Faith and Service
(Matthew 18.6,7,21,22; Mark 9.42)
1Jesus said to his disciples:
There will always be something that causes people to sin. But anyone who causes them to sin is in for trouble. A person who causes even one of my little followers to sin 2would be better off thrown into the ocean with a heavy stone tied around their neck. 3#Mt 18.15. So be careful what you do.
Correct any followers#17.3 followers: The Greek text has “brothers,” which is often used in the New Testament for followers of Jesus. of mine who sin, and forgive the ones who say they are sorry. 4Even if one of them mistreats you seven times in one day and says, “I am sorry,” you should still forgive that person.
5The apostles said to the Lord, “Make our faith stronger!”
If you had faith no bigger than a tiny mustard seed, you could tell this mulberry tree to pull itself up, roots and all, and to plant itself in the ocean. And it would!
7If your servant comes in from plowing or from taking care of the sheep, would you say, “Welcome! Come on in and have something to eat”? 8No, you wouldn't say that. You would say, “Prepare me something to eat. Get ready to serve me, so I can have my meal. Then later on you can eat and drink.” 9Servants don't deserve special thanks for doing what they are supposed to do. 10And that's how it should be with you. When you've done all you should, then say, “We are merely servants, and we have simply done our duty.”
Ten Men with Leprosy
11On his way to Jerusalem, Jesus went along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12As he was going into a village, ten men with leprosy#17.12 leprosy: See the note at 4.27. came toward him. They stood at a distance 13and shouted, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”
14 # Lv 14.1-32. Jesus looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.”#17.14 show yourselves to the priests: See the note at 5.14.
On their way they were healed. 15When one of them discovered that he was healed, he came back, shouting praises to God. 16He bowed down at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. The man was from the country of Samaria.
17Jesus asked, “Weren't ten men healed? Where are the other nine? 18Why was this foreigner the only one who came back to thank God?” 19Then Jesus told the man, “You may get up and go. Your faith has made you well.”
20Some Pharisees asked Jesus when God's kingdom would come. He answered, “God's kingdom isn't something you can see. 21There is no use saying, ‘Look! Here it is’ or ‘Look! There it is.’ God's kingdom is here with you.”#17.21 here with you: Or “in your hearts.”
22Jesus said to his disciples:
The time will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not. 23When people say to you, “Look there,” or “Look here,” don't go looking for him. 24The day of the Son of Man will be like lightning flashing across the sky. 25But first he must suffer terribly and be rejected by the people of today. 26#Gn 6.5-8. When the Son of Man comes, things will be just as they were when Noah lived. 27#Gn 7.5-24. People were eating, drinking, and getting married right up to the day when Noah went into the big boat. Then the flood came and drowned everyone on earth.
28 # Gn 18.20—19.25. When Lot#17.27,28 Noah … Lot: When God destroyed the earth by a flood, he saved Noah and his family. And when God destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and the evil people who lived there, he rescued Lot and his family (see Genesis 19.1-29). lived, people were also eating and drinking. They were buying, selling, planting, and building. 29But on the very day Lot left Sodom, fiery flames poured down from the sky and killed everyone. 30The same will happen on the day when the Son of Man appears.
31 # Mt 24.17,18; Mk 13.15,16. At that time no one on a rooftop#17.31 rooftop: See the note at 5.19. should go down into the house to get anything. No one in a field should go back to the house for anything. 32#Gn 19.26. Remember what happened to Lot's wife.#17.32 what happened to Lot's wife: She turned into a block of salt when she disobeyed God (see Genesis 19.26).
33 # Mt 10.39; 16.25; Mk 8.35; Lk 9.24; Jn 12.25. People who try to save their lives will lose them, and those who lose their lives will save them. 34On that night two people will be sleeping in the same bed, but only one will be taken. The other will be left. 35-36Two women will be together grinding wheat, but only one will be taken. The other will be left.#17.35,36 will be left: Some manuscripts add, “Two men will be in the same field, but only one will be taken. The other will be left.”
37Then Jesus' disciples spoke up, “But where will this happen, Lord?”
Jesus said, “Where there is a corpse, there will always be vultures.”#17.37 Where there is a corpse, there will always be vultures: This saying may mean that when anything important happens, people soon know about it. Or the saying may mean that whenever something bad happens, curious people gather around and stare. But the word translated “vulture” also means “eagle” and may refer to the Roman army, which had an eagle as its symbol.