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GENERAL EDITOR

ANGELA SCHEFF

NIV Bible for Women


Copyright 2015 by Zondervan
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Foreword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vii
Welcome to the NIV Bible for Women . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ix
Preface to the NIV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xi

The Old Testament


Genesis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Exodus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
Leviticus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140
Numbers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179
Deuteronomy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 239
Joshua . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 293
Judges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 326
Ruth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 359
1 Samuel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 367
2 Samuel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 415
1 Kings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 453
2 Kings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 495
1 Chronicles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 538
2 Chronicles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 583
Ezra . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 629
Nehemiah . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 641
Esther . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 662
Job . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 675
Psalms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 723
Proverbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 862

Ecclesiastes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 905
Song of Songs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 922
Isaiah . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 935
Jeremiah . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1030
Lamentations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1112
Ezekiel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1122
Daniel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1184
Hosea . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1207
Joel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1221
Amos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1227
Obadiah . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1237
Jonah . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1239
Micah . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1243
Nahum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1253
Habakkuk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1258
Zephaniah . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1263
Haggai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1271
Zechariah . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1275
Malachi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1288

The New Testament


Matthew . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Mark . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Luke . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
John . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Acts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Romans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1 Corinthians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2 Corinthians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Galatians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Ephesians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Philippians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Colossians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1 Thessalonians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2 Thessalonians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1297
1346
1381
1439
1488
1536
1560
1584
1601
1608
1615
1623
1631
1637

1 Timothy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2 Timothy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Titus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Philemon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Hebrews . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
James . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1 Peter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2 Peter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1 John . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2 John . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3 John . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Jude . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Revelation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Table of Weights and Measures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1737


Acknowledgments Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1739
Contributor Biographies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1745
Topical Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1757

1639
1645
1652
1655
1656
1676
1682
1690
1695
1701
1704
1705
1709

MATTHEW

The Genealogy of Jesus the Messiah

genea log y a

This is the
of Jesus the Mes
sia h b the son of Dav id, the son of Abra
ham:
2 Abraham was the fat her of Isaac,
Isaac the fat her of Jacob,
Jac ob the father of Jud ah and his
brothers,
3 Judah the fat her of Perez and Zerah,

whose mother was Tamar,
Perez the fat her of Hezron,
Hezron the fat her of Ram,
4 Ram the fat her of Amm inadab,

Amm inadab the fat her of Nahshon,
Nahshon the fat her of Salmon,
5 Sal
mon the father of Boaz, w hose

mother was Rahab,
Boaz the fa
t her of Obed,
w hose
mother was Ruth,
Obed the fat her of Jesse,
6 and Jesse the fat her of King Dav id.

Dav id was the fat her of Solomon, w
hose
mother had been Uria hs wife,
7 Solomon the fat her of Rehoboa m,

Rehoboa m the fat her of Abijah,
Abijah the fat her of Asa,
8 Asa the fat her of Jehoshaphat,

Jehoshaphat the fat her of Jehoram,
Jehoram the fat her of Uzzia h,
9 Uzz ia h the fat her of Jot ham,

Jot ham the fat her of Ahaz,
Ahaz the fat her of Hezek ia h,
10 Hezek ia h the fat her of Manasseh,

Manasseh the fat her of Amon,
Amon the fat her of Josia h,
11 and Jos ia h the fat her of Jecon ia h c

and his brothers at the time of the
exi le to Babylon.
12 After the exi le to Babylon:
Jecon ia h was the fat her of Shea lt iel,
Shea lt iel the fat her of Zer ubbabel,

13 Zer ubbabel the fat her of Abihud,



Abihud the fat her of Elia k im,
Elia k im the fat her of Azor,
14 Azor the fat her of Zadok,

Zadok the fat her of Akim,
Akim the fat her of Elihud,
15 Elihud the fat her of Elea z ar,

Elea zar the fat her of Matt han,
Matt han the fat her of Jacob,
16 and Jac ob the fat her of Jos eph, the

husband of Mary, and Mary was
the mother of Jesus who is called
the Messia h.
17Thus

t here were four teen generat ions


in all from Abraham to Dav id, fourteen from
Dav id to the exi le to Babylon, and fourteen
from the exi le to the Messia h.

Joseph Accepts Jesus as His Son


18This is how the b
irth of J esus the Messia h
came about d: His mother Mary was p
ledged
to be married to Joseph, but before they
came together, she was f ound to be pregnant
through the Holy Spirit. 19Because Joseph
her husband was faithf ul to the law, and yete
did not want to expose her to public disg race,
he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
20But after he had considered this, an an
gel of the Lord appeared to him in a d
ream
and said, Joseph son of Dav id, do not be
a fraid to take Mary home as your wife, be
cause what is conceived in her is from the
Holy Spirit. 21She will give b
irth to a son, and
you are to give him the name J esus,f because
he will save his people from t heir sins.
22All this took p
lace to fulfill what the
Lord had said t hrough the prophet: 23The
virg in will conceive and give birth to a son,
and they will call him Immanuelg (which
means God withus).
24When Joseph woke up, he did what the

a1Oris an account of the origin b1OrJesus Christ. Messiah (Hebrew) and Christ (Greek) both mean
Anointed One; also in verse 18. c11 That is, Jehoiachin; also in verse12 d18OrThe origin of Jesus
the Messiah was like this e19Orwas a righteous man and f21 Jesus is the Greek form of Joshua,
which means the Lord saves. g23Isaiah7:14

1298

Matthew 1:25

angel of the Lord had commanded him and


took Mary home as his wife. 25But he did not
consummate their marr iage unt il she gave
birth to a son. And he gave him the name
Jesus.

The Magi Visit the Messiah

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in


Judea, during the time of King Herod,
Magia from the east came to Jer usalem 2and
asked, Where is the one who has been born
king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose
and have come to worship him.
3When King Herod h
eard this he was dis
turbed, and all Jer usalem with him. 4When
he had c alled together all the peoples c hief
priests and teachers of the law, he a sked
them w
here the Messia h was to be born. 5In
Bethlehem in Judea, they replied, for this is
what the prophet has written:
6 But you, Bethlehem, in the land of
Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers
of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.b
7Then Herod c
alled the Magi secretly and
f ound out from them the exact time the star
had appeared. 8He sent them to Bethlehem
and said, Go and search carefully for the
child. As soon as you find him, report to me,
so that I too may go and worship him.
9After they had heard the king, they went
on their way, and the star they had seen
when it rose went a head of them until it
stopped over the p
lace w
here the c hild was.
10When they saw the star, they were over
joyed. 11On coming to the h
ouse, they saw
the c hild with his mother Mary, and they
bowed down and worshiped him. Then they
opened t heir treasures and presented him
with g ifts of gold, franki ncense and myrrh.
12And havi ng been w arned in a d ream not
to go back to Herod, they ret urned to t heir
count ry by another route.

The Escape to Egypt


13When

they had gone, an angel of the


Lord appeared to Joseph in a d
ream. Get
up, he said, take the c hild and his moth
er and escape to E
gypt. Stay t here unt il I tell

Matthew 3:4

1298

you, for Herod is goi ng to s earch for the c hild


to kill him.
14So he got up, took the
c hild and his
mother duri ng the n
ight and left for E
gypt,
15where he s
tayed unt il the d
eath of Herod.
And so was fulf illed what the Lord had said
t hrough the prophet: Out of E
gypt I c alled
my son.c
16When Herod rea li zed that he had been
outw itted by the Magi, he was fur ious, and
he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethle
hem and its vicinit y who were two years old
and under, in accordance with the time he
had l earned from the Magi. 17Then what was
said t hrough the prophet Jerem ia h was ful
filled:
18 A voice is heard in Ramah,
weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children
and refusing to be comforted,
because they are no more.d

The Return to Nazareth


19After Herod died, an angel of the Lord
appeared in a d
ream to Jos eph in E
gypt
20and said, Get up, take the c
hild and his
mother and go to the land of Israel, for t hose
who were trying to take the c hilds life are
dead.
21So he got up, took the
c hild and his
mother and went to the land of Israel. 22But
when he heard that Archelau s was reign
ing in Judea in p
lace of his fat her Herod, he
was a fraid to go t here. Havi ng been w
arned
in a d ream, he withd rew to the dist rict of
Gal i lee, 23and he went and lived in a town
called Naza reth. So was fulf illed what was
said t hrough the prophets, that he would be
called a Naza rene.

John the Baptist Prepares the Way

In those days John the Baptist came,


preaching in the wilderness of Judea
2and say
i ng, Repent, for the kingdom of
heaven has come near. 3This is he who was
spoken of t hrough the prophet Isaiah:
A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.e
4Johns c
lothes were made of camels hair,
and he had a leather belt a round his waist.

a1Traditionally wise men b6Micah5:2,4 c15Hosea11:1 d18Jer.31:15 e3Isaiah40:3

1299

Matthew 3:5

His food was loc usts and wild honey. 5Peo


ple went out to him from Jer usalem and all
Judea and the w
hole reg ion of the Jordan.
6Confessing t heir sins, they were bapt ized
by him in the Jordan River.
7But when he saw many of the Phari sees
and Sadducees comi ng to where he was bap
tizi ng, he said to them: You b
rood of vipers!
Who w arned you to flee from the coming
w rath? 8Produce fruit in keeping with re
pent ance. 9And do not think you can say
to yourselves, We have Abraham as our fa
ther. I tell you that out of t hese stones God
can raise up child ren for Abraham. 10The ax
is already at the root of the t rees, and every
tree that does not produce good f ruit will be
cut down and t hrown into the fire.
11I bap
t ize you witha water for repen
tance. But after me c omes one who is more
powerful than I, w hose sandals I am not
wort hy to carr y. He will bapt ize you witha
the Holy Spirit and fire. 12His win now
ing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his
thresh i ng f loor, gather i ng his w heat into
the barn and burni ng up the chaff with un
quenchable fire.

The Baptism of Jesus


13Then Jesus came from Gali lee to the Jor
dan to be bapt ized by John. 14But John t ried
to deter him, sayi ng, I need to be bapt ized
by you, and do you come tome?
15Jesus re
plied, Let it be so now; it is
proper for us to do this to fulfill all righ
teousness. Then John consented.
16As soon as Jesus was bapt ized, he went
up out of the water. At that moment heaven
was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God
des cending like a dove and alighting on
him. 17And a voice from heaven said, This
is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well
pleased.

Jesus Is Tested in the Wilderness

Then J esus was led by the Spirit into the


wilder ness to be tempted b by the devi l.
2After fasti ng fort y days and fort y n
ights, he
was hung ry. 3The tempter came to him and
said, If you are the Son of God, tell t hese
stones to become bread.
4Jesus ans wered, It is written: Man shall
a11Orin b1

Matthew 4:19

1299

not live on b
read a lone, but on every word
that c omes from the m
outh of God.c
5Then the devi l took him to the holy city
and had him s tand on the highest point of
the temple. 6If you are the Son of God, he
said, throw yourself down. For it is written:
He will command his angels
concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot
against a stone.d
7Jesus ans wered him, It is also written:
Do not put the Lord your God to the test.e
8Again, the devi l took him to a very high
mountain and s howed him all the kingdoms
of the world and t heir splendor. 9All this I
will give you, he said, if you will bow down
and worshipme.
10Jesus said to him, Away from me, Sat an!
For it is written: Worship the Lord your God,
and s erve him only.f
11Then the dev
i l left him, and angels
came and attended him.

Jesus Begins to Preach


12When J esus h
eard that John had been
put in pris
on, he with
d rew to Gal
i
lee.
13Leavi ng Naza reth, he went and l ived in Ca
pernau m, w
hich was by the lake in the area
of Zebu lun and Naphta l i 14to fulf ill what
was said t hrough the prophet Isaiah:

15 Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,


the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles
16 the people living in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow
of death
a light has dawned.g
17From

that time on Jesus be


g an to
reach, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven
p
has come near.

Jesus Calls His First Disciples


18As J esus was walki ng beside the Sea of
Gali lee, he saw two brothers, Simon called
Peter and his brother And rew. They were
casti ng a net into the lake, for they were fish
ermen. 19Come, follow me, Jesus said, and

TheGreek for tempted can also mean tested. c4Deut.8:3 d6Psalm91:11,12

e7Deut.6:16 f10Deut.6:13 g16Isaiah9:1,2

D E V O 18 6

M AT T H E W 3 :13 17
Margot Starbuck

Because Youre Worth It

hough I typically eschew most anything related to the domestic arts


cooking, cleaning, and so onI do nest. Before my daughter was born,
Ipainted furniture in jazzy yellows and pale blues for her nursery. When
her younger brother arrived, I redecorated a laundry room to welcome him into
our lives. And while waiting to adopt our third child from India, a son, I stitched
together a colorful patchwork blanket in which Id one day embrace him.
Nesting, in other words, is really just the gentle way of saying ordering ones
living space before unbridled chaos breaks loose.
So the summer my husband left our home, I nested.
In the wake of his absence
Iredecorated the large bedroom
and office space wed shared,
This announcement of
painting a second-hand armoire,
upholstering an old ottoman and
Jesus chosenness, as
gleaning two beautiful bedside
paper lanterns. And the pice de
Messiah, and also his
rsistance, which I could see in my
minds eye before I ever located its
components at a retail craft store,
belovedness was seared
were tall white wooden letters
spelling out a single word on the
in Jesus heart as the
pale blue wall above my new bed:
Beloved.
fundamentally true story
That I would be so brazen
to mount the seven letters like a
of his identity.
common theater marquee when
evidence seemed to prove I was
otherwise was no mistake. Rather,
as one whos been joined with J esus in baptism, Ive come to believe its the formative
storyabout him, about me and about yout hat is deeply and irrevocably true.
When J esus exploded up from the waters of the Jordan after his baptism, a voice
from heaven announced that this wet one was Gods beloved. And though the gravity
of the Hallmark sentiment is mostly lost to the modern ear, to a first-century Jew the
ringing endorsement was unmistakable. This is my Son, echoed the words God had
spoken over specially chosen King David. Beloved resonated with the endearment
God had used for Solomon and Benjamin. And in the affirmation that God was
well pleased, listeners would have heard strains from Isaiahs prophecy of the One
who was to come. This announcement of Jesus chosenness, as Messiah, and also his
belovedness was seared in Jesus heart as the fundamentally true story of his identity.

-1300-

Subsequently, the words of that announcement would have echoed in J esus heart
when his experience shouted otherwise. Facing the deceiver in the wilderness, Jesus
chose for the truth of his belovedness. The divine endorsement buoyed him when
his parents friends kvetched, He isnt Gods son! Hes just Mary and Joes boy.
That he belonged to his Father sustained him in his final, excruciating days. Jesus
belovedness identified him to the core of his being.
Me too.
Though Im pretty clear that Im not Messiah, Jesus told his disciples the love
God had for him was the same love he had for them. Same stuff. In his book The
Inner Voice of Love spiritual guide Henri Nouwen remindes us that living into the
truth of our identity, claiming our belovedness, requires a real choice. The root
choice is to trust at all times that God is with you and will give you what you most
need ... God says to you, I love you, I am with you ... This is the voice to listen to.
Predictably, the enemy capitalizes off our human experience of sin and
brokenness to plant lies in our hearts. When my birthparents relinquished me
for adoption as an infant, a quiet voice hissed into my deep places, Youre not
worth showing up for. When my father left our home when I was six, and when
my stepdad left when I was fifteen, the sinister voice whispered, Youre not worth
sticking around for. The evidence-based story was an easy one to believe! And in
my darkest days, I did.
But surrounded by the truth-telling body of Christ, recognizing the lying hiss of
the deceiver, I tipped my ear toward the voice that is true. This is the voice that says,
I am with you. I am for you. Youre worth loving. You are my beloved.
Today, in the wake of absence, the choice is mine to listen to the voice that is
true. Its yours as well.

How has your experience seemed to offer the false evidence that you are not,
in fact, beloved?

That you will reject any lies suggesting you are not worth loving
That you will continue to choose for the reality of your inherent belovedness
That you will share with others the good news of their belovedness according
to God himself

For the next devotion, go to page 1304. For the next myth, go to page 1326.

1302

Matthew 4:20

I will send you out to fish for people. 20At


once they left t heir nets and followed him.
21Going on from t here, he saw two oth
er brothers, James son of Zebedee and his
brother John. They were in a boat with t heir
fat her Zebedee, prepar i ng t heir nets. Jesus
called them, 22and immed iately they left the
boat and t heir fat her and followed him.

Jesus Heals the Sick


23Jesus went throughout Gali lee, teachi ng
in t heir synagogues, proclaim i ng the good
news of the kingdom, and heali ng every dis
ease and sickness a mong the people. 24News
about him spread all over Syria, and people
brought to him all who were ill with various
diseases, t hose sufferi ng severe pain, the de
mon-possessed, t hose hav i ng seiz ures, and
the para lyzed; and he healed them. 25Large
crowds from Gali lee, the Decapol is, a Jer usa
lem, Judea and the reg ion across the Jordan
followed him.

Introduction to the Sermon onthe


Mount

Now when Jesus saw the c rowds, he


went up on a mountainside and sat
down. His disc iples came to him, 2and he
began to t each them.

The Beatitudes
He said:
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst
for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted
because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
a25

Matthew 5:22

1302

11Blessed are you when peo


ple insult
you, persec ute you and falsely say all k inds
of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice
and be glad, because g reat is your reward in
heaven, for in the same way they persecuted
the prophets who were before you.

Salt and Light


13You are the salt of the e
arth. But if the
salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made
salty again? It is no longer good for anyt hing,
except to be t hrown out and trampled un
derfoot.
14You are the l ight of the world. A town
built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neit her do
people l ight a lamp and put it under a bowl.
Instead they put it on its stand, and it g ives
l ight to everyone in the house. 16In the same
way, let your l ight s hine before others, that
they may see your good d
eeds and glor if y
your Fat her in heaven.

The Fulfillment of the Law


17Do not t hink that I have come to abolish
the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to
abolish them but to fulf ill them. 18For truly
I tell you, unt il heaven and earth disappear,
not the smallest letter, not the least s troke
of a pen, will by any m
eans disappear from
the Law unt il every t hing is accomplished.
19Therefore anyone who sets a side one of
the least of these commands and teaches
others accordi ngly will be called least in the
kingdom of heaven, but whoever pract ices
and teaches t hese commands will be called
g reat in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I tell
you that unless your righteousness surpass
es that of the Pharisees and the teachers of
the law, you will certainly not enter the king
dom of heaven.

