Change Your Hearts
1At that time some people were there who told Jesus that Pilate had killed some people from Galilee while they were worshiping. He mixed their blood with the blood of the animals they were sacrificing to God. 2Jesus answered, “Do you think this happened to them because they were more sinful than all others from Galilee? 3No, I tell you. But unless you change your hearts and lives, you will be destroyed as they were! 4What about those eighteen people who died when the tower of Siloam fell on them? Do you think they were more sinful than all the others who live in Jerusalem? 5No, I tell you. But unless you change your hearts and lives, you will all be destroyed too!”
The Useless Tree
6Jesus told this story: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard. He came looking for some fruit on the tree, but he found none. 7So the man said to his gardener, ‘I have been looking for fruit on this tree for three years, but I never find any. Cut it down. Why should it waste the ground?’ 8But the servant answered, ‘Master, let the tree have one more year to produce fruit. Let me dig up the dirt around it and put on some fertilizer. 9If the tree produces fruit next year, good. But if not, you can cut it down.’ ”
Jesus Heals on the Sabbath
10Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath day. 11A woman was there who, for eighteen years, had an evil spirit in her that made her crippled. Her back was always bent; she could not stand up straight. 12When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, “Woman, you are free from your sickness.” 13Jesus put his hands on her, and immediately she was able to stand up straight and began praising God.
14The synagogue leader was angry because Jesus healed on the Sabbath day. He said to the people, “There are six days when one has to work. So come to be healed on one of those days, and not on the Sabbath day.”
15The Lord answered, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you untie your work animals and lead them to drink water every day—even on the Sabbath day? 16This woman that I healed, a daughter of Abraham, has been held by Satan for eighteen years. Surely it is not wrong for her to be freed from her sickness on a Sabbath day!” 17When Jesus said this, all of those who were criticizing him were ashamed, but the entire crowd rejoiced at all the wonderful things Jesus was doing.
Stories of Mustard Seed and Yeast
18Then Jesus said, “What is God’s kingdom like? What can I compare it with? 19It is like a mustard seed that a man plants in his garden. The seed grows and becomes a tree, and the wild birds build nests in its branches.”
20Jesus said again, “What can I compare God’s kingdom with? 21It is like yeast that a woman took and hid in a large tub of flour until it made all the dough rise.”
The Narrow Door
22Jesus was teaching in every town and village as he traveled toward Jerusalem. 23Someone said to Jesus, “Lord, will only a few people be saved?”
Jesus said, 24“Try hard to enter through the narrow door, because many people will try to enter there, but they will not be able. 25When the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you can stand outside and knock on the door and say, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ 26Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in the streets of our town.’ 27But he will say to you, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Go away from me, all you who do evil!’ 28You will cry and grind your teeth with pain when you see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in God’s kingdom, but you yourselves thrown outside. 29People will come from the east, west, north, and south and will sit down at the table in the kingdom of God. 30There are those who are last now who will be first in the future. And there are those who are first now who will be last in the future.”
Jesus Will Die in Jerusalem
31At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said, “Go away from here! Herod wants to kill you!”
32Jesus said to them, “Go tell that fox Herod, ‘Today and tomorrow I am forcing demons out and healing people. Then, on the third day, I will reach my goal.’ 33Yet I must be on my way today and tomorrow and the next day. Surely it cannot be right for a prophet to be killed anywhere except in Jerusalem.
34“Jerusalem, Jerusalem! You kill the prophets and stone to death those who are sent to you. Many times I wanted to gather your people as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you would not let me. 35Now your house is left completely empty. I tell you, you will not see me until that time when you will say, ‘God bless the One who comes in the name of the Lord.’ ”
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The Holy Bible, New Century Version, Copyright © 2005 Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.