath day he went into the *synagogue there, as he usually did. He stood up to show what he wished to do. He wished to read to the people from God’s books. v17 So, an older man there handed a book to him. It contained the words that the *prophet Isaiah had written. Then Jesus opened the book. He found the place from which he wanted to read. And he read these words:
v18 ‘The *Lord God’s *Spirit is upon me.
He has appointed me to declare God’s good news to poor people.
He has sent me here to speak on behalf of God.
So I will tell good news to people whom *Satan has seized.
I will tell the news to them so that God will free them.
And I will say that I can cure people because of God’s power.
Then those people who are blind will see again.
And I will free those people who are suffering.
v19 I will declare that God has chosen this year.
This is the time when the *Lord will act in a favourable way toward people.’
v20 Jesus closed the book and he gave it back to the older man. Then he sat down to teach the people. Everyone in the *synagogue was looking straight at him. v21 And he began to speak to them. He said, ‘You have heard what I am saying today. And I am beginning to make these words true.’
v22 At first, everyone there spoke well about him, and his attractive words astonished them. But then some of them said, ‘He is only Joseph’s son! Why should we listen to what he says?’
v23 Then Jesus spoke to them again. ‘I am certain that some of you do not like my words’, he said. ‘You will tell me these words that people often say: “Doctor, cure yourself!” What you will mean is, “People told us that you did wonderful things in Capernaum town. Now you must do things like that here in your own home town too!” v24 It is very true that people in a man’s home town suspect that man’s message. They do not accept him as God’s special servant, in other words, a *prophet.’
v25 Jesus continued to speak to the people in Nazareth. ‘But think about this,’ he said. ‘There were many widows in *Israel long ago when the *prophet Elijah was alive. During that time, it did not rain for three years and 6 months. So, there was nothing which the people could eat in the whole country,’ Jesus said.
v26 ‘But God did not send Elijah to help any of those *Jewish widows. God sent him to Zarephath town near Sidon city. God sent him there to help a *non-Jewish widow,’ Jesus said. v27 ‘Also, many people in *Israel suffered from the disease called *leprosy when another *prophet called Elisha was alive. But Elisha did not cure any of them. He cured only Naaman, a *non-Jewish man from the country called Syria.’
v28 When all the people in the *synagogue heard that, they were very angry. Immediately they realised what he was suggesting. They knew that he was willing to help *non-Jewish people also. And that thought made them very angry. v29 So they all got up from their seats and they seized him. Their town was on a hill. So, they took him to the top of the hill, because they wanted to throw him off the cliff. They intended to kill him. v30 But he just walked away quietly through the middle of the crowd. The people were unable to hurt him because God protected him. So he went away.
v31 One day Jesus went down to Capernaum with his *disciples. Capernaum was a town in Galilee district. On the *Sabbath day Jesus taught God’s *Message to the people in their *synagogue there. v32 What he taught them astonished them. Jesus spoke with God’s authority. He spoke as someone who has the right to give commands.
v33 In the *synagogue, there was a man with an *evil spirit in him. That spirit controlled the man. The man shouted very loudly. v34 ‘Oh! Jesus, from Nazareth town!’ he shouted. ‘Since we have nothing in common, do not struggle with us *evil spirits now! Do not destroy us yet!’ the man said. ‘I know who you are. You are the holy person who has come from God!’
v35 Jesus ordered the *evil spirit to stop shouting. ‘Be quiet! And come out of that man!’ he said.
Then the *evil spirit caused the man to fall down on the ground in front of the people. But the *evil spirit left the man and it did not hurt him. v36 This astonished all the people, so they spoke to each other with excitement. ‘This Jesus’ words are extremely powerful!’ they said. ‘He speaks to the *evil spirits with God’s authority. He seems to have the right to give commands to them. As a result, they leave people!’ v37 So those people told other people in every village in the entire region about what Jesus had done.
v38 Jesus and some friends left the *synagogue and they went into Simon’s house. Simon’s wife’s mother was ill and she was very hot. So, the people there asked Jesus to help her. v39 Then Jesus leaned over her. And he ordered her illness to stop. He cured her immediately! So, she stood up and she served them some food.
v40 The sun was setting . So, many people brought their friends or relatives to Jesus. Everyone who had an ill friend or relative brought that person to Jesus. These people were suffering from various diseases. Jesus put his hands on each one of them and he cured all of them. v41 He also caused the *evil spirits to come out from many people. As the *spirits left those people, they shouted to Jesus: ‘You are God’s *Son!’ But Jesus ordered them not to speak. He would not allow the *evil spirits to tell people about him. All the *evil spirits knew that Jesus was the *Messiah.
v42 As the sun rose the next morning, Jesus left that house. He went to a place where nobody was living. Then many people searched for him until they found him. And they urged him not to leave them. v43 But Jesus spoke to them. ‘I must tell the good *Message to people in other towns also,’ he told them. ‘This good *Message tells people how God wants to rule their lives. God sent me to tell this to people.’ v44 So he continued to teach people in the *synagogues in Judea district.
v1 One day Jesus was standing on the shore of Lake Gennesaret . And many people were crowding round him to hear the *Message from God. v2 He saw two boats at the edge of the lake, and one of them belonged to Simon. The men had been fishing earlier and now they were washing their nets on the shore.
v3 Jesus got into Simon’s boat. Then he asked Simon to put the boat a short distance away from the shore. Jesus sat in that boat and he taught the people. They were still standing on the shore. v4 After Jesus had spoken to them all, he spoke to Simon. ‘Take the boat out to a place where the water is deep,’ he said. ‘Then let down your nets into the water to catch some fish!’
v5 ‘Master’, Simon replied, ‘we worked all night and we did not catch any fish! But because you say so, I will let down the nets again.’
v6 Simon and the men with him let down their nets into the water, and they caught many fish. There were so many fish that their nets were breaking. v7 They signalled to their partners in the other boat that they should help them. So, their partners came and they filled both the boats with fish from the net. As a result, the boats were so full that they began to sink.
v8-10 Simon Peter and the men with him could hardly believe how many fish they had taken! All these fish astonished James and John too. They were Zebedee’s sons and they were Simon’s partners. Simon looked at the fish. Then he fell down on his knees in front of Jesus. ‘*Lord, leave me, because I am a man who has *sinned much!’ he said.
But Jesus replied to Simon. ‘Do not be afraid! Until now, you have gathered fish. But from now on, you will gather people to become my *disciples,’ Jesus told him.
v11 So they pulled their boats onto the shore. Then they left all their possessions with other people, and they went with Jesus.
v12 While Jesus was in a certain city in Galilee district, he met a man. This man was suffering much from the illness called *leprosy. When the man saw Jesus, he threw himself down in front of him. ‘Please cure me, *Lord’, the man asked Jesus in a desperate manner. ‘I know that you can cure me from this disease! You have the power. You can make my body *clean again, if you want to!’
v13 The *Jewish religion had a rule. This rule said that nobody should come close to a person with *leprosy. But Jesus reached out his hand and he touched the man. ‘I want to cure you’; he said. ‘You are *clean now!’ Immediately the disease went away from the man. The man had *leprosy no longer!
v14 Then Jesus spoke to him again so that he would do the right things. (This was necessary so that he could live among other people again.) ‘Go to Jerusalem city and show yourself to the priest there. He will examine you. Then he will see that you are well now. Do not tell anyone else yet!’ Jesus said to the man. ‘Go and speak to the priest. *Moses made this rule for people who have become *clean from *leprosy. They should take a particular gift to God when they speak to the priest. Then he will tell the local people that you are *clean again.’
v15 But many people heard the man’s report about what Jesus had done for him. As a result, large crowds gathered where Jesus was. They wanted to hear his *Message. And they wanted him to cure their illnesses. v16 But often Jesus would go away from all the people to the places where nobody lived. There he would pray to God.
v17 One day Jesus was teaching God’s Word and some men from the *Pharisee group were sitting there. Some of them were men who taught the *Jewish *Law. Those men had come from Jerusalem city. Other teachers had come from many other villages in Galilee and Judea districts. Jesus possessed God’s power to cure people. v18 And just then, several men brought with them another man who could not walk.
They carried the sick man on a mat. The men wanted to bring him into the house so that they could lay him in front of Jesus. v19 But they could not get into the house, because so many people were there. So, the men carried the sick man up the steps onto the roof. They removed some of the roof and they let down the sick man through the hole. So they let him down into the middle of the room. He was still lying on the mat when he arrived in front of Jesus.
v20 And Jesus knew that those men believed in him. They believed that Jesus could cure their sick friend. So, Jesus spoke to the man. ‘My friend, I forgive you although you have done bad things!’ Jesus said.
v21 The men who taught the *Jewish *Law and the rest of the *Pharisees began to think to themselves. ‘This man, Jesus, is acting as if he is God! He is insulting God when he speaks like that! No human person can forgive *sins! Only God can do that!’
v22 But Jesus understood what they were thinking. So he replied to the thoughts of those *Jewish leaders. ‘You should not be thinking such things about what I said. Think about this instead,’ he said. v23 ‘I can easily tell this man that I forgive him: “Although you have done bad things, I forgive you.” Nobody can prove that God has really forgiven him. But I can say to him, “Get up and walk!” Then people can see easily whether I can cure him or not,’ Jesus said.
v24 ‘So, I will say that to him in order that you may see God’s power. Then you will know that God has given this authority to me. I came to earth from *heaven . I can forgive *sins and I can cure people.’
Then Jesus spoke to the man who could not walk: ‘This is what I say to you. Get up now! Pick up your mat, and go home!’ he said.
v25 Immediately, the man got up in front of all the people. The man picked up the mat on which he had been lying. Then he went home and he was praising God all the way. v26 This astonished all the people there. So, they praised God, but they were afraid too. They were saying to each other, ‘We have seen wonderful things today!’
v27 Later Jesus left the house. He saw a man who collected taxes on behalf of the *Roman government. This man’s name was Levi. And he was collecting taxes at his desk when Jesus passed by. Then Jesus spoke to him. ‘Come with me and be my *disciple!’ he said. v28 So, Levi left everything and he went with Jesus.
v29 Later, Levi went to his own house. And he prepared a special meal for Jesus to eat with his *disciples. A large group of other people was eating with them also. Levi’s *tax collector friends were there, together with other friends. v30 But some *Pharisees and some men who taught the *Jewish *Law complained to Jesus’ *disciples. ‘It is terrible that you are eating with those men!’ they said. ‘They collect taxes on behalf of the *Romans, who are our enemies! And we consider all these people here to be wicked too!’
v31 But Jesus heard those *Pharisees’ words, so he answered them. He wanted to show that such people needed his help. And he was ready to help anyone who asked him. ‘People who are well do not need a doctor’, he said. ‘But people do need a doctor if they are sick! v32 Similarly, people may think that they are good. Then they imagine that they do not need to turn away from their *sins. So I cannot help such people. Instead, I came to invite people who know about their *sins. They know that they are wicked. They need to turn away from their *sins. And they need to come to God.’
v33 Some people asked Jesus a question. ‘John, the man who *baptised people, has *disciples. And often, they refuse to eat food’, they said to Jesus. ‘They do this in order to be humble. They are sad about their *sins, and they want to please God. So, they pray during the time when they do not eat. The *Pharisees’ *disciples do the same thing. But your *disciples continue to eat and to drink! Why is that?’
v34 Jesus knew that his *disciples would be very sad in the future. This would happen at the time when he could not remain with them. So he replied. ‘Think about a man who is marrying his wife,’ he said. ‘The man’s friends eat and drink. They do that all the time while the man is still there with them. v35 But some day the man’s enemies will take him away from his friends. Then, at that time, his friends will not eat, because they will be sad.’
v36 Then Jesus told those people two stories. He wanted to show them how God’s new *Message changes people. People who believe God’s *Message do not need to obey old traditions. For example, they do not need to refuse food on certain days because of tradition. And people who obey old traditions are not eager to change their behaviour. ‘People do not tear a piece of cloth out of new clothes in order to repair old clothes,’ Jesus said. ‘If they do that, they will ruin the new clothes. And the new piece of cloth will not match the old clothes,’ Jesus said to them.
v37 ‘Also, nobody puts new wine into old *wineskins,’ he said. ‘As the new wine becomes more mature, it needs more space. And then it would burst the old *wineskins. That would ruin the old *wineskins and all the wine will spill out. v38 Instead, people must put new wine into new *wineskins. v39 Certainly, if a person has drunk only old wine, he is content with that. That person does not want to drink new wine. Instead he says, “The old wine is better.” ’
v1 One *Sabbath day Jesus was walking through some fields with his *disciples. The *disciples picked some of the ripe grain that was growing there. They rubbed it in their hands to separate out the actual grain. Then they ate the grain. v2 However, some *Pharisees were watching them. ‘Our *Law says that people must not work on the *Sabbath day!’ those *Pharisees said to Jesus. ‘But your *disciples are doing work when they separate out the grain!’
v3 Then Jesus replied to them. He reminded them that the chief priest helped King David long ago. The priest decided not to obey God’s law when David’s men needed food. And God permitted this. ‘You have read about what David did many centuries ago’, Jesus said. ‘But you do not think about what the priest’s kind act means. David and the men with him were very hungry.’
v4 ‘So, David entered God’s special tent, and the chief priest gave him the bread from there. It was the bread that the priest offered to God every *Sabbath day. And *Moses’ *Law says that only the priests should eat that bread. But David ate some of that bread, and he gave some to his men. And God did not say that David was wrong!’
v5 Then Jesus added, ‘I am the man who came from *heaven. So I can say what my *disciples do on the *Sabbath day!’
v6 On another *Sabbath day, Jesus entered a *Jewish *synagogue to teach God’s words to the people there. A man was present whose right hand seemed dry and dead. He could not move it and he could not use it. v7 Some men who taught the *Jewish *Law and some *Pharisees were present too. They were watching Jesus. They wanted to see if he would cure the man’s hand on a *Sabbath day. If Jesus cured the man, those *Jews would accuse him. They would say that he was not obeying the *Law. They would say that he had worked on the *Sabbath day. v8 But Jesus knew what they were thinking. So, he spoke to the man with the bad hand. ‘Come and stand here in front of everyone!’ he said.
So, the man did that.
v9 Then Jesus spoke to everyone: ‘I want to tell you this: Our *Jewish *Law permits us to do good things on the *Sabbath day. It certainly does not say that we should do evil things then.’ Jesus said. ‘The *Law permits us to save a person’s life on the *Sabbath day. It does not permit us to let that person die. So we should not refuse to help someone on the *Sabbath day.’
v10 Jesus looked round at all those *Jews, but they said nothing. Then Jesus spoke to the man, ‘Reach out your hand!’ Jesus said.
So, the man reached out his hand, and it became well again! v11 But the *Jewish teachers and the *Pharisees who saw this event were very angry. And they discussed with each other what they could do about Jesus.
v12 About that time Jesus went up into the hills to pray. He prayed to God all night. v13 The next day he asked all his *disciples to come near to him. From among them, he chose 12 men, whom he called *apostles. v14 One man was Simon, but Jesus called him Peter. Another man was Simon’s younger brother Andrew. Jesus chose James and his younger brother John too. And Jesus chose Philip, Bartholomew, v15 Matthew, Thomas and another James, who was Alpheus’ son. Also, Jesus chose another Simon who belonged to the Zealot party. (The Zealots encouraged people to oppose the *Roman government.) v16 And Jesus chose Judas, another James’ son, and the other Judas who was from Kerioth town. He was the man who helped Jesus’ enemies later.
v17 Jesus came down from the hills with his *disciples. He stopped and he stood in a level place. There was a great crowd of his *disciples with him, and a large group of other people joined them also. Those people had come from Jerusalem city and from many other places in Judea district. They also came from areas near Tyre and Sidon cities on the coast. v18 The people had come to listen to Jesus as he taught. And they wanted him to cure their diseases. He also cured those people whom *evil spirits were upsetting. v19 Everyone in the crowd was trying to touch Jesus, because he was curing everyone by God’s power.
v20 Then Jesus looked at his *disciples and he spoke to them.
‘You please God. But you are poor now, because men rule over you.
But you will receive all the benefits as God rules over your lives.
v21 You please God, although you have very little food to eat now.
But God will provide everything that you need.
You please God, although you are sad now, because of *sin.
Later you will be happy.
v22 You please God, although people hate you.
They order you to go away, and they insult you.
They say that you are evil. They insult you like that because you believe me.
And I am the man who came from *heaven,’ Jesus said.
v23 ‘When these things happen, be happy! Jump up and down because you are so happy! God will give you a great reward in *heaven! When people do these things to you, it will show them something. It will prove to them that you are God’s servants. Their grandfathers did the same bad things to the *prophets who served God so well long ago.’
v24 ‘But trouble is coming to you rich people,’ Jesus continued.
‘You have already received all your happiness from your riches.
v25 Trouble is coming to you who have plenty to eat now.
You think that you need nothing.
Later, you will be hungry.
Trouble is coming to you who are happy now.
Later, you will be very sad and you will weep.
v26 Trouble will come to you if everyone seems to speak well about you.
Their words will prove that you are not God’s servants.
Long ago, those peoples’ grandfathers used to speak well about people who falsely pretended to be *prophets.’
Luke 6:27-36 We must love our enemies
v27 ‘But I say this to all of you who are listening to me,’ Jesus said.
‘Love your enemies! Do good things to help those people who hate you! v28 Ask God to be kind to those people who insult you! Pray on behalf of those people who are cruel to you!’ Jesus said. v29 ‘Someone may insult you and hit your cheek. Then turn your face, so that they can hit the other cheek also. Someone may want to take away your coat. Let them have it. And let them take your shirt also.’
v30 Jesus was teaching his *disciples to act in an extraordinary manner, in order to show God’s kindness to people. ‘Give your possessions to everyone who asks you for them,’ Jesus said. ‘Someone may take away things that belong to you. Do not ask that person to return those things. v31 You all know how you would like other people to behave towards you. So you should behave towards them in the same manner.’
v32 ‘Perhaps you love only those people who love you. Then, do not expect God to reward you,’ Jesus said. ‘Even bad people love the people who love them. v33 Perhaps you only help those people who do good things for you. Then, do not expect God to reward you. Even bad people do that. v34 Perhaps you lend things or money to people. But you expect them to give something back to you. Then, do not expect that God will reward you. Even bad people lend things to other bad people. And they expect them to pay back everything.’
v35 ‘Instead, love your enemies!’ Jesus said. ‘Help them! Lend things to them! But do not expect them to pay back anything! If you do good things like that, God will give you a great reward. And you will be acting as God’s children should act. Remember that God is kind to everyone. He is kind to people who are not grateful. And he is kind to people who are wicked. That is why he was kind to you. And now he expects you to be kind like that too. v36 Pity other people, even as your *Father in *heaven pities them.’
v37 ‘Do not accuse other people because of their *sins,’ Jesus continued. ‘Then, God may not need to accuse you because of your *sins. Do not decide how God ought to punish other people. Then, God may not decide to punish you. Forgive other people, and then God will forgive you.’
v38 ‘Give things to other people, and then God will give things to you,’ Jesus said. ‘It will be as if God is putting good things in your basket. He will give you a complete amount and he will press it down in the basket. Then he will shake the basket so that he can put more in it. He will fill your basket until the contents spill over the sides! You will receive all that as a gift. Remember! God will act toward you in the same way as you act toward other people!’
v39 Then Jesus told them these examples. He wanted to show them that they should not be like the leaders of their religion. ‘You certainly would not expect a blind man to lead another blind man. If he tried to do that, probably they would both fall into a hole,’ Jesus said.
v40 ‘I am your teacher and you *disciples should be like me. A *disciple should not expect other people to think that he is important. He is not a greater person than his teacher is. But if a teacher completely trains a student, that student can then become like his teacher. So, you should try to be like me.’
v41 ‘You should not notice the small mistakes that someone else makes,’ Jesus continued. ‘You need to notice your own big errors first. The other person’s mistakes may seem like tiny bits of dust that fall into an eye. But your own errors may be like a beam of wood! First, you must notice the beam of wood that is in your own eye! Then, you can see clearly when you look at the other person. “Friend,” you may say, “let me take out that bit of dust that is in your eye!” ’ Jesus said.
‘If you do not deal with yourself first, you have double standards! You should first stop your own errors. They may be like a great beam in your own eye. Afterwards, you will be able to help your friend to deal with his small errors.’
v43 ‘People are like trees. Healthy trees do not produce bad fruit. But trees that are not healthy do not produce good fruit,’ Jesus said. v44 ‘You can know if a tree is good or bad. You just look at its fruit. So also, you can know if a person is good or bad. You just look at the way that he lives. Also, you can see what tree it is from its fruit. People do not pick *figs from *thorn bushes. And people do not pick *grapes from *thorn bushes either.’
v45 ‘In the same way, good people have many good thoughts deep inside themselves,’ Jesus said. ‘Because of their good thoughts, they will act in right ways. And evil people have many evil thoughts deep inside themselves. So, because of their evil thoughts, they will act in wrong ways. And they will speak in wrong ways too. They will act just as they think in their minds.’
v46 ‘People should obey what their masters tell them to do. But you do not do what I tell you to do. That is very bad! And you still say that I am your master.’ Jesus said. v47 ‘Some people sincerely come to me to hear my words. They listen to my words and they obey them. My next story will show you what they are like.’
v48 ‘They are like some men who built a house,’ Jesus said. ‘They dug deep into the ground so that it would stand strong. They made sure that it stood on solid rock. Then, there was a sudden flood. And the flood water rose against the house. But the water could not move the house, because the men had built it well. They built it on solid ground.’
v49 ‘However, other people hear my words and they do not obey them,’ Jesus said. ‘They are like someone else who just built a house on top of the ground. That person did not dig deep so that the house would stand strong. Then, the river flooded. The house fell immediately and the flood completely ruined it.’
v1 Jesus finished what he was teaching the people. Then, he went with his *disciples to Capernaum town. v2 A certain *Roman army officer in that town had a *slave whom he respected very much. This *slave was so ill that the officer expected him to die soon. v3 When the officer heard about Jesus, he contacted some older *Jewish leaders. He told them to go to Jesus. He wanted Jesus to cure his *slave. They must ask Jesus to come quickly.
v4 The *Jewish leaders came to the place where Jesus was. And they urgently asked Jesus to go to the officer’s house with them. ‘This officer deserves that you do this for him,’ they said. v5 ‘He loves our *Jewish people. And he paid the money to build our *synagogue.’
v6 So, Jesus went with the *Jewish leaders. They had come near the officer’s house, when the officer called some friends to him. ‘Go to Jesus and tell him this,’ the officer said to his friends: ‘Tell him: “Sir, you do not need to come to my house. I am not a *Jew. So, I do not deserve that you should come into my house. v7 I do not even deserve to come to you. That is why I did not come myself to speak to you. But just cure my servant with a command, and he will be well again! v8 I believe that you can do this. When my own chief officers give me commands, I obey them. And I have soldiers also and I give them commands. I say to one of my soldiers, “Go somewhere!” So, he goes there. I say to another of my soldiers, “Come here!” So, he comes here. I tell my *slave to do something! And he does it. And I believe that you have the same kind of authority.” ’
v9 Then the officer’s friends went to Jesus. And they told him what the officer had said. Jesus was very surprised to hear the officer’s words. He turned to the crowd that was travelling with him. ‘I have never seen anyone who trusts me like this. This *non-Jewish man trusts me more than anyone else trusts me,’ Jesus said. ‘I would expect *Jewish people to trust me. But nobody from *Israel has ever trusted me like this man trusts me!’
v10 The officer’s friends returned to the officer’s house. And they found that the *slave had recovered.
v11 Soon after that, Jesus went to a town called Nain. Jesus’ *disciples and a large crowd of other people went with him. v12 As they approached the town gate, they met a group of people. The people were carrying a young man’s dead body out of the town. They were going outside the town boundary to bury him. The young man’s mother was a widow, and he was her only son. Many of the people from the town were going with her to bury him. v13 When the *Lord Jesus saw the young man's mother, he pitied her. He spoke to her, ‘Do not cry!’ he said.
v14 Then Jesus came closer. And he touched the *stretcher on which the body was lying. So, the men who were carrying the *stretcher stood still. Then, Jesus spoke to the dead body: ‘Young man, I am speaking to you. Get up now!’ he said.
v15 The man sat up and he began to talk! Jesus gave him back to his mother. v16 Everyone there was very afraid of God, because of what had happened. But they praised God: ‘A great *prophet has come among us!’ they said. And they also said: ‘God has come to help his people!’
v17 All over the Judea district and other areas near there, people were telling each other all that Jesus was doing.
v18 John, who *baptised people, was in prison. But John had some *disciples also. And they told John all that people were saying about Jesus. So, one day John called two of his own *disciples to him. v19 Then, John told them to ask the *Lord Jesus these questions:
‘Are you the *Messiah that God will send to us? Or should we expect that someone else will come?’
v20 The two men came to Jesus. ‘John, who *baptises people, sent us here,’ they said to him. ‘Are you the *Messiah that God will send to us? Or should we expect someone else to come?’
v21 At that time, many people had come to Jesus with diseases and other illnesses, and Jesus was curing them. He was also causing *evil spirits to leave people. And he was curing many blind people so that they could see again. v22 So, Jesus answered John’s two *disciples. ‘Go back to John’, Jesus said. ‘Tell him what I am doing to these people. Tell him what I am telling these people. You have seen and heard these things,’ he said. ‘I am helping blind people so that they can see. I am helping people to walk who were not able to walk. I am curing *lepers. I am helping deaf people so that they can hear. I am causing dead people to become alive again, and I am telling God’s good *Message to poor people,’ Jesus said.