Murder
21You

have heard that it was said to the


people long ago, You shall not murder,b and
anyone who murders will be subject to judg
ment. 22But I tell you that anyone who is an
gry with a brother or sisterc,d will be subject
to judgment. A gain, anyone who says to a
brother or sister, Raca,e is answerable to the
court. And anyone who says, You fool! will
be in danger of the fire of hell.

That is, the Ten Cities b21Exodus20:13 c22 The Greek word for brother or sister (adelphos)
refers here to a fellow disciple, whether man or woman; also in verse23. d22 Some manuscripts
brother or sister without cause e22 AnAramaic term of contempt

1303

Matthew 5:23

23Therefore, if you are offeri ng your gift


at the altar and t here remember that your
brother or sister has somet hing a gainst you,
24leave your gift t here in f ront of the alt ar.
First go and be reconc iled to them; then
come and offer your gift.
25Sett le matters quickly with your adver
sary who is taki ng you to c ourt. Do it w
hile
you are s till together on the way, or your ad
versary may hand you over to the j udge, and
the judge may hand you over to the off icer,
and you may be t hrown into prison. 26Truly
I tell you, you will not get out unt il you have
paid the last penny.

Adultery
27You

have heard that it was said, You


shall not com m it adultery. a 28But I tell you
that anyone who looks at a woma n lustf ul
ly has already comm itted adultery with her
in his heart. 29If your r ight eye causes you to
stumble, gouge it out and t hrow it away. It is
better for you to lose one part of your body
than for your w
hole body to be t hrown into
hell. 30And if your r ight hand causes you to
stumble, cut it off and t hrow it away. It is bet
ter for you to lose one part of your body than
for your w
hole body to go into hell.

Divorce
31It

has been said, Anyone who divorc


es his wife must give her a cert ificate of di
vorce.b 32But I tell you that anyone who
divorces his wife, except for sex ua l im mo
ralit y, makes her the vict im of adultery, and
anyone who marries a div orced woma n
com m its adultery.

Oaths
33Again, you have h
eard that it was said
to the people long ago, Do not break your
oath, but fulf ill to the Lord the vows you have
made. 34But I tell you, do not swear an oath
at all: eit her by heaven, for it is G
ods t hrone;
35or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by
Jer usalem, for it is the city of the G
reat King.
36And do not s wear by your head, for you
cannot make even one hair white or black.
37All you need to say is simply Yes or No;
anyt hing beyond this comes from the evil
one.c

Matthew 6:6

Eye for Eye


38You have heard that it was said, Eye for
eye, and t ooth for t ooth.d 39But I tell you, do
not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you
on the r ight c heek, turn to them the other
cheek also. 40And if anyone wants to sue you
and take your shirt, hand over your coat as
well. 41If anyone forces you to go one mile, go
with them two m
iles. 42Give to the one who
asks you, and do not turn away from the one
who w
ants to borrow from you.

Love for Enemies


43You

have heard that it was said, Love


your neighbor e and hate your enemy. 44But
I tell you, love your enem ies and pray for
t hose who persecute you, 45that you may be
child ren of your Fat her in heaven. He causes
his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and
sends rain on the righteous and the unr igh
teous. 46If you love t hose who love you, what
reward will you get? Are not even the tax col
lectors doi ng that? 47And if you g reet only
your own people, what are you doi ng more
than others? Do not even pagans do that?
48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Fa
ther is perfect.

Giving to the Needy

Be careful not to practice your righ


teousness in f ront of others to be seen
by them. If you do, you will have no reward
from your Fat her in heaven.
2So when you give to the n
eedy, do not
announce it with trump ets, as the hyp
oc rites do in the synagogues and on the
streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell
you, they have received t heir reward in full.
3But when you give to the n
eedy, do not let
your left hand know what your r ight hand is
doi ng, 4so that your givi ng may be in secret.
Then your Fat her, who sees what is done in
secret, will reward you.

Prayer
5And when you pray, do not be like the
hypocrites, for they love to pray standi ng in
the synagogues and on the s treet corners to
be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have
received t heir reward in full. 6But when you
pray, go into your room, c lose the door and

a27Exodus20:14 b31Deut.24:1 c37Orfrom evil d38


e43Lev.19:18

1303

Exodus21:24; Lev. 24:20; Deut. 19:21

D E V O 18 7

M AT T H E W 5 :4
Leeana Tankersley

Bravery in the Face of Loss

n 2006 my life intersected with a woman named Maya. She was a stranger, but
Imet her in an incredibly vulnerable moment, which tends to connect people in
a way that is transcendent.
My husband, Steve, is a Navy SEAL, and in wartime, SEALs are called on to do
anything and everything. But he never expected this assignment. Steve was sent by
the Navy to be with Maya right after she was notified that her husband, Marc, had
been killed in Ramadie. He was the first SEAL killed in Iraq. I see now that part of
the shock of this loss then and even still today is because these ment he men in his
platoon and troopwere believed to be indestructible. Hero-gods. Then Marc was
lost. Then others.
Steve escorted Maya back to
San Diego and sat beside her at
Marcs funeral and memorial
I just believe that when
service. I sat a few rows back at
both services, trying to breathe.
we choose to participate
Feeling like there werent enough
words in the world to assuage one
in acknowledging the
second of this loss. Huge pictures
of this gorgeous young man were
losses, we open up
everywhere. Uniforms. Bagpipes.
A 25-year-old widow.
some space for comfort
Since we first met Maya, weve
seen her occasionally. We saw her
to arrive in all shapes
recently at a building dedication
at the SEAL complex where a
and sizes.
huge facility has been named in
Marcs honor. She was radiant and
gracious, as always. And every year
on the anniversary of Marcs death
or on Memorial Day or when I hear about another wartime widow, I think of Maya.
I think of the extraordinary courage required to face the grief she has endured.
Loss is not nameless and faceless. Loss is the most personal and intimate of
human experiences. If youve watched someone mourn or if you have mourned a
grief this primal, then you know.
The Scriptures say that those who mourn are blessed because they will be
comforted. The act of letting go and letting down delivers gifts of comfort that
coping and sucking it up never will.
I have a dear friend, Rickelle, who lost her unborn son when she was 25 weeks
pregnant, her first baby. He was there, and then he was gone. In her grief, she would

-1304-

go out to her garage in a hoodie and sand old furniture with a power sander while
she listened to reggae. That was how she put one foot in front of the other.
I dont think theres any instruction manual for grieving. I just believe that when
we choose to participate in acknowledging the losses, we open up some space for
comfort to arrive in all shapes and sizes. We allow a meal to be delivered. We allow a
friend to sit quietly next to us. We allow God to touch us.
My heroes are those who have walked the worn path of grief. I am in awe of
Maya and Rickellewomen who let themselves come apart, let themselves feel the
awful mess, let themselves mourn. I believe they have been comforted in some of the
most unexpected and beautiful ways. And I know they have, in turn, been a great
comfort to others going through similar loss.
Im the kind of person who would rather be strong in the face of pain. Id
rather be doing fine, thanks than falling apart. But Ive seen that the comfort does
not come to those intent on coping. The comfort arrives for those who are willing to
spill open.
God, be near the heroes among us today, those who are bravely grieving. Meet
them on the road of sadness and suffering and offer them your gifts of presence and
peace. Amen.

Do you need to grieve a loss in your life instead of denying it?

That you will believe God will faithfully comfort you as you grieve
That you will feel surrounded even as you walk through your loss
That you will know you are doing holy work

For the next devotion, go to page 1308. For the next myth, go to page 1326.

1306

Matthew 6:7

pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then


your Fat her, who sees what is done in secret,
will reward you. 7And when you pray, do not
keep on babbling like pagans, for they t hink
they will be heard bec ause of their many
words. 8Do not be like them, for your Fat her
k nows what you need before you ask him.
9This, then, is how you s
hould pray:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,a
but deliver us from the evil one.b
14For

if you forg ive other people when they


sin against you, your heavenly Fat her will
also forg ive you. 15But if you do not forg ive
others t heir sins, your Fat her will not forg ive
your sins.

Fasting
16When you fast, do not look somber as
the hypoc rites do, for they disfigu re their
faces to show others they are fasti ng. Truly
I tell you, they have received t heir rew ard
in full. 17But when you fast, put oil on your
head and wash your face, 18so that it will not
be obv ious to others that you are fasti ng, but
only to your Fat her, who is unseen; and your
Fat her, who sees what is done in secret, will
reward you.

Treasures in Heaven
19Do not s
tore up for yourselves treasures
on earth, where moths and verm in destroy,
and where t hieves break in and steal. 20But
store up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
w here moths and verm in do not destroy,
and where t hieves do not break in and steal.
21For w
here your treasure is, there your
heart will be also.
22The eye is the lamp of the body. If your
hole body will be
eyes are healthy,c your w
full of light. 23But if your eyes are unhealthy,d
your whole body will be full of darkness. If

Matthew 7:5

1306

then the light within you is darkness, how


g reat is that darkness!
24No one can s
erve two masters. Eit her
you will hate the one and love the other, or
you will be devoted to the one and despise
the other. You cannot serve both God and
money.

Do Not Worry
25Therefore I tell you, do not worr y about
your life, what you will eat or d rink; or a bout
your body, what you will wear. Is not life
more than food, and the body more than
clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they
do not sow or reap or s tore away in b
arns,
and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are you not much more valuable than they?
27Can any one of you by worr yi ng add a sin
gle hour to your lifee?
28And why do you worr y about c lothes?
See how the flowers of the f ield grow. They
do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that
not even Solomon in all his splendor was
d ressed like one of t hese. 30If that is how God
clothes the g rass of the f ield, which is here
today and tomorrow is t hrown into the fire,
will he not much more clothe youyou of
litt le faith? 31So do not worr y, sayi ng, What
shall we eat? or What s hall we d
rink? or
What shall we wear? 32For the pagans run
after all t hese t hings, and your heavenly Fa
ther k nows that you need them. 33But seek
f irst his kingdom and his righteousness, and
all t hese t hings will be given to you as well.
34Therefore do not wor r y about tomor row,
for tomorrow will worr y a bout itself. Each
day has e nough trouble of its own.

Judging Others

Do not judge, or you too will be judged.


2For in the same way you judge others,
you will be judged, and with the measure
you use, it will be measured to you.
3Why do you look at the s
peck of sawdust
in your brothers eye and pay no attent ion
to the p
lank in your own eye? 4How can you
say to your brother, Let me take the s peck
out of your eye, when all the time t here is a
plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, f irst
take the p
lank out of your own eye, and then

a13 TheGreek for temptation can also mean testing. b13Orfrom evil; some late manuscripts one, / for
yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. c22 TheGreek for healthy here implies
generous. d23 TheGreek for unhealthy here implies stingy. e27Orsingle cubit to your height

1307

Matthew 7:6

you will see clearly to remove the s peck from


your brothers eye.
6Do not give dogs what is sac red; do not
t hrow your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may
trample them under t heir feet, and turn and
tear you to pieces.

Ask, Seek, Knock


7Ask and it will be given to you; seek and
you will find; k nock and the door will be
opened to you. 8For everyone who asks re
ceives; the one who seeks finds; and to the
one who k nocks, the door will be opened.
9Which of you, if your son asks for b
read,
will give him a s tone? 10Or if he asks for a
fish, will give him a s nake? 11If you, then,
t hough you are evil, know how to give good
g ifts to your child ren, how much more will
your Father in heaven give good g ifts to
t hose who ask him! 12So in everyt hing, do to
others what you w
ould have them do to you,
for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

The Narrow and Wide Gates


13En
ter

through the narrow gate. For


wide is the gate and b
road is the road
that leads to destruction, and many enter
t hrough it. 14But s mall is the gate and nar
row the road that leads to life, and only a few
findit.

True and False Prophets


15Watch out for
f alse prophe ts. They
come to you in sheeps clothi ng, but inward
ly they are ferocious w
olves. 16By t heir f ruit
you will recogn ize them. Do people pick
g rapes from thornbushes, or figs from this
ears good
tles? 17Likew ise, every good tree b
f ruit, but a bad tree b
ears bad f ruit. 18A good
tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree
cannot bear good fruit. 19Every tree that
does not bear good fruit is cut down and
t hrown into the fire. 20Thus, by t heir fruit
you will recogn ize them.

True and False Disciples


21Not everyone who says to me, Lord,
Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but
only the one who does the will of my Fat her
who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on
that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophes y in
your name and in your name d rive out de
a2

Matthew 8:9

1307

mons and in your name perform many mira


cles? 23Then I will tell them plainly, I never
knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!

The Wise and Foolish Builders


24Therefore

everyone who hears t hese


ords of mine and puts them into pract ice
w
is like a wise man who b
uilt his h
ouse on the
rock. 25The rain came down, the streams
rose, and the w
inds blew and beat a gainst
that h
ouse; yet it did not fall, because it had
its foundat ion on the rock. 26But everyone
who hears these words of mine and does
not put them into pract ice is like a foolish
man who built his house on sand. 27The rain
came down, the s treams rose, and the w
inds
blew and beat against that house, and it fell
with a g reat crash.
28When J esus had finished saying t hese
t hings, the c rowds were a mazed at his teach
ing, 29because he taught as one who had au
thorit y, and not as t heir teachers of the law.

Jesus Heals a Man With Leprosy

When J esus came down from the moun


tainside, large crowds followed him. 2A
man with lepros y a came and k nelt before
him and said, Lord, if you are willi ng, you
can make me clean.
3Jesus r
eached out his hand and t ouched
the man. I am willi ng, he said. Be clean!
Immed iately he was cleansed of his lepros y.
4Then J esus said to him, See that you d
ont
tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the
priest and offer the gift Moses commanded,
as a test imony to them.

The Faith of the Centurion


5When Jesus had ent ered Cap er n au m,
a centur ion came to him, asking for help.
6Lord, he said, my serv ant lies at home
para lyzed, suf feri ng ter r ibly.
7Jesus said to him, Shall I come and heal
him?
8The cent ur ion replied, Lord, I do not de
serve to have you come under my roof. But
just say the word, and my serv ant will be
healed. 9For I myself am a man under au
thorit y, with sold iers under me. I tell this
one, Go, and he goes; and that one, Come,
and he comes. I say to my servant, Do this,
and he doesit.

TheGreek word traditionally translated leprosy was used for various diseases affecting the skin.

D E V O 18 8

M AT T H E W 6: 2 5 3 4
Shauna Niequist

Have You Cultivated a Sense of Enough?

omething extraordinary happened to me today.


I found out a dear friend is pregnant. Thats not the extraordinary part.
Everyone I know is pregnant. You think Im exaggerating, but I have 17
pregnant friends and 9 friends with babies born since September. Not just Facebook
friends or acquaintances, eitherreal see-them-at-church, go-to-their-showers,
send-them-baby-blankets friends.
Its an epidemic, and I sometimes think I might be at the center of itlike if
youre my friend, youre 883,584 times more likely to get pregnant than if youre not.
Im like an incredibly successful fertility drug. Trying to conceive? Im your ticket. It
works for you ... but it doesnt seem to be working for me.
My son, Henry, will be five this year, and since his first birthday, weve been
trying to have another baby:
seeing doctors, praying, longing.
Ive miscarried twice. After
I want to cultivate a deep
miscarrying twins last February,
I was feeling so tender and raw
sense of gratitude, of
about it that at a dinner with my
family, I announced, If any of
you are pregnant, I just need you
groundedness, of enough,
to tell me now. I said this to my
almost 60-year-old parents and my even while Im longing for
single brother. They stared at me
with confusion, but at that point,
something more.
nothing would have surprised me.
In essence, I became the person
that people dont want to tell if
theyre pregnant. A friend told me her happy, fantastic news, and just a second later
she burst out crying, afraid for how this would make me feel. I hate that. I work
really hard to arrange my face in such a way that approximates uncomplicated glee.
And I am happy for them, of course. But sometimes just after the happiness is the
desperation. Some days are easier than others.
At one point I told my husband that if I found out I wasnt pregnant that month,
Id break something glass, just to feel it shatter. I was counting the days all the time,
recounting, hoping.
And then I found out that I wasnt pregnant. Again. I didnt break anything, but
it seems that something broke inside me. Something cracked, and all the energy
and fear and roiling anger drained out. I felt calm and empty. I felt sad but not
devastated. I began to think about it in terms of a year, about wanting to have a baby
this year, and less about this month, this month!

-1308-

I was exhausted and couldnt carry it anymore. It had reached fever pitch
consuming, obsessive, frantic. Unsustainable. It was like an addiction and that
moment was like getting sober: raw, silent, clear-eyed, the absolute stillness after a
storm.
This morning, when I heard the news about my friend, I felt what Ive wanted
to feel all along but couldnt locate: uncomplicated and deep happiness. I felt happy
for her. Very, very happy. And I feel so thankful for that feeling, for being able to be
uncomplicatedly happy for the people I love.
It could all change again next monthI know that. Ive been around this
block for years now: easier and harder, more complicated and less. Im all serene
and happy right now, but I could be back to throwing glassware next month. This
morning, though, Ill take what I can get.
The word that came to my mind this morning was enough.
Enough: I dont want to live like that anymore. And enough: I have enough. I have
more than I need, more than I could ask for. I have a son who delights me every
single day. A husband I adore. A family that walks with me well, and friends that
make the world feel rich. I do work I care aboutno small thing.
Its not wrong to want another baby, but theres a fine line in there, and I feel Ive
crossed it a few times this year, and crossed over into that terrible territory where
you cant be happy unless you have just that thing you want, no matter what else you
have. Thats not how I want to live. Thats not who I want to be.
I want to cultivate a deep sense of gratitude, of groundedness, of enough, even
while Im longing for something more. The longing and the gratitude, both. Im
practicing believing that God knows more than I know, that he sees what I cant,
that hes weaving a future I cant even imagine from where I sit this morning.
Extraordinary, indeed. More than enough.

How can you cultivate a sense of enough in your own life?

That you learn to trust Gods perfect plan


That you develop a sense of gratitude for what you do have
That you will release your worry

For the next devotion, go to page 1314. For the next myth, go to page 1326.

1310

Matthew 8:10

Matthew 9:8

10When J esus heard this, he was a


mazed
and said to those following him, Truly I
tell you, I have not found anyone in Isra
el with such g reat faith. 11I say to you that
many will come from the east and the west,
and will take t heir places at the feast with
Abraham, I saac and Jacob in the kingdom
of heaven. 12But the subjects of the kingdom
will be t hrown outside, into the darkness,
where t here will be weepi ng and gnashi ng
of teeth.
13Then Jesus said to the cent ur ion, Go!
Let it be done just as you bel ieved it would.
And his servant was h
ealed at that moment.

