Home > Reading > Daily Reading – April 21, 2020

2 Chron. 29:3–19

29:3 In the first month of the first year of his reign, he opened the doors of the Lord’s temple and repaired them. 4He brought in the priests and Levites and assembled them in the square on the east side. 5He said to them: “Listen to me, you Levites! Now consecrate yourselves, so you can consecrate the temple of the Lord God of your ancestors. Remove from the sanctuary what is ceremonially unclean. 6For our fathers were unfaithful; they did what is evil in the sight of the Lord our God and abandoned him. They turned away from the Lord’s dwelling place and rejected him. 7They closed the doors of the temple porch and put out the lamps; they did not offer incense or burnt sacrifices in the sanctuary of the God of Israel. 8The Lord was angry at Judah and Jerusalem and made them an appalling object of horror at which people hiss out their scorn, as you can see with your own eyes. 9Look, our fathers died violently, and our sons, daughters, and wives were carried off because of this. 10Now I intend to make a covenant with the Lord God of Israel, so that he may relent from his raging anger. 11My sons, do not be negligent now, for the Lord has chosen you to stand in his presence, to minister to him, to be his ministers, and offer sacrifices.”

12The following Levites prepared to carry out the king’s orders:

From the Kohathites: Mahath son of Amasai and Joel son of Azariah;

from the Merarites: Kish son of Abdi and Azariah son of Jehallelel;

from the Gershonites: Joah son of Zimmah and Eden son of Joah;

13from the descendants of Elizaphan: Shimri and Jeiel;

from the descendants of Asaph: Zechariah and Mattaniah;

14from the descendants of Heman: Jehiel and Shimei;

from the descendants of Jeduthun: Shemaiah and Uzziel.

15They assembled their brothers and consecrated themselves. Then they went in to purify the Lord’s temple, just as the king had ordered, in accordance with the word of the Lord. 16The priests then entered the Lord’s temple to purify it; they brought out to the courtyard of the Lord’s temple every ceremonially unclean thing they discovered inside. The Levites took them out to the Kidron Valley. 17On the first day of the first month they began consecrating; by the eighth day of the month they reached the porch of the Lord’s temple. For eight more days they consecrated the Lord’s temple. On the sixteenth day of the first month they were finished. 18They went to King Hezekiah and said: “We have purified the entire temple of the Lord, including the altar of burnt sacrifice and all its equipment, and the table for the Bread of the Presence and all its equipment. 19We have prepared and consecrated all the items that King Ahaz removed during his reign when he acted unfaithfully. They are in front of the altar of the Lord.”

(NET Bible)

Ps. 102

102:1 The prayer of an oppressed man, as he grows faint and pours out his lament before the Lord.

O Lord, hear my prayer.

Pay attention to my cry for help.

2Do not ignore me in my time of trouble.

Listen to me.

When I call out to you, quickly answer me.

3For my days go up in smoke,

and my bones are charred as in a fireplace.

4My heart is parched and withered like grass,

for I am unable to eat food.

5Because of the anxiety that makes me groan,

my bones protrude from my skin.

6I am like an owl in the wilderness;

I am like a screech owl among the ruins.

7I stay awake;

I am like a solitary bird on a roof.

8All day long my enemies taunt me;

those who mock me use my name in their curses.

9For I eat ashes as if they were bread,

and mix my drink with my tears,

10because of your anger and raging fury.

Indeed, you pick me up and throw me away.

11My days are coming to an end,

and I am withered like grass.

12But you, O Lord, rule forever,

and your reputation endures.

13You will rise up and have compassion on Zion.

For it is time to have mercy on her,

for the appointed time has come.

14Indeed, your servants take delight in her stones

and feel compassion for the dust of her ruins.

15The nations will respect the reputation of the Lord,

and all the kings of the earth will respect his splendor

16when the Lord rebuilds Zion

and reveals his splendor,

17when he responds to the prayer of the destitute

and does not reject their request.

18The account of his intervention will be recorded for future generations;

people yet to be born will praise the Lord.

19For he will look down from his sanctuary above;

from heaven the Lord will look toward earth,

20in order to hear the painful cries of the prisoners

and to set free those condemned to die,

21so they may proclaim the name of the Lord in Zion

and praise him in Jerusalem

22when the nations gather together,

and the kingdoms pay tribute to the Lord.

23He has taken away my strength in the middle of life;

he has cut short my days.

24I say, “O my God, please do not take me away in the middle of my life.

You endure through all generations.

25In earlier times you established the earth;

the skies are your handiwork.

26They will perish,

but you will endure.

They will wear out like a garment;

like clothes you will remove them and they will disappear.

27But you remain;

your years do not come to an end.

28The children of your servants will settle down here,

and their descendants will live securely in your presence.”

(NET Bible)

Luke 31:1–14:11

1:1 Now many have undertaken to compile an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, 2like the accounts passed on to us by those who were eyewitnesses and servants of the word from the beginning. 3So it seemed good to me as well, because I have followed all things carefully from the beginning, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4so that you may know for certain the things you were taught.

5During the reign of Herod king of Judea, there lived a priest named Zechariah who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah, and he had a wife named Elizabeth, who was a descendant of Aaron. 6They were both righteous in the sight of God, following all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blamelessly. 7But they did not have a child because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both very old.

8Now while Zechariah was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, 9he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the Holy Place of the Lord and burn incense. 10Now the whole crowd of people were praying outside at the hour of the incense offering. 11An angel of the Lord, standing on the right side of the altar of incense, appeared to him. 12And Zechariah, visibly shaken when he saw the angel, was seized with fear. 13But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son; you will name him John. 14Joy and gladness will come to you, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He must never drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. 16He will turn many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17And he will go as forerunner before the Lord in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared for him.”

18Zechariah said to the angel, “How can I be sure of this? For I am an old man, and my wife is old as well.” 19The angel answered him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20And now because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time, you will be silent, unable to speak, until the day these things take place.”