And he added: v23 ‘Some people do not like what I am doing. But God is pleased with anyone who believes still in me.’
v24 John’s two *disciples went away. Then Jesus talked to all the people about John. ‘You went to see John out there in the desert,’ he said. ‘You did not know what kind of person you would see. Other people could not persuade John to change what he said. He was not like grass stems, which the wind can shake. v25 That was not the kind of person that you saw,’ Jesus said.
‘You did not see a man who wore beautiful, expensive clothes. You did not see someone who lived in luxury. No! People who wear splendid clothes live in kings’ palaces. They do not live in the middle of a desert. v26 That was not the kind of person you saw,’ Jesus said.
‘You went to see a *prophet. And yes, John was a *prophet. But John was more important than an ordinary *prophet. v27 A *prophet once wrote these words in *Scripture. They are words which God spoke to his *Messiah. And in these words, God was referring to John’s special task:
Listen! I have chosen someone whom I will send ahead of you.
He will prepare people for your arrival.’
v28 ‘This is what I am telling you,’ Jesus said. ‘Think about this. Very many people were born in this world before John was born. But not one of them was more important than John is. God rules many peoples’ lives now because of his *Messiah. And anyone whose life God rules, God considers greater than John. It does not matter how unimportant that person is.’
v29 All the people who were standing there had listened to John. Everyone disliked the people who collected the *Roman taxes. But even those people agreed with everyone else that God’s way was right. And so, John had *baptised them all, including the tax officials. They did what God wanted them to do. v30 But the *Pharisees and the men who taught the *Jewish *Laws did not let John *baptise them. They refused to do what God wanted them to do.
v31 Then Jesus added this. ‘Let me tell you what these people are like. They have listened to all that I was teaching. But nobody who comes with a message from God can please them. v32 They are like children who are playing games in an open area. Some of them are sitting down. They are calling to the other children: “We played happy songs, but you did not dance!” they shout. “Then we sang sad funeral songs, but you did not cry!”
v33 ‘What I mean is this,’ Jesus said. ‘John, who *baptised people, spoke God’s *Message to you. He lived a strict life. He did not eat much food or drink any wine during all that time. He did not attend your happy parties. But you refused to listen to him. “A *demon is controlling him!” you said.
v34 ‘But then God sent me to you. I am the man who came from *heaven. My life is very different from John’s life,’ Jesus said. ‘I eat the same food as you do. I drink wine with you. But you refuse to accept me. “Look!” you say. “He eats too much food and drinks too much wine. Also, he is a friend to people who collect the *Roman taxes and to other *sinful people!” But really, you are making excuses because you do not want to believe God’s *Message. You would not believe it when John said it. And you do not believe it when I say it. v35 But some people believe me. They prove that God is really wise. And they are truly God’s children.’
v36 One day, a *Pharisee called Simon invited Jesus to eat a meal with him. So, Jesus went to the man’s house. Then, he sat down to eat the food. v37 A woman from that city heard that Jesus was eating in the *Pharisee’s house. So, she bought some oil in a stone jar. This oil was expensive because of its sweet smell. And she brought this oil with her when she came to the *Pharisee’s house. This woman’s *sins were well-known in that town.
v38 The woman stood behind Jesus by his feet. And she was crying because she had *sinned against God. As she cried, her tears fell on Jesus’ feet. Then, she wiped Jesus’ feet with her long hair, and she kissed his feet many times. After that, she poured the oil that had a sweet smell over his feet.
v39 The *Pharisee who had invited Jesus saw her. And he thought to himself, ‘If Jesus was really a *prophet, he would know about this woman. He would know who she is. And he would know what kind of a person she is. He would know, because God would tell a *prophet about such matters. But Jesus is letting her touch him! And her *sins are well-known!’.
v40 But God showed Jesus what the *Pharisee was thinking. So Jesus spoke to him. ‘Simon, there is something I want to tell you,’ Jesus said.
‘Teacher, What is it?’ Simon asked.
v41 Then Jesus told him this story. ‘Two people owed some money to someone who lent money,’ Jesus said. ‘One man owed 500 silver coins to that person, and the other man owed him 50 silver coins. v42 But they were not able to pay back the money that they owed to that person (the lender). So, the man said that they did not have to pay back anything. He was very kind to them. So, which of those two men will be most grateful to him? What is your opinion?’
v43 Simon replied, ‘The man who owed most money to him will be most grateful. That is what I think. He will be most grateful to the person who was so kind to him.’
‘That is correct,’ Jesus said.
v44 Then, Jesus turned toward the woman, and he spoke to Simon again. ‘Look at this woman!’ Jesus said. ‘When I entered your house, you did not perform our custom. You did not give me any water to wash my feet. But this woman washed my feet with her tears and then she wiped them off with her hair! v45 ‘You did not perform our custom and kiss me as a greeting,’ Jesus said. ‘But this woman has not stopped kissing my feet since I came in! v46 You did not perform our custom and put *olive oil on my head. But she has put this oil that has a sweet smell on my feet.
v47 ‘And so, I am telling you this,’ Jesus said to Simon the *Pharisee. ‘I am telling you that I have forgiven her. Although she has *sinned very much, still I forgive her. She has done all this for me. And in this way, she has shown that she loved me very much. But some people do not love me very much. They are the people who did not really want me to forgive them,’ Jesus said to Simon.
v48 Then Jesus spoke to the woman. ‘I forgive you although you have done wrong things.’
v49 Then the people who were eating with Jesus spoke to each other: ‘This man is speaking as if he is God. That is terrible!’ they said. ‘He says that he can even forgive people. He can forgive people although they have done wrong things.’
v50 But Jesus said to the woman, ‘God has rescued you because you have trusted me. You are now at *peace with God. You can go home now.’
v1 Soon after that, Jesus went on a journey with his 12 *disciples. They travelled through various towns and villages. Everywhere that they went, Jesus was telling God’s good *Message to people. He told them how God can rule in their hearts. And God wants people everywhere to come under his rule, Jesus said.
v2 Some women were travelling with him also. Jesus had forced *evil spirits to leave some of these women. He had cured them from various diseases. The women included Mary, the woman from Magdala village. He had forced 7 *evil spirits to leave her. v3 Also Chuza’s wife, Joanna, was in the group. Chuza was one of King *Herod Antipas’s officials. Also Susanna and many other women were with them. These women were using some of their own funds to help Jesus and his *disciples.
v4 A great crowd of people came to Jesus from many towns. Then Jesus told them this story:
v5 ‘A farmer went out to his field in order to sow some seed,’ Jesus began. ‘As the farmer scattered the seed, some seeds fell on the path. Then, people walked on those seeds and birds ate them. v6 Other seeds fell on rock where the soil on top was very thin. As soon as the seeds grew, the plants dried up. The soil was not damp enough,’ Jesus said.
v7 ‘Other seeds fell on ground which had roots of *thorn plants in it. The seeds grew, but the *thorn plants also grew. Then, the *thorn plants crowded out the good plants so that they died. v8 But some seeds fell into good soil and the plants grew well. Each seed later produced a hundred new seeds.’
After Jesus said this, he added: ‘If you really want to understand, think about my words carefully!’
v9 Later, Jesus’ *disciples asked him what that story meant. v10 So, Jesus told them. ‘God is allowing you, my *disciples, to know the truth now,’ Jesus said. ‘He does want to rule in peoples’ hearts. But he did not allow people to know all these things in previous years. However, I need to use stories to tell other people about such things. They see what I am doing. But they do not really understand why I do it. They hear what I am saying. But they do not understand what I mean.’
v11 ‘So, this is the meaning of that story: The seeds are like God’s *Message,’ Jesus said. v12 ‘Some people are like the path on which the seeds fell. They hear God’s *Message, but then the *devil comes. He stops them so that they cannot think about the *Message. And so, they do not believe God’s words, and God cannot rescue them from evil things,’ Jesus said.
v13 ‘Other people are like the rock with shallow soil on the top. They are people who listen to God’s *Message. And they are very happy to hear it. But the *Message does not go deeply into their minds. So, they believe it for a short time. But when difficult things happen to them, they do not believe it any more,’ Jesus said.
v14 ‘Other people are like the ground which had roots of *thorn plants in it. Those people hear God’s *Message, but afterwards they worry about things. They try to become rich and they want to have much pleasure. So, they do not continue to do things that please God,’ Jesus said.
v15 ‘But some people are like the good soil. They hear God’s *Message and they keep it in their hearts. They are good and honest people. So, they patiently do things that please God.’
v16 Then Jesus explained to his *disciples that he wanted them to tell God’s *Message to other people. He said: ‘When people light a lamp, they do not cover it with a basket,’ he said. ‘And they do not put it under a bed. Instead, they put the lamp on top of something high. Then, it can give light to people who enter the house’ .
v17 ‘That lamp is like God’s *Message. God wants people to understand all of his *Message. He had kept it secret in previous years,’ Jesus said. ‘But God intends that his people should tell other people all of his *Message. It was as if he hid the *Message before. But now he has let you find it.’
v18 ‘So, listen carefully to what I tell to you,’ Jesus said: ‘God will help anyone who believes my words. They will be able to understand even more. But God will not help anyone who refuses to believe. God will not let them remember. They will forget even the few words that they heard.’
v19 One day Jesus’ mother and his younger brothers came to visit him. But there was a large crowd all round Jesus in that house. So, his mother and his brothers could not get near to him. v20 Someone told him, ‘Your mother and your younger brothers are standing outside. They want to talk to you.’
v21 Then Jesus said, ‘My mother and my younger brothers are my family. But those people who obey God’s *Message are very important to me. I love them even as I love my own family.’
v22 One day Jesus got into a boat with his *disciples. ‘Let us go round to the other side of the lake,’ he said to them.
So, Jesus and his *disciples started to sail there. v23 As the boat was sailing along, Jesus was asleep. Suddenly a storm with a very strong wind came down on the lake. Soon, the boat was filling with water and they were in danger. v24 So, the *disciples woke Jesus up. ‘Master! Master! We are drowning! Please help us!’ they said.
Then Jesus awoke. He ordered the wind and the waves to be calm. So, the wind stopped blowing and the waves became calm again. v25 Then, Jesus spoke to the *disciples. ‘You disappoint me because you did not trust me!’ he said.
This astonished the *disciples and they were afraid. So, they spoke to each other: ‘This man astonishes us! He not only gives orders to people, but he also gives orders to the wind and the water. And they obey him!’ they said.
v26 Jesus and the *disciples had crossed the lake from Galilee district. Now they arrived at the area near Gerasa town. v27 They stepped out of the boat onto the land. There, a man from Gerasa town met them. *Evil spirits controlled that man. For a long time, he had not worn any clothes and he did not live in a house. Instead, he lived in some caves where the people from Gerasa town buried their dead relatives.
v28-29 The *evil spirits had attacked this man many times. And people tried to guard him so that he would not attack other people. They fastened chains on his hands and iron bands on his feet. But when the *evil spirits controlled the man, he would break the chains and iron bands. Then the *spirits would send him away to the dry area near there, where nobody lived.
When Jesus stepped out of the boat onto the shore, that man saw him. He ran to Jesus. He threw himself down on the ground in front of him. Then, Jesus ordered the *evil spirits to come out of that man. But the man shouted out loudly, ‘Jesus, *Son of God in *heaven. You have nothing in common with me. So, I ask you to leave me alone! Do not punish me yet!’
v30 ‘What is your name?’ Jesus asked the man.
The man replied, ‘My name is Crowd.’
The man said that because a crowd of *evil spirits had entered him. v31 The *evil spirits asked Jesus many times: ‘Please do not send us to the place where God would punish us.’
v32 At that time a large number of pigs were eating food on the hill’s side. The *evil spirits asked Jesus if they could enter the pigs’ bodies. So, Jesus permitted them to do that.
v33 So, the *evil spirits left the man and they entered the pigs’ bodies. Then, the whole group of pigs rushed down the steep slope and they fell into the lake. They all drowned.
v34 The men who were feeding the pigs saw this event. So, they ran away to the town and to the local farms. There, they told all the people what had happened. v35 So, everyone went out to see what had happened to their pigs.
Then, they came to the place where Jesus was standing. And they saw the man. He was sitting calmly at Jesus’ feet. And he was listening to Jesus, who was teaching him. Jesus had caused the *evil spirits to leave this man. So now, the man had clothes on, and his mind was normal again. Then, the local people became really afraid.
v36 Some people had seen how Jesus had cured the man. So, they told the other people. He was the same man whom *evil spirits were living in before. v37 But the Gerasa people and many other people from near there were very afraid. They were afraid of what Jesus might do. So, they all asked Jesus to leave their area.
Then, Jesus and the *disciples got into the boat to go back across the lake. v38 The man whom Jesus had cured from the *evil spirits was there also. And he wanted very much to go with Jesus. But Jesus refused to allow him. Instead, Jesus told him v39 to go back to his home. ‘Tell everybody about all the good things that God has done for you!’ Jesus said to him.
So, the man went away and he talked to everybody in the town. He told them how much Jesus had done for him.
v40 So, Jesus and his *disciples returned to Capernaum town. A crowd of people *welcomed them, because they were all waiting for Jesus. v41 A man called Jairus was one of the leaders of the *synagogue there. Jairus came near to Jesus and he threw himself down by Jesus’ feet. And urgently he requested Jesus to come with him to his house. v42 His only daughter, who was about 12 years old, was dying.
As Jesus was walking along with Jairus, many people crowded close to him. v43 Then a woman approached him. She had suffered from an illness for 12 years, and she was bleeding continuously. No doctor was able to cure her. v44 She came behind Jesus and she touched the edge of his clothes. She did this because she wanted Jesus to cure her. And at once she stopped bleeding.
v45 ‘Who touched me?’ Jesus asked.
Everybody said that they had not touched him. Then Peter said: ‘*Lord, a great crowd is pressing against you, so any one of them might have touched you!’
v46 But Jesus said: ‘No, someone did touch me particularly. I know that because some of my power has gone out from me. And my power has cured that person who touched me.’
v47 The woman realised that she could not hide. She realised that Jesus knew all about her. She was trembling as she threw herself down in front of him. Then, she explained why she had touched Jesus. All the people who were there heard her. She explained how she became well immediately. v48 Then Jesus spoke to the woman: ‘I cured you because you believed me. You are now at *peace with God. You can go home now.’
v49 Jesus was still talking to the woman, when a man arrived from Jairus’s house. The man told Jairus: ‘Your daughter has died. So, do not ask the teacher to come with you any longer!’
v50 But Jesus heard that, so he spoke to Jairus: ‘Do not be afraid. Just believe that I can cure her. If you do that, she will become well.’
v51 So, they arrived outside the house. But Jesus allowed only Peter, John, James, and the girl’s mother and father to go into the house with him. v52 All the people already inside the house were shouting and crying. They were so sad. But Jesus just said: ‘Do not weep! The little girl is not dead. She is just sleeping.’
v53 The people there laughed at Jesus. They knew that the girl was dead. v54 But Jesus held her hand and he spoke to her: ‘Child, get up!’ he said.
v55 At once her spirit returned to her body and she got up. Then, Jesus told the child’s parents to give her something to eat. v56 She was alive and this astonished her parents. But Jesus told them not to tell anyone else what had happened.
v1 One day Jesus called his 12 *apostles to him. He gave them power to remove all kinds of *evil spirits from people. And Jesus gave the *apostles authority to cure people with diseases. v2 Then, Jesus was ready to send them to tell people about God. They should tell people how God will rule in the world. They should tell them that, in the future, God will have complete control over peoples’ lives. And they should cure sick people.
v3 But before Jesus sent them out, he spoke to them. ‘Do not take things for your journey,’ Jesus said. ‘Do not take a stick to help you walk. Do not take a traveller’s bag or food or money. Do not take extra clothes,’ he said. v4 ‘Whatever house you lodge in at first, stay in that house. Stay there until you leave that town. v5 If the people in one town do not *welcome you, leave that town. And as you leave, shake off the dust from your *sandals. This will show the people there that God will not accept them,’ Jesus said.
v6 Then the *apostles left and they travelled through many villages. Everywhere they went, they told God’s good *Message to the people. They also cured many sick people.
v7 *Herod Antipas was the ruler of the *province. He had heard about all that Jesus and his *disciples were doing. This *Herod had previously ordered his soldiers to kill John the *Baptiser. So now *Herod wondered who Jesus was. It all confused him.
Because some people were saying that John had become alive again. So John was doing those *miracles, they said. v8 But other people were saying that the *prophet Elijah had appeared again. Elijah was doing those things, they said. Still other people were saying that another former *prophet had become alive again. And he was doing those *miracles, they said.
v9 But *Herod said, ‘It cannot be John who is doing these *miracles. I ordered my soldiers to cut off his head. And they obeyed me. So, who is doing these *miracles that I often hear about?’ That was why *Herod wanted to meet Jesus.
v10 The *apostles returned from the various villages where they had been travelling. They told Jesus everything that they had done. Then Jesus took them with him and they went in private to a town called Bethsaida. v11 Crowds of people had been listening to Jesus. Now they found out where Jesus had gone. So, they followed him there. And when the crowds reached Jesus, he *welcomed them. Jesus taught them about how God will rule as king some day. He said that God would have complete control over people’s lives. He also cured the people who were ill.
v12 Late in the afternoon, the 12 *disciples who are the *apostles came to Jesus. ‘There is nothing to eat here,’ they told him. ‘So, send the people away. They can go to the villages and other places round here. They can get food there and they can find lodgings.’
v13 But Jesus told the *disciples, ‘No. You, yourselves, give them something to eat!’
But they replied, ‘We have only 5 small loaves of bread and two fish that someone cooked. What do you want us to do? Should we go somewhere and buy food for all these people?’ v14 There were about 5000 men there.
Jesus replied to his *disciples, ‘No, tell the people to sit down,’ he said. ‘Tell them to sit in groups, with about 50 people in each group.’
v15 So, the *disciples told all the people to sit down in groups. And they did that. v16 Then, Jesus took the 5 loaves and the two fish. He looked up toward *heaven and he thanked God for the food. Then he broke the food into pieces. And he gave the broken pieces to the *disciples to distribute to the crowd. v17 The *disciples did that, and all the people had enough. They ate the food until it had completely satisfied them. Then the *disciples collected the food that remained. They filled 12 large baskets with the broken pieces that the people had not eaten.
v18 One day Jesus was praying in private. Only the *disciples were with him. So, he asked them, ‘Who do the crowds of people say that I am really?’
v19 The *disciples replied to him: ‘Some people say that you are John. That is, the man who *baptised. And those people imagine that John is alive again, by a *miracle. Other people say that you are the *prophet Elijah. They say that he is alive again. And some people say that one of the other *prophets from long ago has become alive again. And so people are saying that you are one of these *prophets.’
v20 ‘What about you?’ Jesus asked them. ‘Who do you say that I am?’
Then Peter replied, ‘You are the *Messiah who has come from God.’
v21 Jesus warned them strongly not to tell anyone about this yet. v22 Then he told them more. ‘I am the man who came from *heaven,’ he said. ‘The older *Jewish leaders, the chief priests and the men who teach the *Jewish *laws will refuse to accept me. I must suffer many things, and people will kill me. But I will become alive again three days later.’
v23 Then Jesus spoke to all the people. ‘Perhaps one of you wants to be my *disciple,’ Jesus said. ‘Then, you must not do what you yourself want to do. Each day you must be ready to follow me, and not to follow your own desires. Each day you must be like the person who carries his own *cross. Such a person is going to the place where his enemies will kill him. That is what it means to follow me. All this may happen to anyone who wants to be my *disciple,’ Jesus said.
v24 ‘If you try to protect your own selfish life, you will fail. But if you die because of your relationship with me, you will live with me always,’ Jesus said.
v25 ‘Some people may get everything that they want in this world. But they may not have the *life that never ends. In that case, they gain nothing and they waste their lives. v26 Many people refuse to follow me and they do not accept my *Message. They are ashamed of me,’ Jesus said.
