- Future peace is reconciliation
- Matthew's Gospel
- Chapter 13.
- Chapter 14.
- Chapter 15.
- Mission from God.
Jesus extends from Israel to the Gentiles
- Chapters 1-7
Future peace is reconciliation
Discussion of the Sabbath
1 At about that time Jesus was walking through some grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, so they began breaking off some heads of grain and eating them.
2 But some Pharisees saw them do it and protested, “Look, your disciples are breaking the law by harvesting grain on the Sabbath.”
3 Jesus said to them, “Haven’t you read in the Scriptures what David did when he and his companions were hungry?
4 He went into the house of God, and he and his companions broke the law by eating the sacred loaves of bread that only the priests are allowed to eat.
5 And haven’t you read in the law of Moses that the priests on duty in the Temple may work on the Sabbath?
6 I tell you, there is one here who is even greater than the Temple!
7 But you would not have condemned my innocent disciples if you knew the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’
8 For the Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath!”
Heals on the Sabbath
9 Then Jesus went over to their synagogue,
10 where he noticed a man with a deformed hand. The Pharisees asked Jesus, “Does the law permit a person to work by healing on the Sabbath?” (They were hoping he would say yes, so they could bring charges against him.)
11 And he answered, “If you had a sheep that fell into a well on the Sabbath, wouldn’t you work to pull it out? Of course you would.
12 And how much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Yes, the law permits a person to do good on the Sabbath.”
13 Then he said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So the man held out his hand, and it was restored, just like the other one!
Counseling on how to kill Jesus
14 Then the Pharisees called a meeting to plot how to kill Jesus.
God’s Chosen Servant
15 But Jesus knew what they were planning. So he left that area, and many people followed him. He healed all the sick among them,
16 but he warned them not to reveal who he was.
17 This fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah concerning him:
18 “Look at my Servant, whom I have chosen. He is my Beloved, who pleases me. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations.
19 He will not fight or shout or raise his voice in public.
20 He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. Finally he will cause justice to be victorious.
21 And his name will be the hope of all the world.”
The prince of demons
22 Then a demon-possessed man, who was blind and couldn’t speak, was brought to Jesus. He healed the man so that he could both speak and see.
23 The crowd was amazed and asked, “Could it be that Jesus is the Son of David, the Messiah?”
24 But when the Pharisees heard about the miracle, they said, “No wonder he can cast out demons. He gets his power from Satan, the prince of demons.”
25 Jesus knew their thoughts and replied, “Any kingdom divided by civil war is doomed. A town or family splintered by feuding will fall apart.
26 And if Satan is casting out Satan, he is divided and fighting against himself. His own kingdom will not survive.
27 And if I am empowered by Satan, what about your own exorcists? They cast out demons, too, so they will condemn you for what you have said.
28 But if I am casting out demons by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God has arrived among you.
29 For who is powerful enough to enter the house of a strong man like Satan and plunder his goods? Only someone even stronger — someone who could tie him up and then plunder his house.
30 “Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.
31 “So I tell you, every sin and blasphemy can be forgiven — except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which will never be forgiven.
32 Anyone who speaks against the Son of Man can be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, either in this world or in the world to come.
33 “A tree is identified by its fruit. If a tree is good, its fruit will be good. If a tree is bad, its fruit will be bad.
34 You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say.
35 A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart.
36 And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak.
37 The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.”
The Sign of Jonah
38 One day some teachers of religious law and Pharisees came to Jesus and said, “Teacher, we want you to show us a miraculous sign to prove your authority.”
39 But Jesus replied, “Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign; but the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah.
40 For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.
41 “The people of Nineveh will stand up against this generation on judgment day and condemn it, for they repented of their sins at the preaching of Jonah. Now someone greater than Jonah is here — but you refuse to repent.
42 The queen of Sheba will also stand up against this generation on judgment day and condemn it, for she came from a distant land to hear the wisdom of Solomon. Now someone greater than Solomon is here — but you refuse to listen.
43 “When an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, seeking rest but finding none.
44 Then it says, ‘I will return to the person I came from.’ So it returns and finds its former home empty, swept, and in order.
45 Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before. That will be the experience of this evil generation.”
The True Family
46 As Jesus was speaking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him.
47 Someone told Jesus, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, and they want to speak to you.”
48 Jesus asked, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?”
49 Then he pointed to his disciples and said, “Look, these are my mother and brothers.
50 Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother!”
