Sin and Forgiveness
(Matthew 18:6-7, 21-22; Mark 9:42)
1 Jesus said to his followers, “Things will surely happen that will make people sin. But it will be very bad for anyone who makes this happen. 2 It will be very bad for anyone who makes one of these little children sin. It would be better for them to have a millstone tied around their neck and be drowned in the sea. 3 So be careful!
“If your brother or sister in God’s family does something wrong, warn them. If they are sorry for what they did, forgive them. 4 Even if they do something wrong to you seven times in one day, but they say they are sorry each time, you should forgive them.”
How Big Is Your Faith?
5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Give us more faith!”
6 The Lord said, “If your faith is as big as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Dig yourself up and plant yourself in the ocean!’ And the tree will obey you.
Be Good Servants
7 “Suppose one of you has a servant who has been working in the field, plowing or caring for the sheep. When he comes in from work, what would you say to him? Would you say, ‘Come in, sit down and eat’? 8 Of course not! You would say to your servant, ‘Prepare something for me to eat. Then get ready and serve me. When I finish eating and drinking, then you can eat.’ 9 The servant should not get any special thanks for doing his job. He is only doing what his master told him to do. 10 It is the same with you. When you finish doing all that you are told to do, you should say, ‘We are not worthy of any special thanks. We have only done the work we should do.’ ”
11 Jesus was traveling to Jerusalem. He went from Galilee to Samaria. 12 He came into a small town, and ten men met him there. They did not come close to him, because they all had leprosy. 13 But the men shouted, “Jesus! Master! Please help us!”
When Jesus saw the men, he said, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.”*
While the ten men were going to the priests, they were healed. 15 When one of them saw that he was healed, he went back to Jesus. He praised God loudly. 16 He bowed down at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. (He was a Samaritan.) 17 Jesus said, “Ten men were healed; where are the other nine? 18 This man is not even one of our people. Is he the only one who came back to give praise to God?” 19 Then Jesus said to the man, “Stand up! You can go. You were healed because you believed.”
The Coming of God’s Kingdom
(Matthew 24:23-28, 37-41)
20 Some of the Pharisees asked Jesus, “When will God’s kingdom come?”
Jesus answered, “God’s kingdom is coming, but not in a way that you can see it. 21
People will not say, ‘Look, God’s kingdom is here!’ or ‘There it is!’ No, God’s kingdom is here with you.†
22 Then Jesus said to his followers, “The time will come when you will want very much to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not be able to. 23 People will say to you, ‘Look, there it is!’ or ‘Look, here it is!’ Stay where you are; don’t go away and search. 24 “When the Son of Man comes again, you will know it. On that day he will shine like lightning flashes across the sky. 25 But first, the Son of Man must suffer many things. The people of today will refuse to accept him.
26 “When the Son of Man comes again, it will be the same as it was when Noah lived. 27 People were eating, drinking, and getting married even on the day when Noah entered the boat. Then the flood came and killed them all.
28 “It will be the same as during the time of Lot, when God destroyed Sodom. Those people were eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, and building houses for themselves. 29 They were doing these things even on the day when Lot left town. Then fire and sulfur rained down from the sky and killed them all. 30 This is exactly how it will be when the Son of Man comes again.
“On that day if a man is on his roof, he will not have time to go inside and get his things. If a man is in the field, he cannot go back home. 32
Remember what happened to Lot’s wife‡
“Whoever tries to keep the life they have will lose it. But whoever gives up their life will save it. 34
That night there may be two people sleeping in one room. One will be taken and the other will be left. 35
There may be two women working together. One will be taken and the other will be left.” 36 §
37 The followers asked Jesus, “Where will this be, Lord?”
Jesus answered, “It’s like looking for a dead body—you will find it where the vultures are gathering above.”