‘But I, the man who came from *heaven, will come back again. I will come back with my own holy *angels from *heaven. And people will give honour to me, even as they give honour to my *Father. Then, I will refuse also to accept any evil people. I will be ashamed of them. v27 But listen carefully, you who are standing here now. Some of you will really see God before you die! He will be ruling in this world with power,’ Jesus finished his speech.
v28 It was about a week after Jesus had said those things. Then, Jesus took Peter, James and James’s brother John with him and they left the town. He led the three *disciples up a mountain so that he could pray there. v29 And as Jesus was praying to God his *Father, his *disciples saw that his face was very different. And his clothes became as bright as lightning.
v30-31 Suddenly, two men appeared and *heaven’s *brightness surrounded them. These two men were the *prophets, *Moses and Elijah, who had lived long ago. And they started to talk with Jesus. They knew that Jesus would die very soon in Jerusalem city. And they were talking about what Jesus would achieve by his death.
v32 Peter and the other *disciples who were with him were asleep. But they woke up and they saw that Jesus suddenly looked very bright. They also saw the two men who were standing with him. v33 *Moses and Elijah were leaving. Then Peter spoke to Jesus, ‘Master, it is wonderful to be here with you!’ he said. ‘Therefore, allow us to make three shelters. One shelter will be for you. Then, one will be for *Moses, and one will be for Elijah!’ (But really Peter did not realise what he was saying.)
v34 As he said this, a bright cloud appeared. The cloud covered all of them. The *disciples were afraid as the cloud surrounded them. v35 Then God spoke to them out of the cloud. ‘This is my *son that I love very much. I have chosen him to do a great work on my behalf. Therefore, listen to him!’
v36 After God’s voice had spoken those words, *Moses and Elijah were not still with them. Only Jesus remained there. The *disciples said nothing about this. They did not tell anyone what they had seen until much later.
v37 The next day, Jesus and the three *disciples came down from the mountain. At the bottom of the mountain, a large crowd of people had gathered to meet Jesus. v38 One man in the crowd was desperate and he called out to Jesus: ‘Teacher, you must help my son! He is my only child!’ the man said. v39 ‘An *evil spirit frequently seizes him. It makes him scream. This *evil spirit shakes him hard and it makes white bubbles come out of his mouth. It hurts him badly. And it seems unwilling to leave him for a long time,’ the man said.
v40 ‘I asked your *disciples that were still here again and again. I wanted them to force out the *evil spirit. I wanted the *evil spirit to leave the boy alone. But your *disciples were not able to do it!’ the man said.
v41 Jesus spoke to everyone in reply: ‘I am very disappointed that you do not want to believe. Your thoughts are not right. You do not seem to believe that God can cure people!’ Jesus said. ‘I have been here with you already for too long. I will not be patient with you much longer.’ Then he spoke to the man: ‘Now, bring your son here to me!’
v42 However, even while they were bringing the boy to Jesus, the *evil spirit attacked the boy. It threw him onto the ground, and it shook him. But Jesus told the *evil spirit that it was wrong. Then Jesus cured the boy and he gave the boy back to his father. v43 This *miracle showed God’s wonderful nature, which astonished all the people there.
People were still wondering much about all the *miracles that Jesus was doing. Then Jesus spoke to his *disciples: v44 ‘Think carefully about what I am telling you,’ Jesus said to them. ‘I am the man who came from *heaven. And someone will soon hand me over to my enemies.’
v45 But the *disciples did not understand what he was saying. God made them unable to understand it at this time. So, they did not know yet what he meant. Also, the *disciples were afraid to ask Jesus about what he had said.
v46 Then the *disciples began to argue with each other. Each one of them wanted to be the most important person when Jesus became king. v47 But Jesus realised what they were thinking. So, he brought a young child to his side. v48 Then Jesus told them: ‘This is how I *welcome a little child. If you do the same, you are also *welcoming me,’ Jesus said. ‘And whoever *welcomes me is *welcoming my *Father. And he sent me. Remember this: One of you may think that he is the least important. But he will be the one that God considers to be the most important.’
v49 Then John said this: ‘Master, we saw a man who was forcing *evil spirits out of people. He insisted that you had given him the authority. But he does not travel with us. So, we told him to stop. He must not continue to force out *evil spirits.’
v50 But Jesus said to John: ‘Do not tell him to stop his work to free people from *evil spirits. Remember this: Anyone who does not oppose you may actually be helping you!’
v51 The time was coming near when God would take Jesus back to *heaven. So, Jesus made a firm decision to go to Jerusalem. He sent people ahead of him v52 to prepare for his visit to a village in Samaria district. v53 But the people in Samaria district did not like *Jewish people. The *Jews insisted that everyone must *worship God only in Jerusalem. And Jesus was going to Jerusalem. So the people in that village did not want Jesus to travel through their village.
v54 Two of Jesus’ *disciples, James and John, heard what those village people said. And immediately they spoke to Jesus: ‘*Lord, God could send fire down from *heaven and it would kill those people. Do you want God to do that? Shall we ask him to do that?’
v55 But Jesus turned round and looked at them severely. He told them that they should not say that. It was very wrong. v56 Then Jesus and the people with him went to a different village instead.
v57 Jesus and the people with him continued to walk along the road to Jerusalem. Then a man spoke to Jesus: ‘I will go with you wherever you go!’ he said.
v58 This was how Jesus answered him: ‘Foxes have holes in the ground in which they live. And flying birds have nests in which they live,’ Jesus said. ‘But I do not have any home in which to sleep. And I am the man who came from *heaven.’
v59 Jesus turned to another man. ‘Come with me! Join me on my journey,’ Jesus said.
But the man replied to Jesus: ‘*Lord, let me go home first,’ he said. ‘I must wait for my father to die first. Then I will bury him and afterwards I will join you.’
v60 Then Jesus answered him: ‘God considers people to be dead if they do not have a right relationship with him. They are the people who should consider it important to bury dead relatives,’ Jesus said. ‘But you should go and give God’s *Message to other people. Tell them that God wants to have complete control over their lives.’
v61 Another man spoke to Jesus. ‘*Lord, I will come with you and I will be your *disciple. But first let me go home so that I can say goodbye to my relatives,’ the man said.
v62 But this was Jesus’ reply: ‘People must not look behind them when they are ploughing their fields. They must look forward to what is ahead. They must not keep looking at what they have finished . If people keep looking behind them, they cannot serve me properly. They will not be ready for God to control their lives completely.’
v1 After that, the *Lord Jesus chose 72 other people. His plan was to send these other *disciples out in pairs. He was sending them to every town and village where he intended to go later. v2 ’Many people are ready to hear what you will say to them,’ Jesus said to these *disciples. ‘They are like grain in a field that is ready for the harvest. But there are not many people who are ready to bring them to me. Therefore, you must ask the *Lord God to send out more of his people. Then, they will work in order to bring other people to God,’ Jesus said.
v3 ‘You can go now,’ Jesus said. ‘But some people will attack you because you believe me. I am sending you out to tell people my *Message. And you will be like young sheep among fierce animals.’
v4 ‘Do not take any money with you in a purse. Do not take a traveller’s bag. Do not take extra *sandals. Do not waste time as you greet people along the way,’ Jesus said.
v5 ‘Whenever you go to stay in a house, first speak these words. Say: “I pray that God will give his *peace to everyone in this house!” Jesus told his *disciples. v6 ‘If *peaceful people live there, they will have that inner *quietness. If the people in that house are not *peaceful, it will be different. But you will be *peaceful because of God.’ Jesus said.
v7 ‘If people *welcome you into their house, stay there. Stay in that same house until you leave that village. And accept gratefully the food and drink that they give to you. A worker deserves to get wages from his employers. And you also deserve to receive food and a place to stay. The people to whom you go should provide that. Do not go from one house to another house in the same village,’ Jesus said.
v8 ‘You will visit some towns where the people will *welcome you. So, eat whatever they give to you. v9 Cure any people there who are sick. Tell them, “It is almost time when God’s rule over your lives will begin.” ’
v10 ‘But the people in other towns may not *welcome you,’ Jesus said. ‘In those places, go out into the main street and speak to the people: v11 “Since you have refused to believe our *Message, we will leave you,” you must say to them. “But we will not only leave you. We will also shake your town’s dust off our *sandals. We want to warn you that God will refuse to accept you. We also want you to know this: It is almost time when God’s rule over your lives will begin!” ’
v12 ‘I will tell you this,’ Jesus continued. ‘The time will come at the end of the world when God will be the judge of all people. He will punish the wicked people who lived in Sodom city long ago. But he will punish more severely the people from towns which refuse to believe your *Message!
v13 ’You people from Chorazin and Bethsaida towns, you will have real trouble!’ Jesus said. ‘I did great *miracles in your towns in order to show God’s power to you. But you did not turn away from the evil things that you do. I should have done those same *miracles in the foreign cities called Tyre and Sidon. Then, long ago, the people in Tyre and Sidon would have turned away from the evil things that they were doing. They would have sat down in clothes as for a funeral. And they would have wanted to show that they were sorry about those evil things.’
v14 ‘But they did not do that,’ Jesus said. ‘So, at the end of the world, God will punish the wicked people who lived in Tyre and Sidon cities. But he will punish you people from Chorazin and Bethsaida towns more severely! v15 And you people from Capernaum town, do not think that God will give special honour to you in *heaven! He will not do that when you die. Instead, God will take you down to the place where he punishes *sinful people!’
v16 Jesus continued to speak to his *disciples. ‘Those people who listen to your *Message are also listening to me. Those people who obey your *Message are also obeying me. Those people who refuse to believe your *Message are also refusing to believe me. Those people who refuse to accept your words are also refusing to accept me. And those people who do not accept me are also refusing to accept God. But it is he who sent me,’ Jesus told them.
v17 So, Jesus appointed those 72 people. They went out. And they did as Jesus had told them. When they returned to Jesus, they were very happy. ‘*Lord,’ they said, ‘People did what we told them to do. And even the *demons obeyed us. With your authority, we ordered them to leave people alone!’
v18 And Jesus replied to them: ‘Those *demons obeyed you. But I saw *Satan when he fell from *heaven. He fell to earth as suddenly as lightning strikes!’ Jesus said. v19 ‘Listen to me! I have given you authority over poisonous snakes and other dangerous animals. These animals will not hurt you if you walk on them by accident.’
‘I have given you authority to defeat our enemy, *Satan,’ Jesus told them. ‘Nothing will be able to hurt you in any way that really matters. v20 So, the *evil spirits obey you. But that should not be the reason for your happiness. Instead, you should be happy that God has written down your names in *heaven. And you will live with him there.’
v21 At that particular time the *Holy Spirit caused Jesus to be very happy. So, he prayed: ‘*Father, you are the *Lord who rules everything in *heaven and in the world! I praise you.’ Jesus said. ‘Many people think that they are wise. They think that they understand many things. But you have prevented such people from knowing the truth about yourself. Instead, you have shown your truth to ordinary people. They accept your truth easily just like little children. Yes! I thank you, *Father, that in your goodness you decided to do that.’
v22 Jesus said this also: ‘My *Father has shown everything to me. He has shown me everything that people should know about himself. Only my *Father really knows who I am. And only I know who is really my *Father. The people whom I choose will know this also. I will show them who is my *Father. Nobody else will know these things.’
v23 Later, Jesus spoke to his *disciples when they were in private: ‘You have seen the things that I have done. And God is pleased with you!’ Jesus said. v24 ‘I want you to know this. Many *prophets and kings who lived long ago wanted to see these same great things. But I did not perform any *miracles so that they could see them. Instead, you are seeing these *miracles now. Long ago, those great people wanted to hear the things that I say. But I did not tell such things to them. I told them only to you.’
v25 One day, Jesus was teaching people. And a certain man was there who studied the *Jewish *scriptures carefully. This man wanted to test Jesus by means of a difficult question. So he stood up and he asked: ‘Teacher, what shall I do in order to live for all time with God?’
v26 Jesus said this to the man: ‘*Moses wrote about that in the *Law that God gave to him. Do you remember what you have read about it?’
v27 ‘*Moses wrote that each of us must love the *Lord our God in our hearts,’ the man replied. ‘We must show our love to him by what we feel. And we must show it by what we do. And we must show our love by what we think. *Moses wrote that we must also love our neighbours too. We must love them in the same way as we love ourselves.’
v28 Then Jesus told the man: ‘You have answered my question very well,’ Jesus said. ‘If you do all that continually, you will live for all time with God.’
v29 But the man wanted to prove that his behaviour toward other people was right. So, he asked Jesus another question. ‘What did *Moses mean by the word “neighbour”? Whom should I love out of all the people that I meet?’
v30 Jesus replied to the man by telling him this story: ‘A *Jewish man was going down the road from Jerusalem to Jericho,’ Jesus said. ‘Then some thieves attacked him. They stole the man’s clothes and everything else that he had with him. And they hit the man until he was nearly dead. Then they left him by the side of the road.’
v31 ‘It happened by chance that a *Jewish priest was going down that same road,’ Jesus said. ‘The priest saw the man who was lying there. But the priest just went past him on the other side of the road. v32 Next, a man who worked in the *Temple in Jerusalem came to that same place. He saw the man who was lying there. But he went past him also, on the other side of the road.’
v33 ‘Then a man from Samaria *province came along that road to where the poor man was lying,’ Jesus continued. ‘People from Samaria do not associate with *Jewish people. But when the *Samaritan man saw the other man, he pitied him. v34 The *Samaritan man went close to him. He put some *olive oil and *wine on the man’s injuries. And he covered the injuries with pieces of cloth. Then, he put the man on his own animal. He took him to a public house and he took care of him there.’
v35 ‘The next morning the *Samaritan man gave two silver coins to the owner of the house. ‘Take care of this man, please,’ the *Samaritan man said. ‘Perhaps you will need more than this amount of money to look after him until he is well. If so, I will pay you the rest when I return.’ And the *Samaritan man left.’ Then Jesus asked the man who studied *scripture this question: v36 ‘Three people saw the man lying on the road. Which one of those three men acted best toward the man whom the thieves attacked? Which one was that man’s real neighbour?’
v37 The man who studied *scripture replied: ‘The one who was kind to him was a real neighbour to him.’
Then Jesus said to him, ‘Now, you can go. You should act like that toward everyone you meet.’
v38 As Jesus and his *disciples continued their journey, they came to a certain village. A woman called Martha invited them into her house. So, they went there for a meal. v39 Her younger sister, called Mary, sat down near Jesus. She was listening to every word that he said. v40 But Martha was very busy as she prepared the meal. So then, Martha went and she spoke to Jesus: ‘*Lord, my sister has left me to prepare everything by myself,’ she said. ‘Do you not care about that? Tell her that she should help me!’
v41 Then the *Lord replied to her: ‘Martha, Martha, you are very worried about many things.’ Jesus said. v42 ‘But you need to think about a more important thing. It is more important to listen to me. You need to hear what I am teaching. Mary has decided to listen, and that is better. Nobody will take that benefit away from her.’
v1 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished his prayer, one of his *disciples spoke to him: ‘*Lord, we want to pray to God. Teach us what sort of things to say. John, who *baptised people, taught his *disciples to pray! Please teach us.’
v2 So Jesus taught them. He said, ‘When you pray to God, say things like this: “*Father, I pray that people will give honour to you. Soon, please become the king who will rule everyone’s life. v3 Give us daily the food that we need each day. v4 We forgive everyone who does wrong things against us. Please forgive us too when we do wrong things against you. Do not let us do wrong things. Help us even when our troubles are tempting us to do wrong things.” ’
v5 Then Jesus told them this story: ‘Suppose that one of you goes to a friend’s house at midnight. You might stand outside and call out to him: “My friend, please lend me three small loaves of bread! v6 Another friend of mine is on a journey and he has just arrived at my house. But I have no food ready to give to him!” ’
v7 ‘Suppose that the man answers you from inside his house: “Do not bother my wife or me!” he may say. “We have locked the door because we and our children are all in bed. So I cannot get up to give you anything!” ’
v8 Jesus said, ‘I tell you, that this man has made a firm decision not to get up. And he may not be willing to give you any food just because you are his friend. But perhaps you are not ashamed so you continue to ask him. Then he certainly will get up. And he will give to you whatever you need.’
v9 ‘So I tell you this: Ask God when you need something. And he will give it to you. Confidently expect God to answer your prayer. And he will answer you. Pray urgently to God like a man who knocks at a door. And God will open up the way ahead of you,’ Jesus said. v10 ‘God will give things to everyone who asks him. God will answer everyone who confidently prays to him. God will open up the way ahead of anyone who urgently prays to him.’
v11 ‘Some of you men are fathers. If your son asked you to give him a fish, you would certainly not give him a snake instead,’ Jesus said. v12 ‘If your son asked you for an egg, you would certainly not give him a dangerous little animal . v13 You people may be evil. But you still know how to give good gifts to your children. So, your *Father in *heaven will give much better gifts to you. In particular, he will give the *Holy Spirit to those people who ask him.’
v14 One day a man in whom an *evil spirit lived came to Jesus. The man was not able to speak because of the *evil spirit. Jesus caused the *evil spirit to leave the man and he began to talk again. What Jesus did astonished all the people there. v15 But some of them said, ‘The *demons’ ruler is called Beelzebul. And Beelzebul has given power to Jesus. So, Jesus causes *evil spirits to leave people by that power!’
v16 Other people there asked Jesus to perform a *miracle. They wanted proof that Jesus had come from *heaven. But they were not sincere. v17 And Jesus knew what they were thinking. So he talked to them like this: ‘People whom a king rules should not fight against each other. If they do fight among themselves, they will destroy their nation,’ Jesus said. ‘If the people together in one house fight against each other, they will ruin their family.’
v18 ‘Similarly, *Satan and his own *demons would not fight each other. If they did, *Satan would not be able to rule them any longer. However, you say that I use Beelzebul’s power. Beelzebul is another name for *Satan, who rules those *evil spirits. And you say that because of him I can order those *spirits to leave people. v19 You are teachers. And your students also order *evil spirits to leave people. You say that I use Beelzebul’s power. But you would not say that they were doing that by Beelzebul’s power. So, even they show that you are wrong. v20 No, I am causing *demons to leave people by God’s power. And that proves that God has begun to control your lives already.’
v21 Jesus told the people another story. He wanted to show that he was much more powerful than *Satan. ‘A strong man with military arms can guard his own house. And then his possessions are safe. Nobody can steal them,’ Jesus said. v22 ‘But a stronger man may attack the house and he may overcome the owner. The stronger man will take away all the strong military clothing that the owner trusted to protect himself. Then he will divide all the owner’s arms and other possessions between other people. v23 And so,’ Jesus said, ‘anyone who is not helping me is opposing me. And anyone who is not gathering new *disciples on my behalf is actually scattering them.’
v24 Jesus continued: ‘An *evil spirit left a certain man. This *spirit wandered in the desert. It was looking for another person in whom it could live,’ Jesus said. ‘The *evil spirit did not find anyone, so it made a decision. It would go back to the person from whom it came! v25 The *spirit returned to that man in order to see whether it could live in that man again. The spirit saw that the man had not invited God into his life. The man’s life was like a house that someone had swept clean. Everything was in order, but the man was like an empty house, without any occupier. v26 So the *evil spirit went away again and got 7 more *evil spirits. These 7 *spirits were more evil than the first one was. Then, all those *evil spirits entered that man’s life and they lived with him. Although that man’s life was bad before, his life became much worse then.’
v27 Jesus was talking to the crowd still. A certain woman was listening in the crowd and she called out to him. ‘Your mother let you feed at her breasts. She, who gave birth to you, certainly pleases God!’
v28 Jesus replied to her: ‘Those people who hear God’s *Message please God more. They please him when they obey him!’
v29 The crowds round Jesus had become larger. So he spoke to them again: ‘Many of you people today are evil,’ Jesus said. ‘You often ask me to perform a *miracle. You want proof that I have come from God. But the only *miracle that you need to know about happened to Jonah long ago.’
v30 ‘Jonah went to Nineveh city to warn the people about their *sins,’ Jesus said. ‘In the same way, I have come from *heaven. And I will warn you people, who are alive today, about your *sins.’
v31 Jesus continued: ‘Long ago the queen from Sheba, south of *Israel, came here. She came a very long distance to hear Solomon’s wise words. And now, I have come here, and I am much more important than Solomon. But you have not listened to what I have told you. The day will come when the queen from Sheba will stand in front of God with you. And God will be the judge of all people. And, she will say that you are guilty because you did not listen to me,’ Jesus said.
v32 ’Long ago Jonah spoke to the people who lived in Nineveh city. And they turned back from their *sinful lives because they listened to him,’ Jesus said. ‘But now, I have come here and I have spoken to you. And I am much more important than Jonah. But you have not listened and you have not turned back from your *sinful lives. One day God will be the judge and all people everywhere will stand in front of him. The people who lived in Nineveh city will stand there with you. And they will certainly say that you are guilty.’
v33 Jesus continued to speak to the people: ‘Nobody lights a lamp and then puts it in a cupboard or under a basket. Instead, they put it up in a high position. And then the light helps everybody who enters the house. v34 And you, your eyes are like a lamp so that you can see things. If your eyes are good, your whole body benefits from the light. But if your eyes are bad, you cannot see anything. It is as if you are in the dark. And so a person’s whole life benefits when he believes God’s *Message. But someone who refuses God’s *Message understands nothing about God,’ Jesus said.
v35 ‘So, be careful about what you *worship in your hearts. It must not cause you to remain in *sin’s darkness,’ Jesus said. v36 ‘You want your whole body to benefit from the light. No part of it should be in the darkness. And so you should give your life to God completely. Then you will be like someone in a bright room. The lamp will shine and it will give you light. You will be able to see everything clearly.’
v37 When Jesus had spoken those things, a *Pharisee invited him to a meal. So Jesus went to the *Pharisee’s house and sat down at the table. v38 The *Pharisee saw what Jesus did before the meal. It astonished the *Pharisee that Jesus did not wash his hands in the traditional manner.
v39 But the *Lord Jesus spoke to the *Pharisee. ‘You *Pharisees are worried about things that are outside your bodies. But you ought to think about what is in your hearts. You wash the outside of cups and dishes very carefully before you eat. You think that your efforts will make God accept you. But God cares about what is inside your hearts. And inside your hearts, you prefer to rob and to do wicked things. God will not accept you if you have such evil attitudes,’ Jesus said.
v40 ‘You foolish people! God made everything outside our bodies, but he also made our hearts. v41 With your whole hearts, give what you have to poor people. Then, everything that you do will please God.’
v42 Jesus wanted to show the *Pharisees that nobody can please God by human effort and ceremonies. In fact, God is pleased when someone is humble. So Jesus continued: ‘But you *Pharisees will have much trouble!’ Jesus said, ‘You give 10 *per cent of all the various *herbs that you produce to God. But you do not act fairly toward other people and you do not love God! It is good to give 10 *per cent of your income to God. But first, you ought to be kind and you ought to be fair to other people!’
v43 ‘You *Pharisees will have much trouble! You like to sit in the best seats in your *synagogues. Then, people will think that you are important. And you like people to respect you in the market places. v44 But you will have much trouble!’ Jesus said. ‘You are like graves which nobody has marked. People walk on such graves because they are unaware of them!’
v45 Then, one of the teachers of the *Jewish *Laws replied to Jesus. ‘Teacher, you are saying that we are doing wrong things also!’
v46 ’You who teach the *Jewish *Laws will certainly have much trouble!’ Jesus replied. ‘You insist that people should obey many difficult rules. Those rules are like a heavy load. It is as if you are making them carry heavy loads on their backs. But you yourselves do not do anything to help them.’
v47 ‘You will certainly have much trouble!’ Jesus said. ‘Your *ancestors killed the *prophets. And now, you make their graves very beautiful. v48 You are witnesses of what happened to those *prophets. And now, you seem to approve totally of what your *ancestors did. They killed the *prophets, but you are not giving those *prophets any honour! If you respected those *prophets, you would believe the *Message about God. But instead you just make their graves look beautiful!’
v49 ‘God, is very wise, so he said this to you: “I will send *prophets and *apostles to the *Jews. Those *Jews will kill some of them and they will act very badly towards *others of them.” ’
v50 ‘That is why God considers you guilty. All of you who are living here today are guilty. God knows that you killed the *prophets. You started to kill them soon after God created the world. v5 When Cain killed his brother Abel, that was the first murder. And other people continued to kill them until the death of the *prophet Zechariah. You people killed Zechariah the *prophet between the *altar and the holy place in the *Temple.’
