GOD'S WORD® Translation
1Jesus used this illustration with his disciples to show them that they need to pray all the time and never give up. 2He said, "In a city there was a judge who didn't fear God or respect people. 3In that city there was also a widow who kept coming to him and saying, 'Give me justice.' 4"For a while the judge refused to do anything. But then he thought, 'This widow really annoys me. Although I don't fear God or respect people, 5I'll have to give her justice. Otherwise, she'll keep coming to me until she wears me out.'" 6The Lord added, "Pay attention to what the dishonest judge thought. 7Won't God give his chosen people justice when they cry out to him for help day and night? Is he slow to help them? 8I can guarantee that he will give them justice quickly. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"
9Jesus also used this illustration with some who were sure that God approved of them while they looked down on everyone else. 10He said, "Two men went into the temple courtyard to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a tax collector. 11The Pharisee stood up and prayed, 'God, I thank you that I'm not like other people! I'm not a robber or a dishonest person. I haven't committed adultery. I'm not even like this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my entire income.' 13"But the tax collector was standing at a distance. He wouldn't even look up to heaven. Instead, he became very upset, and he said, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner!' 14"I can guarantee that this tax collector went home with God's approval, but the Pharisee didn't. Everyone who honors himself will be humbled, but the person who humbles himself will be honored."
15Some people brought infants to Jesus to have him hold them. When the disciples saw this, they told the people not to do that. 16But Jesus called the infants to him and said, "Don't stop the children from coming to me! Children like these are part of the kingdom of God. 17I can guarantee this truth: Whoever doesn't receive the kingdom of God as a little child receives it will never enter it."
18An official asked Jesus, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" 19Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good except God. 20You know the commandments: Never commit adultery. Never murder. Never steal. Never give false testimony. Honor your father and your mother." 21The official replied, "I've obeyed all these commandments since I was a boy." 22When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still need one thing. Sell everything you have. Distribute the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then follow me!" 23When the official heard this, he became sad, because he was very rich. 24Jesus watched him and said, "How hard it is for rich people to enter the kingdom of God! 25Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God." 26Those who heard him asked, "Who, then, can be saved?" 27Jesus said, "The things that are impossible for people to do are possible for God to do."
28Then Peter said, "We've left everything to follow you." 29Jesus said to them, "I can guarantee this truth: Anyone who gave up his home, wife, brothers, parents, or children because of the kingdom of God 30will certainly receive many times as much in this life and will receive eternal life in the world to come."
31Jesus took the twelve apostles aside and said to them, "We're going to Jerusalem. Everything that the prophets wrote about the Son of Man will come true. 32He will be handed over to foreigners. They will make fun of him, insult him, spit on him, 33whip him, and kill him. But on the third day he will come back to life." 34But they didn't understand any of this. What he said was a mystery to them, and they didn't know what he meant.
35As Jesus came near Jericho, a blind man was sitting and begging by the road. 36When he heard the crowd going by, he tried to find out what was happening. 37The people told him that Jesus from Nazareth was passing by. 38Then the blind man shouted, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" 39The people at the front of the crowd told the blind man to be quiet. But he shouted even louder, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" 40Jesus stopped and ordered them to bring the man to him. When the man came near, Jesus asked him, 41"What do you want me to do for you?" The blind man said, "Lord, I want to see again." 42Jesus told him, "Receive your sight! Your faith has made you well." 43Immediately, he could see again. He followed Jesus and praised God. All the people saw this, and they, too, praised God.