Luke 14; Luke 15; Luke 16

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Luke 14

1 On a Sabbath day, when Jesus went to eat at the home of a leading Pharisee, the people were watching Jesus very closely.
2 And in front of him was a man with dropsy.
3 Jesus said to the Pharisees and experts on the law, "Is it right or wrong to heal on the Sabbath day?"
4 But they would not answer his question. So Jesus took the man, healed him, and sent him away.
5 Jesus said to the Pharisees and teachers of the law, "If your child or ox falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not pull him out quickly?"
6 And they could not answer him.
7 When Jesus noticed that some of the guests were choosing the best places to sit, he told this story:
8 "When someone invites you to a wedding feast, don't take the most important seat, because someone more important than you may have been invited.
9 The host, who invited both of you, will come to you and say, 'Give this person your seat.' Then you will be embarrassed and will have to move to the last place.
10 So when you are invited, go sit in a seat that is not important. When the host comes to you, he may say, 'Friend, move up here to a more important place.' Then all the other guests will respect you.
11 All who make themselves great will be made humble, but those who make themselves humble will be made great."
12 Then Jesus said to the man who had invited him, "When you give a lunch or a dinner, don't invite only your friends, your family, your other relatives, and your rich neighbors. At another time they will invite you to eat with them, and you will be repaid.
13 Instead, when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind.
14 Then you will be blessed, because they have nothing and cannot pay you back. But you will be repaid when the good people rise from the dead."
15 One of those at the table with Jesus heard these things and said to him, "Happy are the people who will share in the meal in God's kingdom."
16 Jesus said to him, "A man gave a big banquet and invited many people.
17 When it was time to eat, the man sent his servant to tell the guests, 'Come. Everything is ready.'
18 "But all the guests made excuses. The first one said, 'I have just bought a field, and I must go look at it. Please excuse me.'
19 Another said, 'I have just bought five pairs of oxen; I must go and try them. Please excuse me.'
20 A third person said, 'I just got married; I can't come.'
21 So the servant returned and told his master what had happened. Then the master became angry and said, 'Go at once into the streets and alleys of the town, and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.'
22 Later the servant said to him, 'Master, I did what you commanded, but we still have room.'
23 The master said to the servant, 'Go out to the roads and country lanes, and urge the people there to come so my house will be full.
24 I tell you, none of those whom I invited first will eat with me.'"
25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and he turned and said to them,
26 "If anyone comes to me but loves his father, mother, wife, children, brothers, or sisters -- or even life -- more than me, he cannot be my follower.
27 Whoever is not willing to carry the cross and follow me cannot be my follower.
28 If you want to build a tower, you first sit down and decide how much it will cost, to see if you have enough money to finish the job.
29 If you don't, you might lay the foundation, but you would not be able to finish. Then all who would see it would make fun of you,
30 saying, 'This person began to build but was not able to finish.'
31 "If a king is going to fight another king, first he will sit down and plan. He will decide if he and his ten thousand soldiers can defeat the other king who has twenty thousand soldiers.
32 If he can't, then while the other king is still far away, he will send some people to speak to him and ask for peace.
33 In the same way, you must give up everything you have to be my follower.
34 "Salt is good, but if it loses its salty taste, you cannot make it salty again.
35 It is no good for the soil or for manure; it is thrown away. "You people who can hear me, listen." A Lost Sheep, a Lost Coin
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Luke 15