‘Yes, what I am saying is true,’ Jesus said. ‘God will punish all you people because of this. You are guilty in the same way as if you had killed all those people! v52 You men who teach the *Jewish *Laws will have much trouble! You have not allowed people to know God’s truth. That is as if someone would take away the key to a house. You do not want to go into the house yourselves, and you are not letting other people enter it. You do not care about God’s *Message. And you do not want anyone else to know about it.’
v53 Jesus left there. Afterwards, the men who taught the *Jewish *Laws and the *Pharisees began to act like enemies toward him. They urged him to talk about many subjects. v54 They were waiting for him to say something wrong. If he said something wrong, then they could accuse him.
v1 Meanwhile, many thousands of people had gathered to listen to Jesus. There were so many people that they were stepping on each other. Then Jesus began to speak again, first to his *disciples: ‘Be sure that you do not become like the *Pharisees. They do not act as they speak,’ Jesus said. ‘Their evil character spreads to other people like *yeast spreads. Mix a little *yeast with bread flour and it spreads all the way through it. v2 The things that the *Pharisees or other people try to keep secret now will not remain secret. They try to hide many things. But God will some day let everyone know those things. v3 Everything that you say in the dark, one day people will hear those things in full daylight. Maybe you have whispered things to someone in a room privately where nobody else can hear you. But one day people will shout out those same things in public.’
v4 ‘My friends, listen carefully! Do not be afraid of people who can kill you. Because, after they have killed you, they cannot do anything more. They cannot hurt you any more!’ Jesus said. v5 ‘But I want to warn you that you should really be afraid of God. God not only has the power to kill someone. He has the power also to throw that person into *hell afterwards! Yes, you should really be afraid of God!’
v6 ‘Think about very small birds. They have so little value that you can buy five of them with only two small coins. But God never forgets any of them!’ Jesus said. v7 ‘So, do not be afraid of people. You are much more valuable to God than very small birds are! God even knows how many hairs you have on your head. If you lose one hair, God knows about that hair. God really cares about you.’
v8 ‘Listen carefully! You will tell other people that you belong to me, the man from *heaven. Then I will tell God and his *angels that you belong to me. v9 But you may say to other people that you do not belong to me. Then I will tell God and his *angels that you do not belong to me,’ Jesus said.
v10 ‘I tell you also that some people will say bad things about me, the man from *heaven,’ Jesus said. ‘And God can forgive people when they say such things. But God will not forgive anyone who says evil things about the *Holy Spirit,’ Jesus said.
v11 ‘People will accuse you of many evil things in their meeting places. They will accuse you in front of judges and in front of rulers and other people who have authority. But do not worry when those people accuse you. Do not worry about how you should answer them. And do not worry about what you should say. v12 You do not need to prepare your words. The *Holy Spirit will tell you what you should say at that moment.’
v13 One of the people in the crowd asked Jesus to settle an argument on his behalf.
‘Teacher, my father has died. So, tell my older brother to divide my father’s property,’ he said. ‘I want my brother to give my share of the property to me!’
v14 Jesus replied to him. ‘Sir, nobody has appointed me to settle arguments in your family!’ Jesus said.
v15 Then Jesus talked to the whole crowd. ‘You should not strongly desire to own other people’s possessions in any way! Nobody gets security just because that person owns many possessions.’
v16 Then Jesus told this story to the people: ‘There was once a certain rich man whose land produced huge crops. v17 This rich man was thinking, “I do not know what to do now. I do not have any building large enough to store all my crops! v18 So, I know what I can do,” he said to himself. “I will destroy the buildings that I have. And I will build larger ones. Then I can store all my grain and other goods in the new buildings.” ’
v19 ‘ “I have stored plenty of food now,” the rich man was thinking. “It will last for many years. So now, I can sit down and I will have a good rest. I can eat all that I want. I can drink all that I want. And I can be happy for a long time!” ’
v20 ‘But God said this to him. “You stupid man! Tonight you will die! Then, all the goods that you have obtained for yourself will belong to someone else. Your wealth will not belong to you any longer!” ’
v21 ‘That will happen to everyone who stores away goods just for himself,’ Jesus said. ‘That kind of person does not have what God considers valuable.’
v22 Jesus continued to talk to his *disciples: ‘I want to tell you this,’ he said. ‘Do not worry about your life or the things that you need every day. Do not worry about whether you have enough food or not. Do not worry about whether you have enough clothes to wear. v23 Food and clothes are important. But many things matter much more in your lives than food does. And your bodies are more important than the clothes that you wear.’
v24 ‘Think about all the birds,’ Jesus said. ‘Birds do not plant seeds, and they do not harvest crops. They do not have rooms or buildings where they can store crops. But God provides food for them. God thinks that you are much more valuable than birds. So, he will certainly provide what you need! v25 None of you can add more years to your life because you worry. v26 And that is just a small thing to worry about. So, since you cannot achieve that, you certainly should not worry about anything else.’
v27 ‘Think about the way that flowers grow in the fields,’ Jesus continued. ‘Flowers do not work to earn money. And they do not make their own clothes. Long ago King Solomon wore very beautiful clothes. But I tell you this: even Solomon’s best clothes were not as beautiful as a flower in the fields. v28 God makes those flowers beautiful. But they grow in the fields for only a short time. Then someone cuts them down with all the grass. The next day someone throws them into an oven to burn.’
‘God cares about you much more than he cares about flowers,’ Jesus said. ‘So he will certainly give you clothes. You trust God so little! v29 Do not think always about what you will have to eat. Do not think about what you will have to drink. You should not worry always about such things. v30 Everywhere, people who do not trust God are continuously trying to get those things. But your *Father in *heaven knows that you need such things. So, you do not need to worry about them. v31 Instead, try to let God completely control your life. Then, he will give you enough of those things also.’
v32 You are my *disciples, and you are like a small group of sheep. And I am like the *shepherd,’ Jesus said. ‘So, you should not be afraid. Your *Father in *heaven wants to let you rule with him.’
v33 ‘So now, sell the things that you own,’ Jesus said. ‘Give the money that you get from those things to poor people. In the end, the bags where people keep their money will wear out. And they will lose all their money too. But you will have wealth that lasts always in *heaven. In other words, God in *heaven will give you a kind of wealth that you will never lose. No thief will be able to steal that wealth there, and no insect will be able to destroy it. v34 Everyone loves most those things that he considers to be precious. And he thinks about those things first. So if your wealth is in *heaven, you will really love God. But if your possessions are only in this world, you will not love God.’
v35 ‘Always be ready to do God’s work,’ Jesus said. ‘Sometimes people keep their lamps burning all night. Then, they are ready when something happens. v36 In the same way, you must be ready when I return,’ Jesus said. ‘Be like servants whose master is away from home for several days. He has been at a wedding party. And the servants are waiting when he returns. Then, he will knock at the door. And they are ready to open the door immediately. v37 Those servants will be awake when the owner of the house returns. And this will please him very much. I will tell you this,’ Jesus said. ‘Their master will put on servant’s clothes, then. And he will tell them to sit down. And then he will serve them the meal. v38 So, the servants need to be ready whether the owner of the house returns at midnight or at sunrise. And when he sees that, it will please him very much.’
v39 ‘Or, think about a thief. No thief would tell the owner of a house when he intends to arrive! If he did, the owner of the house would stay awake. And he would not allow the thief to break into his house. v40 In the same way, you also must be ready when I return,’ Jesus said. ‘I am the man who came from *heaven. And I will come back again. I will return at a time when you do not expect me.’
v41 Then Peter spoke to Jesus: ‘*Lord, are you telling this story just to us? Or should everyone else hear this story also?’
v42 The *Lord Jesus replied to him: ‘I am telling you this for your benefit. And it is also for the benefit of anyone else who is one of my loyal servants,’ Jesus said. ‘Such a person will be like a servant who is a loyal and wise manager in his master’s house. His master appoints him to look after everything in his house. He tells him to give food to all the other servants at the proper time. And then, the master of the house leaves on a long journey. v43 The chief servant should still be doing those things when the master returns. If so, the servant’s master will be very pleased with him,’ Jesus said. v44 ‘And his master will appoint him to look after all his affairs permanently. v45 But that servant might think differently. “My master has been away for a long time, so probably he will not return soon,” he might say. Then, he might start to hit the men and women servants. He might decide to use his master’s wealth so that he lives in luxury. He might eat too much food and he might drink too much wine. He might continue to drink wine until the alcohol controls him. v46 But his master will return some day. And that bad chief servant will not be ready. That bad servant would not know the day nor the hour to expect his master’s return,’ Jesus said. ‘Then his master will punish him severely, and he will throw that bad servant out of his house. The master will put him in prison together with any other servants who do not serve him loyally.’
v47 ‘The master of the house will beat severely every servant who does not obey him,’ Jesus said. ‘Such bad servants know what their master wants them to do. But they are not willing to do what he wants. v48 Other servants may not know what their master wants. Therefore, they cannot do what he wants. But their wrong deeds still deserve punishment. So, the master of the house will punish them only a little.’
‘God deals with his people in the same way. He is very good to those people who believe his *Message. But God expects more results from those people to whom he is more generous. Every master expects the servants who have greater authority to act in a more responsible manner,’ Jesus said.
v49 Jesus continued to speak to his *disciples. ‘I came to bring God’s judgement to this world, and that is like a fire,’ he said. ‘How I wish that the time had already begun! v50 But first, God will put me through a very hard test. I will feel much pain until I have finished this test.’
v51 ‘Perhaps you think that I came to bring peace to this world. But people will not act peacefully towards other people just because I came here,’ Jesus said. ‘No, I must tell you, that will not happen. Instead, people need to choose which side they belong to. v52 Five people may live together in one house. Some of them will believe me and some will not believe me. So, they will oppose each other. Perhaps three people in that house will not believe me. Then, they will oppose the two people who do believe me. Or, two will not believe me and they will oppose the *others.
v53 ‘And so, a man may be against his son, or a son may be against his father. A woman may be against her daughter, or a woman may be against her mother. A woman may be against her husband’s daughter, or a woman may be against her husband’s mother.’
v54 ‘In this country, a dark cloud may form in the west,’ Jesus said to the people in the crowd. ‘Then you immediately say “A storm is coming!” And that is what happens. v55 Or the wind may blow from the south. Then, in this country, you say, “It will be a very hot day!” And that is what happens. v56 You people have double standards!’ Jesus said. ‘You can see what is happening in the sky and on the earth. And then, you know how the weather may change. But you cannot understand what God is doing at this present time!’
v57 ‘You ought to discover the right things that you need to do in this life. Do those things while you still can,’ Jesus said. v58 ‘It is as if someone is accusing you of a very bad deed. And that person may take you to court. You should try hard to settle the matter with that person before you arrive at the court. If you do not settle things, that person will take you to the judge. Then, the judge will decide that you are guilty. And he will hand you over to the officer of the court who will put you in prison. v59 If that happens, you will certainly not get out of the prison easily,’ Jesus said. ‘You will have to pay everything that you owe to the other person. And you will remain in prison until you have paid the last coin.’
Luke 13:1-9 Turn back from your *sin to God
v1 On the same occasion, some people told Jesus about Pilate who was the *Roman *governor. Pilate had ordered his soldiers to kill some people from Galilee district. Those people were offering *sacrifices to God in the *Temple. But the *Roman soldiers killed them, even there. It upset everyone greatly that this could happen in such a holy place.
v2 Then Jesus replied to them: ‘Were those people more *sinful than all the other people from Galilee *province? Is that why they suffered such awful deaths?’ Jesus asked them. v3 Then Jesus answered his own question. He said, ‘No, that is certainly not true. But God will punish you all similarly if you do not turn back to him from your *sinful lives!’
v4 ‘Also, a tall building in Siloam fell on 18 people and it killed them. Siloam is a place near to Jerusalem. Were those 18 people more *sinful than all the other people who live in Jerusalem? Is that why those people died?’ Jesus asked everybody. v5 Jesus answered his own question again. He said, ‘No, that is certainly not true. But God will punish you all similarly for all time if you do not turn back from your *sinful lives!’
v6 Then Jesus told them this story. He wanted to warn them that their opportunity to trust God would end soon. ‘A man planted a *fig tree in his *vineyard,’ Jesus said. ‘Often he looked to see if there were any *figs on the tree. But there were no *figs.’
v7 ‘Then, the owner talked to the man who took care of his *vineyard. “Look! I have been looking at this *fig tree for the past three years,” he said. “Every year I hope for some *figs, but I have never found any. Cut the tree down! It is just using the soil for nothing!” ’
v8 ‘But the man replied to the owner, “Sir, leave the tree as it is for this year,” the man said. “I will dig round it and I will put *manure on the soil. v9 If this tree has any fruit on it next year, we will leave it. But if it does not have any fruit next year, you can cut it down.” ’ The story ended.
v10 One *Sabbath day, Jesus was teaching people in one of the *synagogues. v11 There was a woman present who could not stand up straight. She had not been able to walk for 18 years because of an *evil spirit. She had to bend over always. v12 Jesus saw the woman, so he called her to come to him. ‘My dear woman, I have made you free from what is wrong with you,’ he said to her.
v13 Then, Jesus put his hands on the woman’s head, and immediately she stood up straight. She praised God that he had done this. v14 But the man who was the leader in the *synagogue was angry with Jesus. Jesus had cured the woman on the *Jewish *Sabbath day. And the leader considered that therefore Jesus was working. So, the *synagogue leader spoke to the people, ‘Our *Jewish *laws tell people to work on 6 days each week. If you are ill, come to the *synagogue on those days. And you can ask God to cure you. Do not ask someone to cure you on the *Sabbath day!’
v15 Then the *Lord Jesus spoke to the leader of the *synagogue. ‘You people have double standards!’ he said. ‘On the *Sabbath day, every one of you gives water to his *ox or to his *donkey. You give water to these animals as you do on every other day. You untie the animal from the place where it eats. And you lead it to the water. Yet, that is work too! v16 You look after your animals, but you do not look after other people. This woman is a *Jew like the rest of us. Abraham was her *ancestor long ago! But *Satan has kept her ill for 18 years as if he had tied her firmly. And this is a *Sabbath day. It is right that I free her today.’
v17 Jesus’ words made all his enemies feel ashamed. But the other people there were happy about all the wonderful things that Jesus was doing.
v18 Jesus spoke again to the people who followed him. ‘The number of people who let God rule their lives is increasing. I will tell you what I can compare these people with,’ Jesus said. v19 ‘Think about a tiny grain of *mustard seed. A man plants this tiny seed in his garden. It grows until it becomes a very big plant. It becomes like a small tree. It is now so big that birds can build nests in its branches. That is how my people increase.’
v20 Then Jesus said this to the people: ‘The number of people who let God rule their lives increases quietly and steadily,’ Jesus said. v21 ‘Think about how *yeast increases. A woman can mix a tiny amount of *yeast with a large amount of flour. That tiny amount of *yeast grows. And that makes the whole bread mixture increase its size three times.’
v22 Jesus continued on his way to Jerusalem. He travelled with the *disciples through various towns and villages. And he taught all the people that he met. v23 Someone asked him, ‘*Lord, will God save only a few people?’
This was Jesus’ reply: v24 ‘There is only one way to get into heaven, and that way is like a narrow door. Make every effort to enter heaven by that way. Many people will try to enter heaven by some other way. They will certainly fail,’ Jesus said. v25 ‘I tell you that God is like a house owner. The house owner stands up in the evening, and he locks the door. But some of you may still be standing outside the door to *heaven. Then, you will knock hard on that door, and you will speak to God: “*Lord, open the door so that we can come in!” you will say.’
‘But God will reply to you, “No, I will not open it! I do not know you. I do not know where you have come from.” ’
v26 ‘ “But we ate meals with you. We drank with you. And you taught people in our streets!” you will start to say.’
v27 ‘And God will say the same thing again: “I do not know you. I do not know where you have come from. You are wicked people! Get away from here!” ’
v28 ‘And so, God will send you to a place where you will suffer much,’ Jesus said. ‘From there you will be able to see the place where God is ruling. You will be able to see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all the *prophets who lived long ago. But you will be in *hell, outside the place where God is ruling. You will cry and you will rub your teeth together hard in pain.’
v29 ‘Also, many people who are not *Jews will come. And they will live in the place where God is ruling,’ Jesus said. ‘They will come from other countries in all directions. They will come from the north, the south, the east, and the west of *Israel. They will eat rich food in the place where God is ruling. v30 God will consider that certain people are very important there in his place. They are people who are not important now, in this world. And God will consider that certain other people are not important there in his place. They are people who are very important now in this world.’
v31 At the same time, some *Pharisees came to speak to Jesus. ‘Leave this area and go away. The *governor called *Herod Antipas wants to kill you!' they said.
v32 ‘*Herod is as cruel and clever as a fox,’ Jesus said to them. ‘But I want him to know this: He cannot hurt me yet! God has decided the time and place when my enemies can hurt me. But that time is not yet. Go and tell *Herod this message from me.’
‘ “Listen, *Herod, I force *demons to leave people. And I cure other people just now, and I will continue to do these things for a short time. After that, I will have finished my work. v33 But I must continue my journey to Jerusalem during these days. Jerusalem is the place where I must die. The inhabitants of that city have killed so many *prophets in the past.” ’ That was Jesus’ message to *Herod.
v34 Then Jesus continued: ‘You people from Jerusalem! People from your city killed the *prophets who lived long ago! And God sent other people to warn you. But you threw stones at them and you killed them!’ Jesus said. ‘A *hen gathers her young chickens under her wings to protect them. And many times, I have wanted to protect you like that. But you would not let me do that.’
v35 ‘So, listen to this:’ Jesus said. ‘God will no longer protect the *Temple, your holy place. I will visit your city only once more. After that, I tell you that you will not see me again until my return. And I shall only return when you say about me, “This is the man who comes with God’s authority. God is really pleased with him!” ’
v1 One *Sabbath day, an important *Pharisee invited Jesus to eat at his house. Some men who studied the *Jewish *Law and other *Pharisees were also there. They watched Jesus carefully. They wanted to see what he would do. They wanted to say that Jesus had *broken the *Law. v2 A man came and he stood in front of Jesus. His arms and legs were enormous because he was so ill. v3 So, Jesus spoke to the *Pharisees and the men who studied the *Jewish *Law. He asked them, ‘Does our *Jewish *Law allow us to cure someone on the *Sabbath day, or does it not?’
v4 The *Pharisees did not reply. They did not even say one word. So, Jesus put his hands on the sick man and he cured him. Then, he told the man to go home. v5 Afterwards Jesus spoke to the *Pharisees. ‘Suppose that your son or your *ox falls into a well on a *Sabbath day. What would you do? I think that you would immediately pull them out. You would not let them stay there until the next day!’
v6 The *Pharisees said nothing. They were completely unable to answer Jesus.
v7 Jesus was looking at the people whom the *Pharisee had invited to the meal. Jesus saw that each guest tried to sit in the best seat. They tried to sit where the most important people sit. So, he gave to them this advice:
v8 ’When someone invites you to a special wedding meal, do not try to sit in the most important place,’ Jesus said. ‘Perhaps the man who is giving the meal has invited someone more important than you. v9 Then, when that person arrives, the host will come to you. “Let this man have your seat!” he will say to you. The host invited both of you, but you will have to move to a less important seat. And you will feel great shame.’
v10 ‘Instead, do this when someone invites you to a meal,’ Jesus said. ‘Go and sit in the less important places. Then, your host, the man who invited you, may come to you. And he may say to you, “Friend, sit in a better seat!” Then, all the other guests will see that the host is giving special honour to you. v11 And remember this,’ Jesus also said: ‘Some people think that they are very important. But God will make them unimportant. And other people may think that they are too humble. But God will make them important.’
v12 Then Jesus spoke to the *Pharisee who had invited him to the meal. ‘When you invite people to a special midday meal or to an evening meal, do not invite only your friends,’ Jesus said. ‘Whether they are your friends, or your family, or other relatives, or your rich neighbours, do not invite only them. They can always invite you back. And that is the same as if they paid you for the meal. v13 But you should do differently when you make a special meal,’ Jesus said. ‘Instead, you should invite poor people, or people who cannot walk, or blind people. v14 Then, God will *bless you, because these poor people will not be able to pay you anything. God will cause his own people to become alive again. And at that time, he will reward you.’
v15 One of the other guests heard what Jesus had just said. So, he spoke to Jesus. ‘God will *bless all of us who are *Jews. We will eat with the *Messiah in *heaven when he starts to rule!’ he said.
v16 So, Jesus told him this story. He wanted to show the other guests that a person must not refuse God’s invitation. ‘Once there was a rich man, and he wanted to give a very special meal. He invited many people to come to the meal,’ Jesus said. v17 ‘The day arrived when the event would happen. So, the man sent out one of his servants. The servant gave a message to everyone whom the man had invited: “You can come to my master’s house now. Everything is ready!” he told them.’
v18 ‘But all of the guests had excuses why they could not come that day,’ Jesus said. ‘The first man to whom the servant went said this: “I have just bought a field. So, I must go there and see it. Please ask your master to forgive me. I cannot come now.” ’
v19 ‘Another person told the servant: “I have just bought 5 pairs of *oxen. I must go and examine them. Please ask your master to forgive me. I cannot come just now.” ’
v20 ‘Another person told the servant: “I have just married my wife. So, I cannot leave her and come now.” ’
v21 ‘Then, the servant returned to the rich man who was his master. And he told him what everyone had said to him. The rich man was very angry. His guests had given very poor excuses why they did not come. So, he said to his servant, “Go out quickly to the streets and paths in the town. Talk to all the poor people, and the people who cannot walk and the blind people. Bring them all into my house!” ’
v22 ‘The servant went and he did that. Then, he said to his master: “Sir, I have done exactly as you said. But there is still room in your house for more people.” ’
v23 ‘So, his master told him to go outside the town. “Search along the main roads, and search along the hedges on the narrow roads. Strongly urge people in those places to come to my house. I want to fill the house with people!” the rich man said. v24 ”I tell you this: I invited many people to eat with me. But they gave excuses not to come. So, none of them will be here to enjoy the meal.” ’
v25 A large group of people was travelling with Jesus. Then Jesus turned round and he spoke to them. v26 ‘Some of you may love your father or mother more than you love me. You may love your wife or children, your brothers or sisters more than you love me. But you cannot come with me if that is true. You cannot learn from me like that. Yes, you must love me even more than you love your own lives!’
v27 ‘Also, some of you may not be willing to suffer as I must suffer. You may not be willing to die on my behalf. Then, you cannot come with me and learn from me,’ Jesus said.
v28 ‘Let me tell you an example,’ Jesus said to the people. ‘Perhaps you want to build a high building. Surely, you would calculate first how much it would cost. Then, you would decide whether you had enough money. v29 You would not be able to finish the building if you did not have enough money. You might be able to build only the base of the building. Then, everyone who saw that would laugh at you. v30 They would say, “That man began to build a very high building, but he was not able to finish it!” ’
v31 Jesus told them another example: ‘A king might want to start a battle against another king. Surely, first he would sit down with the people who advise him. They would decide who had the biggest army. They might have only 10,000 soldiers. And the other king’s army might have 20,000 soldiers. v32 So,’ Jesus said, ‘perhaps the king thinks that he could not defeat the other army. Then, he could send *messengers to the other king while his army is still a long distance away. The first king would ask for a peace agreement so that the other king will not attack.’
v33 ‘So then, you must be willing to lose all that you have. If you are not willing, you cannot be my *disciples.’
v34 ‘You are like salt,’ Jesus said. ‘And salt is useful to put on food. But salt without flavour would have no use whatever. And it would be impossible to make it salty again. v35 You could not use it on the soil. It is not even suitable to go on the pile of dirt. People would have to throw it out.’
