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Chapter 12

1Meanwhile as the people gathered in thousands, until they actually trod on one another, he proceeded to say to his disciples first of all,

“Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees, that is, hypocrisy. 2There is nothing covered up that is not going to be uncovered, nor secret that is not going to be known. 3For what you say in the darkness will be heard in the light, and what you whisper in someone’s ear, behind closed doors, will be proclaimed from the housetops. 4I tell you, who are my friends, have no fear of those who kill the body, and after that can do no more. 5I will show you whom to fear: fear him who, after killing you, has power to hurl you into the pit. Yes, fear him, I tell you. 6Do not sparrows sell five for two cents? And yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight. 7But the very hairs on your heads are all counted! You must not be afraid, you are worth more than a great many sparrows! 8I tell you, everyone who will acknowledge me before men, the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God, 9but anyone who disowns me before men will be disowned before the angels of God. 10And anyone who speaks against the Son of Man will be forgiven for it, but no one who reviles the holy Spirit will be forgiven. 11When they bring you before the synagogues or the magistrates or the authorities, you must have no anxiety about how to defend yourselves or what to say, 12for at the very moment the holy Spirit will teach you what you ought to say.”

13Someone in the crowd said to him,

“Master, tell my brother to give me my share of our inheritance.”

14But he said to him,

“Who made me a judge or arbitrator of your affairs?”

15And he said to them,

“Take care! You must be on your guard against any form of greed, for a man’s life does not belong to him, no matter how rich he is.”

16And he told them this story:

“A certain rich man’s lands yielded heavily. 17And he said to himself, ‘What am I going to do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18Then he said, ‘This is what I will do; I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and in them I will store all my grain and my goods. 19And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have great wealth stored up for years to come. Now take your ease; eat, drink, and enjoy yourself.” ’ 20But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul will be demanded of you. Then who will have all you have prepared?’ 21That is the way with the man who lays up money for himself, and is not rich with God.”

22And he said to his disciples,

“Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about life, wondering what you will have to eat, or about your body, wondering what you will have to wear. 23Life is more important than food, and the body than clothes. 24Think of the crows! They do not sow or reap, and they have no storehouses or barns, and God feeds them. How much more you are worth than the birds! 25Which of you with all his worry can add a single hour to his life? 26So if you cannot do the least good, why should you worry about the rest? 27See how the lilies grow. They do not toil or spin, but, I tell you, even Solomon in all his splendor was never dressed like one of them. 28But if God so dresses the wild grass, which is alive today, and is thrown into the furnace tomorrow, how much more surely will he clothe you, who have so little faith? 29So you must not ask what you are to have to eat or drink, and you must not be anxious about it. 30For these are all things the nations of the world are in pursuit of, and your Father knows well that you need them. 31But you must strive to find his kingdom, and you will have these other things besides. 32Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen to give you the kingdom. 33Sell what belongs to you, and give away the money! Get yourselves purses that will never wear out, inexhaustible riches in heaven, where thieves cannot get near nor moths destroy. 34For wherever your treasure is, your heart will be too. 35You must be ready with your lamps burning, 36like men waiting for their master to come home from a wedding, so that when he comes and knocks, they can open the door for him at once. 37Blessed are the slaves whom their master will find on the watch when he comes. I tell you, he will gird up his robe and make them take their places at table, and go around and wait on them. 38Whether he comes late at night or early in the morning and finds them on the watch, they are blessed. 39But you may be sure of this, that if the master of the house had known what time the thief was coming, he would have been on the watch, and would not have let his house be broken into. 40You must be ready too, for the Son of Man is coming at a time when you do not expect him.”

41Peter said to him,

“Master, do you mean this figure for us, or is it for everybody?”

42And the Master said,

“Who then will be the faithful, thoughtful manager, whom his master will put in charge of his household, to give the members of it their supplies at the proper time? 43Blessed is that slave if his master when he returns finds him doing it. 44I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his property. 45But if the slave says to himself, ‘My master is not coming back for a long time,’ and begins to beat the men and women slaves and to eat and drink and get drunk, 46that slave’s master will come back some day when he does not expect him, and at some time of which he does not know, and will cut him in two, and put him with the unbelievers. 47The slave who knows his master’s wishes, but does not get ready or act upon them, will be severely punished. 48But one who does wrong without knowing them will be lightly punished. From anyone who has been given much, much will be required, and of the man to whom people have intrusted much, they will demand even more. 49I have come to bring fire down to the earth, and how I wish it were kindled already! 50I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am till it is over! 51Do you think I have come to bring peace to the earth? Not peace, I tell you, but discord! 52For from now on if there are five people in a house they will be divided three against two and two against three. 53Father will be against son, and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”

54And he said to the crowds,

“When you see a cloud rise in the west, you say at once, ‘It is going to rain,’ and it does. 55And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘It is going to be very hot,’ and it is. 56You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the look of the earth and sky; and why can you not interpret this present time? 57Why do you not decide what is right yourselves? 58For when you are going before the magistrate with your opponent, do your best on the way to get rid of him, or he may hurry you off to the judge and the judge hand you over to the constable and the constable throw you into prison. 59I tell you, you will never get out again until you have paid the last cent!”

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