And when Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in their cities.
Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples
and said to him, "Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?"
And Jesus answered them, "Go and tell John what you hear and see:
the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them.
And blessed is he who takes no offense at me."
As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: "What did you go out into the wilderness to behold? A reed shaken by the wind?
Why then did you go out? To see a man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, those who wear soft raiment are in kings' houses.
Why then did you go out? To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
This is he of whom it is written, 'Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, who shall prepare thy way before thee.'
Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has risen no one greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and men of violence take it by force.
For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John;
and if you are willing to accept it, he is Eli'jah who is to come.
He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
"But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market places and calling to their playmates,
'We piped to you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn.'
For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon';
the Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Behold, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds."
Then he began to upbraid the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent.
"Woe to you, Chora'zin! woe to you, Beth-sa'ida! for if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
But I tell you, it shall be more tolerable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you.
And you, Caper'na-um, will you be exalted to heaven? You shall be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
But I tell you that it shall be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you."
At that time Jesus declared, "I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes;
yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will.
All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the sabbath; his disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat.
But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, "Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the sabbath."
He said to them, "Have you not read what David did, when he was hungry, and those who were with him:
how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests?
Or have you not read in the law how on the sabbath the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are guiltless?
I tell you, something greater than the temple is here.
And if you had known what this means, 'I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the guiltless.
For the Son of man is lord of the sabbath."
And he went on from there, and entered their synagogue.
And behold, there was a man with a withered hand. And they asked him, "Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath?" so that they might accuse him.
He said to them, "What man of you, if he has one sheep and it falls into a pit on the sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out?
Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the sabbath."
Then he said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." And the man stretched it out, and it was restored, whole like the other.
But the Pharisees went out and took counsel against him, how to destroy him.
Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. And many followed him, and he healed them all,
and ordered them not to make him known.
This was to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah:
"Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he shall proclaim justice to the Gentiles.
He will not wrangle or cry aloud, nor will any one hear his voice in the streets;
he will not break a bruised reed or quench a smoldering wick, till he brings justice to victory;
and in his name will the Gentiles hope."
Then a blind and dumb demoniac was brought to him, and he healed him, so that the dumb man spoke and saw.
And all the people were amazed, and said, "Can this be the Son of David?"
But when the Pharisees heard it they said, "It is only by Be-el'zebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons."
Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand;
and if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand?
And if I cast out demons by Be-el'zebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges.
But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
Or how can one enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house.
He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.
Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.
And whoever says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.
"Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or make the tree bad, and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit.
You brood of vipers! how can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
The good man out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil man out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.
I tell you, on the day of judgment men will render account for every careless word they utter;
for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."
Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to him, "Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you."
But he answered them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign; but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.
For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
The men of Nin'eveh will arise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.
The queen of the South will arise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.
"When the unclean spirit has gone out of a man, he passes through waterless places seeking rest, but he finds none.
Then he says, 'I will return to my house from which I came.' And when he comes he finds it empty, swept, and put in order.
Then he goes and brings with him seven other spirits more evil than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. So shall it be also with this evil generation."
While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him.
But he replied to the man who told him, "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?"
And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers!
For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister, and mother."
That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea.
And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat there; and the whole crowd stood on the beach.
And he told them many things in parables, saying: "A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them.
Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they had not much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil,
but when the sun rose they were scorched; and since they had no root they withered away.
Other seeds fell upon thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them.
Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
He who has ears, let him hear."
Then the disciples came and said to him, "Why do you speak to them in parables?"
And he answered them, "To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.
For to him who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.
With them indeed is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah which says: 'You shall indeed hear but never understand, and you shall indeed see but never perceive.
For this people's heart has grown dull, and their ears are heavy of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should perceive with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and turn for me to heal them.'
But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.
Truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.
"Hear then the parable of the sower.
When any one hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in his heart; this is what was sown along the path.
As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;
yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.
As for what was sown among thorns, this is he who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the delight in riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.
As for what was sown on good soil, this is he who hears the word and understands it; he indeed bears fruit, and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty."
Another parable he put before them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field;
but while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away.
So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also.
And the servants of the householder came and said to him, 'Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then has it weeds?'
He said to them, 'An enemy has done this.' The servants said to him, 'Then do you want us to go and gather them?'
But he said, 'No; lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them.
Let both grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.'"
Another parable he put before them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field;
it is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches."
He told them another parable. "The kingdom of heaven is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened."
All this Jesus said to the crowds in parables; indeed he said nothing to them without a parable.
This was to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet: "I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter what has been hidden since the foundation of the world."
Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, "Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field."
He answered, "He who sows the good seed is the Son of man;
the field is the world, and the good seed means the sons of the kingdom; the weeds are the sons of the evil one,
and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the close of the age, and the reapers are angels.
Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the close of the age.
The Son of man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers,
and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.
Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.
"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls,
who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net which was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind;
when it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into vessels but threw away the bad.
So it will be at the close of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous,
and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.
"Have you understood all this?" They said to him, "Yes."
And he said to them, "Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old."
And when Jesus had finished these parables, he went away from there,
and coming to his own country he taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, "Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works?
Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas?
And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all this?"
And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house."
And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.