Jesus Heals Many


14When J esus came into Peters h
ouse, he
saw Peters mother-in-law lyi ng in bed with
a fever. 15He touched her hand and the fever
left her, and she got up and began to wait on
him.
16When even ing came, many who were
demon-possessed were b
rought to him,
and he d rove out the spirits with a word and
healed all the sick. 17This was to fulf ill what
was spoken t hrough the prophet Isaiah:

He took up our infirmities


and bore our diseases.a

The Cost of Following Jesus


18When J esus saw the c
rowd a round him,
he gave orders to c ross to the other side of the
lake. 19Then a teacher of the law came to him
and said, Teacher, I will follow you wherev
er yougo.
20Jesus re
plied, Foxe s have dens and
birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no
place to lay his head.
21Another disc iple said to him, Lord, f irst
let me go and bury my fat her.
22But J esus told him, Follow me, and let
the dead bury t heir own dead.

Jesus Calms the Storm


23Then he got into the boat and his dis
ciples fol lowed him. 24Sudden l y a fu r ious
storm came up on the lake, so that the waves
swept over the boat. But J esus was sleepi ng.
25The disc iples went and woke him, sayi ng,
Lord, save us! W
ere goi ng to drown!
26He replied, You of litt le f aith, why are
you so a fraid? Then he got up and rebuked
a17Isaiah53:4 (see Septuagint) b28

1310

the w inds and the w aves, and it was com


pletely calm.
27The men were
a mazed and asked,
What kind of man is this? Even the w
inds
and the w
aves obey him!

Jesus Restores Two Demon-Possessed


Men
28When he arr ived at the other side in the

reg ion of the Gada renes, b two demon-pos


sessed men coming from the tombs met him.
They were so violent that no one could pass
that way. 29What do you want with us, Son
of God? they shouted. Have you come here
to tort ure us before the appointed time?
30Some dist ance from them a large herd
of pigs was feeding. 31The demons begged
Jesus, If you d rive us out, send us into the
herd of pigs.
32He said to them, Go! So they came out
and went into the pigs, and the whole herd
r ushed down the s teep bank into the lake
and died in the water. 33Those tendi ng the
pigs ran off, went into the town and reported
all this, includi ng what had happened to the
demon-possessed men. 34Then the w hole
town went out to meet J esus. And when they
saw him, they pleaded with him to leave
t heir reg ion.

Jesus Forgives and Heals


a Paralyzed Man

Jesus s tepped into a boat, crossed over


and came to his own town. 2Some men
brought to him a para lyzed man, lyi ng on a
mat. When J esus saw t heir f aith, he said to
the man, Take heart, son; your sins are for
given.
3At this, some of the teachers of the law
said to themselves, This fellow is blas
phemi ng!
4Know i ng t heir t houghts, Jesus said,
Why do you entertain evil t houghts in your
hearts? 5Which is easier: to say, Your sins
are forg iven, or to say, Get up and walk?
6But I want you to know that the Son of Man
has aut horit y on earth to forg ive sins. So he
said to the para lyzed man, Get up, take your
mat and go home. 7Then the man got up
and went home. 8When the crowd saw this,
they were f illed with awe; and they p
raised
God, who had given such aut horit y to man.

Some manuscripts Gergesenes; other manuscripts Gerasenes

1311

Matthew 9:9

The Calling of Matthew


9As

Jesus went on from t here, he saw a


man n
amed Matt hew sitt ing at the tax col
lectors booth. Follow me, he told him, and
Matt hew got up and followed him.
10While Jesus was havi ng dinner at Mat
thews h
ouse, many tax collectors and sin
ners came and ate with him and his disc i
ples. 11When the Pharisees saw this, they
asked his disciples, Why does your teacher
eat with tax collectors and sinners?
12On hear
i ng this, Jesus said, It is not
the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.
13But go and learn what this means: I desire
merc y, not sacr if ice. a For I have not come to
call the righteous, but sinners.

Jesus Questioned About Fasting


14Then Johns disc iples came and a
sked
him, How is it that we and the Pharisees fast
often, but your disciples do not fast?
15Jesus ans wered, How can the g uests
of the brideg room mourn w
hile he is with
them? The time will come when the bride
groom will be taken from them; then they
will fast.
16No one sews a p
atch of unshrunk c loth
on an old garment, for the patch will pull
away from the garment, making the tear
worse. 17Neit her do people pour new wine
into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will
burst; the wine will run out and the wine
skins will be ruined. No, they pour new
wine into new wineskins, and both are pre
served.

Jesus Raises a Dead Girl and Heals


aSick Woman
18While he was sayi ng this, a synagogue
leader came and k nelt before him and said,
My daughter has just died. But come and
put your hand on her, and she will live.
19Jesus got up and went with him, and so did
his disciples.
20Just then a woma n who had been sub
ject to bleedi ng for t welve y ears came up be
hind him and t ouched the edge of his c loak.
21She said to her
self, If I only touch his
cloak, I will be healed.
22Jesus t urned and saw her. Take heart,
daughter, he said, your faith has healed
you. And the woma n was healed at that mo
ment.
a13Hosea6:6

Matthew 10:2

1311

23When Jesus ent ered the synag ogue


leaders house and saw the noisy crowd and
people play i ng pipes, 24he said, Go away.
The girl is not dead but a sleep. But they
laughed at him. 25After the c rowd had been
put outside, he went in and took the girl by
the hand, and she got up. 26News of this
spread t hrough all that reg ion.

Jesus Heals the Blind and the Mute


27As Jesus went on from t here, two b
lind
men followed him, calli ng out, Have merc y
on us, Son of Dav id!
28When he had gone indoors, the blind
men came to him, and he a sked them, Do
you bel ieve that I am able to do this?
Yes, Lord, they replied.
29Then he touched their eyes and said,
Accordi ng to your f aith let it be done to you;
30and t heir s
ight was restored. J esus warned
them sternly, See that no one k nows about
this. 31But they went out and spread the
news a bout him all over that reg ion.
32While they were goi ng out, a man who
was demon-possessed and c ould not talk
was brought to Jesus. 33And when the de
mon was driven out, the man who had been
mute s poke. The c rowd was a mazed and
said, Nothi ng like this has ever been seen
in Israel.
34But the Phar
i sees said, It is by the
prince of demons that he drives out demons.

The Workers Are Few


35Jesus went t hrough all the towns and
vil lages, teach i ng in t heir synagogues, pro
claimi ng the good news of the kingdom and
heali ng every disease and sickness. 36When
he saw the c rowds, he had compassion on
them, because they were harassed and help
less, like s heep without a shepherd. 37Then
he said to his disciples, The harvest is plen
tif ul but the workers are few. 38Ask the Lord
of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers
into his harvest field.

Jesus Sends Out the Twelve

10

Jesus c alled his twelve disc iples to


him and gave them aut horit y to d rive
out impure spirits and to heal every disease
and sickness.
2These are the n
ames of the t welve apos
tles: first, Simon (who is c alled Peter) and

1312

Matthew 10:3

his brother And rew; James son of Zebedee,


and his brother John; 3Philip and Bart holo
mew; Thomas and Matt hew the tax collec
tor; J ames son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus;
4Si mon the Zealot and Jud as Isc ar iot, who
bet rayed him.
5These t welve J esus sent out with the fol
lowi ng instruct ions: Do not go a mong the
Gentiles or enter any town of the Samar
it ans. 6Go rather to the lost sheep of Isra
el. 7As you go, proclaim this message: The
kingdom of heaven has come near. 8Heal
the sick, r aise the dead, c leanse t hose who
have lepros y, a d rive out demons. Freely you
have received; freely give.
9Do not get any gold or silver or copper to
take with you in your b
elts10no bag for the
journey or ext ra shirt or sandals or a staff,
for the worker is worth his keep. 11Whatev
er town or village you enter, s earch there for
some wort hy person and stay at their h
ouse
unt il you leave. 12As you enter the home, give
it your greeti ng. 13If the home is deservi ng,
let your p
eace rest on it; if it is not, let your
peace ret urn to you. 14If anyone will not wel
come you or listen to your words, leave that
home or town and s hake the dust off your
feet. 15Truly I tell you, it will be more bear
able for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of
judgment than for that town.
16I am sendi ng you out like s
heep a mong
wolves. Therefore be as s hrewd as s nakes
and as innoc ent as doves. 17Be on your
g uard; you will be handed over to the local
councils and be f logged in the synagogues.
18On my account you will be b
rought before
governors and k ings as witnesses to them
and to the Gent iles. 19But when they arrest
you, do not worr y about what to say or how to
say it. At that time you will be given what to
say, 20for it will not be you speaki ng, but the
Spirit of your Fat her speaki ng t hrough you.
21Brother will bet ray brother to death,
and a father his child; child ren will rebel
against t heir parents and have them put to
death. 22You will be hated by everyone be
cause of me, but the one who stands firm to
the end will be s aved. 23When you are per
secuted in one place, flee to another. Truly I
tell you, you will not finish going t hrough the
towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
24The student is not a
bove t he teacher,
a8

Matthew 10:42

1312

nor a servant above his master. 25It is enough


for students to be like t heir teachers, and ser
vants like t heir masters. If the head of the
house has been c alled Beelzebul, how much
more the members of his household!
26So do not be a fraid of them, for there
is nothing conc ealed that will not be dis
closed, or hidden that will not be made
k nown. 27What I tell you in the dark, speak
in the daylight; what is whispered in your
ear, proclaim from the r oofs. 28Do not be
a fraid of t hose who kill the body but can
not kill the soul. Rather, be a fraid of the One
who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
29Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet
not one of them will fall to the g round out
side your Fat hers care.b 30And even the very
hairs of your head are all numbered. 31So
dont be a fraid; you are worth more than
many sparrows.
32Whoever ack nowledges me before oth
ers, I will also ack nowledge before my Fa
ther in heaven. 33But whoever disowns me
before others, I will disown before my Fat her
in heaven.
34Do not sup
pose that I have come to
bring p
eace to the e arth. I did not come to
bring p
eace, but a s word. 35For I have come
to turn
a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her motherin-law
36 a mans enemies will be the members
of his own household.c
37Anyone who loves t heir fat her or moth
er more than me is not wort hy of me; anyone
who loves their son or daughter more than
me is not wort hy of me. 38Whoever does not
take up t heir cross and follow me is not wor
thy of me. 39Whoever f inds t heir life will lose
it, and whoever loses t heir life for my sake
will findit.
40Anyone who welc omes you welc omes
me, and anyone who welc omes me wel
comes the one who sent me. 41Whoever wel
comes a prophet as a prophet will receive a
prophets reward, and whoever welcomes a
righteous person as a righteous person will
receive a righteous persons reward. 42And if

TheGreek word traditionally translated leprosy was used for various diseases affecting the skin.

b29Orwill; or knowledge c36Micah7:6

1313

Matthew 11:1

anyone g ives even a cup of cold water to one


of t hese litt le ones who is my disciple, truly
I tell you, that person will certainly not lose
their reward.

Jesus and John the Baptist

11

Af ter Jesus had fin ished instruct i ng


his t welve disciples, he went on from
t here to teach and p
reach in the towns of
Gali lee. a
2When John, who was in pris
on, heard
about the deeds of the Messia h, he sent his
disciples 3to ask him, Are you the one who is
to come, or should we expect someone else?
4Jesus re
plied, Go back and report to
John what you hear and see: 5The blind re
ceive sight, the lame walk, t hose who have
lepros y b are c leansed, the deaf hear, the
dead are r aised, and the good news is pro
claimed to the poor. 6Blessed is anyone who
does not stumble on account ofme.
7As Johns disc iples were leav i ng, Jesus
began to s peak to the c rowd a bout John:
What did you go out into the wilderness
to see? A reed s wayed by the wind? 8If not,
what did you go out to see? A man d ressed in
fine c lothes? No, t hose who wear fine c lothes
are in k ings palaces. 9Then what did you go
out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and
more than a prophet. 10This is the one a bout
whom it is written:
I will send my messenger ahead
of you,
who will prepare your way
before you.c
11Truly I tell you, a mong t hose born of wom

en t here has not risen anyone greater than


John the Baptist; yet whoe ver is least in
the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
12From the days of John the Bap
t ist until
now, the kingdom of heaven has been sub
jected to violence, d and violent people have
been raiding it. 13For all the Prophets and the
Law prophesied unt il John. 14And if you are
willi ng to accept it, he is the Elijah who was
to come. 15Whoever has ears, let them hear.
16To what can I compare this generat ion?
They are like child ren sitt ing in the market
places and calli ng out to others:
17 We played the pipe for you,
and you did not dance;
a1Greek in their towns b5

Matthew 12:2

1313

we sang a dirge,
and you did not mourn.
18For John came neit her eating nor drink
ing, and they say, He has a demon. 19The
Son of Man came eati ng and drinki ng, and
they say, Here is a glutton and a drunka rd, a
f riend of tax collectors and sinners. But wis
dom is p
roved r ight by her deeds.

Woe on Unrepentant Towns


20Then

Jesus began to denounce the


towns in w
hich most of his mirac les had
been performed, bec ause they did not re
pent. 21Woe to you, Choraz in! Woe to you,
Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were per
formed in you had been performed in Tyre
and Sidon, they would have repented long
ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22But I tell you,
it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon
on the day of judgment than for you. 23And
you, Capernau m, will you be lifted to the
heavens? No, you will go down to H
ades.e
For if the miracles that were performed in
you had been performed in Sodom, it w
ould
have remained to this day. 24But I tell you
that it will be more bearable for Sodom on
the day of judgment than for you.

The Father Revealed in the Son


25At that time Jesus said, I p
raise you,
Fat her, Lord of heaven and earth, bec ause
you have hidden t hese t hings from the wise
and learned, and revealed them to litt le chil
dren. 26Yes, Fat her, for this is what you were
pleased todo.
27All t hings have been comm itted to me
by my Fat her. No one k nows the Son except
the Father, and no one k nows the Father
except the Son and t hose to whom the Son
chooses to reveal him.
28Come to me, all you who are wear y and
burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take
my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I
am gent le and humble in h
eart, and you will
find rest for your s ouls. 30For my yoke is easy
and my burden is light.

Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath

12

At that time Jesus went t hrough the


grainfields on the Sabbath. His dis
ciples were hung ry and began to pick some
heads of g rain and eat them. 2When the

TheGreek word traditionally translated leprosy was used for various diseases
affecting the skin. c10Mal.3:1 d12Orbeen forcefully advancing e23 That is, the realm of the dead

D E V O 18 9

M AT T H E W 11: 2 8
Addie Zierman

No Appointment Needed

ome straight from your bed with your morning breath and your
sweatpants. Come with your crazy hair and your unwashed face and last
nights dishes still sitting out on the counter.
Come as soon as the alarm goes off, or after three or four smacks at the snooze
button.
Or maybe mornings not your thing, but you keep trying to muster yourself up
to it because once someone told you this was the best way. That morning is the best
time, that you need to start your day right, with God.
(I want to tell you that there is no best time. There is you, your particular,
individual heartand there is God, his love like a deep-flowing river. And it
doesnt matter when you step into the river, love. All that matters is that you come.)
Come with your mind skittering a thousand different directions. Come with
your insurmountable to-do list, and dont feel a bit guilty when you keep drifting
back to the days demands. Just
notice it, and then make your way
back to the quiet.
Start with Jesus, who
There will be so many trips
back and forth while youre here ...
welcomes the
from worry to planning to prayer
and then back around again. Thats
overwhelmed. The
just part of it.
But maybe you dont know that.
under-awed. The hopeful.
Maybe youve heard a hundred
sermons about that night in the
The hopeless.
Garden of Gethsemane, when
Jesus prayed deep and long and his
disciples fell asleep. You know that
verse by heart, where he says, Couldnt you men keep watch with me for one hour?
(Matthew 26:40) and the very next one that says, The spirit is willing, but the flesh
is weak.
(Heres what I think about all that: this was never meant as a call to do better,
to be better, to come perfect and focused and spiritually strong. I think Jesus was
simply telling us the truth about ourselves, here in the midnight gardent hat thing
that we who can handle it all never truly believe: You are weak. You are weary. Its
okay. I am enough.)
Maybe all this time youve been trying to come perfect; youve been trying to
come wide awake when youre exhausted. Maybe youve been trying to work up the
faith when your heart is sunk deep in doubt. You dont have to hustle for approval
here. Come weary. Come beloved.

-1314-

Come reluctantly or expectantly. Come half asleep or half alive or broken into
ten thousand pieces.
Stare blankly into your fluorescent sunlamp in the cold, dark morning and say
nothing. Or say everything. Rant and rave and whine and cry and bare it allyour
whole fearful, jealous, angry heart. Both of these things are a kind of prayer, and
neither is better or more honest than the other.
Say the truth you need to say even if the words sound unholy. God can handle
your impoliteness, your wildness, your temper tantrums, your tears.
Come with a heart stone-cold in its silence. Come bitter. Come distant.
Read the Bible, or dont. Write it out in a lined journal, or dont. Read a bit of
liturgy and feel yourself connected to a thousand other broken pieces of humanity,
all trying to figure it out.
(Or dont. There is no right way to come. There is only the honesty of showing up
entirely yourself in the place you are now.)
Maybe you wont feel anything. Just the winter dark pressing in and the cold
seeping in under the patio door and a weary dread for the mundane tasks of another
day. Another week. Another year.
Come anyway.
Come even if youre not one bit sure about this God business at all. Start here,
with these open arms, the ones that are welcoming the weary. Start with a God who
invites the imperfect: The mad-at-their-kids. The ticked-at-their-bosses. The one
who sits in traffic, feeling a rage she cannot understand. The one who cant stop
crying. The one whos full to the brim with happiness.
Start with J esus, who welcomes the overwhelmed. The under-awed. The hopeful.
The hopeless.
He is looking at you who dont have one scrap of it together, and theres not a
how-to or a best-practicesjust him. Just you. Just the river.
Just one word: Come.
The first step. Really, the only step. The one you keep taking every weary, heavyladen, joyous, hopeful, normal, average, dish-filled, noisy day of your life.

When do you come to J


esus?

That you will make time on a regular basis to talk to J


esus
That you will experience his grace, peace and comfort
For the next devotion, go to page 1322. For the next myth, go to page 1326.

1316

Matthew 12:3

Pharisees saw this, they said to him, Look!


