1In the meantime so many thousands of people had gathered that they were stepping on each another. Jesus began speaking first to his disciples. “Beware the yeast of the Pharisees—hypocrisy. 2For there's nothing hidden that won't be revealed, nothing secret that won't be made known. 3Whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and whatever you whispered in private will be announced from the rooftops. 4I tell you, my friends, don't be afraid of those who kill the body, for once they've done that there's no more they can do. 5Let me make it clear whom you should be afraid of. You should be afraid of the one who after he has killed has the power to dispose of them in Gehenna.#12:5. The word here is Literally, “Gehenna,” sometimes translated “hell” or “hellfire.” Gehenna was the place outside of Jerusalem where fires were lit to dispose of rubbish by burning. “Hell” is a concept that is derived from Nordic and Anglo-Saxon mythology and does not parallel the idea here. That's the one you should be afraid of. 6Aren't five sparrows sold for two pennies? But God doesn't forget a single one of them. 7Even the hairs on your head have been counted. Don't be afraid—you're worth more than many sparrows!
8I tell you the truth, those who declare they belong to me, the Son of man will also declare they belong to him before God's angels, 9but those who deny me will be denied before God's angels. 10Everyone who speaks against the Son of man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
11When you're brought to trial before synagogues, rulers, and authorities, don't worry about how to defend yourself, or what you should say. 12The Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what's important to say.”
13Someone in the crowd asked Jesus, “Teacher, please tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.”
14“My friend,” Jesus replied, “Who appointed me as your judge to decide how your inheritance should be divided?” He told the people, 15“Watch out, and beware of all greedy thoughts and actions, for a person's life isn't summed up by all the things they own.”
16Then he told them a story as an illustration. “Once there was a rich man who owned land that was very productive. 17The man said to himself, ‘What shall I do? I've nowhere to store my crops.’ 18‘I know what I'll do,’ he decided. ‘I'll pull down my barns and build bigger ones, and then I'll be able to store all my crops and everything I own. 19Then I'll tell myself, “You have enough to live on for many years, so take life easy: eat, drink, and enjoy yourself!”’ 20But God said to him, ‘You foolish man! Your life will be demanded back this very night, and then who will get everything you've stored up?’ 21This is what happens to people who hoard up wealth for themselves but are not rich as far as God is concerned.”
22Jesus told his disciples, “That's why I tell you don't worry about life, about what to eat, or about what clothes you should wear. 23Life is about more than food, and the body is about more than wearing clothes. 24Look at the ravens. They don't sow or reap, they don't have any storerooms or barns, but God feeds them. And you're far more valuable than birds! 25Can you add an hour to your life by worrying about it? 26If you can't do anything about such small things, why worry about the rest? 27Think of the lilies and how they grow. They don't work, and they don't spin thread for clothes, but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory was as beautifully dressed as one of them.
28So if God clothes the fields with such beautiful flowers, which are here today but gone tomorrow when they are burned in a fire to heat an oven, how much more will God clothe you, you who have so little trust! 29Don't be concerned about what you're going to eat or drink—don't worry about it. 30These are all things that people in the world worry about, but your Father knows you need them. 31Search for God's kingdom, and you'll be given these things as well. 32Don't be afraid, little flock, for your Father is happy to give you the kingdom. 33Sell what you have, and give the money to the poor. Get yourselves purses that don't wear out: treasure in heaven that will never run out, where no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it. 34For your heart will be wherever your treasure is.
35Be dressed and ready, and keep your lamps lit, 36like servants waiting for their master when he returns from his wedding feast, prepared to open the door quickly for him when he comes and knocks. 37How good it will be for those servants that the master finds watching when he returns. I tell you the truth, he will get dressed, have them sit down for a meal, and will come and serve them himself!
38Even if he comes at midnight, or just before dawn—how good for them if he finds them watching and ready! 39But remember this: if the master knew when a thief was coming, he would keep watch, and not allow his house be broken into. 40You must also be ready, for the Son of man is coming when you don't expect him.”
41“Is this story you're telling just for us, or for everyone?” Peter asked.
42The Lord replied, “Who then is the trustworthy and wise manager, the one person in the household that the master puts in charge to share out their food at the right time? 43It will be good for that servant when his master returns and finds him doing what he should. 44I tell you the truth, the master will put that servant in charge of everything. 45But what if the servant were to say to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and then starts beating the other servants, both men and women, feasting and getting drunk? 46That servant's master will return unexpectedly one day at a time he wasn't aware of, and will punish him severely, treating him as totally untrustworthy.
47That servant who knew what his master wanted and yet didn't get ready or follow his instructions, will be beaten severely; 48but the servant who didn't know and did things deserving punishment will be beaten only lightly. From those who are given much, much will be required, and from those who are entrusted with more, more will be demanded. 49I have come to set the earth on fire, and I really wish it was already burning! 50But I have a baptism to go through, and I'm in agony, wishing it was over! 51Do you think that I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, I bring division. 52From now on, if there are five in a family, they will be divided against each other: three against two, and two against three. 53They will be divided against each other—father against son, son against father, mother against daughter, daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law, and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
54Then Jesus spoke to the crowds. “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say, ‘a rain-shower's coming,’ and it happens. 55When a south wind blows, you say ‘it's going to be hot,’ and it is. 56You hypocrites, how is it that you know how to rightly interpret the weather but you don't know how to interpret the present time? 57Why don't you think for yourselves and judge what's right? 58As you go with your accuser to the magistrate, on the way you should be working on a settlement. Otherwise you may be dragged before the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. 59I tell you, you won't get out until you've paid the last penny.”