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Jesus Teaches About Divorce
(Mt. 19:1–12)

1Then Jesus left that place. He went into the area of Judea and across the Jordan River. Again, many people came to him. And Jesus taught the people like he always did.

2Some Pharisees came to Jesus. They tried to make Jesus say something wrong. They asked Jesus, “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 the people are not two, but one.

9God has joined those two people together. So no person should separate them.”

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

11Jesus answered, “Any person that divorces his wife and marries another woman is guilty of sin against his wife. He is guilty of the sin of adultery.

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

Jesus Accepts Children
(Mt. 19:13–15; Lk. 18:15–17)

13People brought their small children to Jesus, so that Jesus could touch them. But the followers told the people to stop bringing their children to Jesus.

14Jesus saw what happened. He did not like his followers telling the children not to come. Jesus said to them, “Let the little children come to me. Don’t stop them, because the kingdom of God belongs to people that are like these little children.

15I tell you the truth. You must accept the kingdom of God like a little child accepts things, or you will never enter it.”

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

A Rich Man Refuses to Follow Jesus
(Mt. 19:16–30; Lk. 18:18–30)

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

18Jesus answered, “Why do you call me good? No person is good. Only God is good.

19{But I will answer your question.} You know the commands: ‘You must not murder anyone, you must not do the sin of adultery, you must not steal, you must not lie, you must not cheat, you must honor (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. Jesus felt love for him. Jesus said, “There is still one more thing you need to do. Go and sell everything you have. Give the money to the poor people. You will have a reward in heaven. Then come and follow me.”

22The man was very sorry to hear Jesus say this, and he left. The man was sad because he was very rich {and wanted to keep his money}.

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

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

25And it will be very hard for rich people to enter the kingdom of God! It would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle!”

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

27Jesus looked at the followers and said, “This is something that people cannot do themselves. It must come from God. God can do all things.”

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

29Jesus said, “I tell you the truth. Every person that has left his home, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children, or farm for me and for the Good News

30will get a hundred times more than he left. Here in this world that person will get more homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and farms. And with those things, that person will have persecutions. But he will also have a reward in the world that is coming. That reward is life forever.

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

Jesus Talks Again About His Death
(Mt. 20:17–19; Lk. 18:31–34)

32Jesus and the people with him were going to Jerusalem. Jesus was leading the people. Jesus’ followers were amazed. But those people that followed behind them were afraid. Jesus gathered the twelve apostles again and talked with them alone. Jesus told them what would happen in Jerusalem.

33Jesus said, “We are going to Jerusalem. The Son of Man will be given to the leading priests and teachers of the law. The priests and the teachers of the law will say that the Son of Man must die. They will give the Son of Man to the non-Jewish people.

34Those people will laugh at him and spit on him. They will beat him with whips and kill him. But on the third day after his death, he will rise to life again.”

James and John Ask a Favor
(Mt. 20:20–28)

35Then James and John, sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus. They 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, “You will have glory {in your kingdom}. Let one of us sit at your right, and let one of us sit at your left.”

38Jesus said, “You don’t understand what you are asking. Can you accept the kind of suffering that I must have? Can you be baptized with the same kind of baptism that I must have?”

39The sons answered, “Yes, we can!” Jesus said to the sons, “You will suffer the same things that I will suffer. And you will be baptized with the same baptism that I must have.

40But I cannot choose the person that will sit at my right or my left. There are some people that will have those places. Those places are prepared for them.”

41The other ten followers heard this. They became angry with James and John.

42Jesus called all the followers together. Jesus 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. If one of you wants to become great, then he must serve you like a servant.

44If one of you wants to become the most important, then he must serve all of you like a slave.

45In the same way, the Son of Man did not come for other people to serve him. But the Son of Man came to serve other people. The Son of Man came to give his life to save many people.”

Jesus Heals a Blind Man
(Mt. 20:29–34; Lk. 18:35–43)

46Then they came to the town of Jericho. Jesus was leaving that town with his followers and many other people. A blind man named Bartimaeus (son of Timaeus) was sitting by the road. This man was always begging for money.

47The blind man heard that Jesus from Nazareth was walking by. The blind man shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, please help me!”

48Many people criticized the blind man. They told him not to speak. But the blind man shouted more and more, “Son of David, please help me!”

49Jesus stopped and said, “Tell the man to come here.” So they called the blind man. They said, “Be happy! Stand up! Jesus is calling you.”

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

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

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

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