The Gospel According To Luke: Part 4 -
Subscribe to the Basic Bible Reading podcast, on your mobile device.
And it came about that he was in prayer in a certain place, and when he came to an end, one of his disciples said to him, Lord, will you give us teaching about prayer, as John did to his disciples?
And he said to them, When you say your prayers, say, Father, may your name be kept holy and your kingdom come.
Give us every day bread for our needs.
May we have forgiveness for our sins, as we make free all those who are in debt to us. And let us not be put to the test.
And he said to them, Which of you, having a friend, would go to him in the middle of the night and say to him, Friend, let me have three cakes of bread;
Because a friend of mine has come to me on a journey, and I have nothing to put before him;
And he, from inside the house, would say in answer, Do not be a trouble to me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; it is not possible for me to get up and give to you?
I say to you, Though he will not get up and give to him, because he is his friend, still, if he keeps on making his request, he will get up and give him as much as he has need of.
And I say to you, Make requests, and they will be answered; what you are searching for, you will get; when you give the sign, the door will be open to you.
For to everyone who makes a request, it will be given; and he who is searching will get his desire; and to him who gives the sign, the door will be open.
And which of you, being a father, will give a stone to his son, who makes request for bread? or for a fish, will give him a snake?
Or for an egg, will give him a scorpion?
If, then, you who are evil are able to give good things to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who make request to him?
And he was sending an evil spirit out of a man who was without the power of talking. And it came about that when the spirit had gone the man had the power of talking; and the people were full of wonder.
But some of them said, He sends out evil spirits by Beelzebul, the ruler of evil spirits.
And others, testing him, were looking for a sign from heaven from him.
But he, having knowledge of their thoughts, said to them, Every kingdom in which there is division is made waste; and a house in which there is division comes to destruction.
If, then, Satan is at war with himself, how will he keep his kingdom? because you say that I send evil spirits out of men by the help of Beelzebul.
And if I, by Beelzebul, send out evil spirits, by whose help do your sons send them out? so let them be your judges.
But if I, by the finger of God, send out evil spirits, then the kingdom of God has overtaken you.
When the strong man armed keeps watch over his house, then his goods are safe:
But when one who is stronger makes an attack on him and overcomes him, he takes away his instruments of war, in which he had put his faith, and makes division of his goods.
He who is not with me is against me, and he who will not give me help in getting people together is driving them away.
The unclean spirit, when he has gone out of a man, goes through dry places, looking for rest; and when he does not get it, he says, I will go back to my house from which I came.
And when he comes, he sees that it has been made fair and clean.
Then he goes and gets seven other spirits more evil than himself, and they go in, and take their places there: and the last condition of that man is worse than the first.
And it came about that when he said these things, a certain woman among the people said in a loud voice, Happy is the body which gave you birth, and the breasts from which you took milk.
But he said, More happy are they who give hearing to the word of God and keep it.
And when a great number of people came together to him, he said, This generation is an evil generation: it is looking for a sign and no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah.
For even as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of man be to this generation.
The queen of the South will come up on the day of judging and give her decision against the men of this generation: for she came from the ends of the earth to give ear to the wisdom of Solomon; and now something greater than Solomon is here.
The men of Nineveh will come up in the day of judging and give their decision against this generation: for they were turned away from their sins at the preaching of Jonah; but now something greater than Jonah is here.
No man, when the light has been lighted, puts it in a secret place, or under a vessel, but on its table, so that those who come in may see the light.
The light of the body is the eye: when your eye is true, all your body is full of light; but when it is evil, your body is dark.
So take care that the light which is in you is not dark.
If, then, all your body is light, with no part of it dark, it will be completely full of light, as when a flame with its bright shining gives you light.
Now, while he was talking, a Pharisee made a request that he would come to a meal with him; and he went in and took his seat at the meal.
And when the Pharisee saw it, he was surprised because he came to the meal without first washing himself.
And the Lord said to him, You Pharisees make the outside of the cup and the plate clean; but inside you are thieves and full of evil.
O you foolish ones! did not he who made the outside in the same way make the inside?
But if you give to the poor such things as you are able, then all things are clean to you.