‘You need to really understand these things,’ Jesus said. ‘So, you must think carefully about what you have heard!’
v1 People who collected taxes on behalf of the *Roman government continued to come to Jesus. And other people came also, although the *Jews considered them to be *sinners. v2 But the *Pharisees and men who taught the *Jewish *Laws were always talking against Jesus. ‘This man *welcomes *sinners and he also eats with them!’ they said.
v3 Jesus wanted them to realise that their attitudes were wrong. God is happy when a *sinner turns away from evil things. So, Jesus told them this story: v4 ’Perhaps one of you has a 100 sheep. If you lost one of your sheep, you would act at once,’ Jesus said. ‘You would certainly leave the 99 other sheep safely in the field. Then, you would search for the one sheep that you lost. And you would continue to search for that sheep until you found it. v5 You would be very happy when you found it. So, you would put it on your shoulders and you would rush home. v6 Then, when you arrived home, you would call together all your friends and neighbours. “I have found the sheep that I lost! Let us have a party and really be happy,” you would say to them.’
v7 ‘And I tell you that God can be very happy too! If even one *sinner turns away from evil things, then everyone in *heaven is really happy. But there are many other people who are like the 99 other sheep. They insist that they are already doing the right things. They say that they do not need to turn away from evil things. But when a *sinner turns away from evil things, that makes God really happy.’
v8 ‘Or, think about a woman who has 10 very valuable silver coins. If she loses one of them, she would act at once,’ Jesus said. ‘First, she would light a lamp and then she would sweep the floor of her house. She would search carefully until she found that coin. v9 She would call together her friends and neighbours when she finds that coin,’ Jesus said. ‘ “I have found the coin that I lost! Let us have a party and really be happy,” she would tell them. v10 And I tell you that God can be very happy too! If even one *sinner turns away from evil things, then all God’s *angels in *heaven are really happy.’
v11 Then Jesus told them another story. ‘A certain man had two sons,’ Jesus said. v12 ‘One day, the younger son spoke to his father: “Father, I do not want to wait until you die. I want the share of your property that belongs to me. Please give it to me now!” ’
‘So, the man divided his property between his two sons,’ Jesus said. v13 ‘A few days later, the younger son sold his share of the property. He gathered together his money and other things and he went to live in a country far away. This younger son lived carelessly and he wasted all his money there. v14 He had spent all his money when the food supply completely failed in that country. And he did not have anything to eat.’
v15 ‘So, the young man went to speak to one of the land owners in that area. He asked him for work,’ Jesus said. ‘So, the land owner sent him to take care of his pigs. v16 The young man was very hungry by this time. But nobody gave him anything to eat. He would have been glad to eat even what the pigs ate.’
v17 ‘Finally,’ Jesus said, ‘the young man thought clearly about what he had done. “All the workers that my father hires have plenty of food!” he said to himself. “They have more food than they can eat. But here I will die because I am so hungry! v18 So, I will leave here and I will go back to my father. This is what I will say to him: “Father, I have *sinned against God and I have *sinned against you. v19 It is not right that you should still call me your son. I do not deserve it. Just let me work for you as one of your workers.” That is what the young man decided to say.’
v20 ‘So, the young man left that place and he went back to his father’s house,’ Jesus said. ‘But while he was still some distance from the house, his father saw him. The father pitied him greatly. He ran to his son and he put his arms round him. He kissed him on the cheek. v21 Then his son spoke to him: “Father, I have *sinned against God and I have *sinned against you. It is not right that you should still call me your son. I do not deserve it,” he said.
v22 ‘But his father called to his servants: “Act quickly! Go and bring the best clothes in the house here! And put them on my son,” he said. “Put a ring on his finger and put *sandals on his feet! v23 Then bring in the fattest young cow. Kill it and cook it! We must eat it and we must make this a very happy occasion. v24 My son has returned home at last! It is as if he died. But he has become alive again! It is as if we lost him. But now we have found him!” ’
‘So, they did what the father had ordered. And they all began to enjoy the occasion.’
v25 ‘While that was happening, his older son was working outside in the field,’ Jesus continued. ‘When he returned home, he came near to the house. Then he heard music and people were dancing. v26 He called one of the servants. And he asked him what everyone was doing. v27 “Your younger brother has come home!” the servant said. “So, your father told us to kill the fattest young cow. He told us that we must have a party. He is so happy that your brother has returned safe and healthy.”
v28 ‘The older brother was angry when he heard that,’ Jesus said. ‘He refused to enter the house. So, his father came out to him. And he urged his son to come into the house. v29 But the older son would not go in. “Listen, Father!” he said. “For many years, I have worked like one of your *slaves. I always obeyed everything that you told me to do. Sometimes, I wanted to make a special dinner to enjoy with my friends. But you never gave even a young goat to me. v30 And now, your son has come back. He has wasted all his share of your property. He used the money to pay *prostitutes! Now he has returned home, and you have accepted him. Your servants have killed your fattest young cow and you have made a special dinner for him!”
v31 ‘Then his father replied to the older son: “Young man, you have been with me all the time. Your brother took his share, and the rest of my property has always been yours. You could have made a special dinner at any time! v32 But it is necessary for us to be especially happy on this occasion. It is as if your brother had died. But now he is alive again! It is as if we had lost him. But now we have found him!” ’
v1 Jesus also spoke to his *disciples about money. ‘Once there was a rich man who employed a business manager,’ Jesus said. ‘One day, someone told the rich man that his manager was managing his money badly. v2 So, the rich man asked his manager to come. “Is it true what people are saying about you?” he asked him. “You manage my money. So, hand over to me an account of the funds. I do not want to employ you still.” ’
v3 ‘The manager thought hard about this. “My boss does not want to employ me still. And I do not know what kind of work I can do now,” the manager said to himself. “I am not strong enough to dig ditches. And I would be ashamed to ask people to give money to me.” v4 Suddenly he had an idea. “My boss has firmly decided to end my employment. But if I am clever enough, other people will invite me into their houses. My boss has given me authority over his affairs. And he has not removed that authority yet. So if I act immediately, I can use my master’s money to make many friends,” he thought.’
v5 ‘So, one at a time, the manager called in all the people who owed money to his employer. He asked the first person: “How much do you owe my boss?” ’
v6 ‘ “100 barrels of *olive oil,” the man replied.’
“Here is your bill,” the manager said to him. “Sit down quickly and change it to 50 barrels.” ’
v7 ‘Then the manager asked another man, “How much do you owe?” ’
‘ “100 sacks of wheat,” the man replied.’
‘ “Take your bill and change it to 80 sacks,” the manager said to him.’
‘And the manager told the same thing to other people who owed his employer money.’
v8 ‘The rich man heard what his manager had done,’ Jesus said. ‘And he admired his manager because he had done this. Although the manager was not honest, he was clever. Sometimes, people who do not believe in God are very clever by human standards. They deal more wisely with other people. And people who believe in God are not so wise with other people.’
v9 ‘So I tell you this,’ Jesus said to everyone who was listening to him. ‘Use your money to help other people. Then, they will become your friends. Later, you will die and you cannot take any money with you. But God will give you a place in *heaven and you will never lose that place. And those friends will be there to *welcome you.’
v10 ‘People who look after small matters honestly will also be honest with important matters,’ Jesus said. ‘But some people are not honest when they look after small matters. Such people will not be honest when they look after important matters either. v11 Perhaps you cannot look after this world’s false wealth honestly. Then, God will not be able to give you real wealth in *heaven. v12 If you do not look after other people’s things honestly, God cannot help you. He will not be able to give you something that will always be your own.’
v13 ‘You cannot serve two bosses equally well,’ Jesus said. ‘If you try to do that, you will love only one of your bosses. And you will strongly dislike the other boss. Or, you may be very loyal to one of your bosses. But you will not be loyal to the other one. So, you cannot serve God if you let money be your boss at the same time.’
v14 Some *Pharisees were also standing there. And the *Pharisees loved money. So, they laughed at Jesus because of what he was saying. v15 But Jesus spoke to them. ‘You *Pharisees try to show other people that you do good things always,’ he said. ‘But God knows what you are really thinking. And God will refuse to accept you. People put a high value on certain things. But God may hate those same things.’
v16 ‘God gave the *Laws that *Moses wrote down. And God also gave the words that the *prophets wrote down,’ Jesus said. ‘Those *Laws had authority all the time until John came. I am talking about that same John who *baptised people. Since then, I tell to people in public that God wants to rule their lives in a new way,’ Jesus said. ‘And many people very much want God to take control of their lives.’
‘But God is not neglecting his *Laws. He established them,’ Jesus said. v17 ‘*Heaven and earth will disappear on the last day, but still God’s *Laws will exist. Even God’s *Laws that seem very small are more permanent than *heaven and earth.’
v18 ‘For example, marriage is important to God. And so, a husband and wife should not divorce. Any man who divorces his wife in order to marry another woman is guilty of *sin,’ Jesus said. ‘And if a woman’s husband divorces her, she should not remarry. That would also be a *sin. Since the beginning of the Bible, God has always taught that marriage is very important. So, if you teach people otherwise, you are very wrong,’ Jesus told the *Pharisees.
v19 Jesus wanted to explain what ‘real wealth’ is. So he told this story:
‘There was once a rich man who wore expensive clothes always,’ Jesus said. ‘This man wore purple cloth always as his outer clothes and he wore special white cloth as his inner clothes. Every day he ate the most expensive food. v20 And every day, a poor man called Lazarus lay at the outer gate of the rich man’s house. Lazarus was unable to walk, so people put him there. He was very ill, and his whole body was sore.’
v21 ‘Lazarus was so hungry that he would eat anything. So, he asked to have the bits that fell on the ground under the rich man’s table. Worse than that, dogs came round him and they rubbed their tongues over the sore places on his body,’ Jesus said. v22 ‘Finally, this poor man died. God’s *angels took him up to *heaven, and God gave him a place of honour there, next to Abraham.’
‘Later, the rich man died also, and people buried his body,’ Jesus said. v23 ‘But the rich man went to *hell and he was suffering great pain. Then, he looked up and he saw Abraham in the distance. And he saw that Lazarus was eating a meal next to Abraham. v24 So, the rich man shouted to him, “Father Abraham, pity me. Please send Lazarus here to help me. He can make his finger wet in water. Then he could put it on my tongue! I suffer very much in these flames! Even that tiny amount of cool water would bring me much relief,” the rich man said.’
v25 ‘But Abraham replied to him, “Child, remember that during your life you enjoyed many good things. But Lazarus was miserable. Now he is happy here, and you are suffering,” Abraham said to the rich man. v26 “In addition, there is a deep ditch between you and us. It is too vast for anyone to pass from one side to the other. And its position is firm, so that it does not move. We cannot go to where you are. And you are not able to come here to where we are.” ’
v27 ‘The rich man realised that his own situation was hopeless. But he continued to shout to Abraham. The rich man hoped that Abraham might do something to save his brothers from that awful situation,’ Jesus continued. ‘ “Then Abraham,” the rich man said, “Please would you send Lazarus to my father’s house. v28 I have 5 brothers who live there. So, tell Lazarus to warn them. They must change their lives. My brothers must not come to this place where people suffer so much pain!”
v29 But Abraham replied, “No, your brothers are able to go to the *synagogues themselves. There, they can hear what *Moses and the *prophets wrote. They should listen to what those *prophets wrote!”
v30 Once again the rich man tried to speak. “No, father Abraham, that will not be enough! Send someone who has died to go back to my brothers. If someone like that could warn them, they would turn back to God from their *sinful lives.”
v31 ‘In the end, Abraham told the rich man. “No! Your brothers do not listen to the words that *Moses and the *prophets wrote. Not even someone who becomes alive again after death would convince them. They will never turn back from their *sin.” ’
v1 Jesus spoke to his *disciples again: ‘You can be sure that some people will persuade other people to *sin,’ Jesus said. ‘Such people try to control weaker people whom I love very much. So those stronger people will be in serious trouble. v2 God will punish them so severely that they would prefer anyone else to punish them. They would even prefer if someone put a huge stone round their necks! And then they would wish that someone threw them into the sea! Even that punishment would seem better than if they caused a weaker person to *sin.’
v3 ‘So, be careful how you act. Perhaps a *believer whom you know *sins. Then, tell him what is wrong. If he is sorry for his *sin, then forgive him. v4 Perhaps he will *sin against you 7 times in one day. And each time, he comes to you in order to apologise. Even then, you must continue to forgive him.’
v5 One day the *apostles asked the *Lord Jesus: ‘Help us to trust God more strongly!’
v6 The *Lord replied to them: ‘A grain of *mustard seed is very small, but it can produce a very large plant. Similarly, if you really trust in God, you can achieve big things. You could speak to this mulberry tree: “Pull yourself out with your roots and plant yourself in the sea!” And it would obey you.‘
v7 ‘Perhaps one of your men servants is ploughing your fields, or he is taking care of your sheep,’ Jesus said. ‘Later, he comes back to the house from the field. You would certainly not tell him to sit down so that he could eat at once. v8 Instead, you would tell him to serve you first: “Put on your jacket and prepare my meal,” you might say. “Then, serve me. I will eat and drink first. Afterwards, you can eat and drink.” ’
v9 ’The servant does everything that you tell him to do,’ Jesus said. ‘Probably you will not thank him because he does that. v10 In the same way, you may do everything that God tells you to do. But this is what you should say to God: ”We do not deserve any thanks, because we are only your servants. We have only done what we ought to do.” ’
v11 Jesus and his *disciples continued to walk along the road to Jerusalem. They were travelling through the region between Samaria district and Galilee district. v12 As they entered one village, 10 men came near the road. They were all suffering from the disease called *leprosy. The *Law did not allow *lepers to come near other people. So, they stood at some distance, v13 and they called out to Jesus: ‘Master, pity us and cure us!’ they called.
v14 Jesus saw them and he said to them: ‘Go to the priests and show yourselves to them. Then, they can check that your *leprosy has gone. If so, you will be able to live with your families again,’ Jesus said.
And God cured the *lepers as they were going to see the priests! v15 One of them realised that God had cured him. So, he turned back, and he began to praise God loudly. v16 He threw himself down at Jesus’ feet, and he thanked him. But that man was a *Samaritan!
v17 ‘I cured 10 *lepers! But the other 9 have not returned to give honour to God,’ Jesus said. v18 ‘Only this man, who is not *Jewish, has returned to give honour to God. None of the other *lepers came back to me. Those other 9 *lepers really have disappointed me.’
v19 Then Jesus told the man, ‘You are free. Now you may get up and go. God has cured you because you believed me.’
v20 One day, some *Pharisees asked Jesus when God would come to this world as king. And Jesus replied to them: ‘People will not be able to see with their eyes when God comes to rule,’ Jesus said. v21 ‘People will not be able to say, “Look! He is ruling here!” Or “He is ruling there!” Already God is ruling deep inside some people.’
v22 Then Jesus spoke to his *disciples: ‘I am the man who came from *heaven. And in the future, you will want to see me again. You will want to see me rule powerfully over this world,’ Jesus said. ‘But at that time, you will not be able to see that. v23 Some people will say to you, “Look, the *Messiah is over there!” Or they will say, “Look, he is here!”
‘Do not listen to those people. Do not go with them. Do not follow them to see the *Messiah,’ Jesus said. v24 ‘Everyone can see lightning when it lights up the sky from one side to the other side. And I, the man who came from *heaven, will come back again. And then, everyone will be able to see me, even as they see the lightning.’
v25 ‘But before that happens, I must suffer in many ways,’ Jesus said. ‘Some people have seen me work here. But they will refuse to accept me. v26 I am the man who came from *heaven. And I will return again. But still people will live as they used to live long ago during Noah’s time. v27 At that time, people ate and drank as usual. And they got married as usual. That was all that they lived for. Then, one day Noah and his family entered their large boat to live. And then the flood came. It killed all the people who were outside the boat.’
v28 ’Also, think about the time long ago when Lot lived in Sodom city,’ Jesus said. ‘The people in Sodom ate and drank like everyone else. They bought things and they sold things. They planted crops and they built houses. That was all that they thought about. v29 But on the day when Lot and his family left Sodom, God destroyed the city. Fire and flames fell down from the sky and they destroyed everything. Everyone who stayed in the city died.’
v30 ‘It will be the same when people see me again,’ Jesus said. ‘They will see me, the man who came from *heaven. v31 But some people may be outside their houses on that day. And all the things that they own may be inside their houses. Such people must not go back into their houses in order to rescue their things. There will not be enough time to do that. And people who are working in the fields must not go back to their homes. There will be no time to get anything out of their houses. They will have to leave behind everything that they own.’
v32 ‘Remember what happened to Lot’s wife!’ Jesus said. ‘She turned back because she wanted to get some of her things from Sodom city. But she became a tall block of salt. v33 So, anyone who wishes to hold on to his life and his possessions will not have real *life. But anyone who is willing to die on my behalf will have real *life.’
v34 ‘I will tell you this:’ Jesus said. ‘On the night when I return, two people will be asleep in one bed. God will take one of them to *heaven and he will leave the other person behind. v35 Two women will be preparing grain together. God will take one of the women and he will leave the other woman behind. And everyone whom God leaves behind will suffer a terrible punishment.’
v37 Jesus *disciples asked him, ‘*Lord, where will this happen?’
And Jesus replied to them: ‘Wherever there is a dead body, fierce wild birds will always gather. And wherever people do not believe in me, God will punish them.’
v1 Jesus told his *disciples another story. He wanted to show them that they ought to pray confidently, always. They should never stop praying even if God does not answer them immediately.
v2 This was the story: ‘Once there was a judge in a certain city. This judge did not respect God and he did not care about people. v3 Also in that city there was a widow. She came to the judge many times. “Please give me a fair judgement in court. I have had an argument with a certain man for a long time!” she said.’
v4 ‘For a long time, the judge refused to help her,’ Jesus said. ‘But finally, the judge said to himself: “I do not respect God and I do not care about people. v5 But this widow continues to bother me!” the judge thought. “So, I will give her a fair judgement. If I do not do that, she will wear me out! She is always coming here to see me!” ’
v6 Then the *Lord Jesus added: ‘That judge was not a good man. But think about what he said!’ Jesus said. v7 ‘God has chosen you to be his people. And you pray to him always, day and night. So, by all means he will do what is right and fair for you. He will not delay for a long time. v8 He will be in a hurry to help you. You can be sure about that.’
‘I am the man who came from *heaven. But soon I will be leaving you,’ Jesus said. ‘I will return again to this world. And you will see whether many people still trust me then.’
v9 Jesus told another story to some people. Those people thought that they were much better than other people. Always, they did good things. They thought that God liked such things. And they thought that everyone else was not good enough. v10 So, this was what Jesus told them: ‘Two men went to the *Temple in Jerusalem city. They went there to pray to God. One of the men was a *Pharisee, and the other man collected taxes on behalf of the *Roman government!’
v11 ‘The *Pharisee stood and he prayed silently. “God,” he said, “I thank you that I am not like other people. I am not like people who take money away from other people. I am not like people who do not act fairly. And I am not like other people who are not loyal to their wives or husbands,” the *Pharisee said. “And I am certainly not like this tax man who always cheats people! v12 Twice each week, I do not eat food while I pray to you. Also, I give 10 *per cent of all that I earn to you.’
v13 ‘But the man who collected taxes stood far from anyone else,’ Jesus said. ‘He would not even look up toward *heaven. Instead, he beat the upper part of his own body because he was so sorry. He had done many wrong things. “God,” the tax man said. “I am a *sinner. Please be kind to me and forgive me!” ’
v14 ‘Then the two men went home. God heard the prayer from the man who collected taxes. God removed the record of this man’s *sins. But God did not listen to the *Pharisee’s prayer,’ Jesus said. ‘Remember this: Anyone may think that he is superior. But God will not listen to him. God will give honour to people who think less about themselves.’
v15 Many people continued to come to Jesus. And they even brought babies with them. The parents wanted Jesus to put his hands on their children. They wanted Jesus to bless them. The *disciples saw this, and they tried to stop the people. v16 But Jesus called the *disciples so that he could speak to them.