Reasons for telling parables
the Farmer Scattering Seed
1 Later that same day Jesus left the house and sat beside the lake.
2 A large crowd soon gathered around him, so he got into a boat. Then he sat there and taught as the people stood on the shore.
3 He told many stories in the form of parables, such as this one: “Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seeds.
4 As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them.
5 Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow.
6 But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died.
7 Other seeds fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants.
8 Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted!
9 Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”
10 His disciples came and asked him, “Why do you use parables when you talk to the people?”
11 He replied, “You are permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others are not.
12 To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them.
13 That is why I use these parables. For they look, but they don’t really see. They hear, but they don’t really listen or understand.
14 This fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah that says, ‘When you hear what I say, you will not understand. When you see what I do, you will not comprehend.
15 For the hearts of these people are hardened, and their ears cannot hear, and they have closed their eyes — so their eyes cannot see, and their ears cannot hear, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and let me heal them.’
16 “But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear.
17 I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, but they didn’t see it. And they longed to hear what you hear, but they didn’t hear it.
18 “Now listen to the explanation of the parable about the farmer planting seeds:
19 The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts.
20 The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy.
21 But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word.
22 The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced.
23 The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”
Wheat and Weeds
24 Here is another story Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field.
25 But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away.
26 When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew.
27 “The farmer’s workers went to him and said, ‘Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?’
28 “‘An enemy has done this!’ the farmer exclaimed. “‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked.
29 “‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do.
30 Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.’”
Exposition of the Parables
Parable of the Mustard Seed
31 Here is another illustration Jesus used: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed planted in a field.
32 It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of garden plants; it grows into a tree, and birds come and make nests in its branches.”
Parable of the Yeast
33 Jesus also used this illustration: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like the yeast a woman used in making bread. Even though she put only a little yeast in three measures of flour, it permeated every part of the dough.”
34 Jesus always used stories and illustrations like these when speaking to the crowds. In fact, he never spoke to them without using such parables.
35 This fulfilled what God had spoken through the prophet: “I will speak to you in parables. I will explain things hidden since the creation of the world.”
of the Wheat and Weeds Explained
36 Then, leaving the crowds outside, Jesus went into the house. His disciples said, “Please explain to us the story of the weeds in the field.”
37 Jesus replied, “The Son of Man is the farmer who plants the good seed.
38 The field is the world, and the good seed represents the people of the Kingdom. The weeds are the people who belong to the evil one.
39 The enemy who planted the weeds among the wheat is the devil. The harvest is the end of the world, and the harvesters are the angels.
40 “Just as the weeds are sorted out and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the world.
41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will remove from his Kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.
42 And the angels will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s Kingdom. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!
Secret Treasures and Pearls
44 “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field.
45 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls.
46 When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!
47 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a fishing net that was thrown into the water and caught fish of every kind.
48 When the net was full, they dragged it up onto the shore, sat down, and sorted the good fish into crates, but threw the bad ones away.
49 That is the way it will be at the end of the world. The angels will come and separate the wicked people from the righteous,
50 throwing the wicked into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
51 Do you understand all these things?” “Yes,” they said, “we do.”
52 Then he added, “Every teacher of religious law who becomes a disciple in the Kingdom of Heaven is like a homeowner who brings from his storeroom new gems of truth as well as old.”
Rejected in Nazareth
53 When Jesus had finished telling these stories and illustrations, he left that part of the country.
54 He returned to Nazareth, his hometown. When he taught there in the synagogue, everyone was amazed and said, “Where does he get this wisdom and the power to do miracles?”
55 Then they scoffed, “He’s just the carpenter’s son, and we know Mary, his mother, and his brothers — James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas.
56 All his sisters live right here among us. Where did he learn all these things?”
57 And they were deeply offended and refused to believe in him. Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his own family.”
58 And so he did only a few miracles there because of their unbelief.
Death of John the Baptist
1 When Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee, heard about Jesus,
2 he said to his advisers, “This must be John the Baptist raised from the dead! That is why he can do such miracles.”
3 For Herod had arrested and imprisoned John as a favor to his wife Herodias (the former wife of Herod’s brother Philip).
4 John had been telling Herod, “It is against God’s law for you to marry her.”
5 Herod wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of a riot, because all the people believed John was a prophet.
6 But at a birthday party for Herod, Herodias’s daughter performed a dance that greatly pleased him,
7 so he promised with a vow to give her anything she wanted.
8 At her mother’s urging, the girl said, “I want the head of John the Baptist on a tray!”
9 Then the king regretted what he had said; but because of the vow he had made in front of his guests, he issued the necessary orders.