But a curse is on you, Pharisees! for you make men give a tenth of every sort of plant, and give no thought to right and the love of God; but it is right for you to do these things, and not let the others be undone.
A curse is on you, Pharisees! for your desires are for the most important seats in the Synagogues and for words of respect said to you in the market-place.
A curse is on you! for you are like the resting-places of dead men, which are not seen, and men go walking over them without knowledge of it.
And one of the teachers of the law, answering, said to him, Master, in saying this, you give a bad name to us as to them.
And he said, A curse is on you, teachers of the law! for while other men are crushed under the weight of the rules you make for them, you yourselves do not put so much as one finger to them.
A curse is on you! for you make resting-places for the bodies of the prophets, but your fathers put them to death.
So you are witnesses and give approval to the work of your fathers; for they put them to death and you make their last resting-places.
For this reason the wisdom of God has said, I will send them prophets and teachers, and to some of them they will give death and cruel pains;
So that punishment may come on this generation for the blood of all the prophets which was given from the earliest days;
From the blood of Abel to the blood of Zachariah, who was put to death between the altar and the Temple. Yes, I say to you, It will come on this generation.
A curse is on you, teachers of the law! for you have taken away the key of knowledge: you did not go in yourselves, and you got in the way of those who were going in.
And when he had come out of that place, the scribes and the Pharisees came round him angrily, questioning him about more things;
And watching him, for a chance to get something from his words which might be used against him.
At that time, when thousands of the people had come together, in such numbers that they were crushing one another, he said first to his disciples, Have nothing to do with the leaven of the Pharisees, which is deceit.
But nothing is covered up, which will not come to light, or secret, which will not be made clear.
So, whatever you have said in the dark, will come to men’s hearing in the light, and what you have said secretly inside the house, will be made public from the house-tops.
And I say to you, my friends, Have no fear of those who may put the body to death, and are able to do no more than that.
But I will make clear to you of whom you are to be in fear: of him who after death has power to send you to hell; yes, truly I say, Have fear of him.
Are not five sparrows given in exchange for two farthings? and God has every one of them in mind.
But even the hairs of your head are numbered. Have no fear: you are of more value than a flock of sparrows.
And I say to you that to everyone who gives witness to me before men, the Son of man will give witness before the angels of God.
But if anyone says before men that he has no knowledge of me, I will say that I have no knowledge of him before the angels of God.
And if anyone says a word against the Son of man, he will have forgiveness: but for him who says evil words against the Holy Spirit, there will be no forgiveness.
And when they take you before the Synagogues and the authorities and the rulers, take no thought about what answers you will give, or what you will say:
For the Holy Spirit will make clear to you in that very hour what to say.
And one of the people said to him, Master, give an order to my brother to make division of the heritage with me.
But he said, Man, who made me a judge or a maker of decisions for you?
And he said to them, Take care to keep yourselves free from the desire for property; for a man’s life is not made up of the number of things which he has.
And he said to them, in a story, The land of a certain man of great wealth was very fertile:
And he said to himself, What is to be done? for I have no place in which to put all my fruit.
And he said, This I will do: I will take down my store-houses and make greater ones, and there I will put all my grain and my goods.
And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have a great amount of goods in store, enough for a number of years; be at rest, take food and wine and be happy.
But God said to him, You foolish one, tonight I will take your soul from you, and who then will be the owner of all the things which you have got together?
So that is what comes to the man who gets wealth for himself, and has not wealth in the eyes of God.
And he said to his disciples, For this reason I say to you, Take no thought for your life, about what food you will take, or for your body, how it may be clothed.
Is not life more than food, and the body than its clothing?
Give thought to the ravens; they do not put seeds into the earth, or get together grain; they have no store-houses or buildings; and God gives them their food: of how much greater value are you than the birds!
And which of you by taking thought is able to make himself any taller?
If, then, you are not able to do even that which is least, why are you troubled about the rest?
Give thought to the flowers: they do no work, they make no thread; and still I say to you, Even Solomon, in all his glory, was not clothed like one of these.
