He said to his disciples, "Hard trials and temptations are bound to come, but too bad for whoever brings them on!
Better to wear a millstone necklace and take a swim in the deep blue sea than give even one of these dear little ones a hard time!
"Be alert. If you see your friend going wrong, correct him. If he responds, forgive him.
Even if it's personal against you and repeated seven times through the day, and seven times he says, 'I'm sorry, I won't do it again,' forgive him."
The apostles came up and said to the Master, "Give us more faith."
But the Master said, "You don't need more faith. There is no 'more' or 'less' in faith. If you have a bare kernel of faith, say the size of a poppy seed, you could say to this sycamore tree, 'Go jump in the lake,' and it would do it.
"Suppose one of you has a servant who comes in from plowing the field or tending the sheep. Would you take his coat, set the table, and say, 'Sit down and eat'?
Wouldn't you be more likely to say, 'Prepare dinner; change your clothes and wait table for me until I've finished my coffee; then go to the kitchen and have your supper'?
Does the servant get special thanks for doing what's expected of him?
It's the same with you. When you've done everything expected of you, be matter-of-fact and say, 'The work is done. What we were told to do, we did.'"
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)