Now the LORD had said to Moses, "I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. After that, he will let you go from here, and when he does, he will drive you out completely.
Tell the people that men and women alike are to ask their neighbors for articles of silver and gold."
(The LORD made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and Moses himself was highly regarded in Egypt by Pharaoh's officials and by the people.)
So Moses said, "This is what the LORD says: 'About midnight I will go throughout Egypt.
Every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the slave girl, who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well.
There will be loud wailing throughout Egypt--worse than there has ever been or ever will be again.
But among the Israelites not a dog will bark at any man or animal.' Then you will know that the LORD makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.
All these officials of yours will come to me, bowing down before me and saying, 'Go, you and all the people who follow you!' After that I will leave." Then Moses, hot with anger, left Pharaoh.
The LORD had said to Moses, "Pharaoh will refuse to listen to you--so that my wonders may be multiplied in Egypt."
Moses and Aaron performed all these wonders before Pharaoh, but the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he would not let the Israelites go out of his country.
Jesus said to his disciples: "Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come.2It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.3So watch yourselves. "If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.4If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, 'I repent,' forgive him."5
The apostles said to the LORD, "Increase our faith!"
He replied, "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you.7"Suppose one of you had a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Would he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, 'Come along now and sit down to eat'?8Would he not rather say, 'Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink'?9Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do?10So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.' "
Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee.
As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance
and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!"
When he saw them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were cleansed.
One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice.
He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him--and he was a Samaritan.
Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?18Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?"19
Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well."
Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, "The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation,21nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you."22
Then he said to his disciples, "The time is coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it.23Men will tell you, 'There he is!' or 'Here he is!' Do not go running off after them.24For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other.25But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.26"Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man.27People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.28"It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building.29But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.30"It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed.31On that day no one who is on the roof of his house, with his goods inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything.32Remember Lot's wife!33Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.34I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left.35Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left. "37
"Where, LORD?" they asked. He replied, "Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather."
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.
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 justice 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!' "6
And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says.7And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out 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 Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"
To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable:
10"Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.11The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men--robbers, evildoers, adulterers--or even like this tax collector.12I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'13"But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'14"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."
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 child will never enter it."
A certain ruler asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
19"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.' "21
"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, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."23
When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth.
Jesus looked at him and said, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!25Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."26
Those who heard this asked, "Who then can be saved?"
Jesus replied, "What is impossible with men is possible with God."28
Peter said to him, "We have left all we had to follow you!"
29"I tell you the truth," Jesus said to them, "no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God30will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life."
Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, "We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled.32He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him.33On the third day he will rise again."34
The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about.
As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging.
When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening.
They told him, "Jesus of Nazareth is passing by."
He called out, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"
Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!"
Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him,
41"What do you want me to do for you?" "Lord, I want to see," he replied.
Jesus said to him, "Receive your sight; your faith has healed you."43
Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God.
The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt,
"This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year.
Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household.
If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat.
The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats.
Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the people of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight.
Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs.
That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast.
Do not eat the meat raw or cooked in water, but roast it over the fire--head, legs and inner parts.
Do not leave any of it till morning; if some is left till morning, you must burn it.
This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the LORD's Passover.
"On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn--both men and animals--and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD.
The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.
"This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD--a lasting ordinance.
For seven days you are to eat bread made without yeast. On the first day remove the yeast from your houses, for whoever eats anything with yeast in it from the first day through the seventh must be cut off from Israel.
On the first day hold a sacred assembly, and another one on the seventh day. Do no work at all on these days, except to prepare food for everyone to eat--that is all you may do.
"Celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt. Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come.
In the first month you are to eat bread made without yeast, from the evening of the fourteenth day until the evening of the twenty-first day.
For seven days no yeast is to be found in your houses. And whoever eats anything with yeast in it must be cut off from the community of Israel, whether he is an alien or native-born.
Eat nothing made with yeast. Wherever you live, you must eat unleavened bread."
Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, "Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb.
Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. Not one of you shall go out the door of his house until morning.
When the LORD goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down.
"Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants.
When you enter the land that the LORD will give you as he promised, observe this ceremony.
And when your children ask you, 'What does this ceremony mean to you?'
then tell them, 'It is the Passover sacrifice to the LORD, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.' " Then the people bowed down and worshiped.
The Israelites did just what the LORD commanded Moses and Aaron.
At midnight the LORD struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn of the prisoner, who was in the dungeon, and the firstborn of all the livestock as well.
Pharaoh and all his officials and all the Egyptians got up during the night, and there was loud wailing in Egypt, for there was not a house without someone dead.
During the night Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, "Up! Leave my people, you and the Israelites! Go, worship the LORD as you have requested.
Take your flocks and herds, as you have said, and go. And also bless me."
The Egyptians urged the people to hurry and leave the country. "For otherwise," they said, "we will all die!"
So the people took their dough before the yeast was added, and carried it on their shoulders in kneading troughs wrapped in clothing.