21Now the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they began to wonder why he was delayed in the Holy Place. 22When he came out, he was not able to speak to them. They realized that he had seen a vision in the Holy Place because he was making signs to them and remained unable to speak. 23When his time of service was over, he went to his home.

24After some time his wife Elizabeth became pregnant, and for five months she kept herself in seclusion. She said, 25“This is what the Lord has done for me at the time when he has been gracious to me, to take away my disgrace among people.”

26In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, 27to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, a descendant of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28The angel came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one, the Lord is with you!” 29But she was greatly troubled by his words and began to wonder about the meaning of this greeting. 30So the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God! 31Listen: You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. 33He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will never end.” 34Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I have not been intimate with a man?” 35The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called the Son of God.

36“And look, your relative Elizabeth has also become pregnant with a son in her old age—although she was called barren, she is now in her sixth month! 37For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38So Mary said, “Yes, I am a servant of the Lord; let this happen to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

39In those days Mary got up and went hurriedly into the hill country, to a town of Judah, 40and entered Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. 41When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42She exclaimed with a loud voice, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child in your womb! 43And who am I that the mother of my Lord should come and visit me? 44For the instant the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45And blessed is she who believed that what was spoken to her by the Lord would be fulfilled.”

46And Mary said,

“My soul exalts the Lord,

47and my spirit has begun to rejoice in God my Savior,

48because he has looked upon the humble state of his servant.

For from now on all generations will call me blessed,

49because he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name;

50from generation to generation he is merciful to those who fear him.

51He has demonstrated power with his arm; he has scattered those whose pride wells up from the sheer arrogance of their hearts.

52He has brought down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up those of lowly position;

53he has filled the hungry with good things, and has sent the rich away empty.

54He has helped his servant Israel, remembering his mercy,

55as he promised to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

56So Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then returned to her home.

57Now the time came for Elizabeth to have her baby, and she gave birth to a son. 58Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her.

59On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they wanted to name him Zechariah after his father. 60But his mother replied, “No! He must be named John.” 61They said to her, “But none of your relatives bears this name.” 62So they made signs to the baby’s father, inquiring what he wanted to name his son. 63He asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And they were all amazed. 64Immediately Zechariah’s mouth was opened and his tongue released, and he spoke, blessing God. 65All their neighbors were filled with fear, and throughout the entire hill country of Judea all these things were talked about. 66All who heard these things kept them in their hearts, saying, “What then will this child be?” For the Lord’s hand was indeed with him.

67Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied,

68“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,

because he has come to help and has redeemed his people.

69For he has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David,

70as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from long ago,

71that we should be saved from our enemies

and from the hand of all who hate us.

72He has done this to show mercy to our ancestors,

and to remember his holy covenant—

73the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham.

This oath grants

74that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies,

may serve him without fear,

75in holiness and righteousness before him for as long as we live.

76And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High.

For you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,

77to give his people knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins.

78Because of our God’s tender mercy,

the dawn will break upon us from on high

79to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,

to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

80And the child kept growing and becoming strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day he was revealed to Israel.

2:1 Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus to register all the empire for taxes. 2This was the first registration, taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3Everyone went to his own town to be registered. 4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David. 5He went to be registered with Mary, who was promised in marriage to him, and who was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

8Now there were shepherds nearby living out in the field, keeping guard over their flock at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were absolutely terrified. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid! Listen carefully, for I proclaim to you good news that brings great joy to all the people: 11Today your Savior is born in the city of David. He is Christ the Lord. 12This will be a sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13Suddenly a vast, heavenly army appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14“Glory to God in the highest,

and on earth peace among people with whom he is pleased!”

15When the angels left them and went back to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, that the Lord has made known to us.” 16So they hurried off and located Mary and Joseph, and found the baby lying in a manger. 17When they saw him, they related what they had been told about this child, 18and all who heard it were astonished at what the shepherds said. 19But Mary treasured up all these words, pondering in her heart what they might mean. 20So the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen; everything was just as they had been told.

21At the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was named Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

22Now when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, Joseph and Mary brought Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23(just as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male will be set apart to the Lord”), 24and to offer a sacrifice according to what is specified in the law of the Lord, a pair of doves or two young pigeons.

25Now there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon who was righteous and devout, looking for the restoration of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27So Simeon, directed by the Spirit, came into the temple courts, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what was customary according to the law, 28Simeon took him in his arms and blessed God, saying,

29“Now, according to your word, Sovereign Lord, permit your servant to depart in peace.

30For my eyes have seen your salvation

31that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples:

32a light,

for revelation to the Gentiles

and for glory to your people Israel.”

33So the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him. 34Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “Listen carefully: This child is destined to be the cause of the falling and rising of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be rejected. 35Indeed, as a result of him the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul as well!”

36There was also a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old, having been married to her husband for seven years until his death. 37She had lived as a widow since then for eighty-four years. She never left the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. 38At that moment, she came up to them and began to give thanks to God and to speak about the child to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.

39So when Joseph and Mary had performed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. 40And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom, and the favor of God was upon him.

41Now Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem every year for the Feast of the Passover. 42When he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom. 43But when the feast was over, as they were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, 44but (because they assumed that he was in their group of travelers) they went a day’s journey. Then they began to look for him among their relatives and acquaintances. 45When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. 46After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47And all who heard Jesus were astonished at his understanding and his answers. 48When his parents saw him, they were overwhelmed. His mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously.” 49But he replied, “Why were you looking for me? Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?” 50Yet his parents did not understand the remark he made to them. 51Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. But his mother kept all these things in her heart.

52And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and with people.

3:1 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip was tetrarch of the region of Iturea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene, 2during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3He went into all the region around the Jordan River, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

4As it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah,

“The voice of one shouting in the wilderness:

‘Prepare the way for the Lord,

make his paths straight.

