1 ONCE ABOUT THAT TIME Jesus took a walk on the Sabbath through the cornfields; and his disciples, feeling hungry, began to pluck some ears of corn and eat them. 2 The Pharisees noticed this, and said to him, 'Look, your disciples are doing something which is forbidden on the Sabbath.' 3 He answered, 'Have you not read what David did when he and his men were hungry? 4 He went into the House of God and ate the consecrated loaves, though neither he nor his men had a right to eat them, but only the priests. 5 Or have you not read in the Law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath and it is not held against them? 6 I tell you, there is something greater than the temple here. 7 If you had known what that text means, "I require mercy, not sacrifice", you would not have condemned the innocent. 8 For the Son of Man is sovereign over the Sabbath.'
9 He went on to another place, and entered their synagogue. 10 A man was there with a withered arm, and they asked Jesus, 'Is it permitted to heal on the Sabbath?' (Their aim was to frame a charge against him.) 11 But he said to them, 'Suppose you had one sheep, which fell into a ditch on the Sabbath; is there one of you who would not catch hold of it and lift it out? 12 And surely a man is worth far more than a sheep! It is therefore permitted to do good on the Sabbath.' 13 Turning to the man he said, 'Stretch out your arm.' He stretched it out, and it was made sound again like the other. 14 But the Pharisees, on leaving the synagogue, laid a plot to do away with him.
15 Jesus was aware of it and withdrew. Many followed, and he cured all who were ill; 16 and he gave strict in junctions that they were not to make him known. 17 This was in fulfilment of Isaiah's prophecy:
22 THEN THEY BROUGHT HIM a man who was possessed; he was blind and dumb; and Jesus cured him, restoring both speech and sight. 23 The bystanders were all amazed, and the word went round: 'Can this be the Son of David?' 24 But when the Pharisees heard it they said, 'It is only by Beelzebub prince of devils that this man drives the devils out.'
25 He knew what was in their minds; so he said to them, 'Every kingdom divided against itself goes to ruin; and no town, no household, that is divided against itself can stand. 26 And if it is Satan who casts out Satan, Satan is divided against himself; how then can his kingdom stand? 27 And if it is by Beelzebub that I cast out devils, by whom do your own people drive them out? If this is your argument, they themselves will refute you.
28 But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out the devils, then be sure the kingdom of God has already come upon you.
29 'Or again, how can anyone break into a strong man's house and make off with his goods unless he has first tied the strong man up before ransacking the house?
30 'He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.
31 'And so I tell you this: no sin, no slander, is beyond forgiveness for men, except slander spoken against the Spirit, and that will not be forgiven. 32 Any man who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven; but if anyone speaks against the Holy Spirit, for him there is no forgiveness, either in this age or in the age to come.
33 'Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; you can tell a tree by its fruit. 34 You vipers' brood! How can your words be good when you yourselves are evil? For the words that the mouth utters come from the overflowing of the heart. 35 A good man produces good from the store of good within himself; and an evil man from evil within produces evil.
36 'I tell you this: there is not a thoughtless word that comes from men's lips but they will have to account for it on the day of judgement. 37 For out of your own mouth you will be acquitted; out of your own mouth you will be condemned.'
38 At this some of the doctors of the law and the Pharisees said, 'Master, we should like you to show us a sign.' 39 He answered: 'It is a wicked, godless generation that asks for a sign; and the only sign that will be given it is the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 Jonah was in the sea-monster's belly for three days and three nights, and in the same way the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the bowels of the earth. 41 At the Judgement, when this generation is on trial, the men of Nineveh will appear against it and ensure its condemnation, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and what is here is greater than Jonah. 42 The Queen of the South will appear at the Judgement when this generation is on trial, and ensure its condemnation, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and what is here is greater than Solomon.
43 'When an unclean spirit comes out of a man it wanders over the deserts seeking a resting-place; and finding none, 44 it says, "I will go back to the home I left." So it returns and finds the house unoccupied, swept clean, and tidy. 45 Off it goes and collects seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they all come in and settle down; and in the end the man's plight is worse than before. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.'
