My eyes are ever turned toward the Lord, For he saves my feet from the net. Turn to me and be gracious, For I am alone and afflicted; Relieve the troubles of my heart, And deliver me from my distresses; Look on my affliction and suffering, And pardon all my sins.
Consider my enemies, for they are many, And they hate me with violent hatred; Oh save my life and deliver me, Let me not be ashamed, for I trust thee. Let innocence and uprightness preserve me, For I wait for thee, O Lord.
SAFETY IN GOD'S CARE
You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High, Who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, Who say to the Lord, "Thou art my refuge, And my fortress, my God in whom I trust," He will surely deliver you from the snare, When entrapped from the destructive pit. With his pinions he will cover you, And under his wings you may hide.
His faithfulness is a shield and defense, You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day, Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, Nor the destruction that wastes at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand, But it shall not come near unto you. You need but look with your eyes, To see how the wicked are punished.
Because the Lord is your refuge, And you have made the Most High your abode, There shall no evil befall you, No plague come near your tent; For he will give his angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways; They shall bear you up on their hands, Lest you strike your foot on a stone. You shall tread on the lion and adder, You shall trample on the young lion and dragon.
"Because of his love for me I will deliver him, I will exalt him, for he knows my name. He shall call upon me and I will answer him, In time of trouble I will be with him, I will deliver him and bring him honor, With long life will I satisfy him, And show him my power to save."
GOD OUR REFUGE
God is our refuge and strength, An ever-present help in trouble. So we fear not, though the earth trembles, And mountains tumble into the heart of the sea; Though its waters roar and foam, Though mountains quake at its uproar. The Lord of hosts is with us, The God of Jacob is our refuge.
As the brooks refresh the city of God, So the Most High makes holy his abiding-place; God is in her midst, she cannot be moved, God will help her at the turn of the morn.
Nations were in tumult, kingdoms fell, He uttered his voice, the earth melted. The Lord of hosts is with us, The God of Jacob is our refuge.
Come, see the mighty works of the Lord, Who makes wars cease to the end of the earth He snaps the bow, and breaks the spear, And burns up the chariots with fire. "Be still, and know that I am God, Exalted over the nations, exalted on earth." The Lord of hosts is with us, The God of Jacob is our refuge.
THE JOY OF WORSHIPPING GOD
Oh come, let us sing to the Lord, Let us shout to the Rock who saves us, Let us come before him with thanksgiving, Let us sing to him joyful songs; For the Lord is indeed a great God, A great King above all gods, In whose hand are the depths of the earth, The heights of the mountains are his, The sea is his, for he made it, And his hands prepared the dry land.
Oh come, let us worship and bow down, Let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker; For he is the Lord our God, And we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth, Serve the Lord with gladness, Come into his presence with singing, Know that the Lord is God, He has made us and we are his, His people, the flock that he tends.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, His courts with songs of rejoicing, Give thanks to him, praise his name, He is good, his kindness eternal, And his faithfulness unto all generations.
WHAT GOD ASKS OF THOSE WHO WORSHIP HIM
O Lord, who may be a guest in thy tent? Who may dwell on thy holy hill?
He who lives blamelessly and does right, And speaks the truth in his heart, Who utters no slander with his tongue, Who does no wrong to his friend, Who makes no charge against his neighbor; In whose sight the vile are despised, But he honors those who revere the Lord. He keeps his oath at all costs, His money he puts not out to usury, And cannot be bribed to injure the innocent.
He who does this can never be moved.
A CALL TO PRAISE GOD
Oh, sing to the Lord a new song; Sing to the Lord, all the earth, Sing to the Lord, praise his name, Proclaim his salvation each day; Tell his glory among the heathen, His wonders among all peoples.
God is great, and worthy of praise, Above all gods should he be revered, For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But it is the Lord who made the heavens. Honor and majesty are in his presence, Strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
Give to the Lord, you tribes of the nations, Give to the Lord glory and strength. Give to the Lord the glory that is due him; Bring an offering, and enter his courts. Oh, worship the Lord in holy attire, Tremble before him, all the earth. Say to the nations, "The Lord reigns, And he will rule the peoples justly."
Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice, Let the sea roar and all of its inhabitants, Let the fields exult, and all that is in them, Let the trees of the forest sing with joy Before the Lord, for he has come, For he has come to rule the earth; He will rule the world with justice, He will rule the nations with faithfulness.
THE UNITED SONG OF PRAISE
Praise the Lord from the heavens, Praise him on the heights. Praise him, all his angels, Praise him, all his host!
Praise him, sun and moon, Praise him, all stars of light! Praise him, heavens of heavens, And waters above the heavens!
Let them praise the name of the Lord, For at his command they were made; He fixed them forever and ever, Set a bound they must not pass.
Praise the Lord from the earth, Sea-monsters and all deeps! Fire, hail, snow, and vapor, Storm wind, fulfilling his word!
Mountains and all hills, Fruit-trees and all cedars! Wild beasts and all cattle, Creeping things and winged birds!
Kings of earth and all peoples, All rulers and judges of earth, Young men and maidens too, Old men and children together!
Let them praise the name of the Lord, For his name alone is exalted. Over heaven and earth is his majesty, He has strengthened the might of his people; He is praised by all who are faithful, By the Israelites, who are near him.
Praise God in his holy place, Praise him for his mighty firmament, Praise him for his deeds of power, Praise him for his infinite greatness.
Praise him with the blast of the horn, Praise him with lyre and harp, Praise him with timbrel and dance, Praise him with strings and pipe, Praise him with clanging cymbals, Praise him with clashing cymbals. Let all that breathes praise the Lord!
MAN'S PLACE IN GOD'S WORLD
O Lord, our God, how glorious Is thy name in all the earth!
Thou hast spread thy splendor over the heavens; At the cry of babes and infants Thou hast set up a bulwark, because of thine enemies, To silence the foe and avenger.
When I see thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, The moon and stars which thou hast made; What is man that thou art mindful of him; Or the son of man that thou visitest him?
Yet thou hast made him little less than divine, And hast crowned him with glory and honor, Making him lord of creation, So that all things are subject to him.
The sheep and the oxen, all of them, Yes, and the beasts of the field, The birds of the air and the fish, That dart through the paths of the sea.
O Lord, our God, how glorious Is thy name in all the earth!
THE REWARD OF DOING RIGHT
Happy is the man Who follows not the counsel of the wicked, Nor takes his stand with sinners, Nor sits among the scoffers, But delights in the law of the Lord, And day and night meditates on it. For he is like a tree planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in due season, Whose leaf never withers, And all that he does prospers.
Not so the wicked! They are like the chaff driven by the wind. So the wicked shall not rise up at the judgment, Nor sinners where the righteous are gathered; For the Lord directs the way of the righteous, But the way of the wicked leads to ruin.
A PRAYER FOR FORGIVENESS
Have mercy upon me, O God, According to thy loving-kindness, According to the multitude of thy tender mercies, Blot out all my transgressions, Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin. For well do I know my misdeeds, And my sin is always before me. Against thee, thee only have I sinned, And done what is wrong in thy sight; Therefore thou art right when thou speakest, And just when thou pronouncest thy judgment.
Verily I was born in iniquity, And in sin did my mother conceive me. Yet thou desirest truth in the heart, In my inner soul thou wouldst teach me wisdom. Cleanse me with hyssop that I may be clean, Wash me whiter than snow. Fill me with joy and gladness, That the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, And blot out all mine iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence, Withdraw not thy holy spirit from me. Give me back the glad sense of thy help, And with a willing spirit sustain me.
Then I will teach sinners thy ways, And wrong-doers shall turn unto thee. Save me from bloodshed, O God, That my tongue may sing of thy righteousness. O Lord, open thou my lips, That my mouth may declare thy praise!
