In the meantime so many thousands of people had gathered that they were stepping on each another. Jesus began speaking first to his disciples. “Beware the yeast of the Phariseeshypocrisy. For there's nothing hidden that won't be revealed, nothing secret that won't be made known. Whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and whatever you whispered in private will be announced from the rooftops. I tell you, my friends, don't be afraid of those who kill the body, for once they've done that there's no more they can do. Let me make it clear whom you should be afraid of. You should be afraid of the one who after he has killed has the power to dispose of them in Gehenna.* That's the one you should be afraid of. Aren't five sparrows sold for two pennies? But God doesn't forget a single one of them. Even the hairs on your head have been counted. Don't be afraidyou're worth more than many sparrows!
I tell you the truth, those who declare they belong to me, the Son of man will also declare they belong to him before God's angels, but those who deny me will be denied before God's angels. 10 Everyone who speaks against the Son of man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
11 When you're brought to trial before synagogues, rulers, and authorities, don't worry about how to defend yourself, or what you should say. 12 The Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what's important to say.”
13 Someone in the crowd asked Jesus, “Teacher, please tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.”
14 My friend,” Jesus replied, “Who appointed me as your judge to decide how your inheritance should be divided?” He told the people, 15 Watch out, and beware of all greedy thoughts and actions, for a person's life isn't summed up by all the things they own.”
16 Then he told them a story as an illustration. “Once there was a rich man who owned land that was very productive. 17 The man said to himself, ‘What shall I do? I've nowhere to store my crops. 18 I know what I'll do,’ he decided. ‘I'll pull down my barns and build bigger ones, and then I'll be able to store all my crops and everything I own. 19 Then I'll tell myself: You have enough to live on for many years, so take life easy: eat, drink, and enjoy yourself!’ 20 But God said to him, ‘You foolish man! Your life will be demanded back this very night, and then who will get everything you've stored up?’ 21 This is what happens to people who hoard up wealth for themselves but are not rich as far as God is concerned.”
22 Jesus told his disciples, “That's why I tell you don't worry about life, about what to eat, or about what clothes you should wear. 23 Life is about more than food, and the body is about more than wearing clothes. 24 Look at the ravens. They don't sow or reap, they don't have any storerooms or barns, but God feeds them. And you're far more valuable than birds! 25 Can you add an hour to your life by worrying about it? 26 If you can't do anything about such small things, why worry about the rest? 27 Think of the lilies and how they grow. They don't work, and they don't spin thread for clothes, but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory was as beautifully dressed as one of them.
28 So if God clothes the fields with such beautiful flowers, which are here today but gone tomorrow when they are burned in a fire to heat an oven, how much more will God clothe you, you who have so little trust! 29 Don't be concerned about what you're going to eat or drink—don't worry about it. 30 These are all things that people in the world worry about, but your Father knows you need them. 31 Search for God's kingdom, and you'll be given these things as well. 32 Don't be afraid, little flock, for your Father is happy to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell what you have, and give the money to the poor. Get yourselves purses that don't wear out: treasure in heaven that will never run out, where no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it. 34 For what you value the most shows who you really are.
35 Be dressed and ready, and keep your lamps lit, 36 like servants waiting for their master when he returns from his wedding feast, prepared to open the door quickly for him when he comes and knocks. 37 How good it will be for those servants that the master finds watching when he returns. I tell you the truth, he will get dressed, have them sit down for a meal, and will come and serve them himself!
38 Even if he comes at midnight, or just before dawn—how good for them if he finds them watching and ready! 39 But remember this: if the master knew when a thief was coming, he would keep watch, and not allow his house be broken into. 40 You must also be ready, for the Son of man is coming when you don't expect him.”
41 Is this story you're telling just for us, or for everyone?” Peter asked.
42 The Lord replied, “Who then is the trustworthy and wise manager, the one person in the household that the master puts in charge to share out their food at the right time? 43 It will be good for that servant when his master returns and finds him doing what he should. 44 I tell you the truth, the master will put that servant in charge of everything. 45 But what if the servant were to say to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and then starts beating the other servants, both men and women, feasting and getting drunk? 46 That servant's master will return unexpectedly one day at a time he wasn't aware of, and will punish him severely, treating him as totally untrustworthy.
47 That servant who knew what his master wanted and yet didn't get ready or follow his instructions, will be beaten severely; 48 but the servant who didn't know and did things deserving punishment will be beaten only lightly. From those who are given much, much will be required, and from those who are entrusted with more, more will be demanded. 49 I have come to set the earth on fire, and I really wish it was already burning! 50 But I have a baptism to go through, and I'm in agony, wishing it was over! 51 Do you think that I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, I bring division. 52 From now on, if there are five in a family, they will be divided against each other: three against two, and two against three. 53 They will be divided against each otherfather against son, son against father, mother against daughter, daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law, and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
54 Then Jesus spoke to the crowds. “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say, ‘a rain-shower's coming,’ and it happens. 55 When a south wind blows, you sayit's going to be hot,’ and it is. 56 You hypocrites, how is it that you know how to rightly interpret the weather but you don't know how to interpret the present time? 57 Why don't you think for yourselves and judge what's the right thing to do? 58 As you go with your accuser to the magistrate, on the way you should be working on a settlement. Otherwise you may be dragged before the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. 59 I tell you, you won't get out until you've paid the last penny.”
* 12:5 The word here is Literally, “Gehenna,” sometimes translated “hell” or “hellfire.” Gehenna was the place outside of Jerusalem where fires were lit to dispose of rubbish by burning. “Hell” is a concept that is derived from Nordic and Anglo-Saxon mythology and does not parallel the idea here. 12:53 See Micah 7:6.