1 And it happened as Jesus finished praying at a certain place that one of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, teach us [how] to pray, just like John [the Immerser] taught his disciples."
2 And He said to them, "When you pray you should say, 'Father, may your name be highly honored. May your kingdom come [to earth]. 3 Give us day by day our bread for each day. 4 And forgive us of our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone who has wronged us. And do not allow us to be put to the test.'"
5 And Jesus said to His disciples, "Suppose one of you who has a friend would go to him at midnight and say to him, ' [Please] lend me three loaves of bread, 6 for a friend of mine has come to [visit] me while on a trip and I do not have anything to feed him?' 7 Then the man will answer from inside [his house], 'Do not bother me. My door is [already] locked, my children are [already] in bed with me and I cannot get up to give you anything.' 8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him something because he is a friend, yet because of his friend's persistence, he will [eventually] get up and give him whatever he needs.
9 And I tell you, ask [God for something] and it will be given to you; look [to God for something] and you will find it; knock [on the door of opportunity] and it will be opened up to you. 10 For every person who asks will [certainly] receive; and the one who looks will [certainly] find; and to the person who knocks, the door will [certainly] be opened up. 11 And what father among you, whose son asks [him] {{Some ancient manuscripts add for a loaf of bread, will give him a stone [instead]? Or, [if he asks]}} for a fish, will give him a snake [instead]? 12 Or, if he asks [him] for an egg, will give him a scorpion [instead]? [Note: While at rest a scorpion rolls up in a ball that resembles an egg]. 13 If then you know how to give good gifts to your children, even though you are sinful [human beings], how much more [likely] is it that your Father in heaven will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?"
14 [Once] Jesus was driving out an evil spirit from a [man who was] mute. And it happened when the evil spirit left [him] that the [former] mute began to speak. And the crowds were amazed. 15 But some of the people said, "He is driving out evil spirits by [the power of] Beelzebub, the chief of evil spirits." 16 Then others, trying to test Him, asked Him to perform a [supernatural] sign from heaven.
17 But, knowing their thoughts, Jesus said to them, "Every kingdom [plagued] with internal division will end in ruin. And a household divided from within will fall. 18 And if Satan also is divided against himself, how [then] can his kingdom stand? I tell you this because you are saying that I drove out evil spirits by [the power of] Beelzebub. 19 But, if I drive out evil spirits by [the power of] Beelzebub, by whom do your followers drive them out? So, they will be your judges. 20 But, if I drive out evil spirits by the finger of God [i.e., by God's direct, supernatural intervention], then [that is evidence that] the kingdom of God has come into your midst [i.e., by my presence and ministry]. 21 When a fully armed strong man guards his own courtyard [i.e., homestead], his possessions are safe. 22 But when someone stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away all the armament the strong man relied on, and [then] divides up his storehouse of possessions. [Note: The word here translated "possessions" may be translated "arms" so the meaning could be "divides up his armament"]. 23 The person who is not on my side is [actually] against me. And the person who does not gather [people to me] is [actually] driving them away [from me].
24 "When an evil spirit has been driven out of a man, it roams through desert regions trying to find rest, but [when it] cannot find any, it says [to itself], 'I will return to my house from which I came [i.e., the body of the person it dominated].' 25 But when it returns [to that body] it finds it cleaned out and [newly] decorated. 26 Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits, more evil than itself, and they reenter [the body] and [begin] to live there, so that the latter state of that person becomes worse than the former state."
27 And it happened as He said these things that a certain woman called out to Him from the crowd, saying, "The woman who gave you birth and nursed you is [certainly] blessed."
28 But Jesus said, "Yes, but those who listen to God's message and obey it are [more] blessed."
29 And when the crowds thronged around Jesus, He began saying, "This generation of people is evil, [for] it is looking for a [supernatural] sign. But no [such] sign will be given to it except the sign [demonstrated in the life] of Jonah. 30 For just like Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh [Note: Nineveh was the capital of ancient Assyria], so the Son of man will also be [a sign] to this generation of people. 31 The queen of the South [Note: This queen was from Sheba, which was probably in Arabia. See I Kings 10:1] will stand up on the judgment day, along with the people of this generation, and will condemn them because she came from a great distance to hear [and see] Solomon's wisdom [I Kings 10:1ff] and [now] Someone greater than Solomon is here [i.e., Jesus]. 32 The people of Nineveh will stand up on the judgment day with the people of this generation and will condemn them because they repented [i.e., changed their hearts and lives] when hearing the preaching of Jonah [Jonah 3:5-10] and [now] Someone greater than Jonah is here [i.e., Jesus].
