The Gospel of Matthew
(IEB; International English Bible Translation)
Copyright 2021: Dr. Andrew Jackson (do not use without written permission)
The Genealogy of Jesus (Matthew 1:1-17)
(1) This is the book of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah (Christ), the son of David, the son of Abraham. (2) Abraham became the father of Isaac, Isaac of Jacob, Jacob of Judah and his brothers, (3) Judah of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez of Hezron, Hezron of Ram, (4) Ram of Amminadab, Amminadab of Nahshon, Nahshon of Salmon, (5) Salmon of Boaz (whose mother was Rahab), Boaz of Obed (whose mother was Ruth), Obed of Jesse, (6) and Jesse of King David. David was the father of Solomon (by the wife of Uriah), (7) Solomon of Rehoboam, Rehoboam of Abijah, Abijah of Asah, (8) Asah of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat of Jehoram, Jehoram of Uzziah, (9) Uzziah of Jotham, Jotham of Ahaz, Ahaz of Hezekiah, (10) Hezekiah of Manasseh, Manasseh of Amon, Amon of Josiah, (11) Josiah of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the Babylonian exile. (12) After the exile to Babylon: Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel of Zerubbabel, (13) Zerubbabel of Abiud, Abiud of Eliakim, Eliakim of Azor, (14) Azor of Zadok, Zadok of Achim, Achim of Eliud, (15) Eliud of Eleazar, Eleazar of Matthan, Matthan of Jacob, (16) and Jacob of Joseph the husband of Mary, the mother of Jesus, who is called Messiah (Christ). (17) So there were 14 generations in all from Abraham to David, 14 generations from David to the exile to Babylon, and 14 generations from the Babylonian exile to the Messiah (Christ).
The Birth of Jesus (Matthew 1:18-25)
(18) This is the how the birth of Jesus the Messiah (Christ) took place: When Mary was legally engaged to be married to Joseph, she was found to be with a child through the Holy Spirit. (19) Because Joseph—Mary’s husband-to-be—lived a righteous life and did not want to disgrace her in public, he decided to end his engagement with Mary in secret. (20) But while Joseph was thinking about how to end his engagement with Mary, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because the baby in her womb is from the Holy Spirit. (21) Mary’s first child will be a son, and you are to name him Jesus (a name that means ‘the Lord saves’), for he will save his people from their sins.” (22) All this took place to fulfill what is written in Isaiah 7:14, (23) “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel,” which means “God with us.” (24) When Joseph woke up from his sleep, he did what the angel of the Lord had told him. He took Mary home as his wife, (25) but he did not have sexual intercourse with her before she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
Wise Men From the East (Matthew 2:1-12)
(1) Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem of Judea, during the rule of King Herod the Great. (Bethlehem was located about six miles (9 km) south of Jerusalem, with a population of about 1,000. King Herod the Great was a non-Jewish Edomite, who ruled Israel under the Romans from 37 to 4 BC. Jesus was born just before the death of King Herod.) Some time after Jesus’ birth, wise men (magi) traveled from the east to Jerusalem. (2) They asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star rising in the east, and we have come to worship him.” (The wise men probably traveled about 900 miles from the region of Babylon to Jerusalem, which would have taken several months.) (3) When King Herod the Great heard this, he was greatly troubled along with all of Jerusalem. (4) So Herod gathered together all the Jewish chief priests and teachers of the law of Moses and asked them where the Messiah (Christ) was to be born. (5) They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for it is written in Micah 5:2, (6) ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’” (7) Then King Herod the Great met with the wise men in private and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared to them. (8) Herod sent the wise men to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search carefully for the child. And as soon as you find him, report back to me, so that I too can go and worship him.” (9) After the wise men had heard from King Herod the Great, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east led them to the house where the child Jesus was. (10) They were filled with joy when they saw the star. (11) They went into the house and saw the child, Jesus, with his mother Mary, and they bowed down in prostration and worshiped Jesus. Then they opened their treasures and gave the gifts of gold, incense, and myrrh to the child Jesus. (Myrrh is a fragrant resin extracted from a special tree and used for perfume, incense, and medicine.) (12) After worshiping the child Jesus, the wise men were warned in a dream not to return to King Herod in Jerusalem, so they went back to their own country in the east by another route.
Jesus’ Family Escapes to Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15)
(13) When the wise men had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up! Take Mary and the child Jesus and escape to Egypt, for King Herod will search for Jesus to kill him. Stay in Egypt until I tell you when to return to Israel.” (14) So Joseph got ready and left that night with Mary and Jesus. They traveled to the Roman province of Egypt (probably a journey of about 300 miles/483 km to the large Jewish community in the city of Alexandria). (15) They lived there until the death of King Herod, fulfilling what is written in Hosea 11:1, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
King Herod Tries to Kill Jesus (Matthew 2:16-18)
(16) Then King Herod the Great was furious when he realized that the wise men had fooled him. So he ordered his Roman soldiers to kill every boy in the village of Bethlehem and its surrounding area. He commanded them to kill every boy two years old or younger, based on the time that he had learned from the wise men. (17) This fulfilled what is written in Jeremiah 31:15, (18) “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, for they are no more.”
Jesus’ Family Returns and Moves to Nazareth (Matthew 2:19-23)
(19) After King Herod died (about March/April 4 BC), an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, (20) “Get up, take Mary and the child Jesus and go to the land of Israel, because the one who sought to kill Jesus is dead.” (21) So Joseph got up, and took Mary and the child Jesus and traveled to the land of Israel. (22) When Joseph heard that Herod Archelaus was ruling over Judea in the place of his father King Herod, he became afraid to live in Judea of southern Israel. Having been warned in a dream, Joseph went to the region of Galilee in northern Israel (23) and lived in the town of Nazareth. So this fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene. (Nazareth was located about 12 miles/19 km southwest of Lake Galilee, with a population between 500 and 1,000.)
John the Baptist (Matthew 3:1-12)
(1) In those days John the Baptist went preaching into the Wilderness of Judea. (The Wilderness of Judea is the desert region located east of Jerusalem in the hill country of Judea and the Jordan Valley, measuring about 75 miles north-south and about 10 miles east-west.) (2) John proclaimed, “Repent and turn to God! The kingdom of heaven (God) has arrived!” (3) This is the one who was spoken of in Isaiah 40:3, “A voice of one calling in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way for the Lord. Make straight paths for him.’” (4) John wore clothes made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist (a similar description to that of Elijah in 2 Kings 1:8). And he ate locusts and wild honey. (5) People went out to John from Jerusalem, Judea, and the whole region of the Jordan. (6) They confessed their sins and were water-baptized by John in the Jordan River. (The Jordan River is about 156 miles/251 km long, and flows north-south through the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea.) (7) When John saw many Pharisees and Sadducees (probably religious spies from Jerusalem) coming to where he was baptizing, John shouted to them, “You are a generation of snakes! Who told you to escape the coming wrath of God? (8) Live a life that shows that you have repented of your sins. (9) And stop thinking that Abraham is your father. For I tell you the truth: God is able to raise up children for Abraham from the rocks on the ground. (10) Even now the ax is ready to cut the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” John the Baptist declared, (11) “I baptize you with water for repentance, but the one coming after me is more powerful than me. I am not worthy even to remove his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire (fire probably refers to God’s judgment). (12) His pitchfork is in his hand, and he will separate the wheat from the waste. He will gather his wheat into his barn, and burn up the waste with a fire that never goes out.”
The Water-Baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3:13-17)
(13) Then Jesus walked from Galilee to be water-baptized by John in the Jordan River. (14) John tried to stop Jesus from being baptized, and said to him, “Why do you come to me? I need to be baptized by you.” (15) But Jesus said to him, “Let me be baptized by you now, for it is good for us to fulfill all righteousness.” (16) Then John baptized Jesus. As soon as Jesus came up out of the water, John immediately saw heaven open, and the Spirit of God come down like a dove, remaining on Jesus. (17) And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am very pleased.”
Satan Tempts Jesus (Matthew 4:1-11)
(1) After Jesus’ baptism, the Holy Spirit led him into the Wilderness of Judea (possibly in the region of Jericho) to be tempted (tested) by the devil. (2) Jesus fasted about six weeks—40 days and nights—and became very hungry. (3) The devil—the tempter—approached and said to Jesus, “If you are the Son of God, tell these rocks to become bread.” (4) Jesus said, “It is written in Deuteronomy 8:3, ‘Humans do not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (5) Then the devil took Jesus to the holy city of Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. (6) He said, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written in Psalm 91:11-12, ‘He will command his angels concerning you. They will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a rock.’” (7) Jesus said to him, “It is also written in Deuteronomy 6:16, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” (8) Finally, the devil took Jesus to a very high mountain and showed him the glory of all the kingdoms of this world (possibly referring to the Roman Empire). (9) The devil said to Jesus, “I will give you all the kingdoms of this world if you will bow down and worship me.” (10) Jesus said, “Satan, away from me! For it is written in Deuteronomy 6:13, ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’” (11) Then the devil left Jesus, and angels came and ministered to him.
Jesus’ Permanent Move to Capernaum (Matthew 4:12-16)
(12) When Jesus heard that John the Baptist had been put in prison, he left Judea and traveled to Galilee. (13) Once in Galilee, Jesus left his hometown Nazareth and went to live in the town of Capernaum, which was located on the northwest coast of Lake Galilee in the region of the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali. (14) Jesus’ permanent move from Nazareth to Capernaum fulfilled what is written in Isaiah 9:1-2, (15) “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the Way to the Sea, east of the Jordan River (Perea), Galilee of the non-Jews—(16) the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has risen.” (Herod Antipas arrested John the Baptist and put him in the prison at the fortress of Machaerus in the region of Perea. The region of Perea is today in modern Jordan. Capernaum was a fishing town located on the northwest coast of Lake Galilee, with a population of about 1,500. The northern tribes of Israel were surrounded on three sides by non-Jewish populations. The “Way of the Sea” or the “Via Maris” refers to the trade route that ran through this region to the Mediterranean Sea.)
Jesus Begins His Ministry in Galilee (Matthew 4:17)
(17) From that time on Jesus began to proclaim, “Repent and turn to God, for the kingdom of heaven (God) has arrived!”
Jesus Calls Peter, Andrew, James, and John (Matthew 4:18-22)
(18) Jesus was walking along the northwest coast of Lake Galilee near Capernaum. (Lake Galilee is freshwater and heart-shaped. It is about 13 miles/21 km long and 7 miles/11 km wide.) As Jesus was walking along the shore, he saw the brothers Peter and Andrew, who were fishermen. They were throwing a fishing net into the lake. (19) Jesus said to them, “Come and follow me, and I will send you out to fish for people.” (20) At once they left their fishing nets and followed Jesus. (21) Walking a little further, Jesus saw the brothers James and John in a boat with their father Zebedee, mending their fishing nets. Jesus called them to follow him, (22) and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed Jesus.
Jesus Ministers Throughout Galilee (Matthew 4:23-25)
(23) Jesus walked throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel (good news) of the kingdom of God, and healing every kind of disease and sickness among the people. (The region of Galilee in northern Israel was about 45 miles/72 km north-south and 25 miles/40 km east-west, with a population of about 300,000 living in about 200 villages and towns. Herod Antipas, a son of King Herod, governed the regions of Galilee and Perea for about 40 years, from 4 BC to AD 39, during the entire life and ministry of Jesus.) (24) News about Jesus spread north of Galilee throughout the whole region of Syria. And people brought to Jesus all who were sick with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, those tormented by demons (the demon-possessed), those having seizures, and those who were paralyzed. Jesus healed them all! (25) Large crowds of people from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and the region east of the Jordan River followed Jesus. (The region of the Decapolis is the southeast region of Lake Galilee that included a group of ten non-Jewish cities. The region of Perea was primarily a Jewish region. It occupied the eastern side of the Jordan River valley, from about one third the way down from Lake Galilee to about one third the way down the eastern shore of the Dead Sea. Perea was governed by Herod Antipas and is today in the modern nation of Jordan.)
The Blessings of the Kingdom of God (Matthew 5:1-12)
(1) When Jesus saw the large crowds following him, he went up on a mountainside (in the hills west of Capernaum). Jesus sat down (2) and taught his disciples. Jesus said, (3) “Blessed are the poor (humble) in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (4) Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be given comfort. (5) Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. (6) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for the right ways of God, for they will be filled. (7) Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. (8) Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. (9) Blessed are those who work for peace (peacemakers), for they will be called the children of God. (10) Blessed are those who are persecuted for obeying the right ways of God, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (God). (11) Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and say false words about you because of me. (12) Rejoice and be happy, for your reward in heaven will be great, for in the same way, they persecuted the (Old Testament) prophets who came before you.”
Salt and Light of the World (Matthew 5:13-16)
Jesus said, (13) “You are the salt of the earth! But if salt loses its taste, it cannot be made to taste like salt again. It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown on the ground and walked on. (14) You are the light of the world! A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. (15) People do not light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put a lamp on a stand, so that it gives light to everyone in the house. (16) In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they will see your good works and praise your Father in heaven.”
Jesus Fulfills the Old Testament (Matthew 5:17-20)
Jesus said, (17) “Do not think that I came to eliminate the law of Moses or the (Old Testament) prophets. I did not come to destroy them but to fulfill them! (18) For I tell you the truth: Until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest mark of a letter from the law of Moses will be taken away until everything in it is fulfilled. (19) Therefore, whoever eliminates one of the least of God’s commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called the least in the kingdom of heaven (God). But whoever obeys and teaches God’s commandments will be called the greatest in the kingdom of heaven (God). (20) For I tell you the truth: Unless your righteousness is greater than that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law of Moses, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven (God).”
Anger and Murder (Matthew 5:21-26)
Jesus said, (21) “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago in Exodus 20:13, ‘Do not murder,’ and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment. (22) But I say to you that anyone who is angry with another believer will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who insults another believer will be brought before the governing council (the Sanhedrin). And anyone who says, ‘You are a fool,’ to another believer will be in danger of the fire of hell.” (23) “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at God’s altar and there remember that your fellow believer has something against you, (24) leave your gift at the altar. First go and heal the relationship (be reconciled) with your fellow believer; then go back and offer your gift to God.” (25) “Immediately settle matters with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are walking together to the courthouse, or he will hand you over to the judge, and the judge will hand you over to a guard, and you will be thrown into prison. (26) I tell you the truth: You will not get out of prison until you have paid the very last penny you owe that person.”
Adultery (Matthew 5:27-28)
Jesus said, (27) “You have heard that it is written in Exodus 20:14, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ (28) But I say to you that anyone who looks at a woman with sexual lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
Purging the Causes of Sin and Hell (Matthew 5:29-30)
Jesus said, (29) “If your right eye causes you to sin, pull it out and throw it away. For it is far better for you to lose one eye than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. (30) And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is far better for you to lose one hand than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.”