Your disciples are doing what is unlawf ul on
the Sabbath.
3He an
s wered, Havent you read what
Dav id did when he and his companions were
hung ry? 4He entered the house of God, and
he and his companions ate the consecrated
breadwhich was not lawf ul for them to do,
avent you read
but only for the priests. 5Or h
in the Law that the p
riests on Sabbath duty in
the temple desecrate the Sabbath and yet are
innocent? 6I tell you that somet hing greater
than the temple is here. 7If you had k nown
what t hese words mean, I desire merc y, not
ould not have condemned
sacr i f ice, a you w
the innocent. 8For the Son of Man is Lord of
the Sabbath.
9Going on from that p
lace, he went into
t heir synagogue, 10and a man with a shriv
eled hand was t here. Looki ng for a reason to
bring charges a gainst J esus, they asked him,
Is it lawf ul to heal on the Sabbath?
11He said to them, If any of you has a
sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath,
will you not take hold of it and lift it out?
12How much more valuable is a person than
a s heep! Therefore it is lawf ul to do good on
the Sabbath.
13Then he said to the man, Stretch out
your hand. So he s tretched it out and it was
completely restored, just as sound as the
other. 14But the Pharisees went out and plot
ted how they m
ight kill J esus.

Gods Chosen Servant


15Aware

of this, J esus withd rew from that


lace. A large c rowd followed him, and he
p
healed all who were ill. 16He warned them
not to tell others a bout him. 17This was to
fulf ill what was spoken t hrough the proph
et Isaiah:
18 Here is my servant whom I have chosen,
the one I love, in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him,
and he will proclaim justice to the
nations.
19 He will not quarrel or cry out;
no one will hear his voice in the
streets.
20 A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not
snuff out,
a7Hosea6:6 b21Isaiah42:1-4

Matthew 12:37

1316

till he has brought justice through to


victory.
21 In his name the nations will put
their hope.b

Jesus and Beelzebul


22Then they b
rought him a demon-pos
sessed man who was b
lind and mute, and
Jesus h
ealed him, so that he c ould both talk
and see. 23All the people were astonished
and said, Could this be the Son of Dav id?
24But when the Pharisees heard this, they
said, It is only by Beelz ebul, the prince of
demons, that this fellow d rives out demons.
25Jesus knew t heir t houghts and said to
them, Every kingdom div ided against it self
will be rui ned, and every city or household
div ided against itself will not stand. 26If Sa
tan d rives out Sat an, he is div ided against
himself. How then can his kingdom stand?
27And if I d rive out demons by Bee lz ebul,
by whom do your people d rive them out?
So then, they will be your judge s. 28But if
it is by the Spirit of God that I d rive out de
mons, then the kingdom of God has come
upon you.
29Or a
gain, how can anyone enter a
strong mans house and carr y off his posses
sions unless he f irst ties up the s trong man?
Then he can plunder his h
ouse.
30Whoe ver is not with me is against me,
and whoever does not gather with me scat
ters. 31And so I tell you, every kind of sin
and slander can be forg iven, but blasphe
my against the Spirit will not be forg iven.
32Anyone who s
peaks a word a gainst the
Son of Man will be forg iven, but anyone
who speaks a gainst the Holy Spirit will not
be forg iven, eit her in this age or in the age
to come.
33Make a tree good and its f ruit will be
good, or make a tree bad and its f ruit will be
bad, for a tree is recogn ized by its f ruit. 34You
brood of vipers, how can you who are evil
say anyt hing good? For the mouth speaks
rings
what the heart is full of. 35A good man b
good t hings out of the good stored up in him,
and an evil man brings evil t hings out of the
evil s tored up in him. 36But I tell you that
everyone will have to give account on the
day of judgment for every empt y word they
ords you will
have spoken. 37For by your w

1317

Matthew 12:38

be acquitted, and by your words you will be


condemned.

The Sign of Jonah


38Then some of the Phari sees and teach
ers of the law said to him, Teacher, we want
to see a sign from you.
39He ans wered, A wicke d and adulter
ous generat ion asks for a sign! But none will
be given it except the sign of the prophet Jo
nah. 40For as Jonah was t hree days and t hree
n ights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son
of Man will be t hree days and t hree n
ights in
the heart of the earth. 41The men of Nineveh
will s tand up at the judgment with this gen
erat ion and condemn it; for they repented at
the preachi ng of Jonah, and now somet hing
greater than Jonah is here. 42The Queen of
the S outh will rise at the judgment with this
generation and condemn it; for she came
from the ends of the earth to listen to Solo
mons wisdom, and now somet hing greater
than Solomon is here.
43When an impure spirit c
omes out of a
person, it goes t hrough arid places seeki ng
rest and does not find it. 44Then it says, I will
ret urn to the h
ouse I left. When it arr ives,
it f inds the house unocc upied, s wept clean
and put in order. 45Then it goes and t akes
with it seven other spirits more wicked than
itself, and they go in and live t here. And the
final cond it ion of that person is w
orse than
the f irst. That is how it will be with this wick
ed generat ion.

Jesus Mother and Brothers


46While
Jesus was still talking to the
c rowd, his mother and brothers s tood out
side, wanting to speak to him. 47Someone
told him, Your mother and brothers are
standi ng outside, wanti ng to s peak to you.
48He replied to him, Who is my mother,
and who are my brothers? 49Pointi ng to his
disciples, he said, Here are my mother and
my brothers. 50For whoever does the will of
my Fat her in heaven is my brother and sister
and mother.

The Parable of the Sower

13

That same day Jesus went out of the


house and sat by the lake. 2Such

a15Isaiah6:9,10 (see Septuagint)

Matthew 13:17

1317

large c rowds gathered a round him that he


got into a boat and sat in it, while all the peo
ple s tood on the s hore. 3Then he told them
many t hings in parables, sayi ng: A farmer
went out to sow his seed. 4As he was scatter
ing the seed, some fell a long the path, and
the birds came and ate it up. 5Some fell on
rocky places, w
here it did not have much
soil. It sprang up quickly, bec ause the soil
was shal low. 6But when the sun came up,
the plants were scorched, and they withered
bec ause they had no root. 7Other seed fell
a mong t horns, w hich grew up and c hoked
the plants. 8Still other seed fell on good soil,
where it produced a cropa hund red, six
ty or thirt y t imes what was sown. 9Whoever
has ears, let them hear.
10The disc iples came to him and a sked,
Why do you speak to the people in para
bles?
11He replied, Bec ause the knowle dge of
the sec rets of the kingdom of heaven has
been given to you, but not to them. 12Who
ever has will be given more, and they will
have an abundance. Whoever does not have,
even what they have will be taken from
them. 13This is why I s peak to them in par
ables:
Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or
understand.
14In them is fulf illed the prophec y of Isaiah:

You will be ever hearing but never


understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never
perceiving.
15 For this peoples heart has become
calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.a
16But blessed are your eyes bec ause they see,

and your ears because they hear. 17For truly


I tell you, many prophets and righteous peo
ple longed to see what you see but did not
see it, and to hear what you hear but did not
hearit.

1318

Matthew 13:18

18Lis
t en then to what the parable of
the sower means: 19When anyone hears
the message about the kingdom and does
not understand it, the evil one c omes and
snatches away what was sown in t heir h
eart.
This is the seed sown a long the path. 20The
seed falli ng on rocky g round refers to some
one who hears the word and at once receives
it with joy. 21But since they have no root, they
last only a s hort time. When trouble or per
sec ut ion comes bec ause of the word, they
quickly fall away. 22The seed falli ng a mong
the t horns refers to someone who hears the
word, but the worr ies of this life and the de
ceitf ulness of wealth choke the word, mak
ing it un f ruit f ul. 23But the seed falling on
good soil refers to someone who hears the
word and understands it. This is the one who
produces a crop, yieldi ng a hund red, sixt y or
thirt y t imes what was sown.

The Parable of the Weeds


24Jesus told them another parable: The
kingdom of heaven is like a man who s owed
good seed in his f ield. 25But while everyone
was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed
weeds a mong the w
heat, and went away.
26When the w
heat sproute d and formed
heads, then the w
eeds also appeared.
27The owners serv ants came to him and
said, Sir, d
idnt you sow good seed in your
f ield? W here then did the w
eeds come from?
28An enemy did this, he replied.
The servants asked him, Do you want us
to go and pull themup?
29No, he ans wered, bec ause w
hile you
are pulling the w
eeds, you may uproot the
wheat with them. 30Let both grow together
unt il the harvest. At that time I will tell the
harvesters: F
irst collect the w
eeds and tie
them in bund les to be burned; then gather
the w
heat and b
ring it into my barn.

The Parables of the Mustard Seed


andtheYeast
31He told them an
other parable: The
kingdom of heaven is like a must ard seed,
which a man took and planted in his f ield.
32Though it is the smalle st of all s
eeds, yet
when it g rows, it is the largest of garden
plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds
come and p
erch in its branches.
a33Orabout 27kilograms b35Psalm78:2

Matthew 13:48

1318

33He told them still another parable: The


kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woma n
took and m ixed into about sixt y poundsa of
f lour unt il it w
orked all t hrough the dough.
34Jesus spoke all t hese t hings to the c rowd
in parables; he did not say anyt hing to them
without usi ng a parable. 35So was fulf illed
what was spoken t hrough the prophet:

I will open my mouth in parables,


I will utter things hidden since the
creation of the world.b

The Parable of the Weeds Explained


36Then he left the c
rowd and went into the
ouse. His disciples came to him and said,
h
Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the
field.
37He ans wered, The one who sowed the
good seed is the Son of Man. 38The f ield is
the world, and the good seed stands for the
people of the kingdom. The weeds are the
people of the evil one, 39and the enemy who
sows them is the devi l. The harvest is the end
of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
40As the weeds are pulled up and burned
in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age.
41The Son of Man will send out his angels,
and they will weed out of his kingdom ev
eryt hing that causes sin and all who do evil.
42They will
t hrow them into the blazing
furnace, w here t here will be weeping and
gnashi ng of teeth. 43Then the righteous will
shine like the sun in the kingdom of t heir Fa
ther. Whoever has ears, let them hear.

The Parables of the Hidden Treasure


andthePearl
44The kingdom of heaven is like treasure
hidden in a f ield. When a man found it, he
hid it a gain, and then in his joy went and sold
all he had and b
ought that field.
45Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a
merchant looki ng for fine pearls. 46When he
found one of g reat value, he went away and
sold everyt hing he had and b
oughtit.

The Parable of the Net


47Once a
gain, the kingdom of heaven
is like a net that was let down into the lake
and caught all k inds of fish. 48When it was
full, the fishermen p
ulled it up on the shore.
Then they sat down and collected the good

1319

Matthew 13:49

fish in baskets, but threw the bad away.


is how it will be at the end of the age.
The angels will come and sepa rate the wick
ed from the righteous 50and throw them
into the blazi ng furnace, where t here will be
weepi ng and gnashi ng of teeth.
51Have you understood all t hese t hings?
Jesus asked.
Yes, they replied.
52He said to them, Therefore every teach
er of the law who has become a disc iple in
the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a
house who brings out of his storeroom new
treasures as well as old.
49This

A Prophet Without Honor


53When Jesus had fin
i shed these para
bles, he moved on from t here. 54Comi ng to
his hometown, he began teaching the people
in t heir synagogue, and they were a mazed.
Where did this man get this wisdom and
t hese mi r acu lous powe rs? they a sked.
55Isnt this the car
penters son? Isnt his
mothers name Mary, and a rent his brothers
James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? 56Arent all
his sisters with us? W here then did this man
get all t hese t hings? 57And they took offense
at him.
But J esus said to them, A prophet is not
without honor except in his own t own and in
his own h
ome.
58And he did not do many miracles t here
because of t heir lack of faith.

John the Baptist Beheaded

14

At that time Herod the tet rarch heard


the reports about Jesus, 2and he said
to his attendants, This is John the Bapt ist;
he has risen from the dead! That is why mi
racu lous powers are at work in him.
3Now Herod had arrested John and b
ound
him and put him in prison because of Hero
dias, his brother Philips wife, 4for John had
been sayi ng to him: It is not lawf ul for you to
have her. 5Herod wanted to kill John, but he
was a fraid of the people, because they con
sidered John a prophet.
6On Herods birthday the daughter of He
rod ia s d
anced for the guests and p
leased
Hero d so much 7that he promised with
an oath to give her whate ver she a sked.
8Prompted by her mother, she said, Give me
here on a platter the head of John the Bap
tist. 9The king was dist ressed, but because

Matthew 14:27

1319

of his o
aths and his dinner g uests, he or
dered that her request be granted 10and had
John beheaded in the prison. 11His head was
brought in on a platter and given to the girl,
who carr ied it to her mother. 12Johns disci
ples came and took his body and buried it.
Then they went and told J esus.

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand


13When

Jesus heard what had happened,


he withd rew by boat privately to a solit ary
place. Heari ng of this, the c rowds followed
him on foot from the towns. 14When Jesus
landed and saw a large crowd, he had com
passion on them and h
ealed t heir sick.
15As even ing approached, the disc iples
came to him and said, This is a remote
place, and its already gett ing late. Send the
crowds away, so they can go to the villages
and buy themselves some food.
16Jesus replied, They do not need to go
away. You give them somet hing to eat.
17We have here only five loaves of bread
and two fish, they answered.
18Bring them here to me, he said. 19And
he directed the people to sit down on the
g rass. Taki ng the five loaves and the two fish
and looking up to heaven, he gave t hanks
and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to
the disc iples, and the disc iples gave them
to the people. 20They all ate and were satis
fied, and the disciples p
icked up t welve bas
ketf uls of broken pieces that were left over.
21The numb er of t hose who ate was a
bout
five thousand men, besides women and chil
dren.

Jesus Walks on the Water


22Im med iatel y

Jesus made the disc iples


get into the boat and go on a head of him
to the other side, w
hile he dism issed the
c rowd. 23After he had dism issed them, he
went up on a mountainside by himself to
pray. Later that night, he was t here a lone,
24and the boat was already a cons iderable
dist ance from land, buffeted by the w
aves
because the wind was a gainstit.
25Shortly before dawn J esus went out to
them, walki ng on the lake. 26When the disci
ples saw him walki ng on the lake, they were
terr if ied. Its a g host, they said, and cried
out in fear.
27But Jesus im med iatel y said to them:
Take courage! It is I. D
ont be afraid.

1320

Matthew 14:28

Matthew 15:30

1320

28Lord, if its you, Peter replied, tell me


to come to you on the water.
29Come, he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat,
walked on the water and came toward J esus.
30But when he saw the wind, he was a
fraid
and, beg inn ing to sink, c ried out, Lord,
saveme!
31Immed iately Jesus reached out his hand
and caught him. You of litt le faith, he said,
why did you doubt?
32And when they c limbed into the boat,
the wind died down. 33Then t hose who were
in the boat worshiped him, saying, Truly
you are the Son of God.
34When they had c rossed over, they land
ed at Gen nesa ret. 35And when the men of
that p
lace recogn ized J esus, they sent word
to all the sur
r ound
i ng coun
t ry. Peo
ple
brought all t heir sick to him 36and begged
him to let the sick just t ouch the edge of his
cloak, and all who t ouched it were healed.

what comes out of their mouth, that is what


def iles them.
12Then the dis
c iples came to him and
asked, Do you know that the Pharisees were
offended when they h
eard this?
13He replied, Every plant that my heav
enly Fat her has not planted will be pulled
lind
up by the r oots. 14Leave them; they are b
lind lead the b
lind, both will
g uides. d If the b
fall into a pit.
15Peter said, Explain the parable tous.
16Are you still so dull? Jesus a sked them.
17Dont you see that what
e ver enters the
mouth goes into the stomach and then out
of the body? 18But the t hings that come out
of a persons mouth come from the heart,
and t hese def ile them. 19For out of the heart
come evil t houghts murder, adultery, sex
ua l im moral it y, t heft, false test i mony, slan
der. 20These are what defile a person; but
eati ng with unwashed hands does not def ile
them.

That Which Defiles

The Faith of a Canaanite Woman

Then some Pharisees and teachers of


the law came to Jesus from Jer usalem
and a sked, 2Why do your disc iples b
reak
the trad it ion of the elders? They d
ont wash
t heir hands before they eat!
3Jesus replied, And why do you break the
command of God for the sake of your trad i
tion? 4For God said, Honor your fat her and
mother a and Anyone who curses t heir fa
ther or mother is to be put to death.b 5But
you say that if anyone declares that what
m ight have been used to help t heir fat her or
mother is devoted to God, 6they are not to
honor t heir fat her or mother with it. Thus
you nullif y the word of God for the sake of
your trad it ion. 7You hypocrites! Isa iah was
r ight when he prophesied a bout you:

21Leaving that p
lace, Jesus withd rew to
the reg ion of Tyre and Sidon. 22A Canaanite
woma n from that vicinit y came to him, cry
ing out, Lord, Son of Dav id, have merc y on
me! My daughter is demon-possessed and
suf feri ng ter r ibly.
23Jesus did not ans wer a word. So his dis
ciples came to him and u rged him, Send her
away, for she k eeps cryi ng out afterus.
24He ans wered, I was sent only to the lost
sheep of Israel.
25The woma n came and k nelt before him.
Lord, help me! she said.
26He replied, It is not r ight to take the
child rens b
read and toss it to the dogs.
27Yes it is, Lord, she said. Even the dogs
eat the crumbs that fall from t heir masters
table.
28Then
Jesus said to her, Woma n, you
have g reat faith! Your request is granted.
And her daughter was healed at that mo
ment.

15

8 These people honor me with their


lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
9 They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human
rules.c
10Jesus

c alled the crowd to him and said,


Listen and understand. 11What goes into
someones m
outh does not def ile them, but

Jesus Feeds the Four Thousand


29Jesus left t here and went a long the Sea
of Gali lee. Then he went up on a mountain
side and sat down. 30Great crowds came to

a4Exodus20:12; Deut. 5:16 b4Exodus21:17; Lev. 20:9 c9Isaiah29:13 d14

blind guides of the blind

Some manuscripts

1321

Matthew 15:31

him, bringi ng the lame, the b


lind, the crip
pled, the mute and many others, and laid
them at his feet; and he h
ealed them. 31The
people were a mazed when they saw the
mute speaki ng, the crippled made well, the
lame walki ng and the b
lind seei ng. And they
praised the God of Israel.
32Jesus
c alled his disc iples to him and
said, I have compassion for t hese people;
they have already been with me t hree days
and have nothing to eat. I do not want to
send them away hung ry, or they may col
lapse on the way.
33His disc iples an s wered, Where c ould
we get enough bread in this remote place to
feed such a crowd?
34How many loaves do you have? J esus
asked.
Seven, they replied, and a few small
fish.
35He told the c
rowd to sit down on the
g round. 36Then he took the seven loaves and
the fish, and when he had given t hanks, he
broke them and gave them to the disciples,
and they in turn to the people. 37They all
ate and were satisf ied. Afterward the disci
ples picked up seven basketfuls of broken
pieces that were left over. 38The number of
t hose who ate was four thousand men, be
sides women and child ren. 39After Jesus had
sent the crowd away, he got into the boat and
went to the vicinit y of Magadan.

