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."
The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground.
"My lords," he said, "please turn aside to your servant's house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning." "No," they answered, "we will spend the night in the square."
But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate.
Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom--both young and old--surrounded the house.
They called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them."
Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him
and said, "No, my friends. Don't do this wicked thing.
Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don't do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof."
"Get out of our way," they replied. And they said, "This fellow came here as an alien, and now he wants to play the judge! We'll treat you worse than them." They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door.
But the men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door.
Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door.
The two men said to Lot, "Do you have anyone else here--sons-in-law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here,
because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the LORD against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it."
So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were pledged to marry his daughters. He said, "Hurry and get out of this place, because the LORD is about to destroy the city!" But his sons-in-law thought he was joking.
With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, "Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished."
When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the LORD was merciful to them.
As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, "Flee for your lives! Don't look back, and don't stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!"
But Lot said to them, "No, my lords, please!
Your servant has found favor in your eyes, and you have shown great kindness to me in sparing my life. But I can't flee to the mountains; this disaster will overtake me, and I'll die.
Look, here is a town near enough to run to, and it is small. Let me flee to it--it is very small, isn't it? Then my life will be spared."
He said to him, "Very well, I will grant this request too; I will not overthrow the town you speak of.
But flee there quickly, because I cannot do anything until you reach it." (That is why the town was called Zoar.)
By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land.
Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah--from the LORD out of the heavens.
Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those living in the cities--and also the vegetation in the land.
But Lot's wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.
Early the next morning Abraham got up and returned to the place where he had stood before the LORD.
He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, toward all the land of the plain, and he saw dense smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace.
So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived.
Lot and his two daughters left Zoar and settled in the mountains, for he was afraid to stay in Zoar. He and his two daughters lived in a cave.
One day the older daughter said to the younger, "Our father is old, and there is no man around here to lie with us, as is the custom all over the earth.
Let's get our father to drink wine and then lie with him and preserve our family line through our father."
That night they got their father to drink wine, and the older daughter went in and lay with him. He was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.
The next day the older daughter said to the younger, "Last night I lay with my father. Let's get him to drink wine again tonight, and you go in and lie with him so we can preserve our family line through our father."
So they got their father to drink wine that night also, and the younger daughter went and lay with him. Again he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.
So both of Lot's daughters became pregnant by their father.
The older daughter had a son, and she named him Moab; he is the father of the Moabites of today.
The younger daughter also had a son, and she named him Ben-Ammi; he is the father of the Ammonites of today.
Help, LORD, for the godly are no more; the faithful have vanished from among men.
Everyone lies to his neighbor; their flattering lips speak with deception.
May the LORD cut off all flattering lips and every boastful tongue
that says, "We will triumph with our tongues; we own our lips--who is our master?"
"Because of the oppression of the weak and the groaning of the needy, I will now arise," says the LORD. "I will protect them from those who malign them."
And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times.
O LORD, you will keep us safe and protect us from such people forever.
The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men.