The meeting-place president, furious because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the congregation, "Six days have been defined as work days. Come on one of the six if you want to be healed, but not on the seventh, the Sabbath."
But Jesus shot back, "You frauds! Each Sabbath every one of you regularly unties your cow or donkey from its stall, leads it out for water, and thinks nothing of it.
So why isn't it all right for me to untie this daughter of Abraham and lead her from the stall where Satan has had her tied these eighteen years?"
When he put it that way, his critics were left looking quite silly and red-faced. The congregation was delighted and cheered him on.
Then he said, "How can I picture God's kingdom for you? What kind of story can I use?
It's like a pine nut that a man plants in his front yard. It grows into a huge pine tree with thick branches, and eagles build nests in it."
He tried again. "How can I picture God's kingdom?
It's like yeast that a woman works into enough dough for three loaves of bread - and waits while the dough rises."
He went on teaching from town to village, village to town, but keeping on a steady course toward Jerusalem.
A bystander said, "Master, will only a few be saved?"
"Whether few or many is none of your business. Put your mind on your life with God. The way to life - to God! - is vigorous and requires your total attention. A lot of you are going to assume that you'll sit down to God's salvation banquet just because you've been hanging around the neighborhood all your lives.
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)