Matthew 10; Matthew 11; Matthew 12

1 Jesus called his twelve followers together and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every kind of disease and sickness. 2 These are the names of the twelve apostles: Simon (also called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew, the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who turned against Jesus. 5 Jesus sent out these twelve men with the following order: "Don't go to the non-Jewish people or to any town where the Samaritans live. 6 But go to the people of Israel, who are like lost sheep. 7 When you go, preach this: 'The kingdom of heaven is near.' 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead to life again, heal those who have skin diseases, and force demons out of people. I give you these powers freely, so help other people freely. 9 Don't carry any money with you -- gold or silver or copper. 10 Don't carry a bag or extra clothes or sandals or a walking stick. Workers should be given what they need. 11 "When you enter a city or town, find some worthy person there and stay in that home until you leave. 12 When you enter that home, say, 'Peace be with you.' 13 If the people there welcome you, let your peace stay there. But if they don't welcome you, take back the peace you wished for them. 14 And if a home or town refuses to welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake its dust off your feet. 15 I tell you the truth, on the Judgment Day it will be better for the towns of Sodom and Gomorrahn than for the people of that town. 16 "Listen, I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. So be as smart as snakes and as innocent as doves. 17 Be careful of people, because they will arrest you and take you to court and whip you in their synagogues. 18 Because of me you will be taken to stand before governors and kings, and you will tell them and the non-Jewish people about me. 19 When you are arrested, don't worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given the things to say. 20 It will not really be you speaking but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. 21 "Brothers will give their own brothers to be killed, and fathers will give their own children to be killed. Children will fight against their own parents and have them put to death. 22 All people will hate you because you follow me, but those people who keep their faith until the end will be saved. 23 When you are treated badly in one city, run to another city. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through all the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes. 24 "A student is not better than his teacher, and a servant is not better than his master. 25 A student should be satisfied to become like his teacher; a servant should be satisfied to become like his master. If the head of the family is called Beelzebul, then the other members of the family will be called worse names! Fear God, Not People 26 "So don't be afraid of those people, because everything that is hidden will be shown. Everything that is secret will be made known. 27 I tell you these things in the dark, but I want you to tell them in the light. What you hear whispered in your ear you should shout from the housetops. 28 Don't be afraid of people, who can kill the body but cannot kill the soul. The only one you should fear is the one who can destroy the soul and the body in hell. 29 Two sparrows cost only a penny, but not even one of them can die without your Father's knowing it. 30 God even knows how many hairs are on your head. 31 So don't be afraid. You are worth much more than many sparrows. 32 "All those who stand before others and say they believe in me, I will say before my Father in heaven that they belong to me. 33 But all who stand before others and say they do not believe in me, I will say before my Father in heaven that they do not belong to me. 34 "Don't think that I came to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 I have come so that 'a son will be against his father, a daughter will be against her mother, a daughter-in-law will be against her mother-in-law. 36 A person's enemies will be members of his own family.' 37 "Those who love their father or mother more than they love me are not worthy to be my followers. Those who love their son or daughter more than they love me are not worthy to be my followers. 38 Whoever is not willing to carry the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Those who try to hold on to their lives will give up true life. Those who give up their lives for me will hold on to true life. 40 Whoever accepts you also accepts me, and whoever accepts me also accepts the One who sent me. 41 Whoever meets a prophet and accepts him will receive the reward of a prophet. And whoever accepts a good person because that person is good will receive the reward of a good person. 42 Those who give one of these little ones a cup of cold water because they are my followers will truly get their reward."
1 After Jesus finished telling these things to his twelve followers, he left there and went to the towns in Galilee to teach and preach. 2 John the Baptist was in prison, but he heard about what Christ was doing. So John sent some of his followers to Jesus. 3 They asked him, "Are you the One who is to come, or should we wait for someone else?" 4 Jesus answered them, "Go tell John what you hear and see: 5 The blind can see, the crippled can walk, and people with skin diseases are healed. The deaf can hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is preached to the poor. 6 Those who do not stumble in their faith because of me are blessed." 7 As John's followers were leaving, Jesus began talking to the people about John. Jesus said, "What did you go out into the desert to see? A reedn blown by the wind? 8 What did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes live in kings' palaces. 9 So why did you go out? To see a prophet? Yes, and I tell you, John is more than a prophet. 10 This was written about him: 'I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare the way for you.' 11 I tell you the truth, John the Baptist is greater than any other person ever born, but even the least important person in the kingdom of heaven is greater than John. 12 Since the time John the Baptist came until now, the kingdom of heaven has been going forward in strength, and people have been trying to take it by force. 13 All the prophets and the law of Moses told about what would happen until the time John came. 14 And if you will believe what they said, you will believe that John is Elijah, whom they said would come. 15 You people who can hear me, listen! 16 "What can I say about the people of this time? What are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace, who call out to each other, 17 'We played music for you, but you did not dance; we sang a sad song, but you did not cry.' 18 John came and did not eat or drink like other people. So people say, 'He has a demon.' 19 The Son of Man came, eating and drinking, and people say, 'Look at him! He eats too much and drinks too much wine, and he is a friend of tax collectors and sinners.' But wisdom is proved to be right by what it does." 20 Then Jesus criticized the cities where he did most of his miracles, because the people did not change their lives and stop sinning. 21 He said, "How terrible for you, Korazin! How terrible for you, Bethsaida! If the same miracles I did in you had happened in Tyre and Sidon, those people would have changed their lives a long time ago. They would have worn rough cloth and put ashes on themselves to show they had changed. 22 But I tell you, on the Judgment Day it will be better for Tyre and Sidon than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to heaven? No, you will be thrown down to the depths. If the miracles I did in you had happened in Sodom, its people would have stopped sinning, and it would still be a city today. 24 But I tell you, on the Judgment Day it will be better for Sodom than for you." 25 At that time Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the people who are wise and smart. But you have shown them to those who are like little children. 26 Yes, Father, this is what you really wanted. 27 "My Father has given me all things. No one knows the Son, except the Father. And no one knows the Father, except the Son and those whom the Son chooses to tell. 28 "Come to me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads, and I will give you rest. 29 Accept my teachings and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit, and you will find rest for your lives. 30 The teaching that I ask you to accept is easy; the load I give you to carry is light."
