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Jesus Teaches About Divorce

1Then Jesus left there and went into the area of Judea and across the Jordan River. Again, many people came to him, and Jesus taught them as he always did.

2Some Pharisees came to Jesus and tried to make him say something wrong. They asked him, “Is it right for a man to divorce his wife?”

3Jesus answered, “What did Moses command you to do?”

4The Pharisees said, “Moses allowed a man to divorce his wife by writing a certificate of divorce.”

5Jesus said, “Moses wrote that command for you because you refused to accept God’s teaching.

6But when God made the world, ‘he made people male and female.’

7‘That is why a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife.

8And the two people will become one.’ So they are no longer two, but one.

9God has joined them together, so no one should separate them.”

10Later, when the followers and Jesus were in the house, they asked him again about the question of divorce.

11He said, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman has sinned against his wife. He is guilty of adultery.

12And the woman who divorces her husband and marries another man is also guilty of adultery.”

Jesus Welcomes Children

13People brought their small children to Jesus so that he could lay his hands on them to bless them. But the followers told the people to stop.

14When Jesus saw this, it made him angry. So he said to the followers, “Let the little children come to me. Don’t stop them, because God’s kingdom belongs to people who are like these little children.

15The truth is, you must accept God’s kingdom like a little child accepts things, or you will never enter it.”

16Then Jesus held the children in his arms. He laid his hands on them and blessed them.

A Rich Man Refuses to Follow Jesus

17Jesus started to leave, but a man ran to him and bowed down on his knees before him. The man asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to get the life that never ends?”

18Jesus answered, “Why do you call me good? Only God is good.

19And you know his commands: ‘You must not murder anyone, you must not commit adultery, you must not steal, you must not lie, you must not cheat anyone, you must respect your father and mother ….’”

20The man said, “Teacher, I have obeyed all these commands since I was a boy.”

21Jesus looked at the man in a way that showed how much he cared for him. He said, “There is still one thing you need to do. Go and sell everything you have. Give the money to those who are poor, and you will have riches in heaven. Then come and follow me.”

22The man was very upset when Jesus told him to give away his money, because he was very rich. So he went away sad.

23Then Jesus looked at his followers and said to them, “It will be very hard for a rich person to enter God’s kingdom!”

24The followers were amazed at what Jesus said. But he said again, “My children, it is very hard to enter God’s kingdom!

25It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter God’s kingdom!”

26The followers were even more amazed and said to each other, “Then who can be saved?”

27Jesus looked at them and said, “That is something people cannot do, but God can. He can do anything.”

28Peter said to Jesus, “We left everything to follow you!”

29Jesus said, “I can promise that everyone who has left their home, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children, or farm for me and for the Good News about me

30will get a hundred times more than they left. Here in this world they will get more homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and farms. And with these things they will have persecutions. But in the world that is coming they will also get the reward of eternal life.

31Many people who have the highest place now will have the lowest place in the future. And the people who have the lowest place now will have the highest place then.”

Jesus Talks Again About His Death

32Jesus and those with him were on their way to Jerusalem. He was at the front of the group. His followers were wondering what was happening, and the people who followed behind them were feeling afraid. Jesus gathered the twelve apostles again and talked with them alone. He told them what would happen in Jerusalem.

33He said, “We are going to Jerusalem. The Son of Man will be handed over to the leading priests and teachers of the law. They will say that he must die and will hand him over to the foreigners,

34who will laugh at him and spit on him. They will beat him with whips and kill him. But three days later, he will rise to life again.”

James and John Ask for a Favor

35Then James and John, sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus and said, “Teacher, we want to ask you to do something for us.”

36Jesus asked, “What do you want me to do for you?”

37The sons answered, “Let us share the great honor you will have as king. Let one of us sit at your right side and the other at your left.”

38Jesus said, “You don’t understand what you are asking. Can you drink from the cup that I must drink from? Can you be baptized with the same baptism that I must go through?”

39The sons answered, “Yes, we can!” Jesus said to the sons, “It is true that you will drink from the cup that I drink from. And you will be baptized with the same baptism that I must go through.

40But it is not for me to say who will sit at my right or my left. God has prepared those places for the ones he chooses.”

41When the other ten followers heard this, they were angry with James and John.

42Jesus called all the followers together. He said, “The non-Jewish people have men they call rulers. You know that those rulers love to show their power over the people. And their important leaders love to use all their authority over the people.

43But it should not be that way with you. Whoever wants to be your leader must be your servant.

44Whoever wants to be first must serve the rest of you like a slave.

45Follow my example: Even the Son of Man did not come for people to serve him. He came to serve others and to give his life to save many people.”

Jesus Heals a Blind Man

46Then they came to the town of Jericho. When Jesus left there with his followers, a large crowd was with them. A blind man named Bartimaeus (meaning “son of Timaeus”) was sitting by the road. He was always begging for money.

47He heard that Jesus from Nazareth was walking by. So he began shouting, “Jesus, Son of David, please help me!”

48Many people criticized the blind man and told him to be quiet. But he shouted more and more, “Son of David, please help me!”

49Jesus stopped and said, “Tell him to come here.” So they called the blind man and said, “You can be happy now. Stand up! Jesus is calling you.”

50The blind man stood up quickly. He left his coat there and went to Jesus.

51Jesus asked the man, “What do you want me to do for you?” He answered, “Teacher, I want to see again.”

52Jesus said, “Go. You are healed because you believed.” Immediately the man was able to see again. He followed Jesus down the road.

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