Jesus Teaches About Prayer
1One time Jesus was praying in a place. When he finished, one of his followers said to him, “John taught his followers how to pray. Lord, please teach us how to pray, too.”
2Jesus said to them, “When you pray, say:
‘Father, we pray that your name will always be kept holy.
We pray that your kingdom will come.
3Give us the food we need for each day.
4Forgive us the sins we have done,
because we forgive every person who has done wrong to us.
And do not cause us to be tested.’”# Some Greek copies include phrases from Matthew’s version of this prayer (Matthew 6:9–13).
Continue to Ask
5-6Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose one of you went to your friend’s house at midnight and said to him, ‘A friend of mine has come into town to visit me. But I have nothing for him to eat. Please loan me three loaves of bread.’ 7Your friend inside the house answers, ‘Don’t bother me! The door is already locked. My children and I are in bed. I cannot get up and give you the bread now.’ 8I tell you, maybe friendship is not enough to make him get up to give you the bread. But he will surely get up to give you what you need if you continue to ask. 9So I tell you, continue to ask, and God will give to you. Continue to search, and you will find. Continue to knock, and the door will open for you. 10Yes, if a person continues asking, he will receive. If he continues searching, he will find. And if he continues knocking, the door will open for him. 11What would you fathers do if your son asks you for# Some Greek copies include the phrase “for bread? Would any of you give him a stone? Or if he asks you for . . .” and continue to verse 12. a fish? Would any of you give him a snake? 12Or, if your son asks for an egg, would you give him a scorpion? 13Even though you are bad, you know how to give good things to your children. So surely your heavenly Father knows how to give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”
Jesus’ Power Is from God
14One time Jesus was sending a demon out of a man who could not talk. When the demon came out, the man was able to speak. The people were amazed. 15But some of them said, “Jesus uses the power of Beelzebul to force demons out of people. Beelzebul is the ruler of demons.”
16Other people wanted to test Jesus. They asked him to give them a sign from heaven. 17But Jesus knew what they were thinking. So he said to them, “Every kingdom that is divided and fights against itself will be destroyed. And a family that fights against itself will break apart. 18So if Satan is fighting against himself, then how will his kingdom last? You say that I use the power of Beelzebul to force out demons. 19But if I use the power of Beelzebul to force out demons, then by what power do your people force out demons? So your own people prove that you are wrong. 20But if I use the power of God to force out demons, the kingdom of God has come to you!
21“When a strong man with many weapons guards his own house, then the things in his house are safe. 22But suppose a stronger man comes and defeats him. The stronger man will take away the weapons that the first man trusted to keep his house safe. Then the stronger man will do what he wants with the first man’s things.
23“If anyone is not with me, he is against me. He who does not work with me is working against me.
The Empty Man
24“When an evil spirit comes out of a person, it travels through dry places, looking for a place to rest. But that spirit finds no place to rest. So it says, ‘I will go back to the home I left.’ 25When the spirit comes back to that person, it finds that home swept clean and made neat. 26Then the evil spirit goes out and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself. Then all the evil spirits go into that person and live there. And he has even more trouble than he had before.”
People Who Are Truly Blessed
27When Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd spoke out. She said to Jesus, “Your mother is blessed because she gave birth to you and nursed you.”
28But Jesus said, “Those who hear the teaching of God and obey it—they are the ones who are truly blessed.”
Give Us Proof!
29The crowd grew larger. Jesus said, “The people who live today are evil. They ask for a miracle as a sign from God. But they will have no sign—only the sign of Jonah.# Jonah’s three days in the big fish are like Jesus’ three days in the tomb. 30Jonah was a sign for those people who lived in Nineveh. In the same way the Son of Man will be a sign for the people of this time. 31On the Judgment Day the Queen of the South# The Queen of Sheba. She traveled 1,000 miles to learn God’s wisdom from Solomon. Read 1 Kings 10:1–3. will stand up with the men who live now. She will show that they are guilty because she came from far away to listen to Solomon’s wise teaching. And I tell you that someone greater than Solomon is here! 32On the Judgment Day the men of Nineveh will stand up with the people who live now. And they will show that you are guilty, because when Jonah preached to those people, they changed their hearts and lives. And I tell you that someone greater than Jonah is here!
Be a Light to the World
33“No one takes a light and puts it under a bowl or hides it. Instead, he puts the light on a lampstand so that the people who come in can see. 34Your eye is a light for the body. If your eyes are good, then your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are evil, then your whole body will be full of darkness. 35So be careful! Don’t let the light in you become darkness. 36If your whole body is full of light, and none of it is dark, then you will shine bright, as when a lamp shines on you.”
Jesus Accuses the Pharisees
37After Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee asked Jesus to eat with him. So Jesus went in and sat at the table. 38But the Pharisee was surprised when he saw that Jesus did not wash his hands# This was a Jewish religious custom that the Pharisees thought was very important. before the meal. 39The Lord said to him, “You Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and the dish. But inside you are full of greed and evil. 40You are foolish. The same One who made what is outside also made what is inside. 41So give what is in your cups and dishes to the poor. Then you will be fully clean. 42But how terrible for you Pharisees! You give God one-tenth of even your mint, your rue, and every other plant in your garden. But you forget to be fair to other people and to love God. These are the things you should do. And you should also continue to do those other things—like giving one-tenth. 43How terrible for you Pharisees, because you love to get the most important seats in the synagogues. And you love people to show respect to you in the marketplaces. 44How terrible for you, because you are like hidden graves. People walk on them without knowing it.”
Jesus Talks to Teachers of the Law
45One of the teachers of the law said to Jesus, “Teacher, when you say these things, you are insulting us, too.”
46Jesus answered, “How terrible for you, you teachers of the law! You make strict rules that are very hard for people to obey. But you yourselves don’t even try to follow those rules. 47How terrible for you, because you build tombs for the prophets. But these are the prophets that your fathers killed! 48And now you show that you approve of what your fathers did. They killed the prophets, and you build tombs for the prophets! 49This is why in his wisdom God said, ‘I will send prophets and apostles to them. Some of my prophets and apostles will be killed, and others will be treated cruelly.’ 50So you who live now will be punished for the deaths of all the prophets who were killed since the beginning of the world. 51You will be punished for the killing of Abel and for the killing of Zechariah.# In the Hebrew Old Testament, the first and last men to be murdered. Zechariah was killed between the altar and the Temple. Yes, I tell you that you people who live now will be punished for them all.
52“How terrible for you, you teachers of the law. You have hidden the key to learning about God. You yourselves would not learn, and you stopped others from learning, too.”
53When Jesus was leaving, the teachers of the law and the Pharisees began to give him trouble, asking him questions about many things. 54They were trying to catch Jesus saying something wrong.