For thou takest no pleasure in sacrifice, No delight in gifts of burnt-offering. The sacrifices pleasing to thee Are a broken and a contrite spirit.
THE SAYINGS OF THE WISE
THE REWARDS OF LISTENING TO THE ADVICE OF THE WISE
My son, if you heed my words, And store my commands in your mind, Pay close attention to wisdom, And give careful heed to reason. If you will but seek her as silver, And search for her as for hid treasures, You shall then understand true religion, And gain a knowledge of God. For wisdom shall enter your mind, And knowledge shall be pleasant to you, Discretion shall watch over you, And understanding shall guard you, To keep you from doing wrong, From men whose words are evil, Who leave the paths of right To walk in ways that are dark, Who rejoice in doing wrong, And take pleasure in evil deeds.
Happy the man who finds wisdom, And he who gains understanding. In her right hand is long life, In her left are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, And all her paths are peaceful. She gives life to those who seek her, They are happy who hold her fast. You shall then go on your way securely, And your foot shall never stumble. When you sit down, you shall not be afraid, When you lie down, your sleep shall be sweet.
WHAT GOD LIKES AND DISLIKES
The eyes of the Lord are all-seeing, Keeping watch on both wicked and good. A man thinks all that he does is right, But the Lord tests the motive. A man plans the way in his mind, But the Lord directs his steps.
The Lord detests a false balance, But a just balance is his delight. To do what is just and right Is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice. The conduct of the wicked is hateful to him, But he loves the man eager to do right. The Lord detests the evil-minded, But is well pleased with him who lives uprightly.
The sacrifice of the wicked is hateful to the Lord, But the prayer of the upright is a delight to him! The Lord holds aloof from the wicked, But hears the prayer of the upright. Lying lips are hateful to the Lord, But they who act honestly are his delight.
There are six things that the Lord hates, Yes, seven are detestable to him: Haughty eyes and a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, A mind that plans wicked schemes, Feet that make haste to do evil, A false witness who utters lies, And he who sows strife between brothers.
GOD'S CARE FOR THOSE WHO TRY TO DO RIGHT
The curse of the Lord is on the house of the wicked, But he blesses the home of him who does right. Surely he scoffs at the scoffers, But to the modest he ever shows favor.
The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry, But he disappoints the desire of the wicked. The Lord is a stronghold to him who lives rightly, But he brings destruction to those who do wrong.
The name of the Lord is a strong tower, To which the righteous runs and is safe. Every word of God is true; He is a shield to those who trust him.
Say not, "I will be revenged for a wrong"; Wait for the Lord, he will save you. For the Lord gives wisdom, From his mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright, He is a shield to those who live clean lives, That he may guard the course of justice, And protect the way of his faithful ones.
Reverence for the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But the foolish despise wisdom and discipline. Reverence comes through wise instruction, And before honor goes modesty.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, Depend not on your own understanding; In all you do make him your friend, And he will direct your paths.
Be not wise in your own eyes. Revere the Lord, and avoid sin. Then you will have health of body And your bones will be refreshed.
Honor the Lord with your wealth, With the best of all you receive, Then your barns will be filled with grain, And your vats overflow with wine.
A greedy man stirs up strife, But he who trusts in the Lord will prosper. Intrust what you do to the Lord, Then your plans will succeed.
THE WAY TO BE WELL AND HAPPY
Many a man tells of his own kindness. But a trustworthy man who can find? A child is known by his acts, Whether his work is pure and right.
Worry in a man's mind makes it sad, But a kind word makes it happy. A man's spirit upholds him in sickness, But who can raise up a broken spirit?
A calm mind is the life of the body, But jealousy rots the bones. A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, But by inward sorrow the spirit is broken. A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING WILLING TO LEARN
The lips of the wise speak knowledge, But the fool does not understand. A fool's way seems right in his sight, But a wise man listens to advice. A fool despises his father's correction, But he who regards reproof acts wisely.
Listen to advice and receive instruction, That you may be wise in your later life. Advice in a man's mind is like deep water, But a man of sense will draw it out. Hold fast instruction, let it not go; Keep it, for it is your life.
My son, reject not the discipline of the Lord, And do not spurn his reproof, For whom he loves he reproves, Even as a father the son of whom he is fond. He who rejects correction despises his own self, But he who listens to reproof gains understanding.
HOW TO HONOR YOUR PARENTS
My son, hear the instruction of your father, And forsake not the teaching of your mother; They shall be a crown of beauty for your head, And a necklace about your neck. Listen to your father who begat you, And despise not your mother when she is old. He who does what he is told is a wise son. But he who makes friends of spendthrifts, Brings disgrace on his father.
He who robs father or mother, Saying, "There is no wrong in it," Is like him who is a destroyer. He who curses his father or mother, His lamp shall go out in the blackest of darkness. A wise son makes a glad father, But a foolish son despises his mother. A foolish son is a grief to his father, And brings bitterness to her who bore him.
Be wise, my son, and make glad my heart, That I may answer the one who reproaches me. Let your father be filled with joy, And let her who bore you rejoice.
THE TROUBLES OF THOSE WHO ARE LAZY
The lazy man says, "A lion is outside! I shall be killed in the streets!" As the door turns on its hinges, So the lazy man turns on his bed. He dips his hand in the dish, But does not bring it to his mouth! The lazy man is wiser in his own mind, Than seven who can answer intelligently. The way of the lazy is hedged in with thorns, But the path of the diligent is a well-built highway.
I went by the field of the lazy man, By the vineyard of him who lacked sense, It was all overgrown with thorns, Its surface was covered with nettles, And its stone wall was broken down. Then I beheld and reflected, I saw and received instruction: A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest, And your poverty comes as a robber, And your want as a well-armed man.
THINGS THAT ARE BETTER THAN RICHES
Better is a poor man who lives uprightly Than one who is dishonest, though he be rich. Better is a little with righteousness Than great abundance with injustice.
Better is a modest spirit with the humble, Than to divide spoil with the proud. A good name is better than great riches, More highly valued than silver and gold. He who trusts in riches shall fail, But the upright flourish like a green leaf.
Toil not that you may become rich; Cease through your own understanding. Should you set your eyes upon it, it is gone! For riches fly away, Like an eagle that flies toward heaven. Better is little with reverence for the Lord Than great treasure and trouble as well.
Two things I ask of thee, O God, Deny me them not ere I die: Put far from me deceit and lying, Give me neither poverty nor riches; Provide me with the food that I need, That I may not be filled to the full and deny thee, And say, "Who is the Lord?" Or else be poor and steal, And disgrace the name of my God.
RIGHT EATING AND DRINKING
If you find honey, eat only what you need, That you may not be too full and be ill.
Wine is a mocker, strong drink makes one quarrelsome, And whoever is misled by it is not wise. Who cries, "Woe"? who, "Alas"? Who has quarrels? Who complains? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? They who linger long over wine, They who go in to taste mixed wine.
So look not on wine when it is red, When it sparkles in the cup, And glides down smoothly. At last it bites like a snake, And stings like an adder.
Then you will see strange things, And your mind will be confused. You will be like one sleeping at sea, Like one asleep in a violent storm. "I have been struck, but I feel no pain; I have been beaten, but I know it not. When shall I awake from my wine? I will seek it yet again."
THE RIGHT USE OF THE TONGUE
Do you see a man who speaks before he thinks? There is more hope for a fool than for him. He who answers before he hears Covers himself with confusion.
He who is sparing of words has knowledge, And he who has a cool spirit is a man of sense. Even a fool, if he keeps still, is considered wise; Prudent, if he keeps his lips shut.
He who guards his mouth and tongue Guards himself against trouble. Life and death are in the power of the tongue; They who are fond of using it must eat its fruit.
