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