Bible: Luke 11:14-13:35
Jesus and Beelzebul
11:14 Now 1 he was casting out a demon that was mute. 2 When 3 the demon had gone out, the man who had been mute began to speak, 4 and the crowds were amazed. 11:15 But some of them said, “By the power of Beelzebul, 5 the ruler 6 of demons, he casts out demons.” 11:16 Others, to test 7 him, 8 began asking for 9 a sign 10 from heaven. 11:17 But Jesus, 11 realizing their thoughts, said to them, 12 “Every kingdom divided against itself is destroyed, 13 and a divided household falls. 14 11:18 So 15 if 16 Satan too is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? I ask you this because 17 you claim that I cast out demons by Beelzebul. 11:19 Now if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons 18 cast them 19 out? Therefore they will be your judges. 11:20 But if I cast out demons by the finger 20 of God, then the kingdom of God 21 has already overtaken 22 you. 11:21 When a strong man, 23 fully armed, guards his own palace, 24 his possessions are safe. 25 11:22 But 26 when a stronger man 27 attacks 28 and conquers him, he takes away the first man’s 29 armor on which the man relied 30 and divides up 31 his plunder. 32 11:23 Whoever is not with me is against me, 33 and whoever does not gather with me scatters. 34
Response to Jesus’ Work
11:24 “When an unclean spirit 35 goes out of a person, 36 it passes through waterless places 37 looking for rest but 38 not finding any. Then 39 it says, ‘I will return to the home I left.’ 40 11:25 When it returns, 41 it finds the house 42 swept clean and put in order. 43 11:26 Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and live there, so 44 the last state of that person 45 is worse than the first.” 46
11:27 As 47 he said these things, a woman in the crowd spoke out 48 to him, “Blessed is the womb 49 that bore you and the breasts at which you nursed!” 50 11:28 But he replied, 51 “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey 52 it!”
The Sign of Jonah
11:29 As 53 the crowds were increasing, Jesus 54 began to say, “This generation is a wicked generation; it looks for a sign, 55 but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah. 56 11:30 For just as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, 57 so the Son of Man will be a sign 58 to this generation. 59 11:31 The queen of the South 60 will rise up at the judgment 61 with the people 62 of this generation and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon – and now, 63 something greater 64 than Solomon is here! 11:32 The people 65 of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented when Jonah preached to them 66 – and now, 67 something greater than Jonah is here!
11:33 “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a hidden place 68 or under a basket, 69 but on a lampstand, so that those who come in can see the light. 11:34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, 70 your whole body is full of light, but when it is diseased, 71 your body is full of darkness. 11:35 Therefore see to it 72 that the light in you 73 is not darkness. 11:36 If 74 then 75 your whole body is full of light, with no part in the dark, 76 it will be as full of light as when the light of a lamp shines on you.” 77
Rebuking the Pharisees and Experts in the Law
11:37 As he spoke, 78 a Pharisee 79 invited Jesus 80 to have a meal with him, so he went in and took his place at the table. 81 11:38 The 82 Pharisee was astonished when he saw that Jesus 83 did not first wash his hands 84 before the meal. 11:39 But the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees clean 85 the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. 86 11:40 You fools! 87 Didn’t the one who made the outside make the inside as well? 88 11:41 But give from your heart to those in need, 89 and 90 then everything will be clean for you. 91
11:42 “But woe to you Pharisees! 92 You give a tenth 93 of your mint, 94 rue, 95 and every herb, yet you neglect justice 96 and love for God! But you should have done these things without neglecting the others. 97 11:43 Woe to you Pharisees! You love the best seats 98 in the synagogues 99 and elaborate greetings 100 in the marketplaces! 11:44 Woe to you! 101 You are like unmarked graves, and people 102 walk over them without realizing it!” 103
11:45 One of the experts in religious law 104 answered him, “Teacher, when you say these things you insult 105 us too.” 11:46 But Jesus 106 replied, 107 “Woe to you experts in religious law as well! 108 You load people 109 down with burdens difficult to bear, yet you yourselves refuse to touch 110 the burdens with even one of your fingers! 11:47 Woe to you! You build 111 the tombs of the prophets whom your ancestors 112 killed. 11:48 So you testify that you approve of 113 the deeds of your ancestors, 114 because they killed the prophets 115 and you build their 116 tombs! 117 11:49 For this reason also the wisdom 118 of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,’ 11:50 so that this generation may be held accountable 119 for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning 120 of the world, 121 11:51 from the blood of Abel 122 to the blood of Zechariah, 123 who was killed 124 between the altar and the sanctuary. 125 Yes, I tell you, it will be charged against 126 this generation. 11:52 Woe to you experts in religious law! You have taken away 127 the key to knowledge! You did not go in yourselves, and you hindered 128 those who were going in.”
11:53 When he went out from there, the experts in the law 129 and the Pharisees began to oppose him bitterly, 130 and to ask him hostile questions 131 about many things, 11:54 plotting against 132 him, to catch 133 him in something he might say.
