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."
One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples."
He said to them, "When you pray, say: " 'Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.3Give us each day our daily bread.4Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation. ' "5
Then he said to them, "Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread,6because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.'7"Then the one inside answers, 'Don't bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can't get up and give you anything.'8I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man's boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.9"So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.10For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.11"Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?12Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?13If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"
Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute. When the demon left, the man who had been mute spoke, and the crowd was amazed.
But some of them said, "By Beelzebub, the prince of demons, he is driving out demons."
Others tested him by asking for a sign from heaven.
Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: "Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall.18If Satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? I say this because you claim that I drive out demons by Beelzebub.19Now if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your followers drive them out? So then, they will be your judges.20But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you.21"When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe.22But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up the spoils.23"He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me, scatters.24"When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, 'I will return to the house I left.'25When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order.26Then it goes and takes 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."27
As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, "Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you."
He replied, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it."
As the crowds increased, Jesus said, "This is a wicked generation. It asks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.30For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation.31The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon's wisdom, and now one greater than Solomon is here.32The 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.
33"No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead he puts it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light.34Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness.35See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness.36Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be completely lighted, as when the light of a lamp shines on you."
When Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee invited him to eat with him; so he went in and reclined at the table.
But the Pharisee, noticing that Jesus did not first wash before the meal, was surprised.
Then the Lord said to him, "Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness.40You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also?41But give what is inside [the dish] to the poor, and everything will be clean for you.42"Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.43"Woe to you Pharisees, because you love the most important seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces.44"Woe to you, because you are like unmarked graves, which men walk over without knowing it."45
One of the experts in the law answered him, "Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us also."
Jesus replied, "And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.47"Woe to you, because you build tombs for the prophets, and it was your forefathers who killed them.48So you testify that you approve of what your forefathers did; they killed the prophets, and you build their tombs.49Because of this, God in his wisdom said, 'I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and others they will persecute.'50Therefore this generation will be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world,51from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be held responsible for it all.52"Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering."53
When Jesus left there, the Pharisees and the teachers of the law began to oppose him fiercely and to besiege him with questions,
waiting to catch him in something he might say.
Then came the Feast of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter,
and Jesus was in the temple area walking in Solomon's Colonnade.
The Jews gathered around him, saying, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."
Jesus answered, "I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father's name speak for me,26but you do not believe because you are not my sheep.27My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.28I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand.30I and the Father are one."31
Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him,
but Jesus said to them, "I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?"33
"We are not stoning you for any of these," replied the Jews, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God."
Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your Law, 'I have said you are gods' ?35If he called them 'gods,' to whom the word of God came--and the Scripture cannot be broken--36what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, 'I am God's Son'?37Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does.38But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father."39
Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.
Then Jesus went back across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing in the early days. Here he stayed
and many people came to him. They said, "Though John never performed a miraculous sign, all that John said about this man was true."
And in that place many believed in Jesus.