Divorce and Remarriage (Matthew 5:31-32)
Jesus said, (31) “It has been written in Deuteronomy 24:1, ‘Whoever divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ (32) But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness (sexual immorality), makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”
Make No Oaths (Matthew 5:33-37)
Jesus said, (33) “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago in Leviticus 19:12, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord any vows you have made.’ (34) But I say to you: Do not make any oaths—either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; (35) or by the earth, for the earth is God’s footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. (36) And do not make an oath by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. (37) I tell you to say either ‘Yes’ or ‘No.’ To say anything more than this comes from Satan, the evil one.”
Non-Violence (Matthew 5:38-42)
Jesus said, (38) “You have heard that it was said in Exodus 21:24, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ (39) But I say to you: Do not (use violence to) resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you (with a backhand) on your right cheek (in an attempt to humiliate you), turn your left cheek to him. (40) And if anyone sues you in court and takes your inner shirt, give him your outer coat, also. (41) If anyone forces you to walk one mile, insist on going with him for two miles. (42) If anyone asks you to give him something, give it to them; do not turn away a person who wants to borrow from you.”
Love Your Enemies (Matthew 5:43-48)
Jesus said, (43) “You have heard that it was written in Leviticus 19:18, ‘Love your neighbor,’ but also ’hate your enemy.’ (44) But I say to you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. (45) If you do this, you will be children of your Father in heaven. For God causes his sun to rise on the good and the evil, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. (46) If you love only those who love you, why should you get a reward for that? For even tax collectors love those who love them. (47) And if you greet only your friends, you are no better than anyone else. For even unbelievers greet their friends. (48) Therefore, you must be holy (perfect) like your heavenly Father is holy (perfect).”
How to Give to the Needy (Matthew 6:1-4)
Jesus said, (1) “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of other people, with the desire to be seen by them. If you do, you will not receive a reward from your Father in heaven. (2) Therefore, when you give to people in need, do not draw attention to yourselves by blowing trumpets like the religious hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets. They simply want to be praised by people who see them. I tell you the truth: They have received their full reward. (3) But when you give to people in need, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, (4) so that your giving to others will be done in private (secret). Then your Father—who sees everything that is done in private—will reward you.”
How to Pray (Matthew 6:5-8)
Jesus said, (5) “When you pray, do not pray like the religious hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners so they will be noticed by people. I tell you the truth: They have received their full reward. (6) But when you pray to God, go into a room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees everything you do in private (secret), will reward you. (7) And when you pray, do not repeat the same words over and over again (babbling) like the pagan idolators, for they think their gods will hear them because they use many words. (8) Do not pray like them, for your Father knows what you need in life before you even ask him.”
The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-15)
Jesus said, (9) “Therefore, this is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, holy be your name, (10) your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. (11) Give us today our daily bread (food). (12) And forgive us our debts (what we owe to others), as we also have forgiven our debtors (those who owe us). (13) And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from Satan, the evil one.’ (14) For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your Father in heaven will also forgive you. (15) But if you do not forgive the sins of others, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
How to Fast (Matthew 6:16-18)
Jesus said, (16) “When you fast, do not fast like the religious hypocrites, who put on a sad face (disfigure their faces) to show other people that they are fasting. I tell you the truth: They have received their full reward. (17) But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face, (18) so that other people will not know that you are fasting, but only your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees everything that is done in private (secret), will reward you.”
Store Up Treasures in Heaven (Matthew 6:19-21)
Jesus said, (19) “Do not store up (hoard) treasures for yourselves on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. (20) Instead, store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. (21) For where your treasure is, there your heart will be, also.
Eyes are the Lamp of the Body (Matthew 6:22-23)
Jesus said, (22) “The eyes are the lamp of the body. So, if you look at the things that are good, your whole body will be full of light. (23) But if you look at the things that are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you becomes darkness, your darkness will be great!
You Cannot Serve Both God and Money (Matthew 6:24)
Jesus said, (24) “You cannot serve two masters: You will either love one and hate the other, or you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
Do Not Worry About Your Life (Matthew 6:25-34)
Jesus said, (25) “Therefore, I tell you the truth: Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about the clothes you will wear. Life is much more important than food and clothes. (26) Watch the birds flying in the sky. They do not work or store crops in barns, and yet your Father in heaven feeds them. People are much more valuable than birds! (27) You cannot add a single hour to your life by worrying. (28) Do not worry about what clothes you will wear. Watch how the flowers grow in the field. They do not work or labor. (29) For I tell you that not even Solomon, in all his kingly glory, was dressed like one of these flowers. (30) If God clothes the grass, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?” (31) So do not worry about your life. Stop saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ (32) For pagans live for all these things, and your Father in heaven knows what you need in life. (33) But I tell you to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all the things you need in life will be given to you. (34) Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have its own worries. Today has enough trouble of its own.”
Do Not Judge Other People (Matthew 7:1-5)
Jesus said, (1) “Do not judge others, so that you will not be judged. (2) For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and the measure you use to judge others, will be the same measure used against you. (3) Why do you notice the small piece of sawdust in a fellow believer’s eye, but ignore the large piece of wood in your own eye? (4) How can you say to a fellow believer, ‘Let me remove the small piece of sawdust out of your eye,’ when you have a large piece of wood in your own eye? (5) You religious hypocrite! First remove the large piece of wood out of your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the small piece of sawdust from the eye of your fellow believer.
Wisdom and Holiness (Matthew 7:6)
Jesus said, (6) “Do not give dogs what is holy or throw pearls before pigs. If you do, they will trample them, and then attack you and tear you to pieces.”
Keep Asking, Keep Seeking, Keep Knocking (Matthew 7:7-11)
Jesus said, (7) “Keep asking and it will be given to you. Keep seeking and you will find. Keep knocking and the door will be opened to you. (8) For everyone who asks receives, everyone who seeks finds, and to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” (9) “Which of you parents will give a stone to your child who asks you for bread? (10) Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? Not one of you! (11) Therefore, if you parents—even though you are evil—give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”
How to Treat Other People (Matthew 7:12)
Jesus said, (12) “So in all things, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this way of living fulfills the teaching of the law of Moses and the prophets (the entire Old Testament).”
Narrow and Wide Gates (Matthew 7:13-14)
Jesus said, (13) “Enter through the narrow gate! For the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and many people choose to go this way. (14) But the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to eternal life, and only a few people choose to go this way.”
Jesus Warns About False Prophets (Matthew 7:15-23)
Jesus said, (15) “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you wearing sheep’s clothing, but on the inside, they are ferocious wolves. (16) You can recognize false prophets by their fruit—how they live their lives. People do not pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles. (17) Good trees produce good fruit, but bad trees produce bad fruit. (18) Good trees cannot produce bad fruit, and bad trees cannot produce good fruit. (19) Every tree that does not produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. (20) So, you can recognize false prophets by their fruit—how they live their lives.” (21) “For not everyone who says to me on the final day, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven (God), but only those who do the will of my Father who is in heaven. (22) Many will say to me on the final day, ‘Lord, Lord, we prophesied in your name, drove out demons in your name, and performed many miracles in your name.’ (23) Then I will tell them directly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me! You have lived evil lives!’“
The Wise and the Foolish (Matthew 7:24-27)
Jesus said, (24) “Therefore, whoever hears my teaching and puts it into practice is like a wise man who built his house on a rock foundation. (25) The rains came, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because its foundation was on the solid rock. (26) But whoever hears my teaching and does not put it into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. (27) The rains came, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
Jesus Teaches With God’s Authority (Matthew 7:28-29)
(28) After Jesus had finished his teaching, the crowds of people were amazed at what he said, (29) because he taught as one who had God’s authority, and not like the teachers of the law of Moses.
Jesus Heals a Man’s Skin Disease (Matthew 8:1-4)
(1) When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds of people followed him.
(2) A man with a severe skin disease (leprosy) came and fell on his knees before Jesus and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can heal me.” (3) Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man saying, “I am willing. Be clean!” Immediately his skin disease was healed. (4) Then Jesus said to him, “Make sure you don’t tell anyone. But go to Jerusalem and show yourself to the priest and offer the gift according to the law of Moses, because this will be a witness to him.” (Leviticus 13-14 provided guidelines for the examination of skin diseases by a priest, because they were highly contagious.)
The Great Faith of a Roman Military Officer (Matthew 8:5-13)
(5) When Jesus entered Capernaum, a Roman military officer (a centurion, leading about 100 men) came and asked him for help, saying, (6) “Lord, my servant lies at home paralyzed, and he is in great suffering.” (7) Jesus said to him, “Should I come and heal him?” (8) The military leader said, “Lord, I am not worthy for you to come into my house. Instead, just give a command, and my servant will be healed. (9) For I work under the authority of military leaders, and my soldiers work under me. And I tell a soldier under me to ‘Go,’ and he goes. I tell a soldier to ‘Come,’ and he comes. I tell my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” (10) When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to the crowd of people following him, “I tell you the truth: I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. (11) I tell you that many people will come from the east and the west to take their places at the final banquet with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven (God). (12) But many people in Israel—the subjects of the kingdom—will be thrown out into the darkness, where people will be weeping and grinding their teeth.” (13) Then Jesus said to the military leader, “Go! Let your servant be healed as you believed he would.” And his servant was healed that very moment.
Jesus Heals Peter’s Mother-in-Law and Many People (Matthew 8:14-17)
(14) When Jesus entered the house of Peter in Capernaum, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. (15) He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to serve him. (16) That evening, people brought to Jesus many who were demon-possessed, and he drove out the demons with a command and healed all who were sick. (17) This fulfilled what is written in Isaiah 53:4, “He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases.”
Preparing a Boat to the East Side of Lake Galilee (Matthew 8:18-22)
(18) When Jesus saw a crowd of people gathering around him, he told his disciples to prepare a boat, so that they could go to the east side of Lake Galilee. (19) Then a teacher of the law of Moses came to Jesus and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” (20) Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man (see Daniel 7:13-14) has no place to lay his head.” (21) Another disciple said to Jesus, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” (22) But Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”
Jesus Calms a Storm on Lake Galilee (Matthew 8:23-27)
(23) Then Jesus got into the boat and his disciples followed him. (24) As Jesus and his disciples were crossing the north end of Lake Galilee, a violent storm suddenly came up on the lake, and large waves began to swamp the boat. Because Jesus was sleeping in the back of the boat, (25) the disciples woke him up, yelling, “Lord! Save us! We are going to die!” (26) But Jesus said to them, “Why are you so afraid? You have such little faith.” Then Jesus got up and commanded the wind and the waves to stop, and the lake became calm. (27) And the disciples were amazed and asked one another, “What kind of man is this? For even the winds and the waves do what he tells them to do!”
Jesus Frees Demon-Possessed Men (Matthew 8:28-34)
(28) Jesus and his disciples landed on the east coast of Lake Galilee in the non-Jewish region of the Gadarenes. (28) Immediately, two demon-possessed men came running from among the burial tombs to meet Jesus. The two men were so violent that people could not walk by that area of the tombs. (29) The demons shouted at Jesus, “Son of God, what do you want with us? Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?” (30) Now there was a large herd of pigs feeding in the distance, (31) and so the demons begged Jesus, “If you cast us out of these men, send us into the herd of pigs.” (32) Jesus said to them, “Go!” So the demons left the men and went into the pigs, and the whole herd ran down the steep bank into Lake Galilee and drowned. (33) Those watching the pigs, ran into the town (probably Gerasa, modern Kursi) and told the people everything, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. (34) Then the whole town ran out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they begged him to leave their region. (The region of the Gadarenes—or Gerasenes as used in Mark 5:1 and Luke 28:26—was the southeast region of Lake Galilee. The exact location of the exorcism was probably the town of Gerasa on the coast of Lake Galilee, directly across the lake from Tiberius.)
Jesus Heals a Paralyzed Man (Matthew 9:1-8)
(1) Leaving the region of Gadarenes by boat, Jesus and his disciples went back across Lake Galilee to their hometown of Capernaum to stay at Peter’s house. (2) Some men brought to Jesus a paralyzed man, lying on a stretcher. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “My son, take heart; your sins are forgiven.” (3) When some teachers of the law of Moses heard this, they said to one another, “Jesus is blaspheming! He is making himself equal with God!“ (4) Jesus knew their thoughts and said, “Why do you allow evil thoughts to enter your hearts? (5) Which is easier for me to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? (6) But I want you to know that the Son of Man (see Daniel 7:13-14) has God’s authority on earth to forgive sins.” So Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “Get up! Take your stretcher and walk home.” (7) Then the man was healed, and he stood up and went home. (8) When the crowd of people saw this, they were amazed; and they praised God because he had given his authority to man.
Jesus Calls Matthew (Matthew 9:9-13)
(9) Then Jesus left Capernaum and walked along the northwest shore of Lake Galilee. There he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. Jesus said to him, “Follow me!” And Matthew got up and followed him. (Jewish tax collectors were hated because they were employed as representatives of the Romans.) (10) While Jesus was eating at the house of Matthew (probably in Capernaum), many tax collectors and sinners came to eat with Jesus and his disciples. (11) When the Pharisees saw this, they asked Jesus’ disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” (12) Jesus overheard the Pharisees and said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. (13) You need to go and learn the meaning of Hosea 6:6, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come into this world to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Jesus is Questioned About Fasting (Matthew 9:14-15)
(14) Then the disciples of John the Baptist came and asked Jesus (probably in Capernaum), “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?” (15) Jesus said to them, “How can the wedding guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then my disciples will fast.”
The Parables of Old and New (Matthew 9:16-17)
Jesus told these two parables (probably in Capernaum): (16) “No one sews a new cloth patch on an old garment, for the new cloth will shrink when the garment is washed and the old garment will tear even more. (17) Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins, for the new wine will expand and cause the old wineskins to break open. Then the new wine will pour out, and the old wineskins will be useless. Instead, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and then both will be preserved.”
Jesus Heals Jairus’ Daughter and a Woman (Matthew 9:18-26)
(18) While Jesus was telling parables, a Capernaum synagogue leader (named Jairus, see Mark 5:22, and Luke 8:41) came and fell on his knees before him and said, “My daughter has just died. Please come and touch her, and she will live.” (19) Jesus and his disciples got up and went with him. (20) Just then a woman who had suffered from bleeding for 12 years (probably her menstrual period would not stop) came up behind Jesus and touched the edge of his clothing (outer cloak). (21) She said to herself, “If I only touch his clothes, I will be healed.” (22) Jesus turned and said to her, “My daughter, take heart, your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed immediately. (23) When Jesus entered the house of Jairus, he heard a noisy crowd and people playing flutes, (24) so he told them, “Go away! The girl is not dead; she is sleeping.” They all laughed at Jesus. (25) After the crowd was sent outside, Jesus went in and took the girl’s hand and raised her from the dead. (26) And news of what Jesus did spread throughout the whole region of Galilee.
Jesus Heals Two Blind Men (Matthew 9:27-31)
(27) As Jesus left the house of Jairus in Capernaum, two blind men followed him. They cried out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” (28) When Jesus had entered the house of Peter, the blind men came to him. Jesus asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to make you see?” They said, “Yes, Lord.” (29) Then Jesus touched their eyes and said, “You will see because of your faith.” (30) Immediately their eyes were healed, and they could see. (30) Then Jesus commanded the healed blind men, “Do not tell anyone that I have healed your eyes.” (31) But they went out and spread the news about Jesus all over that region of Galilee.
