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.
Now Abraham moved on from there into the region of the Negev and lived between Kadesh and Shur. For a while he stayed in Gerar,
and there Abraham said of his wife Sarah, "She is my sister." Then Abimelech king of Gerar sent for Sarah and took her.
But God came to Abimelech in a dream one night and said to him, "You are as good as dead because of the woman you have taken; she is a married woman."
Now Abimelech had not gone near her, so he said, "Lord, will you destroy an innocent nation?
Did he not say to me, 'She is my sister,' and didn't she also say, 'He is my brother'? I have done this with a clear conscience and clean hands."
Then God said to him in the dream, "Yes, I know you did this with a clear conscience, and so I have kept you from sinning against me. That is why I did not let you touch her.
Now return the man's wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. But if you do not return her, you may be sure that you and all yours will die."
Early the next morning Abimelech summoned all his officials, and when he told them all that had happened, they were very much afraid.
Then Abimelech called Abraham in and said, "What have you done to us? How have I wronged you that you have brought such great guilt upon me and my kingdom? You have done things to me that should not be done."
And Abimelech asked Abraham, "What was your reason for doing this?"
Abraham replied, "I said to myself, 'There is surely no fear of God in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.'
Besides, she really is my sister, the daughter of my father though not of my mother; and she became my wife.
And when God had me wander from my father's household, I said to her, 'This is how you can show your love to me: Everywhere we go, say of me, "He is my brother." ' "
Then Abimelech brought sheep and cattle and male and female slaves and gave them to Abraham, and he returned Sarah his wife to him.
And Abimelech said, "My land is before you; live wherever you like."
To Sarah he said, "I am giving your brother a thousand shekels of silver. This is to cover the offense against you before all who are with you; you are completely vindicated."
Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife and his slave girls so they could have children again,
for the LORD had closed up every womb in Abimelech's household because of Abraham's wife Sarah.
How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?
Look on me and answer, O LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;
my enemy will say, "I have overcome him," and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me.