‘Allow the children to come to me! Do not stop them!’ Jesus said. ‘People like them will be with God when he rules. v17 You need to realise this: You must trust God as children trust their parents. Otherwise, God will not be your king.’
v18 Then a *Jewish leader asked Jesus: ‘Good teacher, what should I do so that I can live with God for all time?’
v19 ‘You say that I am good,’ Jesus said to him, ‘but only God is good! Nobody else is good! v20 However, I will answer your question. You know the commands which God gave to *Moses. God gave such commands as: ‘Be loyal to your marriage partner! Do not murder anyone! Do not steal! Do not lie! Give honour to your father and to your mother!’
v21 The man replied to him: ‘I have obeyed all those commands since I was a young man. Is there something else that I have not done?’
v22 Jesus heard the man say that, and he answered him: ‘Here is one thing that you have not done yet: Sell all your possessions, and distribute the money to poor people,’ Jesus said. ‘Then, you will have God’s wealth in *heaven. Now, do what I have just told you. Then, you can come with me and you can be my *disciple.’
v23 The man became very sad when he heard that. He was very rich and he did not want to give away everything. So he went away. v24 Jesus looked at him as he left. ‘Few wealthy people will ever allow God to rule their lives,’ Jesus said. v25 ‘It is not possible for a camel to go through the hole in a needle. And it is almost as difficult for a wealthy person to let God rule over his life.’
v26 People in the crowd heard Jesus say that. ‘If that is so, then our situation is hopeless! If God will not rescue a wealthy person, then surely he will not rescue us!’ they said.
v27 But Jesus told them, ‘It is not possible for people to do such things. But God can rescue people from *sin! He can do things that no person could ever do.’
v28 Then Peter asked him: ‘What would you say about us, *Lord? We have left everything to go with you!’
v29 Then Jesus spoke to all of them. ‘Listen carefully! Many people have left their homes, their wives, their children, their brothers and their parents,’ Jesus said. ‘Now, they tell other people that God wants to rule their lives. v30 All such people will receive back in this life much more than they left behind them. And such people will always live with God in the future age.’
v31 Then Jesus took the 12 *apostles aside, and he spoke to them: ‘Listen carefully!’ Jesus said. ‘We are going up the hill to Jerusalem city now. And many things will happen to me there; to me, the one who came down from *heaven. And everything that the *prophets wrote about me, will happen to me.’ v32 ‘My enemies will hand me over to people who are not *Jews,’ Jesus said. ‘Those foreigners will laugh at me. They will do bad things to me and they will *spit on me. v33 They will hit me many times with a whip and then they will kill me. But three days later, I will become alive again.’
v34 The *apostles did not understand anything that Jesus was saying to them at that time. Something prevented them so that they could not understand. So, they did not know what Jesus meant.
v35 As Jesus and the *apostles approached Jericho city, a blind man was sitting by the *roadside. He was asking people to give money to him. v36 The blind man heard the crowd of people that was passing along the road. So, he asked the people what was happening. v37 ‘Jesus, the man from Nazareth town, is passing along the road,’ the people told him.
v38 Then, the blind man shouted out, ‘Jesus, *Messiah, you who come from King David’s family, pity me!’
v39 There were people walking in front of Jesus. And they told the blind man not to shout. They told him to be quiet. But he shouted even more loudly, ‘*Messiah, you who come from King David’s family, pity me!’
v40 Jesus stopped then. He told people to bring the man to him. When the blind man came near to him, Jesus spoke to him: v41 ’How do you want me to help you?’ he asked.
‘*Lord, please let me see again!’ the blind man replied,
v42 And Jesus said to him, ‘Then, see again! Because you have believed me, I have cured you!’
v43 Immediately, the man was able to see again. He went away with Jesus, and he was praising God. All the people in the crowd saw that the blind man could see again. So they praised God also.
v1 Next, Jesus and the *disciples entered Jericho city. They were just passing through that city. v2 And there was a man there called Zacchaeus. He was a leader of those men who collected taxes on behalf of the *Roman government. And he was a rich man. v3 He wanted to see Jesus, but he was a very short man. He could not see Jesus because there was such a big crowd of people near him. v4 So, Zacchaeus ran ahead along the road where Jesus was walking. He climbed up into a *sycamore-fig tree to see Jesus.
v5 When Jesus came to the tree, he looked up. ‘Zacchaeus,’ Jesus said, ‘come down quickly. I want to go to your house and I want to stay with you tonight!’
v6 So, Zacchaeus came down quickly and he took Jesus to his house. Zacchaeus was very pleased to *welcome Jesus into his house. v7 All the people saw Jesus go into Zacchaeus’ house. So they began to speak against Jesus: ‘This man Zacchaeus is a *sinner. And Jesus has gone into his house as his guest!’
v8 But Zacchaeus stood up and he spoke to the *Lord Jesus: ‘*Lord, I will give half of my possessions to poor people,’ Zacchaeus said. ‘Also, I know that I have cheated some people. I will give back to them 4 times the amount that I stole from them.’
v9 Then Jesus replied to Zacchaeus: ‘Today, God has rescued you and everybody in your house,’ Jesus said. ‘You do trust God as really as your *ancestor Abraham trusted him. v10 I came down from *heaven. And I am searching for people who have lost their way. I want to rescue people like you who have gone away from God.’
v11 The people with Jesus heard what he had said. And Jesus was coming near to Jerusalem city now. So, the people thought that Jesus would become their king very soon. v12 That is why Jesus told them this story:
‘Once a prince was preparing to go to a distant country,’ Jesus said. ‘The *emperor there wanted to appoint the prince to be a king. Afterwards, the prince would return to rule his own country on behalf of the *emperor. v13 Before the prince left, he called together 10 of his servants. He gave a valuable coin to each of them. That coin was worth three months’ wages. Then he told these servants, “Trade with this money until I return!” he said. Then he left.’
v14 ‘But many of his citizens hated the prince. So, they sent some people after him to tell the *Emperor, “We do not want this man to be our king!” ’
v15 ‘But the *Emperor appointed him to be king anyway,’ Jesus said. ‘Then this new king returned to his own country. Then he ordered the 10 servants who had received the money to come. They had been trading with the money. And the new king wanted to know what profits the servants had made.’
v16 ‘The first man came to him. “Sir, with your one coin I have earned 10 more coins!” he told the king.’
v17 ‘ “You are a good servant!” the king said to this man. “You have done well! You have looked after a small amount of money very well. So, I am giving you authority to rule 10 cities.” ’
v18 ‘Then the second servant came to the king. “Sir, with your one coin I have earned 5 more coins!” he told him.’
v19 ‘ “I give you authority to rule 5 cities,” the king said to this servant.’
v20 ‘Then another servant came in. “Sir, here is your coin,” the servant told the king. “I wrapped it in a cloth and I kept it safe. v21 I was afraid of you. You are a very powerful person in all your financial affairs. You do not need to lend money in order to make a profit. You are like a farmer who does not need to sow seed in order to gather his harvest.” ’
v22 ‘The king replied to that servant, “You are really a wicked servant! Your own words accuse you! I am a very powerful person in all my financial affairs. I do not need to lend money in order to make a profit. I am like a farmer who does not need to sow seed in order to gather his harvest. You knew all that. v23 So, you should have offered my money as a loan. Then, when I returned, I would have received that money plus some profit!” ’
v24 ‘Then the king spoke to some people who were standing near this servant. “Take the coin from him and give it to the servant who has 10 coins!” he said.’
v25 ‘But those people protested to the king: “Sir, he already has 10 coins!” they said.’
v26 ‘Then the king told all those people: “I will tell you what I do for responsible people. Such people really take care of what I give to them. And I will give still more responsibility to them. But I will not give responsibility to anyone who is not responsible,” the king said. “They do not take care of what I gave to them. So, I will take away even what those people already have. v27 Now,” the king said, “bring my enemies to me. They did not want me to rule over them. So now, kill them while I am watching!” ’
v28 Jesus finished saying those things and then he continued to walk up the hill towards Jerusalem. He was walking in front of the *disciples. v29 They came near to the villages called Bethphage and Bethany. So they were near the hill called *Olive Tree Hill. v30 Then Jesus told two of his *disciples to go to the next village. ‘As you enter the village,’ Jesus said, ‘you will see a young *donkey. Nobody has ever ridden it. Untie it and bring it to me. v31 People may ask you, “Why are you untying the *donkey?” Reply to them, “The *Lord needs it.” ’
v32 So, the two *disciples went to the village. They found the young *donkey, even as Jesus had told them. v33 As the *disciples were untying it, the *donkey’s owners spoke to them. ‘Why are you untying that young *donkey?’ they said.
v34 ‘The *Lord needs it,’ the *disciples replied.
So, the *donkey’s owners said that they could take it. v35 And the two *disciples brought the animal to Jesus. They threw their coats onto the *donkey’s back as a saddle. Then, they helped Jesus to mount it. v36 And, as Jesus rode along, other people spread their coats on the road in front of him.
v37 They were now close to Jerusalem, on the road that descends from *Olive Tree Hill. Suddenly, the whole crowd of Jesus’ *disciples began to praise God loudly because they were so happy. They had seen Jesus do so many great *miracles.
v38 All the people who were with Jesus were praising God. ‘God has *blessed our king. He comes on behalf of the *Lord!’ they were saying. ‘He brings *peace between God in *heaven and us his people! Everyone should praise God because of him!’
v39 Some of the *Pharisees who were in the crowd spoke to Jesus: ‘Teacher, tell your *disciples that they are wrong. They should not say things like that!’
v40 ‘I will tell you this,’ Jesus replied: ‘If these people are silent, these stones themselves would shout about me!’
v41 As Jesus came near to Jerusalem, he looked at the city. And he wept about the people in the city. v42 ‘I wish that even today all you people could be at *peace with God,’ Jesus said. ‘But, for the present, you are not able to know that. v43 I want you to know this,’ Jesus continued: ‘Soon, your enemies will come. They will set up walls so that they can attack you from all round your city. They will surround the city and they will attack the city *heavily on all sides. v44 They will break through the city walls and they will destroy everything,’ Jesus said. ‘They will kill you and your children. Your enemies will destroy everything completely. They will not leave one stone on top of another stone. This will all happen because I, God’s *Messiah, came. I wanted to rescue you, but you did not recognise me!’
v45 Then Jesus entered Jerusalem city and he went to the *Temple area. That area was a holy place. But traders were using that area to sell animals for *sacrifice. And those traders were not even honest people. Immediately, Jesus began to force the traders to leave that place. v46 This is what Jesus said to them: ‘The *Scriptures explain the purpose of this place: “My *Temple shall be a house where people pray,” God said. But you have caused this place to change. It has become like a cave where thieves hide!’
v47 Each day during that week Jesus taught people in the *Temple area. So, the chief priests tried to find a way to kill him. The men who taught the *Jewish *Law and other *Jewish leaders helped the priests. v48 But they did not know how they could arrest Jesus. Everybody there listened eagerly to Jesus. And the crowd would have struggled against the leaders if they tried to hurt him.
v1 One day, Jesus was teaching people in the *Temple area. He was telling them God’s good *Message. Then, some chief priests came to Jesus with some teachers of the *Jewish *Law. Other *Jewish leaders were present also. v2 They asked Jesus about the *miracles that he had performed. ‘Tell us now: What kind of authority do you have to do such things? And who gave you that authority?’
v3 ‘I will ask you a question also,’ Jesus replied. ‘Tell me this: v4 Did God give authority to John so that he could *baptise people? Or did other people give authority to John to do that?’
v5 The *Jewish leaders discussed this among themselves. ‘We cannot say that God gave authority to John,’ they said. ‘Then, Jesus will tell us that we should have believed John! v6 And we cannot say that other people gave authority to John. Then, people will throw stones at us. And they will kill us. All those people believe that John was a *prophet from God.’
v7 So, the *Jewish leaders replied: ‘We do not know who gave authority to John,’ they said.
v8 ‘You do not want to answer me, then,’ Jesus said to them. ‘So, I will not tell you who gave me authority to do these things.’
v9 Then Jesus told the people this story. ‘A man planted a *vineyard. Then he rented it to some farm workmen. Afterwards, he went away for a long time.’
v10 ‘The time came to harvest the fruit in the *vineyard,’ Jesus said. ‘So, the *vineyard owner sent one of his servants to the men who were renting the *vineyard. The agreement said that the men would hand over a share of the harvest to the owner of the *vineyard. So, the owner expected that they would give his share of the fruit to him. But when the owner’s servant arrived at the *vineyard, the men attacked him. They did not give any of the fruit to the servant. They just sent him away.’
v11 ‘Then, the owner sent another servant,’ Jesus said. ‘But the men at the *vineyard attacked him too and they insulted him. Again, they sent the owner’s servant away and they did not give any fruit to him. v12 Later, the owner sent another of his servants to the *vineyard. The men attacked that servant too. They caused him terrible injuries and then they threw him out unconscious.’
v13 ‘Then, the *vineyard owner thought, “What shall I do?” He had an idea. “I will send my *son whom I love very much,” he said to himself. “Surely the men at the *vineyard will respect him.” ’
v14 ‘So, the owner sent his own *son to the *vineyard. The men who had rented it were watching. They saw the owner’s *son as he came into the *vineyard. So they discussed what to do. “Here comes the man who will some day own his father’s land!” they said to each other. “Let us kill him so that the *vineyard will be ours!” v15 So, they dragged the owner’s *son outside the *vineyard and they killed him.’
‘You know what the *vineyard owner will do next!’ Jesus said to the people who were listening to the story. v16 ‘He will come and he will kill those men who had rented his *vineyard. Then, he will arrange for other people to farm it.’
The people heard what Jesus had said. ‘We hope that such terrible things never happen!’ they said.
v17 But Jesus looked directly at everyone: ‘But the Bible contains these words, which can mean nothing else,’ Jesus said.
“The men who were building the *Temple threw away one stone.
But other people put that same stone in its proper place.
Now, that stone has become the most important stone in the *Temple.”
v18 ‘That stone is like the *Messiah,’ Jesus said. ‘The *Messiah only benefits those people who respect him. Everyone who opposes him will suffer. People may trip on that stone. Or the stone may fall on them. Whichever happens, they will suffer the most terrible injuries. They will certainly die.’
v19 Some chief priests and some men who taught the *Jewish *Law were there. They had heard Jesus tell that story. And they realised that Jesus was accusing them. It was as if they were the farmers in the *vineyard. So, they wanted to arrest Jesus at once. But they could not do it. They were afraid of what the other people there would do. v20 So instead, they watched Jesus very carefully. And those *Jewish leaders sent other people to ask Jesus questions. Those people pretended to be sincere. But really they wanted to accuse Jesus. They wanted to hand him over to Pilate, who was the *Roman *governor. He had the power and authority to punish Jesus. So they wanted Jesus to say something that would give them an excuse to speak to Pilate.
v21 These people asked Jesus: ‘Teacher, we know that you speak right words. And we know that you teach right words. You tell the truth even if important people do not like it. Instead, you teach the truth about what God wants us to do. v22 So, tell us what you think about this,’ they said. ‘We pay taxes to the *Roman government. Should we pay such taxes or should we not pay them? Does *Moses’ *Law allow us to pay these taxes?’
v23 But Jesus knew that they were trying to make trouble for him. So, he answered them: v24 ‘Show me a coin,’ he said. ‘Tell me whose picture is on the coin. And tell me whose name is on it.’
Then they showed Jesus a coin. ‘It has the name and picture of *Caesar on it. He is the man who rules the *Roman government,’ they said.
v25 Then Jesus told them this: ‘Therefore you should give to *Caesar’s government what belongs to him. So pay your taxes. But even as this money belongs to the government, your lives belong to God. Give to God what belongs to him. Let God rule over your lives.’
v26 The *Jewish leaders were unable to accuse Jesus because of anything that he said. The answers that he gave to their men in front of the people greatly impressed them. So, they said nothing.
v27 Some men from the *Sadducee group came to talk to Jesus. The *Sadducees argue that people cannot live again after death. v28 They asked Jesus this puzzle: ‘Teacher, *Moses wrote a law for us *Jews about people who die,’ they said. ‘ “If the dead man has not had any children,” Moses said, “then his brother should marry his widow. Then, people will consider that the brother’s children belong to the dead man. And then, his family name will continue.” ’
v29 ‘Well,’ the *Sadducees continued, ‘there were 7 brothers. The oldest brother married a woman, but he and his wife did not have any children. Later, he died. v30 The second brother obeyed *Moses’ *Law and married the woman. But he too had no children when he died. v31 So, the third brother married her, but the same thing happened. All 7 brothers married that woman, one at a time, but none of them had any children. And so, all the brothers died. v32 Finally, the woman died too. v33 Now, some people say that people can become alive again,’ the *Sadducees said to Jesus. ‘If that is true, what will happen to that woman? Whose wife do you think that she will become? Remember that she married all 7 brothers!’
v34 Jesus replied to the *Sadducees: ‘In this world, men choose their own wives, or else their parents arrange their marriages. v35 But in the future world it will be different for the people who have the honour to be there.’ Jesus said. ‘Those people who become alive again after death will not marry. Nobody will arrange marriages for them. v36 Such people cannot die again, because they will be like the *angels. They are God’s children because they have become alive again.’
v37 ‘But *Moses wrote something else about people who die,’ Jesus continued to say to the *Sadducees. ‘*Moses wrote that they would become alive again. He says so in the story about the desert bush that was burning: “The *Lord is the God whom Abraham *worships. The *Lord is the God whom Isaac *worships. And he is the God whom Jacob *worships,” *Moses wrote.’
‘But we know that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob all died long before *Moses. And yet, God said that those dead *ancestors are still *worshipping him! This means that their spirits are still alive!’ Jesus said. v38 ‘So, God is the God who makes people alive. It is living people, not dead people, who *worship him. And every person’s life belongs to God.’
v39 Some of the men who taught the *Jewish *Law replied to Jesus: ‘Teacher, you have given a very good answer!’ they said. v40 But they no longer dared to ask him any more questions like that.
v41 Then Jesus spoke to the people again: ‘People should not say that the *Messiah is merely from King David’s family. v42 Because David himself wrote these words in the Book of *Psalms:
“God spoke to my *Lord:
‘Sit here by my side where I will give you the greatest honour,’ he said.
v43 ‘Sit here while I defeat your enemies completely.’ ”
v44 David calls the *Messiah, “my *Lord”! So, the *Messiah cannot be just someone who comes from King David’s family!’
v45 While all the other people were listening, Jesus spoke to his *disciples: v46 ’Do not copy those men who teach *Jewish *Law,’ Jesus said. ‘They like to put on their special long coats and they like to walk about in public. They want people to see them. They think that they are very important. Those *Jewish teachers like other people to greet them in public. They like people to respect them in the market places,’ Jesus said. ‘They also like to sit in the most important places in the *synagogues. And they choose the best places at the special meals. v47 They cheat widows so that they can take their houses and property. Then, they pretend to be good when they pray long prayers in public. But be sure that God will punish them very severely.’
v1 Jesus was sitting in the *Temple area. He was near the box where people put their gifts to God. He looked up. He saw some rich people who were putting in their gifts. v2 He also saw that a poor widow put two small coins with little value into the box. v3 So, Jesus spoke to his *disciples: ‘Listen carefully! God considers that this poor widow has put in more money than everyone else!’ Jesus said. v4 ‘These other people have a lot of money, yet they gave only a small part of it to God. But this woman is very poor and she has put all her money in the box. She gave everything that she possessed.’
v5 Some of Jesus’ *disciples were talking about the *Temple. They were admiring the beautiful stones in the *Temple buildings. And they were admiring the gifts of precious objects that people had displayed on the *Temple walls. But Jesus said to them: v6 ’I want to tell you something about the things that you are looking at. Foreigners will completely destroy all this. In this *Temple area, they will not leave one stone on top of another stone. That day will definitely happen.’
v7 Later, Jesus’ *disciples asked him about this: ‘Teacher, when will the bad things that you were talking about happen? How can we know when those things will happen soon?’
v8 ‘Be careful that nobody lies to you about the future!’ Jesus said. ‘Many people will come to your town. And they will say that I have sent them. They will pretend to be the *Messiah! They will also say that the end of the world will happen soon! Do not follow such people! You must not become their *disciples! v9 You will hear about wars. And you will hear that people are fighting in the streets. But do not be afraid. God has said that all those things must happen first. Do not think that God will finish everything at that time!’
v10 ‘People who live in various countries will fight each other. And various governments will fight each other,’ Jesus said. v11 ‘The earth will really tremble, and people will starve in various areas. People will become very ill and many of them will die. People will see terrible things and they will be very afraid. Also, many strange things will be happening in the sky.’
v12 ‘But other things will happen first to you, because you are my *disciples,’ Jesus said. ‘People will do very bad things to you and they will arrest you. They will accuse you and they will ask you questions in *synagogues. They will put you in prison and they will take you in front of kings and rulers. v13 That will be an opportunity for you to tell them about me.’
v14 ‘But, before that time, do not worry about what you should say to those kings and rulers,’ Jesus said. v15 ‘At the right time, I will give to you wise words to say. Then, none of those people who are against you will be able to argue with you. v16 Even your parents and brothers and sisters, and other relatives and friends will help your enemies to arrest you,’ Jesus said. ‘They will kill some of you. v17 Most people will hate you because you believe me. v18 But you have no need to worry . v19 Continue to believe me when people do all these bad things to you. Then, you will have the *life that never ends.’
v20 ‘Near the end, you will see that the camps of your enemies’ armies have surrounded Jerusalem city,’ Jesus said. ‘Then, you will know that the time has come near. And they will completely destroy the city. v21 At that time, everyone who lives in Judea district must run away to higher hills. People who are in the city must leave quickly. And people who are out in the country, must not go back into the city. They will not be able to save any of their possessions before they run away.’
v22 ‘This will be the time when God will punish people very severely,’ Jesus said. ‘Long ago, the *prophets wrote about this time in the *Scriptures. And everything that they described must happen. v23 In those days, it will be terrible for women who are expecting babies. And it will be terrible for women who have little children to feed. It will be so difficult for them to run away. They will suffer greatly because of the terrible troubles in the world.’