Jesus Frees a Demon-Possessed Man (Matthew 9:32-34)
(32) While Jesus and his disciples were leaving the house of Peter in Capernaum, a demon-possessed man who could not talk was brought to Jesus. (33) And after Jesus cast the demon out, the man could speak. The crowd of people following Jesus was amazed and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.” (34) But the Pharisees said, “Jesus drives demons out of people by the power of Satan, the ruler of demons.”
Jesus Ministers Throughout Galilee (Matthew 9:35-38)
(35) Jesus walked through the villages and towns of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel (good news) of the kingdom of God, and healing every disease and sickness. (36) When Jesus saw the crowds of people following him, he had deep compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. (37) Then Jesus said to his disciples, “The harvest is great but the workers are few. (38) Therefore, ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Jesus Calls and Empowers His Twelve Apostles (Matthew 10:1-4)
(1) Jesus called his Twelve Apostles to him (probably in the area of the Mount of Beatitudes in the hills west of Capernaum) and gave them God’s authority to cast demons out of people and to heal every disease and sickness. (2) These are the names of Jesus’ Twelve Apostles: the brothers Peter and Andrew, the brothers James and John who were the sons of Zebedee, (3) Philip, Bartholomew (Nathaniel), Thomas, Matthew the tax collector, James son of Alphaeus, Jude (Thaddaeus), (4) Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus.
Jesus’ Mission Instructions to His Apostles (Matthew 10:5-15)
(5) Before Jesus sent out his Twelve Apostles on a mission journey throughout Galilee, he gave them the following instructions: “Do not go among the non-Jews or enter any town of the Samaritans. (6) Instead, go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (7) As you go, proclaim this message to them, ‘The kingdom of heaven (God) has arrived.’ (8) Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, and cast out demons. Freely you have received, so freely give to others. (9) Do not take any money with you in your belts. (10) Do not take a bag, extra clothes, sandals, or a walking staff with you, for the worker deserves his keep. (11) And whatever Jewish village or town you enter, search there for a worthy person and stay at his home until you leave. (12) As you enter his house, give a greeting. (13) Give a blessing of peace to the homes that deserve it, but do not bless the homes that do not deserve it. (14) If anyone refuses to welcome you or listen to your teaching, leave that home or town and shake the dirt off your feet. (15) For I tell you the truth: It will be much better for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of God’s judgment than for that Jewish town.”
The Persecution of the Apostles (Matthew 10:16-25)
Jesus said, (16) “I send you out like sheep among wolves, so be as wise as snakes and as harmless as doves. (17) Be on your guard, for you will be handed over to Jewish courts and be flogged in synagogues. (18) And for my sake you will be dragged before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the non-Jews. (19) But when you are arrested, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, (20) for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” (21) “Brother will betray brother to death, a father will give his child to be put to death, and children will go against their parents and have them put to death. (22) People will hate you because you are my disciples, but whoever stands strong to the end will be saved.” (23) When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. For I tell you the truth: “You will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes (see Daniel 7:13-14). (24) A student is not above his teacher, and a servant is not above his master. (25) It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants to be like their masters. If the master of the house (Jesus) has been called Satan (Beelzebub), how much more will they persecute the members of his household (followers of Jesus).”
Do Not Be Afraid (Matthew 10:26-33)
Jesus said, (26) “So do not be afraid of those who persecute you, for there is nothing concealed that will not be made public, or hidden that will not be revealed. (27) What I tell you in the dark of night, shout in the light of day; whatever is whispered in your ear in private, proclaim it from the housetops. (28) Do not be afraid of those who can kill your body but cannot kill your soul! Instead, you should fear God who can destroy both your body and soul in hell. (29) Two birds are sold for a penny, but no bird dies without your Father’s care. (30) And each hair on your head is numbered. (31) So don’t be afraid, for you are much more valuable than birds! (32) Whoever tells others about me, I will tell my Father in heaven about them. (33) But whoever denies me before others, I will deny them before my Father in heaven.”
Separation of Believers and Unbelievers (Matthew 10:34-36)
Jesus said, (34) “Do not think that I came to bring peace to the earth! I did not come to bring peace, but a sword of separation. (35) For I came into the world to turn a son against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law, (36) and a person’s enemies will be the members of his own family.
The Cost of Following Jesus (Matthew 10:37-39)
Jesus said, (37) “Anyone who loves his father, mother, son, or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. (38) Whoever does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. (39) Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
Kingdom Rewards (Matthew 10:40-42)
Jesus said, (40) “Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes my Father who sent me. (41) Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. (42) For I tell you the truth: If anyone gives a single cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, that person will not lose his reward.”
Jesus is Questioned by the Disciples of John the Baptist (Matthew 11:1-6)
(1) After Jesus had finished teaching his Twelve Apostles, he went on from there to proclaim and teach throughout the towns of Galilee. (2) When John the Baptist heard in prison (he had probably been in prison for about one year, at the fortress Machaerus in the region of Perea, in today’s Jordan) what the Messiah (Christ) was doing, he sent his disciples (3) to ask Jesus, “Are you the one to come, or should we look for someone else?” (4) Jesus said to them, “Go back and tell John what you hear and see: (5) The blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are healed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the gospel (good news) of God is proclaimed to the poor. (6) Blessed is everyone who does not fall away because of me.”
Jesus Praises John the Baptist (Matthew 11:7-15)
(7) When John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus said to the crowd of people: “What did you go out to see in the wilderness of Judea—a fragile desert reed blowing in the wind? (8) What did you go to see—a man dressed in expensive clothes? No, those who wear expensive clothes live in the palaces of kings. (9) Then what did you go to see—a prophet? Yes, I tell you the truth: He is much more than a prophet. (10) John is the one about whom it is written in Malachi 3:1, ‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ (11) I tell you the truth: Among all the children born of women there has not been one that is greater than John the Baptist. But now, whoever is least important in the kingdom of heaven (God) is greater than John. (12) From the days of John until now, the kingdom of heaven (God) has advanced in power (has been subjected to violence), and people of strong faith (forceful people) are seizing it (taking it by force). (13) For the law of Moses and the prophets (the entire Old Testament) foretold of all these things until the coming of John. (14) And if you are willing to accept it, John is the Elijah who was to come. (15) Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear!”
Jesus Rebukes that Generation of Israel (Matthew 11:16-19)
Jesus said, (16) “To what can I compare this generation of Israel? They are like children sitting in the public markets and calling out to their playmates, (17) ‘We played the flute for you, but you did not dance; we sang a song for the dead, but you did not mourn.’ (18) For John did not come eating or drinking, and the religious leaders say, ‘He has a demon.’ (19) The Son of Man (see Daniel 7:13-14) came eating and drinking, and the religious leaders say, ‘Look at him! He is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is proved right by her works.”
Jesus Condemns Jewish Towns Around Lake Galilee (Matthew 11:20-24)
(20) Then Jesus began to denounce the Jewish towns around Lake Galilee, in which he did most of his miracles, but they refused to repent and turn to God. (21) Jesus said, “How terrible it will be for the Jewish towns of Corazin (located about 2 miles/3 km from Capernaum on the top northwest coast of Lake Galilee) and Bethsaida (located about 6 miles/10 km from Capernaum on the northeast coast of Lake Galilee)! For if the miracles that I did in you were done in non-Jewish Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, wearing coarse cloths and covered with ashes. (22) But I tell you the truth: It will be much better for the towns of Tyre and Sidon on the day of God’s judgment than for you. (23) And it will be terrible for you Capernaum (located on the northwest coast of Lake Galilee). Do you think you will you be lifted to the heavens? Absolutely not! You will go down to the realm of the dead! For if the miracles that were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would still exist today. (24) I tell you the truth: It will be much better for Sodom on the day of God’s judgment than for you.”
The Prayer of Jesus (Matthew 11:25-27)
(25) At that time Jesus prayed, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for your ways are hidden from the wise and educated, but are revealed to little children. (26) Yes, Father, for this was your gracious will.” (27) And then Jesus said, “All things have been given to me by my Father. Only the Father knows the Son, and only the Son knows the Father, and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
Rest for the Heavy-Burdened in Life (Matthew 11:28-30)
Then Jesus declared, (28) “Come to me, all you who are tired of carrying the heavy burdens of life, and I will give you rest. (29) Live the way I live (take my yoke upon you) and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will experience rest within your inner life (soul). (30) For my way of life (yoke) is easy and my burden is light.”
Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath (Matthew 12:1-8)
(1) At that time Jesus and his disciples walked through the grain fields on the Sabbath day. His disciples were hungry and so they picked some heads of grain and ate them. (2) But when some Pharisees saw them do this, they said to Jesus, “Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath day.” (3) Jesus said to them, “Haven’t you read 1 Samuel 21:1-6 when David and his men were hungry? (4) David went into God’s temple, and he and his men ate the holy bread—which was unlawful for them to do, for the holy bread was only for the priests to eat. (5) Or haven’t you read in the law of Moses that the priests on Sabbath duty in the temple desecrated the Sabbath but were found innocent?” (6) “I tell you the truth: Something greater than the temple is here. (7) If you really knew the meaning of Hosea 6:6, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned those who are innocent. (8) For the Son of Man (see Daniel 7:13-14) is the Lord of the Sabbath!”
Jesus Heals a Man’s Hand (Matthew 12:9-14)
(9) Then Jesus walked away and went into the synagogue of Capernaum on the Sabbath day. (10) And a man was in the synagogue who had a shriveled (paralyzed) hand. Some Jewish religious leaders were trying to find a way to accuse Jesus of doing something wrong, so they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” (11) Jesus said to them, “If any of you has a sheep that falls into a hole on the Sabbath, will you not pull it out of the hole? (12) Therefore, since people are much more valuable than sheep, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” (13) Then Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched out his hand and it was healed. (14) And so the Pharisees left the synagogue and began to plan how they could kill Jesus.
Jesus Heals Many People (Matthew 12:15-21)
(15) Knowing that the Pharisees were planning to kill him, Jesus left the Capernaum synagogue for another place. A large crowd of people followed him, and he healed all who were sick. (16) He ordered those he healed not to tell others about him. (17) This fulfilled Isaiah 42:1-4, (18) “Here is my chosen (elect) servant, the one I love and in whom I delight. I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. (19) He will not argue or cry out. No one will hear his voice in the streets, (20) for a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. He will lead justice to victory, (21) and the nations will put their hope in his name.”
Jesus Frees a Demon-Possessed Man (Matthew 12:22-23)
(22) Then the people brought to Jesus a demon-possessed (demonized) man who could not see or talk. Jesus healed him, so that he could see and speak. (23) And all the people were amazed and said, “Could this be the Son of David (the Messiah)?”
Pharisees Accuse Jesus of Casting Out Demons by Satan (Matthew 12:24-30)
(24) But when the Pharisees heard the people ask if Jesus could be the Son of David, they said, “No! This man casts out demons by Satan (Beelzebub), the ruler of demons.” (25) Jesus knew the Pharisees’ thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will fall, and every city or family divided against itself cannot stand. (26) And if Satan casts out demons, he is divided against himself. How then can Satan’s kingdom stand? (27) And if I cast out demons by Satan (Beelzebub), by whom do your disciples cast demons out of people? Therefore, they will be your judges. (28) But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. (29) Or again, how can anyone break into a strong man’s house and steal his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? After he ties up the strong man, then he can take everything in his house. (30) Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
The Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is the Eternal Sin (Matthew 12:31-32)
Jesus said, (31) “Therefore, I tell you the truth: Every kind of sin and blasphemy will be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. (32) And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man (see Daniel 7:13-14) will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, neither in this age or in the age to come.”
The Fruit of the Heart (Matthew 12:33-37)
Jesus said, (33) “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is known by its fruit. (34) You are a group of snakes! How can you who are evil say anything good? For what a person says comes out of what fills his heart. (35) A good person speaks good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil person speaks evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. (36) I tell you the truth: On the day of God’s judgment, everyone will give an account for every flippant (careless) word they have said. (37) For by your words you will either be set free (justified) or condemned.”
The Sign of the Prophet Jonah (Matthew 12:38-42)
(38) Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law of Moses said to Jesus, “Teacher, we want to see you do a miraculous sign (miracle).” (39) Jesus said to them, “You are an evil and unfaithful (adulterous) generation that asks for a miraculous sign. But no miracle will be given to you except the sign of the prophet Jonah. (40) For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the stomach of a large fish, so the Son of Man (see Daniel 7:13-14) will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth (speaking about his burial).” (41) “The non-Jews of Nineveh will stand up at God’s judgment with this generation of Israel and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now something greater than Jonah is here! (Nineveh was an ancient Assyrian city of upper Mesopotamia, on the eastern bank of the Tigris River. Today it is the city of Mosul, located in northern Kurdish Iraq.) (42) And the queen of the South (the queen of Sheba, modern Yemen; see 1 Kings 10:1-29) will stand up at God’s judgment with this generation of Israel and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to the wise teaching of Solomon, and now something greater than Solomon is here!”
The Parable of Demons Returning (Matthew 12:43-45)
Jesus told this parable: (43) “When a demon comes out of a person, it goes through waterless places seeking rest but does not find any. (44) Then it says, ‘I will go back inside the person where I used to live.’ When the demon returns, it finds the person is empty, swept clean, and put in order. (45) Then the demon goes and brings back seven other demons more evil than itself, and they go live inside the person. And the final condition of that person is worse than he was at first. That is how it will be with this evil generation of Israel.”
The True Family of Jesus (Matthew 12:46-50)
(46) Jesus was teaching a crowd of people at the house of Peter in Capernaum. Jesus’ mother and brothers came and stood outside the house and asked to talk to him. (47) Someone went inside the house and told Jesus, “Your mother and brothers are outside and want to talk to you.” (48) He said to him, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” (49) He pointed to his disciples and said, “These are my mother and my brothers. (50) For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my mother, brother, and sister.”
Jesus Tells Parables (Matthew 13:1-3)
(1) That same day Jesus left Peter’s house and sat on the northwest coast of Lake Galilee. (2) Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a fishing boat and sat down, while all the people stood on the shore. (3) Then Jesus told them many things in parables.
The Parable of a Farmer (Matthew 13:3-9)
Jesus told this parable, (3) “A farmer went out and threw seed on his field. (4) When he tossed the seed, some of the seed fell on the walking path, and the birds came and ate it. (5) Some seed fell on rocky ground, so that it grew up very quickly because the soil was shallow. (6) For when the sun rose, it burned the plants, and they withered because they had no roots in the soil to keep them alive. (7) Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked the plants. (8) Still other seed fell on good, deep soil that produced a bountiful harvest that was 30, 60, and 100 times what was planted.” (9) Then Jesus declared, “Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear!”
