Jesus speaks on the establishment of the Christine kingdom and the future coming of the Lord in power. Exhorts to faithfulness. Parable of the unjust judge. Parable of the Pharisee and the publican.
A COMPANY of Pharisees came up to speak with Jesus and they said, Rabboni, we have heard you say, The kingdom is at hand.
2 We read in Daniel that the God of heaven will form a kingdom, and we ask, Is this the Kingdom of the God you speak about? If so, when will it come?
3 And Jesus said, The prophets all have told about this kingdom of the God, and it is just at hand; but men can never see it come.
4 It never can be seen with carnal eyes; it is within.
5 Lo, I have said, and now I say again, None but the pure in heart can see the king, and all the pure in heart are subjects of the king.
6 Reform, and turn away from sin; prepare you, O prepare! the kingdom is at hand.
7 And then he spoke to his disciples and he said, The seasons of the son of man are past.
8 The time will come when you will wish above all else to see again one of these days; but you can see it not.
9 And many men will say, Lo, here is Christ; lo, there is Christ. Be not deceived; go not into their ways.
10 For when the son of man will come again no man need point the way; for as the lightning lights the heavens, so will the son of man light up the heavens and earth.
11 But, lo, I say, that many generations will have come and gone before the son of man shall come in power; but when he comes no one will say, Lo, here is Christ; lo, there.
12 But as it was before the flood in Noah's day, so shall it be. The people ate, they drank, were filled with merriment and sang for joy,
13 And did not know their doom until the ark was done and Noah entered in; but then the flood came on and swept them all away.
14 So, also, in the days of Lot; the people ate and drank; they bought, they sold, they planted and they reaped, they went their ways in sin, and they cared not;
15 But when the righteous Lot went from their city's gates the earth beneath the city shook, and brimstone fires fell from heaven;
16 The gaping jaws of earth flew wide, and swallowed up their homes, their wealth, and they went down to rise no more.
17 So shall it be when comes the son of man in power.
18 I charge you men, as I will charge men then, Seek not to save your wealth, or you will lose your lives. Go forth, and look not back upon the crumbling walls of sin. Do not forget Lot's wife.
19 Whoever tries to save his life will lose his life; whoever freely gives his life in serving life will save his life.
20 Then comes the sifting time. Two men will be in bed; one will be called, the other left; two women will be working side by side; one will be snatched away, the other left.
21 And his disciples said, Explain to us this parable; or is it not a parable?
22 And Jesus said, The wise will understand, for where the bread of heaven is, there you will find the pure in heart; and where the carcass lies will gather all the birds of prey.
23 But lo, I say, before these days will come, the son of man will be betrayed by one of you into the hands of wicked men, and he will give his life for you and all the world.
24 Yea, more; the Holy Breath will come in power and fill you with the wisdom of the just.
25 And you will tell the wondrous story in Judea and in Samaria and in the farther lands of earth.
26 And then to teach that men should pray and never faint, he told this parable:
27 There was a judge who feared not God, nor yet regarded man.
28 There was a widow who oft implored the judge to right her wrongs and to avenge her foes.
29 At first the judge would hear her not, but after many days he said,
30 I fear not God, and I regard not man, yet, lest this widow wear me out by pleading every day I will avenge her on her foes.
31 When the disciples asked the meaning of this parable, the Lord replied, The wise can understand; the foolish have no need to know.
32 And then to teach a lesson unto certain of his followers who trusted in themselves and thought that they were holier than other men, he told this parable:
33 Two men went to the synagogue to pray; one was a Pharisee, the other was a publican.
34 The Pharisee stood forth and prayed thus with himself, O God, I thank thee that I am not like other men, who are extortioners, unjust, adulterers;
35 Not even like this publican. I fast two times a week, and I give tithes of all I get.
36 The publican came not a-near; he would not lift his eyes to heaven, but smote his breast and said,
37 O lord, be merciful to me; I am a sinner in thy sight; I am undone.
38 And now, you men, I say to you, The publican knew how to pray, and he was justified.
39 The Pharisee knew how to talk, but still he went away condemned.
40 Lo, every one who lauds himself shall be abased, and he who does not praise himself shall be exalted in the sight of God.