Fear God, Not People
12:1 Meanwhile, 134 when many thousands of the crowd had gathered so that they were trampling on one another, Jesus 135 began to speak first to his disciples, “Be on your guard against 136 the yeast of the Pharisees, 137 which is hypocrisy. 138 12:2 Nothing is hidden 139 that will not be revealed, 140 and nothing is secret that will not be made known. 12:3 So then 141 whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered 142 in private rooms 143 will be proclaimed from the housetops. 144
12:4 “I 145 tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, 146 and after that have nothing more they can do. 12:5 But I will warn 147 you whom you should fear: Fear the one who, after the killing, 148 has authority to throw you 149 into hell. 150 Yes, I tell you, fear him! 12:6 Aren’t five sparrows sold for two pennies? 151 Yet not one of them is forgotten before God. 12:7 In fact, even the hairs on your head are all numbered. Do not be afraid; 152 you are more valuable than many sparrows.
12:8 “I 153 tell you, whoever acknowledges 154 me before men, 155 the Son of Man will also acknowledge 156 before God’s angels. 12:9 But the one who denies me before men will be denied before God’s angels. 12:10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the person who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit 157 will not be forgiven. 158 12:11 But when they bring you before the synagogues, 159 the 160 rulers, and the authorities, do not worry about how you should make your defense 161 or what you should say, 12:12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment 162 what you must say.” 163
The Parable of the Rich Landowner
12:13 Then 164 someone from the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell 165 my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” 12:14 But Jesus 166 said to him, “Man, 167 who made me a judge or arbitrator between you two?” 168 12:15 Then 169 he said to them, “Watch out and guard yourself from 170 all types of greed, 171 because one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” 12:16 He then 172 told them a parable: 173 “The land of a certain rich man produced 174 an abundant crop, 12:17 so 175 he thought to himself, 176 ‘What should I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 177 12:18 Then 178 he said, ‘I 179 will do this: I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 12:19 And I will say to myself, 180 “You have plenty of goods stored up for many years; relax, eat, drink, celebrate!”’ 12:20 But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life 181 will be demanded back from 182 you, but who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ 183 12:21 So it is with the one who stores up riches for himself, 184 but is not rich toward God.”
Exhortation Not to Worry
12:22 Then 185 Jesus 186 said to his 187 disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry 188 about your 189 life, what you will eat, or about your 190 body, what you will wear. 12:23 For there is more to life than food, and more to the body than clothing. 12:24 Consider the ravens: 191 They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn, yet God feeds 192 them. How much more valuable are you than the birds! 12:25 And which of you by worrying 193 can add an hour to his life? 194 12:26 So if 195 you cannot do such a very little thing as this, why do you worry about 196 the rest? 12:27 Consider how the flowers 197 grow; they do not work 198 or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these! 12:28 And if 199 this is how God clothes the wild grass, 200 which is here 201 today and tomorrow is tossed into the fire to heat the oven, 202 how much more 203 will he clothe you, you people of little faith! 12:29 So 204 do not be overly concerned about 205 what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not worry about such things. 206 12:30 For all the nations of the world pursue 207 these things, and your Father knows that you need them. 12:31 Instead, pursue 208 his 209 kingdom, 210 and these things will be given to you as well.
12:32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father is well pleased 211 to give you the kingdom. 12:33 Sell your possessions 212 and give to the poor. 213 Provide yourselves purses that do not wear out – a treasure in heaven 214 that never decreases, 215 where no thief approaches and no moth 216 destroys. 12:34 For where your treasure 217 is, there your heart will be also.
Call to Faithful Stewardship
12:35 “Get dressed for service 218 and keep your lamps burning; 219 12:36 be like people 220 waiting for their master to come back from the wedding celebration, 221 so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. 12:37 Blessed are those slaves 222 whom their master finds alert 223 when he returns! I tell you the truth, 224 he will dress himself to serve, 225 have them take their place at the table, 226 and will come 227 and wait on them! 228 12:38 Even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night 229 and finds them alert, 230 blessed are those slaves! 231 12:39 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief 232 was coming, he would not have let 233 his house be broken into. 12:40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” 234
12:41 Then 235 Peter said, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for everyone?” 236 12:42 The Lord replied, 237 “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, 238 whom the master puts in charge of his household servants, 239 to give them their allowance of food at the proper time? 12:43 Blessed is that slave 240 whom his master finds at work 241 when he returns. 12:44 I tell you the truth, 242 the master 243 will put him in charge of all his possessions. 12:45 But if 244 that 245 slave should say to himself, 246 ‘My master is delayed 247 in returning,’ and he begins to beat 248 the other 249 slaves, both men and women, 250 and to eat, drink, and get drunk, 12:46 then the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not foresee, and will cut him in two, 251 and assign him a place with the unfaithful. 252 12:47 That 253 servant who knew his master’s will but did not get ready or do what his master asked 254 will receive a severe beating. 12:48 But the one who did not know his master’s will 255 and did things worthy of punishment 256 will receive a light beating. 257 From everyone who has been given much, much will be required, 258 and from the one who has been entrusted with much, 259 even more will be asked. 260
Not Peace, but Division
12:49 “I have come 261 to bring 262 fire on the earth – and how I wish it were already kindled! 12:50 I have a baptism 263 to undergo, 264 and how distressed I am until it is finished! 12:51 Do you think I have come to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! 265 12:52 For from now on 266 there will be five in one household divided, three against two and two against three. 12:53 They will be divided, 267 father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
Reading the Signs
12:54 Jesus 268 also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, 269 you say at once, ‘A rainstorm 270 is coming,’ and it does. 12:55 And when you see the south wind 271 blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat,’ and there is. 12:56 You hypocrites! 272 You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky, but how can you not know how 273 to interpret the present time?