46 He was still speaking to the crowd when his mother and brothers appeared; they stood outside, wanting to speak to him. 47 Someone said, 'Your mother and your brothers are here outside; they want to speak to you.' 48 Jesus turned to the man who brought the message, and said, 'Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?'; 49 and pointing to the disciples, he said, 'Here are my mother and my brothers. 50 Whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, my sister, my mother.'
1 THAT SAME DAY Jesus went out and sat beside the lake, where so many people gathered round him that he had to get into a boat. 2 He sat there, and all the people stood on the shore. 3 He spoke to them in parables, at some length.
He said: 'A sower went out to sow.
4 And as he sowed, some seed fell along the footpath; and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some seed fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil; it sprouted quickly because it had no depth of earth, 6 but when the sun rose the young corn was scorched, and as it had no root it withered away. 7 Some seed fell among thistles; and the thistles shot up, and choked the corn. 8 And some of the seed fell into good soil, where it bore fruit, yielding a hundredfold or, it might be, sixtyfold or thirtyfold. 9 If you have ears, then hear.'
10 The disciples went up to him and asked, 'Why do you speak to them in parables?' 11 He replied, 'It has been granted to you to know the secrets of the kingdom of Heaven; but to those others it has not been granted. 12 For the man who has will be given more, till he has enough and to spare; and the man who has not will forfeit even what he has. 13 That is why I speak to them in parables; for they look without seeing, and listen without hearing or understanding. 14 There is a prophecy of Isaiah which is being fulfilled for them:
24 Here is another parable that he put before them: 'The kingdom of Heaven is like this. A man sowed his field with good seed; 25 but while everyone was asleep his enemy came, sowed darnel among the wheat, and made off. 26 When the corn sprouted and began to fill out, the darnel could be seen among it. 27 The farmer's men went to their master and said, "Sir, was it not good seed that you sowed in your field? Then where has the darnel come from?" 28 "This is an enemy's doing", he replied. "Well then," they said, "shall we go and gather the darnel?" 29 "No," he answered; "in gathering it you might pull up the wheat at the same time. 30 Let them both grow together till harvest; and at harvest-time I will tell the reapers, 'Gather the darnel first, and tie it in bundles for burning; then collect the wheat into my barn.'"'
31 And this is another parable that he put before them: 'The kingdom of Heaven is like mustard-seed, which a man took and sowed in his field. 32 As a seed, mustard is smaller than any other; but when it has grown it is bigger than any garden-plant; it becomes a tree, big enough for the birds to come and roost among its branches.'
33 He told them also this parable: 'The kingdom of Heaven is like yeast, which a woman took and mixed with half a hundredweight of flour till it was all leavened.'
34 In all this teaching to the crowds Jesus spoke in parables; in fact he never spoke to them without a parable; 35 thus making good the prophecy of Isaiah:
44 'The kingdom of Heaven is like treasure lying buried in a field. The man who found it, buried it again; and for sheer joy went and sold everything he had, and bought that field.
45 'Here is another picture of the kingdom of Heaven. 46 A merchant looking out for fine pearls found one of very special value; so he went and sold everything he had, and bought it.
47 'Again the kingdom of Heaven is like a net let down into the sea, where fish of every kind were caught in it. 48 When it was full, it was dragged ashore. Then the men sat down and collected the good fish into pails and threw the worthless away. 49 That is how it will be at the end of time. The angels will go forth, and they will separate the wicked from the good, 50 and throw them into the blazing furnace, the place of wailing and grinding of teeth.
51 'Have you understood all this?' he asked; and they answered, 'Yes.' 52 He said to them, 'When, therefore, a teacher of the law has become a learner in the kingdom of Heaven, he is like a householder who can produce from his store both the new and the old.'
53 WHEN HE HAD FINISHED these parables Jesus left that place, 54 and came to his home town, where he taught the people in their synagogue. In amazement they asked, 'Where does he get this wisdom from, and these miraculous powers? 55 Is he not the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary, his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? 56 And are not all his sisters here with us? Where then has he got all this from ?' 57 So they fell foul of him, and this led him to say, 'A prophet will always be held in honour, except in his home town, and in his own family.' 58 And he did not work many miracles there: such was their want of faith.
1 It was at that time that reports about Jesus reached the ears of Prince Herod. 'This is John the Baptist,' 2 he said to his attendants; 'John has been raised to life, and that is why these miraculous powers are at work in him.'