But if God gives such clothing to the grass in the field, which today is living, and tomorrow will be burned in the oven, how much more will he give clothing to you, O men of little faith?
And do not give overmuch thought to your food and drink, and let not your mind be full of doubts.
For the nations of the world go in search of all these things: but your Father has knowledge that you have need of them.
But let your chief care be for his kingdom, and these other things will be given to you in addition.
Have no fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
Give what property you have in exchange for money, and give the money to the poor; make for yourselves money-bags which will not get old, wealth stored up in heaven which will be yours for ever, where thieves will not come nor worms put it to destruction.
For where your wealth is, there will your heart be.
Be ready, dressed as for a journey, with your lights burning.
And be like men who are looking for their lord, when he comes back from the bride-feast; so that when he comes to the door, it will be open to him quickly.
Happy are those servants who are watching when the lord comes; truly I say to you, he will make himself their servant and, placing them at the table, he will come out and give them food.
And if he comes in the second division of the night or in the third, and they are watching for him, happy are those servants.
But be certain of this, that if the master of the house had had knowledge of the time when the thief was coming, he would have been watching, and would not have let his house be broken into.
So be ready: for the Son of man is coming at a time when you are not looking for him.
And Peter said to him, Lord, are these words said to us only, or to all men?
And the Lord said, Who then is the wise and responsible servant whom his lord will put in control of his family, to give them their food at the right time?
Happy is that servant who, when his lord comes, is doing so.
Truly I say to you, he will put him in control of all his goods.
But if that servant says to himself, My lord is a long time coming; and goes about giving blows to the men-servants and the women-servants, feasting and taking overmuch wine;
The lord of that servant will come at a time when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not ready for him, and he will have him cut in two and will give him his part in the fate of those who have no faith;
And the servant who had knowledge of his lord’s desires and was not ready for him and did not do as he was ordered, will be given a great number of blows;
But he who, without knowledge, did things for which punishment is given, will get only a small number of blows. The man to whom much is given, will have to give much; if much is given into his care, of him more will be requested.
I came to send a fire on the earth, and it may even now have been lighted.
But there is a baptism which I have to undergo; and how am I kept back till it is complete!
Is it your opinion that I have come to give peace on earth? I say to you, No, but division:
For from this time, a family of five in one house will be on opposite sides, three against two and two against three.
They will be at war, the father against his son, and the son against his father; mother against daughter, and daughter against mother; mother-in-law against daughter-in-law, and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.
Then he said to the people, When you see a cloud coming up in the west, straight away you say, There will be rain; and so it is.
And when you see a south wind blowing, you say, There will be heat; and so it is.
O false ones! the face of the earth and the heaven is clear to you; how is it that the signs of these times are not as clear to you?
And why are you, in your hearts, unable to be judges of what is right?
For if anyone has a cause at law against you, and you are going with him before the ruler, make an attempt, on the way, to come to an agreement with him, for if you do not, he may take you before the judge and the judge will give you up to the police, and they will put you in prison.
I say to you, You will not come out of it till you have made payment to the very last farthing.
Now some people who were there at that time, gave him an account of how the blood of some Galilaeans had been mixed by Pilate with their offerings.
And he, in answer, said to them, Are you of the opinion that these Galilaeans were worse than all other Galilaeans, because these things were done to them?
I say to you, It is not so: but if your hearts are not changed, you will all come to the same end.
Or those eighteen men who were crushed by the fall of the tower of Siloam, were they worse than all the other men living in Jerusalem?
I say to you, It is not so: but if your hearts are not changed, you will all come to an end in the same way.
And he made up this story for them: A certain man had a fig-tree in his garden, and he came to get fruit from it, and there was no fruit.
And he said to the gardener, See, for three years I have been looking for fruit from this tree, and I have not had any: let it be cut down; why is it taking up space?
And he said, Lord, let it be for this year, and I will have the earth turned up round it, and put animal waste on it, to make it fertile:
And if, after that, it has fruit, it is well; if not, let it be cut down.
And he was teaching in one of the Synagogues on the Sabbath.
And there was a woman who had had a disease for eighteen years; she was bent, and was not able to make herself straight.
