Once, on a day of worship, Jesus was walking through some grainfields. His disciples were picking the heads of grain, removing the husks, and eating the grain.
Some of the Pharisees asked, "Why are your disciples doing something that is not right to do on the day of worship?"
Jesus answered them, "Haven't you read what David did when he and his men were hungry?
Haven't you read how he went into the house of God, ate the bread of the presence, and gave some of it to the men who were with him? He had no right to eat those loaves. Only the priests have that right."
Then he added, "The Son of Man has authority over the day of worship."
On another day of worship, Jesus went into a synagogue to teach. A man whose right hand was paralyzed was there.
The scribes and the Pharisees were watching Jesus closely. They wanted to see whether he would heal the man on the day of worship so that they could find a way to accuse him of doing something wrong.
But Jesus knew what they were thinking. So he told the man with the paralyzed hand, "Get up, and stand in the center [of the synagogue]!" The man got up and stood there.
Then Jesus said to them, "I ask you--what is the right thing to do on a day of worship: to do good or evil, to give a person his health or to destroy it?"
He looked around at all of them and then said to the man, "Hold out your hand." The man did so, and his hand became normal again.
The scribes and Pharisees were furious and began to discuss with each other what they could do to Jesus.
At that time Jesus went to a mountain to pray. He spent the whole night in prayer to God.
When it was day, he called his disciples. He chose twelve of them and called them apostles.
They were Simon (whom Jesus named Peter) and Simon's brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew,
Matthew, Thomas, James (son of Alphaeus), Simon (who was called the Zealot),
Judas (son of James), and Judas Iscariot (who became a traitor).
Jesus came down from the mountain with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples and many other people were there. They had come from all over Judea, Jerusalem, and the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon.
They wanted to hear him and be cured of their diseases. Those who were tormented by evil spirits were cured.
The entire crowd was trying to touch him because power was coming from him and curing all of them.
Jesus looked at his disciples and said, "Blessed are those who are poor. The kingdom of God is theirs.
Blessed are those who are hungry. They will be satisfied. Blessed are those who are crying. They will laugh.
Blessed are you when people hate you, avoid you, insult you, and slander you because you are committed to the Son of Man.
Rejoice then, and be very happy! You have a great reward in heaven. That's the way their ancestors treated the prophets.
"But how horrible it will be for those who are rich. They have had their comfort.
How horrible it will be for those who are well-fed. They will be hungry. How horrible it will be for those who are laughing. They will mourn and cry.
How horrible it will be for you when everyone says nice things about you. That's the way their ancestors treated the false prophets.
"But I tell everyone who is listening: Love your enemies. Be kind to those who hate you.
Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who insult you.
If someone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other cheek as well. If someone takes your coat, don't stop him from taking your shirt.
Give to everyone who asks you for something. If someone takes what is yours, don't insist on getting it back.
"Do for other people everything you want them to do for you.
"If you love those who love you, do you deserve any thanks for that? Even sinners love those who love them.
If you help those who help you, do you deserve any thanks for that? Sinners do that too.
If you lend anything to those from whom you expect to get something back, do you deserve any thanks for that? Sinners also lend to sinners to get back what they lend.
Rather, love your enemies, help them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then you will have a great reward. You will be the children of the Most High God. After all, he is kind to unthankful and evil people.
Be merciful as your Father is merciful.
"Stop judging, and you will never be judged. Stop condemning, and you will never be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
Give, and you will receive. A large quantity, pressed together, shaken down, and running over will be put into your pocket. The standards you use for others will be applied to you."
Jesus also gave them this illustration: "Can one blind person lead another? Won't both fall into the same pit?
A student is no better than his teacher. But everyone who is well-trained will be like his teacher.
"Why do you see the piece of sawdust in another believer's eye and not notice the wooden beam in your own eye?
How can you say to another believer, 'Friend, let me take the piece of sawdust out of your eye,' when you don't see the beam in your own eye? You hypocrite! First remove the beam from your own eye. Then you will see clearly to remove the piece of sawdust from another believer's eye.
"A good tree doesn't produce rotten fruit, and a rotten tree doesn't produce good fruit.
Each tree is known by its fruit. You don't pick figs from thorny plants or grapes from a thornbush.
Good people do the good that is in them. But evil people do the evil that is in them. The things people say come from inside them.
"Why do you call me Lord but don't do what I tell you?
"I will show you what everyone who comes to me, hears what I say, and obeys it is like.
He is like a person who dug down to bedrock to lay the foundation of his home. When a flood came, the floodwaters pushed against that house. But the house couldn't be washed away because it had a good foundation.
The person who hears [what I say] but doesn't obey it is like someone who built a house on the ground without any foundation. The floodwaters pushed against it, and that house quickly collapsed and was destroyed."