A man has joy from the utterance of his mouth, And a word in season, how good it is! A word fitly spoken Is like golden fruit in silver settings. Pleasant words are like honeycomb, Sweet to the taste and healing to the body.
THE CONTROL OF THE TEMPER
A mild answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.
A man without self-control Is a ruined city whose wall is broken. A fool gives way to his wrath, But a wise man restrains his anger. A fool's anger is known at once, But a sensible man heeds not an insult.
A man's wisdom makes him patient, It is his glory to overlook faults. He who is patient is better than a warrior, And he who rules his temper than he who takes a city.
WHAT IT MEANS TO BE MODEST
Do not boast what you will do to-morrow, For you know not what a day may bring forth. Do you see a man wise in his own opinion? There is more hope for a fool than for him!
Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall. When pride comes, then comes disgrace, But with the modest is wisdom.
It is not good to eat much honey; But to seek the glory of others is glorious. Let another man praise you, not your own mouth; Some other, and not your own lips.
BEING GENEROUS AND LOVING
He who returns evil for good, From his house evil shall not depart.
It is an honor for a man to avoid strife; Only a fool is quarrelsome. Charcoal for embers, and wood for fire, And a quarrelsome man to kindle strife!
Strive not with a man without cause, If he has done you no harm.
The beginning of strife is as when one lets out water; Therefore leave off strife before quarrelling begins. Better a dry crust with quietness Than a house full of feasting with strife.
A just man regards the life of his beast, But the heart of the wicked is cruel.
He who oppresses the poor reviles his Maker, But he who has pity on the needy honors him. He who listens not to the cry of the poor, He also shall call and not be answered. He who pities the poor, lends to the Lord And he will repay him for his good deed.
If your enemy hungers, give him food; If he thirsts, give him water to drink; For you will heap coals of fire on his head, And the Lord will reward you.
Hatred stirs up strife, But love overlooks faults. Better a meal of herbs where love is, Than a fatted ox with hate.
Let not love and truth leave you, Bind them about your neck; So you will enjoy favor and a good reputation In the sight of God and man.
THE NEW TESTAMENT
JESUS IS BORN AT BETHLEHEM
The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a young woman named Mary in Nazareth, a town of Galilee. She was to be married to a man named Joseph of the family of David. When he came to her the angel said: "Hail, highly honored one! God is with you!"
She was startled by his words and wondered what such a greeting might mean. But the angel said to her, "Fear not, Mary, for you have found favor with God. You will have a son and will name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High."
Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, for I am not yet married." The angel answered her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will cover you; therefore your child will be called holy, the Son of God." Mary said: "I am God's servant. May it be with me as you say." Then the angel left her.
In those days the Emperor Augustus commanded that every one should be registered. So all went to be registered, each to his own town. Joseph, because he was of the family of David, went to be registered with Mary, his wife, from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Bethlehem in Judea where David was born. While they were there Mary's first son was born. And she wrapped him in swaddling-clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
In that country there were shepherds living in the fields and keeping watch over their flocks by night. And an angel from God stood by them and a heavenly light shone around them, and they were frightened. But the angel said to them:
"Fear not, for behold I bring you good news Of great joy which shall be for all the people. For to you is born this day in the town of David A Saviour who is God's Anointed. This will be a sign to guide you: You will find a baby in swaddling-clothes lying in a manger."
Then suddenly there was with the angel a great number of the heavenly ones singing praise to God and saying:
"Glory to God on high, And on earth peace, good-will among men."
When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go now to Bethlehem to see this which God has made known to us." So they went quickly and found Mary and Joseph; and the baby was lying in a manger.
When they had seen him, they made known what had been told them about this child. All who heard the words of the shepherds wondered, but Mary kept these things to herself and often thought about them. And the shepherds returned, thanking and praising God for what they had heard and seen, as it had been foretold.
THE WISE MEN BRING GIFTS TO THE YOUNG CHILD
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, "Where is the newly born King of the Jews? For we saw his star in the east and have come to worship him."
When Herod heard these things, he and every one else in Jerusalem were greatly troubled. So when he had gathered all the high priests and scribes together, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. They said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea."
Then Herod privately called the wise men and asked them exactly how long the star had been seen since it appeared in the east. And he sent them to Bethlehem with the command, "Go and search carefully for the young child, and when you have found him, come and let me know, that I also may go and worship him." When they had heard the king, they went away, and the star which they had seen in the east went before them until it stood over the place where the young child was. They were overjoyed at the sight; and when they came into the house and saw the child with Mary, his mother, they knelt down and worshipped him. Opening their treasures they presented to him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. But being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they went back to their own country by another way.
THE BOY JESUS ASKS QUESTIONS
After Joseph and Mary had done all that the law commanded, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. And the boy Jesus grew and became strong in body and mind. And the blessing of God was upon him.
Now his parents went every year to Jerusalem to the Feast of the Passover, and when he was twelve years old they went up as usual. After they had stayed the full number of days and were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know this; but, supposing him to be in the caravan, they travelled on for a whole day. Then they searched for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, still looking for him. After three days they found him in the Temple, sitting with the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. All who heard him were amazed at his intelligence and his answers.
When his parents saw him, they were astonished; and his mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously looking for you." He said to them, "Why did you look for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?" But they did not understand what he meant.
Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth; and he was obedient to them; but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and body and in favor with God and man.
JOHN THE BAPTIST TELLS OF JESUS' WORK
While Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea and Herod was ruler of Galilee, a man named John, the son of Zachariah, lived in the desert country. And God commanded him and he went into all the country around the river Jordan calling upon men to be baptized to show that they were sorry for their sins and wished to be forgiven. Those who were truly sorry for their sins, he baptized in the river Jordan.
This John wore a garment of camel's hair and a leather belt, and his food was locusts and wild honey.
Then the people of Jerusalem and all Judea and the country around the Jordan began to go out to him to confess their sins and to be baptized by him in the Jordan.
To the crowds that went out to be baptized by him he said, "You children of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Bear fruits, then, that will prove that you are truly sorry for what you have done. Do not say to yourselves, 'We are children of Abraham'; for I tell you, God can raise up children for Abraham from these stones. Already the axe lies at the root of the trees. Every tree, therefore, that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire."
The crowds kept asking him, "What must we do?" He answered them, "Let him who has two coats share with him who has none; and let him who has food do the same."
When the tax-gatherers came to be baptized, they said to him, "Teacher, what must we do?" He said to them, "Do not take more from any one than rightfully belongs to you." Soldiers also asked him, "And what must we do?" To them he said, "Do not take money from anybody by force, nor make false charges, but be content with your wages."
Now as the people were wondering whether John might possibly be the Christ, John said to them all, "I indeed baptize you with water; but One is coming mightier than I, whose shoe-strings I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly cleanse his threshing-floor, and will gather the wheat into his storehouse; but the chaff he will burn up with fire that cannot be put out." In this way, and with many other earnest words, he told the good news to the people.
JESUS DECIDES HOW HE WILL DO HIS WORK
At this time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And as he was coming up from the water, he saw the heavens opening and the Spirit, like a dove, coming down upon him. And a voice from heaven said,
"Thou art my beloved Son, In thee I am well pleased."
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after he had fasted forty days and forty nights he was hungry. Then the tempter came and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become bread." But Jesus answered, "It is written,
"'Man is not to live on bread alone, But on every word that comes from God.'"
Then the devil took him to the holy city and, setting him on the highest point of the Temple, said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written,
"'He will give his angels charge of you, And on their hands they will bear you up, Lest you strike your foot against a stone.'"
Jesus said to him, "It is also written,
"'You shall not tempt the Lord your God.'"
Once more the devil took him to a high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory, and he said to him, "All these things I will give you if you will fall down and worship me." Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! for it is written,
"'You shall worship the Lord your God, And him only shall you serve.'"
