Instructions on Prayer
1 Now1 Jesus2 was praying in a certain place. When3 he stopped, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John4 taught5 his disciples.” 2 So he said to them, “When you pray,6 say:
Father,7 may your name be honored;8 3 Give us each day our daily bread,10
4 and forgive us our sins,
for we also forgive everyone who sins11 against us. And do not lead us into temptation.”12
5 Then13 he said to them, “Suppose one of you14 has a friend, and you go to him15 at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread,16 6 because a friend of mine has stopped here while on a journey,17 and I have nothing to set before18 him.’ 7 Then19 he will reply20 from inside, ‘Do not bother me. The door is already shut, and my children and I are in bed.21 I cannot get up and give you anything.’22 8 I tell you, even though the man inside23 will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of the first man’s24 sheer persistence25 he will get up and give him whatever he needs.
9 “So26 I tell you: Ask,27 and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door28 will be opened for you. 10 For everyone who asks29 receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door30 will be opened. 11 What father among you, if your31 son asks for32 a fish, will give him a snake33 instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?34 13 If you then, although you are35 evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit36 to those who ask him!”
Jesus and Beelzebul
14 Now37 he was casting out a demon that was mute.38 When39 the demon had gone out, the man who had been mute began to speak,40 and the crowds were amazed. 15 But some of them said, “By the power of Beelzebul,41 the ruler42 of demons, he casts out demons.” 16 Others, to test43 him,44 began asking for45 a sign46 from heaven. 17 But Jesus,47 realizing their thoughts, said to them,48 “Every kingdom divided against itself is destroyed,49 and a divided household falls.50 18 So51 if52 Satan too is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? I ask you this because53 you claim that I cast out demons by Beelzebul. 19 Now if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons54 cast them55 out? Therefore they will be your judges. 20 But if I cast out demons by the finger56 of God, then the kingdom of God57 has already overtaken58 you. 21 When a strong man,59 fully armed, guards his own palace,60 his possessions are safe.61 22 But62 when a stronger man63 attacks64 and conquers him, he takes away the first man’s65 armor on which the man relied66 and divides up67 his plunder.68 23 Whoever is not with me is against me,69 and whoever does not gather with me scatters.70
Response to Jesus’ Work
24 “When an unclean spirit71 goes out of a person,72 it passes through waterless places73 looking for rest but74 not finding any. Then75 it says, ‘I will return to the home I left.’76 25 When it returns,77 it finds the house78 swept clean and put in order.79 26 Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and live there, so80 the last state of that person81 is worse than the first.”82
27 As83 he said these things, a woman in the crowd spoke out84 to him, “Blessed is the womb85 that bore you and the breasts at which you nursed!”86 28 But he replied,87 “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey88 it!”
The Sign of Jonah
29 As89 the crowds were increasing, Jesus90 began to say, “This generation is a wicked generation; it looks for a sign,91 but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.92 30 For just as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh,93 so the Son of Man will be a sign94 to this generation.95 31 The queen of the South96 will rise up at the judgment97 with the people98 of this generation and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon – and now,99 something greater100 than Solomon is here! 32 The people101 of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented when Jonah preached to them102 – and now,103 something greater than Jonah is here!
33 “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a hidden place104 or under a basket,105 but on a lampstand, so that those who come in can see the light. 34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy,106 your whole body is full of light, but when it is diseased,107 your body is full of darkness. 35 Therefore see to it108 that the light in you109 is not darkness. 36 If110 then111 your whole body is full of light, with no part in the dark,112 it will be as full of light as when the light of a lamp shines on you.”113
Rebuking the Pharisees and Experts in the Law
37 As he spoke,114 a Pharisee115 invited Jesus116 to have a meal with him, so he went in and took his place at the table.117 38 The118 Pharisee was astonished when he saw that Jesus119 did not first wash his hands120 before the meal. 39 But the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees clean121 the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness.122 40 You fools!123 Didn’t the one who made the outside make the inside as well?124 41 But give from your heart to those in need,125 and126 then everything will be clean for you.127
42 “But woe to you Pharisees!128 You give a tenth129 of your mint,130 rue,131 and every herb, yet you neglect justice132 and love for God! But you should have done these things without neglecting the others.133 43 Woe to you Pharisees! You love the best seats134 in the synagogues135 and elaborate greetings136 in the marketplaces! 44 Woe to you!137 You are like unmarked graves, and people138 walk over them without realizing it!”139
45 One of the experts in religious law140 answered him, “Teacher, when you say these things you insult141 us too.” 46 But Jesus142 replied,143 “Woe to you experts in religious law as well!144 You load people145 down with burdens difficult to bear, yet you yourselves refuse to touch146 the burdens with even one of your fingers! 47 Woe to you! You build147 the tombs of the prophets whom your ancestors148 killed. 48 So you testify that you approve of149 the deeds of your ancestors,150 because they killed the prophets151 and you build their152 tombs!153 49 For this reason also the wisdom154 of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,’ 50 so that this generation may be held accountable155 for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning156 of the world,157 51 from the blood of Abel158 to the blood of Zechariah,159 who was killed160 between the altar and the sanctuary.161 Yes, I tell you, it will be charged against162 this generation. 52 Woe to you experts in religious law! You have taken away163 the key to knowledge! You did not go in yourselves, and you hindered164 those who were going in.”
53 When he went out from there, the experts in the law165 and the Pharisees began to oppose him bitterly,166 and to ask him hostile questions167 about many things, 54 plotting against168 him, to catch169 him in something he might say.