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18 One day Jesus told his disciples a story to illustrate their need for constant prayer and to show them that they must keep praying until the answer comes.

“There was a city judge,” he said, “a very godless man who had great contempt for everyone. A widow of that city came to him frequently to appeal for justice against a man who had harmed her. 4-5 The judge ignored her for a while, but eventually she got on his nerves.

“‘I fear neither God nor man,’ he said to himself, ‘but this woman bothers me. I’m going to see that she gets justice, for she is wearing me out with her constant coming!’”

Then the Lord said, “If even an evil judge can be worn down like that, don’t you think that God will surely give justice to his people who plead with him day and night? Yes! He will answer them quickly! But the question is: When I, the Messiah,[a] return, how many will I find who have faith and are praying*?”

Then he told this story to some who boasted of their virtue and scorned everyone else:

10 “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a proud, self-righteous Pharisee, and the other a cheating tax collector. 11 The proud Pharisee ‘prayed’ this prayer: ‘Thank God, I am not a sinner like everyone else, especially like that tax collector over there! For I never cheat, I don’t commit adultery, 12 I go without food twice a week, and I give to God a tenth of everything I earn.’

13 “But the corrupt tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed, but beat upon his chest in sorrow, exclaiming, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner.’ 14 I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home forgiven! For the proud shall be humbled, but the humble shall be honored.”

15 One day some mothers brought their babies to him to touch and bless. But the disciples told them to go away.

16-17 Then Jesus called the children over to him and said to the disciples, “Let the little children come to me! Never send them away! For the Kingdom of God belongs to men who have hearts as trusting as these little children’s. And anyone who doesn’t have their kind of faith will never get within the Kingdom’s gates.”

18 Once a Jewish religious leader asked him this question: “Good sir, what shall I do to get to heaven?”

19 “Do you realize what you are saying when you call me ‘good’?” Jesus asked him. “Only God is truly good, and no one else.

20 “But as to your question, you know what the Ten Commandments say—don’t commit adultery, don’t murder, don’t steal, don’t lie, honor your parents, and so on.” 21 The man replied, “I’ve obeyed every one of these laws since I was a small child.”

22 “There is still one thing you lack,” Jesus said. “Sell all you have and give the money to the poor—it will become treasure for you in heaven—and come, follow me.”

23 But when the man heard this he went sadly away, for he was very rich.

24 Jesus watched him go and then said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.”

26 Those who heard him say this exclaimed, “If it is that hard, how can anyone be saved?”

27 He replied, “God can do what men can’t!”

28 And Peter said, “We have left our homes and followed you.”

29 “Yes,” Jesus replied, “and everyone who has done as you have, leaving home, wife, brothers, parents, or children for the sake of the Kingdom of God, 30 will be repaid many times over now, as well as receiving eternal life in the world to come.”

31 Gathering the Twelve around him he told them, “As you know, we are going to Jerusalem. And when we get there, all the predictions of the ancient prophets concerning me will come true. 32 I will be handed over to the Gentiles to be mocked and treated shamefully and spat upon, 33 and lashed and killed. And the third day I will rise again.”

34 But they didn’t understand a thing he said. He seemed to be talking in riddles.

35 As they approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting beside the road, begging from travelers. 36 When he heard the noise of a crowd going past, he asked what was happening. 37 He was told that Jesus from Nazareth was going by, 38 so he began shouting, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

39 The crowds ahead of Jesus tried to hush the man, but he only yelled the louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

40 When Jesus arrived at the spot, he stopped. “Bring the blind man over here,” he said. 41 Then Jesus asked the man, “What do you want?”

“Lord,” he pleaded, “I want to see!”

42 And Jesus said, “All right, begin seeing! Your faith has healed you.”

43 And instantly the man could see and followed Jesus, praising God. And all who saw it happen praised God too.

Footnotes

  1. Luke 18:8 the Messiah, literally, “the Son of Man.” and are praying, implied.
Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

The Parable of the Persistent Widow

18 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.(A) He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice(B) against my adversary.’

“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”(C)

And the Lord(D) said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out(E) to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man(F) comes,(G) will he find faith on the earth?”

The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector

To some who were confident of their own righteousness(H) and looked down on everyone else,(I) Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray,(J) one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself(K) and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast(L) twice a week and give a tenth(M) of all I get.’

13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast(N) and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’(O)

14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”(P)

The Little Children and Jesus(Q)

15 People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child(R) will never enter it.”

The Rich and the Kingdom of God(S)

18 A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”(T)

19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 20 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.’[a](U)

21 “All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said.

22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor,(V) and you will have treasure in heaven.(W) Then come, follow me.”

23 When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy. 24 Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!(X) 25 Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

26 Those who heard this asked, “Who then can be saved?”

27 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”(Y)

28 Peter said to him, “We have left all we had to follow you!”(Z)

29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30 will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come(AA) eternal life.”(AB)

Jesus Predicts His Death a Third Time(AC)

31 Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, “We are going up to Jerusalem,(AD) and everything that is written by the prophets(AE) about the Son of Man(AF) will be fulfilled. 32 He will be delivered over to the Gentiles.(AG) They will mock him, insult him and spit on him; 33 they will flog him(AH) and kill him.(AI) On the third day(AJ) he will rise again.”(AK)

34 The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about.(AL)

A Blind Beggar Receives His Sight(AM)

35 As Jesus approached Jericho,(AN) a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 36 When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. 37 They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”(AO)

38 He called out, “Jesus, Son of David,(AP) have mercy(AQ) on me!”

39 Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”(AR)

40 Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, 41 “What do you want me to do for you?”

“Lord, I want to see,” he replied.

42 Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.”(AS) 43 Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God.(AT)

Footnotes

  1. Luke 18:20 Exodus 20:12-16; Deut. 5:16-20
New International Version (NIV)

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