JESUS WINS DEVOTED FRIENDS
Herod seized John the Baptist and bound him, and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, for John said to him, "It is not right for you to have her." And although Herod wanted to put him to death, he was afraid of the people, for they believed John to be a prophet.
Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching God's good news: "The time has come; repent of your sins and believe in the good news, for the kingdom of God is at hand."
Leaving Nazareth, Jesus went to live in Capernaum, which is on the Sea of Galilee. As he was passing along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting their nets into the sea, for they were fishermen. Jesus said to them, "Come with me, and I will make you fishers of men." And they at once left their nets and followed him. And going a little farther on, he saw James, the son of Zebedee, with John his brother, who were in their boat mending their nets. He called them, and they at once left their father, Zebedee, in the boat with the hired men, and went with him.
Then Jesus found Philip and said to him, "Come with me." Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the home of Andrew and Peter. Philip, finding Nathanael, said to him, "We have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote: Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." But Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Philip replied, "Come and see."
Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him and said to him, "Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is no deceit." Nathanael said to him, "How do you know me?" Jesus answered, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig-tree, I saw you." Nathanael answered him, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the King of Israel." Jesus replied, "Do you believe because I said to you, 'I saw you under the fig-tree'? You shall see greater things than these!"
THE WEDDING AT CANA
Two days later there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited. When the wine had all been used, Jesus' mother said to him, "They have no wine." Jesus answered, "What is that to me? My time has not yet come." His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you." Six stone water-jars (such as the Jews used in washing) were there; each jar would hold about twenty gallons. Jesus said, "Fill up the jars with water." So they filled them to the brim. Then Jesus said, "Pour some out, and take it to the one in charge of the feast." And they did so. When the one in charge of the feast tasted the water which had become wine, he did not know where it came from (although the servants who had poured out the water knew), so he called the bridegroom and said to him, "Every one serves the good wine first, and the wine that is not so good after men have drunk freely; but you have kept the good wine until now." This the first of his wonderful signs, showing his power, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee; and his disciples believed in him.
THE HEALING OF THE TEN LEPERS
On their way to Jerusalem, Jesus and his disciples passed through Samaria and Galilee. When he entered a certain village, he was met by ten lepers, who cried to him from a distance, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us." When Jesus saw them he said to them, "Go, and show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were made clean.
One of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice praised God; and he fell down at the feet of Jesus with his face to the ground and thanked him; and this man was a Samaritan. Jesus said to him, "Were not ten made clean? Where are the other nine? Was there no one who returned to give praise to God except this stranger?" And Jesus said to him, "Arise, and go on your way, your faith has made you well."
HEALING THE MAN AT THE POOL
There was a festival of the Jews in Jerusalem, and Jesus went there. In Jerusalem there is a pool beside the sheep gate. In Hebrew it is called, Bethesda. It has five porches, and a crowd of people who were sick, blind, lame or helpless were lying there, waiting for the water to move, for an angel of the Lord went down into the pool at certain times and stirred the water; and the first person who stepped into the water after it was stirred was made well, no matter what disease he had.
One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had been ill for a long time; and he said to him, "Do you want to be made well?" The sick man answered, "Sir, I have no one to put me in the pool when the water is stirred, and while I am getting in, some one else steps in before me." Jesus said to him, "Arise, take up your bed, and walk." Immediately the man was made well, and he took up his bed and walked.
JESUS TALKS WITH A SAMARITAN WOMAN
When Jesus left Judea and went back into Galilee, he had to pass through Samaria; and he came to a city of Samaria called Sychar, near the piece of ground that Jacob gave his son Joseph. Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus, therefore, being wearied by the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon and a woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink." (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.)
The Samaritan woman said to him, "How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me who am a Samaritan?" for the Jews have nothing to do with Samaritans. Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is who says to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked him and he would have given you living water." The woman said to him, "Sir, you have nothing with which to draw and the well is deep; where then do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob who gave us the well and himself drank from it, together with his children and his cattle?" Jesus answered her, "Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give shall never thirst. The water that I give him will become in him a well of water springing up into eternal life." The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst again nor have to come here to draw."
Jesus said to her, "Go, call your husband, then come back here." The woman answered, "I have no husband." Jesus said to her, "You are right in saying, 'I have no husband,' for you have had five husbands, and he whom you now have is not your husband; in saying that, you spoke the truth."
The woman said to him, "Sir, I see that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and you Jews say that Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship." Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe me, the time will come when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor at Jerusalem. The time is coming, yes, has already come, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for such worshippers the Father seeks. God is a spirit, and they who worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." The woman said to him, "I know that the Messiah (which means Christ) is coming. When he comes he will explain all things to us." Jesus said to her, "I who am talking to you am he."
At this point the disciples came up and were astonished that he was talking with a woman; but none of them said, "What do you want?" or, "Why are you talking to her?"
Then the woman left her water-pot and going into the city said to the men, "Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Is not this the Messiah?" And they set out from the town on their way to him.
Meanwhile Jesus' disciples urged him, saying, "Master, take some food"; but he said to them, "I have food to eat of which you know not." So they said to one another, "Has any one brought him something to eat?" Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to carry out his work. Do not say, 'Four months and then comes the harvest'; I say to you, lift up your eyes and see these fields white for the harvest! Already the reaper is receiving his wages and gathering in a crop for eternal life, that the sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the proverb holds true, 'One sows and another reaps.' I sent you to reap a harvest for which you had not toiled; other men have toiled and you are sharing the results of their toil."
Because of the words of the woman who had said, "He told me everything that I ever did," many Samaritans from the town believed in Jesus; and when they came to him, they begged him to stay with them. And he stayed there two days, and many more believed because of what he himself said. To the woman they said, "Now we believe, not because of your words but because we have heard for ourselves and know that this is indeed the Saviour of the world."
GIVING LIFE TO A WIDOW'S SON
Jesus went to a town called Nain; and his disciples went with him followed by a large crowd. Just as Jesus came to the gate of the town, he saw one who was dead being carried out. He was the only son of his mother who was a widow. Many people of the town were with her.
When Jesus saw her, he had sympathy for her and said to her, "Do not weep." And he came and touched the coffin, and those who carried it stood still. Jesus said: "Young man, I say to you, arise." And he who had been dead sat up and began to speak. And Jesus gave him back to his mother. And all the people were filled with fear and praised God, saying, "A great prophet has appeared among us, and God has visited his people." And the story of what Jesus had done was told in all of Judea and the country around there.
JESUS HEALS THE SICK
Jesus and his disciples entered Capernaum; and on the next Sabbath he went into the synagogue and began to teach. And the people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes.
In their synagogue that day was a man under the power of an unclean spirit, who cried out, "What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know you are God's Holy One." But Jesus reproved the unclean spirit, saying, "Be still, and come out of him." Then the unclean spirit, after convulsing the man, came out of him with a loud cry. The people were so astonished that they began to ask one another, "What is this? Is it a new teaching? With authority he commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him." So the news about Jesus spread at once in every direction all through the country about Galilee.
After leaving the synagogue they went straight to the house of Simon and Andrew; and James and John went with them. The mother of Simon's wife was ill in bed with a fever; so at once they told Jesus about her. He went to her and, taking her by the hand, lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to wait upon them.
In the evening, after the sun had set, they brought to him all who were sick or under the control of evil spirits, until all the people of the city were gathered at the door. He healed many who were sick with different kinds of diseases, and cast out many evil spirits, but would not let them speak, because they knew who he was.
One day a leper came to him and on bended knees begged him: "If you will, you can make me clean." Feeling sorry for him, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, and said, "I will; be cleansed!" At once the leprosy left him and he was cleansed. Then Jesus, after strictly warning him, sent him away with the command, "See that you do not say a word to any one, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer what Moses commanded as proof to them that you are clean." But the man went away and began to tell every one about it, so that Jesus could no longer enter a city openly, but had to stay outside in lonely places; and people from everywhere came to him.