Why Jesus Teaches in Parables (Matthew 13:10-17)
(10) Then the disciples came to Jesus and asked him, “Why do you teach the people in parables?” (11) Jesus said to them, “Because the knowledge of the secrets (deep truths) of the kingdom of heaven (God) has been given to you, but it has not been given to them. (12) Whoever has a receptive heart, an abundance will be given to them. But whoever does not have a receptive heart, what they have will be taken from them.” (13) “This is why I teach the people in parables: Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. (14) Among the people is fulfilled what is written in Isaiah 6:9-10, ‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding. You will be ever seeing but never perceiving. (15) For the people’s hearts have become dull. They are hard of hearing and have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might hear with their ears, see with their eyes, and understand with their hearts and turn to me, so that I can heal them.’” (16) “But blessed are your eyes because they see, and blessed are your ears because they hear. (17) For I tell you the truth: Many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”
Jesus Explains the Parable of a Farmer (Matthew 13:18-23)
(18) Jesus said to his disciples: “This is the meaning of the parable of a farmer. (19) “The seed that was thrown on the walking path refers to those who hear the message of the kingdom of God but do not understand it, and so Satan comes and quickly steals what was planted in their hearts. (20) “The seed that was thrown on rocky ground refers to those who hear the word of God and immediately receive it with joy. (21) But since they have no roots, they only believe for a short time. And when trouble and persecution comes their way because of God’s word, they quickly fall away. (22) “The seed that was thrown among the thorns refers to those who hear the word of God, but the worries of this life and the deception of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. (23) “But the seed thrown on good, deep soil refers to those who hear the word of God and understand it. They produce an abundant crop—some 100 times, some 60 times, and some 30 times more than what was planted.”
The Parable of the Weeds (Matthew 13:24-30)
(24) Jesus told the people another parable: “The kingdom of heaven (God) is like a landowner who threw good seeds of wheat on his field. (25) But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and threw seeds of weed among the wheat and ran away. (26) When the good seed grew and produced wheat, the weeds also appeared. (27) “The landowner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you throw good seed on your field? Where then did these weeds come from?’ (28) The landowner said to them, ‘An enemy did this.’ The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to pull up the weeds?’ (29) The landowner said, ‘No, because when you pull up the weeds, you will also pull out the wheat. (30) Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: ‘First pull up the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and store it in my barn.’”
The Parables of the Mustard Seed and Yeast (Matthew 13:31-33)
(31) Jesus told the people this parable: “The kingdom of heaven (God) is like a mustard seed that a man planted in his field. (32) Although the mustard seed is one of the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and make nests in its branches.” (33) Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven (God) is like yeast that a woman mixed into about 60 pounds of flour until the yeast spreads through all the dough.”
Jesus Tells Other Parables (Matthew 13:34-35)
(34) Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd of people in parables; he did not teach anything to them without using a parable. (35) So this fulfilled what is written in Psalm 78:2, “I will speak in parables, I will speak about things hidden since the creation of the universe.”
Jesus Explains the Parable of the Weeds (Matthew 13:36-43)
(36) Then Jesus left the crowd of people on the northwest coast of Lake Galilee and went into the house of Peter in Capernaum. His disciples came to Jesus and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” (37) Jesus said to them, “The one who threw the good seed in the field is the Son of Man (see Daniel 7:13-14). (38) The field is this world, and the good seed refers to the people of the kingdom of God. The weeds are the people of Satan, (39) and the enemy who sows them is Satan. The harvest is the end of this world (age), and the harvesters are angels. (40) As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this world (age). (41) The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will remove from his kingdom everyone that causes sin and all who do evil. (42) They will all be thrown into the blazing furnace of fire, where people will be weeping and grinding their teeth. (43) Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” Then Jesus declared, “Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear!”
The Parables of the Treasure and Pearl (Matthew 13:44-46)
Jesus told these parables: (44) “The kingdom of heaven (God) is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man discovered the treasure, he buried it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he owned and bought that field. (45) Again, the kingdom of heaven (God) is like a merchant searching for valuable pearls. (46) When he found a pearl of great value, he went away and sold everything he owned and bought the pearl.”
The Parable of a Fishing Dragnet (Matthew 13:47-51)
Jesus told another parable: (47) “The kingdom of heaven (God) is like a fishing dragnet that was thrown into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. (48) When it was full, the fishermen pulled the dragnet up on the shore. Then they sat down and put the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad fish away. (49) This is how it will be at the end of this world (age). God’s angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous (50) and throw them into the blazing furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.” (51) Jesus asked his disciples, “Do you understand?” And they said, “Yes.”
The Parable of Old and New Treasures (Matthew 13:52)
(52) Jesus told this parable: “Therefore, every teacher of the law of Moses who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven (God) is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom both old and new treasures.”
Jesus is Rejected at Nazareth (Matthew 13:53-58)
(53) When Jesus had finished teaching these parables, he left (54) and walked to Nazareth. When Jesus arrived, he taught in their synagogue, and the people were amazed. They said, “Where did Jesus get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? (55) Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and are not his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? (56) Aren’t all his sisters here with us? Where then did Jesus get all these things?” (57) But the people were offended and went against Jesus. Jesus said to them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his home town and in his own family.” (58) And Jesus did only a few miracles in Nazareth because of their unbelief. (Nazareth was located about 12 miles/19 km southwest of Lake Galilee; it had a population of about 500.)
Herod Antipas Hears About Jesus’ Ministry in Galilee (Matthew 14:1-2)
(1) At that time Herod Antipas heard the news about Jesus’ ministry in Galilee. (2) Herod said to his servants, “This must be John the Baptist; he has risen from the dead! That is why this man has miraculous powers (miracles) working in him.” (Herod Antipas was a son of Herod the Great, and the governor of the regions of Galilee and Perea. His capital city of Tiberias was located on the western shore of Lake Galilee, about 10 miles/16 km south from Capernaum.)
Herod Antipas Imprisons John the Baptist (Matthew 14:3-5)
(3) Herod Antipas had John arrested and put him in prison because of Herodias, who he married although she was the wife of Herod’s brother Philip (who lived in Rome). (4) For John had told Herod, “It is not lawful for you to marry your brother’s wife,” (5) Herod wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of the crowd of people because they believed that he was a prophet.
Herod Antipas Beheads John the Baptist (Matthew 14:6-12)
(6) During Herod Antipas’ birthday celebration, the daughter of his wife Herodias danced for the guests. Herod was so pleased (7) that he promised the daughter to give her whatever she asked for. (8) Advised by her mother Herodias, the daughter said to Herod, “Give me the head of John the Baptist on a plate.” (9) Herod was very troubled by the daughter’s request, but because of his oath and guests, he ordered that John’s head be cut off. (10) John was beheaded in the prison, (11) and his head was brought in on a plate. John’s head was given to the girl, who showed it to her mother. (12) John’s disciples came and took his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus that John was dead.
Jesus Heals the Sick at Bethsaida (Matthew 14:14)
(13) When Jesus heard that John was dead, he withdrew privately with his disciples by boat to the isolated region of Bethsaida on the northeast coast of Lake Galilee where they could be alone. (The region of Bethsaida was a fertile and spacious green grass area of about 5 square miles/8 square km; see Luke 9:10.) Hearing that Jesus had left by boat, crowds of people followed him by foot from the towns. (14) So when his boat landed on the coast of Bethsaida, Jesus saw a large crowd of people. He had compassion on them and healed the sick.
Jesus Feeds Five Thousand People (Matthew 14:15-21)
(15) When it was getting dark, the disciples went to Jesus and said to him, “This is an isolated place, and it is getting late. Send the people away, so that they can go to the villages and buy food to eat.” (16) Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” (17) The disciples said, “We have only five loaves of bread and two small fish.” (18) Jesus said, “Bring them to me.” (19) Jesus told the people to sit down on the grass. He took the five loaves of bread and two small fish, looked up to heaven, gave thanks to God, and then broke the loaves of bread. He gave the pieces of bread to his disciples, who then gave them to the people. (20) They all ate and were full, and the disciples collected 12 baskets filled with broken pieces of bread that had not been eaten. (21) There were about 5,000 men who ate (not including the women and children). (The feeding of the 5,000 probably took place on the plain of Bethsaida, in the northeast region of Lake Galilee.)
Jesus Walks on Lake Galilee (Matthew 14:23-33)
(22) Immediately Jesus told the disciples to get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the northwest side of Lake Galilee (probably to Capernaum), while he dismissed the crowd of people. (23) Then Jesus went up on a mountainside (the hills of the Golan Heights) to pray alone. (23) Later that night, Jesus was alone on the northeast side of Lake Galilee, (24) and the disciples’ boat was about 600 feet (183 meters) from shore. Suddenly a storm arose and waves driven by a strong wind smashed against it. (25) Between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. Jesus walked on the lake toward the disciples’ boat. (26) When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. They cried out in fear and screamed, “It is a ghost!” (27) But Jesus immediately said to them, “It is me! Take courage. Don’t be afraid.” (28) Then Peter yelled to Jesus, “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.” (29) Jesus said, “Come!” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. (30) But because of the strong wind, he became afraid and began to sink. He cried out, “Lord, save me!” (31) Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and grabbed him. Jesus said, “You have such little faith, why did you doubt?” (32) And when they climbed into the boat, the powerful wind stopped. (33) Then the disciples in the boat worshiped Jesus, saying, “It is true, you are the Son of God!”
Jesus Heals Many People in Galilee (Matthew 14:34-36)
(34) The boat of Jesus and his disciples crossed back over to the northwest coast of Lake Galilee and landed on the shore of the region of Gennesaret. (Gennesaret is a crescent-shaped, fertile plain that is located about 3 miles/5km south of Capernaum. This coastal region was about 5 miles/8 km long and 2 miles/3 km wide.) (35) When the people of Gennesaret recognized Jesus, they sent a message throughout the whole region of Galilee. The people brought all their sick to Jesus. (36) They begged him to let the sick touch the edge of his clothes (outer cloak). And everyone who touched Jesus was healed.
God’s Truth Verses Religious Rules (Matthew 15:1-9)
(1) Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law of Moses came from Jerusalem and asked Jesus, (2) “Why do your disciples disobey the tradition of the Jewish elders, for they eat bread without washing their hands?” (3) Jesus said to them, “And why do you disobey God’s commandments for the sake of your tradition? (4) For God said in Exodus 20:12, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and in Exodus 21:17, ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’ (5) But you tell people that money that could be used to help their parents can be given to God. (6) And so they don’t have to honor their parents with it. Therefore, you have nullified the word of God for the sake of your tradition. (7) You are religious hypocrites! What is written in Isaiah 29:13 is true, (8) ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. (9) They worship me in vain; their teachings are simply human rules.’”
The Clean and the Unclean (Matthew 15:10-20)
(10) Jesus called the crowd of people to him and said to them, “Listen and understand: (11) It is not what you eat that makes you unclean, but it is what you say that makes you unclean.” (12) Then the disciples came and asked Jesus, “Did you know that the Pharisees were offended by what you said?” (13) Jesus said to them, “Every plant that my Father in heaven has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. (14) Leave them alone; they are blind leaders. And if the blind lead the blind, they will both fall into a hole.” (15) Then Peter said to Jesus, “Explain this parable to us.” (16) Jesus asked them, “Are you still so dull that you do not understand? (17) What you eat goes into your stomach and then it goes out of your body. (18) What makes people unclean are the words that come from their hearts. (19) For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual perversion, theft, false testimony, and slander. (20) These are what make a person unclean, but eating with unwashed hands does not make anyone unclean.”
Jesus Walks to the Region of Tyre and Syria (Matthew 15:21)
(21) Leaving that place, Jesus walked northwest of Galilee to the non-Jewish region of Tyre and Sidon. (The region of Tyre and Sidon bordered Galilee to the northwest along the Mediterranean Sea coast. Tyre was the main seaport of the Roman province of Syria. Today Tyre and Sidon are located in modern Lebanon. Tyre is about 20 miles/32 km south of Sidon, and only 12 miles/19 km north of the modern Israel-Lebanon border.)
The Great Faith of a Non-Jewish Woman (Matthew 15:22-28)
(22) In the region of Syria, a pagan Canaanite woman came to Jesus, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffers terribly.” (23) And Jesus did not answer her. So his disciples came to him and told him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” (24) Jesus said, “Yes, I was sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (25) But then the woman came and fell on her knees before Jesus and said, “Lord, help me!” (26) Jesus said to her, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” (27) She said, “This is true, Lord, but even the dogs eat the crumbs of food that fall from their master’s table.” (28) Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! I will do what you ask me.” And her daughter was healed immediately.
Jesus Heals Many People (Matthew 15:29-31)
(29) Jesus left the region of Syria and walked to the east coast of Lake Galilee, where he went up on a mountainside (the hills of the Golan Heights) and sat down. (30) And large crowds of people brought the lame, the blind, the crippled, those who could not speak, and many others. They laid them at the feet of Jesus, and he healed them. (31) The people were amazed when they saw the mute speak, the crippled made whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they all praised the God of Israel.
Jesus Feeds Four Thousand People (Matthew 15:32-38)
(32) Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have been with me for three days and have had nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they will faint walking back to their homes.” (33) His disciples said to Jesus, “Where in this isolated place could we get enough bread for so many people?” (34) Jesus asked them, “How many loaves of bread do you have?” They said, “Seven, and a few small fish.” (35) Jesus told the people to sit down on the ground. (36) Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and after he had given thanks to God, he broke them into pieces. He gave the pieces of bread and fish to his disciples, and they gave them to the people. (37) The people ate and were full. Afterward the disciples picked up seven baskets filled with broken bread that were not eaten. (38) There were 4,000 men who ate (not including the women and children).
The Boat of Jesus and His Disciples Lands at Magdala (Matthew 15:39)
(39) After Jesus had sent the people away, he and the disciples got into a boat and crossed Lake Galilee to the region of agdala. (Magdala was a fishing town located on the northwest coast of Lake Galilee, about 6 miles/10 km south of Capernaum. It was probably the home town of Mary Magdalene. Mark 8:9 refers to Dalmanutha, which was possibly the port of Magdala.)
The Sign of the Prophet Jonah (Matthew 16:1-4)
(1) Then some Pharisees and Sadducees came to trap Jesus. They asked him to show them a miraculous sign from heaven. (2) Jesus said to them, “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be good weather, for the sky is red.’ (3) And in the morning you say, ‘It will be stormy weather today, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the sky’s appearance, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. (4) This wicked and unfaithful generation of Israel demands a miraculous sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.” Then Jesus left them and went away.
Jesus Warns His Disciples About the Religious Leaders (Matthew 16:5-12)
(5) Jesus and the disciples crossed over by boat to Bethsaida that was located on the northeast coast of Lake Galilee (see Mark 8:22). When Jesus and his disciples left for the northeast side of Lake Galilee, the disciples had forgotten to bring bread. (6) Jesus said to them, “Be careful! Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” (7) The disciples discussed this among themselves and said, “Jesus knows that we did not bring bread.” (8) Jesus knew what they were talking about and said, “You have so little faith! Why are you talking with each other about not bringing bread? (9) Do you not understand? Don’t you remember that we fed 5,000 men with five loaves of bread, and that there were baskets filled with bread left over? (10) Don’t you remember when we fed 4,000 men with seven loaves of bread, and how many baskets filled with bread you gathered? (11) How can it be that you don’t understand that I was not talking about bread? I am telling you to be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” (12) Then they finally understood that Jesus was telling them to be on guard against the false teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Jesus and His Disciples Walk to Caesarea Philippi (Matthew 16:13)
(13) Jesus and his disciples left Bethsaida and walked north to the region of the city of Caesarea Philippi. (The region of Caesarea Philippi was primarily non-Jewish and was located about 25 miles/40 km north of the Sea of Galilee, near Mount Hermon. The region was governed by Herod Philip, a son of Herod the Great.)
