(We have not yet translated 11:1-4. You can read that story and that message in Matthew 6:9-13.)
Keep asking God, don’t give up
5-6 Jesus told his followers a picture story, to teach them how to pray. He said, “Think about this. A man is going on a long trip, and at night he comes to the house where his cousin lives, so he visits him to stay the night with him. But his cousin hasn’t got any food to give him. So his cousin goes out in the middle of the night to his friend’s house, and he knocks on the door and he calls out, ‘My friend, can you give me some food? You see, my cousin has just come, and I haven’t got any food to give him. Can you give me some bread?’
But his friend says, ‘Don’t humbug me now. I’m in bed, and my kids are in bed with me. I already locked the door. I cant get up and give you anything.’
But if that man keeps on knocking and asking for bread, after a while his friend will get up and give him everything he asks for. He will not do it because they are friends. He will do it because that man keeps on asking him.
So I’m telling you this. Keep asking God for what you need, and he will give it to you. Keep looking for what you need, and God will help you find it. Or if something is stopping you, like there is a door that is shut and you can’t get in, keep on knocking at that door, and God will open it for you. 10 You see, everyone that asks God for something will get it. Everyone that looks for something will find it. God will open the door for everyone that knocks on it.
11 Some of you are fathers. If your kid asks you for a fish to eat, will you give him a cheeky snake instead? No, of course not. 12 Or if your kid asks you for an egg, will you give him a cheeky scorpion instead? No, of course not. 13 You see, you might be bad, but you always give good things to your kids. Well, your father in heaven is a lot better than you, so you can be sure that he will always give you good things. He will send the Holy Spirit to everyone that asks him.”
(We have not yet translated 11:14-36. You can read about that teaching in Mark 3:20-27; 8:12; Matthew 5:15; 6:22-23; 12:41-45.)
Jesus told the Pharisee mob and law men that they were wrong
37 Jesus was talking to the people, and a man that belonged to the Pharisee mob asked him to come to his place for dinner. The Pharisee mob were very strong for the Jewish law. 38 They made a rule, that whenever anyone wanted to eat some food, they first had to wash their hands. But Jesus didn’t follow that rule. He didn’t wash his hands. The Pharisee man was shocked.
39 So Jesus said to him, “You Pharisee mob are like somebody that cleans the outside of cups and plates, but doesn’t clean the inside. You see, you only do good things if people can see you, like you are good on the outside. But you are really dirty on the inside. Yes, inside yourselves you are greedy, and you are always thinking in your heads about doing very bad things. 40 Look, you are really stupid. You forget that God made the inside of you as well as the outside. He can see everything that is inside your heads. 41 The right way is like this. You have to think in your heads about poor people, and you have to feel sorry for them, and you have to give them the things they need. Then God will say that you are clean, on the inside as well as on the outside.
42 You mob follow God’s law that says you have to give him a little bit of everything you get. That little bit is one part out of every 10 parts. You do that for everything you get, even the little plants that grow in your garden. But you don’t do the important things that God wants everyone to do. So God will make trouble for you Pharisee mob. You see, you have to be fair to other people, and you have to love God. Those are the important things that you have to do, and you have to do the other things too.*
43 Yes, God will make trouble for you Pharisee mob. You try to get people to think you are important. Whenever you go to a meeting house, you want the good seats that are for important people. And whenever you walk around the shopping places, you want people to respect you and say hello to you in a good way. 44 But God will make trouble for you mob. You are like ground that has dead bodies in it that people don’t know about. People walk on that ground, and they think it is good. You are like that ground. You get people to think you are good, and they don’t know that you are bad on the inside.”
45 Then a Jewish law man said to Jesus, “Hey, teacher, you are saying bad things about us too.”
46 Jesus said, “That’s right, you mob are just as bad, and God will make trouble for you law men too. You make a lot of hard rules, and you make people follow all those rules. You are too hard on people. It is like you are making them carry lots of heavy things, and you don’t help them at all. You don’t even move one of your fingers to help them.
47 Yes, God will make trouble for you law teacher mob. A long time ago, your grand-fathers killed the men that told everyone God’s messages, and they buried them. And now, you mob put pretty little stone buildings there to remember the place where they buried them. 48 When you do that, you show that you agree with the bad things your grand-fathers did. They killed those good men, and now you make those buildings for them.
49 Listen, God is wise, and he said,
I will pick men to tell everyone my messages, and I will pick men to be my special workers, and I will send them to the people. But you will kill some of them, and you will hurt some of them.’
50 Yes, you people that are alive today will hurt and kill God’s people. And it has been like that for a long time. Your grand-fathers have been killing God’s men ever since the world first started. And you agree with those bad things that they did too, so God will punish you too, for all those bad things that they did. 51 Abel was the first one of God’s men to die. And Zekariah was the last one to die. They killed him at God’s ceremony house, near the place where they kill animals and burn them, to give them to God. Yes, they killed those men, but God will punish you people that are alive today too.*
52 Listen, God will make trouble for you law men, because you don’t do the right thing. You know how to help people understand more about God, but you never do it. You yourselves don’t want to know God, and you stop everybody else, so they can’t know him either.”
53-54 Then Jesus got up to go to another place, but the Jewish law teacher mob and the Pharisee mob started to get really angry with him, and they argued against him a lot. They tried to make him say something bad, so they could blame him. So they asked him a lot of hard questions. But he didn’t say anything bad.
* 11:42 Leviticus 27:30 * 11:51 Genesis 4:8; 2 Chronicles 24:20-21