In the meantime, when so many thousands of the multitude had gathered together that they trod upon one another, he began to say to his disciples first, "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.
Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.
"I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.
But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear him!
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God.
Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.
"And I tell you, every one who acknowledges me before men, the Son of man also will acknowledge before the angels of God;
but he who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God.
And every one who speaks a word against the Son of man will be forgiven; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious how or what you are to answer or what you are to say;
for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say."
One of the multitude said to him, "Teacher, bid my brother divide the inheritance with me."
But he said to him, "Man, who made me a judge or divider over you?"
And he said to them, "Take heed, and beware of all covetousness; for a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."
And he told them a parable, saying, "The land of a rich man brought forth plentifully;
and he thought to himself, 'What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?'
And he said, 'I will do this: I will pull down my barns, and build larger ones; and there I will store all my grain and my goods.
And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, be merry.'
But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul is required of you; and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?'
So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."
And he said to his disciples, "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat, nor about your body, what you shall put on.
For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.
Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!
And which of you by being anxious can add a cubit to his span of life?
If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?
Consider the lilies, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
But if God so clothes the grass which is alive in the field today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O men of little faith!
And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be of anxious mind.
For all the nations of the world seek these things; and your Father knows that you need them.
Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things shall be yours as well.
"Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
Sell your possessions, and give alms; provide yourselves with purses that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
"Let your loins be girded and your lamps burning,
and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the marriage feast, so that they may open to him at once when he comes and knocks.
Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes; truly, I say to you, he will gird himself and have them sit at table, and he will come and serve them.
If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those servants!
But know this, that if the householder had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into.
You also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an unexpected hour."
Peter said, "Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for all?"
And the Lord said, "Who then is the faithful and wise steward, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time?
Blessed is that servant whom his master when he comes will find so doing.
Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions.
But if that servant says to himself, 'My master is delayed in coming,' and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, and to eat and drink and get drunk,
the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will punish him, and put him with the unfaithful.
And that servant who knew his master's will, but did not make ready or act according to his will, shall receive a severe beating.
But he who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, shall receive a light beating. Every one to whom much is given, of him will much be required; and of him to whom men commit much they will demand the more.
"I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled!
I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how I am constrained until it is accomplished!
Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division;
for henceforth in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three;
they will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against her mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law."
He also said to the multitudes, "When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, 'A shower is coming'; and so it happens.
And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, 'There will be scorching heat'; and it happens.
You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky; but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?
"And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?
As you go with your accuser before the magistrate, make an effort to settle with him on the way, lest he drag you to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer put you in prison.
I tell you, you will never get out till you have paid the very last copper."
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (Revised Standard Version - Holy Bible)