At one place where He was praying, when He rose from His knees one of His disciples said to Him, "Master, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples."
So He said to them, "When you pray, say, `Father may Thy name be kept holy; let Thy Kingdom come;
give us day after day our bread for the day;
and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive every one who fails in his duty to us; and bring us not into temptation.'"
And He said to them, "Which of you shall have a friend and shall go to him in the middle of the night and say, "`Friend, lend me three loaves of bread;
for a friend of mine has just come to my house from a distance, and I have nothing for him to eat'?
"And he from indoors shall answer, "`Do not pester me. The door is now barred, and I am here in bed with my children. I cannot get up and give you bread.'
"I tell you that even if he will not rise and give him the loaves because he is his friend, at any rate because of his persistency he will rouse himself and give him as many as he requires.
"So I say to you, `Ask, and what you ask for shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and the door shall be opened to you.'
For every one who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, the door shall be opened.
And what father is there among you, who, if his son asks for a slice of bread, will offer him a stone? or if he asks for a fish, will instead of a fish offer him a snake?
or if he asks for an egg, will offer him a scorpion?
If you then, with all your human frailty, know how to give your children gifts that are good for them, how much more certainly will your Father who is in Heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!"
On once occasion He was expelling a dumb demon; and when the demon was gone out the dumb man could speak, and the people were astonished.
But some among them said, "It is by the power of Baal-zebul, the Prince of the demons, that he expels the demons."
Others, to put Him to the test, asked Him for a sign in the sky.
And, knowing their thoughts, He said to them, "Every kingdom in which civil war rages goes to ruin: family attacks family and is overthrown.
And if Satan really has engaged in fierce conflict with himself, how shall his kingdom stand?--because you say that I expel demons by the power of Baal-zebul.
And if it is by the power of Baal-zebul that I expel the demons, by whom do your disciples expel them? They therefore shall be your judges.
But if it is by the power of God that I drive out the demons, it is evident that the Kingdom of God has come upon you.
"Whenever a strong man, fully armed and equipped, is guarding his own castle, he enjoys peaceful possession of his property;
but as soon as another stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away that complete armour of his in which he trusted, and distributes the plunder he has collected.
Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever is not gathering with me is scattering abroad.
"When a foul spirit has left a man, it roams about in the Desert, seeking a resting-place; but, unable to find any, it says, `I will return to the house I have left;"
and when it comes, it finds the house swept clean and in good order.
Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more malignant than itself, and they enter and dwell there; and in the end that man's condition becomes worse than it was at first.
As He thus spoke a woman in the crowd called out in a loud voice, "Blessed is the mother who carried you, and the breasts that you have sucked."
"Nay rather," He replied, "they are blessed who hear God's Message and carefully keep it."
Now when the crowds came thronging upon Him, He proceeded to say, "The present generation is a wicked generation: it requires some sign, but no sign shall be given to it except that of Jonah.
For just as Jonah became a sign to the men of Nineveh, so the Son of Man will be a token to the present generation.
The Queen of the South will awake at the Judgement together with the men of the present generation, and will condemn them; because she came from the extremity of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; but mark! One greater than Solomon is here.
There will stand up men of Nineveh at the Judgement together with the present generation, and will condemn it; because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and mark! One greater than Jonah is here.
"When any one lights a lamp, he never puts it in the cellar or under the bushel, but on the lampstand, that people who come in may see the light.
The lamp of the body is the eye. When your eyesight is good, your whole body also is lighted up; but when it is defective, your body is darkened.
Consider therefore whether the light that is in you is anything but mere darkness.
If, however, your whole body is penetrated with light, and has no part dark, it will be so lighted, all of it, as when the lamp with its bright shining gives you light."
When He had thus spoken, a Pharisee invited Him to breakfast at his house; so He entered and took His place at table.
Now the Pharisee saw to his surprise that He did not wash His hands before breakfasting.
The Master however said to him, "Here we see how you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup or plate, while your secret hearts are full of greed and selfishness.
Foolish men! Did not He who made the outside make the inside also?
But as to what is within, give alms, and instantly all is clean in you.
"But alas for you Pharisees! for you pay tithes on your mint and rue and every kind of garden vegetable, and are indifferent to justice and the love of God. These are the things you ought to have attended to, while not neglecting the others.
Alas for you Pharisees! for you love the best seats in the synagogues, and you like to be bowed to in places of public resort.
Alas for you! for you are like the tombs which lie hidden, and the people who walk over them are not aware of their existence."
Hereupon one of the expounders of the Law exclaimed, "Rabbi, in saying such things you reproach us also."
"Alas too for you expounders of the Law!" replied Jesus, "for you load men with cumbrous burdens which you yourselves will not touch with one of your fingers.
Alas for you! for you repair the tombs of the Prophets, whom your forefathers killed.
It follows that you bear testimony to the actions of your forefathers and that you fully approve thereof. They slew, you build.
"For this reason also the Wisdom of God has said, `I will send Prophets and Apostles to them, of whom they will kill some and persecute others,'
so that the blood of all the Prophets, that is being shed from the creation of the world onwards, may be required from the present generation.
Yes, I tell you that, from the blood of Abel down to the blood of Zechariah who perished between the altar and the House, it shall all be required from the present generation.
"Alas for you expounders of the Law! for you have taken away the key of knowledge: you yourselves have not entered, and those who wanted to enter you have hindered."
After He had left the house, the Scribes and Pharisees commenced a vehement attempt to entangle Him and make Him give off-hand answers on numerous points,
lying in wait to catch some unguarded expression from His lips.