JESUS CURES A MAN WHO CANNOT WALK
When Jesus entered Capernaum again, after some days, it was reported that he was at home, and so many people gathered about him that there was no longer room for them, not even at the door. While Jesus was preaching to them, four men came, carrying a man who was paralyzed and could not move. As they could not get near to Jesus on account of the crowd, they tore up the roof over his head. When they had made a hole, they let down the bed on which the man who could not move was lying. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to him, "Son, your sins are forgiven." But some of the scribes sitting there said to themselves, "Why should this man say such a thing? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins except God alone?"
Knowing at once what they were saying, Jesus said to them, "Why do you say these things to yourselves? Which is easier: to say to the man who cannot move, 'Your sins are forgiven'; or to say, 'Get up, take your bed, and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man has the power on earth to forgive sins" (he said to the man who could not walk) "I say to you, Rise, take up your bed, and go to your home." Then the man rose and at once took up his bed and went out in the presence of them all, so that they were all filled with wonder and praised God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this."
JESUS MAKES EVEN WRONG-DOERS HIS FRIENDS
Then Jesus went out again beside the Sea of Galilee; and all the crowd came to him, and he taught them. As he passed along he saw Levi, the son of Alphaeus, sitting at the house where taxes were collected, and he said to him, "Come with me." So Levi arose and followed him.
Now while Jesus was eating dinner in Levi's house, many tax-gatherers and sinners sat down with Jesus and his disciples. The scribes and Pharisees, seeing this, said to his disciples, "Does he eat with tax-gatherers and sinners?" On hearing this, Jesus said to them, "Not those who are well, but those who are sick have need of a physician. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance."
At another time one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to dine with him. So Jesus entered the Pharisee's house and sat down at the table. In the town was a wicked woman who, when she heard that Jesus was sitting at the table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster jar of perfume. She stood behind at his feet, weeping; and as her tears began to wet his feet, she wiped them with her hair. And she tenderly kissed his feet and poured the perfume over them.
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would know about the woman who is touching him, for she is a sinner."
Jesus answered him, "Simon, I have a word to say to you." He replied, "Say it, Master." "There were two men who owed a certain money-lender some silver: one owed him five hundred silver pieces and the other fifty. Neither of them was able to pay anything; so he forgave them both. Now which of them will love him the more?" Simon answered, "I suppose the man who owed the most." Jesus said to him, "You have decided rightly."
Turning to the woman, Jesus said to Simon, "You see this woman? When I came into your house, you gave me no water for my feet; but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but she, since I came in, has not ceased tenderly to kiss my feet. You did not pour any oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I say to you, her sins, though they be many, are forgiven, for she has loved much. He to whom little is forgiven, loves little."
Then Jesus said to her, "Your sins are forgiven." And the other guests began to say to themselves, "Who is this man who even forgives sins?" But he said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go and be at peace."
JESUS FINDS JOY IN ALL HIS WORK
Once when John's disciples and the Pharisees were keeping a fast, people came to Jesus and said, "Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?"
Jesus said to them, "Can guests fast at a wedding while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast. But the time will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them; then they will fast. No one sews a piece of new cloth on an old coat; otherwise the patch breaks away from it, the new from the old, and the tear is made worse. No man pours new wine into old wine-skins; otherwise the new wine bursts the skins, and both the wine and the wine-skins are lost. Instead new wine is poured into fresh wine-skins."
One Sabbath Jesus was walking through the grain-fields; and his disciples, as they made their way through, began to pull off the heads of the grain. The Pharisees said to him, "Sir, why are they doing things that on the Sabbath are unlawful?" He said to them, "Have you never read what David did when he and his followers were in need and hungry? how he went into the house of God, when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the holy bread which only the priests are allowed to eat, and gave it also to those who were with him?"
And Jesus said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath; so that the Son of Man is master even of the Sabbath."
At another time he went into a synagogue. A man was there whose hand was shrivelled. And they watched Jesus to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath day, that they might bring a charge against him. Jesus said to the man whose hand was shrivelled, "Rise and come forward." Then he said to them, "Is it lawful on the Sabbath day to do good or to do harm? To save life or to kill? Who of you, if he has but one sheep and it falls into a hole on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out? Is not a man of much greater value than a sheep?" But they did not answer. Then looking around upon them with sorrow and indignation because they had no sympathy, he said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out, and his hand was entirely cured. But the Pharisees went out and at once began to plot with the Herodians against him, how they might put him out of the way.
JESUS CALMS THE STORM
Jesus withdrew to the sea with his disciples, and a crowd followed him from Galilee. Also from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea the other side of the Jordan, and from the country about Tyre and Sidon a great number, having heard what he was doing, came to him. So he told his disciples to have a small boat ready for him to keep him from being crushed by the crowd; for he had healed so many that all who were sick and in trouble were pressing forward to touch him. And whenever those who had evil spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried, "You are the Son of God." But again and again he commanded them not to tell who he was.
In the evening Jesus said to his disciples, "Let us cross to the other side." So, leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat just as he was; and there were other boats with his. A heavy wind-storm arose and the waves began to break into the boat so that it was filling; but Jesus was in the stern asleep on the cushion. So they woke him and said to him, "Master, is it nothing to you that we are lost?" And he awoke and reproved the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace, be still!" And immediately the wind ceased and the sea was calm; and he said to them, "Why are you afraid? Why do you not have faith?" But they were filled with wonder and said to one another, "Who then is he, that even the wind and the sea obey him?"
JESUS HEALS A LITTLE GIRL
When Jesus again crossed the Sea of Galilee in a boat to the other side, a large crowd had gathered to meet him; so he stayed beside the sea. One of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name, came up, and, on seeing Jesus, fell at his feet and earnestly begged him, saying, "My little daughter is dying; come, I beg of you, and place your hands on her that she may be cured and live." So Jesus went with him, and a great crowd followed and pressed about him.
In the crowd was a woman who had suffered from hemorrhage for twelve years and had been treated by many physicians, spending all that she had, yet was none the better, but rather had grown worse. Having heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his robe, for she said to herself, "If I can but touch his garments, I shall be cured."
Immediately the hemorrhage stopped, and she knew that she was cured of her disease. Jesus, knowing at once that healing power had gone from him, turned around in the crowd and said, "Who touched my garments?" His disciples said to him, "You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet do you ask, 'Who touched me?'" But still he looked for her who had done this, until the woman, frightened and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came forward and fell down before him and told him the truth. He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has cured you. Go and live in peace, and be healed of your disease."
While Jesus was still speaking, messengers came from the house of the ruler of the synagogue, saying, "Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Master further?" But Jesus, overhearing the message, said to the ruler of the synagogue, "Have no fear, only trust."
Jesus would allow no one to go with him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. When they came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, he found a crowd of people weeping aloud and wailing. Entering, Jesus said to them, "Why are you making an uproar and weeping? The child is not dead, but asleep." And they laughed at him scornfully. But he sent them out and took the father and mother of the child and those who were with him into the room where she was. Then, taking her by the hand, he said to her, "Talitha koumi," which means, "Little girl, arise." To the astonishment of all, the little girl (who was twelve years of age) got up at once and walked about. But Jesus charged them strictly to let no one know of this, and told them to give the little girl something to eat.
JESUS VISITS HIS OLD HOME
Jesus went to Nazareth where he had been brought up. As was his custom, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read the lesson. And he was given the scroll of the prophet Isaiah, and on unrolling it he found the place where it is written:
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, For he has called me to preach good news to the poor, He has sent me to proclaim release to captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who have been crushed by cruelty, To proclaim the year when the Lord will show favor."
