1 Now it happened that he was in a certain place praying, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said, 'Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.'
2 He said to them, 'When you pray, this is what to say: Father, may your name be held holy, your kingdom come;
3 give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins,
4 for we ourselves forgive each one who is in debt to us. And do not put us to the test.'
5 He also said to them, 'Suppose one of you has a friend and goes to him in the middle of the night to say, "My friend, lend me three loaves,
6 because a friend of mine on his travels has just arrived at my house and I have nothing to offer him;"
7 and the man answers from inside the house, "Do not bother me. The door is bolted now, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up to give it to you."
8 I tell you, if the man does not get up and give it to him for friendship's sake, persistence will make him get up and give his friend all he wants.
9 'So I say to you: Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.
10 For everyone who asks receives; everyone who searches finds; everyone who knocks will have the door opened.
11 What father among you, if his son asked for a fish, would hand him a snake?
12 Or if he asked for an egg, hand him a scorpion?
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13 If you then, evil as you are, know how to give your children what is good, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!'
14 He was driving out a devil and it was dumb; and it happened that when the devil had gone out the dumb man spoke, and the people were amazed.
15 But some of them said, 'It is through Beelzebul, the prince of devils, that he drives devils out.'
16 Others asked him, as a test, for a sign from heaven;
17 but, knowing what they were thinking, he said to them, 'Any kingdom which is divided against itself is heading for ruin, and house collapses against house.
18 So, too, with Satan: if he is divided against himself, how can his kingdom last? - since you claim that it is through Beelzebul that I drive devils out.
19 Now if it is through Beelzebul that I drive devils out, through whom do your own sons drive them out? They shall be your judges, then.
20 But if it is through the finger of God that I drive devils out, then the kingdom of God has indeed caught you unawares.
21 So long as a strong man fully armed guards his own home, his goods are undisturbed;
22 but when someone stronger than himself attacks and defeats him, the stronger man takes away all the weapons he relied on and shares out his spoil.
23 'Anyone who is not with me is against me; and anyone who does not gather in with me throws away.
24 'When an unclean spirit goes out of someone it wanders through waterless country looking for a place to rest, and not finding one it says, "I will go back to the home I came from."
25 But on arrival, finding it swept and tidied,
26 it then goes off and brings seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and set up house there, and so that person ends up worse off than before.'
27 It happened that as he was speaking, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said, 'Blessed the womb that bore you and the breasts that fed you!'
28 But he replied, 'More blessed still are those who hear the word of God and keep it!'
29 The crowds got even bigger and he addressed them, 'This is an evil generation; it is asking for a sign. The only sign it will be given is the sign of Jonah.
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30 For just as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so will the Son of man be a sign to this generation.
31 On Judgement Day the Queen of the South will stand up against the people of this generation and be their condemnation, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, look, there is something greater than Solomon here.
32 On Judgement Day the men of Nineveh will appear against this generation and be its condemnation, because when Jonah preached they repented; and, look, there is something greater than Jonah here.
33 'No one lights a lamp and puts it in some hidden place or under a tub; they put it on the lamp-stand so that people may see the light when they come in.
34 The lamp of the body is your eye. When your eye is clear, your whole body, too, is filled with light; but when it is diseased your body, too, will be darkened.
35 See to it then that the light inside you is not darkness.
36 If, therefore, your whole body is filled with light, and not darkened at all, it will be light entirely, as when the lamp shines on you with its rays.'
37 He had just finished speaking when a Pharisee invited him to dine at his house. He went in and sat down at table.
38 The Pharisee saw this and was surprised that he had not first washed before the meal.
39 But the Lord said to him, 'You Pharisees! You clean the outside of cup and plate, while inside yourselves you are filled with extortion and wickedness.
40 Fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside too?
41 Instead, give alms from what you have and, look, everything will be clean for you.
42 But alas for you Pharisees, because you pay your tithe of mint and rue and all sorts of garden herbs and neglect justice and the love of God! These you should have practised, without neglecting the others.
43 Alas for you Pharisees, because you like to take the seats of honour in the synagogues and to be greeted respectfully in the market squares!
44 Alas for you, because you are like the unmarked tombs that people walk on without knowing it!'
45 A lawyer then spoke up. 'Master,' he said, 'when you speak like this you insult us too.'
46 But he said, 'Alas for you lawyers as well, because you load on people burdens that are unendurable, burdens that you yourselves do not touch with your fingertips.
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47 'Alas for you because you build tombs for the prophets, the people your ancestors killed!
48 In this way you both witness to what your ancestors did and approve it; they did the killing, you do the building.
49 'And that is why the Wisdom of God said, "I will send them prophets and apostles; some they will slaughter and persecute,
50 so that this generation will have to answer for every prophet's blood that has been shed since the foundation of the world,
51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the Temple." Yes, I tell you, this generation will have to answer for it all.
52 'Alas for you lawyers who have taken away the key of knowledge! You have not gone in yourselves and have prevented others from going in who wanted to.'
53 When he left there, the scribes and the Pharisees began a furious attack on him and tried to force answers from him on innumerable questions,
54 lying in wait to catch him out in something he might say.