3 FOR HEROD had arrested John, put him in chains, and thrown him into prison, on account of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife; 4 for John had told him: 'You have no right to her.' 5 Herod would have liked to put him to death, but he was afraid of the people, in whose eyes John was a prophet. 6 But at his birthday celebrations the daughter of Herodias danced before the guests, 7 and Herod was so delighted that he took an oath to give her anything she cared to ask. 8 Prompted by her mother, she said,.'Give me here on a dish the head of John the Baptist.' 9 The king was deeply distressed when he heard it; but out of regard for his oath and for his guests, he ordered the request to be granted, 10 and had John beheaded in prison. 11 The head was brought in on a dish and given to the girl; and she carried it to her mother. 12 Then John's disciples came and took away the body, and buried it; and they went and told Jesus.
13 WHEN HE HEARD what had happened Jesus withdrew privately by boat to a lonely place; but people heard of it, and came after him in crowds by land from the towns. 14 When he came ashore, he saw a great crowd; his heart went out to them, and he cured those of them who were sick. 15 When it grew late the disciples came up to him and said, 'This is a lonely place, and the day has gone; send the people off to the villages ie to buy themselves food.' 16 He answered, 'There is no need for them to go; give them something to eat yourselves.' 17 'All we have here', they said, 'is five loaves and two fishes.' 18 'Let me have them', he replied. 19 So he told the people to sit down on the grass; then, taking the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples; and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate to their hearts' content; and the scraps left over, which they picked up, were enough to fill twelve great baskets. 21 Some five thousand men shared in this meal, to say nothing of women and children.
22 Then he made the disciples embark and go on ahead to the other side, while he sent the people away; 23 after doing that, he went up the hill-side to pray alone. It grew late, and he was there by himself. 24 The boat was already some furlongs from the shore, battling with a head-wind and a rough sea. 25 Between three and six in the morning he came to them, walking over the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake they were so shaken that they cried out in terror: 'It is a ghost!' 27 But at once he spoke to them: 'Take heart! It is I; do not be afraid.'
28 Peter called to him: 'Lord, if it is you, tell me to come to you over the water.' 'Come', said Jesus. 29 Peter stepped down from the boat, and walked over the water towards Jesus. 30 But when he saw the strength of the gale he was seized with fear; and beginning to sink, he cried, 'Save me, Lord.' 31 Jesus at once reached out and caught hold of him, and said, 'Why did you hesitate? How little faith you have!' 32 They then climbed into the boat; and the wind dropped. 33 And the men in the boat fell at his feet, exclaiming, 'Truly you are the Son of God.'
34 So they finished the crossing and came to land at Gennesaret. 35 There Jesus was recognized by the people of the place, who sent out word to all the country round. And all who were ill were brought to him, 36 and he was begged to allow them simply to touch the edge of his cloak. And everyone who touched it was completely cured.
1 THEN JESUS WAS APPROACHED by a group of Pharisees and lawyers from Jerusalem, with the question: 2 'Why do your disciples break the old-established tradition? They do not wash their hands before meals.' 3 He answered them: 'And what of you? Why do you break God's commandment in the interest of your tradition? 4 For God said, "Honour your father and mother", and, "The man who curses his father or mother must suffer death." 5 But you say, "If a man says to his father or mother, 'Anything of mine which might have been used for your benefit is set apart for God', then he must not honour his father or his mother." 6 You have made God's law null and void out of respect for your tradition. 7 What hypocrisy! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:
12 Then the disciples came to him and said, 'Do you know that the Pharisees have taken great offence at what you have been saying?' 13 His answer was: 'Any plant that is not of my heavenly Father's planting will be rooted up. 14 Leave them alone; they are blind guides, and if one blind man guides another they will both fall into the ditch.'
15 Then Peter said, 'Tell us what that parable means.' 16 Jesus answered, 'Are you still as dull as the rest? 17 Do you not see that whatever goes in by the mouth passes into the stomach and so is discharged into the drain? 18 But what comes out of the mouth has its origins in the heart; and that is what defiles a man. 19 Wicked thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, perjury, slander - these all proceed from the heart; 20 and these are the things that defile a man; but to eat without first washing his hands, that cannot defile him.'