The Demand for a Sign

16

The Phar isees and Sadducees came


to Jesus and teste d him by asking
him to show them a sign from heaven.
2He replied, When even ing c
omes, you
say, It will be fair weather, for the sky is
red, 3and in the morni ng, Today it will be
stormy, for the sky is red and overcast. You
know how to interpret the appeara nce of the
sky, but you cannot interpret the s igns of the
t imes. a 4A wicked and adulterous generat ion
looks for a sign, but none will be given it ex
cept the sign of Jonah. J esus then left them
and went away.

The Yeast of the Pharisees


and Sadducees
5When they went across the lake, the dis
ciples forgot to take b
read. 6Be caref ul,
a2,3

Matthew 16:21

1321

J esus said to them. Be on your g uard a gainst


the y east of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
7They disc ussed this a
mong themselves
and said, It is because we d idnt bring any
bread.
8Aware of t heir disc uss ion, Jesus a sked,
You of little faith, why are you talking
a mong yourselves about hav i ng no bread?
9Do you s
till not understand? Dont you re
member the five l oaves for the five thousand,
and how many basketf uls you gathered? 10Or
the seven loaves for the four thousand, and
how many basketf uls you gathered? 11How
is it you d
ont understand that I was not talk
ing to you about b
read? But be on your g uard
against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sad
ducees. 12Then they understood that he was
not telli ng them to g uard a gainst the y east
used in bread, but against the teachi ng of the
Pharisees and Sadducees.

Peter Declares That Jesus Is


the Messiah
13When Jesus came to the reg ion of Caesa
rea Phil ippi, he asked his disciples, Who do
people say the Son of Manis?
14They replied, Some say John the Bap
tist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jere
mia h or one of the prophets.
15But what about you? he a sked. Who
do you say Iam?
16Si
mon Peter ans wered, You are the
Messia h, the Son of the livi ng God.
17Jesus replied, Blessed are you, Simon
son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you
by f lesh and b
lood, but by my Fat her in heav
en. 18And I tell you that you are Peter,b and
on this rock I will b
uild my c hurch, and the
gates of Hades c will not overcome it. 19I will
give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven;
whatever you bind on e arth will bed bound
in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth
will bed loosed in heaven. 20Then he or
dered his disciples not to tell anyone that he
was the Messia h.

Jesus Predicts His Death


21From that time on Jesus beg an to ex
plain to his disciples that he must go to Jer u
salem and suffer many t hings at the h
ands of
the elders, the chief priests and the teachers

Some early manuscripts do not have When evening comes... of the times. b18 The Greek word for
Peter means rock. c18 That is, the realm of the dead d19Orwill have been

D E V O 19 0

M AT T H E W 14: 2 2 3 3
Annie F. Downs

When J esus Throws You a Life Ring

dont like the ocean. In fact, Ive only had two panic attacks in my life (to date)
and they have both involved the ocean or oceanic creatures. One happened over
a coral reef in Hawaii that I was certain housed a shark, and the second was a
prank gone wrong involving a small dead shark in a bathtub at the beach.
The panic. You cant imagine. (Neither could my friends who pulled the prank.
The apologies were plentiful.)
But its not just sharks that keep me out of the deep blue sea. Its the endless
water. Theres just something about not being able to see clearly through it. Its the
depth of it, the unknown that lives below what I can see.
I read the story of Jesus walking on water, and it sounds terrifying to me. Not
only was he standing over the deep water, but it was before dawn, in those darkest
moments of the day. The wind was blowing, the waves were growing. Sounds like
all the puzzle pieces to make me
panic.
And yet. It was Jesus.
I ask J esus to save me,
Its like he loves to show up in
the places where I would be most
even as I feel like
afraid. And then he asks me to be
brave enough to stand out in the
Im sinking. I ask him
middle of it with him.
I never planned to be an author
to grab me, to hold me,
and a speaker. I didnt dream of
it as a child and pursue it for my
to rescue me.
whole life. About six years ago,
doors started opening and dreams
started growing. God started
moving in my life, and now here I sit, a small business owner, published author,
public speaker. I remember the day Jesus asked me to step out of the boat of my
comfortable life as an elementary school teacher and to walk on the choppy waters
of a new, unstable career.
I thought that first step would be the most challenging.
It wasnt. It isnt.
Its after a few steps, when the boat is out of reach, the water is getting darker
below you, the wind is blowing and you start to sink.
When it is hard to pay the bills.
When you get more nos than yeses.
When flights are delayed and connections are missed.
When the Internet gets nasty.
When you feel unsafe outside of the boat.

-1322-

When the waves feel bigger than your ability to stand on them.
When J esus feels a few more steps away than you can possibly take but so is the
safety of the boat.
Those are the moments when I start to sink.
Just like Peter does in this story, I look down. I look at my circumstances, instead
of the One who called me out of the boat in the first place.
Im attempting to make a new habit in my life. Every morning, before the day
really gets started for me, I picture myself standing on the waves. I look at them,
Isee the white foam of the breaking water, I feel the wind blow with force and
I think of all the things that could blow into my life that day, waves that could
discourage me or try to sink me.
And then I look up. And I ask Jesus to save me, even as I feel like Im sinking.
Iask him to grab me, to hold me, to rescue me.

Where do you feel J


esus calling you out of the boat?

That J
esus will give you the courage to step out of the boat
That you will reach out for J
esus when you feel yourself start to sink

For the next devotion, go to page 1334. For the next myth, go to page 1326.

1324

Matthew 16:22

of the law, and that he must be k illed and on


the t hird day be r aised to life.
22Peter took him a
side and began to re
buke him. Never, Lord! he said. This shall
never happen to you!
23Jesus t urned and said to Peter, Get be
hind me, Satan! You are a stumbling b
lock to
me; you do not have in mind the concerns of
God, but merely human concerns.
24Then Jesus said to his disc iples, Who
ever w ants to be my disc iple must deny
themselves and take up t heir c ross and fol
low me. 25For whoever w
ants to save t heir
lifea will lose it, but whoever loses t heir life
for me will find it. 26What good will it be for
someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit
their soul? Or what can anyone give in ex
change for their soul? 27For the Son of Man
is goi ng to come in his Fat hers glor y with his
angels, and then he will reward each person
accordi ng to what they have done.
28Truly I tell you, some who are standi ng
here will not taste death before they see the
Son of Man comi ng in his kingdom.

The Transfiguration

17

After six days Jesus took with him


Peter, James and John the brother of
James, and led them up a high mountain by
themselves. 2There he was transf igu red be
fore them. His face s hone like the sun, and
his c lothes bec ame as w hite as the light.
3Just then t here appeared before them Mo
ses and Elijah, talki ng with J esus.
4Peter said to J esus, Lord, it is good for
us to be here. If you wish, I will put up t hree
sheltersone for you, one for Moses and
one for Elijah.
5While he was
s till speaking, a bright
cloud covered them, and a voice from the
cloud said, This is my Son, whom I love;
with him I am well p
leased. Listen to him!
6When the disc iples h
eard this, they fell
facedown to the g round, terr if ied. 7But Jesus
came and t ouched them. Get up, he said.
Dont be a fraid. 8When they looked up,
they saw no one except J esus.
9As they were coming down the moun
tain, Jesus instructed them, Dont tell any
one what you have seen, unt il the Son of Man
has been r aised from the dead.
a25

Matthew 17:25

1324

10The disc iples a sked him, Why then do


the teachers of the law say that Elijah must
come first?
11Jesus replied, To be sure, Elijah comes
and will restore all t hings. 12But I tell you,
Elijah has already come, and they did not
recogn ize him, but have done to him ev
eryt hing they w
ished. In the same way the
Son of Man is goi ng to suffer at t heir hands.
13Then the disc iples understood that he was
talki ng to them a bout John the Bapt ist.

Jesus Heals a Demon-Possessed Boy


14When they came to the c
rowd, a man
approached Jesus and k nelt before him.
15Lord, have mer
c y on my son, he said.
He has seiz ures and is sufferi ng greatly. He
often f alls into the fire or into the water. 16I
brought him to your disciples, but they c ould
not heal him.
17You unb el iev i ng and per v erse gener
at ion, J esus replied, how long s hall I stay
with you? How long shall I put up with you?
Bring the boy here to me. 18Jesus rebuked
the demon, and it came out of the boy, and
he was h
ealed at that moment.
19Then the disc iples came to Jesus in pri
vate and a sked, Why couldnt we d rive it
out?
20He re
plied, Bec ause you have so lit
tle f aith. Truly I tell you, if you have f aith as
small as a mustard seed, you can say to this
mountain, Move from here to t here, and it
will move. Nothing will be impossible for
you. [21]b

Jesus Predicts His Death


a Second Time
22When they came to
gether in Galilee,
he said to them, The Son of Man is goi ng to
be del ivered into the hands of men. 23They
will kill him, and on the t hird day he will be
raised to life. And the disciples were f illed
with grief.

The Temple Tax


24After J esus and his disc iples arr ived in
Capernau m, the collectors of the two-drach
ma temple tax came to Peter and a sked,
Doesnt your teacher pay the temple tax?
25Yes, he does, he replied.

TheGreek word means either life or soul; also in verse26. b21 Some manuscripts include here
words similar to Mark9:29.

1325

Matthew 17:26

Matthew 18:25

1325

When Peter came into the h


ouse, Jesus
was the f irst to s peak. What do you t hink,
Simon? he asked. From whom do the k ings
of the earth collect duty and taxesfrom
t heir own child ren or from others?
26From others, Peter ans wered.
Then the children are exempt, Jesus said
to him. 27But so that we may not cause of
fense, go to the lake and t hrow out your line.
Take the f irst fish you catch; open its mouth
and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take
it and give it to them for my tax and yours.

heaven always see the face of my Fat her in


heaven. [11]a
12What do you t hink? If a man owns a
hund red s heep, and one of them wanders
away, will he not leave the ninet y-nine on
the h
ills and go to look for the one that wan
dered off? 13And if he f inds it, truly I tell you,
he is happier a bout that one s heep than
about the ninet y-nine that did not wander
off. 14In the same way your Fat her in heav
en is not willi ng that any of t hese litt le ones
should perish.

The Greatest in the Kingdom


ofHeaven

Dealing With Sin in the Church

18

At that time the disc iples came to


Jesus and asked, Who, then, is the
greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
2He c
alled a litt le child to him, and placed
the child a mong them. 3And he said: Truly I
tell you, unless you change and become like
litt le child ren, you will never enter the king
dom of heaven. 4Therefore, whoever t akes
the lowly posit ion of this c hild is the great
est in the kingdom of heaven. 5And whoever
welcomes one such child in my name wel
comes me.

Causing to Stumble
6If any
one cause s one of these little
onesthose who bel ieve in meto stum
ble, it w
ould be better for them to have a
large millstone hung a round t heir neck and
to be d rowned in the d
epths of the sea. 7Woe
to the world because of the t hings that cause
people to stumble! Such t hings must come,
but woe to the person t hrough whom they
come! 8If your hand or your foot causes you
to stumble, cut it off and t hrow it away. It is
better for you to enter life maimed or crip
pled than to have two hands or two feet and
be thrown into eternal fire. 9And if your
eye causes you to stumble, g ouge it out and
t hrow it away. It is better for you to enter life
with one eye than to have two eyes and be
t hrown into the fire of hell.

The Parable of the Wandering Sheep


10See that you do not despise one of t hese
litt le ones. For I tell you that t heir angels in
a11

15If your brother or sisterb sins,c go and


oint out their fault, just bet ween the two of
p
you. If they listen to you, you have won them
over. 16But if they will not listen, take one or
two others a long, so that every matter may
be established by the testimony of two or
t hree witnesses. d 17If they still refuse to lis
ten, tell it to the c hurch; and if they refuse to
listen even to the c hurch, t reat them as you
would a pagan or a tax collector.
18Trul y I tell you, whate ver you bind on
earth will bee bound in heaven, and what
ever you loose on earth will bee loosed in
heaven.
19Again, truly I tell you that if two of you
on earth a gree a bout anyt hing they ask for, it
will be done for them by my Fat her in heav
en. 20For w here two or t hree gather in my
name, t here am I with them.

The Parable of the Unmerciful


Servant
21Then Pe
ter came to Jesus and a sked,
Lord, how many times s hall I forg ive my
brother or sister who sins a gainst me? Up to
seven times?
22Jesus ans wered, I tell you, not seven
t imes, but sevent y-seven times. f
23Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is
like a king who wanted to sett le accounts
with his servants. 24As he began the sett le
ment, a man who owed him ten thousand
rought to him. 25Since he
bags of goldg was b
was not able to pay, the master ordered that
he and his wife and his child ren and all that
he had be sold to repay the debt.

Some manuscripts include here the words of Luke19:10. b15 The Greek word for brother or sister
(adelphos) refers here to a fellow disciple, whether man or woman; also in verses 21 and 35. c15Some
manuscripts sins against you d16Deut.19:15 e18Orwill have been f22Orseventy times seven
g24Greekten thousand talents; a talent was worth about 20years of a day laborers wages.

I NEED TO MAINTAIN
A CERTAIN LIFESTYLE.

ow do they do it? asked my husband, Daniel. He tossed his keys


down and slumped into his old, forest green recliner, a relic from his
bachelor days that hed insisted we keep when we got married. They
must have inherited money. Honestly, do you think they make that much more
than we do?
I sighed. Wed just gotten home from a party at a friends house. We had
this conversation, or versions of it, all the time.
I guess it all started when we got involved in our churchs young marrieds
group. The people were very niceand extremely successful. Although we were all in our
twenties, I couldnt believe my eyes when I saw one couples lakeside home. They had all the
toysa boat and a Jet Ski in the boathouse (nearly as big as our house at the time) and a threecar garage with his car and her car and one to spare.
Once Daniel and I started spending time with our new, affluent friends, our life didnt seem
all that great anymore. Our three-bedroom ranch felt cramped. Our used Honda looked cheap.
Our last vacation was to visit relatives.
So every time we started to feel the pressure to do more with our friends, we spent a good
hour or so arguing. You know that between our mortgage and our student loans we barely
make it through each month. And the car needs work again. We cant afford to go on this ski
trip, I snapped at Daniel.
We both make good money, Maddie, Daniel shot back. We can put the trip on a credit
card and pay it off next month.
And so we did. And when our new friends wanted to take a wine tasting trip, we did that too.
And I joined the gym where all the women were members. And Daniel took up golf and started
shopping for electronic toys because his old phone and devices were old. Before we knew it, we
were maxing out our credit cards, and we couldnt make our monthly payments.
If I can get a raise this year, well be fine, but right now, we fall short each month. Were
fitting in with our friends lifestyles, but we cant seem to keep up the pace.

Maddie

-1326-

What should Christians do with their money? No doubt, moneyeither the


lack of it or its abundanceinfluences our lifestyle choices. The temptation is to
think that were not successful until we have a large home, drive a nice car, take
exciting vacations and keep up with our friends purchasing behavior. Sadly, many
of us are willing to risk our future well-being and financial freedom in order to be
happy today, at any price.
The Bible says the world clamors and runs after all it can grab in this life
(see Luke 12:2930). Women who are committed to Jesus have to make countercultural choices in their lifestyles. Emulating Jesus lifestyle does not necessarily
mean pursuing poverty (as if by it one is inherently more spiritual). It means
internally identifying with the overarching themes of his life. Consider the themes
of Jesus life:
Contentment
Outrageous generosity
Impenetrable joy
Unselfishness
These characteristics, not dollar signs, are the primary distinctions between
Jesus lifestyle and the way the world lives.
Deciding youre not going to live like the rest of the worldeven if you can
afford itis that much more difficult when you realize that Jesus is talking about
a change of heart. Trading in a new BMW for a used Honda is much easier than
taking a realistic look behind what is driving your lifestyle choices. Your attitude
toward money, not whats in your garage, is one of the quickest indicators of your
inward commitment.

The share of twenty-five-year-olds with student debt has increased


from just 25percent in 2003 to 43percent in 2012. Further, the average
student loan balance among those twenty-five-year-olds with student
debt grew by 91percent over the period, from$10,649 in 2003 to$20,326
in 2012.Meta Brown and Sydnee Caldwell
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you
have, because God has said, Never will I leave you; never will I forsake
you.
Hebrews 13:5

SEE ALSO:

Deuteronomy 8:1018
Matthew 19:2329
1 Corinthians 3:1213

For the next devotion, go to page 1334.


For the next myth, go to page 1360.
For more on Materialism,
see the subject index starting on page 1757.

-1327-

1328

Matthew 18:26

26At this the serv ant fell on his k nees be


fore him. Be pat ient with me, he b
egged,
and I will pay back everyt hing. 27The ser
vants master took pity on him, canceled the
debt and let himgo.
28But when that ser
v ant went out, he
found one of his fellow servants who owed
him a hund red silver c oins.a He g rabbed
him and began to choke him. Pay back what
you owe me! he demanded.
29His fellow serv ant fell to his k
nees and
begged him, Be pat ient with me, and I will
pay it back.
30But he re
f used. Instead, he went off
and had the man thrown into prison un
til he could pay the debt. 31When the other
servants saw what had happened, they were
outraged and went and told t heir master ev
eryt hing that had happened.
32Then the master c
alled the servant in.
You wicked servant, he said, I canceled all
that debt of yours because you b
egged me to.
33Shouldnt you have had merc y on your fel
low servant just as I had on you? 34In anger
his master handed him over to the jailers to
be tort ured, unt il he should pay back all he
owed.
35This is how my heavenly Fat her will
treat each of you unless you forg ive your
brother or sister from your heart.

Divorce

19

When
Jesus had fin
i shed say
i ng
t hese t hings, he left Gali lee and went
into the reg ion of Judea to the other side of
the Jordan. 2Large crowds followed him, and
he h
ealed them there.
3Some Pharisees came to him to test him.
They asked, Is it lawf ul for a man to divorce
his wife for any and every reason?
4Havent you read, he replied, that at
the beg inn ing the Creator made them male
and female, b 5and said, For this reason a
man will leave his fat her and mother and be
united to his wife, and the two will become
one f lesh c? 6So they are no longer two, but
one f lesh. Therefore what God has joined to
gether, let no one sepa rate.
7Why then, they a
sked, did Moses com
mand that a man give his wife a cert ificate of
divorce and send her away?