33 "No one lights an [olive oil] lamp and [then] places it in a hidden place or under a bushel-sized container, but on its stand, so that those who enter [the room] can see [by] the light. 34 Your eye is [like] a lamp to your body [i.e., your life]. When your eye sees things correctly, [then] your whole body [i.e., your entire life] is illuminated [i.e., directed into proper conduct]. But when it sees things wrongly, [then] your body [i.e., your life] is also full of darkness [i.e., is not being lived properly]. 35 Look therefore [to see] whether or not the light that is in you [i.e., your perspective on things] might [actually] be darkness [i.e., a distorted perspective]. 36 If therefore your whole body [i.e., your entire life] is full of light [i.e., sees and responds to things correctly], with no blind spots [i.e., areas where you do not see and act correctly], your body [i.e., your life] will be fully illuminated [i.e., directed into proper conduct] just like a bright, shining lamp illuminating you [i.e., enabling you to see and respond to things properly]."
37 Now while Jesus was speaking, a Pharisee [i.e., a strict sect of the Jewish religion] invited Him to have a meal with him. So, Jesus went in [to his house] and reclined [at the dinner table]. [Note: See Matt. 23:6].
37 years later in the war with the Romans, when Jerusalem was destroyed]. 38 And when the Pharisee observed this, he was surprised that Jesus had not first washed himself ceremonially before the meal. 39 And the Lord said to him, "Now you Pharisees [meticulously] clean the outside of the cup and the dish [i.e., this was an allusion to their lives], but you are filled with greed for wealth and [other] evils on the inside. 40 You foolish people! Did not the One [i.e., God] who made the outside [i.e., your body] also make the inside [i.e., your spirit]? 41 But you should give to poor people what you have inside. [Note: This means either what is inside the dish, or what is inside your heart]. And [then] you will see that everything is [ceremonially] clean to you [as well].
42 "But it is too bad for you Pharisees! For you give a tenth of your mint, rue and every [other] herb [Note: These were small garden plants used for seasoning or medicine] and [yet] neglect [demonstrating] justice and the love of God [toward others]. But you should have done these things and not neglected to do the other things [as well].
43 "It is too bad for you Pharisees! For you love [to occupy] the principal seats in the synagogues and [to receive special] greetings in the open shopping markets.
44 "It is too bad for you! For you people are like obscure grave sites that people walk over without knowing it."
45 Then one of the teachers of the law of Moses answered Jesus, saying, "Teacher, you insulted us too by saying this."
46 And He replied them, "It is too bad for you teachers of the law of Moses also! For you heap heavy responsibilities on people, which are difficult to bear, while you do not even lift a finger to bear them yourselves.
47 "It is too bad for you! For your forefathers killed the prophets and you build grave monuments to them [i.e., the prophets]. 48 So, [by doing this] you are witnesses [against yourselves] that you approve of the deeds of your forefathers, for they killed the prophets and you build grave monuments to them. 49 Therefore, the wisdom of God said, [Note: Is this a reference to Jesus? See I Cor. 1:30 and Matt. 23:34-36], 'I will send prophets and apostles to them [i.e., the Jewish people] and they will kill and persecute some of them, 50 so that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the beginning of the world, may be required of this generation of people.' 51 Yes, I tell you, this generation will be punished [for the death of the prophets], from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zachariah, who died between the Altar and the sanctuary [i.e., in the Temple area]. [Note: This punishment began about
52 "It is too bad for you teachers of the law of Moses! For you took away the key of knowledge [i.e., preventing people from understanding God's plan]. You did not enter [the kingdom of heaven. See Matt. 23:13] yourselves and [you even] prevented those who [wanted] to enter [to get in]."
53 And when Jesus left there [i.e., probably the Pharisee's house. See verse 37], the experts in the law of Moses and the Pharisees began opposing Him with hostility and bombarding Him with many questions, 54 [and] plotting to trap Him by something He might say.