Change Your Hearts
1 Some people there with Jesus at that time told him about what had happened to some worshipers from Galilee. Pilate had them killed. Their blood was mixed with the blood of the animals they had brought for sacrificing. 2 Jesus answered, “Do you think this happened to those people because they were more sinful than all other people from Galilee? 3 No, they were not. But if you don’t decide now to change your lives, you will all be destroyed like those people! 4 And what about those 18 people who died when the tower of Siloam fell on them? Do you think they were more sinful than everyone else in Jerusalem? 5 They were not. But I tell you if you don’t decide now to change your lives, you will all be destroyed too!”
The Useless Tree
6 Jesus told this story: “A man had a fig tree. He planted it in his garden. He came looking for some fruit on it, but he found none. 7 He had a servant who took care of his garden. So he said to his servant, ‘I have been looking for fruit on this tree for three years, but I never find any. Cut it down! Why should it waste the ground?’ 8 But the servant answered, ‘Master, let the tree have one more year to produce fruit. Let me dig up the dirt around it and fertilize it. 9 Maybe the tree will have fruit on it next year. If it still does not produce, then you can cut it down.’ ”
Jesus Heals a Woman on the Sabbath
10 Jesus taught in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath day. 11 A woman was there who had an evil spirit inside her. It had made the woman crippled for 18 years. Her back was always bent; she could not stand up straight. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called to her, “Woman, you have been made free from your sickness!” 13 He laid his hands on her, and immediately she was able to stand up straight. She began praising God.
14 The synagogue leader was angry because Jesus healed on the Sabbath day. He said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come to be healed on one of those days. Don’t come for healing on the Sabbath day.”
15 The Lord answered, “You people are hypocrites! All of you untie your work animals and lead them to drink water every day—even on the Sabbath day. 16 This woman that I healed is a true descendant of Abraham.* true descendant of Abraham Literally, “daughter of Abraham.” But Satan has held her for 18 years. Surely it is not wrong for her to be made free from her sickness on a Sabbath day!” 17 When Jesus said this, all those who were criticizing him felt ashamed of themselves. And all the people were happy for the wonderful things he was doing.
What Is God’s Kingdom Like?
(Matthew 13:31-33; Mark 4:30-32)
18 Then Jesus said, “What is God’s kingdom like? What can I compare it to? 19 God’s kingdom is like the seed of the mustard plant. Someone plants this seed in their garden. The seed grows and becomes a tree, and the birds build nests on its branches.”
20 Jesus said again, “What can I compare God’s kingdom with? 21 It is like yeast that a woman mixes into a big bowl of flour to make bread. The yeast makes all the dough rise.”
The Narrow Door
(Matthew 7:13-14, 21-23)
22 Jesus was teaching in every town and village. He continued to travel toward Jerusalem. 23 Someone said to him, “Lord, how many people will be saved? Only a few?”
Jesus said, 24 “The door to heaven is narrow. Try hard to enter it. Many people will want to enter there, but they will not be able to go in. 25 If a man locks the door of his house, you can stand outside and knock on the door, but he won’t open it. You can say, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you. Where did you come from?’ 26 Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you. You taught in the streets of our town.’ 27 Then he will say to you, ‘I don’t know you. Where did you come from? Get away from me! You are all people who do wrong!’
28 “You will see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in God’s kingdom. But you will be left outside. There you will cry and grind your teeth with pain. 29 People will come from the east, west, north, and south. They will sit down at the table in God’s kingdom. 30 People who have the lowest place in life now will have the highest place in God’s kingdom. And people who have the highest place now will have the lowest place in God’s kingdom.”
Jesus Will Die in Jerusalem
31 Just then some Pharisees came to Jesus and said, “Go away from here and hide. Herod wants to kill you!”
32 Jesus said to them, “Go tell that fox,† fox Jesus means that Herod is clever and sly like a fox. ‘Today and tomorrow I am forcing demons out of people and finishing my work of healing. Then, the next day, the work will be finished.’ 33 After that I must go, because all prophets should die in Jerusalem.
34 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem! You kill the prophets. You stone to death the people God has sent to you. How many times I wanted to help your people. I wanted to gather them together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. But you did not let me. 35 Now your home will be left completely empty. I tell you, you will not see me again until that time when you will say, ‘Welcome! God bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord.’✡ Quote from Psalm 118:26.”
*13:16 true descendant of Abraham Literally, “daughter of Abraham.”
†13:32 fox Jesus means that Herod is clever and sly like a fox.