Peter Confesses That Jesus is the Messiah (Matthew 16:13-20)
(13) When they arrived in the area of Caesarea Philippi, Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is? (see Daniel 7:13-14).” (14) The disciples said to him, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and still others say Jeremiah, or one of the other (Old Testament) prophets.” (15) Jesus asked them, “Who do you say I am?” (16) Peter said to Jesus, “You are the Messiah (Christ), the Son of the living God!” (17) Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Peter, son of Jonah, because this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. (18) I tell you the truth: You are Peter (meaning little pebble), and on this rock (meaning large boulder) I will build my church, and the defense gates of death (hades) will not be strong enough to stop it. (19) I will give you the knowledge (keys) of the kingdom of heaven (God): whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be released in heaven.” (20) Then Jesus ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
Jesus Speaks About His Death and Resurrection (Matthew 16:21-23)
(21) From the time in the region of Caesarea Philippi, Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must travel to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the Jewish chief priests, teachers of the law of Moses, and elders, and that he must be put to death (crucified) and on the third day be raised to life.
Jesus Calls Peter Satan (Matthew 16:22-23)
(22) When Peter heard this he took Jesus aside and rebuked him, saying, “Never, Lord! This will never happen to you!” (23) Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you are not thinking about God’s purposes, but only human concerns!”
The Cost of Following Jesus (Matthew 16:24-28)
(24) Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny himself and pick up his cross and follow me. (25) For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. (26) What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet lose his soul? What can anyone give in exchange for his soul? (27) For the Son of Man (see Daniel 7:13-14) will come again in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to how he has lived on earth. (28) I tell you the truth: There are some standing here who will not die before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”
The Appearance of Jesus is Transformed (Matthew 17:1-8)
(1) Six days later, Jesus led Peter, James, and John up on a high mountainside (probably Mount Hermon near Caesarea Philippi). (2) When they arrived on the mountainside, Jesus’ appearance was transformed (transfigured) before their eyes. Jesus’ face shone as bright as the sun, and his clothes became as white as light. (3) Suddenly Moses and Elijah appeared and began talking with Jesus. (4) Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you want, I can put up three tents—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” (5) While Peter was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud covered them (the presence of God), and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am very pleased. Be sure to listen to him!” (6) When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground because they were terrified. (7) But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Get up, do not be afraid!” (8) When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.
Jesus and His Disciples Walk Down the Mountainside (Matthew 17:9-13)
(9) As they were walking down the mountainside, Jesus told Peter, James, and John, “Do not tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man (see Daniel 7:13-14) has been raised from the dead.” (10) Then the disciples asked Jesus, “Why do the teachers of the law of Moses say that Elijah must come first?” (11) Jesus said, “Yes, Elijah will come and will restore all things. (12) But I tell you the truth: Elijah has already come, and the religious leaders did not recognize him, but they mistreated him. In the same way, the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” (13) Then the disciples understood that Jesus was talking to them about John the Baptist.
Jesus Frees a Demon-Possessed Boy (Matthew 17:14-18)
(14) When Jesus and his disciples came down from the mountainside, they met a crowd of people, and a man came and fell on his knees before Jesus. He said, (15) “Lord, have mercy on my son. He has seizures and experiences tremendous suffering. He often falls into the fire or into the water. (16) I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.” (17) Jesus said, “You unbelieving and perverse generation of Israel, how long will I stay with you? How long will I put up with you? Bring your son to me.” (18) Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed immediately.
Faith as Small as a Mustard Seed (Matthew 17:19-21)
(19) Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked him, “Why couldn’t we cast the demon out of the boy?” (20-21) Jesus said to them, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth: If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from this place to another place,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Jesus Speaks About His Death and Resurrection (Matthew 17:22-23)
(22) When Jesus and his disciples gathered together in Galilee, he said to them, “The Son of Man (see Daniel 7:13-14) will soon be delivered over to the custody of men. (23) They will put him to death, but on the third day he will be raised to life.” And the disciples became very troubled.
Jesus and the Temple Tax (Matthew 17:24-27)
(24) When Jesus and his disciples arrived at Capernaum, collectors of the annual temple tax of two drachma (worth about two days’ wages) came to Peter and asked him, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?” (25) Peter said, “Yes, he does.” When Peter went into his house, Jesus asked him, “What do you think, Peter? From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes—from their own children or from others?” (26) Peter said, “From others.” So Jesus said, “Then their children do not pay taxes. (27) But, so that we will not offend anyone, go to the lake and throw out your fishing line. Open the mouth of the first fish you catch, and you will find a four-drachma coin in its mouth. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.” (The collectors of the temple tax were representatives of the religious leaders from Jerusalem who oversaw the temple. These are not tax-collectors for the Romans like Matthew. It is probable that those collecting the temple tax were intentionally testing Jesus’ support of the temple.)
The Greatest in the Kingdom of God is Like a Child (Matthew 18:1-4)
(1) At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked him, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven (God)?” (2) Jesus called a little child to him and had him stand among them. (3) And he said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth: Unless you change and become like little children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven (God). (4) Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child will be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven (God).
Jesus Warns About Causing Children to Sin (Matthew 18:5-6)
(5) Then Jesus said, “And whoever receives a child in my name receives me. (6) If anyone causes one of these little children—who believe in me—to sin, it would be much better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and be thrown into the deep sea to drown.”
Jesus Warns About Sin and Hell (Matthew 18:7-9)
Jesus said, (7) “How terrible for the world because of the temptations that cause people to sin! It is necessary for temptations to come, but how terrible for the person through whom these temptations come! (8) “If your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is much better for you to enter eternal life with one hand or one foot than to be thrown into eternal fire. (9) And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away. For it is much better for you to enter eternal life with one eye than be thrown into the fire of hell (gehenna).”
Jesus Warns Against Mistreating Children (Matthew 18:10-11)
Jesus said, “Make sure that you do not mistreat one of these little children. For I tell you the truth: Their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.”
The Parable of the Lost Sheep (Matthew 18:12-14)
(12) Then Jesus told this parable, “Tell me what you think: If a man owns 100 sheep, and one of them wanders away and gets lost, will he not leave the 99 sheep on the hill grazing and go to search for the one that is lost? (13) I tell you the truth: When he finds the lost sheep, he is happier for that one sheep than for the 99 that were not lost. (14) In the same way, your Father in heaven does not want one of these little children to be lost.”
What to Do When People Sin Against You (Matthew 18:15-17)
Jesus said, (15) “If your brother sins against you, go in private and tell him his sin against you. If he listens to you, you have restored your relationship with him. (16) But if he refuses to listen to you, take one or two other believers along with you, for as it is written in Deuteronomy 19:15, ‘Let every matter be settled by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ (17) If he still refuses to listen, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen to the church, treat him as you would a religious pagan or a tax collector.”
When Believers Agree (Matthew 18:18-20)
(18) Jesus said, “I tell you the truth: Whatever believers bind on earth will have already been bound in heaven, and whatever believers set free on earth will have already been set free in heaven (see Matthew 16:19). (19) I tell you the truth: When two believers on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. (20) For where two or three believers gather in my name, there I am with them (in their midst)!”
Forgiving Other Believers (Matthew 18:21-22)
(21) Then Peter came and asked Jesus, “Lord, how many times must I forgive a fellow believer who sins against me? Do I have to forgive him up to seven times?” (22) Jesus said to him, “I tell you the truth: You must not just forgive a fellow believer seven times but 77 times.”
The Parable of an Unforgiving Servant (Matthew 18:23-35)
Jesus told this parable: (23) “The kingdom of heaven (God) is like a king who told his servants to pay back all the money they owed him. (24) As he began to settle his accounts, a servant who owed the king 10,000 talents (about 20 years’ wages) was brought to him. (25) Because the servant was not able to pay his debt, the king ordered that he and his family and all that he owned be sold to repay his debt. (26) After hearing this, the servant fell on his knees before him, begging, ‘Please be patient with me, and I will pay you back everything I owe you.’ (27) The king showed mercy toward the servant and forgave him his entire debt and let him go. (28) “But when the forgiven servant left, he found a fellow servant who owed him 100 denarii (about a day’s wages). He grabbed him and began to choke him, demanding, ‘Pay me back all that you owe me!’ (29) The fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Please be patient with me, and I will pay you back everything I owe you.’ (30) But the servant refused to forgive his fellow servant his debt. Instead, he had the man thrown into prison until he could pay his entire debt. (31) When the other servants saw what had happened, they were very angry and went and told their king everything that had happened. (32) “Then the king called the forgiven servant in and said, ‘You are a wicked servant! I forgave you of all your debt because you begged me. (33) You should have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had mercy on you.’ (34) In his anger the king handed him over to the jailers to be punished, until he paid back all he owed. (35) “This is how my Father in heaven will treat each of you unless you forgive your fellow believers from your heart.”
Jesus Permanently Leaves Galilee For Jerusalem (Matthew 19:1-2)
(1) When Jesus finished his teaching, he left Galilee permanently and traveled toward Jerusalem. He walked to the region of Judea and then into the region of Perea on the east side of the Jordan River. (2) Large crowds of people followed him there and he healed them. (Perea was the primarily Jewish region east of the Jordan River Valley, which is today in modern Jordan.)
Pharisees Question Jesus About Divorce (Matthew 19:3-9)
(3) Some Pharisees came to test Jesus by asking him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason?” (4) Jesus said to them, “Haven’t you read Genesis 1:27? From the beginning, God the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ (5) and it is written in Genesis 2:24, ‘For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one body.’ (6) So in marriage they are no longer two, but one body. Therefore, what God has united as one, let no one separate.” (7) The religious leaders asked, “Why then did Moses say that a man can give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?” (8) Jesus said to them, “Moses allowed you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning of creation. (9) I tell you the truth: A man who divorces his wife—except for marital unfaithfulness (sexual immorality)—and marries another woman commits adultery.”
Disciples Question Jesus About Divorce (Matthew 19:10-12)
(10) The disciples said to Jesus, “If what you taught is true between a husband and wife, then it is better not to marry.” (11) Jesus said, “Not everyone can accept my teaching, but only those who have been given understanding. (12) For there are eunuchs (some men) who were born that way (spiritually gifted not to marry), and there are eunuchs (some men) who have been made eunuchs by others (having been castrated)—and there are eunuchs (some men) who choose not to marry for the sake of the kingdom of heaven (God). Whoever can accept my teaching should receive it.”
Jesus Welcomes Children (Matthew 19:13-15)
(13) Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to put his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples told the people to stop bringing their children. (14) Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them, because the kingdom of heaven (God) belongs to them.” (15) After Jesus had placed his hands on the children, he left that place.
A Rich Young Ruler and Eternal Life (Matthew 19:16-22)
(16) Just then a young man (probably a lay religious leader, possibly a Pharisee) came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good work must I do to enter eternal life?” (17) Jesus said, “Why do you ask me about what is good? God is the only one who is good. If you want to enter eternal life, keep God’s commandments.” (18) The man asked, “Which commandments?” Jesus said, “Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, (19) honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself.” (20) The man said, “I have kept all of these commandments. What else must I do?” (21) Jesus said, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell everything you own and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come and follow me.” (22) When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he was very rich.
It is Hard for the Rich to Enter God’s Kingdom (Matthew 19:23-26)
(23) Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth: It is hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven (God). (24) Again I tell you: It is easier for a camel to go through the hole of a sewing needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” (25) When Jesus’ disciples heard this, they were greatly amazed and asked, “Who then can be saved?” (26) Jesus stared at them and said, “For humans this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
The Reward for Following Jesus (Matthew 19:27-30)
(27) Then Peter said to Jesus, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will be our reward?” (28) Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth: At the renewal (regeneration) of heaven and earth, the Son of Man (see Daniel 7:13-14) will sit on his glorious throne, and you who have followed me will sit on 12 thrones, judging the 12 tribes of Israel. (29) And whoever has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or homelands for my sake will receive 100 times more and will inherit eternal life. (30) But many people who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.”
The Parable of a Landowner (Matthew 20:1-16)
Jesus told this parable: (1) “The kingdom of heaven (God) is like a landowner who went out early in the morning (before 6 a.m.) to hire men to work in his vineyard. (2) He agreed to pay them a day’s wage (a denarius) and sent them into his vineyard.” (A work day was normally from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.). (3) “The landowner went out again at about 9 a.m. and saw men standing in the public market doing nothing. (4) He told them, ‘You also can go and work in my vineyard and I will pay you a day’s wage.’ (5) So they went out to work. Then the landowner went out at about noon and again at 3 p.m. and hired more workers. (6) And again, the landowner went out again at about 5 p.m. and found more men standing around doing nothing. So he asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day doing nothing?’ (7) They answered, ‘Because no one has hired us to work.’ The landowner replied, ‘You also can go and work in my vineyard.’” (8) “When evening came (6 p.m.), the landowner told his foreman, ‘Call all the workers in from the vineyard and pay them their day’s wage—beginning with the last ones hired to the first ones hired.’ (9) The workers who were hired last came and each received a day’s wage. (10) So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more money than the others, but they also received only a day’s wage. (11) When they received their pay, they began to complain to the landowner. (12) They said, ‘The men you hired last worked for only one hour. And you gave them the same wage as us, even though we did most of the work, and we labored through the heat of the day.’ (13) But the landowner said to one of them, ‘Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn’t you agree to work for a day’s wage? (14) Take your money and leave. I want to give the same wage to the one who was hired last. (15) Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ (16) So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
Jesus Speaks About His Death and Resurrection (Matthew 20:17-19)
(17) While Jesus was walking up to Jerusalem, he took his Twelve Apostles away from the people and said to them, (18) “We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man (see Daniel 7:13-14) will be delivered over to the Jewish chief priests and teachers of the law of Moses. They will condemn him to death (19) and will turn him over to the Romans to be mocked and flogged and crucified. But God will raise him to life on the third day!”
A Request of Jesus (Matthew 20:20-24)
(20) Then the mother of apostles James and John came to Jesus with her sons. She knelt before Jesus and asked him a favor. (21) Jesus asked, “What is it that you want?” She said, “Let one of my sons sit at your right and the other sit at your left in your kingdom.” (22) Jesus said, “You don’t know what you are asking me.” Jesus said to James and John, “Can you drink the cup of suffering that I am going to drink?” They answered, “Yes, we can.” (23) Jesus said to them, “You will drink from my cup of suffering, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places of honor belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.” (24) When the other 10 apostles heard about this, they became angry (jealous) with James and John.
The Greatest in the Kingdom of God is a Servant (Matthew 20:25-28)
(25) Jesus called his apostles together and said to them, “You know that the rulers of the non-Jews lord it over their people, and their high officials exercise authority over them. (26) But this is not true with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, (27) and whoever wants to be first among you must serve all others—(28) just as the Son of Man (see Daniel 7:13-14) did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom payment for many people.”
