1 Once He was praying in a certain place, and when He ceased, one of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples."
2 So He said to them, "Whenever you pray, say: 'Father, Your name be revered; Your kingdom come; 3 continue giving us day by day our daily bread, 4 and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who does us wrong, and do not let us be subjected to temptation.'"
5 Then He said to them: "Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him in the middle of the night and say to him, 'Friend, lend me three loaves; 6 for a friend of mine has just come to my house on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him to eat.' 7 And suppose he answers from inside, 'Stop bothering me; the door is now locked, and my children are packed about me in bed; I cannot get up and give you any.' 8 I tell you, although he will not get up and give you any because he is your friend, yet because of your persistence he will get up and give you all your needs.
9 So I tell you, keep on asking, and the gift will be given you; keep on seeking, and you will find; keep on knocking, and the door will open to you. 10 For everyone who keeps on asking, receives; and the one who keeps on seeking, finds; and to the one who keeps on knocking, the door will open. 11 Now is there a father among you who, if his son asks him for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or, if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 So if you, in spite of your being bad, know how to give your children what is good, how much more surely will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who continue to ask Him?"
14 Now He was driving a dumb demon out of a man, and when the demon went out of him, the dumb man spoke. The crowds were astonished. 15 But some of them said, "It is with the help of Beelzebub, the prince of demons, that He is driving the demons out." 16 But others, to test Him, were demanding from Him a spectacular sign from heaven.
17 But He knew what they were thinking, and so said to them, "Any kingdom that is not united is in the process of destruction, and one house falls after another. 18 And if Satan is really disunited, how can his kingdom last? Yet you say that I am driving the demons out with Beelzebub's help. 19 Now if I with Beelzebub's help am driving the demons out, with whose help do your sons drive them out? 20 But if I by the finger of God am driving the demons out, then the kingdom of God has come to you. 21 When a strong man well armed keeps guard over his dwelling, his property is secure. 22 But when a man stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he strips him of all his arms on which he relied, and distributes his goods as spoils. 23 Whoever is not in partnership with me is against me, and whoever does not gather in partnership with me, scatters.
24 "When the foul spirit goes out of a man, it wanders about in deserts in search for rest, and since it finds none, it says, 'I will go back to my house which I left.' 25 And it goes and finds it unoccupied, swept, and ready for use. 26 Then it goes and gets seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and make their home there, and so the end of that man is worse than the beginning."
27 Just as He was saying this, a woman in the crowd lifted her voice and said, "Blessed is the mother who bore you and nursed you!"
28 But He said, "Yes, but better still, blessed are those who listen to God's message and practice it!"
29 Now as the crowds continued to throng upon Him, He began to say: "This is a wicked age. It is looking for a spectacular sign, but none will be given it but the sign of Jonah. 30 For just as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so the Son of Man will be a sign to this age. 31 The queen of the south will rise at the judgment with the men of this age and will condemn them, for she came from the very ends of the earth to listen to Solomon's wisdom; and yet, One who is more than Solomon is here. 32 The men of Nineveh will rise at the judgment with the men of this age and will condemn them, for they turned to the message preached by Jonah, and yet One who is more than Jonah is here.
33 No one lights a lamp and puts it in a cellar or under a peck-measure, but he puts it on the lampstand, that the people who come in may enjoy the light. 34 Your eye is the very lamp of your body. When your eye is sound, your whole body is full of light. But if your eye is unsound, your body is full of darkness. 35 So be on your guard that the very source of light in you is not darkness. 36 If then your whole body is full of light with no part of it in darkness, it will all be as light for you as it is when a lamp makes it light for you by its shining."
37 When He had said this, a Pharisee asked Him to lunch at his house, and He went in and took His place at table. 38 The Pharisee noticed that He did not first wash before lunch, and was surprised. 39 But the Lord said to him, "Now you Pharisees have the habit of cleaning the outside of your cups and dishes, but inside you yourselves are full of greed and wickedness. 40 You fools! Did not the One who made the outside make the inside too? 41 But dedicate once for all your inner self, and at once you will have everything clean.
42 But a curse on you Pharisees, because you pay tithes on mint, rue, and every tiny garden herb, but neglect justice and the love of God! These latter especially you ought to have done, but ought not to have neglected the former.
43 A curse on you Pharisees, because you like to have the front seats in synagogues, and to be greeted with honor in public places!
44 A curse on you, because you are like unmarked graves which men walk over without knowing it!"
45 Then an expert in the law interrupted Him and said, "Teacher, in saying this you are insulting us, too."
46 He said, "Yes, a curse on you experts in the law, too, because you load people down with loads too heavy to carry, and yet you do not touch the loads yourselves with one of your fingers!
47 A curse on you, because you build monuments for the prophets, whom your forefathers killed! 48 So you testify to what your forefathers did and approve it, because they killed them and you build monuments for them. 49 This is why the Wisdom of God said, 'I will send to them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill, and some they will persecute'; 50 so that the blood of all the prophets that has been shed from the creation of the world may be charged against the men of this age -- 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be charged against the men of this age.
52 A curse on you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to the door of knowledge! You did not go in yourselves, and you kept out those who tried to get in."