Matthew 19:22

1328

8Jesus replied, Mos es perm itt ed you to


divorce your w
ives because your h
earts were
hard. But it was not this way from the beg in
ning. 9I tell you that anyone who divorces his
wife, except for sexua l immoralit y, and mar
ries another woma n comm its adultery.
10The disc iples said to him, If this is the
situat ion bet ween a husband and wife, it is
better not to marr y.
11Jesus replied, Not everyone can accept
this word, but only t hose to whom it has been
given. 12For there are eunuchs who were
born that way, and there are eunuchs who
have been made eunuchs by othersa nd
there are those who choose to live like eu
nuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heav
en. The one who can accept this s hould ac
ceptit.

The Little Children and Jesus


13Then

people b
rought litt le child ren to
Jesus for him to place his hands on them
and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked
them.
14Jesus said, Let the litt le child ren come
to me, and do not hinder them, for the king
dom of heaven belongs to such as these.
15When he had placed his hands on them, he
went on from there.

The Rich and the Kingdom of God


16Just then a man came up to J esus and
a sked, Teacher, what good t hing must I do
to get eternal life?
17Why do you ask me
about what is
good? J esus replied. There is only One who
is good. If you want to enter life, keep the
com mand ments.
18Which ones? he inquired.
Jesus replied, You shall not murder,
you s hall not comm it adultery, you s hall
not steal, you s hall not give false test imony,
19honor your fat her and mother,d and love
your neighbor as yourself.e
20All t hese I have kept, the young man
said. What do I s till lack?
21Jesus ans wered, If you want to be per
fect, go, sell your possessions and give to the
poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.
Then come, followme.
22When the
young man heard this, he
went away sad, because he had g reat wealth.

a28Greeka hundred denarii; a denarius was the usual daily wage of a day laborer (see 20:2).
b4Gen.1:27 c5Gen.2:24 d19Exodus20:12-16; Deut.5:16-20 e19Lev.19:18

1329

Matthew 19:23

23Then J esus said to his disc iples, Truly I


tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to
enter the kingdom of heaven. 24Again I tell
you, it is easier for a camel to go t hrough the
eye of a need le than for someone who is rich
to enter the kingdom of God.
25When the dis
c iples h
eard this, they
were greatly astonished and a sked, Who
then can be saved?
26Jesus looked at them and said, With
man this is impossible, but with God all
t hings are possible.
27Peter ans wered him, We have left ev
eryt hing to follow you! What then will t here
be forus?
28Jesus said to them, Truly I tell you, at the
renewa l of all t hings, when the Son of Man
sits on his glor ious throne, you who have
followed me will also sit on t welve t hrones,
judgi ng the t welve t ribes of Israel. 29And ev
eryone who has left houses or brothers or sis
ters or fat her or mother or wifea or child ren
or f ields for my sake will receive a hund red
t imes as much and will inherit eternal life.
30But many who are first will be last, and
many who are last will be first.

The Parable of the Workers


intheVineyard

20

For the kingdom of heaven is like a


landowner who went out early in the
morning to hire workers for his viney ard.
2He agreed to pay them a denariu sb for the
day and sent them into his vineyard.
3About nine in the morni ng he went out
and saw others standi ng in the marketplace
doi ng noth i ng. 4He told them, You also go
and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you
whatever is r ight. 5So they went.
He went out again about noon and about
three in the afternoon and did the same
t hing. 6About five in the afternoon he went
out and f ound s till others standi ng a round.
He asked them, Why have you been stand
ing here all day long doi ng nothi ng?
7Bec ause no one has h ired us, they an
swered.
He said to them, You also go and work in
my vineyard.
8When even ing came, the owner of the
vineyard said to his foreman, Call the work
ers and pay them their wage s, beg inn ing
a29

Matthew 20:23

1329

with the last ones h ired and goi ng on to the


first.
9The workers who were h ired a
bout five
in the afternoon came and each received a
denar ius. 10So when t hose came who were
h ired first, they expected to receive more.
But each one of them also received a denar
ius. 11When they received it, they began to
grumble against the landowner. 12These
who were h ired last worked only one hour,
they said, and you have made them equal
to us who have borne the burden of the work
and the heat of the day.
13But he ans wered one of them, I am not
bei ng unfair to you, friend. Didnt you agree
to work for a denarius? 14Take your pay and
go. I want to give the one who was h
ired last
the same as I gave you. 15Dont I have the
r ight to do what I want with my own money?
Or are you env ious because I am generous?
16So the last will be f irst, and the f irst will
be last.

Jesus Predicts His Death


a Third Time
17Now Jesus was going up to Jer us alem.
On the way, he took the T
welve a side and
said to them, 18We are goi ng up to Jer usa
lem, and the Son of Man will be delivered
over to the chief priests and the teachers of
the law. They will condemn him to d
eath
19and will hand him over to the Gent iles to
be m
ocked and f logged and cruc ified. On
the t hird day he will be r aised to life!

A Mothers Request
20Then the moth
er of Zebe dees sons
came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling
down, a sked a favor of him.
21What is it you want? he asked.
She said, Grant that one of t hese two sons
of mine may sit at your r ight and the other at
your left in your kingdom.
22You d
ont know what you are aski ng,
Jesus said to them. Can you d
rink the cup I
am goi ng to drink?
We can, they answered.
23Jesus said to them, You will in
deed
d rink from my cup, but to sit at my r ight or
left is not for me to g rant. T hese places be
long to t hose for whom they have been pre
pared by my Fat her.

Some manuscripts do not have or wife. b2 A denarius was the usual daily wage of a day laborer.

1330

Matthew 20:24

24When the ten


heard about this, they
were in
d ig
n ant with the two broth
e rs.
25Jesus c alled them together and said, You
know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord
it over them, and t heir high offic ials exer
cise aut horit y over them. 26Not so with you.
Instead, whoe ver w ants to bec ome g reat
a mong you must be your servant, 27and who
ever wants to be f irst must be your slave
28just as the Son of Man did not come to be
served, but to serve, and to give his life as a
ransom for many.

Two Blind Men Receive Sight


29As Jesus and his disc iples were leavi ng
Jer icho, a large crowd fol lowed him. 30Two
blind men were sitt ing by the roadside, and
when they h
eard that Jesus was going by,
they shouted, Lord, Son of Dav id, have mer
cy onus!
31The c rowd rebuked them and told them
to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder,
Lord, Son of Dav id, have merc y onus!
32Jesus s
topped and c alled them. What
do you want me to do for you? he asked.
33Lord, they an
s wered, we want our
sight.
34Jesus had com
passion on them and
touched t heir eyes. Im med iatel y they re
ceived t heir sight and followed him.

Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King

21

As they approached Jer usa lem and


came to Bethphage on the M
ount of
Olives, Jesus sent two disc iples, 2sayi ng to
them, Go to the village a head of you, and at
once you will find a donkey tied t here, with
her colt by her. Unt ie them and bring them to
me. 3If anyone says anyt hing to you, say that
the Lord needs them, and he will send them
r ight away.
4This took place to fulf ill what was spoken
t hrough the prophet:
5 Say to Daughter Zion,


See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of
a donkey.a
6The disc iples went and did as J esus had
instructed them. 7They brought the don
key and the colt and placed t heir cloaks on
a5Zech.9:9 b9

Matthew 21:20

1330

them for J esus to sit on. 8A very l arge c rowd


s pread t heir cloaks on the road, while others
cut branches from the t rees and s pread them
on the road. 9The crowds that went a head of
him and t hose that followed shouted,
Hosannab to the Son of David!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of
the Lord!c
Hosannab in the highest heaven!
10When Jesus ent ered Jer u s a l em, the
hole city was s tirred and a sked, Who is
w
this?
11The c
rowds ans wered, This is Jesus,
the prophet from Naza reth in Gali lee.

Jesus at the Temple


12Jesus en
tered the temple c ourts and
rove out all who were buying and selling
d
t here. He overt urned the tables of the mon
ey changers and the benches of t hose selli ng
doves. 13It is written, he said to them, My
house will be called a h
ouse of prayer,d but
you are maki ng it a den of robbers.e
14The blind and the lame came to him at
the temple, and he healed them. 15But when
the chief priests and the teachers of the law
saw the wonderful things he did and the
child ren shouti ng in the temple c ourts, Ho
sanna to the Son of Dav id, they were ind ig
nant.
16Do you hear what t hese child ren are
sayi ng? they a sked him.
Yes, replied J esus, have you never read,

From the lips of children and infants


you, Lord, have called forth your
praisef?
17And he left them and went out of the city
to Betha ny, w
here he s pent the night.

Jesus Curses a Fig Tree


18Early in the morni ng, as Jesus was on his
way back to the city, he was hung ry. 19See
ing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but
found nothi ng on it except leaves. Then he
said to it, May you never bear f ruit a gain!
Immed iately the tree withered.
20When the disc iples saw this, they were
a mazed. How did the fig tree wither so
quickly? they asked.

AHebrew expression meaning Save! which became an exclamation of praise; also


in verse15 c9Psalm118:25,26 d13Isaiah56:7 e13Jer.7:11 f16 Psalm8:2 (see Septuagint)

1331

Matthew 21:21

21Jesus re
plied, Truly I tell you, if you
have faith and do not doubt, not only can you
do what was done to the fig tree, but also you
can say to this mountain, Go, t hrow yourself
into the sea, and it will be done. 22If you be
lieve, you will receive whatever you ask for
in prayer.

The Authority of Jesus Questioned


23Jesus en
tered the temple courts, and,
hile he was teaching, the c hief priests and
w
the elders of the people came to him. By what
aut horit y are you doing t hese t hings? they
asked. And who gave you this aut horit y?
24Jesus replied, I will also ask you one
quest ion. If you ans wer me, I will tell you
by what aut horit y I am doi ng t hese t hings.
25Johns bapt ismwhere did it come from?
Was it from heaven, or of human orig in?
They discussed it a mong themselves and
said, If we say, From heaven, he will ask,
Then why d
idnt you bel ieve him? 26But if
we say, Of human orig inwe are a fraid of
the people, for they all hold that John was a
prophet.
27So they answered Jesus, We d
ont know.
Then he said, Neit her will I tell you by
what aut horit y I am doi ng t hese things.

The Parable of the Two Sons


28What do you t hink? T here was a man
who had two sons. He went to the f irst and
said, Son, go and work today in the vineyard.
29I will not, he ans wered, but later he
changed his mind and went.
30Then the fat her went to the other son
and said the same thing. He ans wered, I
will, sir, but he did notgo.
31Which of the two did what his fat her
wanted?
The f irst, they answered.
Jesus said to them, Truly I tell you, the
tax collectors and the prost it utes are enter
ing the kingdom of God a head of you. 32For
John came to you to show you the way of
righteousness, and you did not bel ieve him,
but the tax collectors and the prost it utes did.
And even after you saw this, you did not re
pent and bel ieve him.

The Parable of the Tenants


33Listen to another parable: T here was a
landowner who planted a vineyard. He put
a42Psalm118:22,23 b44

Matthew 22:3

1331

a wall a round it, dug a winepress in it and


built a watchtower. Then he rented the vine
yard to some farmers and moved to another
place. 34When the harvest time approached,
he sent his servants to the tena nts to collect
his fruit.
35The tena nts s eized his serv ants; they
beat one, k illed another, and s toned a t hird.
36Then he sent other serv ants to them, more
than the f irst time, and the tena nts treated
them the same way. 37Last of all, he sent his
son to them. They will respect my son, he
said.
38But when the tena nts saw the son, they
said to each other, This is the heir. Come,
lets kill him and take his inheritance. 39So
they took him and t hrew him out of the vine
yard and k illed him.
40Therefore, when the owner of the vine
yard c omes, what will he do to t hose tenants?
41He will
bring those wretches to a
wretched end, they replied, and he will
rent the vineyard to other tena nts, who will
give him his share of the crop at harvest
time.
42Jesus said to them, Have you never read
in the Script ures:
The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
the Lord has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyesa?
43Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of

God will be taken away from you and given


to a people who will produce its f ruit. 44Any
one who falls on this stone will be broken
to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be
crushed.b
45When the c
hief p
riests and the Phar
isees heard Jesus parables, they knew he
was talki ng about them. 46They l ooked for a
way to arrest him, but they were a fraid of the
crowd because the people held that he was
a prophet.

The Parable of the Wedding Banquet

22

Jesus s poke to them a gain in para


bles, saying: 2The kingdom of heav
en is like a king who prepared a wedd ing
banquet for his son. 3He sent his servants to
t hose who had been inv ited to the banquet to
tell them to come, but they ref used to come.

Some manuscripts do not have verse44.

1332

Matthew 22:4

Matthew 22:43

1332

22When they heard this, they were amazed.


So they left him and went away.

4Then he sent some more serv ants and


said, Tell t hose who have been inv ited that
I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and
fattened cattle have been butchered, and
everyt hing is ready. Come to the wedd ing
banquet.
5But they paid no at
tention and went
offone to his field, another to his busi
ness. 6The rest s eized his servants, mist reat
ed them and k illed them. 7The king was en
raged. He sent his army and destroyed t hose
murderers and burned t heir city.
8Then he said to his serv ants, The wed
ding banquet is r eady, but those I inv ited
did not deserve to come. 9So go to the s treet
corners and inv ite to the banquet anyone
you find. 10So the serv ants went out into
the streets and gathered all the people they
could find, the bad as well as the good, and
the wedd ing hall was f illed with guests.
11But when the king came in to see the
g uests, he not iced a man t here who was not
weari ng wedd ing clothes. 12He asked, How
did you get in here without wedd ing c lothes,
friend? The man was speechless.
13Then the king told the attendants, Tie
him hand and foot, and t hrow him outside,
into the darkness, where t here will be weep
ing and gnashi ng of teeth.
14For many are inv ited, but few are cho
sen.

23That same day the Sadduc ees, who say


t here is no resu rrect ion, came to him with
a quest ion. 24Teacher, they said, Moses
told us that if a man dies without having
child ren, his brother must marr y the widow
and r aise up offspring for him. 25Now t here
were seven brothers a mong us. The f irst one
marr ied and died, and since he had no chil
dren, he left his wife to his brother. 26The
same thing happened to the second and
t hird brother, r ight on down to the seventh.
27Fi n al l y, the woma n died. 28Now then, at
the resu rrect ion, whose wife will she be of
the seven, since all of them were marr ied to
her?
29Jesus replied, You are in error bec ause
you do not know the Script ures or the pow
er of God. 30At the resu r rec t ion people will
neit her marr y nor be given in marr iage; they
will be like the angels in heaven. 31But about
the resu rrect ion of the deadhave you not
read what God said to you, 32I am the God
of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God
of Jacob b? He is not the God of the dead but
of the livi ng.
33When the c rowds heard this, they were
astonished at his teachi ng.

Paying the Imperial Tax to Caesar

The Greatest Commandment

15Then

the Pharisees went out and laid


plans to trap him in his words. 16They sent
t heir disciples to him a long with the Hero
dia ns. Teacher, they said, we know that
you are a man of integr it y and that you t each
the way of God in accordance with the t ruth.
You a rent s wayed by others, bec ause you
pay no attent ion to who they are. 17Tell us
then, what is your opinion? Is it r ight to pay
the imper ia l tax a to Caesar or not?
18But Jesus, know
i ng their evil intent,
said, You hypocrites, why are you tryi ng to
trap me? 19Show me the coin used for pay
ing the tax. They b
rought him a denarius,
20and he a sked them, Whose image is this?
And whose inscript ion?
21Caesars, they replied.
Then he said to them, So give back to Cae
sar what is Caesars, and to God what is Gods.
a17

Marriage at the Resurrection

34Heari ng that Jesus had silenced the Sad


ducees, the Pharisees got together. 35One of
them, an expert in the law, tested him with
this quest ion: 36Teacher, which is the great
est commandment in the Law?
37Jesus replied: Love the Lord your God
with all your h
eart and with all your soul
and with all your mind.c 38This is the f irst
and greatest commandment. 39And the sec
ond is like it: Love your neighbor as your
self.d 40All the Law and the Prophets hang
on t hese two commandments.

Whose Son Is the Messiah?


41While the Pharis ees were gathered to
gether, Jesus a sked them, 42What do you
t hink about the Messia h? W
hose son ishe?
The son of Dav id, they replied.
43He said to them, How is it then that

Aspecial tax levied on subject peoples, not on Roman citizens b32Exodus3:6 c37 Deut.6:5

d39Lev.19:18

1333

Matthew 22:44

Dav id, speaking by the Spirit, c alls him


Lord? For he says,
44 The Lord said to my Lord:
Sit at my right hand
until I put your enemies
under your feet.a
45If then Dav id c alls him Lord, how can he
be his son? 46No one c ould say a word in re
ply, and from that day on no one dared to ask
him any more quest ions.

A Warning Against Hypocrisy

23

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to


his disc iples: 2The teachers of the
law and the Pharisees sit in Moses seat. 3So
you must be caref ul to do everyt hing they
tell you. But do not do what they do, for they
do not pract ice what they preach. 4They tie
up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them
on other peoples shoulders, but they them
selves are not willi ng to lift a finger to move
them.
5Everyt hing they do is done for people to
see: They make t heir phylacter ies b wide and
the tass els on their garments long; 6they
love the place of honor at banquets and the
most imp or t ant s eats in the synagogues;
7they love to be greete d with respect in the
mark etplace s and to be called Rabbi by
others.
8But you are not to be c alled Rabbi, for
you have one Teacher, and you are all broth
ers. 9And do not call anyone on e arth fa
ther, for you have one Fat her, and he is in
heaven. 10Nor are you to be called instruc
tors, for you have one Instructor, the Mes
sia h. 11The greatest a mong you will be your
ser v ant. 12For t hose who exa lt themselves
will be humbled, and those who humble
themselves will be exa lted.

