Instruction about Prayer
1 It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples.”2 He said to them,
“When you pray, #I.e. as a model or pattern.say:
‘#I.e. as a model or pattern.Father, #I.e. as a model or pattern.hallowed be Your name.
#I.e. as a model or pattern.Your kingdom come.
3 ‘Give us each day our #I.e. life’s essentials.daily bread.
4 ‘And forgive us our sins,
For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us [who has offended or wronged us].
And #I.e. lead us away from situations where we are vulnerable and have the opportunity to sin. God does not tempt man (see James 1:13) but does allow man to be tested.lead us not into temptation [#I.e. lead us away from situations where we are vulnerable and have the opportunity to sin. God does not tempt man (see James 1:13) but does allow man to be tested.but rescue us from evil].’”
Parable of Persistence
5 Then He said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and goes to him at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves [of bread];6 for a friend of mine who is on a journey has just come to visit me, and I have nothing to serve him’;7 and from inside he answers, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything just because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence and boldness he will get up and give him whatever he needs.
9 “So I say to you, ask and keep on asking, and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking, and you will find; knock and keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who #Here the use of Greek present imperatives (asking, seeking, knocking; vv 9, 10) emphasizes persistent, constant prayer.keeps on asking [persistently], receives; and he who keeps on seeking [persistently], finds; and to him who keeps on knocking [persistently], the door will be opened.11 What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead of a fish?12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?13 If you, then, being evil [that is, sinful by nature], know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask and continue to ask Him!”
14 And [at another time] Jesus was casting out a demon, and it was [controlling a man so as to make him] mute; when the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke. And the crowds were awed. 15 But some of them said, “He drives out demons by [the power of] #I.e. a deity worshiped in the Philistine city of Ekron: Baal Zebul, lord of the high places or Baal Zebub, lord of the flies.Beelzebul (Satan), the ruler of the demons.”16 Others, trying to test Him, were demanding of Him a sign from heaven.17 But He, well aware of their thoughts and purpose, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is doomed to destruction; and a house divided against itself falls.18 If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand and continue to survive? For you are saying that I drive out demons by [the power of] Beelzebul.19 Now if I drive out the demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons [the Jewish exorcists] drive them out? For this reason they will be your judges.20 But if I drive out the demons by the finger of God, then #I.e. in the person and ministry of Jesus.the kingdom of God has already come upon you.21 When the strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his belongings are undisturbed and secure.22 But when someone stronger than he attacks and overpowers him, he robs him of all his armor on which he had relied and divides his [goods as] spoil.23 He who is not with Me [believing in Me as Lord and Savior] is against Me [there is no impartial position]; and he who does not gather with Me [assisting in My ministry], scatters.
24 “When the unclean spirit comes out of a person, it roams through waterless places in search [of a place] of rest; and not finding any, it says, ‘I will go back to my house (person) from which I came.’25 And when it comes, it finds the place swept and put in order.26 Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in [the person] and live there; and the last state of that person becomes worse than the first.”
27 Now while Jesus was saying these things, one of the women in the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “Blessed (happy, favored by God) is the womb that gave birth to You and the breasts at which You nursed!”28 But He said, “On the contrary, blessed (happy, favored by God) are those who hear the word of God and continually observe it.”
The Sign of Jonah
29 Now as the crowds were increasing [in number], He began to say, “This [present] generation is a wicked generation; it seeks a sign (attesting miracle), but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah [the prophet]. 30 For just as #Jonah spent three days in the belly of the great fish; Christ was resurrected three days after His death.Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so will the Son of Man also be [a sign] to this generation. 31 The Queen of the South (the kingdom of Sheba) will rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to listen to the wisdom of Solomon, and look, something greater than Solomon is here. 32 The men of Nineveh will stand up [as witnesses] at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and look, something greater than Jonah is here.
33 “No one lights a lamp and then puts it in a cellar nor under a basket [hiding the light], but [instead it is put] on the lampstand, so that those who come in may see the light. 34 The eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is clear [spiritually perceptive, focused on God], your whole body also is full of light [benefiting from God’s precepts]. But when it is bad [spiritually blind], your body also is full of darkness [devoid of God’s word].35 Be careful, therefore, that the light that is in you is not darkness.36 So if your whole body is illuminated, with no dark part, it will be entirely bright [with light], as when the lamp gives you light with its bright rays.”
Woes upon the Pharisees
37 Now after Jesus had spoken, a Pharisee asked Him to have lunch with him. He went in [the Pharisee’s home] and reclined at the table [without ceremonially washing His hands].38 The Pharisee noticed this and was surprised that Jesus did not first ceremonially wash before the meal.39 But the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and plate [as required by tradition]; but inside you are full of greed and wickedness.40 You foolish ones [acting without reflection or intelligence]! Did not He who made the outside make the inside also?41 But give that which is within as charity [that is, acts of mercy and compassion, not as a public display, but as an expression of your faithfulness to God], and then indeed all things are clean for you.
42 “But woe (judgment is coming) to you Pharisees, because you [self-righteously] #The required offering of ten percent.tithe mint and #The required offering of ten percent.rue and every [little] garden herb [tending to all the minutiae], and yet disregard and neglect justice and the love of God; but these are the things you should have done, without neglecting the others. 43 Woe to you Pharisees, because you love the #These seats were located near the scrolls of the Law, facing the congregation in the synagogue.best seats in the synagogues and to be respectfully greeted in the market places.44 Woe to you! For you are like graves which are unmarked, and people walk over them without being aware of it [and are ceremonially unclean].”
45 One of the lawyers [an expert in the Mosaic Law] answered Him, “Teacher, by saying this, You insult us too!”46 But He said, “Woe to you lawyers as well, because you weigh men down with burdens [man-made rules, unreasonable requirements] which are hard to bear, and you yourselves will not even touch the burdens with one of your fingers [to lighten the load].47 Woe to you! For you repair or build #Or monuments to.tombs for the prophets, and it was your fathers who killed them.48 So you are witnesses and approve the deeds of your fathers, because they [actually] killed them, and you repair or build their tombs.49 For this reason also the wisdom of God said [in the Scriptures], ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will put to death and some they will persecute,50 so that charges may be brought against this generation [holding them responsible] for the blood of all the prophets shed since the foundation of the world,51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah [the priest], who was murdered between the altar and the house of God. Yes, I tell you, charges will be brought against this generation.’ 52 Woe to you lawyers, because you have taken away the key to knowledge (scriptural truth). You yourselves did not enter, and you held back those who were entering [by your flawed interpretation of God’s word and your man-made tradition].”
53 When He left there, the scribes and the Pharisees began to be very hostile [toward Him] and to interrogate Him on many subjects,54 plotting against Him to catch Him in something He might say.