Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.12
He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men.3And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice2 against my adversary.'4"For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care about men,5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!' "36
And the Lord4 said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says.7And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out5 to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off ?8I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man6 comes,7 will he find faith on the earth?"
To some who were confident of their own righteousness8 and looked down on everybody else,9 Jesus told this parable:
10"Two men went up to the temple to pray,10 one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.11The Pharisee stood up11 and prayed abouta himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men--robbers, evildoers, adulterers--or even like this tax collector.12I fast12 twice a week and give a tenth13 of all I get.'13"But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast14 and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'1514"I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."16
People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them.
But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.17I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child17 will never enter it."
A certain ruler asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"1819"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good--except God alone.20You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.'b "1921
"All these I have kept since I was a boy," he said.
When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor,20 and you will have treasure in heaven.21 Then come, follow me."23
When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth.