Now a man of the house of Levi married a Levite woman,
and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months.
But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile.
His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.
Then Pharaoh's daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the river bank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her slave girl to get it.
She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. "This is one of the Hebrew babies," she said.
Then his sister asked Pharaoh's daughter, "Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?"
"Yes, go," she answered. And the girl went and got the baby's mother.
Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you." So the woman took the baby and nursed him.
When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh's daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, "I drew him out of the water."
One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people.
Glancing this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.
The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, "Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?"
The man said, "Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?" Then Moses was afraid and thought, "What I did must have become known."
When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well.
Now a priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came to draw water and fill the troughs to water their father's flock.
Some shepherds came along and drove them away, but Moses got up and came to their rescue and watered their flock.
When the girls returned to Reuel their father, he asked them, "Why have you returned so early today?"
They answered, "An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds. He even drew water for us and watered the flock."
"And where is he?" he asked his daughters. "Why did you leave him? Invite him to have something to eat."
Moses agreed to stay with the man, who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage.
Zipporah gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom, saying, "I have become an alien in a foreign land."
During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God.
God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob.
So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.
After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him,
and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out;
Joanna the wife of Cuza, the manager of Herod's household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.
While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable:
5"A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up.6Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture.7Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants.8Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown." When he said this, he called out, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."9
His disciples asked him what this parable meant.
He said, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, " 'though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.'11"This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God.12Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.13Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.14The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.15But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.
16"No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light.17For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.18Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him."
Now Jesus' mother and brothers came to see him, but they were not able to get near him because of the crowd.
Someone told him, "Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you."
He replied, "My mother and brothers are those who hear God's word and put it into practice."
One day Jesus said to his disciples, "Let's go over to the other side of the lake." So they got into a boat and set out.
As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.
The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Master, Master, we're going to drown!" He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.
25"Where is your faith?" he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, "Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him."
They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee.
When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs.
When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don't torture me!"
For Jesus had commanded the evil spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.
Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" "Legion," he replied, because many demons had gone into him.
And they begged him repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss.
A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into them, and he gave them permission.
When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.
When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside,
and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus' feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.
Those who had seen it told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured.
Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left.
The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying,
39"Return home and tell how much God has done for you." So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.
Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him.
Then a man named Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, came and fell at Jesus' feet, pleading with him to come to his house
because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying. As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him.
And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her.
She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.
45"Who touched me?" Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, "Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you."
But Jesus said, "Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me."47
Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed.
Then he said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace."49
While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. "Your daughter is dead," he said. "Don't bother the teacher any more."
Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, "Don't be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed."51
When he arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child's father and mother.
Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. "Stop wailing," Jesus said. "She is not dead but asleep."53
They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead.
But he took her by the hand and said, "My child, get up!"55
Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat.
Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.
When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases,
and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
He told them: "Take nothing for the journey--no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic.4Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town.5If people do not welcome you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave their town, as a testimony against them."6
So they set out and went from village to village, preaching the gospel and healing people everywhere.
Now Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was going on. And he was perplexed, because some were saying that John had been raised from the dead,
others that Elijah had appeared, and still others that one of the prophets of long ago had come back to life.
But Herod said, "I beheaded John. Who, then, is this I hear such things about?" And he tried to see him.
When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus what they had done. Then he took them with him and they withdrew by themselves to a town called Bethsaida,
but the crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing.
Late in the afternoon the Twelve came to him and said, "Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote place here."
He replied, "You give them something to eat." They answered, "We have only five loaves of bread and two fish--unless we go and buy food for all this crowd."
(About five thousand men were there.) But he said to his disciples, "Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each."15
The disciples did so, and everybody sat down.
Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to set before the people.
They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.
Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, "Who do the crowds say I am?"19
They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life."
20"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" Peter answered, "The Christ of God."
Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone.
And he said, "The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life."23
Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.24For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.25What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self ?26If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.27I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God."
About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray.
As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning.
Two men, Moses and Elijah,
appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem.
Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him.
As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, "Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters--one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah." (He did not know what he was saying.)
While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud.
A voice came from the cloud, saying, "This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him."
When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone. The disciples kept this to themselves, and told no one at that time what they had seen.
The next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met him.
A man in the crowd called out, "Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child.
A spirit seizes him and he suddenly screams; it throws him into convulsions so that he foams at the mouth. It scarcely ever leaves him and is destroying him.
I begged your disciples to drive it out, but they could not."
41"O unbelieving and perverse generation," Jesus replied, "how long shall I stay with you and put up with you? Bring your son here."42
Even while the boy was coming, the demon threw him to the ground in a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the evil spirit, healed the boy and gave him back to his father.
And they were all amazed at the greatness of God. While everyone was marveling at all that Jesus did, he said to his disciples,
44"Listen carefully to what I am about to tell you: The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men."45
But they did not understand what this meant. It was hidden from them, so that they did not grasp it, and they were afraid to ask him about it.