Then, having rolled up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him, and he said to them, "To-day what is here written is fulfilled in your sight."
As he went on to teach in the synagogue, many who heard him were astonished and said: "Where did he get these teachings? What is this wisdom which has been given him? and what are these wonderful acts of healing that he does? Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not his sisters living here among us?" And they would not believe in him. Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and among his relatives and in his own home."
In that place he could do no wonderful acts except laying his hands on a few sick people and healing them; and he was astonished at their lack of faith. So he went about the near-by villages teaching.
JESUS CALLS TOGETHER HIS FRIENDS AND HELPERS
Jesus went up on the hillside near Capernaum and called to him the men whom he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed twelve to be with him and to go out to preach, with power to cast out evil spirits. These were the twelve disciples: Simon to whom he gave also the name Peter, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, whom he called "Sons of Thunder," Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, who at last betrayed him.
Then Jesus went into a house and the crowd gathered again so that it was impossible even to eat a meal. When his relatives heard of this, they set out to get hold of him, for they said, "He is out of his mind." Standing outside, his mother and his brothers sent word to him to come out to them. He was in the midst of a crowd seated about him when some one said to him, "Here are your mother and your brothers and sisters outside hunting for you." He answered, "Who are my mother and my brothers?" Then looking around at those who sat in a circle about him, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers. Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother."
WHAT JESUS ASKS OF HIS FRIENDS AND HELPERS
Once Jesus entered a certain village where a woman named Martha invited him to her house. She had a sister named Mary who seated herself at Jesus' feet and listened to his words. But Martha was worried by her desire to wait on him, and came and said to him, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work alone? Tell her to help me." But Jesus said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but few things are necessary, really only one. Mary has chosen the better part, which shall not be taken away from her."
Once when Jesus and his disciples were walking along the road, some one said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go." Jesus said to him, "The foxes have holes and the wild birds their nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." He said to another, "Follow me"; but the man said, "Let me first go and bury my father." Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their dead, but you go and tell about the Kingdom of God." Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say good-by to my people at home." Jesus said to him, "No one who looks back after having put his hand to the plough is fit for the Kingdom of God."
Once, when crowds were following him, he turned and said to them, "If any one who comes to me is not willing to give up his father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and his very life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross, as he follows me, cannot be my disciple.
"Who of you, if he wishes to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, to see whether he has money enough to finish it? Otherwise, if he has laid the foundation and is unable to finish the building, all who see it make fun of him and say, 'This man began to build but could not finish!'"
THE WAY TO LEARN FROM JESUS
Jesus taught his disciples, saying, "Do not think that I came to set aside the old law or the teachings of the prophets. I did not come to set them aside but to complete them.
"Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am kind and sympathetic, and you will find rest, for my yoke is easy and my burden light.
"He who hears these words of mine and keeps them in mind will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock. The rain fell, the floods came, the winds blew and beat upon that house; yet it did not fall, for its foundation was built on the rock.
"He who hears these words of mine but does not keep them in mind will be like a foolish man who built his house upon sand. The rain fell, the floods came, the winds blew and beat upon that house, and it fell, and great was its downfall."
At another time when Jesus was teaching beside the lake, such a large crowd gathered about him that he entered a boat and sat in it, while the crowd stayed on the shore. He then taught them many truths by means of stories, and said, "Listen to me. The sower went out to sow, and as he sowed, some of the seed fell on the road where birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had but little soil, and because there was no depth of earth it began to grow at once; but when the sun rose, it was scorched with the heat, and having no root it withered away. Some of the seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it so that it bore nothing. Other seed fell on good soil, and sprouted and grew and bore at the rate of thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold." And he said to them, "Let him who has ears to hear, remember this."
When Jesus was alone, those who were with him and the twelve disciples asked him what this story meant. He said to them, "Do you not see the meaning of this? How then will you understand all my other stories? The sower sows his teaching. The teaching that is sown along the road is like some people who hear but immediately Satan comes and takes away the teaching which has been sown in them.
"And the seed that has been sown on rocky places, is like those people who hear the teaching and receive it at once with joy, but it takes no root in them and they remember it only for a short time.
"The seed sown among thorns is like those who hear the teaching but the pleasures of this life, the desire for wealth and other things makes them forget the teaching, and so it bears no fruit.
"But the seed sown on good soil is like those people who hear the teaching and remember it, and it bears fruit; some thirty, some sixty, and some a hundredfold.
"Can a blind man guide a blind man? Will not both fall into a ditch? A disciple is not above his teacher; but every pupil when perfectly trained will be like his teacher.
"No good tree bears rotten fruit; neither does a rotten tree bear good fruit; for each tree is known by its own fruit. Figs are not gathered from thorns, nor grapes picked from a bramble-bush. From the good stored in his heart the good man brings forth goodness, but the evil man from his evil store brings forth evil; for the mouth speaks that with which the heart is filled.
"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. One does not light a candle to put it under a basket but on a stand, where it shall give light to all who are in the house. So let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your heavenly Father."
THE REWARDS FOR FOLLOWING JESUS' TEACHINGS
James and John, the sons of Zebedee, once came to Jesus and said, "Master, we want you to do for us what we shall ask." So he said, "What do you want me to do for you?" They answered, "When you enter into your kingly glory, let one of us sit on your right hand and one on your left." But Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup of woe that I am to drink, or be baptized with the baptism of suffering with which I am to be baptized?" They said to him, "We can." Jesus said, "You will drink the cup that I am to drink and be baptized with my baptism, but to sit on my right hand and on my left is not mine to give; for it is for those for whom it has been prepared."
When the ten other disciples heard this request, they were at first angry with James and John, but Jesus called them to him and said, "You know that those who are rulers in foreign countries lord it over those under them, and their great men have authority over them; but it is not so among you. Whoever wishes to be great among you must serve you, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be ready to be the servant of all. For I did not come to be served but to be of service to others, and to give my life so as to secure freedom for many."
Then he took a little child and set him in their midst. And taking him in his arms, he said to them, "Whoever receives a little child like this, in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me receives not only me, but God who sent me. Whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink because he is my disciple will, I tell you, not lose his reward.
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory and with him all the angels, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all people shall be gathered before him. And he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, placing the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left.
"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you whom my Father has blessed, enter into possession of the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you cared for me, I was in prison and you came to me.'
"Then the upright will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you? Or naked and clothe you? Or when did we see you sick or in prison and come to you?' The King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you have done it even to the least of these my brothers, you have done it to me.'"
GOD'S LOVE EVEN FOR SINNERS
Because tax-gathers and sinners kept coming to Jesus to hear him, the Pharisees and scribes complained, "This man welcomes sinners and even eats with them!" So he told them this story: "What man of you, if he has a hundred sheep and loses one, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go and hunt for the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he has found it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and when he gets home calls together his friends and says, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found the sheep that I lost.' So, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who is truly sorry and promises to do right than over ninety-nine upright men who have no need to do so.
"Or which one of you women, if she has ten silver coins but has lost one, does not light a lamp, sweep the house thoroughly, and search carefully until she finds it? After finding it she calls together her friends and neighbors and says, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I lost.' So, I tell you, there is rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who is truly sorry and promises to do right."
Jesus said, "There was a man who had two sons. The younger said to his father, 'Father, give me the part of your property that belongs to me.' So the Father divided his property between his two sons. A few days later, the younger son got together all that he had and went into a distant country where he wasted his money in reckless living. After he had spent it all, there was a great famine in the land, and he began to be in want. So he agreed to work for a man of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed swine; and he was ready to eat even the pods that the swine were eating, for no one gave him food. But when he came to himself he said, 'How many of my father's hired servants have more than enough to eat while I die here of hunger! I will go to my father and say, 'Father, I have sinned against God and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.'
