Hear, O heavens! Listen, O earth! For the LORD has spoken: "I reared children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against me.
The ox knows his master, the donkey his owner's manger, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand."
Ah, sinful nation, a people loaded with guilt, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the LORD; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him.
Why should you be beaten anymore? Why do you persist in rebellion? Your whole head is injured, your whole heart afflicted.
From the sole of your foot to the top of your head there is no soundness-- only wounds and welts and open sores, not cleansed or bandaged or soothed with oil.
Your country is desolate, your cities burned with fire; your fields are being stripped by foreigners right before you, laid waste as when overthrown by strangers.
The Daughter of Zion is left like a shelter in a vineyard, like a hut in a field of melons, like a city under siege.
Unless the LORD Almighty had left us some survivors, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah.
Hear the word of the LORD, you rulers of Sodom; listen to the law of our God, you people of Gomorrah!
"The multitude of your sacrifices-- what are they to me?" says the LORD. "I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.
When you come to appear before me, who has asked this of you, this trampling of my courts?
Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations-- I cannot bear your evil assemblies.
Your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts my soul hates. They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them.
When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood;
wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong,
learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.
"Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.
If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land;
but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword." For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.
See how the faithful city has become a harlot! She once was full of justice; righteousness used to dwell in her-- but now murderers!
Your silver has become dross, your choice wine is diluted with water.
Your rulers are rebels, companions of thieves; they all love bribes and chase after gifts. They do not defend the cause of the fatherless; the widow's case does not come before them.
Therefore the Lord, the LORD Almighty, the Mighty One of Israel, declares: "Ah, I will get relief from my foes and avenge myself on my enemies.
I will turn my hand against you; I will thoroughly purge away your dross and remove all your impurities.
I will restore your judges as in days of old, your counselors as at the beginning. Afterward you will be called the City of Righteousness, the Faithful City."
Zion will be redeemed with justice, her penitent ones with righteousness.
But rebels and sinners will both be broken, and those who forsake the LORD will perish.
"You will be ashamed because of the sacred oaks in which you have delighted; you will be disgraced because of the gardens that you have chosen.
You will be like an oak with fading leaves, like a garden without water.
The mighty man will become tinder and his work a spark; both will burn together, with no one to quench the fire."
After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee.
When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples
to ask him, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?"
Jesus replied, "Go back and report to John what you hear and see:5The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.6Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me."7
As John's disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: "What did you go out into the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind?8If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings' palaces.9Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.10This is the one about whom it is written: " 'I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.'11I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.12From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.13For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John.14And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come.15He who has ears, let him hear.16"To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others:17" 'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.'18For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon.'19The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners." ' But wisdom is proved right by her actions."
Then Jesus began to denounce the cities in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent.
21"Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.22But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you.23And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths. If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day.24But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you."
At that time Jesus 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.26Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.27"All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.28"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them.
When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, "Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath."
He answered, "Haven't you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry?4He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread--which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests.5Or haven't you read in the Law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple desecrate the day and yet are innocent?6I tell you that one greater than the temple is here.7If you had known what these words mean, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the innocent.8For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."9
Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue,
and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, they asked him, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?"
He said to them, "If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out?12How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath."13
Then he said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other.
But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.
Aware of this, Jesus withdrew from that place. Many followed him, and he healed all their sick,
warning them not to tell who he was.
This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:
"Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations.
He will not quarrel or cry out; no one will hear his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he leads justice to victory.
In his name the nations will put their hope."
Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see.
All the people were astonished and said, "Could this be the Son of David?"
But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, "It is only by Beelzebub, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons."
Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.26If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand?27And if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges.28But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.29"Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man's house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can rob his house.30"He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.31And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.32Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.33"Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.34You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.35The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.36But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.37For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned."
Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, "Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you."
He answered, "A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.40For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.41The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here.42The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon's wisdom, and now one greater than Solomon is here.43"When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it.44Then it says, 'I will return to the house I left.' When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order.45Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation."
While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him.
Someone told him, "Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you."
He replied to him, "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?"49
Pointing to his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers.50For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother."
This is what Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:
In the last days the mountain of the LORD's temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it.
Many peoples will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths." The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.
Come, O house of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the LORD.
You have abandoned your people, the house of Jacob. They are full of superstitions from the East; they practice divination like the Philistines and clasp hands with pagans.
Their land is full of silver and gold; there is no end to their treasures. Their land is full of horses; there is no end to their chariots.
Their land is full of idols; they bow down to the work of their hands, to what their fingers have made.
So man will be brought low and mankind humbled-- do not forgive them.
Go into the rocks, hide in the ground from dread of the LORD and the splendor of his majesty!
The eyes of the arrogant man will be humbled and the pride of men brought low; the LORD alone will be exalted in that day.
The LORD Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted (and they will be humbled),
for all the cedars of Lebanon, tall and lofty, and all the oaks of Bashan,
for all the towering mountains and all the high hills,
for every lofty tower and every fortified wall,
for every trading ship and every stately vessel.
The arrogance of man will be brought low and the pride of men humbled; the LORD alone will be exalted in that day,
and the idols will totally disappear.
Men will flee to caves in the rocks and to holes in the ground from dread of the LORD and the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to shake the earth.
In that day men will throw away to the rodents and bats their idols of silver and idols of gold, which they made to worship.
They will flee to caverns in the rocks and to the overhanging crags from dread of the LORD and the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to shake the earth.
Stop trusting in man, who has but a breath in his nostrils. Of what account is he?