Jesus Heals Two Blind Men in Jericho (Matthew 20:29-34)
(29) Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho toward Jerusalem, and a large crowd followed them. (30) And two blind men were sitting by the road, and when they heard that Jesus was walking by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” (31) The crowd of people tried to stop the blind men from yelling and told them to be quiet, but the blind men shouted even louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” (32) Jesus stopped and called out to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” (33) The blind men said, “Lord, we want you to heal our eyes.” (34) Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they could see and followed him. (The winding road from Jericho to Jerusalem was about 18 miles/29 km long and ascended about 3,000 feet/914 meters through the dry desert. The journey would have taken about eight hours of uphill walking.)
Jesus and His Disciples Arrive at the Mount of Olives (Matthew 21:1)
(1) As Jesus and his disciples approached Jerusalem from Jericho, they came to the town of Bethphage on the Mount of Olives. (Jesus probably arrived in Jerusalem late Friday just before the start of the Sabbath at sunset. The road from Jericho to Jerusalem came up the east side of the Mount of Olives and passed through the villages of Bethphage and Bethany, which are about 2 miles/3 km southeast of Jerusalem. The Mount of Olives was a mountain ridge located east of the city of Jerusalem and separated by the Kidron Valley.)
Jesus Sends for a Colt (Matthew 21:1-6)
On Sunday, Jesus said to Peter and John, (2) “Go to the village (probably Bethphage) ahead of us, and you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt standing beside her. Untie them and bring them to me. (3) If someone says anything to you, tell them that the Lord needs them, and he will let you go.” (4) This happened to fulfill what is written in Zechariah 9:9, (5) “Say to the Daughter of Zion: See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (6) The disciples did what Jesus had told them to do.
Jesus Rides the Colt Toward Jerusalem (Matthew 21:7-9)
(7) And Peter and John brought the donkey and her colt to Jesus, and placed their clothes (outer cloaks) on the colt for him to sit on. (8) A very large crowd of people spread their clothes (outer cloaks) on the road along the Mount of Olives leading to Jerusalem, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. (9) The crowds that went in front of Jesus, and those who followed him, shouted Psalm 118:26, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”
Jesus Clears Out the Temple (Matthew 21:10-14)
(10) When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was full of excitement and people asked one another, “Who is this?” (11) The crowds of people yelled, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee!” (12) Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out everyone who was buying and selling there. He turned over the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves for sacrifices. (13) Jesus said to them, “It is written in Isaiah 56:7, ‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but as it is written in Jeremiah 7:11, ‘You are making it a den of robbers.’” (14) And then the blind and lame came to Jesus at the temple, and he healed them.
The Religious Leaders Are Angry About the Praise of Children (Matthew 21:15-16)
(15) But the Jewish chief priests and teachers of the law of Moses were furious when they saw the wonderful things that Jesus did, and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David.” (16) The religious leaders asked Jesus, “Don’t you hear what these children are shouting?” Jesus said to them, “Yes, haven’t you ever read Psalm 8:2? It says, ‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise.’”
Jesus Returns to Bethany (Matthew 21:17)
(17) Late on Sunday, Jesus left the temple in Jerusalem and walked back to the village of Bethany on the Mount of Olives, where he spent the night.
Jesus Curses an Unfruitful Fig Tree (Matthew 21:18-22)
(18) Early on Monday morning, Jesus became hungry when he was walking from Bethany back to Jerusalem. (19) When Jesus saw a fig tree by the road he went over to it, but he found only leaves and no figs on it. Then he said to the tree, “You will never produce figs again!” Immediately the tree dried up and died (possibly a symbolic judgment against Israel, for in the Old Testament Israel is often referred to as a fig tree). (20) When the disciples saw Jesus curse the fig tree, they were amazed and asked, “How did the fig tree die so quickly?” (21) Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth: If you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only be able to do what I did to this fig tree, but you can also tell this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will happen. (22) If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
The Religious Leaders Question the Authority of Jesus (Matthew 21:23-27)
(23) Jesus entered the temple courts, and, while he was teaching, the Jewish chief priests and elders came and asked him, “By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority?” (24) Jesus said to them, “Let me ask you a question. And if you answer me, I will tell you by what authority I do these things.” (“These things” probably refers to Jesus clearing of the temple, see Matthew 21:12-16.) (25) Jesus asked, “Was the baptism of John from heaven or was it from man? The religious leaders talked with each other and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why did you not believe John?’ (26) But if we say, ‘It was from man,’ we are afraid of what the people might do, for they believe that John was a prophet.” (27) So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” Then Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
The Parable of Two Sons (Matthew 21:28-32)
Jesus asked the Jewish religious leaders, (28) “What do you think about this parable? “There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ (29) The son answered, ‘No, I will not go,’ but later he changed his mind and went into the vineyard to work. (30) Then the father went to his second son and said the same thing, “Go work today in the vineyard.’ He answered, ‘Yes, I will, father,’ but he did not go into the vineyard to work.” (31) Jesus asked them, “Tell me, which of the two sons did the will of his father?” The religious leaders answered, “The first son.” Then Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth: The tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you! (32) For John came to show you the way of righteousness, and you refused to believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did believe him. And even after you saw this, you still would not repent and believe.”
The Parable of a Vineyard Owner (Matthew 21:33-44)
(33) Jesus said, “Listen to another parable: “There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He built a wall around it, dug a hole for a winepress, and built a watchtower. Then he rented his vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. (34) “When it was time for the harvest, the landowner sent his servants to the farmers to collect his fruit. (35) But the farmers grabbed his three servants, beat one, threw rocks at one, and killed another. (36) Then the landowner sent a larger number of servants to the farmers, but they did the same thing to them. (37) Last of all, he sent his son to them. The landowner thought, ‘They will respect my son.’ (38) But when the farmers saw the son coming, they said to one another, ‘This is the inheritor of the vineyard. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance.’ (39) So they took the son and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.” (40) Then Jesus asked the religious leaders, “Therefore, when the vineyard’s owner comes, what will he do to those farmers?” (41) They replied, “He will destroy those evil men, and he will rent his vineyard to other farmers, who will give him his share of the crops at harvest time.” (42) Jesus said to them, “Haven’t you ever read Psalm 118:22-23? ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.’ (43) Therefore, I tell you the truth: The kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to people who will produce its fruit. (44) Whoever falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, and the one on whom the stone falls will be crushed into powder.”
Religious Leaders Want to Arrest Jesus (Matthew 21:45-46)
(45) When the Jewish chief priests and the Pharisees heard the parables of Jesus, they knew that he was talking about them. (46) So they looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd of people because they believed that Jesus was a prophet.
The Parable of a Wedding Banquet (Matthew 22:1-14)
(1) Jesus told them another parable: (2) “The kingdom of heaven (God) is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. (3) He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but those who were invited refused to come. (4) Then the king sent out more servants and told them, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and cattle have been butchered and everything is ready to eat. Come to the wedding banquet!’ (5) But the invited guests ignored them and left—one went to his field, and another went to his business. (6) The others grabbed the king’s servants, mistreated them, and killed them. (7) “The king was furious. He sent out his soldiers and destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. (8) Then the king told his servants, ‘The wedding banquet of my son is ready, but those that I invited do not deserve to come. (9) Therefore, go to the street corners and invite everyone to the banquet.’ (10) So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find—the good and the bad—and the wedding hall was filled with guests. (11) “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes. (12) The king asked him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ The man was speechless. (13) Then the king told the servants, ‘Tie this man hand and foot, and throw him outside into the outer darkness, where people will be weeping and grinding their teeth.’” (14) Jesus said, “For many people are called (invited) but only a few are chosen.”
Paying Taxes to the Roman Emperor (Matthew 22:15-22)
(15) Then the Pharisees left the temple courts and made plans to trap Jesus in what he taught. (16) They sent their disciples to Jesus along with some Herodians (members of a Jewish political party that supported the Herodian rulers, especially Herod Antipas). They said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the true way of God. You aren’t swayed by others, for you pay no attention to who they are. (17) Tell us then, do you think it is right to pay the imperial tax to the Roman emperor Caesar or not?” (18) But Jesus knew the evil intent of their hearts, and said to them, “You are religious hypocrites! Why are you trying to trap me in what I say?” (19) Then Jesus said, “Bring me a coin (a denarius, a common Roman coin) used for paying the imperial tax.” They brought him a coin. (20) Then Jesus asked them, “Whose image and inscription is on the coin?” (on one side of the coin was the image of Emperor Tiberius, with the Latin inscription: “Tiberius Caesar, son of the divine Augustus”) (21) They said, “It is Caesar’s.” Jesus said to them, “So give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and give to God what is God’s.” (22) When the religious leaders heard this, they were amazed and left Jesus and walked away.
Marriage After the Resurrection (Matthew 22:23-33)
(23) That same day some Sadducees—who deny the resurrection from the dead—came to Jesus and asked him this question, (24) “Teacher, Moses told us that if a man dies without having children, his brother must marry the widow and have children for him. (25) Now there were seven brothers. The first one married and died without children, so he left his wife to his brother. (26) The same thing happened to all seven brothers. (27) Finally, the woman died. (28) Tell us, which one of the seven brothers will the woman be married to at the resurrection from the dead, since she had married all the brothers?” (29) Jesus said, “You are wrong because you do not know the Bible or the power of God. (30) For at the resurrection of the dead, people will not marry; they will be like the angels in heaven. (31) Now about the resurrection of the dead, haven’t you read Exodus 3:6, (32) ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ So God is not the God of the dead but of the living.” (33) When the crowds of people heard Jesus speak, they were amazed at his teaching.
The Greatest Commandments (Matthew 22:34-40)
(34) When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they met together. (35) One of the Pharisees, an expert in the law of Moses, tried to test Jesus by asking him this question, (36) “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law of Moses?” (37) Jesus said to him, “Deuteronomy 6:5, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ (38) This is the first and greatest commandment. (39) And the second greatest commandment is Leviticus 19:18, ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ (40) For the whole truth of the law of Moses and the prophets (the entire Old Testament) is contained in these two commandments.”
Is the Messiah the Son of David? (Matthew 22:41-46)
(41) While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, (42) “What do you think about the Messiah (Christ)? Whose son is he?” They said, “The son of David.” (43) So Jesus asked them, “Why is it then that David, speaking by the Holy Spirit, calls him ‘Lord’ in Psalm 110:1? For it reads, (44) ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.’” (45) If then David calls him ‘Lord,’ how then can the Messiah (Christ) be his son?” (46) The Pharisees had no answer for Jesus, and from that day on, no one dared to ask him any more questions.
Jesus Warns His Disciples About the Pharisees (Matthew 23:1-12)
(1) Then Jesus said to his disciples and the crowds of people, (2) “The Pharisees and the teachers of the law sit in the seat of Moses (seats of special authority in the synagogue). (3) So be careful to obey what they teach. But do not live as they live, because they do not practice what they preach. (4) “They tie heavy religious burdens on the shoulders of the people, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to remove them. (5) Everything they do is done so that they will be seen by other people: They make their phylacteries wide (phylacteries are leather boxes containing Bible verses, worn on a man’s left arm and forehead); they wear long tassels on their garments (worn on the four corners of a man’s outer garment, the cloak); (6) they love to sit at places of honor at banquets (on either side of the host) and in the most important seats in the synagogues; (7) and they love to be greeted with respect in the public market and to be called ‘Rabbi’ (Teacher) by others. (8) “But you should not be called ‘Rabbi,’ because you have only one Teacher, and you are all fellow believers. (9) And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ because you have only one Father in heaven. (10) Also you are not to be called ‘teacher,’ because you only have one Teacher, the Messiah (Christ). (11) The greatest among you will be your servant. (12) For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted by God.
Jesus Condemns the Pharisees (Matthew 23:13-36)
(13) “How terrible for you, Pharisees and teachers of the law of Moses! You are religious hypocrites! You slam the door of the kingdom of heaven (God) in people’s faces. And you yourselves do not even enter it, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. (14-15) “How terrible for you, Pharisees and teachers of the law of Moses! You are religious hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, but when they convert, you make them twice the child of hell (gehenna) as you are. (16) “How terrible for you, blind leaders! You say, ‘Whoever makes a promise by the temple, it means nothing; but whoever promises by the gold of the temple is bound to keep his oath.’ (17) You are blind fools! Which is greater—the gold, or the temple that makes the gold holy? (18) You also say, ‘Whoever makes a promise by the altar, it means nothing; but whoever promises by the gift that is on the altar is bound to keep his oath.’ (19) You are blind men! Which is greater—the gift, or the altar that makes the gift holy? (20) Therefore, whoever makes a promise by the altar, swears an oath by it and by all the offerings on it. (21) And whoever makes a promise by the temple, swears an oath by it and by God who dwells in it. (22) And whoever makes a promise by heaven, swears an oath by God’s throne and by the one who sits on it. (23) “How terrible for you, Pharisees and teachers of the law of Moses! You are religious hypocrites! You give to God a tenth (tithe) of your spices—mint, dill, and cumin—but you neglect the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy, and faithfulness. You should have practiced these, without neglecting the former things. (24) You are blind leaders! You remove insects from your drinks, but you swallow a camel. (25) “How terrible for you, Pharisees and teachers of the law of Moses! You are religious hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish you use, but your hearts are full of greed and self-indulgence. (26) You blind Pharisees! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside will also be clean. (27) “How terrible for you, Pharisees and teachers of the law of Moses! You are religious hypocrites! You are like tombs that are painted white and are beautiful on the outside, but on the inside they are full of rotting bones of the dead people, and everything unclean. (28) In the same way, on the outside you appear righteous, but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness. (29) “How terrible for you, Pharisees and teachers of the law of Moses! You are religious hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. (30) And you say, ‘If we lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have helped kill the prophets.’ (31) In saying this, you testify against yourselves that you are the children of those who murdered the prophets. (32) Go ahead, then, and finish what your ancestors started! (33) “You are snakes! You are the children of snakes! Why do you think you will escape being condemned to hell (gehenna)? (34) Therefore, I am sending you prophets, wise men, and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues, and chase them from town to town. (35) And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the righteous blood of Abel (Genesis 4:8-11) to the righteous blood of Zechariah (2 Chronicles 24:20-22), son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. (36) I tell you the truth: This will all come on this generation of Israel.”
Jesus Condemns Jerusalem (Matthew 23:37-39)
Jesus declared, (37) “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill God’s prophets and throw rocks at those sent to you. How often I have longed to gather your children together, as a mother bird gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! (38) Look! Your house (temple) has been forsaken by God and left desolate. (39) I tell you the truth: You will not see me again until you shout Psalm 118:26, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”
The Roman Destruction of the Temple (Matthew 24:1-2)
(1) Jesus and his disciples left the temple complex and began to walk back to Bethany on the Mount of Olives. As they were walking away, the disciples came to Jesus and told him to look at the buildings of the temple (the buildings built by King Herod the Great, who had rebuilt the temple). (2) Jesus said to them, “Do you see all these buildings? I tell you the truth: A time is coming when the buildings of the temple will be destroyed and not one stone will be left on another—every stone will be thrown down.” (Jesus predicts the Romans’ destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, between AD 66 and AD 70.)