"So he went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt pity for him, and ran and threw his arms about his neck and tenderly kissed him. Then his son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against God and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' But the father said to his servants, 'Quick, bring a coat, the best, and put it on him and put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf, kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this son of mine was dead but has come back to life, he was lost but has been found.' So they began to make merry.
"Now the elder son was out in the fields, and as he came near the house he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants and asked what all this meant. The servant said to him, 'Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf because he has him back safe and sound.' And he was angry and would not go in so his father came out to reason with him, but he answered, 'See all these many years I have worked for you and never disobeyed one of your commands, yet you never gave me so much as a young goat that I might have a feast with my friends. But now when this son of yours comes, who has wasted your money with wicked women, you kill the fatted calf for him!' His father answered, 'Son, you are with me always and all that I have is yours; but it was right to make merry and rejoice because of your brother, for he was dead but has come back to life, he was lost but has been found.'"
GOD'S READINESS TO ANSWER PRAYER
Jesus said: "Ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you; for every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks the door will be opened.
"What man is there among you, who if his son asks him for a loaf of bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? Then if you, evil as you are, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him.
"Also I tell you: if two of you on earth agree about that for which you ask, it will be granted to you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three have gathered together in my name, I am there with them."
HOW TO PRAY
The apostles said to Jesus, "Help us to have greater faith." But he said, "If you had faith even the size of a mustard-seed and said to this mulberry-tree, 'Be rooted up and be planted in the sea,' it would obey you."
Again he said to them, "Have faith in God. Indeed I tell you that if any one will say to this hill, 'Throw yourself into the sea,' and has no doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will come to pass, it shall be done for him. Therefore, I say to you, believe that whatever you ask for in prayer you have received, and it shall be yours. And whenever you stand up to pray, if any one has done wrong to you, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your wrong-doing."
When Jesus was praying at a certain place and had finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray as John taught his disciples." So he said to them, "When you pray, say: 'Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our wrong-doings as we have forgiven those who have wronged us. Help us to resist temptation and deliver us from evil.'
"When you pray, do not do as the hypocrites who like to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the corners of the main streets so as to be seen by men. I tell you, they have received their full reward! But when you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father who is found in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will give you your reward.
"When you pray do not say the same things over and over as do the heathen, who believe that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not do as they do. Your Father knows what things you need before you ask him."
WHY WE SHOULD TRUST GOD
"Do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat, or what you shall wear. Does not life mean more than food, and the body more than clothing? Consider how the birds of the air neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth far more than they? Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father's knowledge. As for you, the very hairs of your head are numbered. Then have no fear, for you are worth far more than the sparrows.
"Which of you by being anxious can add a single foot to his height? And why be anxious about what you wear? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow! They neither toil nor spin, and yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field which is alive to-day but to-morrow is thrown into the oven, is it not far more certain that he will clothe you, O men of little faith?
"Do not be anxious then and say, 'What shall we eat or what shall we drink or with what shall we be clothed?' For all these things the heathen are seeking, but your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. Seek first to do right as he would have you do, and all these other things will be given to you. Therefore, do not be anxious about to-morrow, for to-morrow will take care of itself."
THE KINGDOM OF GOD
Once when little children were brought to Jesus that he might touch them, the disciples found fault with those who brought them. When Jesus saw it, he was displeased and said to his disciples, "Allow the little children to come to me; and do not forbid them, for of such as these is the Kingdom of God. I tell you, whoever will not accept the Kingdom of God like a little child, will never enter it." Then he took the children in his arms, laid his hands on them, and lovingly blessed them.
One Sabbath day Jesus went to dine at the house of a leading Pharisee. One of the guests said to him, "Fortunate is he who will have a share in the Kingdom of God."
But Jesus said to him, "A man once gave a great dinner and invited many guests. At dinner-time he sent out his servant to say to those who had been invited, 'Come, for everything is now ready.' But all of them began to make excuses. The first said, 'I have bought a field and must go and look at it. I must ask you to excuse me.' Another said, 'I have bought five yoke of oxen and am on my way to try them. I must ask you to excuse me.' Another said, 'I have just married and so I cannot come.'
"The servant returned and reported these answers to his master. Then the master of the house was angry and said to his servant, 'Go out at once into the streets and alleys of the city, and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.' When the servant reported, 'Sir, your order has been carried out, yet there is still room,' the master said to him, 'Go out into the highways and the country lanes and compel people to come, so that my house may be filled; for I tell you, that not one of those who were first invited shall taste of my dinner.'"
Once when Jesus was walking along the road, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked, "Good Master, what must I do that I may be sure of eternal life?" Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good except one only: God. You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery. Do not murder. Do not steal. Do not bear false witness. Do not be dishonest. Honor your father and mother.'" He said to him, "Master, I have kept all these commands from my youth." Looking upon him, Jesus loved him and said, "One thing you lack; go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come with me." But when the man heard this, he looked sad, and he went away in sorrow, for he had great wealth. Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the Kingdom of God!" They were surprised at his words, but again he said, "Children, how hard it is for those who trust in wealth to enter the Kingdom of God. It is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God." And they were so astonished that they said, "Then who can be saved?" Jesus looked at them and said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God, for with God everything is possible."
THE TWO GREAT COMMANDMENTS
Once a lawyer asked Jesus, "What is the most important of all the commandments?" Jesus answered, "The most important is: 'The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart, with your whole soul, with your whole mind and with your whole strength.'
"The second is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."
The lawyer said to him, "Teacher, you have rightly and truly said, 'There is one God and there is none other. Also to love him, with all one's heart, and with all one's understanding, and with all one's strength, and to love one's neighbor as one loves himself is far more than all whole-burnt offerings and sacrifices.'"
When Jesus saw that the lawyer had answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the Kingdom of God."
THE REWARDS OF MODESTY AND UNSELFISHNESS
Once Jesus went into the house of a leading Pharisee to dine. When he saw how the guests chose the best places, he gave them this advice: "When any one invites you to a marriage feast, do not sit down in the best place, for perhaps the host has invited some one of higher rank than yourself. Then the host will come to you and say, 'Make room for this man,' and with shame you will take the lowest place.
"Instead, when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, 'Friend, come up higher.' Then you will be honored in the sight of all your fellow guests. For every one who puts himself forward will be humbled, but he who does not put himself forward will be honored."
Then Jesus said to his host, "When you give a dinner or a supper, do not invite your friends or brothers or relatives or rich neighbors, for they will invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind. Then you will be blessed. For they have no way of repaying you, and you will be rewarded when the upright rise from the dead."
Peter said to him, "But we have left everything and have followed you." Jesus answered, "I tell you, there is no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the good cause, who does not receive a hundredfold as much at this present time: houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and lands, along with persecution, and in the time to come eternal life. But many who are first now will be last, and the last will be first."
HOW TO USE MONEY
A man from the crowd once said to Jesus, "Master, tell my brother to give me my share of the property that belongs to us." Jesus answered, "Man, who made me your judge to divide between you?" Then to the people he said, "Take care that you do not become greedy for wealth, for life does not consist in having more things than you need."
And he told them this story: "The land of a certain rich man bore large crops; so he thought to himself, 'What am I to do, for I have no place to store my crops.' Then he said, 'This is what I will do: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones in which I can store all my grain and goods. Then I will say to myself, Now you have plenty of things laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be happy.'
"But God said to him, 'Foolish man! This very night your life is required of you, and who will have all the things that you have gathered?' So it is with the man who lays up wealth for himself instead of that which in the sight of God is the true wealth.
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
"No man can serve two masters: either he will hate one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to one and untrue to the other. You cannot worship both God and wealth."