‘I feel sorry for all the people in this country,’ Jesus said. ‘They will suffer very much when God punishes them. v24 Their enemies will kill many of them with swords. They will make *others of them into prisoners and they will take them far away to many other countries. Foreigners will continue to control Jerusalem in a cruel manner until their time has finished. But God has ordered that there is a time limit. So they will not rule the city always.’
v25 ‘Many strange things will happen at that time. The sun and the moon and the stars will look different,’ Jesus continued. ‘In many nations of the world, people will be very afraid. The sea will make a great noise and people will see the huge waves. People will be very anxious when they hear about all that. v26 People will be waiting anxiously for what will happen in the world. They will sink to the ground unconscious because they will be so afraid. They will be afraid of God’s power. He will shake the stars and everything else in the sky.’
v27 ‘Then they will see me, the man who came down from *heaven. I will be powerful and very magnificent when I return through the clouds,’ Jesus said. v28 ‘So, stand up straight when these things begin to happen. Be brave and do not be sad any longer. God will soon free you from all your troubles.’
v29 Then Jesus told this story to them: ‘Think about the *fig tree, and many other trees. v30 As soon as their leaves start to develop, it is a signal. You will know that summer is near. v31 In the same way, you will know about the bad events that I have just described. They are a signal to you. You will know that soon God will rule as king.’
v32 ‘What I am telling you is true. All these things will definitely happen. And people who are alive today will certainly live to see these things happen. The *Jewish people will continue to exist until everything has happened,’ Jesus said. ‘You can be sure about that. v33 And you can be sure that my words are true. Earth and sky will come to an end but my words will never fail!
v34 ‘But be very careful,’ Jesus continued. ‘Do not waste your life when you drink too much. Do not spoil it when you eat too much. Do not worry continually about your life. I may return suddenly when you are not ready. Then, you would be like an animal that a trap catches suddenly. v35 My return will surprise everyone all over the world. v36 So, be ready at any time. Pray for strength to escape all those difficult things that will happen. And then, you will stand confidently in front of me, the man who came down from *heaven.’
v37 Every day that week Jesus went to the *Temple. Every day he was teaching people God’s Word there. But at night, Jesus and his *disciples left Jerusalem city and they stayed on *Olive Tree Hill. v38 And early each morning all the people came back to the *Temple to listen to him.
v1 Every year the *Jews have a *festival called *Passover. This *festival lasts a whole week. And during this *festival people do not eat any bread that has *yeast in it. That is why it is also called the Bread without *Yeast *festival. It was the day before this *festival. v2 The chief priests and some men who taught the *Jewish *Law were angry. They were looking for some way that they could kill Jesus. But they did not want to arrest him in public. They were afraid that the rest of the people might start a fight with them.
v3 Then *Satan entered Judas’ heart, although he was one of the 12 *apostles. (This was the Judas who was from Kerioth town.) v4 Judas left Jesus and went to talk to the chief priests and officers of the *Temple police. They discussed how Judas could help them. Then, they could arrest Jesus. v5 These *Jewish leaders were very pleased to see Judas. And they promised to give money to him in order to reward him. v6 So, Judas agreed. Then he tried to find an opportunity to hand over Jesus to them. He wanted a time when there was no crowd round Jesus.
v7 By now, it was the Bread without *Yeast *festival. And it was the day when it was necessary to kill the young sheep for the *Passover meal. v8 So, Jesus spoke to Peter and John: ‘You must go to prepare the *Passover meal that all of us will eat,’ he said.
v9 ‘Where do you want us to prepare it?’ they asked.
v10 ‘Listen carefully,’ Jesus said. ‘Go into the city. You will meet a man who is carrying a large jug of water. Follow him, and he will enter a certain house. v11 Then, you should speak to the man who owns that house: “Our teacher sends you this message: Where is your guest room? I want to eat the *Passover meal there with my *disciples,” you must say to him. v12 The house owner will show you a large room on the upper floor of his house. It will be ready so that we can use it. Prepare the meal for us there.’
v13 Then the two *disciples went into the city. They found all these things. Everything was as Jesus had told them. So, they prepared the *Passover meal there.
v14 It was time to eat the meal. So, Jesus sat down at the table with the *apostles, v15 and he spoke to them: ‘Very soon I will have to suffer and I must die,’ Jesus told them. ‘But I have really wanted to eat this *Passover meal with you first. v16 Listen carefully! I will certainly not eat the *Passover meal again until God makes me king. That will be the last great *Passover meal.’
v17 Then, Jesus took a cup full of wine in his hands. He thanked God for the wine. Then Jesus spoke to the *disciples: ‘Take this wine cup, and each of you should drink some of it. v18 Listen carefully! From now on, I shall certainly not drink wine again until God makes me king,’ he said.
v19 Then, Jesus took a loaf of bread in his hands. And he thanked God for it. He broke the bread into pieces and he gave it to the *disciples. ‘This bread represents my body, which I will soon *sacrifice for you,’ Jesus said. ‘Continue to eat the meal in this way. Then, you will remember what I have done for you.’
v20 Similarly, after they all had finished the meal, Jesus took another cup full of wine in his hands. ‘The wine in this cup represents my blood,’ Jesus said. ‘My blood is my whole life. And I will allow my blood to pour out for your benefit. My blood proves the new agreement that God is making with you. v21 But take notice of one man who is eating with us here. He will help my enemies to arrest me. v22 I came from *heaven to become a man. And I will die as God decided. But it will be terrible for that man who hands me over to my enemies!’
v23 Then the *disciples began to discuss with each other about which of them would ever do such a thing.
v24 Also, the *apostles were arguing among themselves about which one of them was the most important. v25 So, Jesus told them: ‘The kings who rule other nations enjoy their power. Yet, they call themselves, “Kings who help the people.” v26 But you should not be like them!’ Jesus said. ‘Instead, whoever of you wants to be the most important person, he should act like the least important person. Your leader should be the person who looks after the rest of you best. v27 People usually think that the most important people sit at the table. The servants, who serve the meal, do not seem important. But I am your leader. And I want you to act differently,’ Jesus said. ‘During my life, I have acted as your servant. That is an example of how you should serve *others.’
v28 ‘You have stayed with me during all my troubles,’ Jesus said to the *apostles. v29 ‘My *Father has appointed me to rule as a king. And now, I am appointing you to serve me as kings. v30 I want you to sit with me when I become king. And I want you to eat and to drink with me then,’ Jesus said. ‘You will sit on royal seats too. And you will rule over the 12 family groups that are the people called *Israel.’
v31 Then Jesus spoke to Simon Peter. ‘Simon, Simon, listen! *Satan has asked God to permit him to test you. He wants to test each of you *believers,’ Jesus said. ‘People clean wheat to separate the grain from the rubbish. In the same way, *Satan wants to find out which of you will continue to believe me. And he wants to know who will not continue to believe me. v32 But I have prayed for you, Simon. I want you to be strong. You must continue to believe me. And later, when you have turned back to God, you can help your *brother *apostles to trust me more!’
v33 Then Peter spoke to Jesus: ‘*Lord, I am ready to go with you even if they put you in prison. I will go with you, even if I have to die!’ he said.
v34 ‘Listen, Peter,’ Jesus replied, ‘This same night you will tell people that you do not know me. Before the *cock crows, you will deny me. You will say three times that you do not know me!’
v35 Then Jesus asked the *apostles: ‘Remember when I sent you out to the villages. You did not take any money when you went. You did not take your bags or extra *sandals. But was there anything that you really needed?’
The *apostles replied, ‘No, we did not need anything.’
v36 ‘But now,’ Jesus said, ‘things will be different. So, those of you who have some money should take it with them. Also, you should take your bags to carry things. Those of you who do not have a sword should sell your coats. Then, you can buy swords. v37 I tell you this, because of the things that will happen to me soon,’ Jesus said. ‘A *prophet once wrote: “They punished him as if he was a criminal.” And those words will become true with this event. Remember this: Everything that the *prophets wrote about me in the *Scriptures must happen.’
v38 The *apostles then said to him: ‘Look, *Lord! We have two swords already!’
Jesus knew that they had not understood. So he replied to them. ‘We have talked enough about swords!’ Jesus said.
v39 Jesus left the city and he went to *Olive Tree Hill as usual. His *disciples went with him. v40 And they came to the usual place where Jesus prayed. Then Jesus spoke to the *disciples: ‘Pray that nothing will tempt you to *sin.’ v41 Then, Jesus went on a short distance by himself (about another 30 metres). He got down on his knees and he prayed to God: v42 ‘My *Father, I know that I will have to suffer very much now,’  Jesus said. ‘I know that you can stop these troubles. Do that, if you want to. However, you must not do what I want. Do what you want.’
[v43 Then an *angel came to Jesus from *heaven. The *angel helped Jesus to become stronger. v44 But Jesus was suffering very much still, so he prayed more strongly. Water from his skin fell down on the ground. That water was like large drops of blood.]
v45 Then, Jesus stopped praying and he stood up. He returned to the place where he had left his *disciples. And he found that they were sleeping! The *disciples were very tired because they were so sad. v46 Jesus spoke to them: ‘I am so sorry that you are sleeping still! Get up! Pray that nothing will tempt you to *sin!’
v47 While Jesus was still speaking, a crowd arrived. And Judas was leading the crowd, although he was one of Jesus’ 12 *disciples. Then, Judas came close to Jesus in order to kiss him. He wanted to show the leaders which person was Jesus. v48 But Jesus spoke to him, ‘Judas! You are kissing me as if you loved me! But really, you are helping my enemies to arrest me. And I am the man who came from *heaven,’ Jesus said.
v49 The *disciples with Jesus saw what Judas and the crowd wanted to do. ‘*Lord, shall we attack them with our swords?’ they said. v50 And one of the *disciples hit the high priest’s servant with his sword. But he cut off only the man’s right ear.
v51 Immediately Jesus told the *disciples: ‘Do not do that again!’ Then Jesus touched the servant’s ear and cured him.
v52-53 And then, Jesus spoke to the *Jewish leaders who had come to arrest him. They were the high priests, the officers of the *Temple guards and the older *Jewish leaders. ‘Day after day I was with you in the *Temple, and you did not seize me!’ Jesus said. ‘So now, you have come here with swords and thick sticks to arrest me. You are acting as if I were a common criminal! But I know that God has allowed you to act at this time. *Satan and his evil forces are like the darkness. And tonight, you only have authority over me because of the darkness.
v54 Then the *Jewish leaders arrested Jesus and they led him away. They took Jesus to the high priest’s house. And Peter followed them at a distance. v55 The *Temple guards lit a fire in the middle of the high priest’s yard and then they sat down together. So, Peter sat down with them.
v56 The fire light shone on Peter’s face and a female servant saw him. She looked closely at him and she told everyone: ‘This man was also with the man whom the guards arrested!’
v57 But Peter denied this. ‘Woman, I do not know him!’ he said.
v58 A little later someone else saw Peter: ‘You belong to the same group as the man whom the guards arrested!’ he said.
But Peter replied: ‘Man, I am not one of them!’
v59 About an hour later another person spoke very definitely about Peter. ‘This man speaks like the people from Galilee district speak.’ he said. ‘Definitely, this man was with the man whom the guards arrested!’
v60 Still Peter denied it. ‘Man,’ he said, ‘I do not know what you are talking about!’
Immediately, a *cock crowed while Peter was still speaking. v61 Then, the *Lord Jesus turned round and he looked straight at Peter. And Peter remembered what the *Lord had said to him a little while before. ‘Tonight, before the *cock crows, you will deny me. You will say three times that you do not know me,’ Jesus had told him. v62 So, Peter went out of the yard and he cried bitter tears.
v63 The *Temple guards laughed at Jesus and they hit him many times. v64 They covered Jesus’ eyes and they hit him again. Then, they laughed at him some more: ‘You say that you are a *prophet,’ they said. ‘Now prove it to us. Tell us who hit you!’ v65 These *Temple guards insulted Jesus and they said many other wicked things to him.
v66 When the day began, many of the *Jewish leaders gathered. The group included the chief priests and the men who taught the *Jewish *Law. They took Jesus in front of these leaders. And they ordered Jesus to reply: v67 ‘If you are the *Messiah, tell us!’ they said.
But Jesus replied to them: ‘If I tell you, you certainly will not believe me. v68 If I ask you about the *Messiah, you certainly will not answer me,’ Jesus said. v69 ‘But some day you will see me again. I am the man who came from *heaven. And, very soon, I will be sitting next to the great God who can do everything!’
v70 ‘Is that so?’ the *Jewish leaders said. ‘Are you saying that you are God’s *Son?’
‘What you say is the truth,’ Jesus replied.
v71 Then the *Jewish leaders said, ‘We do not need any other witnesses to his terrible *sin. He says that he is equal with God. We ourselves have heard him say that!’
v1 Then, the whole *Council stood up. They took Jesus to the *Roman *governor whose name was Pilate. v2 And the *Jewish *Council began to accuse Jesus in front of Pilate. ‘We have discovered that this man (Jesus) has been causing political trouble in our country,’ they said. ‘He is telling people that they should not pay taxes to the *Roman government. Also, he says that he is the *Messiah, a king!’
v3 Pilate asked Jesus, ‘Do you have the right to be the king of the *Jews?’
‘You yourself have said so,’ Jesus replied.
v4 Then Pilate spoke to the chief priests and to the rest of the crowd: ‘I do not think that this man is guilty. My judgement is that he deserves no punishment.’
v5 But the crowd insisted that Pilate should punish Jesus. They shouted: ‘He is urging the people to fight against the government! He has been going all round the country called Judea. And he has been teaching such things to the people. He started this in Galilee *province and now he is teaching the same things here!’
v6 Pilate heard that, and he asked: ‘Is this man from Galilee *province then?’
v7 The people told Pilate that Jesus really came from Galilee. But Galilee was the *province where *Herod Antipas ruled. So, Pilate told the *Jews to take Jesus to *Herod. It happened that *Herod was in Jerusalem city at that time. So, they took Jesus to Herod’s palace there.
v8 *Herod was very happy to see Jesus. He had heard many things about Jesus. For a long time *Herod had hoped to see one of Jesus’ *miracles. v9 So, *Herod asked Jesus many questions, but Jesus did not reply to any of them.
v10 The chief priests and the teachers of *Jewish *Law stood near Jesus, and they were accusing him very strongly. v11 *Herod and his soldiers laughed at Jesus. They put a king’s fine clothes on him in order to insult him. Then *Herod sent him back to Pilate. v12 Until that time *Herod and Pilate had been enemies, but that same day they became friends.
v13 Then Pilate called together the chief priests, the other *Jewish leaders and the crowd. v14 And Pilate spoke to them: ‘You brought this man called Jesus to me,’ Pilate said. ‘You say that he is causing trouble among your people. But I have examined Jesus while you were listening. And I have decided that he is not guilty. None of the things that you are accusing him about are true,’ Pilate said. v15 ‘And *Herod agrees that he is not guilty. *Herod sent him back to me and *Herod did not punish him. Jesus has not done anything for which we should kill him. v16 Therefore, I will order my soldiers to whip him. Then, I will let him go free.’
[v17 Every year at *Passover *festival time, the people obliged the *Roman *governor to free one man from prison.] v18 But the whole crowd shouted, ‘Kill this man! And free Barabbas for us this year!’ v19 Barabbas had tried to persuade people in the city to fight against the *Roman government. While he was doing that, he had murdered someone. So, the *Romans had put him in prison.
v20 Still Pilate wanted to free Jesus, so he spoke to the crowd again. v21 But everybody was still shouting, ‘Order your soldiers to kill Jesus. Fasten him to a *cross with nails so that he dies!’ they shouted.
v22 Pilate asked the crowd for a third time: ‘Why? What wrong thing has he done? He has not done anything for which we should kill him,’ Pilate said. ‘I will just give orders to my soldiers to whip him. Then I will free him.’
v23 But the crowd continued to shout very loudly that Jesus should die. The crowd wanted Pilate to give orders to his soldiers. They wanted the soldiers to fasten Jesus to a *cross with nails. And they shouted until Pilate agreed.
v24 So in the end, Pilate decided to do what the crowd wanted. v25 He freed Barabbas whom the *Romans had put in prison. That man had fought against the *Roman government and he had murdered someone. But the crowd had asked Pilate to free him. Then, Pilate handed Jesus over to his soldiers. He allowed them to do to Jesus what the crowd wanted.
v26 The soldiers were taking Jesus away. And as they went, they saw a man whose name was Simon. This Simon came from Cyrene city in Africa, but he was returning to the city from the country. The soldiers seized him and they made him carry Jesus’ *cross on his shoulders. They made him walk behind Jesus.
v27 A large crowd followed Jesus. The crowd included many women who were very sad. They were crying loudly. And they were hitting themselves with their fists because they were so sad. v28 But Jesus turned towards the women and he spoke to them: ‘You women from Jerusalem city, do not cry for me!’ he said. ‘Instead, you should cry because you and your children will suffer so much! v29 Listen! A time will soon happen when people will speak like this: “God was kind to the women who never had children. He was kind to the women who never had a baby at their breasts. We used to think that it was awful for such women. But now, they do not have to watch their children suffer.” they will say in those days!’
v30 ‘And people will want to die. They will even shout desperately to the mountains, “Fall down on us so that we may die!” And they will shout to the hills, “Fall down and cover us!” they will say.
v31 ‘I am innocent,’ Jesus said. ‘I am like a green tree that does not burn easily. I do not deserve any punishment, even as such a tree is not fit for the fire. But still men are doing these things to me. It will be awful in the future. The people will be like dry wood that is ready for the fire. They will suffer in a terrible manner.’
v32 The soldiers brought two other men out to die also. They were criminals, and the soldiers wanted to punish them together with Jesus. v33 Then they came to a place which people call ‘the dead head’. The soldiers removed Jesus’ clothes. Then they used nails to fasten Jesus to a *cross. They did the same thing to the two criminals. They put one of the criminals’ *crosses on the right side of Jesus. The other criminal they put on a *cross on his left side.
v34 [Suddenly, Jesus called out to God. ‘My *Father, forgive the people who are killing me,’ he said. ‘They do not realise to whom they are doing this.’]
Then the soldiers played a game in order to win Jesus’ clothes as their prizes. v35 Many people stood near the *crosses and they watched those events. The *Jewish leaders laughed at Jesus. ‘That Jesus said that he could rescue other people! So, he should rescue himself now!’ they said. ‘He said that he is God’s *Messiah. He said that God chose him. But God’s *Messiah would be able to rescue himself.’
v36 Also, the soldiers laughed at Jesus. They approached him and they gave him some *vinegar to drink instead of wine. v37 And they spoke to him: ‘If really you are the *Jews’ king, then rescue yourself!’ they said. v38 Pilate had ordered the soldiers to fasten a sign on the *cross above his head. ‘This is the *Jews’ king!’ the sign said.
v39 One of the criminals who were hanging on the other *crosses began to insult Jesus. ‘You said that you are the *Messiah. So, you must have power!’ he said. ‘This is your opportunity to prove that you have that power. So, rescue yourself, and rescue us, too!’
v40 But the other criminal told him that he was wrong. ‘You should be afraid of God, because he will punish you!’ he said. ‘The *Romans are punishing all three of us in the same manner. v41 They were right that we two should die. We deserve this punishment for the evil things that we did. But this man has done nothing wrong!’
v42 Then the criminal spoke to Jesus: ‘Jesus, please remember me when you become king!’ he said.
v43 And Jesus replied to him: ‘You will be with me today in God’s wonderful garden that we call Paradise!  I promise you that.’
v44 It was about midday by then. The sky became dark over the whole region until three o’clock (3 p.m. or 15.00 hours) in the afternoon. v45 There was no light from the sun. Then, the thick, heavy curtain that hung in the *Temple split into two pieces.
v46 As that happened, Jesus gave a loud shout. ‘*Father, I put myself into your care!’ And when Jesus had said that, he breathed out for the last time. And so he died.
v47 The officer who commanded the *Roman soldiers was a witness to this event. And he praised God. ‘I am sure that this man was innocent!’ he said.
v48 A crowd of people had gathered to watch these events. And when they had seen these things, they all returned to their homes. They were hitting themselves with their fists because they were so sad. v49 All of Jesus’ friends stood at a distance and watched also. They included the women who had come with him from Galilee *province.
v50-51 There was a man called Joseph from Arimathea town in the region called Judea. He was a good man and he was an honest man. He was waiting eagerly for God’s *Messiah to begin to rule. And he was a member of the *Jewish *Council. But Joseph had not agreed with the other *Council members when they had decided to kill Jesus.
v52 Joseph wanted *governor Pilate to give him Jesus’ body. Joseph wanted to take Jesus’ body so that he could bury it. And Pilate allowed him to take the body. v53 So, Joseph and some friends took Jesus’ body down from the *cross. They wrapped the body in a clean, white cloth. Then, they put the body in a cave where nobody had ever buried anyone before. People had cut this cave in a rock cliff. v54 That was on Friday, the day when *Jews prepare everything for the *Sabbath. It was almost sunset and the *Sabbath would begin at sunset.
v55 The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee region followed Joseph and the other men. The women saw inside the cave. And they saw how the men laid Jesus’ body in there. v56 Then the women returned to their homes. And the next evening they prepared *ointments that had a sweet smell. They wanted to wrap them round the body. But they all rested on the *Sabbath day, in order to obey *Moses *Law.
v1 However, before dawn on the day after the *Sabbath, the women went to the cave again. They took the sweet *ointments that they had prepared. v2 The women discovered that the entrance to the cave was open! Someone had rolled away the huge stone that had closed the cave! v3 So, they went into the cave, but the body of the *Lord Jesus was not there! v4 The women did not know what to think about that.
Then, suddenly two men stood by them. The men were wearing bright clothes that shone like lightning! v5 The women were desperately afraid when they saw the two men. And the women turned their faces towards the ground. ‘You should not be looking here for someone who is alive,’ the two men said to the women. ‘This is where people bury dead bodies! v6 Jesus is not here, he has become alive again! Remember what Jesus told you before. He was still with you in Galilee district when he said this to you:
v7 “I am the man who came from *heaven,” Jesus had said. “But someone will help *sinful men to arrest me. Those men will fasten me to a *cross with nails in order to kill me. But on the third day after that, I will become alive again.” ’
v8 The women remembered those words that Jesus had said. v9 So, they left the cave. They went to tell these things to the 11 *apostles and to Jesus’ other *disciples. They told them what had happened at the cave. v10 It was Mary from Magdala village, Joanna, Mary who was James’ mother, and some other women. They all went to the cave. And they were the women who told these things to the *apostles.
v11 But the *apostles thought that the women were talking nonsense. So, they did not believe what the women said. v12 [However, Peter got up and he ran to the cave. He bent his back and he looked inside the cave. He saw the clean, white cloths that the men had wrapped round Jesus’ body. They were just lying there by themselves. So, Peter went home and he was really wondering about it all.]
v13 It was the same day that Peter and the women had been to the cave. And two of Jesus’ *disciples were walking to Emmaus village. The village was about 11 kilometres from Jerusalem city. v14 The two men were talking with each other about everything that had happened to Jesus. v15 As they talked, they discussed all those things. Then, Jesus himself approached them and he started to walk with them. v16 But something prevented the *disciples so that they did not recognise Jesus.
v17 ‘What have you been talking about while you were walking along?’ Jesus asked them.
They stopped and their faces seemed very sad. v18 The name of one of them was Cleopas, and he replied: ‘You must be the only person who does not know! Many people are visiting Jerusalem this week for the *Passover *festival. Surely everyone knows what happened there in recent days!’
v19 ‘What happened?’ Jesus said.