Disciples Question Jesus on the Mount of Olives (Matthew 24:3)
(3) As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, his disciples came to him in private and asked, “Tell us, when will all these things happen (the destruction of the temple)? What will be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the world (age)?”
False Messiahs (Matthew 24:4-5)
(4) Jesus answered, “Watch out for those who will try to deceive you, (5) because many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah (Christ),’ and they will lead astray many people.
Wars, Earthquakes, and Famines (Matthew 24:6-8)
(6) You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but do not be afraid, for these things must take place, but the end of the world is still to come. (7) For nation will rise up and fight against nation and kingdom will rise up and fight against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. (8) But all of these things are only the beginning of the pains of childbirth.”
Global Mission and Persecution (Matthew 24:9-13)
Jesus said, (9) “Then at that time you will be arrested and handed over to be punished and killed. People from all over the world will hate you because you believe in me. (10) At that time, many believers will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other. (11) Many false prophets will appear and lead many people to believe in things that are false. (12) Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of many people will grow cold, (13) but those who stand strong (endure) to the end of the world will be saved.”
The End of the World (Matthew 24:14)
Jesus said, (14) “And this gospel (good news) of the kingdom of God will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a witness to all nations, and then the end (telos) will come.”
The Roman Destruction of Jerusalem (Matthew 24:15-22)
Jesus said, (15) “As it is written in Daniel 9:27, ‘When you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes destruction’ (let the reader understand), (16) let those who are living in Judea flee to the mountains for refuge. (17) Those who are on their rooftops (houses had flat roofs) should not go down to take anything out of their houses, (18) and those working in their fields (normally working in their tunics, their inner clothes) should not go back to their homes to get their clothes (outer cloaks). (19) Those days will be horrifying for pregnant women and nursing mothers. (20) Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. (21) For then there will be great tribulation, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. (22) If those terrible days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the chosen, those days will be kept short.” (Jesus predicts the Romans’ destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, between AD 66 and AD 70.)
False Messiahs and False Prophets (Matthew 24:23-26)
Jesus said, (23) “Then at that time whoever declares to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah (Christ)!’ or, ‘There is the Messiah!’ do not believe him. (24) For false messiahs and prophets will appear and do great miraculous signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the chosen. (25) I am telling you these things before they happen. (26) So if anyone declares, ‘The Messiah is out in the wilderness,’ do not go out there; or, ‘Here is the Messiah in the inner rooms,’ do not believe him.”
The Second Coming of Jesus (Matthew 24:27-35)
Jesus said, (27) “The coming of the Son of Man (see Daniel 7:13-14) will be like lightning that flashes in the sky from the east to the west. (28) There will be no surprises, just as we know that wherever there are dead bodies, there will be vultures to eat them. (29) As it is written in Joel 2:10, ‘Immediately after the trouble of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give off light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ (30) “Then, at that time, will appear the sign of the Son of Man in the sky. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the coming of the Son of Man on the clouds, with power and great glory. (31) And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his chosen from the four winds of the earth—from one end of the heavens to the other. (32) “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. (33) So when you see all these things, you will know that the time is near, right at the door. (34) I tell you the truth: This generation will not pass away until all these things have happened. (35) Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”
The Time of the Second Coming of Jesus is Unknown (Matthew 24:36-44)
(36) “But about the day or hour of the coming of the Son of Man no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. (37) As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be the same at the coming of the Son of Man. (38) For in those days before the great flood, people were living normal lives—eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage—up to the day Noah entered the ark; (39) and they did not know what would happen until the great flood came and washed them away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. (40) Two men will be working in the field; one will be taken away and the other one will be left. (41) Two women will be grinding grain with a hand mill; one will be taken away and the other one will be left. (42) “Therefore, stay alert, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. (43) But understand this: If the house’s owner had known at what time of night a thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let the thief to break into his house. (44) So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”
The Parable of a Faithful and Wise Servant (Matthew 24:45-51)
Jesus told this parable: (45) “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of his household servants to give them their food at the proper time? (46) “It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. (47) I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. (48) But if that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ (49) and so he begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards, (50) the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at a time he is not aware of. (51) He will cut him to pieces, and put him in a place with the hypocrites—where people will be weeping and grinding their teeth.”
The Parable of Ten Young Girls (Matthew 25:1-13)
Jesus told this parable: (1) “At that time the kingdom of heaven (God) will be like ten young girls (virgins) who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. (2) Now five of the young girls were foolish, and five were wise. (3) “The foolish girls took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. (4) However, the wise girls took oil in jars along with their lamps. (5) The bridegroom was delayed a long time in coming, so they all became tired and fell asleep. (6) At midnight the cry rang out, ‘Here comes the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ (7) Then all the young girls woke up and lit their lamps. (8) The foolish girls said to the wise girls, ‘Give us some of your oil because our lamps are going out.’ (9) The wise girls said, ‘No! There is not enough oil for both of us. Go and buy your own oil.’ (10) But while they were going to buy oil, the bridegroom arrived. The wise girls went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. (11) Later the foolish young girls came and said, ‘Sir! Sir! Open the door for us!’ (12) But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth: I don’t know you.’ (13) “Therefore, keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour of the coming of the Son of Man (see Daniel 7:13-14).”
The Parable of Faithful Stewardship (Matthew 25:14-30)
Jesus told this parable: (14) “The kingdom of God will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his riches to them. (15) “To one servant he gave five bags of money (each bag was a talent which is a unit of money, not a coin, weighing about 75 lb. and worth around $240,000), to another two bags of money, and to another one bag of money, each according to his ability. Then the man went on his journey. (16) The servant who received five bags of money immediately went and invested the money and earned another five bags of money. (17) So also, the servant with the two bags of money earned another two bags. (18) But the servant who was given one bag of money went and dug a hole in the ground and buried it. (19) “After a long time the master of the servants returned and settled the accounts with them. (20) The servant who had been given five bags of money brought the other five bags that he earned. He said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags of money, and I now have five more bags of money to give you.’ (21) His master said, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; so I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness.’ (22) “The servant who was given two bags of money also came and said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags of money, and now I have two more bags of money to give you.’ (23) His master said, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; so I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share in your master’s happiness!’ (24) Then the servant who was given one bag of money came and said, ‘Master, because I knew that you are a hard man—harvesting where you have not planted, and gathering where you have not thrown seed—(25) I was afraid and went out and buried the bag of money in the ground. So, here is the bag of money that you gave me.’ (26) His master said, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! Since you know that I harvest where I have not planted, and gather where I have not thrown seed, (27) you should have put my bag of money in the bank, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. (28) So take the one bag of money from him and give it to the servant who had ten bags of money. (29) For whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever has very little, even what he has will be taken away from him. (30) And the worthless servant will be thrown outside into the darkness—where people will be weeping and grinding their teeth.”
The Final Judgment of Jesus (Matthew 25:31-46)
Jesus said, (31) “When the Son of Man (see Daniel 7:13-14) comes in his glory along with all the angels, he will sit on his glorious throne. (32) All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people from one another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. (33) He will put the sheep on his right side and the goats on his left. (34) “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; receive your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the universe. (35) For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in; (36) I needed clothes and you clothed me; I was sick and you took care of me; and I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ (37) “Then the righteous will ask him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? (38) When did we see you as a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? (39) When did we see you sick or in prison and go visit you?’ (40) The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth: Whatever you did for one of the least of my followers, you did for me.’ (41) “Then the King will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. (42) For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink; (43) I was a stranger and you did not invite me in; I needed clothes and you did not clothe me; I was sick and in prison and you did not take care of me.’ (44) They also will ask, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ (45) The Lord will say ‘I tell you the truth: Whatever you did not do for the least of my followers, you did not do for me.’ (46) “Then the wicked will go away to eternal punishment, and the righteous to eternal life.”
Jesus Predicts His Crucifixion (Matthew 26:1-2)
(1) When Jesus finished teaching all these things (Matthew 24:4-Matthew 25:46, known as the Olivet Discourse), he said to his disciples, (2) “As you know, the Passover is two days away—and the Son of Man (see Daniel 7:13-14) will be handed over to the Romans to be crucified.”
The Jewish Sanhedrin Plans to Kill Jesus (Matthew 26:3-5
(3) Then the Jewish chief priests and elders of the people (the Jewish governing council, the Sanhedrin) met together in the palace of high priest Caiaphas. (4) They made plans to trick, arrest, and kill Jesus. (5) But they said to one another, “We can’t arrest Jesus during the Passover or the people will riot.”
Mary Anoints the Head of Jesus in Bethany (Matthew 26:6-13)
(6) When Jesus was in Bethany on the Mount of Olives in the home of Simon the Leper, (7) a woman (Mary, see Mark 14:3-9) came to Jesus with an alabaster jar of very expensive, fragrant oil, and she poured it on his head as he was eating at the table. (8) When the disciples saw this, they became very angry and said to her, “Why are you wasting this expensive oil? (9) This oil could have been sold for lots of money and given to the poor.” (10) But Jesus, aware of this, said to his disciples, “Why are you rebuking this woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. (11) You will always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me with you. (12) In pouring this fragrant oil on my body, she has prepared me for my burial. (13) I tell you the truth: Wherever the gospel (good news) is proclaimed around the world, what she did to me will be told in her memory.”
Judas Iscariot Betrays Jesus (Matthew 26:14-16)
(14) Then Judas Iscariot—one of Jesus’ Twelve Apostles—went to the Jewish chief priests (15) and asked them, “How much money will you give me to turn Jesus over to you?” So the chief priests paid him 30 silver coins (worth about $5,000). (16) From then on Judas looked for a good opportunity to betray Jesus.
Preparation of the Passover Meal (Matthew 26:17-19)
(17) On the first day of the festival of Unleavened Bread (Wednesday afternoon when the lambs were sacrificed in the temple, before the Passover meal started on Thursday at sunset), Peter and John (see Luke 22:8) came to Jesus and asked him, “Where do you want us to prepare the Passover meal for you?” (18) Jesus said, “Go into Jerusalem to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I will celebrate the Passover meal at your house with my disciples.’” (19) So the disciples did as Jesus told them, and they prepared the Passover meal. (The location of Jesus’ last Passover meal with his apostles —the Last Supper—was an upper guest room in a private home in Jerusalem. It has become known as the “Upper Room.” Based on the early chapters of the book of Acts, it is possible that the apostles used the Upper Room as a temporary residence or regular gathering place. According to church tradition, the Upper Room was located in the southern part of the old city of Jerusalem, on Mount Zion.)
The Passover Meal and Judas the Betrayer (Matthew 26:20-25)
(20) It was Wednesday evening and the start of Thursday at sunset. Jesus reclined at the table with his Twelve Apostles. (21) While they were eating, Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth: One of you will betray me.” (22) They were all very troubled and asked, “Lord, surely you don’t know me?” (23) Jesus said, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me (Judas was sitting next to Jesus). (24) The Son of Man (see Daniel 7:13-14) will suffer just as it is written about him in God’s word. But how terrible for the one who betrays the Son of Man! It would be much better for him if he had not been born.” (25) Then Judas Iscariot, the one who would betray Jesus, asked him, “Teacher, surely it isn’t me?” Jesus replied, “Yes, it is you.”
The Lord’s Supper (Matthew 26:26-30)
(26) While they were eating, Jesus took bread and gave thanks, then he broke the bread and gave the pieces to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” (27) Then he took the cup of wine, gave thanks, and he gave the cup to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you, (28) for this is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for the forgiveness of the sins of many. (29) I tell you the truth: I will not drink wine again until that day when I drink it with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
Jesus and His Apostles Walk Toward the Mount of Olives (Matthew 26:30-35)
(30) After they sang a song of praise to God, Jesus and his apostles left the house and walked toward the Mount of Olives. (31) Jesus told his disciples, “This very night you will all fall away from me as it is written in Zechariah 13:7, ‘I will strike the shepherd and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ (32) But after I have risen from the dead, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” (33) Then Peter said to Jesus, “Even if everyone else leaves you, I will never leave you.” (34) Jesus said, “I tell you the truth: You will deny me three times tonight before the rooster crows.” (35) But Peter declared, “Even if I must die with you, I will never deny you!” And all of the apostles said the same thing.
Jesus and His Apostles Arrive at Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36)
(36) Then Jesus led his apostles to a field of olive trees called Gethsemane (meaning olive-press). He said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” (37) Jesus took Peter, James, and John along with him. He became deeply grieved and troubled, (38) and said to them, “My heart (soul) is so overcome with sorrow, I feel as if I am going to die. Stay here and keep watch with me.” (The garden of Gethsemane is located at the bottom of the west slope of the Mount of Olives opposite the Temple Mount.)
Jesus Prays Three Times (Matthew 26:39-46)
(39) Going a little farther into the field, Jesus fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, take this cup of suffering from me; yet not my will, but your will. I want to do your will!” (40) Then he went back to his disciples and found them sleeping. Jesus asked Peter, “Couldn’t you stay awake with me for one hour? (41) Watch and pray, so that you will not fall into temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (42) Jesus went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if this cup of suffering cannot pass unless I drink it, I want to do your will!” (43) When he went back to his disciples, he found them sleeping, for they were very tired. (44) So Jesus left them and went away again and prayed a third time, saying the same words. (45) Then he went back to his disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, it is now time for the Son of Man (see Daniel 7:13-14) to be delivered into the hands of sinners. (46) Get up! Let’s go! Here comes my betrayer!”
Jesus is Arrested (Matthew 26:47-50)
(47) While Jesus was still speaking, Judas Iscariot, one of his Twelve Apostles, arrived leading a large crowd carrying daggers and clubs. They were sent by the Jewish chief priests and elders (the Jewish governing council, the Sanhedrin). (48) Judas the betrayer had arranged a signal with them, saying, “The one I kiss (on the cheeks) is Jesus; arrest him.” (49) Judas went to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Teacher (Rabbi)!” and kissed him. (50) Jesus replied, “My friend, do what you came to do.” Then the men stepped forward and grabbed Jesus and arrested him.
Peter Cuts Off the Ear of the High Priest’s Servant (Matthew 26:51-54)
(51) Seeing that Jesus was being arrested, Peter pulled out his dagger and struck the head of the high priest’s servant, slicing off his ear. (52) Jesus shouted, “Put your dagger away! All who fight with the sword will die by the sword. (53) You know I could call on my Father, and he would immediately send me thousands (12 legions) of angels. (54) But if I did, how then would God’s word be fulfilled that says it must all happen this way?”
Jesus Speaks to the Crowd Arresting Him (Matthew 26:55-55)
(55) At that time, Jesus said to the crowd that was arresting him, “Am I leading a rebellion that you have come out to arrest me with swords and clubs? Every day I sat teaching the people in the temple courts, and you did not arrest me. (56) But all this has happened so the words of the (Old Testament) prophets would come true.” Then all the disciples deserted Jesus and ran away.