Once as Jesus was sitting opposite the treasury of the Temple, he watched the way in which the people put in their money. Many rich men were putting in large sums, but a poor woman came and dropped in two small coins worth less than a penny. He called his disciples and said to them, "I tell you, this poor widow has given more than all the rest who have put their money into the treasury, for they have given out of their plenty, but she out of her poverty has given all that she has, even that which is needed to keep her alive."
DIFFERENT WAYS OF USING TALENTS
"The Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who before going abroad called his servants and gave what he had into their charge. To one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, each according to what he was able to do. Then the man went on his journey.
"The servant who had received five talents went at once and traded with them and gained five more talents. In the same way the one who had received two gained two more. But he who had received one talent went away and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money.
"After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled his accounts with them. When the one who had received five talents came bringing five more, he said, 'Master, you gave me five talents. See, I have gained five more.' His master said to him 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful over a few things, I will put you in charge of many things. Share your master's happiness.'
"The one who had received the two talents also came and said, 'Master, you gave me two talents. See, I have gained two more.' His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful over a few things, I will put you in charge of many things. Share your master's happiness.'
"Then he who had received one talent came and said, 'Master, I knew that you are a hard man, reaping where you have not sown and gathering where you have not winnowed; so I was afraid and hid your talent in the ground. There you have what belongs to you.'
"But his master answered, 'Idle, worthless servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I have not winnowed. You ought therefore to have put my money in the hands of bankers and on my return I would have received it with interest. Take my talent away from him and give it to the servant who has the ten talents; for to every one who has shall more be given and he shall have plenty; but from him who has only a little, even what he has shall be taken away. Throw this worthless servant into the outer darkness where men shall wail and grind their teeth.'"
THE GOOD SAMARITAN
Once a lawyer stood up to test Jesus with this question, "Master, what shall I do to receive eternal life?" Jesus said to him, "What is written in the law? How does it read?" He answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength and with all your mind; also your neighbor as yourself." Jesus said to him, "You have answered correctly; do this and you will live."
But wishing to justify himself he said to Jesus, "Who is my neighbor?" Jesus answered, "A certain man going down from Jerusalem to Jericho fell in with robbers who after stripping and beating him went away, leaving him half dead. Now it happened that a certain priest was going by the same road, but when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.
"In the same way a Levite, when he came to the place, looked at the man and passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, travelling along, came near to where the man was, and when he saw him he was filled with pity. He came to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on them oil and wine. Then he set him on his own beast, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two pieces of money and gave them to the inn-keeper, saying, 'Take care of him, and whatever more you spend I will pay you when I return.'
"Which of these three do you think proved neighbor to the man who fell in with robbers?" He said, "The man who took pity on him." Jesus said to him, "Then go and do likewise."
THE WAY TO TREAT THOSE WHO WRONG US
"If your brother wrongs you, go, show him his fault when you and he are alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother. Even though he wrongs you seven times in a day, if he turns to you seven times and says, 'I am sorry,' you shall forgive him."
Peter came and said to Jesus, "Master, how often am I to let my brother wrong me and forgive him? Seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I tell you, not seven times but seventy times seven.
"That is why the Kingdom of Heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle his accounts with his servants. When he had begun to settle them, a man was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents; but as he was unable to pay, the master ordered that he be sold, together with his wife and children and all that he had, in payment of the debt. At this the servant threw himself on the ground and begged of him, 'Master, have patience with me and I will pay you all I owe you.' Then the master out of pity for him let him go and forgave him his debt.
"But as soon as the servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him one-sixtieth of a talent, and he seized him by the throat and said, 'Pay me what you owe me.' The man fell down and begged him, 'Have patience with me and I will pay you.' But he would not and had him imprisoned until he should pay what was due.
"Now when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were troubled and came and told their master what had happened. Then the master called him and said, 'You wicked servant! When you begged of me, I forgave you all your debt. Should you not then show the same mercy to your fellow that I showed to you?' And in anger his master turned him over to the jailers until he should pay all that was due. So also will my heavenly Father do to you unless each of you sincerely forgives his brother."
THE GOLDEN RULE
"You have heard the saying, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may become sons of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun to rise on the wicked and the good alike, and sends rain on both those who do right and those who do wrong. For if you love only those who love you, what reward have you earned? Do not even the tax-gatherers as much? And if you show courtesy only to your friends, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the heathen do as much? You must therefore become perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect.
"Therefore, whatever you wish that men should do to you, do even so to them."
THE PEOPLE WHO ARE REALLY HAPPY
Jesus said to his disciples:
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they who mourn, For they shall be comforted. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, For they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called the sons of God. Blessed are they who are persecuted because of their righteousness, For theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are you when you are reviled, persecuted, and falsely maligned because of loyalty to me; Rejoice and be glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so the prophets were persecuted who came before you."
JESUS SENDS OUT THE FIRST MISSIONARIES
Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news about the Kingdom of God, and healing all kinds of diseases and weaknesses. At sight of the crowds, troubled and scattered like sheep without a shepherd, he was filled with pity, and said to his disciples, "This is a large harvest, but the laborers are few. Pray to the lord of the harvest to send laborers into his fields."
Then calling the twelve disciples, he sent them out two by two; and he gave them power over evil spirits. He told them to take nothing for their journey but a staff. Also he said, "Go your way. Remember that I send you out as lambs among wolves. Take with you neither purse nor bag nor an extra pair of shoes, and do not stop to greet any one on the road. Whatever household you first enter, say, 'Peace to this house!' And if the man living there is worthy, your peace will rest upon him; but if not, it shall return to you. Stay at the same house, eating and drinking what they give you, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from one house to another.
"Also in whatever town you enter, if the people receive you, eat what they set before you. Heal those in that town who are ill, and tell them, 'The Kingdom of God is near you.' But if you enter any town where the people do not receive you, go out into its streets and say, 'Even the dust of your town which clings to our feet, we wipe off in protest against you.' But know this: that the Kingdom of God is at hand. I tell you, on that day it will be better for Sodom than for that city.
"Do not give to the dogs that which is sacred, nor throw your pearls before swine, for fear that they trample them under their feet and then turn back to attack you. He who hears you, hears me; he who rejects you, rejects me; he who rejects me, rejects him who sent me."
So Jesus' disciples went out and preached so as to lead men to be sorry for their sins and live as they should. They also cast out many evil spirits and cured many sick by pouring oil upon them. Then returning to Jesus they told him what they had done and taught.
JESUS PRAISES JOHN THE BAPTIST
When John heard in prison what Jesus was doing, he sent his disciples to ask him, "Are you the Promised One who is coming, or are we to look for some one else?" Jesus answered them, "Go and tell John what you see and hear: the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are made clean, the deaf hear, the dead are brought back to life, and the poor have the good news told to them. Blessed is the man who does not lose faith in me."
As the disciples of John went away, Jesus talked to the people about John: "What did you go into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? Then what did you go out to see? A man wearing fine clothes? Men dressed like that live in palaces. But why 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 you, Who shall make the way ready for you.'
"I tell you, no man has appeared who is greater than John the Baptist; and yet he who is least in the Kingdom of God is greater than he.
"To what shall I compare the people of to-day? They are like children sitting in the market-places, who call to their playmates and say:
"'We played the pipes for you but you would not dance; We cried but you would not lament.'
For John came neither eating nor drinking, and men said, 'He has an evil spirit!' The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and men say, 'He is a great eater and drinker, a friend of tax-gatherers and sinners!' But what I do shows that I am wise and right."
Now when Herod's birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced in public and delighted him. Thereupon he promised with an oath that he would give her whatever she might ask. Prompted by her mother, she said to him, "Give me here on a dish the head of John the Baptist." Although the king did not wish to do it, yet because of his oath and his guests he ordered that it be given her. So he commanded that John be beheaded in prison, and his head was brought on a dish and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother. Then John's disciples came and carried away the body to bury it.