1Jesus told them this story to encourage them to pray at all times, and not to become discouraged. 2“Once there was a judge in this particular town who didn’t respect God or care about anyone,” Jesus explained. 3“In the same town lived a widow who time and again went to the judge, saying, ‘Give me justice in the case against my enemy!’ 4For a while he didn’t want to do anything about it, but eventually he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t respect God or care about anyone, 5this widow is so annoying I’ll make sure she receives justice. Then she won’t wear me out by her coming to see me so often.’
6“Listen to what even an unjust judge decided,” said the Lord. 7“Don’t you think that God will make sure his chosen people receive justice, those who cry out to him day and night? Do you think he will make them wait? 8No, I tell you, he will give them justice quickly. However, when the Son of man comes, will he find people on earth who trust in him?”
9He also told this story about those who are so sure that they are living right, and who put everybody else down. 10“Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee stood up and prayed to himself, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—cheats, criminals#18:11. Literally, “unright.”, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week, and I pay tithe on my income.’
13“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He wouldn’t even look up to heaven. Instead he beat his chest and prayed, ‘God, please be merciful to me. I am a sinner.’
14“I tell you, it was this man who went home right in God’s sight and not the other. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, while those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
15Parents were bringing their infants to Jesus to have him bless them by his touch. When the disciples saw what was happening, they tried to stop them. 16But Jesus called the children to him. “Let the little children come to me,” he said. “Don’t prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to those who are like them. 17I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t welcome the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
18One of the rulers came to Jesus and asked him, “Good Teacher, what do I have to do to inherit eternal life?”
19“Why do you call me good?” Jesus replied. “No one is good, only God. 20You know the commandments: do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.”
21“I’ve kept all these commandments since I was young,” the man replied.
22When Jesus heard this he told the man, “You still lack one thing. Go and sell all you have, give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come and follow me!
23But when the man heard this he became very sad, for he was very wealthy.
24When he saw his reaction, Jesus said, “How difficult it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! 25It’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”
26Those who heard this wondered, “Who can be saved then?”
27Jesus replied, “What is impossible in human terms is possible for God.”
28“Peter said, “We left everything to follow you!”
29“I tell you the truth,” Jesus told them, “anybody who leaves behind their home, wife, brothers, parents, or children for the sake of God’s kingdom 30will receive so much more in this life, and eternal life in the world to come.”
31Jesus took the twelve disciples aside, and told them, “We’re going to Jerusalem, and all that the prophets wrote about the Son of man will be fulfilled. 32He will be handed over to the foreigners#18:32. Literally, “Gentiles.”; he will be mocked, insulted, and spat upon. 33They will flog him and kill him, but on the third day he will rise again.”
34But they didn’t understand anything Jesus told them. The meaning was hidden from them and they didn’t grasp what he was talking about.
35As Jesus approached Jericho a blind man was sitting beside the road begging. 36He heard the crowd going past, so he asked what was happening. 37They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” 38He called out, “Jesus, son of David, please have mercy on me!” 39Those at the front of the crowd told him to stop shouting and be quiet, but he only shouted louder, “Son of David, please have mercy on me!”
40Jesus stopped and told them to bring the blind man to him. As he came over, Jesus asked him, 41“What do you want me to do for you?”
“Lord, please, I want to see,” he pleaded.
42“Then see!” Jesus told him. “Your trust in me has healed you.” 43Immediately the man could see. He followed Jesus, praising God. Everyone there who saw what happened also praised God.