1 Meanwhile the people had gathered in their thousands so that they were treading on one another. And he began to speak, first of all to his disciples. 'Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees -- their hypocrisy.
2 Everything now covered up will be uncovered, and everything now hidden will be made clear.
3 For this reason, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in hidden places will be proclaimed from the housetops.
4 'To you my friends I say: Do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more.
5 I will tell you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has the power to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, he is the one to fear.
6 Can you not buy five sparrows for two pennies? And yet not one is forgotten in God's sight.
7 Why, every hair on your head has been counted. There is no need to be afraid: you are worth more than many sparrows.
8 'I tell you, if anyone openly declares himself for me in the presence of human beings, the Son of man will declare himself for him in the presence of God's angels.
9 But anyone who disowns me in the presence of human beings will be disowned in the presence of God's angels.
10 'Everyone who says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven, but no one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will be forgiven.
11 'When they take you before synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how to defend yourselves or what to say,
12 because when the time comes, the Holy Spirit will teach you what you should say.'
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13 A man in the crowd said to him, 'Master, tell my brother to give me a share of our inheritance.'
14 He said to him, 'My friend, who appointed me your judge, or the arbitrator of your claims?'
15 Then he said to them, 'Watch, and be on your guard against avarice of any kind, for life does not consist in possessions, even when someone has more than he needs.'
16 Then he told them a parable, 'There was once a rich man who, having had a good harvest from his land,
17 thought to himself, "What am I to do? I have not enough room to store my crops."
18 Then he said, "This is what I will do: I will pull down my barns and build bigger ones, and store all my grain and my goods in them,
19 and I will say to my soul: My soul, you have plenty of good things laid by for many years to come; take things easy, eat, drink, have a good time."
20 But God said to him, "Fool! This very night the demand will be made for your soul; and this hoard of yours, whose will it be then?"
21 So it is when someone stores up treasure for himself instead of becoming rich in the sight of God.'
22 Then he said to his disciples, 'That is why I am telling you not to worry about your life and what you are to eat, nor about your body and how you are to clothe it.
23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.
24 Think of the ravens. They do not sow or reap; they have no storehouses and no barns; yet God feeds them. And how much more you are worth than the birds!
25 Can any of you, however much you worry, add a single cubit to your span of life?
26 If a very small thing is beyond your powers, why worry about the rest?
27 Think how the flowers grow; they never have to spin or weave; yet, I assure you, not even Solomon in all his royal robes was clothed like one of them.
28 Now if that is how God clothes a flower which is growing wild today and is thrown into the furnace tomorrow, how much more will he look after you, who have so little faith!
29 But you must not set your hearts on things to eat and things to drink; nor must you worry.
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30 It is the gentiles of this world who set their hearts on all these things. Your Father well knows you need them.
31 No; set your hearts on his kingdom, and these other things will be given you as well.
32 'There is no need to be afraid, little flock, for it has pleased your Father to give you the kingdom.
33 'Sell your possessions and give to those in need. Get yourselves purses that do not wear out, treasure that will not fail you, in heaven where no thief can reach it and no moth destroy it.
34 For wherever your treasure is, that is where your heart will be too.
35 'See that you have your belts done up and your lamps lit.
36 Be like people waiting for their master to return from the wedding feast, ready to open the door as soon as he comes and knocks.
37 Blessed those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. In truth I tell you, he will do up his belt, sit them down at table and wait on them.
38 It may be in the second watch that he comes, or in the third, but blessed are those servants if he finds them ready.
39 You may be quite sure of this, that if the householder had known at what time the burglar would come, he would not have let anyone break through the wall of his house.
40 You too must stand ready, because the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect.'
41 Peter said, 'Lord, do you mean this parable for us, or for everyone?'
42 The Lord replied, 'Who, then, is the wise and trustworthy steward whom the master will place over his household to give them at the proper time their allowance of food?
43 Blessed that servant if his master's arrival finds him doing exactly that.
44 I tell you truly, he will put him in charge of everything that he owns.
45 But if the servant says to himself, "My master is taking his time coming," and sets about beating the menservants and the servant-girls, and eating and drinking and getting drunk,
46 his master will come on a day he does not expect and at an hour he does not know. The master will cut him off and send him to the same fate as the unfaithful.
47 'The servant who knows what his master wants, but has got nothing ready and done nothing in accord with those wishes, will be given a great many strokes of the lash.
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48 The one who did not know, but has acted in such a way that he deserves a beating, will be given fewer strokes. When someone is given a great deal, a great deal will be demanded of that person; when someone is entrusted with a great deal, of that person even more will be expected.
49 'I have come to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were blazing already!
50 There is a baptism I must still receive, and what constraint I am under until it is completed!
51 'Do you suppose that I am here to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.
52 For from now on, a household of five will be divided: three against two and two against three;
53 father opposed to son, son to father, mother to daughter, daughter to mother, mother-in-law to daughter-in-law, daughter-in-law to mother-in-law.'
54 He said again to the crowds, 'When you see a cloud looming up in the west you say at once that rain is coming, and so it does.
55 And when the wind is from the south you say it's going to be hot, and it is.
56 Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the face of the earth and the sky. How is it you do not know how to interpret these times?
57 'Why not judge for yourselves what is upright?
58 For example: when you are going to court with your opponent, make an effort to settle with him on the way, or he may drag you before the judge and the judge hand you over to the officer and the officer have you thrown into prison.
59 I tell you, you will not get out till you have paid the very last penny.'