Seven Woes on the Teachers of the Law


andthePharisees
13Woe to you, teach
ers of the law and
Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door
of the kingdom of heaven in peoples faces.
You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let
t hose enter who are tryi ng to. [14]c
15Woe to you, teach
ers of the law and
Phar isees, you hypoc rites! You travel over
a44Psalm110:1 b5
c14

Matthew 23:31

1333

land and sea to win a sing le convert, and


when you have succeeded, you make them
t wice as much a c hild of hell as you are.
16Woe to you, b
lind g uides! You say, If
anyone s wears by the temple, it m
eans noth
ing; but anyone who s wears by the gold of
the temple is bound by that oath. 17You
blind fools! W hich is greater: the gold, or the
temple that m
akes the gold sac red? 18You
also say, If anyone s wears by the altar, it
means nothi ng; but anyone who s wears by
the gift on the alt ar is b
ound by that oath.
19You blind men! W hich is greater: the gift,
or the altar that m akes the gift sac red?
20Therefore, anyone who s wears by the alt ar
s wears by it and by everyt hing on it. 21And
anyone who swears by the temple s wears by
it and by the one who d
wells in it. 22And any
one who s wears by heaven s wears by Gods
t hrone and by the one who sits onit.
23Woe to you, teach
ers of the law and
Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a t enth
of your spicesm int, dill and cumin. But
you have neg lected the more important mat
ters of the lawjust ice, merc y and faithf ul
ness. You should have pract iced the latter,
without neg lect i ng the for mer. 24You blind
g uides! You s train out a gnat but swallow a
camel.
25Woe to you, teach
ers of the law and
Phar is ees, you hypoc rites! You c lean the
outside of the cup and dish, but inside they
are full of g reed and self-indulgence. 26Blind
Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup
and dish, and then the outside also will be
clean.
27Woe to you, teach
ers of the law and
Pharisees, you hypo crites! You are like
whitew ashed tombs, w hich look beaut i f ul
on the outside but on the inside are full of the
bones of the dead and everyt hing unclean.
28In the same way, on the outside you appear
to people as righteous but on the inside you
are full of hypocr is y and wickedness.
29Woe to you, teach
ers of the law and
Phar isees, you hypocrites! You build tombs
for the prophets and decorate the g raves
of the righteous. 30And you say, If we had
l ived in the days of our ancestors, we would
not have taken part with them in shedd ing
the blood of the prophets. 31So you test i f y

That is, boxes containing Scripture verses, worn on forehead and arm
Some manuscripts include here words similar to Mark12:40 and Luke20:47.

D E V O 191

M AT T H E W 2 2 : 3 6 4 0
Margot Starbuck

You Were Made to Love God and Others

hough I dont read current fashion magazines, I enjoy looking through old
womens magazines I find on dusty thrift store shelves. My favorite decades
to peruse are the 1920s, 30s and 40s. And while I wish I could tell you I am
gleaning retro beauty tips or even scouting out timeless fiction, more often than not
Im doubled over laughing.
In one ad, a headline above a lonely girl who didnt use Listerine reads, They
talk about you behind your back. In another, an overwhelmed and distracted
woman with poor posture toting a load of packages is shamed because shes always
losing her bundles. An ad for a must-have corset reminds women that, like models
from Paris, they must never be less than perfect. Chances are the woman who raised
you or at least the one who raised her was shaped by the message that womens
bodies are made to be consumed
by the eyes of others. And though
the marketing strategies targeted
Jesus couldnt have been
at women today lack the ridiculous
explicit narrative, were still
being bombarded with the same
clearer that loving our
fundamental message: womens
bodies are ornamental and not
neighbor is something
instrumental.
But Jesus tells another story.
we do with our bodies.
One day he was teaching in a way
that astonished the crowds and
Beloved, its what
infuriated the religioust he
best kind of teaching. So the
were made for.
religious Pharisees tested Jesus,
hoping to expose him, by asking,
Teacher, which is the greatest
commandment in the Law? (Matthew 22:36). They wanted to prove to the crowds
t hat Jesus was clearly not orthodox.
Without missing a beat, J esus offered, Love the Lord your God with all your
heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest
commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself (3739).
Jesus boiled it down for them: what youre made for is loving God and loving
people.
Though many of us moderns dont have an ear thats attuned to the ancient
Scriptures, everyone in earshot of Jesus voice would have recognized the mandate
as the Jewish prayer called the Shema, which in Hebrew means hear. It says, Hear,

-1334-

O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your
heart and with all your soul and with all your strength (Deuteronomy 6:45).
And the second half of Jesus injunction would also have echoed in their ears
as one, among many, of the laws given in Leviticus. Do not seek revenge or bear
a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself
(Leviticus 19:18).
In this fresh juxtaposition of ancient texts, Jesus wanted his listeners to hear that,
when its all boiled down to whats most important, they were made for two things:
loving God and loving people.
Their hearts and souls and bodies were made to live love.
In Lukes telling of this story, the sassy asker, wanting to justify himself,
demands, And who is my neighbor? (10:29).
So J esus told a story about a despised Samaritan, probably on his way to a
business meeting, who loved his unfortunate, probably Jewish, neighbor. He hoisted
himself off his donkey and, with his bare hands, bandaged the mans wounds,
treating them with oil and wine. Then he lifted the beaten man up onto his donkey
and took him to an urgent carehelping him into bed. Jesus couldnt have been
clearer that loving our neighbor is something we do with our bodies. Beloved, its
what were made for.
And though you most likely wont be scooping people up as you ride your
donkey to the office this week, know that bodies werent made to be viewed. They
were made to love. To serve. To be in relationship with others. One might hand over
a stylish jacket to someone whos cold. Another might feed a sick child. Or someone
who uses a wheelchair, because her own body doesnt always cooperate, might use
her body to extend the presence of friendship to an elderly neighbor whos lonely.
In the face of our cultures naughty lie about what our lives are for, what our
bodies are for, Jesus breaks it down: Love God. Love people.

How does J
esus injunction to love God and love people guide your thinking
about your own body?

That the Spirit will expose the lies youve believed about your bodys value
and purpose
That you will know you were made, above all else, to live love
That you will recognize fresh ways to love others
For the next devotion, go to page 1340. For the next myth, go to page 1360.

1336

Matthew 23:32

a gainst yourselves that you are the descen


dants of t hose who murdered the prophets.
32Go ahead, then, and complete what your
ancestors started!
33You snakes! You brood of vipers! How
will you esc ape being condemned to hell?
34Therefore I am sendi ng you prophets and
sages and teachers. Some of them you will
kill and crucif y; others you will flog in your
synagogues and pursue from town to town.
35And so upon you will come all the righ
teous b
lood that has been shed on e arth,
from the blood of righteous Abel to the
blood of Zecha r ia h son of Berek ia h, whom
you murdered bet ween the temple and the
altar. 36Truly I tell you, all this will come on
this generat ion.
37Jer usalem, Jer usalem, you who kill the
prophets and stone t hose sent to you, how
often I have longed to gather your child ren
together, as a hen gathers her chicks under
her w ings, and you were not willi ng. 38Look,
your house is left to you desolate. 39For I tell
you, you will not see me a gain unt il you say,
Blessed is he who c omes in the name of the
Lord.a

The Destruction of the Temple


and Signs of the End Times

24

Jesus left the temple and was walk


ing away when his disciples came up
to him to call his attent ion to its buildi ngs.
2Do you see all these things? he a
sked.
Truly I tell you, not one s tone here will be
left on another; every one will be thrown
down.
3As J esus was sitt ing on the M
ount of Ol
ives, the disc iples came to him priv ately.
Tell us, they said, when will this happen,
and what will be the sign of your comi ng and
of the end of the age?
4Jesus ans wered: Watch out that no one
dec eives you. 5For many will come in my
name, claimi ng, I am the Messia h, and will
deceive many. 6You will hear of wars and
rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not
a larmed. Such t hings must happen, but the
end is still to come. 7Nat ion will rise against
nat ion, and kingdom a gainst kingdom.
T here will be famines and earthquakes in
various places. 8All t hese are the beg inn ing
of b
irth pains.

Matthew 24:29

1336

9Then you will be hand


e d over to be
persec uted and put to death, and you will
be hated by all nat ions bec ause of me. 10At
that time many will turn away from the
faith and will bet ray and hate each other,
11and many f alse prophets will app ear and
dec eive many people. 12Bec ause of the in
crease of wickedness, the love of most will
grow cold, 13but the one who stands firm to
the end will be saved. 14And this gospel of
the kingdom will be preached in the w hole
world as a test imony to all nat ions, and then
the end will come.
15So when you see standi ng in the holy
place the abom i nat ion that causes desola
tion,b spoken of t hrough the prophet Dan
iellet the reader understand 16then let
those who are in Judea flee to the moun
tains. 17Let no one on the housetop go down
to take anyt hing out of the house. 18Let no
one in the field go back to get t heir c loak.
19How dreadf ul it will be in t hose days for
preg n ant women and nursi ng mothe rs!
20Pray that your f light will not take p
lace in
winter or on the Sabbath. 21For then t here
will be g reat dist ress, unequaled from the
beg inn ing of the w
orld unt il nowa nd nev
er to be e qualed a gain.
22If t hose days had not been cut s
hort,
no one w
ould surv ive, but for the sake of the
elect t hose days will be shortened. 23At that
time if anyone says to you, Look, here is the
Messia h! or, There he is! do not bel ieve it.
24For f alse messia hs and f alse prophets will
appear and perform g reat s igns and wonders
to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25See, I
have told you a head of time.
26So if anyone tells you, There he is, out
in the wilderness, do not go out; or, Here
he is, in the inner r ooms, do not bel ieve it.
27For as lightn ing that comes from the east is
visible even in the west, so will be the com
ing of the Son of Man. 28Wherever t here is a
carcass, t here the vult ures will gather.
29Immed iately after the dist ress of t hose
days

the sun will be darkened,


and the moon will not give
its light;
the stars will fall from the sky,
and the heavenly bodies will be
shaken.c

a39Psalm118:26 b15Daniel9:27; 11:31; 12:11 c29Isaiah13:10; 34:4

1337

Matthew 24:30

30Then will appear the sign of the Son of


Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of
ourn when they see the Son
the earth a will m
of Man comi ng on the clouds of heaven, with
power and g reat glor y. b 31And he will send
his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they
will gather his e lect from the four w
inds,
from one end of the heavens to the other.
32Now learn this lesson from the fig tree:
As soon as its t wigs get tender and its l eaves
come out, you know that summer is near.
33Even so, when you see all t hese t hings, you
know that itc is near, r ight at the door. 34Truly
I tell you, this generat ion will certainly not
pass away unt il all t hese t hings have hap
pened. 35Heaven and earth will pass away,
but my w
ords will never pass away.

The Day and Hour Unknown


36But a
bout that day or hour no one
k nows, not even the angels in heaven, nor
the Son,d but only the Fat her. 37As it was in
the days of Noah, so it will be at the comi ng
of the Son of Man. 38For in the days before
the f lood, people were eati ng and drinki ng,
marr yi ng and givi ng in marr iage, up to the
day Noah entered the ark; 39and they knew
nothi ng about what w
ould happen unt il the
flood came and took them all away. That
is how it will be at the comi ng of the Son of
Man. 40Two men will be in the f ield; one will
be taken and the other left. 41Two women
will be grindi ng with a hand mill; one will
be taken and the other left.
42Therefore keep w atch, bec ause you do
not know on what day your Lord will come.
43But unders tand this: If the owner of the
house had k nown at what time of n
ight the
t hief was comi ng, he w
ould have kept watch
and would not have let his house be broken
into. 44So you also must be ready, bec ause
the Son of Man will come at an hour when
you do not expect him.
45Who then is the faithf ul and wise ser
vant, whom the master has put in c harge of
the servants in his household to give them
their food at the proper time? 46It will be
good for that serv ant w hose master finds
him doi ng so when he ret urns. 47Truly I tell
you, he will put him in charge of all his pos
sessions. 48But suppose that servant is wick

Matthew 25:16

1337

ed and says to himself, My master is stayi ng


away a long time, 49and he then beg ins to
beat his fellow servants and to eat and d
rink
with drunk a rds. 50The master of that ser
vant will come on a day when he does not
expect him and at an hour he is not aware of.
51He will cut him to pieces and assign him a
place with the hypocrites, w
here t here will
be weepi ng and gnashi ng of teeth.

The Parable of the Ten Virgins

25

At that time the kingdom of heaven


will be like ten virg ins who took t heir
lamps and went out to meet the brideg room.
2Five of them were fool
i sh and five were
wise. 3The foolish ones took t heir lamps but
did not take any oil with them. 4The wise
ones, howe ver, took oil in jars a long with
t heir lamps. 5The brideg room was a long
time in comi ng, and they all became d
rowsy
and fell asleep.
6At midn ight the cry rang out: Heres the
brideg room! Come out to meet him!
7Then all the vir
g ins woke up and
t rimmed t heir lamps. 8The foolish ones said
to the wise, Give us some of your oil; our
lamps are goi ng out.
9No, they re
plied, there may not be
enough for both us and you. Instead, go to
t hose who sell oil and buy some for your
selves.
10But w hile they were on t heir way to buy
the oil, the brideg room arr ived. The virg ins
who were r eady went in with him to the wed
ding banquet. And the door was shut.
11Lat
er the others also came. Lord,
Lord, they said, open the door forus!
12But he replied, Trul y I tell you, I dont
know you.
13Therefore keep w
atch, because you do
not know the day or the hour.

The Parable of the BagsofGold


14Again, it will be like a man goi ng on a
journey, who c alled his servants and ent rust
ed his wealth to them. 15To one he gave five
bags of gold, to another two bags, and to an
other one bag,e each according to his abilit y.
Then he went on his journey. 16The man who
had received five bags of gold went at once
and put his money to work and gained five

a30Orthe tribes of the land b30See Daniel 7:13-14. c33Orhe d36

Some manuscripts do not


have nor the Son. e15Greek five talents... two talents... one talent; also throughout this parable; a
talent was worth about 20 years of a day laborers wage.

1338

Matthew 25:17

bags more. 17So also, the one with two bags


of gold gained two more. 18But the man who
had received one bag went off, dug a hole in
the g round and hid his masters money.
19After a long time the master of t hose
servants ret urned and sett led accounts with
them. 20The man who had received five bags
of gold brought the other five. Master, he
said, you entrusted me with five bags of
gold. See, I have g ained five more.
21His master replied, Well done, good
and faithf ul servant! You have been faithf ul
with a few t hings; I will put you in charge of
many t hings. Come and s hare your masters
happi ness!
22The man with two bags of gold also
came. Master, he said, you ent rusted me
with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two
more.
23His master replied, Well done, good
and faithf ul servant! You have been faithf ul
with a few t hings; I will put you in charge of
many t hings. Come and s hare your masters
happi ness!
24Then the man who had rec eived one
bag of gold came. Master, he said, I knew
that you are a hard man, harvesti ng where
you have not sown and gathering w here
you have not scattered seed. 25So I was
a fraid and went out and hid your gold in the
g round. See, here is what belongs to you.
26His master replied, You wicke d, lazy
servant! So you knew that I harvest w
here I
have not sown and gather w
here I have not
scattered seed? 27Well then, you s hould have
put my money on deposit with the bankers,
so that when I returned I would have re
ceived it back with interest.
28So take the bag of gold from him and
give it to the one who has ten bags. 29For
whoever has will be given more, and they
will have an abundance. Whoever does not
have, even what they have will be taken from
them. 30And t hrow that worthless serv ant
outside, into the darkness, where t here will
be weepi ng and gnashi ng of teeth.

The Sheep and the Goats


31When the Son of Man c
omes in his glo
ry, and all the angels with him, he will sit on
his glor ious t hrone. 32All the nat ions will be
gathered before him, and he will sepa rate
the people one from another as a shepherd
sepa rates the sheep from the goats. 33He will

Matthew 26:5

1338

put the sheep on his r ight and the goats on


his left.
34Then the King will say to t hose on his
r ight, Come, you who are b
lessed by my Fa
ther; take your inheritance, the kingdom
prepared for you s ince the creat ion of the
world. 35For I was hung ry and you gave me
somet hing to eat, I was t hirsty and you gave
me somet hing to d
rink, I was a stranger and
you inv ited me in, 36I needed c lothes and
you clothed me, I was sick and you looked
after me, I was in prison and you came to
visitme.
37Then the righteous will ans wer him,
Lord, when did we see you hung ry and feed
you, or thirsty and give you something to
d rink? 38When did we see you a stranger and
inv ite you in, or needi ng c lothes and c lothe
you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison
and go to visit you?
40The King will reply, Truly I tell you,
whatever you did for one of the l east of t hese
brothers and sisters of mine, you did forme.
41Then he will say to t hose on his left,
Depart from me, you who are c ursed, into
the eternal fire prepared for the devi l and his
angels. 42For I was hung ry and you gave me
nothi ng to eat, I was t hirsty and you gave me
nothi ng to d rink, 43I was a stranger and you
did not inv ite me in, I needed clothes and
you did not clothe me, I was sick and in pris
on and you did not look afterme.
44They also will ans wer, Lord, when did
we see you hung ry or t hirsty or a stranger or
needi ng clothes or sick or in prison, and did
not help you?
45He will reply, Truly I tell you, whatever
you did not do for one of the least of t hese,
you did not do forme.
46Then they will go away to eternal pun
ishment, but the righteous to eternal life.

The Plot Against Jesus

26

When Jesus had finished saying all


these things, he said to his disc i
ples, 2As you know, the Passover is two days
awaya nd the Son of Man will be handed
over to be crucif ied.
3Then the c
hief p
riests and the elders of
the people assembled in the palace of the
high p
riest, whose name was Caiaphas, 4and
they schemed to arrest J esus secretly and kill
him. 5But not duri ng the fest ival, they said,
or t here may be a riot a mong the people.

1339

Matthew 26:6

Jesus Anointed at Bethany

Matthew 26:39

1339

Jesus was in Betha ny in the home


of Simon the Leper, 7a woma n came to him
with an alabaster jar of very expensive per
fume, w hich she poured on his head as he
was reclini ng at the table.
8When the disc iples saw this, they were
ind ignant. Why this w aste? they a sked.
9This perfume c
ould have been sold at a
high price and the money given to the poor.
10Aware of this, J esus said to them, Why
are you botheri ng this woma n? She has done
a beaut if ul t hing to me. 11The poor you will
alw ays have with you,a but you will not al
ways have me. 12When she poured this per
fume on my body, she did it to prepare me
for buria l. 13Truly I tell you, wherever this
gospel is p
reached throughout the w
orld,
what she has done will also be told, in mem
or y of her.

trays the Son of Man! It would be better for


him if he had not been born.
25Then Jud as, the one who w
ould bet ray
him, said, Surely you dont mean me, Rab
bi?
Jesus answered, You have said so.
26While they were eat
i ng, Jesus took
bread, and when he had given thanks, he
broke it and gave it to his disciples, sayi ng,
Take and eat; this is my body.
27Then he took a cup, and when he had
given thanks, he gave it to them, saying,
Drink from it, all of you. 28This is my blood
of theb covenant, w hich is poured out for
many for the forg iveness of sins. 29I tell you, I
will not d rink from this f ruit of the vine from
now on unt il that day when I d rink it new
with you in my Fat hers kingdom.
30When they had sung a hymn, they went
out to the M
ount of Olives.

Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus

Jesus Predicts Peters Denial

6While

14Then one of the Twelvet he one c alled

Jud as Isc ar iot went to the c hief priests


15and a sked, What are you willi ng to give
me if I deliver him over to you? So they
counted out for him thirt y pieces of silver.
16From then on Judas w atched for an oppor
tun it y to hand him over.

The Last Supper


17On the f irst day of the Fest iv al of Unleav
ened B
read, the disciples came to Jesus and
asked, Where do you want us to make prep
arat ions for you to eat the Passover?
18He replied, Go into the city to a cer
tain man and tell him, The Teacher says: My
appointed time is near. I am goi ng to cele
brate the Passover with my disciples at your
house. 19So the disciples did as Jesus had
directed them and prepared the Passover.
20When even ing came, Jesus was rec lin
ing at the table with the Twelve. 21And while
they were eating, he said, Truly I tell you,
one of you will bet rayme.
22They were very sad and began to say to
him one after the other, Surely you dont
mean me, Lord?
23Jesus replied, The one who has d ipped
his hand into the bowl with me will bet ray
me. 24The Son of Man will go just as it is writ
ten a bout him. But woe to that man who be
a11SeeDeut.15:11. b28

31Then Jesus told them, This very n ight


you will all fall away on account of me, for
it is written:

I will strike the shepherd,


and the sheep of the flock will be
scattered.c
32But after I have risen, I will go a head of you
into Gal i lee.
33Peter replied, Even if all fall away on
account of you, I never will.
34Trul y I tell you, J esus ans wered, this
very n ight, before the rooster c rows, you will
disown me t hree times.
35But Peter declared, Even if I have to die
with you, I will never disown you. And all
the other disciples said the same.

Gethsemane
36Then Jesus went with his disc iples to
a place called Gethsema ne, and he said to
them, Sit here w hile I go over there and
pray. 37He took Peter and the two sons of
Zebedee a long with him, and he began to
be sor row f ul and troubled. 38Then he said
to them, My soul is overwhelmed with sor
row to the point of d
eath. Stay here and keep
watch withme.
39Goi ng a litt le fart her, he fell with his face
to the g round and p
rayed, My Fat her, if it is

Some manuscripts the new c31Zech.13:7

D E V O 19 2

M AT T H E W 2 5 : 3 4 4 0
Lesley Miller

There Is No Excuse for Turning Away

hen I think about China, I see gray weather and that woman in the
subway exit near Tiananmen Square with her face flat on the cement.
She had a young toddler with her. After I collected myself from almost
tripping on them, I looked down on the precious woman living in a country with
gender preferences. For a moment I believed a lie learned along the way: Ignore
them. Giving attention only encourages the problem.
So I kept walking.
It wasnt my first experience with poverty, which is why my heart still hurts all
these years later. I should have known better.
I grew up in a beautiful small town in southern California where the homeless
werent welcome on neighborhood
streets. It was a wonderful place
to grow up, but I was sheltered
Women living on the
from reality. I moved to Santa
Barbaraanother beautiful small
townfor college. There the
street still make me very
homeless lined State Street looking
for donations. I knew the Bible
uncomfortable. And Ive
says to care for the hungry, but
Icouldnt help everyone in need.
realized thats exactly
Plus, I was worried that helping
these strangers would jeopardize
how I should feel.
my own safety.
Do I smile and say God
bless you? Do I throw a quarter
to everyone I pass? Do I buy one person a hamburger? Or do I avoid eye contact
altogether?
Depending on the day (and whether my wallet was full), I threw a buck here and
a dime there and tried not to think about it too much.
I cant exactly remember what challenged me to think about women and poverty
differently, but a few years after returning from China I discovered these words:
There is no excuse for ignoring women and children with an evident need for food
or shelter.
The words were not novel, yet their bluntness convicted me of a truth Id
ignored. J esus says to take care of those in need. And many sisters in Christ need
our help.
As a woman, Ive been schooled on how to engage with the homeless. Dont
put your own safety at risk. Try not to encourage the problem. Never enable an
addiction. While helpful, I worry that our fears may outweigh our calls to mercy.

-1340-

When I think back to that muggy day in China with a mama trying so
desperately to provide for her child, I realize that I was following human rules
instead of looking at human faces. Beautiful women created by a Father who loves
them just as much as he loves me. That day would be the last time I kept walking.
While I still cant financially help every person I come across, my eyes are now
open wide to the vulnerable women and children on our streets. I pray for the
right words to say, and I never turn my eyes in the other direction. We keep water
and snacks in our car to offer. I stop and ask how I can help get them shelter for
the night. Im learning how to safely discern if theyre being trafficked or living
in danger, and who to call for help. Im not usually their solution, but I try to be a
bridge to get them to a safer place.
Women living on the street still make me very uncomfortable. And Ive realized
thats exactly how I should feel.

Whats a rule youve been taught about poverty that was made up by
humans, not by God?

That your heart will be softened toward people in your own communityand
around the worldwho need food, water, clothes or shelter
That your hands will be willing to serve
That you will have deep discernment to determine when someone in need
requires your help or when the situation may be unsafe and whom you can
contact to step in

For the next devotion, go to page 1348. For the next myth, go to page 1360.

1342

Matthew 26:40

possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet


not as I will, but as you will.
40Then he ret urned to his disc iples and
found them sleeping. Couldnt you men
keep watch with me for one hour? he asked
Peter. 41Watch and pray so that you will not
fall into temptat ion. The spirit is willi ng, but
the f lesh is weak.
42He went away a second time and p
rayed,
My Fat her, if it is not possible for this cup to
be taken away unless I d rink it, may your will
be done.
43When he came back, he
again found
them sleeping, bec ause their eyes were
heavy. 44So he left them and went away once
more and p
rayed the t hird time, sayi ng the
same thing.
45Then he ret urned to the disc iples and
said to them, Are you s till sleepi ng and rest
ing? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of
Man is del ivered into the h
ands of sinners.
46Rise! Let us go! Here c
omes my bet rayer!

Jesus Arrested
47While he was s
till speaki ng, Judas, one
of the T
welve, arr ived. With him was a l arge
c rowd a rmed with s words and clubs, sent
from the chief p
riests and the elders of the
people. 48Now the bet rayer had arranged a
signal with them: The one I kiss is the man;
ar rest him. 49Goi ng at once to J esus, Judas
said, Greeti ngs, Rabbi! and k issed him.
50Jesus replied, Do what you came for,
friend.a
Then the men stepped forw ard, s eized
Jesus and ar rested him. 51With that, one of
Jesus compan ions reached for his s word,
drew it out and s truck the servant of the high
priest, cutt ing off his ear.
52Put your s word back in its place, Jesus
said to him, for all who draw the s word will
die by the sword. 53Do you t hink I cannot call
on my Fat her, and he will at once put at my
disposa l more than t welve leg ions of angels?
54But how then would the Script ures be ful
filled that say it must happen in this way?
55In that hour
Jesus said to the c rowd,
Am I leading a rebellion, that you have
come out with s words and c lubs to capt ure
me? Every day I sat in the temple c ourts
teaching, and you did not arrest me. 56But
this has all taken p
lace that the writi ngs of

Matthew 26:71

1342

the prophets m ight be fulf illed. Then all the


disciples deserted him and fled.

Jesus Before theSanhedrin


57Those

who had arrested Jesus took him


to Caiaphas the high priest, w
here the teach
ers of the law and the elders had assembled.
58But Peter followed him at a dist ance, r
ight
up to the courtyard of the high p
riest. He en
tered and sat down with the g uards to see
the outcome.
59The chief p
riests and the w
hole Sanhe
drin were looki ng for f alse evidence against
Jesus so that they could put him to death.
60But they did not find any, t hough many
false witnesses came for ward.
Finally two came forward 61and declared,
This fellow said, I am able to destroy the
temple of God and rebuild it in t hree days.
62Then the high p
riest s tood up and said
to J esus, Are you not goi ng to answer? What
is this test imony that t hese men are bringi ng
against you? 63But Jesus remained silent.
The high priest said to him, I charge you
under oath by the livi ng God: Tell us if you
are the Messia h, the Son of God.
64You have said so, J esus replied. But I
say to all of you: From now on you will see
the Son of Man sitt ing at the r ight hand of
the Mighty One and comi ng on the clouds of
heaven.b
65Then the high p
riest tore his c lothes and
said, He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we
need any more witnesses? Look, now you
have heard the blasphemy. 66What do you
think?
He is wort hy of d
eath, they answered.
67Then they spit in his face and
struck
him with their fists. Others s lapped him
68and said, Prophe s y to us, Messia h. Who
hit you?

Peter Disowns Jesus


69Now Peter was sitt ing out in the court
yard, and a servant girl came to him. You
also were with J esus of Gali lee, she said.
70But he den ied it before them all. I d
ont
know what y oure talki ng about, he said.
71Then he went out to the gatew ay, w
here
another servant girl saw him and said to the
people t here, This fellow was with Jesus of
Naza reth.

a50OrWhy have you come, friend? b64SeePsalm110:1; Daniel7:13.

1343

Matthew 26:72

72He den ied it a


gain, with an oath: I d
ont
know the man!
73After a litt le w hile, t hose standi ng t here
went up to Peter and said, Surely you are
one of them; your accent g ives you away.
74Then he began to call down curses, and
he s wore to them, I d
ont know the man!
Immed iately a rooster crowed. 75Then Pe
ter remembered the word Jesus had spoken:
Before the rooster c rows, you will disown
me t hree t imes. And he went outside and
wept bit terly.

Judas Hangs Himself

27

Early in the morning, all the chief


priests and the elders of the peo
ple made their plans how to have J esus ex
ec uted. 2So they bound him, led him away
and handed him over to Pilate the governor.
3When Judas, who had bet rayed him, saw
that Jesus was condemned, he was s eized
with remorse and ret urned the thirt y pieces
of silver to the c hief p
riests and the elders. 4I
have sinned, he said, for I have bet rayed
innocent blood.
What is that to us? they replied. Thats
your responsibilit y.
5So Judas t hrew the mone y into the tem
ple and left. Then he went away and hanged
himself.
6The chief priests picked up the coins and
said, It is against the law to put this into the
treasury, s ince it is b
lood money. 7So they
decided to use the money to buy the potters
f ield as a buria l p
lace for foreigners. 8That is
why it has been c alled the F
ield of B
lood to
this day. 9Then what was spoken by Jerem i
ah the prophet was fulf illed: They took the
thirt y pieces of silver, the price set on him by
the people of Israel, 10and they used them to
buy the potters f ield, as the Lord command
ed me.a

Jesus Before Pilate


11Meanw hile

Jesus s tood before the gov


ernor, and the governor asked him, Are you
the king of the Jews?
You have said so, J esus replied.
12When he was ac
c used by the chief
priests and the elders, he gave no ans wer.
13Then Pilate a
sked him, Dont you hear the
test i mony they are bring i ng against you?
a10

Matthew 27:30

1343

14But

Jesus made no reply, not even to a sin


gle c hargeto the g reat amazement of the
governor.
15Now it was the governors custom at the
fest ival to release a prisoner chosen by the
crowd. 16At that time they had a well-k nown
prisoner whose name was Jesus b Barabbas.
17So when the c
rowd had gathered, Pilate
asked them, Which one do you want me to
release to you: J esus Barabbas, or J esus who
is called the Messia h? 18For he knew it was
out of self-interest that they had hande d
Jesus over to him.
19While Pilate was sitt ing on the judges
seat, his wife sent him this message: Dont
have anyt hing to do with that innocent man,
for I have suffered a g reat deal today in a
d ream because of him.
20But the chief priests and the elders per
suaded the c rowd to ask for Barabbas and to
have Jesus executed.
21Which of the two do you want me to re
lease to you? a sked the governor.
Barabbas, they answered.
22What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is
called the Messia h? Pilate asked.
They all answered, Crucif y him!
23Why? What c rime has he comm itted?
asked Pilate.
But they shouted all the louder, Crucif y
him!
24When Pilate saw that he was gett ing no
where, but that instead an uproar was start
ing, he took water and washed his hands in
front of the c rowd. I am innocent of this
mans b
lood, he said. It is your responsi
bil it y!
25All the people ans wered, His b
lood is
on us and on our child ren!
26Then he released Barabbas to them. But
he had Jesus f logged, and handed him over
to be crucif ied.

The Soldiers Mock Jesus


27Then the governors sold iers took J esus
into the Praetor iu m and gathered the w
hole
compa ny of sold iers a round him. 28They
stripped him and put a scarlet robe on
him, 29and then twisted together a c rown
of t horns and set it on his head. They put a
staff in his r ight hand. Then they k nelt in
f ront of him and mocked him. Hail, king of
the Jews! they said. 30They spit on him, and

SeeZech. 11:12,13; Jer. 19:1-13; 32:6-9. b16 Many manuscripts do not have Jesus; also in verse 17.

1344

Matthew 27:31

took the s taff and struck him on the head


again and again. 31After they had mocked
him, they took off the robe and put his own
clothes on him. Then they led him away to
crucif y him.

The Crucifixion of Jesus


32As they were go
i ng out, they met a
man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they
forced him to carr y the c ross. 33They came
to a place c alled Golgot ha (which m
eans
the place of the s kull). 34There they of
fered Jesus wine to d rink, m
ixed with gall;
but after tasting it, he ref used to d rink it.
35When they had cruc if ied him, they div id
ed up his clothes by casti ng lots. 36And sit
ting down, they kept w atch over him t here.
37Above his head they p
laced the written
charge against him: this is j esus, the king
of the jews.
38Two reb
els were cruc ified with him,
one on his r ight and one on his left. 39Those
who p
assed by hurled insults at him, shak
ing t heir heads 40and sayi ng, You who are
going to destroy the temple and build it in
t hree days, save yourself! Come down from
the c ross, if you are the Son of God! 41In
the same way the c hief p
riests, the teach
ers of the law and the elders mocked him.
42He s
aved others, they said, but he cant
save himself! Hes the king of Israel! Let him
come down now from the c ross, and we will
bel ieve in him. 43He t rusts in God. Let God
rescue him now if he w
ants him, for he said,
I am the Son of God. 44In the same way
the rebels who were crucif ied with him also
heaped insults on him.

The Death of Jesus


45From

noon unt il t hree in the afternoon


darkness came over all the land. 46About
t hree in the afternoon Jesus c ried out in a
loud voice, Eli, Eli,a lema sabachthani?
(which m
eans My God, my God, why have
you forsaken me?). b
47When some of those stand
i ng there
heard this, they said, Hes calli ng Elijah.
48Immed iatel y one of them ran and got a
sponge. He f illed it with wine vinegar, put
it on a s taff, and offered it to J esus to d
rink.
49The rest said, Now leave him a
lone. L
ets
see if Elijah comes to save him.
a46

Matthew 27:66

1344

50And when J esus had c


ried out a gain in a
loud v oice, he gave up his spirit.
51At that moment the curt ain of the tem
ple was torn in two from top to bottom. The
earth shook, the rocks split 52and the tombs
broke open. The bodies of many holy peo
ple who had died were r aised to life. 53They
came out of the tombs after Jesus resu r
rect ion and c went into the holy city and ap
peared to many people.
54When the cen
t urion and those with
him who were guardi ng J esus saw the earth
quake and all that had happened, they were
terr if ied, and exclaimed, Surely he was the
Son of God!
55Many women were t here, watchi ng from
a distance. They had followed Jesus from
Gali lee to care for his n
eeds. 56Among them
were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of
James and Joseph, d and the mother of Zeb
edees sons.

The Burial of Jesus


57As eve
n ing approached, there came
a rich man from Arim athea, n
amed Jo
seph, who had himself become a disciple of
Jesus. 58Going to Pilate, he a sked for J esus
body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to
him. 59Joseph took the body, w rapped it in a
clean linen cloth, 60and placed it in his own
new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He
rolled a big s tone in f ront of the ent rance to
the tomb and went away. 61Mary Magdalene
and the other Mary were sitt ing t here oppo
site the tomb.

The Guard at the Tomb


62The next day, the one after Prepa rat ion
Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went
to Pi late. 63Sir, they said, we remember
that w hile he was still a live that dec eiver
said, After t hree days I will rise a gain. 64So
give the order for the tomb to be made se
cure unt il the t hird day. Otherw ise, his dis
ciples may come and s teal the body and tell
the people that he has been r aised from the
dead. This last decept ion will be w
orse than
the first.
65Take a g uard, Pilate ans wered. Go,
make the tomb as secure as you know how.
66So they went and made the tomb sec ure by

Some manuscripts Eloi, Eloi b46Psalm22:1 c53Ortombs, and after Jesus resurrection they

d56Greek Joses, a variant of Joseph

1345

Matthew 28:1

putt ing a seal on the s tone and posti ng the


guard.

Jesus Has Risen

28

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the f irst


day of the week, Mary Magdalene
and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
2There was a violent earthquake, for an
angel of the Lord came down from heaven
and, goi ng to the tomb, r olled back the s tone
and sat on it. 3His appeara nce was like light
ning, and his c lothes were w
hite as snow.
4The g
uards were so a fraid of him that they
shook and became like dead men.
5The angel said to the women, Do not
be a fraid, for I know that you are looki ng for
Jesus, who was crucif ied. 6He is not here; he
has risen, just as he said. Come and see the
place w
here he lay. 7Then go quickly and tell
his disc iples: He has risen from the dead
and is goi ng a head of you into Gali lee. T
here
you will see him. Now I have told you.
8So the wom
en hurr ied away from the
tomb, a fraid yet f illed with joy, and ran to
tell his disciples. 9Suddenly Jesus met them.
Greetings, he said. They came to him,
clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10Then
Jesus said to them, Do not be a fraid. Go and
tell my brothers to go to Gali lee; t here they
will seeme.

Matthew 28:20

1345

The Guards Report


11While the wom
en were on their way,
some of the g uards went into the city and
reported to the chief priests everyt hing that
had happ ened. 12When the c hief priests
had met with the elders and dev ised a plan,
they gave the sold iers a large sum of money,
13telli ng them, You are to say, His disc iples
came during the n ight and s tole him away
while we were a sleep. 14If this report gets to
the governor, we will satisf y him and keep
you out of trouble. 15So the sold iers took the
money and did as they were instructed. And
this stor y has been widely circulated a mong
the Jews to this very day.

The Great Commission


16Then the eleven disc iples went to Gal
ilee, to the mount ain w
here J esus had told
them to go. 17When they saw him, they
worshiped him; but some doubted. 18Then
Jesus came to them and said, All aut hori
ty in heaven and on earth has been given to
me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all
nat ions, bapt izi ng them in the name of the
Fat her and of the Son and of the Holy Spir
it, 20and teachi ng them to obey everyt hing I
have commanded you. And surely I am with
you always, to the very end of the age.