An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest.
Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him.
Then he said to them, "Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all--he is the greatest."49
"Master," said John, "we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us."
50"Do not stop him," Jesus said, "for whoever is not against you is for you."
As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.
And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him;
but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem.
When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, "Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them ?"
But Jesus turned and rebuked them,
and they went to another village.
As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go."
Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."59
He said to another man, "Follow me." But the man replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father."
Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God."61
Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family."
Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."
Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.
There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up.
So Moses thought, "I will go over and see this strange sight--why the bush does not burn up."
When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, "Moses! Moses!" And Moses said, "Here I am."
"Do not come any closer," God said. "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground."
Then he said, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob." At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.
The LORD said, "I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering.
So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey--the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.
And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them.
So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt."
But Moses said to God, "Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?"
And God said, "I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain."
Moses said to God, "Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' Then what shall I tell them?"
God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.' "
God also said to Moses, "Say to the Israelites, 'The LORD, the God of your fathers--the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob--has sent me to you.' This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.
"Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, 'The LORD, the God of your fathers--the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob--appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt.
And I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites--a land flowing with milk and honey.'
"The elders of Israel will listen to you. Then you and the elders are to go to the king of Egypt and say to him, 'The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Let us take a three-day journey into the desert to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God.'
But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand compels him.
So I will stretch out my hand and strike the Egyptians with all the wonders that I will perform among them. After that, he will let you go.
"And I will make the Egyptians favorably disposed toward this people, so that when you leave you will not go empty-handed.
Every woman is to ask her neighbor and any woman living in her house for articles of silver and gold and for clothing, which you will put on your sons and daughters. And so you will plunder the Egyptians."
Moses answered, "What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, 'The LORD did not appear to you'?"
Then the LORD said to him, "What is that in your hand?" "A staff," he replied.
The LORD said, "Throw it on the ground." Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it.
Then the LORD said to him, "Reach out your hand and take it by the tail." So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand.
"This," said the LORD, "is so that they may believe that the LORD, the God of their fathers--the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob--has appeared to you."
Then the LORD said, "Put your hand inside your cloak." So Moses put his hand into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was leprous, like snow.
"Now put it back into your cloak," he said. So Moses put his hand back into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was restored, like the rest of his flesh.
Then the LORD said, "If they do not believe you or pay attention to the first miraculous sign, they may believe the second.
But if they do not believe these two signs or listen to you, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground. The water you take from the river will become blood on the ground."
Moses said to the LORD, "O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue."
The LORD said to him, "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD?
Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say."
But Moses said, "O Lord, please send someone else to do it."
Then the LORD's anger burned against Moses and he said, "What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and his heart will be glad when he sees you.
You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do.
He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him.
But take this staff in your hand so you can perform miraculous signs with it."
Then Moses went back to Jethro his father-in-law and said to him, "Let me go back to my own people in Egypt to see if any of them are still alive." Jethro said, "Go, and I wish you well."
Now the LORD had said to Moses in Midian, "Go back to Egypt, for all the men who wanted to kill you are dead."
So Moses took his wife and sons, put them on a donkey and started back to Egypt. And he took the staff of God in his hand.
The LORD said to Moses, "When you return to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders I have given you the power to do. But I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go.
Then say to Pharaoh, 'This is what the LORD says: Israel is my firstborn son,
and I told you, "Let my son go, so he may worship me." But you refused to let him go; so I will kill your firstborn son.' "
At a lodging place on the way, the LORD met [Moses] and was about to kill him.
But Zipporah took a flint knife, cut off her son's foreskin and touched [Moses'] feet with it. "Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me," she said.
So the LORD let him alone. (At that time she said "bridegroom of blood," referring to circumcision.)
The LORD said to Aaron, "Go into the desert to meet Moses." So he met Moses at the mountain of God and kissed him.
Then Moses told Aaron everything the LORD had sent him to say, and also about all the miraculous signs he had commanded him to perform.
Moses and Aaron brought together all the elders of the Israelites,
and Aaron told them everything the LORD had said to Moses. He also performed the signs before the people,
and they believed. And when they heard that the LORD was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped.
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.
He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.3Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.4Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.5"When you enter a house, first say, 'Peace to this house.'6If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you.7Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.8"When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you.9Heal the sick who are there and tell them, 'The kingdom of God is near you.'10But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say,11'Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near.'12I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.13"Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.14But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you.15And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths.16"He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me."17
The seventy-two returned with joy and said, "Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name."
He replied, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.19I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.20However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."21
At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.22"All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him."23
Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, "Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.24For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it."
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
26"What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?"27
He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' "
28"You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."29
But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"
In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.31A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.32So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.33But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.34He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him.35The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'36"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"37
The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him." Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.
She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said.
But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself ? Tell her to help me!"
41"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things,42but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."