10 So John was beheaded in the prison,
11 and his head was brought on a tray and given to the girl, who took it to her mother.
12 Later, John’s disciples came for his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus what had happened.
Feeding the Five Thousand
13 As soon as Jesus heard the news, he left in a boat to a remote area to be alone. But the crowds heard where he was headed and followed on foot from many towns.
14 Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
15 That evening the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.”
16 But Jesus said, “That isn’t necessary — you feed them.”
17 “But we have only five loaves of bread and two fish!” they answered.
18 “Bring them here,” he said.
19 Then he told the people to sit down on the grass. Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he gave the bread to the disciples, who distributed it to the people.
20 They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers.
21 About 5,000 men were fed that day, in addition to all the women and children!
Jesus Walks on Water
22 Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home.
23 After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.
24 Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves.
25 About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water.
26 When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!”
27 But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!”
28 Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”
29 “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus.
30 But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.
31 Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”
32 When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped.
33 Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.
34 After they had crossed the lake, they landed at Gennesaret.
35 When the people recognized Jesus, the news of his arrival spread quickly throughout the whole area, and soon people were bringing all their sick to be healed.
36 They begged him to let the sick touch at least the fringe of his robe, and all who touched him were healed.
Teaching about inner purity
1 Some Pharisees and teachers of religious law now arrived from Jerusalem to see Jesus. They asked him,
2 “Why do your disciples disobey our age-old tradition? For they ignore our tradition of ceremonial hand washing before they eat.”
3 Jesus replied, “And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of God?
4 For instance, God says, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and ‘Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father or mother must be put to death.’
5 But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you. For I have vowed to give to God what I would have given to you.’
6 In this way, you say they don’t need to honor their parents. And so you cancel the word of God for the sake of your own tradition.
7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote,
8 ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
9 Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’”
10 Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear. “Listen,” he said, “and try to understand.
11 It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth.”
12 Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you realize you offended the Pharisees by what you just said?”
13 Jesus replied, “Every plant not planted by my heavenly Father will be uprooted,
14 so ignore them. They are blind guides leading the blind, and if one blind person guides another, they will both fall into a ditch.”
15 Then Peter said to Jesus, “Explain to us the parable that says people aren’t defiled by what they eat.”
16 “Don’t you understand yet?” Jesus asked.
17 “Anything you eat passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer.
18 But the words you speak come from the heart — that’s what defiles you.
19 For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander.
20 These are what defile you. Eating with unwashed hands will never defile you.”
The Faith of a Gentile Woman
Changing the mission of Jesus
21 Then Jesus left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
22 A Gentile woman who lived there came to him, pleading, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! For my daughter is possessed by a demon that torments her severely.”
23 But Jesus gave her no reply, not even a word. Then his disciples urged him to send her away. “Tell her to go away,” they said. “She is bothering us with all her begging.”
24 Then Jesus said to the woman, “I was sent only to help God’s lost sheep — the people of Israel.”
25 But she came and worshiped him, pleading again, “Lord, help me!”
26 Jesus responded, “It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.”
27 She replied, “That’s true, Lord, but even dogs are allowed to eat the scraps that fall beneath their masters’ table.”
28 “Dear woman,” Jesus said to her, “your faith is great. Your request is granted.” And her daughter was instantly healed.
Feeding the Four Thousand
29 Jesus returned to the Sea of Galilee and climbed a hill and sat down.
30 A vast crowd brought to him people who were lame, blind, crippled, those who couldn’t speak, and many others. They laid them before Jesus, and he healed them all.
31 The crowd was amazed! Those who hadn’t been able to speak were talking, the crippled were made well, the lame were walking, and the blind could see again! And they praised the God of Israel.
Jesus Feeds Four Thousand
32 Then Jesus called his disciples and told them, “I feel sorry for these people. They have been here with me for three days, and they have nothing left to eat. I don’t want to send them away hungry, or they will faint along the way.”
33 The disciples replied, “Where would we get enough food here in the wilderness for such a huge crowd?”
34 Jesus asked, “How much bread do you have?” They replied, “Seven loaves, and a few small fish.”
35 So Jesus told all the people to sit down on the ground.
36 Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, thanked God for them, and broke them into pieces. He gave them to the disciples, who distributed the food to the crowd.
37 They all ate as much as they wanted. Afterward, the disciples picked up seven large baskets of leftover food.
38 There were 4,000 men who were fed that day, in addition to all the women and children.
39 Then Jesus sent the people home, and he got into a boat and crossed over to the region of Magadan.