1 At that time Jesus was walking through some fields of grain on a Sabbath day. His followers were hungry, so they began to pick the grain and eat it. 2 When the Pharisees saw this, they said to Jesus, "Look! Your followers are doing what is unlawful to do on the Sabbath day." 3 Jesus answered, "Have you not read what David did when he and the people with him were hungry? 4 He went into God's house, and he and those with him ate the holy bread, which was lawful only for priests to eat. 5 And have you not read in the law of Moses that on every Sabbath day the priests in the Temple break this law about the Sabbath day? But the priests are not wrong for doing that. 6 I tell you that there is something here that is greater than the Temple. 7 The Scripture says, 'I want kindness more than I want animal sacrifices.' You don't really know what those words mean. If you understood them, you would not judge those who have done nothing wrong. 8 "So the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath day." 9 Jesus left there and went into their synagogue, 10 where there was a man with a crippled hand. They were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they asked him, "Is it right to heal on the Sabbath day?" 11 Jesus answered, "If any of you has a sheep, and it falls into a ditch on the Sabbath day, you will help it out of the ditch. 12 Surely a human being is more important than a sheep. So it is lawful to do good things on the Sabbath day." 13 Then Jesus said to the man with the crippled hand, "Hold out your hand." The man held out his hand, and it became well again, like the other hand. 14 But the Pharisees left and made plans to kill Jesus. 15 Jesus knew what the Pharisees were doing, so he left that place. Many people followed him, and he healed all who were sick. 16 But Jesus warned the people not to tell who he was. 17 He did these things to bring about what Isaiah the prophet had said: 18 "Here is my servant whom I have chosen. I love him, and I am pleased with him. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will tell of my justice to all people. 19 He will not argue or cry out; no one will hear his voice in the streets. 20 He will not break a crushed blade of grass or put out even a weak flame until he makes justice win the victory. 21 In him will the non-Jewish people find hope." 22 Then some people brought to Jesus a man who was blind and could not talk, because he had a demon. Jesus healed the man so that he could talk and see. 23 All the people were amazed and said, "Perhaps this man is the Son of David!" 24 When the Pharisees heard this, they said, "Jesus uses the power of Beelzebul, the ruler of demons, to force demons out of people." 25 Jesus knew what the Pharisees were thinking, so he said to them, "Every kingdom that is divided against itself will be destroyed. And any city or family that is divided against itself will not continue. 26 And if Satan forces out himself, then Satan is divided against himself, and his kingdom will not continue. 27 You say that I use the power of Beelzebul to force out demons. If that is true, then what power do your people use to force out demons? So they will be your judges. 28 But if I use the power of God's Spirit to force out demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you. 29 "If anyone wants to enter a strong person's house and steal his things, he must first tie up the strong person. Then he can steal the things from the house. 30 "Whoever is not with me is against me. Whoever does not work with me is working against me. 31 So I tell you, people can be forgiven for every sin and everything they say against God. But whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 Anyone who speaks against the Son of Man can be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, now or in the future. 33 "If you want good fruit, you must make the tree good. If your tree is not good, it will have bad fruit. A tree is known by the kind of fruit it produces. 34 You snakes! You are evil people, so how can you say anything good? The mouth speaks the things that are in the heart. 35 Good people have good things in their hearts, and so they say good things. But evil people have evil in their hearts, so they say evil things. 36 And I tell you that on the Judgment Day people will be responsible for every careless thing they have said. 37 The words you have said will be used to judge you. Some of your words will prove you right, but some of your words will prove you guilty." 38 Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law answered Jesus, saying, "Teacher, we want to see you work a miracle as a sign." 39 Jesus answered, "Evil and sinful people are the ones who want to see a miracle for a sign. But no sign will be given to them, except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 Jonah was in the stomach of the big fish for three days and three nights. In the same way, the Son of Man will be in the grave three days and three nights. 41 On the Judgment Day the people from Ninevehn will stand up with you people who live now, and they will show that you are guilty. When Jonah preached to them, they were sorry and changed their lives. And I tell you that someone greater than Jonah is here. 42 On the Judgment Day, the Queen of the Southn will stand up with you people who live today. She will show that you are guilty, because she came from far away to listen to Solomon's wise teaching. And I tell you that someone greater than Solomon is here. 43 "When an evil spirit comes out of a person, it travels through dry places, looking for a place to rest, but it doesn't find it. 44 So the spirit says, 'I will go back to the house I left.' When the spirit comes back, it finds the house still empty, swept clean, and made neat. 45 Then the evil spirit goes out and brings seven other spirits even more evil than it is, and they go in and live there. So the person has even more trouble than before. It is the same way with the evil people who live today." 46 While Jesus was talking to the people, his mother and brothers stood outside, trying to find a way to talk to him. 47 Someone told Jesus, "Your mother and brothers are standing outside, and they want to talk to you." 48 He answered, "Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?" 49 Then he pointed to his followers and said, "Here are my mother and my brothers. 50 My true brother and sister and mother are those who do what my Father in heaven wants."
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