And they replied: ‘It is about Jesus, the man from Nazareth, who was a great *prophet. Many people saw him perform great *miracles. And God helped him to teach the people with power,’ the two *disciples told Jesus. v20 ‘But our chief priests and leaders decided that he deserved to die. So, they handed him over to the *Roman soldiers. And they killed him. They fastened him to a *cross with nails.’
v21 ‘We were hoping that Jesus would free us *Israeli people from our enemies! But that does not seem possible now. Today is the third day since he died.’
v22 ‘On the other hand, some women from our group astonished us today,’ the *disciples said. ‘Early this morning, these women went to the cave where people had buried Jesus. v23 But they did not find his body there! The women came back to tell us about that. Also, they said that they saw some *angels in a *vision. And those *angels had told them that Jesus is alive! v24 Then, some men from our group went to the cave. And everything there was really as the women had reported it. But the men did not see Jesus either.’
v25 Then Jesus said to them: ‘You foolish men! Still you do not believe all that the *prophets have written about the *Messiah!’ he said. v26 ‘You should know that first the *Messiah had to suffer all those things. Then, he could enter his wonderful home in *heaven!’ v27 And then, Jesus explained it all to the two men. He reminded them about all the things that people had written in the *Scriptures about himself. He started with what *Moses wrote. And he continued to tell them what all the *prophets wrote.
v28 They were now near the village to which the two men were going. Jesus suggested that he would travel further. v29 However, the *disciples urged him to stay with them. ‘Stay with us tonight,’ they said. ‘It is late in the afternoon and it will soon be dark.’ So, he went to their house to stay with them.
v30 They sat down to eat. Then, Jesus took some bread and he thanked God for it. He broke the bread into pieces and he gave pieces to the *disciples. v31 At that moment, God helped them to recognise him. But he disappeared immediately!
v32 The two men talked to each other about this. ‘He helped us to understand so many things. He explained the *Scriptures to us as we walked along the road! It was really exciting when he was talking with us! It felt as if a fire was burning inside us!’ they said.
v33 So the men left immediately and they returned to Jerusalem city. There, they found the 11 *apostles with other *believers who had all gathered together. v34 The *believers told the two men: ‘It is true that the *Lord has become alive again! He has shown himself to Simon Peter!’
v35 Then, the two men told the other *disciples about their walk along the road to Emmaus. Also, they told the other *disciples how they had recognised Jesus. They recognised him when he broke the bread.
v36 As the two men were telling this to the other *disciples, Jesus himself suddenly appeared among them. ‘I pray that you will have *peace,’ Jesus said to them as a greeting. v37 But Jesus’ appearance frightened the *disciples and made them extremely afraid. They thought that they were seeing a *spirit by means of a strange *vision.
v38 Jesus continued to speak to them, ‘You should not be so afraid! And you should not continue to doubt that I am alive!’ he said. v39 ‘Look at the injuries in my hands and my feet! You can see that it is really I, myself. You can touch me and you can see my body. This is the proof that I am really alive. You are not seeing a mere *vision of a *spirit. *Spirits do not have bodies. But you can see that I have a body!’
v40 After Jesus had said that, he showed them the injuries in his hands and his feet. v41 The *disciples were very glad to see him. But his appearance astonished them. They still did not believe that Jesus was really alive. So, he spoke to them again: ‘Do you have anything here to eat?’
v42 They gave him a piece of fish that someone had cooked for them. v43 Jesus took the fish and he ate it. And the *disciples were watching him.
v44 ‘I told you these things while I was still with you: But I will say them again,’ Jesus said. ‘Everything that *Moses wrote about me must happen. Also, what the *prophets wrote about me in their books and in the *Psalms must happen.’
v45 Then, Jesus helped them to understand those passages in the *Scriptures. v46 He told them, ‘Those *prophets wrote that the *Messiah would suffer and die one day. But three days later he would become alive again!’ Jesus said. v47 ‘The *prophets also wrote about you who are my *disciples. You must tell people to turn back from their *sin. You must talk to people in every nation and people group. The *prophets said that God would forgive people’s *sins if they turn back to him. You must tell that *Message to people, and you will have my authority. You must start in Jerusalem city and then you must tell it to all people groups everywhere.’
v48 ‘You *apostles must tell people that all this about me is true. v49 I will send what my *Father has promised to you. That is, I will send the *Holy Spirit to you. But you must stay in this city until God gives you his power.’
v50 Then, Jesus led his *disciples outside the city until they came near Bethany village. He lifted up his hands. And he asked God to *bless them. v51 As Jesus was doing that, he left them. And he went up to *heaven. v52 The *disciples *worshipped him, then. They were very happy as they returned to Jerusalem city. v53 And each day the *disciples spent much time in the *Temple area, where they were praising God.
altar ~ a table of stone or rocks where *Jews *worshipped God. People also placed *sacrifices on these tables and they gave them to God.
ancestor ~ people who lived long ago, a family’s relatives in previous centuries.
angel ~ good spirits who are God’s servants in heaven. They carry messages to people. They do the work that God wants them to do in this world.
apostle ~ In the beginning Jesus chose 12 men, as his 12 *disciples. They were with him during his life. They heard what he said. They saw what he did. Then Jesus made them his apostles. The word ‘apostles’ means that he ‘sent’ them. He told them to take his *Message to other towns and countries. They should go there after he left this world. They also led the groups of *believers in the early years after Jesus left them. Later, Paul and *others were also apostles. People used this word to describe those church leaders who first took the *Message of God’s goodness to other nations.
baptise, baptism, baptiser ~ Before Jesus started to teach, another man called John baptised *Jewish people. John said that they must turn back from their *sins. Then he put river water on or over them. This was a way to show that people were clean (free) from their *sin. This John is called John the Baptiser. Jesus also asked John to baptise him. That was one time when people heard the *Holy Spirit speak. In Luke 10:39, Jesus used the word ‘baptism’ in a different way. This is what he said: People would make him suffer, and that would be like another kind of ‘baptism’.
believer(s) ~ people who believe *Christ. They hear and accept Jesus' *Message. They also meet together often to *worship God. They were not called Christians until later.
bless ~ to do good things to someone.
break ~ not to obey a law.
brothers ~ people who have the same rank or importance as another person.
brightness ~ strong light.
Caesar ~ what people called the *Roman *emperor.
Christ ~ God himself came to this world as the ‘Christ’ or ‘*Messiah’. The word ‘Christ’ refers to how God the *Father appointed Jesus with the power of the *Holy Spirit. So Jesus came to do his special task in this world. The word ‘Christ’ comes from the language called Greek. ‘*Messiah’ means the same, but ‘*Messiah’ comes from the language called Hebrew.
circumcise, circumcision ~ a custom that God set up, which all male *Jews had to obey. By this, each *Jewish man or boy showed that they intended to obey God’s *Laws. It started with Abraham and his family. God told them to cut off the loose skin at the end of the male sex part. *Jews usually did this when the male baby was only 8 days old.
clean ~ free from the illness called *leprosy.
cock crow, cock crows ~ or, ‘male chicken sang’. The ‘cock’ is a male farm bird. Well before dawn every day, cocks ‘crow’, or sing out loudly. This time of day is called ‘cock crow’. Sometimes cocks crow several times in one night.
Council, *Jewish Council ~ a group of people who rule, or give advice. The wisest and most important people in Jerusalem city were members of the *Jewish Council. These included the chief priests, those men who taught *Moses’ *Law, *Pharisees and *Sadducees.
cross ~ two pieces of wood that someone has fixed together. This was how the *Romans punished criminals. They made a wooden cross and fixed them on it with nails. They left them to hang on that cross until they died. People thought that it was a great shame to die on a cross.
demons ~ see ‘*evil spirits’.
devil ~ the chief *evil spirit. He rules all evil forces in the world. He is false. He fights against all that is true. It is another name for *Satan.
disciple(s) ~ students or people who are learning from someone. They watch their teacher wherever he goes. They learn what he says. They learn from what he does. This is how the 12 disciples learned from Jesus.
donkey ~ a domestic animal like a small horse that many people used in Jesus’ time. And they use them still in the Middle East. People rode them and they used them for much domestic work. Donkeys are strong enough for work on a farm. They eat much less than horses, so their food costs less.
empire, emperor ~ A king with a powerful army would overcome a large group of countries. Then this powerful king ruled them all. This king was called the ‘emperor’. These countries were then called *provinces of the *empire. The *Roman emperor was called ‘Caesar’, and he lived in Rome city. He sent a *governor to each *province, to rule there on his behalf.
evil spirits ~ *spirits that come from the *devil. They are also called ‘demons’. They can control people. And other people may be aware that evil spirits are present because of the strange behaviour of those people.
Father, God our Father ~ God the Father is the cause, origin and beginning of all things. That is why he is called our ‘Father’. The word ‘Father’ also describes how he relates to Jesus *Christ, the son of God. Of course, God the Father did not marry a woman in order to have a son. *Christ always existed. *Christ is called the son of God because he has the same character and nature as the Father. *Christ is God, even as God the Father and the *Holy Spirit are God. But there are not three Gods; there is only one God. This description also reminds us that *Christ relates in the closest way to the Father. *Christ is closer to the Father than a human child can be to its parents.
festival ~ a day or days each year that people keep special. They keep it in order to remember some person or some special event in their nation or in their religion. It is a time for special events and meals. People also call it ‘a holy day’.
fig ~ a soft, sweet fruit, which is full of seeds. Figs grow in hot countries. People eat them fresh or dried.
Gospel ~ God’s good news. Particularly, the Books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, which describe Jesus’ life.
governor ~ the ruler of a *Roman *province.
grapes ~ sweet, round fruit with thin skins. The fruit hangs in large groups from *vines. People make a strong drink called wine from grape juice. The field or garden where grape *vines grow is called a ‘vineyard’.
heaven ~ God’s home that is wonderfully bright. From there, God rules everything that exists on earth or in the sky, including the sun and the stars.
heavenly ~ something or someone that comes from heaven; or something or someone that is in heaven.
heavily ~ with great force.
hell ~ a terrible fire that never ends; a place of permanent punishment. God will punish the *devil and all evil people in hell.
hen ~ a female bird.
herbs ~ plants which can give flavour to food or which can cure sick people. Herbs often have a strong smell.
Herod Antipas ~ or, Herod from the Antipater family. This ‘Herod’ (or king) ruled Galilee and Perea districts while Jesus was alive. Herod was the king, but he had to obey the *Roman *emperor. He ordered John the *Baptiser’s death. He also was Jesus’ judge before the soldiers killed Jesus on a *cross. He was one of Herod the Great’s sons.
Holy Spirit, God’s Spirit ~ He is part of God. He is the life and power of God. He is a *spirit. We cannot see him. But the Bible teaches that he is here. He lives deep inside all people who believe Jesus. He continues the work that Jesus began in this world.
incense ~ something that gives a sweet smell when it burns. Priests used to burn it as they praised God.
inner being ~ the part of a person that is called the soul. It means the person’s life, especially the life of that person’s spirit. All emotions, desires and hopes come from a person’s inner being or soul.
Israel, Israelites, Israeli ~ the *Jewish nation and people. They are called this name because of Abraham’s grandson, Jacob. God changed Jacob’s name to Israel. And God promised Israel that he would be the beginning or ‘father’ (original *ancestor) of a great nation.
Jews, Jewish ~ the people who live in *Israel and speak the language called Hebrew. The Jewish people began with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (whose name became *Israel). God chose them as his special people (in the Old *Testament of the Bible). Jesus was a Jew.
law, Law ~ the laws that God gave to *Moses, who wrote them down. The Law begins with the 10 Rules in Exodus chapter 20. It continues to the end of the Book of Deuteronomy. The *Jewish priests, *Pharisees and teachers added other laws to those that *Moses wrote. They thought of hundreds of other meanings that these rules might have. But Jesus did not teach people to follow the laws that they had added.
leper ~ someone who suffers from *leprosy. In Bible times, lepers could not live in towns or villages with other people.
leprosy ~ a disease of the skin that made many people afraid. This disease makes spots on the skin. And these spots destroy parts of the body, like the nose, the ears, the fingers or the toes. These spots make the skin white, as if it was dead. If someone cured the *leper, that *leper had to go to the *Temple. The priest examined the *leper there. Only the priest could tell that person if they were really well again. Then the priest would tell the *leper what gifts to give to God. And the priest told other people in the village that it was now safe. A person who had recovered could then come back into the village.
life (that never ends) ~ God promises life that never ends to his people. Their bodies will, of course, die. But afterwards, their spirits will continue to live with God in *heaven.
Lord ~ usually, the boss or owner of something or of a work. The Bible says that God is ‘Lord’. The word ‘Lord’ translates two different words for God in the original language of the Old *Testament. One word means that God is ‘always God’. The other word is like our English word ‘Lord’. It means that God controls everything. But the *apostles also called Jesus *Christ ‘Lord’, or ‘the Lord’.
manure ~ dirt that comes from animals. Farmers use it to make the soil rich and good.
Message/true Message ~ the Good News about Jesus *Christ. It is often called the *Gospel.
messenger ~ someone who carries a message.
Messiah ~ ‘Christ’ in the language called Hebrew (see note above on Christ).
miracle ~ something great or wonderful that only God can do. Something that God does to show people his power, or to tell people something about himself.
Moses ~ the *Israelite man who rescued the *Israelites from Egypt. He became their leader when they escaped. The *Israelites had been *slaves and they had to work hard for the people in Egypt. The *Israelite families remained in Egypt for 400 years. Moses was *Israel’s leader for 40 years after that. God spoke directly to Moses several times, and Moses wrote down God’s *Laws. Then the people could read the *Law. And they would not forget what God had ordered them to do.
mustard ~ a plant with small seeds which people squeeze to get oil or to make a flavour. It grows wild near roads, or people plant it.
non-Jewish ~ someone who is not *Jewish.
ointment ~ an oily substance that people use as medicine or for their own beauty. People put it on the skin or in cuts.
olive ~ the fruit of a certain Mediterranean tree. The tree is only six metres high, and its main stem is not straight. People eat the green or black fruit, and they also squeeze the fruit to get oil. They use the oil as lamp fuel. They also use it to cure bruises and for their religion.
others ~ other people, or other things or whatever.
ox, oxen ~ a type of strong farm animal that can pull a plough.
Passover ~ the first major *festival in the *Jewish year. The *Jews still eat a special meal for this great occasion every year. At the time of Jesus, the *Jews would cook a young sheep on the fire. And at the supper they ate the meat and bread without *yeast. So they remembered the night when God freed their *ancestors from Egypt. God ‘passed over’ all the *Jewish homes, in other words, he protected them from death. But, that night, the *angel that caused death entered all the other homes in Egypt. He caused deaths in the homes of all the people who made the *Israelites work as *slaves. In this way, God saved the people in all the *Jewish homes. In Jesus’ time, all *Jewish families came to Jerusalem for this holy day if possible.
peace ~ a calm and content attitude; a right relationship with God.
peaceful ~ a calm and content attitude because of a right relationship with God.
per cent ~ a proportion of something. Ten (10) per cent means one tenth (1/10 or 10%).
Pharisee ~ a group or party of *Jewish leaders, often rich people. Some Pharisees became very proud. They thought that only they themselves obeyed all God’s commands. They did not like the things that Jesus taught. They opposed him strongly. But some Pharisees believed Jesus, like Nicodemus and Joseph from Arimathea.
prophet ~ someone who speaks God’s word about a person, thing or event. They also speak about what will happen in the future.
prostitute ~ a woman who sells her body for sex.
province ~ a smaller part of a large nation that has its own government. It may be some distance from the nation’s main city.
psalm ~ a song from the *Jewish *Scriptures. These were in the Old *Testament of the Bible.
quietness ~ a calm and content attitude.
righteous ~ a description of someone who serves God in a sincere manner. That person always tries to do the right thing, even if he or she would suffer as a result.
roadside ~ the side of the road.
Roman, roman ~ a citizen of the *Roman empire; a word to describe something that has a relationship to the *Roman empire.
Roman empire ~ a large group of countries which the powerful *emperor or ‘Caesar’ who lived in Rome had seized. The *Romans had seized the country called *Israel before Jesus was born. They called it ‘Palestine’ *province. Most *Jews opposed the *Romans. The *Jews disliked the *Roman laws and taxes. Often, the *Jews fought against the Roman empire.
Sabbath ~ the last day in the *Jewish week. It was a special day for rest and prayer. The *Jewish leaders did not allow the *Jews to do any work then. But the *Law allowed them to do things that pleased God. Sabbath began at sunset on Friday. It finished at sunset on Saturday.
sacrifice, sacrificial ~ an animal that a priest killed in a special way as a gift to God. The *Jews offered these sacrifices at the *Temple in Jerusalem. God had told *Moses to tell the people about several different kinds of sacrifices. They burned the animal sacrifices on a special table, when they wanted to ask God to forgive them. They also offered sacrifices to thank God for good harvests and at other times. They praised God with sacrifices.
The greatest sacrifice was when Jesus *Christ died on the *cross. He was the sacrifice that caused God to forgive us. So, he saved us from our *sin.
Sadducees ~ a group or party of *Jewish leaders. The Sadducees denied many things that the Bible teaches.
Samaritan ~ a person from the region called Samaria. Many *Jews disliked Samaritans.
sandals ~ light shoes that people tie on their feet with pieces of leather.
Satan ~ the ruler of all evil forces. He sends all the lies and false things into the world. Satan is another name for the *devil.
save, saviour ~ someone who saves or rescues people or things. Jesus *Christ is called the saviour, because he rescues people from *sin and the *devil.
Scriptures ~ God’s *Message that various people wrote down over many years; the complete record of how God showed himself to people in the world. The early *believers or *Christians had only the Old *Testament until the New *Testament writers wrote their books. Our Scriptures are now the whole Bible. The books that *Moses wrote, the *Law, were especially important Scriptures for the *Jews.
shepherd ~ a person who looks after sheep. The *Lord is often called ‘the shepherd’ because he looks after his people.
sin, sins ~ the wrong things that we do. They are wrong because God says so.
sinner ~ someone who does wrong things. Sinners do not do what God wants.
slave ~ a person whom another person owned or forced to work hard, without proper pay. Or, someone who is under the control of another force, like debt or like *sin.
son ~ (see ‘*Father, *Son of God, God’s Son).
Son of God, God’s Son ~ a name similar to ‘Son of Man’. Some *Gospel writers use one name, some the other. ‘Son’ means that God did send Jesus. But the word ‘son’ does not mean that Jesus was less in rank or less powerful than God. Many times the *Gospel records show how Jesus is God. We read that he had all God’s power and God’s kindness. Jesus is called ‘Son of God’ because he never lost his relationship with God. Also, Jesus’ words and actions were God’s words and actions. Jesus showed us God perfectly in his life. All Jesus’ words and actions showed us how God acts.
spirit, evil spirit ~ a spirit is alive but we cannot usually see it. It does not have a body. Like the wind, we see its effects even when we cannot see it. There is the *Holy Spirit, that is, God’s spirit. There are other spirits that do good things, for example, *angels. They come from God. But there are also spirits that do evil things. Those spirits come from the *devil.
spit ~ to send liquid from someone’s mouth, often as an insult.
stretcher(s) ~ a temporary bed that people make from a mat or blanket and wooden poles. With a stretcher, 2 or 4 people can carry one sick person along a path.
sycamore-fig ~ a type of wild tree where poor people gather *figs.
synagogue ~ a meeting place, a public room in every town or village where *Jews gather to pray and to read the *Scriptures.
tax collector ~ a person who collects taxes on behalf of the government.
Temple ~ a special sacred building, where the priests carried out *worship and *sacrifices. The *Jews had only one temple – the *Temple that was in Jerusalem city. There were large areas round the *Temple, where people could gather. Jesus taught in these areas, and the *disciples *worshipped there.
testament, Old Testament, New Testament ~ The Old Testament is the part of the Bible that God’s servants wrote before Jesus *Christ. The New Testament is the part that other *believers wrote after Jesus *Christ. Together they are called the *Scriptures.
thorn, thorns ~ sharp points like needles that grow on certain kinds of trees or bushes. Thorn trees are more common in dry country.
translator ~ the person who carries out a translation.
vine, vine bushes ~ a low bush with long, spreading branches. It produces groups of sweet fruit called ‘*grapes’.
vinegar ~ sour wine.
vineyard ~ the field or garden where people plant *grape *vines.
vision ~ a special event where a person sees an *angel or something else that people cannot normally see.
welcome ~ to greet someone; or to invite someone as a guest; or to accept a person or their message.
wineskins ~ sheep or goat stomachs that people use to carry liquids like water or wine.
worship, worshippers ~ when we think about God; when we think about what he is doing. And then we tell him how wonderful and how great he is. We can worship him by ourselves. Or we can meet with other *believers to worship him. Then we all together say or sing about God’s greatness. At the time of Jesus, people also *worshipped by means of the *sacrifices that they offered at the *Temple.
yeast ~ a living substance that is also called leaven. People mix it with flour and water to make bread. The mixture must stand for an hour or two so that the yeast can grow. The mixture grows bigger. Then they bake it in order to make bread. Something evil behaviour can have a slow, secret effect on other people. And Jesus sometimes said that it was like yeast.
 Italics means sloping writing, or writing where the letters slope.
 This could have been Joseph or some other responsible man who had a close relationship with the family.
 Turtledoves and pigeons are two small birds that people offered as *sacrifices in the *Temple. These birds did not cost much money, and poor people could afford them.
 In some languages it is better to say: ‘Heli’s father’s name was Matthat, Matthat’s father’s name was Levi…’ and so on.
 To tempt someone means to test them. The *devil is testing Jesus. He wants Jesus to obey him rather than to obey God his *Father.
 The *Jewish *Sabbath day ended at sunset. Therefore, their rule not to make journeys on the *Sabbath also ended. So, it was now acceptable for them to bring sick people to Jesus.
 This lake was also called the Sea or Lake of Galilee. Gennesaret was part of the northern shore of Lake Galilee.
 In the original Greek language, this is ‘the son of man’. Jesus often used this phrase to describe himself. The phrase may refer to Daniel 7:13. In a *vision, Daniel saw someone ‘like the son of man’. God gave power and authority over all nations to the ‘son of man’. That is, God the *Father gave this authority to Jesus. So we translate this phrase as ‘the man who came down from heaven’.
However, there are other ideas about the meaning of ‘son of man’. For example, God often called Ezekiel the ‘son of man’. This meant that Ezekiel was just an ordinary human person. He would have to trust God completely in order to do the tasks that God gave him. Although Jesus was always God, he became an ordinary human person. He was like us in every way, except that he was without *sin. So the phrase ‘the son of man’ may refer to this fact. Or it may combine both these ideas.
 So, people who believe God’s *Message should tell other people about it. They will be acting like someone who puts a lamp in a high place. Many people can benefit from God’s *Message, even as many people can benefit from the light.
 Jesus is talking about someone who wants to follow him. But that person continues to care about the family and other things that he has left behind.
 A scorpion is a little animal with a dangerous sting in its tail.
 The way to say this in the original Greek language is: ‘They will not touch (damage) even one hair on your head.’ Jesus did not mean that the enemies would be unable to hurt the *disciples’ bodies. But he did mean that the *disciples’ spirits would be safe.
 The original Greek language compares his troubles to a cup of bitter wine that one must drink.
 *Heaven, or the place that God reserves for *believers when they die. *Jews taught that it was perfect, like the Garden of Eden.
 That curtain covered the entrance to the most holy part of the *Temple. That was the place where God came. No ordinary *Jew could go in there. Only the chief priest could enter the most holy place. But when Jesus died, the curtain tore. This event showed that even ordinary people could now have a relationship with God.
© 1997-2008, Wycliffe Associates (UK)
This publication is in EasyEnglish Level B (2800 words).
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