And when Jesus saw her, he said to her, Woman, you are made free from your disease.
And he put his hands on her, and she was made straight, and gave praise to God.
And the ruler of the Synagogue was angry because Jesus had made her well on the Sabbath, and he said to the people, There are six days in which men may do work: so come on those days to be made well, and not on the Sabbath.
But the Lord gave him an answer and said, O you false men! do you not, every one of you, on the Sabbath, let loose his ox and his ass and take it to the water?
And is it not right for this daughter of Abraham, who has been in the power of Satan for eighteen years, to be made free on the Sabbath?
And when he said these things, those who were against him were shamed, and all the people were full of joy because of the great things which were done by him.
Then he said, What is the kingdom of God like? what comparison may I make of it?
It is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and put in his garden, and it became a tree, and the birds of heaven made their resting-places in its branches.
And again he said, What is the kingdom of God like?
It is like leaven, which a woman put into three measures of meal, and it was all leavened.
And he went on his way, through towns and country places, teaching and journeying to Jerusalem.
And someone said to him, Lord, will only a small number have salvation? And he said to them,
Do your best to go in by the narrow door, for I say to you, A number will make the attempt to go in, but will not be able to do so.
When the master of the house has got up, and the door has been shut, and you, still outside, give blows on the door, saying, Lord, let us in; he will make answer and say, I have no knowledge of where you come from.
Then you will say, We have taken food and drink with you, and you were teaching in our streets.
But he will say, Truly, I have no knowledge of you or where you come from; go away from me, you workers of evil.
There will be weeping and cries of sorrow when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves are shut outside.
And they will come from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south, and take their places in the kingdom of God.
And the last will be first, and the first will be last.
At that time, certain Pharisees came to him and said, Go away from this place, because Herod’s purpose is to put you to death.
And he said, Go and say to that fox, I send out evil spirits and do works of mercy today and tomorrow, and on the third day my work will be complete.
But I have to go on my way today and tomorrow and the third day, for it is not right for a prophet to come to his death outside Jerusalem.
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, putting to death the prophets, and stoning those who were sent to her! again and again would I have taken your children to myself, as a bird takes her young ones under her wings, but you would not!
Now see, your house is waste, and I say to you, You will not see me again till you say, A blessing on him who comes in the name of the Lord.
And it came about that when he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees on the Sabbath, to have a meal, they were watching him.
And a certain man was there who had a disease.
And Jesus, answering, said to the scribes and Pharisees, Is it right to make people well on the Sabbath or not?
But they said nothing. And he made him well and sent him away.
And he said to them, Which of you, whose ox or ass has got into a water-hole, will not straight away get him out on the Sabbath?
And they had no answer to that question.
And he gave teaching in the form of a story to the guests who came to the feast, when he saw how they took the best seats; saying to them,
When you get a request to come to a feast, do not take the best seat, for a more important man than you may be coming,
And then the giver of the feast will come to you and say, Give your place to this man; and you, with shame, will have to take the lowest seat.
But when you come, go and take the lowest seat, so that when the giver of the feast comes, he may say to you, Friend, come up higher; and then you will have honour in the eyes of all the others who are there.
For every man who gives himself a high place will be put down, but he who takes a low place will be lifted up.
And he said to the master of the house, When you give a feast, do not send for your friends and your brothers and your family or your neighbours who have wealth, for they may give a feast for you, and so you will get a reward.
But when you give a feast, send for the poor and the blind and those who are broken in body:
And you will have a blessing, because they will not be able to give you any payment, and you will get your reward when the upright come back from the dead.
And, hearing these words, one of those who were at table with him said to him, Happy is the man who will be a guest in the kingdom of God.
And he said to them, A certain man gave a great feast, and sent word of it to a number of people.
And when the time had come, he sent his servants to say to them, Come, for all things are now ready.
And they all gave reasons why they were not able to come. The first said to him, I have got a new field, and it is necessary for me to go and see it: I am full of regret that I am unable to come.
And another said, I have got some cattle, and I am going to make a test of them: I am full of regret that I am unable to come.
And another said, I have been married, and so I am not able to come.