1 The tax collectors and sinners all came to listen to Jesus.
2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law began to complain: "Look, this man welcomes sinners and even eats with them."
3 Then Jesus told them this story:
4 "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep but loses one of them. Then he will leave the other ninety-nine sheep in the open field and go out and look for the lost sheep until he finds it.
5 And when he finds it, he happily puts it on his shoulders
6 and goes home. He calls to his friends and neighbors and says, 'Be happy with me because I found my lost sheep.'
7 In the same way, I tell you there is more joy in heaven over one sinner who changes his heart and life, than over ninety-nine good people who don't need to change.
8 "Suppose a woman has ten silver coins, but loses one. She will light a lamp, sweep the house, and look carefully for the coin until she finds it.
9 And when she finds it, she will call her friends and neighbors and say, 'Be happy with me because I have found the coin that I lost.'
10 In the same way, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God when one sinner changes his heart and life."
11 Then Jesus said, "A man had two sons.
12 The younger son said to his father, 'Give me my share of the property.' So the father divided the property between his two sons.
13 Then the younger son gathered up all that was his and traveled far away to another country. There he wasted his money in foolish living.
14 After he had spent everything, a time came when there was no food anywhere in the country, and the son was poor and hungry.
15 So he got a job with one of the citizens there who sent the son into the fields to feed pigs.
16 The son was so hungry that he wanted to eat the pods the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17 When he realized what he was doing, he thought, 'All of my father's servants have plenty of food. But I am here, almost dying with hunger.
18 I will leave and return to my father and say to him, "Father, I have sinned against God and have done wrong to you.
19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son, but let me be like one of your servants."'
20 So the son left and went to his father. "While the son was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt sorry for his son. So the father ran to him and hugged and kissed him.
21 The son said, 'Father, I have sinned against God and have done wrong to you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'
22 But the father said to his servants, 'Hurry! Bring the best clothes and put them on him. Also, put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
23 And get our fat calf and kill it so we can have a feast and celebrate.
24 My son was dead, but now he is alive again! He was lost, but now he is found!' So they began to celebrate.
25 "The older son was in the field, and as he came closer to the house, he heard the sound of music and dancing.
26 So he called to one of the servants and asked what all this meant.
27 The servant said, 'Your brother has come back, and your father killed the fat calf, because your brother came home safely.'
28 The older son was angry and would not go in to the feast. So his father went out and begged him to come in.
29 But the older son said to his father, 'I have served you like a slave for many years and have always obeyed your commands. But you never gave me even a young goat to have at a feast with my friends.
30 But your other son, who wasted all your money on prostitutes, comes home, and you kill the fat calf for him!'
31 The father said to him, 'Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.
32 We had to celebrate and be happy because your brother was dead, but now he is alive. He was lost, but now he is found.'"
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Luke 16

1 Jesus also said to his followers, "Once there was a rich man who had a manager to take care of his business. This manager was accused of cheating him.
2 So he called the manager in and said to him, 'What is this I hear about you? Give me a report of what you have done with my money, because you can't be my manager any longer.'
3 The manager thought to himself, 'What will I do since my master is taking my job away from me? I am not strong enough to dig ditches, and I am ashamed to beg.
4 I know what I'll do so that when I lose my job people will welcome me into their homes.'
5 "So the manager called in everyone who owed the master any money. He asked the first one, 'How much do you owe?'
6 He answered, 'Eight hundred gallons of olive oil.' The manager said to him, 'Take your bill, sit down quickly, and write four hundred gallons.'
7 Then the manager asked another one, 'How much do you owe?' He answered, 'One thousand bushels of wheat.' Then the manager said to him, 'Take your bill and write eight hundred bushels.'
8 So, the master praised the dishonest manager for being smart. Yes, worldly people are smarter with their own kind than spiritual people are.
9 "I tell you, make friends for yourselves using worldly riches so that when those riches are gone, you will be welcomed in those homes that continue forever.
10 Whoever can be trusted with a little can also be trusted with a lot, and whoever is dishonest with a little is dishonest with a lot.
11 If you cannot be trusted with worldly riches, then who will trust you with true riches?
12 And if you cannot be trusted with things that belong to someone else, who will give you things of your own?
13 "No servant can serve two masters. The servant will hate one master and love the other, or will follow one master and refuse to follow the other. You cannot serve both God and worldly riches."
14 The Pharisees, who loved money, were listening to all these things and made fun of Jesus.
15 He said to them, "You make yourselves look good in front of people, but God knows what is really in your hearts. What is important to people is hateful in God's sight.
16 "The law of Moses and the writings of the prophets were preached until Johnn came. Since then the Good News about the kingdom of God is being told, and everyone tries to enter it by force.
17 It would be easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for the smallest part of a letter in the law to be changed.
18 "If a man divorces his wife and marries another woman, he is guilty of adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman is also guilty of adultery."
19 Jesus said, "There was a rich man who always dressed in the finest clothes and lived in luxury every day.
20 And a very poor man named Lazarus, whose body was covered with sores, was laid at the rich man's gate.
21 He wanted to eat only the small pieces of food that fell from the rich man's table. And the dogs would come and lick his sores.
22 Later, Lazarus died, and the angels carried him to the arms of Abraham. The rich man died, too, and was buried.
23 In the place of the dead, he was in much pain. The rich man saw Abraham far away with Lazarus at his side.
24 He called, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me! Send Lazarus to dip his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am suffering in this fire!'
25 But Abraham said, 'Child, remember when you were alive you had the good things in life, but bad things happened to Lazarus. Now he is comforted here, and you are suffering.
26 Besides, there is a big pit between you and us, so no one can cross over to you, and no one can leave there and come here.'
27 The rich man said, 'Father, then please send Lazarus to my father's house.
28 I have five brothers, and Lazarus could warn them so that they will not come to this place of pain.'
29 But Abraham said, 'They have the law of Moses and the writings of the prophets; let them learn from them.'
30 The rich man said, 'No, father Abraham! If someone goes to them from the dead, they would believe and change their hearts and lives.'
31 But Abraham said to him, 'If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not listen to someone who comes back from the dead.'"
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.