5Every valley will be filled,

and every mountain and hill will be brought low,

and the crooked will be made straight,

and the rough ways will be made smooth,

6and all humanity will see the salvation of God.’”

7So John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You offspring of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8Therefore produce fruit that proves your repentance, and don’t begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that God can raise up children for Abraham from these stones! 9Even now the ax is laid at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”

10So the crowds were asking him, “What then should we do?” 11John answered them, “The person who has two tunics must share with the person who has none, and the person who has food must do likewise.” 12Tax collectors also came to be baptized, and they said to him, “Teacher, what should we do?” 13He told them, “Collect no more than you are required to.” 14Then some soldiers also asked him, “And as for us—what should we do?” He told them, “Take money from no one by violence or by false accusation, and be content with your pay.”

15While the people were filled with anticipation and they all wondered whether perhaps John could be the Christ, 16John answered them all, “I baptize you with water, but one more powerful than I am is coming—I am not worthy to untie the strap of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17His winnowing fork is in his hand to clean out his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his storehouse, but the chaff he will burn up with inextinguishable fire.”

18And in this way, with many other exhortations, John proclaimed good news to the people. 19But when John rebuked Herod the tetrarch because of Herodias, his brother’s wife, and because of all the evil deeds that he had done, 20Herod added this to them all: He locked up John in prison.

21Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus also was baptized. And while he was praying, the heavens opened, 22and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my one dear Son; in you I take great delight.”

23So Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years old. He was the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli, 24the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, 25the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, 26the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda, 27the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, 28the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, 29the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 30the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, 31the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, 32the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Sala, the son of Nahshon, 33the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Arni, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, 34the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, 35the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, 36the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel, the son of Kenan, 38the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

4:1 Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, 2where for forty days he endured temptations from the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and when they were completed, he was famished. 3The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” 4Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man does not live by bread alone.’”

5Then the devil led him up to a high place and showed him in a flash all the kingdoms of the world. 6And he said to him, “To you I will grant this whole realm—and the glory that goes along with it, for it has been relinquished to me, and I can give it to anyone I wish. 7So then, if you will worship me, all this will be yours.” 8Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘You are to worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’”

9Then the devil brought him to Jerusalem, had him stand on the highest point of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you, to protect you,’ 11and ‘with their hands they will lift you up, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” 12Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You are not to put the Lord your God to the test.’” 13So when the devil had completed every temptation, he departed from him until a more opportune time.

14Then Jesus, in the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and news about him spread throughout the surrounding countryside. 15He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by all.

16Now Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,

18The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,

because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives

and the regaining of sight to the blind,

to set free those who are oppressed,

19to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

20Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21Then he began to tell them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled even as you heard it being read.” 22All were speaking well of him, and were amazed at the gracious words coming out of his mouth. They said, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” 23Jesus said to them, “No doubt you will quote to me the proverb, ‘Physician, heal yourself!’ and say, ‘What we have heard that you did in Capernaum, do here in your hometown too.’” 24And he added, “I tell you the truth, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown. 25But in truth I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s days, when the sky was shut up three and a half years and there was a great famine over all the land. 26Yet Elijah was sent to none of them, but only to a woman who was a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. 27And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, yet none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.” 28When they heard this, all the people in the synagogue were filled with rage. 29They got up, forced him out of the town, and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff. 30But he passed through the crowd and went on his way.

31So he went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and on the Sabbath he began to teach the people. 32They were amazed at his teaching because he spoke with authority.

33Now in the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, 34“Ha! Leave us alone, Jesus the Nazarene! Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.” 35But Jesus rebuked him: “Silence! Come out of him!” Then, after the demon threw the man down in their midst, he came out of him without hurting him. 36They were all amazed and began to say to one another, “What’s happening here? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out!” 37So the news about him spread into all areas of the region.

38After Jesus left the synagogue, he entered Simon’s house. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus to help her. 39So he stood over her, commanded the fever, and it left her. Immediately she got up and began to serve them.

40As the sun was setting, all those who had any relatives sick with various diseases brought them to Jesus. He placed his hands on every one of them and healed them. 41Demons also came out of many, crying out, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak because they knew that he was the Christ.

42The next morning Jesus departed and went to a deserted place. Yet the crowds were seeking him, and they came to him and tried to keep him from leaving them. 43But Jesus said to them, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns too, for that is what I was sent to do.” 44So he continued to preach in the synagogues of Judea.

5:1 Now Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing around him to hear the word of God. 2He saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gotten out of them and were washing their nets. 3He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore. Then Jesus sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. 4When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” 5Simon answered, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing! But at your word I will lower the nets.” 6When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets started to tear. 7So they motioned to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they were about to sink. 8But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” 9For Peter and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, 10and so were James and John, Zebedee’s sons, who were Simon’s business partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people!” 11So when they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.

12While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came to him who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he bowed down with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” 13So he stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing. Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him. 14Then he ordered the man to tell no one, but commanded him, “Go and show yourself to a priest, and bring the offering for your cleansing, as Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” 15But the news about him spread even more, and large crowds were gathering together to hear him and to be healed of their illnesses. 16Yet Jesus himself frequently withdrew to the wilderness and prayed.

17Now on one of those days, while he was teaching, there were Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting nearby (who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem), and the power of the Lord was with him to heal. 18Just then some men showed up, carrying a paralyzed man on a stretcher. They were trying to bring him in and place him before Jesus. 19But since they found no way to carry him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down on the stretcher through the roof tiles right in front of Jesus. 20When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” 21Then the experts in the law and the Pharisees began to think to themselves, “Who is this man who is uttering blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 22When Jesus perceived their hostile thoughts, he said to them, “Why are you raising objections within yourselves? 23Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and walk’? 24But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralyzed man—“I tell you, stand up, take your stretcher and go home.” 25Immediately he stood up before them, picked up the stretcher he had been lying on, and went home, glorifying God. 26Then astonishment seized them all, and they glorified God. They were filled with awe, saying, “We have seen incredible things today.”

