"Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness and who seek the LORD: Look to the rock from which you were cut and to the quarry from which you were hewn;
look to Abraham, your father, and to Sarah, who gave you birth. When I called him he was but one, and I blessed him and made him many.
The LORD will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the LORD. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing.
"Listen to me, my people; hear me, my nation: The law will go out from me; my justice will become a light to the nations.
My righteousness draws near speedily, my salvation is on the way, and my arm will bring justice to the nations. The islands will look to me and wait in hope for my arm.
Lift up your eyes to the heavens, look at the earth beneath; the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment and its inhabitants die like flies. But my salvation will last forever, my righteousness will never fail.
"Hear me, you who know what is right, you people who have my law in your hearts: Do not fear the reproach of men or be terrified by their insults.
For the moth will eat them up like a garment; the worm will devour them like wool. But my righteousness will last forever, my salvation through all generations."
Awake, awake! Clothe yourself with strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in days gone by, as in generations of old. Was it not you who cut Rahab to pieces, who pierced that monster through?
Was it not you who dried up the sea, the waters of the great deep, who made a road in the depths of the sea so that the redeemed might cross over?
The ransomed of the LORD will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.
"I, even I, am he who comforts you. Who are you that you fear mortal men, the sons of men, who are but grass,
that you forget the LORD your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth, that you live in constant terror every day because of the wrath of the oppressor, who is bent on destruction? For where is the wrath of the oppressor?
The cowering prisoners will soon be set free; they will not die in their dungeon, nor will they lack bread.
For I am the LORD your God, who churns up the sea so that its waves roar-- the LORD Almighty is his name.
I have put my words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand-- I who set the heavens in place, who laid the foundations of the earth, and who say to Zion, 'You are my people.' "
Awake, awake! Rise up, O Jerusalem, you who have drunk from the hand of the LORD the cup of his wrath, you who have drained to its dregs the goblet that makes men stagger.
Of all the sons she bore there was none to guide her; of all the sons she reared there was none to take her by the hand.
These double calamities have come upon you-- who can comfort you?-- ruin and destruction, famine and sword-- who can console you?
Your sons have fainted; they lie at the head of every street, like antelope caught in a net. They are filled with the wrath of the LORD and the rebuke of your God.
Therefore hear this, you afflicted one, made drunk, but not with wine.
This is what your Sovereign LORD says, your God, who defends his people: "See, I have taken out of your hand the cup that made you stagger; from that cup, the goblet of my wrath, you will never drink again.
I will put it into the hands of your tormentors, who said to you, 'Fall prostrate that we may walk over you.' And you made your back like the ground, like a street to be walked over."
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.
Awake, awake, O Zion, clothe yourself with strength. Put on your garments of splendor, O Jerusalem, the holy city. The uncircumcised and defiled will not enter you again.
Shake off your dust; rise up, sit enthroned, O Jerusalem. Free yourself from the chains on your neck, O captive Daughter of Zion.
For this is what the LORD says: "You were sold for nothing, and without money you will be redeemed."
For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: "At first my people went down to Egypt to live; lately, Assyria has oppressed them.
"And now what do I have here?" declares the LORD. "For my people have been taken away for nothing, and those who rule them mock, " declares the LORD. "And all day long my name is constantly blasphemed.
Therefore my people will know my name; therefore in that day they will know that it is I who foretold it. Yes, it is I."
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!"
Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices; together they shout for joy. When the LORD returns to Zion, they will see it with their own eyes.
Burst into songs of joy together, you ruins of Jerusalem, for the LORD has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem.
The LORD will lay bare his holy arm in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God.
Depart, depart, go out from there! Touch no unclean thing! Come out from it and be pure, you who carry the vessels of the LORD.
But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the LORD will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard.
See, my servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.
Just as there were many who were appalled at him-- his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness--
so will he sprinkle many nations, and kings will shut their mouths because of him. For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand.