Jesus then left that place and went into the region of Judea and across the Jordan. Again crowds of people came to him, and as was his custom, he taught them.
Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?"
3"What did Moses command you?" he replied.
They said, "Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away."
5"It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law," Jesus replied.
6"But at the beginning of creation God 'made them male and female.'7'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,8and the two will become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one.9Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."10
When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this.
He answered, "Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her.12And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery."
People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them.
When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.15I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."16
And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.
As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. "Good teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
18"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good--except God alone.19You know the commandments: 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.' "20
"Teacher," he declared, "all these I have kept since I was a boy."
Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."22
At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.
Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!"24
The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!25It 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
The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, "Who then can be saved?"
Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God."28
Peter said to him, "We have left everything to follow you!"
29"I tell you the truth," Jesus replied, "no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel30will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields--and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life.31But many who are first will be last, and the last first."
These are the last words of David: "The oracle of David son of Jesse, the oracle of the man exalted by the Most High, the man anointed by the God of Jacob, Israel's singer of songs:
"The Spirit of the LORD spoke through me; his word was on my tongue.
The God of Israel spoke, the Rock of Israel said to me: 'When one rules over men in righteousness, when he rules in the fear of God,
he is like the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning, like the brightness after rain that brings the grass from the earth.'
"Is not my house right with God? Has he not made with me an everlasting covenant, arranged and secured in every part? Will he not bring to fruition my salvation and grant me my every desire?
But evil men are all to be cast aside like thorns, which are not gathered with the hand.
Whoever touches thorns uses a tool of iron or the shaft of a spear; they are burned up where they lie."
These are the names of David's mighty men: Josheb-Basshebeth, a Tahkemonite, was chief of the Three; he raised his spear against eight hundred men, whom he killed in one encounter.
Next to him was Eleazar son of Dodai the Ahohite. As one of the three mighty men, he was with David when they taunted the Philistines gathered [at Pas Dammim] for battle. Then the men of Israel retreated,
but he stood his ground and struck down the Philistines till his hand grew tired and froze to the sword. The LORD brought about a great victory that day. The troops returned to Eleazar, but only to strip the dead.
Next to him was Shammah son of Agee the Hararite. When the Philistines banded together at a place where there was a field full of lentils, Israel's troops fled from them.
But Shammah took his stand in the middle of the field. He defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the LORD brought about a great victory.
During harvest time, three of the thirty chief men came down to David at the cave of Adullam, while a band of Philistines was encamped in the Valley of Rephaim.
At that time David was in the stronghold, and the Philistine garrison was at Bethlehem.
David longed for water and said, "Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!"
So the three mighty men broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David. But he refused to drink it; instead, he poured it out before the LORD.
"Far be it from me, O LORD, to do this!" he said. "Is it not the blood of men who went at the risk of their lives?" And David would not drink it. Such were the exploits of the three mighty men.
Abishai the brother of Joab son of Zeruiah was chief of the Three. He raised his spear against three hundred men, whom he killed, and so he became as famous as the Three.
Was he not held in greater honor than the Three? He became their commander, even though he was not included among them.
Benaiah son of Jehoiada was a valiant fighter from Kabzeel, who performed great exploits. He struck down two of Moab's best men. He also went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion.
And he struck down a huge Egyptian. Although the Egyptian had a spear in his hand, Benaiah went against him with a club. He snatched the spear from the Egyptian's hand and killed him with his own spear.
Such were the exploits of Benaiah son of Jehoiada; he too was as famous as the three mighty men.
He was held in greater honor than any of the Thirty, but he was not included among the Three. And David put him in charge of his bodyguard.
Among the Thirty were: Asahel the brother of Joab, Elhanan son of Dodo from Bethlehem,
Shammah the Harodite, Elika the Harodite,
Helez the Paltite, Ira son of Ikkesh from Tekoa,
Abiezer from Anathoth, Mebunnai the Hushathite,
Zalmon the Ahohite, Maharai the Netophathite,
Heled son of Baanah the Netophathite, Ithai son of Ribai from Gibeah in Benjamin,
Benaiah the Pirathonite, Hiddai from the ravines of Gaash,
Abi-Albon the Arbathite, Azmaveth the Barhumite,
Eliahba the Shaalbonite, the sons of Jashen, Jonathan
son of Shammah the Hararite, Ahiam son of Sharar the Hararite,
Eliphelet son of Ahasbai the Maacathite, Eliam son of Ahithophel the Gilonite,
Hezro the Carmelite, Paarai the Arbite,
Igal son of Nathan from Zobah, the son of Hagri,
Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the Beerothite, the armor-bearer of Joab son of Zeruiah,
Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite
and Uriah the Hittite. There were thirty-seven in all.
The LORD said to me, "Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as the LORD loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes."
So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley.
Then I told her, "You are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will live with you."
For the Israelites will live many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones, without ephod or idol.
Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the LORD and to his blessings in the last days.