27After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the tax booth. “Follow me,” he said to him. 28And he got up and followed him, leaving everything behind.

29Then Levi gave a great banquet in his house for Jesus, and there was a large crowd of tax collectors and others sitting at the table with them. 30But the Pharisees and their experts in the law complained to his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” 31Jesus answered them, “Those who are well don’t need a physician, but those who are sick do. 32I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

33Then they said to him, “John’s disciples frequently fast and pray, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours continue to eat and drink.” 34So Jesus said to them, “You cannot make the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them, can you? 35But those days are coming, and when the bridegroom is taken from them, at that time they will fast.” 36He also told them a parable: “No one tears a patch from a new garment and sews it on an old garment. If he does, he will have torn the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old. 37And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins and will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. 38Instead new wine must be poured into new wineskins. 39 No one after drinking old wine wants the new, for he says, ‘The old is good enough.’”

6:1 Jesus was going through the grain fields on a Sabbath, and his disciples picked some heads of wheat, rubbed them in their hands, and ate them. 2But some of the Pharisees said, “Why are you doing what is against the law on the Sabbath?” 3Jesus answered them, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry— 4how he entered the house of God, took and ate the sacred bread, which is not lawful for any to eat but the priests alone, and gave it to his companions?” 5Then he said to them, “The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”

6On another Sabbath, Jesus entered the synagogue and was teaching. Now a man was there whose right hand was withered. 7The experts in the law and the Pharisees watched Jesus closely to see if he would heal on the Sabbath, so that they could find a reason to accuse him. 8But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man who had the withered hand, “Get up and stand here.” So he rose and stood there. 9Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath or to do evil, to save a life or to destroy it?” 10After looking around at them all, he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” The man did so, and his hand was restored. 11But they were filled with mindless rage and began debating with one another what they would do to Jesus.

12Now it was during this time that Jesus went out to the mountain to pray, and he spent all night in prayer to God. 13When morning came, he called his disciples and chose twelve of them, whom he also named apostles: 14Simon (whom he named Peter), and his brother Andrew; and James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, 15Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, 16Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

17Then he came down with them and stood on a level place. And a large number of his disciples had gathered along with a vast multitude from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon. They came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases, 18and those who suffered from unclean spirits were cured. 19The whole crowd was trying to touch him because power was coming out from him and healing them all.

20Then he looked up at his disciples and said:

“Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God belongs to you.

21Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied.

Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.

22Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you and insult you and reject you as evil on account of the Son of Man! 23Rejoice in that day, and jump for joy because your reward is great in heaven. For their ancestors did the same things to the prophets.

24But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your comfort already.

25Woe to you who are well satisfied with food now, for you will be hungry.

Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep.

26Woe to you when all people speak well of you, for their ancestors did the same things to the false prophets.

27“But I say to you who are listening: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29To the person who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other as well, and from the person who takes away your coat, do not withhold your tunic either. 30Give to everyone who asks you, and do not ask for your possessions back from the person who takes them away. 31Treat others in the same way that you would want them to treat you.

32“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same. 34And if you lend to those from whom you hope to be repaid, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, so that they may be repaid in full. 35But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to ungrateful and evil people. 36Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

37“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38Give, and it will be given to you: A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be poured into your lap. For the measure you use will be the measure you receive.”

39He also told them a parable: “Someone who is blind cannot lead another who is blind, can he? Won’t they both fall into a pit? 40A disciple is not greater than his teacher, but everyone when fully trained will be like his teacher. 41Why do you see the speck in your brother’s eye, but fail to see the beam of wood in your own? 42How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck from your eye,’ while you yourself don’t see the beam in your own? You hypocrite! First remove the beam from your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

43“For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, 44for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thorns, nor are grapes picked from brambles. 45The good person out of the good treasury of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasury produces evil, for his mouth speaks from what fills his heart.

46“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and don’t do what I tell you?

47“Everyone who comes to me and listens to my words and puts them into practice—I will show you what he is like: 48He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on bedrock. When a flood came, the river burst against that house but could not shake it because it had been well built. 49But the person who hears and does not put my words into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the river burst against that house, it collapsed immediately and was utterly destroyed!”

7:1 After Jesus had finished teaching all this to the people, he entered Capernaum. 2A centurion there had a slave who was highly regarded, but who was sick and at the point of death. 3When the centurion heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders to him, asking him to come and heal his slave. 4When they came to Jesus, they urged him earnestly, “He is worthy to have you do this for him 5because he loves our nation and even built our synagogue.” 6So Jesus went with them. When he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to say to him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof! 7That is why I did not presume to come to you. Instead, say the word, and my servant must be healed. 8For I too am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me. I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.” 9When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him. He turned and said to the crowd that followed him, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith!” 10So when those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the slave well.

11Soon afterward Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went with him. 12As he approached the town gate, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother (who was a widow), and a large crowd from the town was with her. 13When the Lord saw her, he had compassion for her and said to her, “Do not weep.” 14Then he came up and touched the bier, and those who carried it stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” 15So the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him back to his mother. 16Fear seized them all, and they began to glorify God, saying, “A great prophet has appeared among us!” and “God has come to help his people!” 17This report about Jesus circulated throughout Judea and all the surrounding country.

18John’s disciples informed him about all these things. So John called two of his disciples 19and sent them to Jesus to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?” 20When the men came to Jesus, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?’” 21At that very time Jesus cured many people of diseases, sicknesses, and evil spirits, and granted sight to many who were blind. 22So he answered them, “Go tell John what you have seen and heard: The blind see, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have good news proclaimed to them. 23Blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.”

24When John’s messengers had gone, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 25What did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Look, those who wear soft clothing and live in luxury are in the royal palaces! 26What did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 27This is the one about whom it is written, ‘Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ 28I tell you, among those born of women no one is greater than John. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he is.” 29(Now all the people who heard this, even the tax collectors, acknowledged God’s justice because they had been baptized with John’s baptism. 30However, the Pharisees and the experts in religious law rejected God’s purpose for themselves because they had not been baptized by John.)

