God Knows and Cares
1Under these circumstances, after so many thousands of the multitude had gathered together that they were stepping on one another, He began saying to His disciples first of all, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2“But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. 3“Accordingly, whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in the inner rooms shall be proclaimed upon the housetops. 4“And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5“But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who after He has killed has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him! 6“Are not five sparrows sold for two cents? And yet not one of them is forgotten before God. 7“Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are of more value than many sparrows. 8“And I say to you, everyone who confesses Me before men, the Son of Man shall confess him also before the angels of God; 9but he who denies Me before men shall be denied before the angels of God. 10“And everyone who will speak a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him. 11“And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not become anxious about how or what you should speak in your defense, or what you should say; 12for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
13And someone in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” 14But He said to him, “Man, who appointed Me a judge or arbiter over you?” 15And He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” 16And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a certain rich man was very productive. 17“And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ 18“And he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19‘And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”’ 20“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ 21“So is the man who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”
22And He said to His disciples, “For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious for your life, as to what you shall eat; nor for your body, as to what you shall put on. 23“For life is more than food, and the body than clothing. 24“Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; and they have no storeroom nor barn; and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds! 25“And which of you by being anxious can add a single cubit to his life’s span? 26“If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why are you anxious about other matters? 27“Consider the lilies, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these. 28“But if God so arrays the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you, O men of little faith! 29“And do not seek what you shall eat, and what you shall drink, and do not keep worrying. 30“For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things. 31“But seek for His kingdom, and these things shall be added to you. 32“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom. 33“Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves purses which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near, nor moth destroys. 34“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Be in Readiness
35“Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps alight. 36“And be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that they may immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks. 37“Blessed are those slaves whom the master shall find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them. 38“Whether he comes in the second watch, or even in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves. 39“And be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have allowed his house to be broken into. 40“You too, be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect.”
41And Peter said, “Lord, are You addressing this parable to us, or to everyone else as well?” 42And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and sensible steward, whom his master will put in charge of his servants, to give them their rations at the proper time? 43“Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes. 44“Truly I say to you, that he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45“But if that slave says in his heart, ‘My master will be a long time in coming,’ and begins to beat the slaves, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk; 46the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him, and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces, and assign him a place with the unbelievers. 47“And that slave who knew his master’s will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, shall receive many lashes, 48but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few. And from everyone who has been given much shall much be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.
Christ Divides Men
49“I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled! 50“But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished! 51“Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; 52for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two, and two against three. 53“They will be divided, father against son, and son against father; mother against daughter, and daughter against mother; mother-in-law against daughter-in-law, and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
54And He was also saying to the multitudes, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming,’ and so it turns out. 55“And when you see a south wind blowing, you say, ‘It will be a hot day,’ and it turns out that way. 56“You hypocrites! You know how to analyze the appearance of the earth and the sky, but why do you not analyze this present time? 57“And why do you not even on your own initiative judge what is right? 58“For while you are going with your opponent to appear before the magistrate, on your way there make an effort to settle with him, in order that he may not drag you before the judge, and the judge turn you over to the constable, and the constable throw you into prison. 59“I say to you, you shall not get out of there until you have paid the very last cent.”