After this, the Lord chose seventy-twon others and sent them out in pairs ahead of him into every town and place where he planned to go.
He said to them, "There are a great many people to harvest, but there are only a few workers. So pray to God, who owns the harvest, that he will send more workers to help gather his harvest.
Go now, but listen! I am sending you out like sheep among wolves.
Don't carry a purse, a bag, or sandals, and don't waste time talking with people on the road.
Before you go into a house, say, 'Peace be with this house.'
If peaceful people live there, your blessing of peace will stay with them, but if not, then your blessing will come back to you.
Stay in the peaceful house, eating and drinking what the people there give you. A worker should be given his pay. Don't move from house to house.
If you go into a town and the people welcome you, eat what they give you.
Heal the sick who live there, and tell them, 'The kingdom of God is near you.'
But if you go into a town, and the people don't welcome you, then go into the streets and say,
'Even the dirt from your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. But remember that the kingdom of God is near.'
I tell you, on the Judgment Day it will be better for the people of Sodomn than for the people of that town.
"How terrible for you, Korazin! How terrible for you, Bethsaida! If the miracles I did in you had happened in Tyre and Sidon, those people would have changed their lives long ago. They would have worn rough cloth and put ashes on themselves to show they had changed.
But on the Judgment Day it will be better for Tyre and Sidon than for you.
And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to heaven? No! You will be thrown down to the depths!
"Whoever listens to you listens to me, and whoever refuses to accept you refuses to accept me. And whoever refuses to accept me refuses to accept the One who sent me."
When the seventy-twon came back, they were very happy and said, "Lord, even the demons obeyed us when we used your name!"
Jesus said, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.
Listen, I have given you power to walk on snakes and scorpions, power that is greater than the enemy has. So nothing will hurt you.
But you should not be happy because the spirits obey you but because your names are written in heaven."
Then Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the people who are wise and smart. But you have shown them to those who are like little children. Yes, Father, this is what you really wanted.
"My Father has given me all things. No one knows who the Son is, except the Father. And no one knows who the Father is, except the Son and those whom the Son chooses to tell."
Then Jesus turned to his followers and said privately, "You are blessed to see what you now see.
I tell you, many prophets and kings wanted to see what you now see, but they did not, and they wanted to hear what you now hear, but they did not."
Then an expert on the law stood up to test Jesus, saying, "Teacher, what must I do to get life forever?"
Jesus said, "What is written in the law? What do you read there?"
The man answered, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind." Also, "Love your neighbor as you love yourself."
Jesus said to him, "Your answer is right. Do this and you will live."
But the man, wanting to show the importance of his question, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"
Jesus answered, "As a man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, some robbers attacked him. They tore off his clothes, beat him, and left him lying there, almost dead.
It happened that a Jewish priest was going down that road. When he saw the man, he walked by on the other side.
Next, a Leviten came there, and after he went over and looked at the man, he walked by on the other side of the road.
Then a Samaritann traveling down the road came to where the hurt man was. When he saw the man, he felt very sorry for him.
The Samaritan went to him, poured olive oil and winen on his wounds, and bandaged them. Then he put the hurt man on his own donkey and took him to an inn where he cared for him.
The next day, the Samaritan brought out two coins, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, 'Take care of this man. If you spend more money on him, I will pay it back to you when I come again.'"
Then Jesus said, "Which one of these three men do you think was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by the robbers?"
The expert on the law answered, "The one who showed him mercy." Jesus said to him, "Then go and do what he did."
While Jesus and his followers were traveling, Jesus went into a town. A woman named Martha let Jesus stay at her house.
Martha had a sister named Mary, who was sitting at Jesus' feet and listening to him teach.
But Martha was busy with all the work to be done. She went in and said, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me alone to do all the work? Tell her to help me."
But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things.
Only one thing is important. Mary has chosen the better thing, and it will never be taken away from her."
One time Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his followers said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray as John taught his followers."
Jesus said to them, "When you pray, say: 'Father, may your name always be kept holy. May your kingdom come.
Give us the food we need for each day.
Forgive us for our sins, because we forgive everyone who has done wrong to us. And do not cause us to be tempted.'"
Then Jesus said to them, "Suppose one of you went to your friend's house at midnight and said to him, 'Friend, loan me three loaves of bread.
A friend of mine has come into town to visit me, but I have nothing for him to eat.'
Your friend inside the house answers, 'Don't bother me! The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything.'
I tell you, if friendship is not enough to make him get up to give you the bread, your boldness will make him get up and give you whatever you need.