31“To what then should I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? 32They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to one another,

“‘We played the flute for you, yet you did not dance;

we wailed in mourning, yet you did not weep.’

33For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon!’ 34The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him, a glutton and a drunk, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ 35But wisdom is vindicated by all her children.”

36Now one of the Pharisees asked Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went into the Pharisee’s house and took his place at the table. 37Then when a woman of that town, who was a sinner, learned that Jesus was dining at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfumed oil. 38As she stood behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. She wiped them with her hair, kissed them, and anointed them with the perfumed oil. 39Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who and what kind of woman this is who is touching him, that she is a sinner.” 40So Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” He replied, “Say it, Teacher.” 41“A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed him 500 silver coins, and the other 50. 42When they could not pay, he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?” 43Simon answered, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled.” Jesus said to him, “You have judged rightly.” 44Then, turning toward the woman, he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house. You gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45You gave me no kiss of greeting, but from the time I entered she has not stopped kissing my feet. 46You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with perfumed oil. 47Therefore I tell you, her sins, which were many, are forgiven, thus she loved much; but the one who is forgiven little loves little.” 48Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49But those who were at the table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” 50He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

8:1 Sometime afterward he went on through towns and villages, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him, 2and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and disabilities: Mary (called Magdalene), from whom seven demons had gone out, 3and Joanna the wife of Cuza (Herod’s household manager), Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their own resources.

4While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from one town after another, he spoke to them in a parable: 5“A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled on, and the wild birds devoured it. 6Other seed fell on rock, and when it came up, it withered because it had no moisture. 7Other seed fell among the thorns, and they grew up with it and choked it. 8But other seed fell on good soil and grew, and it produced a hundred times as much grain.” As he said this, he called out, “The one who has ears to hear had better listen!”

9Then his disciples asked him what this parable meant. 10He said, “You have been given the opportunity to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that although they see they may not see, and although they hear they may not understand.

11“Now the parable means this: The seed is the word of God. 12Those along the path are the ones who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in a time of testing fall away. 14As for the seed that fell among thorns, these are the ones who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the worries and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. 15But as for the seed that landed on good soil, these are the ones who, after hearing the word, cling to it with an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with steadfast endurance.

16“No one lights a lamp and then covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a lampstand so that those who come in can see the light. 17For nothing is hidden that will not be revealed, and nothing concealed that will not be made known and brought to light. 18So listen carefully, for whoever has will be given more, but whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him.”

19Now Jesus’ mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not get near him because of the crowd. 20So he was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.” 21But he replied to them, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.”

22One day Jesus got into a boat with his disciples and said to them, “Let’s go across to the other side of the lake.” So they set out, 23and as they sailed he fell asleep. Now a violent windstorm came down on the lake, and the boat started filling up with water, and they were in danger. 24They came and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we are about to die!” So he got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waves; they died down, and it was calm. 25Then he said to them, “Where is your faith?” But they were afraid and amazed, saying to one another, “Who then is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him!”

26So they sailed over to the region of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. 27As Jesus stepped ashore, a certain man from the town met him who was possessed by demons. For a long time this man had worn no clothes and had not lived in a house, but among the tombs. 28When he saw Jesus, he cried out, fell down before him, and shouted with a loud voice, “Leave me alone, Jesus, Son of the Most High God! I beg you, do not torment me!” 29For Jesus had started commanding the evil spirit to come out of the man. (For it had seized him many times, so he would be bound with chains and shackles and kept under guard. But he would break the restraints and be driven by the demon into deserted places.) 30Jesus then asked him, “What is your name?” He said, “Legion,” because many demons had entered him. 31And they began to beg him not to order them to depart into the abyss. 32Now a large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, and the demonic spirits begged Jesus to let them go into them. He gave them permission. 33So the demons came out of the man and went into the pigs, and the herd of pigs rushed down the steep slope into the lake and drowned. 34When the herdsmen saw what had happened, they ran off and spread the news in the town and countryside. 35So the people went out to see what had happened, and they came to Jesus. They found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. 36Those who had seen it told them how the man who had been demon-possessed had been healed. 37Then all the people of the Gerasenes and the surrounding region asked Jesus to leave them alone, for they were seized with great fear. So he got into the boat and left. 38The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39“Return to your home, and declare what God has done for you.” So he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole town what Jesus had done for him.

40Now when Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed him because they were all waiting for him. 41Then a man named Jairus, who was a leader of the synagogue, came up. Falling at Jesus’ feet, he pleaded with him to come to his house, 42because he had an only daughter, about twelve years old, and she was dying.

As Jesus was on his way, the crowds pressed around him. 43Now a woman was there who had been suffering from a hemorrhage for twelve years but could not be healed by anyone. 44She came up behind Jesus and touched the edge of his cloak, and at once the bleeding stopped. 45Then Jesus asked, “Who was it who touched me?” When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds are surrounding you and pressing against you!” 46But Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I know that power has gone out from me.” 47When the woman saw that she could not escape notice, she came trembling and fell down before him. In the presence of all the people, she explained why she had touched him and how she had been immediately healed. 48Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”

49While he was still speaking, someone from the synagogue leader’s house came and said, “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the teacher any longer.” 50But when Jesus heard this, he told him, “Do not be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.” 51Now when he came to the house, Jesus did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John, and James, and the child’s father and mother. 52Now they were all wailing and mourning for her, but he said, “Stop your weeping; she is not dead but asleep!” 53And they began making fun of him because they knew that she was dead. 54But Jesus gently took her by the hand and said, “Child, get up.” 55Her spirit returned, and she got up immediately. Then he told them to give her something to eat. 56Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them to tell no one what had happened.

