After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them.
His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them.
And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus.
Peter said to Jesus, "Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters--one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah."
(He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.)
Then a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and a voice came from the cloud: "This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!"
Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus.
As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
They kept the matter to themselves, discussing what "rising from the dead" meant.
And they asked him, "Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?"
Jesus replied, "To be sure, Elijah does come first, and restores all things. Why then is it written that the Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected?13But I tell you, Elijah has come, and they have done to him everything they wished, just as it is written about him."
When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them.
As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him.
16"What are you arguing with them about?" he asked.
A man in the crowd answered, "Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech.
Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not."
19"O unbelieving generation," Jesus replied, "how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me."20
So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.
Jesus asked the boy's father, "How long has he been like this?" "From childhood," he answered.
"It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us."
23" 'If you can'?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes."24
Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief !"
When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the evil spirit. "You deaf and mute spirit," he said, "I command you, come out of him and never enter him again."26
The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, "He's dead."
But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.
After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, "Why couldn't we drive it out?"
He replied, "This kind can come out only by prayer. "30
They left that place and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were,
because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, "The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise."32
But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it.
They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, "What were you arguing about on the road?"34
But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.
Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all."36
He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them,
37"Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me."
"Teacher," said John, "we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us."
39"Do not stop him," Jesus said. "No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me,40for whoever is not against us is for us.41I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.
42"And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck.43If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out.45And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell.47And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell,48where " 'their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.'49Everyone will be salted with fire.50"Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other."
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."
They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him.
33"We are going up to Jerusalem," he said, "and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles,34who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise."
Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. "Teacher," they said, "we want you to do for us whatever we ask."
36"What do you want me to do for you?" he asked.
They replied, "Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory."
38"You don't know what you are asking," Jesus said. "Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?"39
"We can," they answered. Jesus said to them, "You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with,40but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared."41
When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John.
Jesus called them together and said, "You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.43Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,44and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.45For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (that is, the Son of Timaeus), was sitting by the roadside begging.
When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"
Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!"
Jesus stopped and said, "Call him." So they called to the blind man, "Cheer up! On your feet! He's calling you."
Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.
51"What do you want me to do for you?" Jesus asked him. The blind man said, "Rabbi, I want to see."
52"Go," said Jesus, "your faith has healed you." Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.
As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples,
saying to them, "Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here.3If anyone asks you, 'Why are you doing this?' tell him, 'The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.' "4
They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it,
some people standing there asked, "What are you doing, untying that colt?"
They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go.
When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it.
Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields.
Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, "Hosanna! " "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"
"Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!" "Hosanna in the highest!"
Jesus entered Jerusalem and went to the temple. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.
The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry.
Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs.
Then he said to the tree, "May no one ever eat fruit from you again." And his disciples heard him say it.
On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple area and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves,
and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts.
And as he taught them, he said, "Is it not written: " 'My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations' ? But you have made it 'a den of robbers.' "18
The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching.
When evening came, they went out of the city.
In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots.
Peter remembered and said to Jesus, "Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!"
22"Have faith in God," Jesus answered.
23"I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.24Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.25And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. "
They arrived again in Jerusalem, and while Jesus was walking in the temple courts, the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders came to him.
"By what authority are you doing these things?" they asked. "And who gave you authority to do this?"
Jesus replied, "I will ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things.30John's baptism--was it from heaven, or from men? Tell me!"31
They discussed it among themselves and said, "If we say, 'From heaven,' he will ask, 'Then why didn't you believe him?'
But if we say, 'From men' . . ." (They feared the people, for everyone held that John really was a prophet.)
So they answered Jesus, "We don't know." Jesus said, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things."
He then began to speak to them in parables: "A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a pit for the winepress and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and went away on a journey.2At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them some of the fruit of the vineyard.3But they seized him, beat him and sent him away empty-handed.4Then he sent another servant to them; they struck this man on the head and treated him shamefully.5He sent still another, and that one they killed. He sent many others; some of them they beat, others they killed.6"He had one left to send, a son, whom he loved. He sent him last of all, saying, 'They will respect my son.'7"But the tenants said to one another, 'This is the heir. Come, let's kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.'8So they took him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard.9"What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others.10Haven't you read this scripture: " 'The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone;11the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes' ?"12
Then they looked for a way to arrest him because they knew he had spoken the parable against them. But they were afraid of the crowd; so they left him and went away.
Later they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to catch him in his words.
They came to him and said, "Teacher, we know you are a man of integrity. You aren't swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?
Should we pay or shouldn't we?" But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. "Why are you trying to trap me?" he asked. "Bring me a denarius and let me look at it."16
They brought the coin, and he asked them, "Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?" "Caesar's," they replied.
Then Jesus said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's." And they were amazed at him.
Then the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question.
"Teacher," they said, "Moses wrote for us that if a man's brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and have children for his brother.
Now there were seven brothers. The first one married and died without leaving any children.
The second one married the widow, but he also died, leaving no child. It was the same with the third.
In fact, none of the seven left any children. Last of all, the woman died too.
At the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?"
Jesus replied, "Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God?25When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.26Now about the dead rising--have you not read in the book of Moses, in the account of the bush, how God said to him, 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'27He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You are badly mistaken!"
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?"
29"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'31The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."32
"Well said, teacher," the man replied. "You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him.
To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."
When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.
While Jesus was teaching in the temple courts, he asked, "How is it that the teachers of the law say that the Christ is the son of David?36David himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit, declared: " 'The Lord said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet." '37David himself calls him 'Lord.' How then can he be his son?" The large crowd listened to him with delight.
As he taught, Jesus said, "Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted in the marketplaces,39and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets.40They devour widows' houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely."
Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts.
But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.
Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.44They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything--all she had to live on."