So I tell you, ask, and God will give to you. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will open for you.
Yes, everyone who asks will receive. The one who searches will find. And everyone who knocks will have the door opened.
If your children ask for a fish, which of you would give them a snake instead?
Or, if your children ask for an egg, would you give them a scorpion?
Even though you are bad, you know how to give good things to your children. How much more your heavenly Father will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"
One time Jesus was sending out a demon that could not talk. When the demon came out, the man who had been unable to speak, then spoke. The people were amazed.
But some of them said, "Jesus uses the power of Beelzebul, the ruler of demons, to force demons out of people."
Other people, wanting to test Jesus, asked him to give them a sign from heaven.
But knowing their thoughts, he said to them, "Every kingdom that is divided against itself will be destroyed. And a family that is divided against itself will not continue.
So if Satan is divided against himself, his kingdom will not continue. You say that I use the power of Beelzebul to force out demons.
But if I use the power of Beelzebul to force out demons, what power do your people use to force demons out? So they will be your judges.
But if I use the power of God to force out demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you.
"When a strong person with many weapons guards his own house, his possessions are safe.
But when someone stronger comes and defeats him, the stronger one will take away the weapons the first man trusted and will give away the possessions.
"Anyone who is not with me is against me, and anyone who does not work with me is working against me.
"When an evil spirit comes out of a person, it travels through dry places, looking for a place to rest. But when it finds no place, it says, 'I will go back to the house I left.'
And when it comes back, it finds that house swept clean and made neat.
Then the evil spirit goes out and brings seven other spirits more evil than it is, and they go in and live there. So the person has even more trouble than before."
As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out to Jesus, "Happy is the mother who gave birth to you and nursed you."
But Jesus said, "No, happy are those who hear the teaching of God and obey it."
As the crowd grew larger, Jesus said, "The people who live today are evil. They want to see a miracle for a sign, but no sign will be given them, except the sign of Jonah.
As Jonah was a sign for those people who lived in Nineveh, the Son of Man will be a sign for the people of this time.
On the Judgment Day the Queen of the Southn will stand up with the people who live now. She will show they are guilty, because she came from far away to listen to Solomon's wise teaching. And I tell you that someone greater than Solomon is here.
On the Judgment Day the people of Nineveh will stand up with the people who live now, and they will show that you are guilty. When Jonah preached to them, they were sorry and changed their lives. And I tell you that someone greater than Jonah is here.
"No one lights a lamp and puts it in a secret place or under a bowl, but on a lampstand so the people who come in can see.
Your eye is a light for the body. When your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But when your eyes are evil, your whole body will be full of darkness.
So be careful not to let the light in you become darkness.
If your whole body is full of light, and none of it is dark, then you will shine bright, as when a lamp shines on you."
After Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee asked Jesus to eat with him. So Jesus went in and sat at the table.
But the Pharisee was surprised when he saw that Jesus did not wash his handsn before the meal.
The Lord said to him, "You Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are full of greed and evil.
You foolish people! The same one who made what is outside also made what is inside.
So give what is in your dishes to the poor, and then you will be fully clean.
How terrible for you Pharisees! You give God one-tenth of even your mint, your rue, and every other plant in your garden. But you fail to be fair to others and to love God. These are the things you should do while continuing to do those other things.
How terrible for you Pharisees, because you love to have the most important seats in the synagogues, and you love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces.
How terrible for you, because you are like hidden graves, which people walk on without knowing."
One of the experts on the law said to Jesus, "Teacher, when you say these things, you are insulting us, too."
Jesus answered, "How terrible for you, you experts on the law! You make strict rules that are very hard for people to obey, but you yourselves don't even try to follow those rules.
How terrible for you, because you build tombs for the prophets whom your ancestors killed!
And now you show that you approve of what your ancestors did. They killed the prophets, and you build tombs for them!
This is why in his wisdom God said, 'I will send prophets and apostles to them. They will kill some, and they will treat others cruelly.'
So you who live now will be punished for the deaths of all the prophets who were killed since the beginning of the world --
from the killing of Abel to the killing of Zechariah, who died between the altar and the Temple. Yes, I tell you that you who are alive now will be punished for them all.
"How terrible for you, you experts on the law. You have taken away the key to learning about God. You yourselves would not learn, and you stopped others from learning, too."
When Jesus left, the teachers of the law and the Pharisees began to give him trouble, asking him questions about many things,
trying to catch him saying something wrong.