9:1 After Jesus called the twelve together, he gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, 2and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 3He said to them, “Take nothing for your journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, and do not take an extra tunic. 4Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave the area. 5Wherever they do not receive you, as you leave that town, shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” 6Then they departed and went throughout the villages, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere.

7Now Herod the tetrarch heard about everything that was happening, and he was thoroughly perplexed because some people were saying that John had been raised from the dead, 8while others were saying that Elijah had appeared, and still others that one of the prophets of long ago had risen. 9Herod said, “I had John beheaded, but who is this about whom I hear such things?” So Herod wanted to learn about Jesus.

10When the apostles returned, they told Jesus everything they had done. Then he took them with him and they withdrew privately to a town called Bethsaida. 11But when the crowds found out, they followed him. He welcomed them, spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and cured those who needed healing. 12Now the day began to draw to a close, so the twelve came and said to Jesus, “Send the crowd away, so they can go into the surrounding villages and countryside and find lodging and food because we are in an isolated place.” 13But he said to them, “You give them something to eat.” They replied, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish—unless we go and buy food for all these people.” 14(Now about 5,000 men were there.) Then he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” 15So they did as Jesus directed, and the people all sat down.

16Then he took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven he gave thanks and broke them. He gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. 17They all ate and were satisfied, and what was left over was picked up—twelve baskets of broken pieces.

18Once when Jesus was praying by himself and his disciples were nearby, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” 19They answered, “John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others that one of the prophets of long ago has risen.” 20Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “The Christ of God.” 21But he forcefully commanded them not to tell this to anyone, 22saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and experts in the law, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”

23Then he said to them all, “If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me. 24For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me will save it. 25For what does it benefit a person if he gains the whole world but loses or forfeits himself? 26For whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 27But I tell you most certainly, there are some standing here who will not experience death before they see the kingdom of God.”

28Now about eight days after these sayings, Jesus took with him Peter, John, and James, and went up the mountain to pray. 29As he was praying, the appearance of his face was transformed, and his clothes became very bright, a brilliant white. 30Then two men, Moses and Elijah, began talking with him. 31They appeared in glorious splendor and spoke about his departure that he was about to carry out at Jerusalem. 32Now Peter and those with him were quite sleepy, but as they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. 33Then as the men were starting to leave, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us make three shelters, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he was saying. 34As he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35Then a voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One. Listen to him!” 36After the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. So they kept silent and told no one at that time anything of what they had seen.

37Now on the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a large crowd met him. 38Then a man from the crowd cried out, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son—he is my only child! 39A spirit seizes him, and he suddenly screams; it throws him into convulsions and causes him to foam at the mouth. It hardly ever leaves him alone, torturing him severely. 40I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not do so.” 41Jesus answered, “You unbelieving and perverse generation! How much longer must I be with you and endure you? Bring your son here.” 42As the boy was approaching, the demon threw him to the ground and shook him with convulsions. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, healed the boy, and gave him back to his father. 43Then they were all astonished at the mighty power of God.

But while the entire crowd was amazed at everything Jesus was doing, he said to his disciples, 44“Take these words to heart, for the Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men.” 45But they did not understand this statement; its meaning had been concealed from them, so that they could not grasp it. Yet they were afraid to ask him about this statement.

46Now an argument started among the disciples as to which of them might be the greatest. 47But when Jesus discerned their innermost thoughts, he took a child, had him stand by his side, 48and said to them, “Whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me, for the one who is least among you all is the one who is great.”

49John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him because he is not a disciple along with us.” 50But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him, for whoever is not against you is for you.”

51Now when the days drew near for him to be taken up, Jesus set out resolutely to go to Jerusalem. 52He sent messengers on ahead of him. As they went along, they entered a Samaritan village to make things ready in advance for him, 53but the villagers refused to welcome him because he was determined to go to Jerusalem. 54Now when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do you want us to call fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” 55But Jesus turned and rebuked them, 56and they went on to another village.

57As they were walking along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58Jesus said to him, “Foxes have dens and the birds in the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” 59Jesus said to another, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” 60But Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” 61Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but first let me say goodbye to my family.” 62Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

10:1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him two by two into every town and place where he himself was about to go. 2He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest. 3Go! I am sending you out like lambs surrounded by wolves. 4Do not carry a money bag, a traveler’s bag, or sandals, and greet no one on the road. 5Whenever you enter a house, first say, ‘May peace be on this house!’ 6And if a peace-loving person is there, your peace will remain on him, but if not, it will return to you. 7Stay in that same house, eating and drinking what they give you, for the worker deserves his pay. Do not move around from house to house. 8Whenever you enter a town and the people welcome you, eat what is set before you. 9Heal the sick in that town and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come upon you!’ 10But whenever you enter a town and the people do not welcome you, go into its streets and say, 11‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this: The kingdom of God has come.’ 12I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town!

13“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon in the judgment than for you! 15And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? No, you will be thrown down to Hades!

16“The one who listens to you listens to me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects the one who sent me.”

17Then the seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name!” 18So he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19Look, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions and on the full force of the enemy, and nothing will hurt you. 20Nevertheless, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names stand written in heaven.”

21On that same occasion Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your gracious will. 22All things have been given to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son decides to reveal him.”

23Then Jesus turned to his disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! 24For I tell you that many prophets and kings longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”

25Now an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus, saying, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26He said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you understand it?” 27The expert answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.” 28Jesus said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”

29But the expert, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him up, and went off, leaving him half dead. 31Now by chance a priest was going down that road, but when he saw the injured man, he passed by on the other side. 32So too a Levite, when he came up to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan who was traveling came to where the injured man was, and when he saw him, he felt compassion for him. 34He went up to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring olive oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever else you spend, I will repay you when I come back this way.’ 36Which of these three do you think became a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” 37The expert in religious law said, “The one who showed mercy to him.” So Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.”

38Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him as a guest. 39She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he said. 40But Martha was distracted with all the preparations she had to make, so she came up to him and said, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do all the work alone? Tell her to help me.” 41But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things, 42but one thing is needed. Mary has chosen the best part; it will not be taken away from her.”