And the servant came back and gave his master an account of these things. Then the master of the house was angry and said to the servant, Go out quickly into the streets of the town and get the poor, the blind, and those who are broken in body.
And the servant said, Lord, your orders have been done, and still there is room.
And the lord said to the servant, Go out into the roads and the fields, and make them come in, so that my house may be full.
For I say to you that not one of those who were requested to come will have a taste of my feast.
Now a great number of people went with him.
And turning round, he said to them, If any man comes to me, and has not hate for his father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, and even for his life, he may not be my disciple.
Whoever does not take up his cross and come after me may not be my disciple.
For which of you, desiring to put up a tower, does not first give much thought to the price, if he will have enough to make it complete?
For fear that if he makes a start and is not able to go on with it to the end, all who see it will be laughing at him,
And saying, This man made a start at building and is not able to make it complete.
Or what king, going to war with another king, will not first take thought if he will be strong enough, with ten thousand men, to keep off him who comes against him with twenty thousand?
Or while the other is still a great distance away, he sends representatives requesting conditions of peace.
And so whoever is not ready to give up all he has may not be my disciple.
For salt is good, but if the taste goes from it, of what use is it?
It is no good for the land or for the place of waste; no one has a use for it. He who has ears, let him give ear.
Now all the tax-farmers and sinners came near to give ear to him.
And the Pharisees and scribes were angry, saying, This man gives approval to sinners, and takes food with them.
And he made a story for them, saying,
What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if one of them gets loose and goes away, will not let the ninety-nine be in the waste land by themselves, and go after the wandering one, till he sees where it is?
And when he has got it again, he takes it in his arms with joy.
And when he gets back to his house, he sends for his neighbours and friends, saying to them, Be glad with me, for I have got back my sheep which had gone away.
I say to you that even so there will be more joy in heaven when one sinner is turned away from his wrongdoing, than for ninety-nine good men, who have no need of a change of heart.
Or what woman, having ten bits of silver, if one bit has gone from her hands, will not get a light, and go through her house, searching with care till she sees it?
And when she has it again, she gets her friends and neighbours together, saying, Be glad with me, for I have got back the bit of silver which had gone from me.
Even so, I say to you, There is joy among the angels of God, when one sinner is turned away from his wrongdoing.
And he said, A certain man had two sons:
And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me that part of your property which will be mine. And he made division of his goods between them.
And not long after, the younger son got together everything which was his and took a journey into a far-away country, and there all his money went in foolish living.
And when everything was gone, there was no food to be had in that country, and he was in need.
And he went and put himself into the hands of one of the people of that country, and he sent him into his fields to give the pigs their food.
And so great was his need that he would have been glad to take the pigs’ food, and no one gave him anything.
But when he came to his senses, he said, What numbers of my father’s servants have bread enough, and more, while I am near to death here through need of food!
I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, Father, I have done wrong, against heaven and in your eyes:
I am no longer good enough to be named your son: make me like one of your servants.
And he got up and went to his father. But while he was still far away, his father saw him and was moved with pity for him and went quickly and took him in his arms and gave him a kiss.
And his son said to him, Father, I have done wrong, against heaven and in your eyes: I am no longer good enough to be named your son.
But the father said to his servants, Get out the first robe quickly, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and shoes on his feet:
And get the fat young ox and put it to death, and let us have a feast, and be glad.
For this, my son, who was dead, is living again; he had gone away from me, and has come back. And they were full of joy.
Now the older son was in the field: and when he came near the house, the sounds of music and dancing came to his ears.
And he sent for one of the servants, questioning him about what it might be.
And he said to him, Your brother has come; and your father has had the young ox put to death because he has come back safely.
But he was angry and would not go in; and his father came out and made a request to him to come in.
But he made answer and said to his father, See, all these years I have been your servant, doing your orders in everything: and you never gave me even a young goat so that I might have a feast with my friends:
But when this your son came, who has been wasting your property with bad women, you put to death the fat young ox for him.
And he said to him, Son, you are with me at all times, and all I have is yours.
But it was right to be glad and to have a feast; for this your brother, who was dead, is living again; he had gone away and has come back.