GOD'S WORD® Translation
1Once Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he stopped praying, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray as John taught his disciples."
2Jesus told them, "When you pray, say this: Father, let your name be kept holy. Let your kingdom come.
3Give us our bread day by day.
4Forgive us as we forgive everyone else. Don't allow us to be tempted."
5Jesus said to his disciples, "Suppose one of you has a friend. Suppose you go to him at midnight and say, 'Friend, let me borrow three loaves of bread. 6A friend of mine on a trip has dropped in on me, and I don't have anything to serve him.' 7Your friend might answer you from inside his house, 'Don't bother me! The door is already locked, and my children are in bed. I can't get up to give you anything.' 8I can guarantee that although he doesn't want to get up to give you anything, he will get up and give you whatever you need because he is your friend and because you were so bold.
9"So I tell you to ask, and you will receive. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened for you. 10Everyone who asks will receive. The one who searches will find, and for the person who knocks, the door will be opened. 11"If your child asks you, his father, for a fish, would you give him a snake instead? 12Or if your child asks you for an egg, would you give him a scorpion? 13Even though you're evil, you know how to give good gifts to your children. So how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?"
14Jesus was forcing a demon out of a man. The demon had made the man unable to talk. When the demon had gone out, the man began to talk. The people were amazed. 15But some of them said, "He can force demons out of people only with the help of Beelzebul, the ruler of demons." 16Others wanted to test Jesus and demanded that he show them some miraculous sign from heaven. 17Since Jesus knew what they were thinking, he said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself is ruined. A house divided against itself falls. 18Now, if Satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom last? I say this because you say Beelzebul helps me force demons out of people. 19If I force demons out with the help of Beelzebul, who helps your followers force them out? That's why they will be your judges. 20But if I force out demons with the help of God's power, then the kingdom of God has come to you. 21"When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own mansion, his property is safe. 22But a stronger man than he may attack him and defeat him. Then the stronger man will take away all the weapons in which the strong man trusted and will divide the loot. 23"Whoever isn't with me is against me. Whoever doesn't gather with me scatters.
24"When an evil spirit comes out of a person, it goes through dry places looking for a place to rest. But it doesn't find any. Then it says, 'I'll go back to the home I left.' 25When it comes, it finds the house swept clean and in order. 26Then the spirit goes and brings along seven other spirits more evil than itself. They enter and take up permanent residence there. In the end the condition of that person is worse than it was before."
27While Jesus was speaking, a woman in the crowd shouted, "How blessed is the mother who gave birth to you and the breasts that nursed you." 28Jesus replied, "Rather, how blessed are those who hear and obey God's word."
29As the people were gathering around him, Jesus said, "The people living today are evil. They look for a miraculous sign. But the only sign they will get is the sign of Jonah. 30Just as Jonah became a miraculous sign to the people of Nineveh, so the Son of Man will be a miraculous sign to the people living today. 31The queen from the south will stand up at the time of judgment with the men who live today. She will condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear Solomon's wisdom. But look, someone greater than Solomon is here! 32The men of Nineveh will stand up at the time of judgment with the people living today. Since the men of Nineveh turned to God and changed the way they thought and acted when Jonah spoke his message, they will condemn the people living today. But look, someone greater than Jonah is here!
33"No one lights a lamp and hides it or puts it under a basket. Instead, everyone who lights a lamp puts it on a lamp stand so that those who come in will see its light. 34"Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is unclouded, your whole body is full of light. But when your eye is evil, your body is full of darkness. 35So be careful that the light in you isn't darkness. 36If your whole body is full of light and not darkness, it will be as bright as a lamp shining on you."
37After Jesus spoke, a Pharisee invited him to have lunch at his house. So Jesus accepted the invitation. 38The Pharisee was surprised to see that Jesus didn't wash before the meal. 39The Lord said to him, "You Pharisees clean the outside of cups and dishes. But inside you are full of greed and evil. 40You fools! Didn't the one who made the outside make the inside too? 41Give what is inside as a gift to the poor, and then everything will be clean for you.
42"How horrible it will be for you Pharisees! You give [God] one-tenth of your mint, spices, and every garden herb. But you have ignored justice and the love of God. You should have done these things without ignoring the others. 43"How horrible it will be for you Pharisees! You love to sit in the front seats in the synagogues and to be greeted in the marketplaces. 44How horrible it will be for you! You are like unmarked graves. People walk on them without knowing what they are."
45One of the experts in Moses' Teachings said to him, "Teacher, when you talk this way, you insult us too." 46Jesus said, "How horrible it will be for you experts in Moses' Teachings! You burden people with loads that are hard to carry. But you won't lift a finger to carry any of these loads. 47"How horrible it will be for you! You build the monuments for the prophets. But it was your ancestors who murdered them. 48So you are witnesses and approve of what your ancestors did. They murdered the prophets for whom you build monuments. 49That's why the Wisdom of God said, 'I will send them prophets and apostles. They will murder some of those prophets and apostles and persecute others.' 50So the people living now will be charged with the murder of every prophet since the world was made. 51This includes the murders from Abel to Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the temple. Yes, I can guarantee this truth: The people living today will be held responsible for this. 52"How horrible it will be for you experts in Moses' Teachings! You have taken away the key that unlocks knowledge. You haven't gained entrance into [knowledge] yourselves, and you've kept out those who wanted to enter."
53When Jesus left, the scribes and the Pharisees held a terrible grudge against him. They questioned him about many things 54and watched him closely to trap him in something he might say.
GOD'S WORD® is a copyrighted work of God's Word to the Nations. Quotations are used by permission. Copyright 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. All rights reserved.