11:1 Now Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he stopped, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” 2So he said to them, “When you pray, say:

“‘Father, may your name be honored;

may your kingdom come.

3Give us each day our daily bread,

4and forgive us our sins,

for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.

And do not lead us into temptation.’”

5Then he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, 6because a friend of mine has stopped here while on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him.’ 7Then he will reply from inside, ‘Do not bother me. The door is already shut, and my children and I are in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything.’ 8I tell you, even though the man inside will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of the first man’s sheer persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs.

9“So I tell you: Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 10For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 11What father among you, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead of a fish? 12Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13If you then, although you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

14Now he was casting out a demon that was mute. When the demon had gone out, the man who had been mute began to speak, and the crowds were amazed. 15But some of them said, “By the power of Beelzebul, the ruler of demons, he casts out demons!” 16Others, to test him, began asking for a sign from heaven. 17But Jesus, realizing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is destroyed, and a divided household falls. 18So if Satan too is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? I ask you this because you claim that I cast out demons by Beelzebul. 19Now if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. 20But if I cast out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has already overtaken you. 21When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his possessions are safe. 22But when a stronger man attacks and conquers him, he takes away the first man’s armor on which the man relied and divides up his plunder. 23Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

24“When an unclean spirit goes out of a person, it passes through waterless places looking for rest but not finding any. Then it says, ‘I will return to the home I left.’ 25When it returns, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. 26Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and live there, so the last state of that person is worse than the first.”

27As he said these things, a woman in the crowd spoke out to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts at which you nursed!” 28But he replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it!”

29As the crowds were increasing, Jesus began to say, “This generation is a wicked generation; it looks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah. 30For just as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so the Son of Man will be a sign to this generation. 31The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with the people of this generation and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon—and now, something greater than Solomon is here! 32The people of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented when Jonah preached to them—and now, something greater than Jonah is here!

33“No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a hidden place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, so that those who come in can see the light. 34Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is diseased, your body is full of darkness. 35Therefore see to it that the light in you is not darkness. 36If then your whole body is full of light, with no part in the dark, it will be as full of light as when the light of a lamp shines on you.”

37As he spoke, a Pharisee invited Jesus to have a meal with him, so he went in and took his place at the table. 38The Pharisee was astonished when he saw that Jesus did not first wash his hands before the meal. 39But the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. 40You fools! Didn’t the one who made the outside make the inside as well? 41But give from your heart to those in need, and then everything will be clean for you.

42“But woe to you Pharisees! You give a tenth of your mint, rue, and every herb, yet you neglect justice and love for God! But you should have done these things without neglecting the others. 43Woe to you Pharisees! You love the best seats in the synagogues and elaborate greetings in the marketplaces! 44Woe to you! You are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without realizing it!”

45One of the experts in religious law answered him, “Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us too.” 46But Jesus replied, “Woe to you experts in religious law as well! You load people down with burdens difficult to bear, yet you yourselves refuse to touch the burdens with even one of your fingers! 47Woe to you! You build the tombs of the prophets whom your ancestors killed. 48So you testify that you approve of the deeds of your ancestors because they killed the prophets and you build their tombs! 49For this reason also the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,’ 50so that this generation may be held accountable for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world, 51from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be charged against this generation. 52Woe to you experts in religious law! You have taken away the key to knowledge! You did not go in yourselves, and you hindered those who were going in.”

53When he went out from there, the experts in the law and the Pharisees began to oppose him bitterly and to ask him hostile questions about many things, 54plotting against him to catch him in something he might say.

12:1 Meanwhile, when many thousands of the crowd had gathered so that they were trampling on one another, Jesus began to speak first to his disciples, “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2Nothing is hidden that will not be revealed, and nothing is secret that will not be made known. 3So then whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms will be proclaimed from the housetops.

4“I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more they can do. 5But I will warn you whom you should fear: Fear the one who, after the killing, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! 6Aren’t five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God. 7In fact, even the hairs on your head are all numbered. Do not be afraid; you are more valuable than many sparrows.

8“I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before God’s angels. 9But the one who denies me before men will be denied before God’s angels. 10And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the person who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. 11But when they bring you before the synagogues, the rulers, and the authorities, do not worry about how you should make your defense or what you should say, 12for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you must say.”

13Then someone from the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” 14But Jesus said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator between you two?” 15Then he said to them, “Watch out and guard yourself from all types of greed because one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” 16He then told them a parable: “The land of a certain rich man produced an abundant crop, 17so he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19And I will say to myself, “You have plenty of goods stored up for many years; relax, eat, drink, celebrate!”’ 20But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded back from you, but who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ 21So it is with the one who stores up riches for himself, but is not rich toward God.”

22Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. 23For there is more to life than food, and more to the body than clothing. 24Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn, yet God feeds them. How much more valuable are you than the birds! 25And which of you by worrying can add an hour to his life? 26So if you cannot do such a very little thing as this, why do you worry about the rest? 27Consider how the flowers grow; they do not work or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these! 28And if this is how God clothes the wild grass, which is here today and tomorrow is tossed into the fire to heat the oven, how much more will he clothe you, you people of little faith! 29So do not be overly concerned about what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not worry about such things. 30For all the nations of the world pursue these things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31Instead, pursue his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

32“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father is well pleased to give you the kingdom. 33Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide yourselves purses that do not wear out—a treasure in heaven that never decreases, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. 34For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

35“Get dressed for service and keep your lamps burning; 36be like people waiting for their master to come back from the wedding celebration, so that when he comes and knocks, they can immediately open the door for him. 37Blessed are those slaves whom their master finds alert when he returns! I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, have them take their place at the table, and will come and wait on them! 38Even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night and finds them alert, blessed are those slaves! 39But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40You also must be ready because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

41Then Peter said, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for everyone?” 42The Lord replied, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his household servants, to give them their allowance of food at the proper time? 43Blessed is that slave whom his master finds at work when he returns. 44I tell you the truth, the master will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45But if that slave should say to himself, ‘My master is delayed in returning,’ and he begins to beat the other slaves, both men and women, and to eat, drink, and get drunk, 46then the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not foresee, and will cut him in two, and assign him a place with the unfaithful. 47That servant who knew his master’s will but did not get ready or do what his master asked will receive a severe beating. 48But the one who did not know his master’s will and did things worthy of punishment will receive a light beating. From everyone who has been given much, much will be required, and from the one who has been entrusted with much, even more will be asked.

