Then Jesus used this story to teach his followers that they should always pray and never lose hope.
"In a certain town there was a judge who did not respect God or care about people.
In that same town there was a widow who kept coming to this judge, saying, 'Give me my rights against my enemy.'
For a while the judge refused to help her. But afterwards, he thought to himself, 'Even though I don't respect God or care about people,
I will see that she gets her rights. Otherwise she will continue to bother me until I am worn out.'"
The Lord said, "Listen to what the unfair judge said.
God will always give what is right to his people who cry to him night and day, and he will not be slow to answer them.
I tell you, God will help his people quickly. But when the Son of Man comes again, will he find those on earth who believe in him?"
Jesus told this story to some people who thought they were very good and looked down on everyone else:
"A Pharisee and a tax collector both went to the Temple to pray.
The Pharisee stood alone and prayed, 'God, I thank you that I am not like other people who steal, cheat, or take part in adultery, or even like this tax collector.
I give up eatingn twice a week, and I give one-tenth of everything I get!'
"The tax collector, standing at a distance, would not even look up to heaven. But he beat on his chest because he was so sad. He said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'
I tell you, when this man went home, he was right with God, but the Pharisee was not. All who make themselves great will be made humble, but all who make themselves humble will be made great."
Some people brought even their babies to Jesus so he could touch them. When the followers saw this, they told them to stop.
But Jesus called for the children, saying, "Let the little children come to me. Don't stop them, because the kingdom of God belongs to people who are like these children.
I tell you the truth, you must accept the kingdom of God as if you were a child, or you will never enter it."
A certain leader asked Jesus, "Good Teacher, what must I do to have life forever?"
Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? Only God is good.
You know the commands: 'You must not be guilty of adultery. You must not murder anyone. You must not steal. You must not tell lies about your neighbor. Honor your father and mother.'"
But the leader said, "I have obeyed all these commands since I was a boy."
When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "There is still one more thing you need to do. Sell everything you have and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come and follow me."
But when the man heard this, he became very sad, because he was very rich.
Jesus looked at him and said, "It is very hard for rich people to enter the kingdom of God.
It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God."
When the people heard this, they asked, "Then who can be saved?"
Jesus answered, "God can do things that are not possible for people to do."
Peter said, "Look, we have left everything and followed you."
Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, all those who have left houses, wives, brothers, parents, or children for the kingdom of God
will get much more in this life. And in the age that is coming, they will have life forever."
Then Jesus took the twelve apostles aside and said to them, "We are going to Jerusalem. Everything the prophets wrote about the Son of Man will happen.
He will be turned over to those who are not Jews. They will laugh at him, insult him, spit on him,
beat him with whips, and kill him. But on the third day, he will rise to life again."
The apostles did not understand this; the meaning was hidden from them, and they did not realize what was said.
As Jesus came near the city of Jericho, a blind man was sitting beside the road, begging.
When he heard the people coming down the road, he asked, "What is happening?"
They told him, "Jesus, from Nazareth, is going by."
The blind man cried out, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"
The people leading the group warned the blind man to be quiet. But the blind man shouted even more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!"
Jesus stopped and ordered the blind man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him,
"What do you want me to do for you?" He said, "Lord, I want to see."
Jesus said to him, "Then see. You are healed because you believed."
At once the man was able to see, and he followed Jesus, thanking God. All the people who saw this praised God.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.