Jesus is Taken to the High Priest Caiaphas (Matthew 26:57-58)
(57) Those who had arrested Jesus took him to the palace of the high priest Caiaphas, where the teachers of the law of Moses and the elders (the Jewish governing council, the Sanhedrin) had gathered. (58) And Peter followed Jesus at a distance to the courtyard of the high priest’s palace. He went inside and sat down with the guards to see what would happen. (The palace of the high priest Caiaphas was possibly located on the east slope of Mount Zion.)
Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin Interrogate Jesus (Matthew 26:59-66)
(59) The chief priests and the whole Jewish governing council (the Sanhedrin) were searching for false witnesses so that they could have Jesus crucified. (60) Although they found many false witnesses, they could not accuse Jesus of doing a crime that was worth death. Finally two false witnesses came forward (61) and declared, “Jesus said, ‘I will tear down God’s temple and rebuild it in three days.’” (62) Then the high priest Caiaphas stood up and said to Jesus, “Are you not going to answer these charges? What are you going to say against the testimony of these men?” (63) But Jesus did not say anything. The high priest then said to him, “I charge you by the living God, tell us if you are the Messiah (Christ), the Son of God!” (64) Jesus said, “Yes, it is as you have said. But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man (Daniel 7:13-14) enthroned in authority at the right hand of Mighty God and coming on the clouds of heaven (see Psalm 110:1)” (65) Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has blasphemed against God! We do not need any more witnesses, for we all have heard him speak blasphemy.” The high priest asked, (66) “What do you think we should do?” The Jewish religious leaders said, “He is guilty and must be put to death.”
The Guards Mock and Beat Jesus (Matthew 26:67-68)
(67) Then the guards spit in the face of Jesus and hit him with their fists. Others slapped him, (68) saying, “Prophesy to us, Messiah (Christ)! Who hit you?”
Peter Denies Knowing Jesus (Matthew 26:69-75)
(69) Now Peter sat in the outer courtyard of the high priest’s palace, and a servant girl came and said to him, “You also were with Jesus of Galilee.” (70) But Peter denied it before them all, saying, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t know him.” (71) Then Peter went to the courtyard’s gate. There, another servant girl saw him and said to everyone there, “This man is a follower of Jesus of Nazareth.” (72) But Peter denied it again, with an oath, “I don’t know this man Jesus!” (73) After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, “Yes, you are a follower of Jesus, for you speak with a Galilean accent.” (74) Then Peter called down curses on himself and swore to them, “I don’t know this man Jesus!” Immediately a rooster crowed. (75) Then Peter remembered what Jesus had said: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” And then Peter went outside and cried bitterly.
The Sanhedrin Make Plans for Jesus’ Crucifixion (Matthew 27:1)
(1) Early in the morning (about 6 a.m.), all the Jewish chief priests and elders of the people made plans to have Jesus crucified.
Jesus is Taken to the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate (Matthew 27:2)
(2) So they bound him, and led him away and handed him over to Pontius Pilate, the governor of Judea. (Pilate’s palace was the palace of King Herod the Great located in the northwest corner of the city walls of the upper city of Jerusalem, near today’s Jaffa Gate.)
Judas Iscariot Commits Suicide (Matthew 27:3-10)
(3) When Judas Iscariot, the betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned to death, he was overcome with remorse and gave the 30 silver coins back to the Jewish chief priests and elders. (4) Judas said to them, “I have sinned, for I have betrayed an innocent man.” The religious leaders replied, “We do not care what you did, that’s your problem, not ours.” (5) So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself. (6) Then the chief priests picked up the coins and said, “It is against Jewish law to put this blood money into the temple treasury.” (7) So they used the money to buy a potter’s field to serve as a burial place for foreigners. (8) That is why it is called the “Field of Blood” today. (9) This fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah 19:1-13 (see Zechariah 11:11-12), “They took the 30 silver coins, the price set on him by the people of Israel, (10) and they used the coins to buy the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.”
Pilate Interrogates Jesus (Matthew 27:11-14)
(11) Meanwhile, Jesus stood before the Roman governor Pontius Pilate, and Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Jesus said to him, “Yes, as you have said.” (12) And when Jesus was accused by the chief priests and elders, he gave no answer. (13) Then Pilate asked him, “Don’t you hear the charges they are bringing against you?” (14) But Jesus did not reply, not even to a single charge. Pilate was totally amazed.
Release Barabbas, Crucify Jesus (Matthew 27:15-23)
(15) Now it was the custom of Pilate to release a prisoner chosen by the people during the Passover. (16) At that time, the Romans had a very well known Jewish prisoner named Jesus Barabbas in prison. (17) So when the crowd of people had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which prisoner do you want me to release to you—Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Messiah (Christ)?” (18) Pilate knew it was out of jealous opposition that the religious leaders had delivered Jesus over to him. (19) While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: “Don’t have anything to do with this innocent man, for I suffered in a dream today because of him.” (20) But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd of people to ask for Barabbas, and to have Jesus crucified. (21) Pilate asked the people again, “Which of the two prisoners do you want me to release to you?” The people yelled, “Barabbas!” (22) Then Pilate said to them, “What should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah (Christ)?” They shouted, “Crucify him!” (23) Pilate asked them, “Why? What crime is he guilty of?” But the crowd shouted even louder, “Crucify him!”
Pilate Washes His Hands of Jesus’ Crucifixion (Matthew 27:24-25)
(24) Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere and that the crowd was getting out of control. So he took water and washed his hands in front of the people, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood. It is now your responsibility!” (25) The crowd shouted, “Let his blood be on us and on our children!”
Pilate Sentences Jesus to Flogging and Crucifixion (Matthew 27:26)
(26) So Pilate released Barabbas to the people. But he had Jesus flogged and gave him to the soldiers to be crucified. (Flogging or scourging was a legal preliminary to Roman execution or crucifixion for men only. They usually used a short whip with leather cords of different lengths, in which pieces of metal, small iron balls, or sharp pieces of sheep bones were tied at intervals. A man was stripped of his clothing, and his hands were tied to an upright post. Then the soldiers would whip his exposed back, backside, and legs—cutting and slashing his skin and muscles. The purpose of flogging was to weaken a man to a state just short of collapse or death. After the flogging, soldiers would often mock and make fun of the man.)
The Roman Soldiers Mock Jesus (Matthew 27:27-31)
(27) Then the Roman soldiers took Jesus into the governor’s palace (the Praetorium) and gathered the whole company of soldiers (probably Pilate’s personal guard) around him. (28) They took off his clothes and put a red robe on him (a loose poncho-like robe that was worn by Roman soldiers), (29) and then twisted together a crown of thorns and pushed it down onto his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him, shouting, “Hail, king of the Jews!” (30) They spit on him, and hit him on the head with the staff over and over again. (31) After they had mocked him, they took off his robe and put his own clothes back on him. Then they led him away to be crucified.
Simon Carries the Cross of Jesus (Matthew 27:32)
(32) As the soldiers were taking Jesus to be crucified, they met a man named Simon from the city of Cyrene (located in modern Libya, North Africa), and they forced him to carry the cross (crossbeam) of Jesus.
The Place of the Skull (Matthew 27:33)
(33) The Roman soldiers and Jesus stopped at a place called Golgotha (outside of the walls of Jerusalem), which means “Place of the Skull.” (The common designation “Calvary” comes from the Latin word for ‘skull.’ There are two traditional sites for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The first and most likely site is within the area now occupied by the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, in the Christian quarter of the old city of Jerusalem. This site was confirmed by early Christian tradition and Constantine’s mother Helena, who made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in AD 326. The second location is a rocky hill called “Gordon’s Calvary” just north of Jerusalem’s old city. Because Golgotha was called “The Place of the Skull,” people claim that one can see the shape of a human skull in the cliff face of Gordon’s Calvary. However, the idea that the name of Golgotha was based on appearance is a modern one. Golgotha was most likely named “The Place of the Skull” because it was a place of execution and crucifixion, with skulls and bones scattered around the area. Also, Gordon’s Calvary was probably not a hill at the time of Jesus, but is the product of modern quarrying operations.)
The Roman Soldiers Mock Jesus with Sour Wine (Matthew 27:34)
(34) At the Place of the Skull, the soldiers mocked Jesus by giving him sour wine to drink. But after tasting it, Jesus refused to drink it.
The Roman Soldiers Divide Jesus’ Clothes (Matthew 27:35-36)
(35) After crucifying Jesus, the Roman soldiers divided up his clothes by throwing dice (lots). (36) And then they sat down to keep watch over Jesus.
The Official Charge: The King of the Jews (Matthew 27:37)
(37) Above Jesus’ head the soldiers nailed a sign with the official Roman charge against him; it read, “THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS.”
Two Criminals Are Crucified Alongside Jesus (Matthew 27:38)
(38) Two criminals were crucified with Jesus, one of them at his right side and one at his left side.
The People Yell Insults at Jesus (Matthew 27:39-40)
(39) The people walking by Jesus yelled words of shame at him. Shaking their heads in disgust, (40) they shouted, “You were going to tear down the temple and build it again in three days. Save yourself! If you are the Son of God come down off the cross!”
The Religious Leaders Yell Insults at Jesus (Matthew 27:41-43)
(41) In the same way the Jewish chief priests, teachers of the law of Moses, and elders mocked Jesus, (42) shouting, “He saved others, but he can’t save himself! If he is the king of Israel, let him come down from the cross and then we will believe in him. (43) He trusts in God, so let God rescue him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”
The Criminals Yell Insults at Jesus (Matthew 27:44)
(44) In the same way the criminals who were crucified with Jesus also shouted insults at him
Darkness Covers the Land (Matthew 27:45)
(45) Then Darkness covered all the land of Israel from noon to 3 p.m.
The Death of Jesus (Matthew 27:46-50)
At about 3 p.m., Jesus yelled out Psalm 22:1, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani,” which means, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned (forsaken) me?” (47) When some of those standing there heard Jesus, they said, “He’s calling for Elijah.” (48) Immediately, one of them ran and got a sponge that he filled with sour wine. He put the sponge on a stick and lifted it up to Jesus to drink. (49) The others said, “Leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.” (50) Jesus cried out again in a loud voice and he gave up his spirit.
Temple Curtain Tears in Two and Tombs Break Open (Matthew 27:51-52)
(51) At that moment, the inner curtain of the temple—separating the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place—was torn in two from top to bottom. And there was an earthquake that split the rocks (52) and tombs broke open.
493. Holy People Resurrect and Enter Jerusalem (Matthew 27:52-53)
After the resurrection of Jesus, the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. (53) They came out of their tombs and went into the holy city of Jerusalem and appeared to many people.
Roman Soldiers Call Jesus the Son of God (Matthew 27:54)
(54) When the high-ranking Roman solider (centurion, leader of 100 soldiers) and the guards with him felt the earthquake and saw all that had happened, they trembled in fear and proclaimed, “It is true, he was the Son of God!”
The Women Disciples Watch Jesus’ Crucifixion (Matthew 27:55-56)
(55) There were many women disciples watching the crucifixion of Jesus from a distance. These women had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. (56) Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the apostles James and John, the sons of Zebedee.
Joseph of Arimathea (Matthew 27:57)
(57) It was late on Friday and a rich man named Joseph—who was a disciple of Jesus—came from the town of Arimathea in Judea.
Pilate Gives the Body of Jesus to Joseph of Arimathea (Matthew 27:58)
(58) Joseph went to Pilate and asked him for the body of Jesus. So Pilate ordered the soldiers to give the body to Joseph.
Joseph Wraps the Body of Jesus (Matthew 27:59-60)
(59) Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth.
Joseph Places the Body of Jesus in a New Tomb (Matthew 27:59-60)
(60) Joseph placed the body of Jesus in his own new tomb that he had cut out of a rock (outside of the walls of Jerusalem). He rolled a big stone in front of the tomb’s entrance and went away.
The Women Disciples See the Tomb of Jesus (Matthew 27:61)
(61) Mary Magdalene and the other Mary (the mother of James and Joseph) were sitting nearby and saw the location of the tomb. (There are two traditional locations for the tomb of Jesus Christ. The first is among the first-century, rock-cut tombs in the area, today occupied by the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, in the Christian quarter of the old city of Jerusalem, which upholds the fact that Jesus’ tomb was a “new tomb.” The second location is today called “The Garden Tomb.” However, it is not a first-century tomb, but was created in about the 700s BC, so it couldn’t have been the new tomb of Jesus.)
Guarding the Tomb of Jesus (Matthew 27:62-66)
(62) On Saturday, the Jewish chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate (63) and said, “Sir, we remember that when the deceiver Jesus was alive, he said, ‘After three days, I will rise from the dead.’ (64) So give the order for your soldiers to seal the tomb for three days. Otherwise, his disciples will come and steal his body and tell the people that he has risen from the dead. This last lie will be a great deception.” (65) Pilate said to them, “Take a group of soldiers (guards). Go, make the tomb as secure as you want.” (66) So the religious leaders went and sealed the tomb’s entrance stone and had the soldiers stand in front of it.
The Women Disciples Walk to the Tomb of Jesus (Matthew 28:1)
(1) At sunrise on Sunday morning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary (the mother of James and Joseph) went to look at Jesus’ tomb.
An Angel Opens the Tomb of Jesus (Matthew 28:1-4)
As the women were walking to the tomb of Jesus, (2) there was a violent earthquake as an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the large entrance stone and sat on it. (3) The angel’s appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. (4) The guards were so afraid of him that they shook in fear and became like dead men.
The Woman Disciples Arrive at the Tomb of Jesus (Matthew 28:4-7)
(4) When the women arrived at the tomb of Jesus, (5) the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid! I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. (6) He is not here; he has risen from the dead as he said he would. Come into the tomb and see the place where his body once was. (7) Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee, where you will see him again.’ Now I have told you.”
The Woman Disciples Run to Tell the Apostles (Matthew 28:8)
(8) So the women ran away from the tomb. They were both afraid and filled with joy as they hurried to tell the disciples.
Jesus Appears to the Women Disciples (Matthew 28:9-10)
(9) Suddenly Jesus met the women disciples and said, “Greetings!” The women came to Jesus, fell down and held his feet, worshiping him. (10) Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my disciples to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
The False Report of the Roman Soldiers (Matthew 28:11-15)
(11) While the women were leaving, some of the Roman soldiers went into Jerusalem and told the Jewish chief priests everything that had happened. (12) When the chief priests had met with the elders, they devised a plan and gave the soldiers a large sum of money. (13) They told them, “You must lie and say, ‘His disciples came during the night and took Jesus’ body while we were sleeping.’ (14) This lie will persuade Pilate and will keep you out of trouble.” (15) So the soldiers took the money and did as they were told. And this false story has been told many times among the Jews to this very day.
The Great Commission of Jesus in Galilee (Matthew 28:16-20)
(16) Then the Eleven Apostles traveled to the Galilean mountainside (probably on the Mount of Beatitudes in the hills west of Capernaum) where Jesus had told them to meet him. (17) When they saw Jesus, they worshiped him; but some of them were not sure that it was him. (18) Then Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. (19) Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations (peoples), baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (20) and teaching them to obey everything that I have taught you. I tell you the truth: I am with you always, to the very the end of the world (of this age)!”