Clear the Debts
12:57 “And 274 why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right? 12:58 As you are going with your accuser before the magistrate, 275 make an effort to settle with him on the way, so that he will not drag you before the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, 276 and the officer throw you into prison. 12:59 I tell you, you will never get out of there until you have paid the very last cent!” 277
A Call to Repent
13:1 Now 278 there were some present on that occasion who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 279 13:2 He 280 answered them, “Do you think these Galileans were worse sinners 281 than all the other Galileans, because they suffered these things? 13:3 No, I tell you! But unless you repent, 282 you will all perish as well! 283 13:4 Or those eighteen who were killed 284 when the tower in Siloam fell on them, 285 do you think they were worse offenders than all the others who live in Jerusalem? 286 13:5 No, I tell you! But unless you repent 287 you will all perish as well!” 288
Warning to Israel to Bear Fruit
13:6 Then 289 Jesus 290 told this parable: “A man had a fig tree 291 planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. 13:7 So 292 he said to the worker who tended the vineyard, ‘For 293 three years 294 now, I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and each time I inspect it 295 I find none. Cut 296 it down! Why 297 should it continue to deplete 298 the soil?’ 13:8 But the worker 299 answered him, ‘Sir, leave it alone this year too, until I dig around it and put fertilizer 300 on it. 13:9 Then if 301 it bears fruit next year, 302 very well, 303 but if 304 not, you can cut it down.’”
Healing on the Sabbath
13:10 Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues 305 on the Sabbath, 13:11 and a woman was there 306 who had been disabled by a spirit 307 for eighteen years. She 308 was bent over and could not straighten herself up completely. 309 13:12 When 310 Jesus saw her, he called her to him 311 and said, “Woman, 312 you are freed 313 from your infirmity.” 314 13:13 Then 315 he placed his hands on her, and immediately 316 she straightened up and praised God. 13:14 But the president of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the crowd, “There are six days on which work 317 should be done! 318 So come 319 and be healed on those days, and not on the Sabbath day.” 13:15 Then the Lord answered him, 320 “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from its stall, 321 and lead it to water? 322 13:16 Then 323 shouldn’t 324 this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan 325 bound for eighteen long 326 years, be released from this imprisonment 327 on the Sabbath day?” 13:17 When 328 he said this all his adversaries were humiliated, 329 but 330 the entire crowd was rejoicing at all the wonderful things 331 he was doing. 332
On the Kingdom of God
13:18 Thus Jesus 333 asked, 334 “What is the kingdom of God 335 like? 336 To 337 what should I compare it? 13:19 It is like a mustard seed 338 that a man took and sowed 339 in his garden. It 340 grew and became a tree, 341 and the wild birds 342 nested in its branches.” 343
The Narrow Door
13:22 Then 349 Jesus 350 traveled throughout 351 towns 352 and villages, teaching and making his way toward 353 Jerusalem. 354 13:23 Someone 355 asked 356 him, “Lord, will only a few 357 be saved?” So 358 he said to them, 13:24 “Exert every effort 359 to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 13:25 Once 360 the head of the house 361 gets up 362 and shuts the door, then you will stand outside and start to knock on the door and beg him, ‘Lord, 363 let us in!’ 364 But he will answer you, 365 ‘I don’t know where you come from.’ 366 13:26 Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ 367 13:27 But 368 he will reply, 369 ‘I don’t know where you come from! 370 Go away from me, all you evildoers!’ 371 13:28 There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth 372 when you see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, 373 and all the prophets in the kingdom of God 374 but you yourselves thrown out. 375 13:29 Then 376 people 377 will come from east and west, and from north and south, and take their places at the banquet table 378 in the kingdom of God. 379 13:30 But 380 indeed, 381 some are last 382 who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”
Going to Jerusalem
13:31 At that time, 383 some Pharisees 384 came up and said to Jesus, 385 “Get away from here, 386 because Herod 387 wants to kill you.” 13:32 But 388 he said to them, “Go 389 and tell that fox, 390 ‘Look, I am casting out demons and performing healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day 391 I will complete my work. 392 13:33 Nevertheless I must 393 go on my way today and tomorrow and the next day, because it is impossible 394 that a prophet should be killed 395 outside Jerusalem.’ 396 13:34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, 397 you who kill the prophets and stone those who are sent to you! 398 How often I have longed 399 to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but 400 you would have none of it! 401 13:35 Look, your house is forsaken! 402 And I tell you, you will not see me until you say, ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!’” 403