49“I have come to bring fire on the earth—and how I wish it were already kindled! 50I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is finished! 51Do you think I have come to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! 52For from now on there will be five in one household divided, three against two and two against three. 53They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

54Jesus also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, ‘A rainstorm is coming,’ and it does. 55And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat,’ and there is. 56You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky, but how can you not know how to interpret the present time?

57“And why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right? 58As you are going with your accuser before the magistrate, make an effort to settle with him on the way, so that he will not drag you before the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. 59I tell you, you will never get out of there until you have paid the very last cent!”

13:1 Now there were some present on that occasion who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2He answered them, “Do you think these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered these things? 3No, I tell you! But unless you repent, you will all perish as well! 4Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower in Siloam fell on them, do you think they were worse offenders than all the others who live in Jerusalem? 5No, I tell you! But unless you repent you will all perish as well!”

6Then Jesus told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. 7So he said to the worker who tended the vineyard, ‘For three years now, I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and each time I inspect it I find none. Cut it down! Why should it continue to deplete the soil?’ 8But the worker answered him, ‘Sir, leave it alone this year too, until I dig around it and put fertilizer on it. 9Then if it bears fruit next year, very well, but if not, you can cut it down.’”

10Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath, 11and a woman was there who had been disabled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten herself up completely. 12When Jesus saw her, he called her to him and said, “Woman, you are freed from your infirmity.” 13Then he placed his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God. 14But the president of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the crowd, “There are six days on which work should be done! So come and be healed on those days, and not on the Sabbath day.” 15Then the Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from its stall and lead it to water? 16Then shouldn’t this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years, be released from this imprisonment on the Sabbath day?” 17When he said this, all his adversaries were humiliated, but the entire crowd was rejoicing at all the wonderful things he was doing.

18Thus Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like? To what should I compare it? 19It is like a mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the wild birds nested in its branches.”

20Again he said, “To what should I compare the kingdom of God? 21It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with three measures of flour until all the dough had risen.”

22Then Jesus traveled throughout towns and villages, teaching and making his way toward Jerusalem. 23Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few be saved?” So he said to them, 24“Exert every effort to enter through the narrow door because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, then you will stand outside and start to knock on the door and beg him, ‘Lord, let us in!’ But he will answer you, ‘I don’t know where you come from.’ 26Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ 27But he will reply, ‘I don’t know where you come from! Go away from me, all you evildoers!’ 28There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but you yourselves thrown out. 29Then people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and take their places at the banquet table in the kingdom of God. 30But indeed, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”

31At that time, some Pharisees came up and said to Jesus, “Get away from here because Herod wants to kill you.” 32But he said to them, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Look, I am casting out demons and performing healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will complete my work. 33Nevertheless I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the next day, because it is impossible that a prophet should be killed outside Jerusalem.’ 34O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those who are sent to you! How often I have longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you would have none of it! 35Look, your house is forsaken! And I tell you, you will not see me until you say, ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!’”

14:1 Now one Sabbath when Jesus went to dine at the house of a leader of the Pharisees, they were watching him closely. 2There right in front of him was a man whose body was swollen with fluid. 3So Jesus asked the experts in religious law and the Pharisees, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?” 4But they remained silent. So Jesus took hold of the man, healed him, and sent him away. 5Then he said to them, “Which of you, if you have a son or an ox that has fallen into a well on a Sabbath day, will not immediately pull him out?” 6But they could not reply to this.

7Then when Jesus noticed how the guests chose the places of honor, he told them a parable. He said to them, 8“When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor because a person more distinguished than you may have been invited by your host. 9So the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this man your place.’ Then, ashamed, you will begin to move to the least important place. 10But when you are invited, go and take the least important place, so that when your host approaches he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up here to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who share the meal with you. 11For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

(NET Bible)

This word of Luther spoken at Worms has o en, unfortunately, been misconstrued. It has been inferred from it that Luther here demanded an unrestricted liberty of thought and conscience, according to which there is no such thing as an objective authority outside of ourselves, and man is responsible to no one but himself, his own subjective, arbitrary conscience. It is not to be denied that natural man would find his greatest delight in such an absolute freedom of thought and conscience, just as such freedom sooner or later always leads to a dissolution of morality and religion but never serves to fortify the same. Such unrestricted individualism, centering only in itself, divorced from all objective authority, was, perhaps, advocated by Italian humanism but never by Luther. This needs no further proof even though historians like Harnack saw fit to write: “ The Reformation protested against all formal, external authority in matters of religion. Thus Luther also protested against the authority of the letter of the Bible.” Whoever appeals to the confession of Luther at Worms in support of this deliberately closes his eyes to the fact that Luther expressly declared, “my conscience is captive to the Word of God.” (19)

–Johann Michael Reu, Luther on the Scriptures

This daily Bible reading guide, Reading the Word of God, was conceived and prepared as a result of the ongoing discussions between representatives of three church bodies: Lutheran Church—Canada (LCC), The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) and the North American Lutheran Church (NALC). The following individuals have represented their church bodies and approved this introduction and the reading guide: LCC: President Robert Bugbee; NALC: Bishop John Bradosky, Revs. Mark Chavez, James Nestingen, and David Wendel; LCMS: Revs. Albert Collver, Joel Lehenbauer, John Pless, and Larry Vogel.

Learn More