The Israelites did as Moses instructed and asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold and for clothing.
The LORD had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians.
The Israelites journeyed from Rameses to Succoth. There were about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children.
Many other people went up with them, as well as large droves of livestock, both flocks and herds.
With the dough they had brought from Egypt, they baked cakes of unleavened bread. The dough was without yeast because they had been driven out of Egypt and did not have time to prepare food for themselves.
Now the length of time the Israelite people lived in Egypt was 430 years.
At the end of the 430 years, to the very day, all the LORD's divisions left Egypt.
Because the LORD kept vigil that night to bring them out of Egypt, on this night all the Israelites are to keep vigil to honor the LORD for the generations to come.
The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "These are the regulations for the Passover: "No foreigner is to eat of it.
Any slave you have bought may eat of it after you have circumcised him,
but a temporary resident and a hired worker may not eat of it.
"It must be eaten inside one house; take none of the meat outside the house. Do not break any of the bones.
The whole community of Israel must celebrate it.
"An alien living among you who wants to celebrate the LORD's Passover must have all the males in his household circumcised; then he may take part like one born in the land. No uncircumcised male may eat of it.
The same law applies to the native-born and to the alien living among you."
All the Israelites did just what the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron.
And on that very day the LORD brought the Israelites out of Egypt by their divisions.
The LORD said to Moses,
"Consecrate to me every firstborn male. The first offspring of every womb among the Israelites belongs to me, whether man or animal."
Then Moses said to the people, "Commemorate this day, the day you came out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery, because the LORD brought you out of it with a mighty hand. Eat nothing containing yeast.
Today, in the month of Abib, you are leaving.
When the LORD brings you into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Hivites and Jebusites--the land he swore to your forefathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey--you are to observe this ceremony in this month:
For seven days eat bread made without yeast and on the seventh day hold a festival to the LORD.
Eat unleavened bread during those seven days; nothing with yeast in it is to be seen among you, nor shall any yeast be seen anywhere within your borders.
On that day tell your son, 'I do this because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.'
This observance will be for you like a sign on your hand and a reminder on your forehead that the law of the LORD is to be on your lips. For the LORD brought you out of Egypt with his mighty hand.
You must keep this ordinance at the appointed time year after year.
"After the LORD brings you into the land of the Canaanites and gives it to you, as he promised on oath to you and your forefathers,
you are to give over to the LORD the first offspring of every womb. All the firstborn males of your livestock belong to the LORD.
Redeem with a lamb every firstborn donkey, but if you do not redeem it, break its neck. Redeem every firstborn among your sons.
"In days to come, when your son asks you, 'What does this mean?' say to him, 'With a mighty hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the LORD killed every firstborn in Egypt, both man and animal. This is why I sacrifice to the LORD the first male offspring of every womb and redeem each of my firstborn sons.'
And it will be like a sign on your hand and a symbol on your forehead that the LORD brought us out of Egypt with his mighty hand."
When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, "If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt."
So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt armed for battle.
Moses took the bones of Joseph with him because Joseph had made the sons of Israel swear an oath. He had said, "God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up with you from this place."
After leaving Succoth they camped at Etham on the edge of the desert.
By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.
Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.
Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through.
A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy.
He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd.
So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.
When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today."6
So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
All the people saw this and began to mutter, "He has gone to be the guest of a 'sinner.' "
But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount."
Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.10For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."
While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once.
He said: "A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return.13So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. 'Put this money to work,' he said, 'until I come back.'14"But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, 'We don't want this man to be our king.'15"He was made king, however, and returned home. Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it.16"The first one came and said, 'Sir, your mina has earned ten more.'17" 'Well done, my good servant!' his master replied. 'Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.'18"The second came and said, 'Sir, your mina has earned five more.'19"His master answered, 'You take charge of five cities.'20"Then another servant came and said, 'Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth.21I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow.'22"His master replied, 'I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! You knew, did you, that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did not sow?23Why then didn't you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?'24"Then he said to those standing by, 'Take his mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas.'25" 'Sir,' they said, 'he already has ten!'26"He replied, 'I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away.27But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them--bring them here and kill them in front of me.' "
After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.
As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them,
30"Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here.31If anyone asks you, 'Why are you untying it?' tell him, 'The Lord needs it.' "32
Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them.
As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, "Why are you untying the colt?"
They replied, "The Lord needs it."
They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it.
As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.
When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
"Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!"
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!"
40"I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out."41
As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it
and said, "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace--but now it is hidden from your eyes.43The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side.44They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you."
Then he entered the temple area and began driving out those who were selling.
46"It is written," he said to them, " 'My house will be a house of prayer'; but you have made it 'a den of robbers.' "47
Every day he was teaching at the temple. But the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the leaders among the people were trying to kill him.
Yet they could not find any way to do it, because all the people hung on his words.