1 Under these circumstances, after so many thousands of people had gathered together that they were stepping on one another, He began saying to His disciples first of all, "aBeware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 "aBut there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. 3 "Accordingly, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in the inner rooms will be proclaimed upon athe housetops. 4 "I say to you, aMy friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that have no more that they can do. 5 "But I will warn you whom to fear: afear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into bhell; yes, I tell you, fear Him! 6 "Are not afive sparrows sold for two cents? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God. 7 "aIndeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows. 8 "And I say to you, everyone who aconfesses Me before men, the Son of Man will confess him also before the angels of God; 9 but ahe who denies Me before men will be denied bbefore the angels of God. 10 "aAnd everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him. 11 "When they bring you before athe synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not bworry about how or what you are to speak in your defense, or what you are to say; 12 for athe Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say." 13 Someone in the crowd said to Him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me." 14 But He said to him, "aMan, who appointed Me a judge or arbitrator over you?" 15 Then He said to them, "aBeware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions." 16 And He told them a parable, saying, "The land of a rich man was very productive. 17 "And he began reasoning to himself, saying, 'What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?' 18 "Then he said, 'This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 'And I will say to my soul, "Soul, ayou have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry."' 20 "But God said to him, 'aYou fool! This very night byour soul is required of you; and cnow who will own what you have prepared?' 21 "So is the man who astores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God." 22 And He said to His disciples, "aFor this reason I say to you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. 23 "For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24 "Consider the aravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor bbarn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds! 25 "And which of you by worrying can add a single ahour to his life's span? 26 "If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters? 27 "Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even aSolomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 28 "But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? aYou men of little faith! 29 "And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not akeep worrying. 30 "For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things. 31 "But seek His kingdom, and athese things will be added to you. 32 "aDo not be afraid, blittle flock, for cyour Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom. 33 "aSell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, ban unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys. 34 "For awhere your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 35 "aBe dressed in breadiness, and keep your lamps lit. 36 "Be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that they may immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks. 37 "Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find aon the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that bhe will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them. 38 "aWhether he comes in the second watch, or even in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves. 39 "aBut be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have allowed his house to be bbroken into. 40 "aYou too, be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect." 41 Peter said, "Lord, are You addressing this parable to us, or ato everyone else as well?" 42 And athe Lord said, "bWho then is the faithful and sensible csteward, whom his master will put in charge of his servants, to give them their rations at the proper time? 43 "Blessed is that aslave whom his master finds so doing when he comes. 44 "Truly I say to you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45 "But if that slave says in his heart, 'My master will be a long time in coming,' and begins to beat the slaves, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk; 46 the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces, and assign him a place with the unbelievers. 47 "And that slave who knew his master's will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, will areceive many lashes, 48 but the one who did not aknow it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few. bFrom everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more. 49 "I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 "But I have a abaptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished! 51 "aDo you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; 52 for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. 53 "They will be divided, afather against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law." 54 And He was also saying to the crowds, "aWhen you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, 'A shower is coming,' and so it turns out. 55 "And when you see a south wind blowing, you say, 'It will be a ahot day,' and it turns out that way. 56 "You hypocrites! aYou know how to analyze the appearance of the earth and the sky, but why do you not analyze this present time? 57 "And awhy do you not even on your own initiative judge what is right? 58 "For awhile you are going with your opponent to appear before the magistrate, on your way there make an effort to settle with him, so that he may not drag you before the judge, and the judge turn you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. 59 "I say to you, you will not get out of there until you have paid the very last acent."
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.