1 Then Jesus told His disciples a parable for the purpose of showing them that they should pray continually and not become discouraged. 2 He said, "There was a certain judge in this town who did not revere God nor respect man. 3 There was [also] a widow in that [same] town who kept coming to the judge saying, 'Grant me a [favorable] judgment against my opponent.'
4 And for some time the judge refused to do it. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I do not revere God or respect man, 5 I will grant her a [favorable] judgment because she keeps bothering me [about the matter] and is about to exhaust my patience by her persistent visits.'"
6 And the Lord said, "Listen to what [even] this unjust judge said [about the widow]. 7 So, will God not grant justice to His elect [i.e., His people] who call out to Him [i.e., in prayer] day and night? Will He be slow in helping them? 8 I tell you, He will grant justice to them quickly. However, will the Son of man find [very many] believing people on the earth when He returns?"
9 Then Jesus told this parable to certain ones who were relying on their own goodness and putting everyone else down: 10 "Two men went up to the Temple [in Jerusalem] to pray. One of them was a Pharisee and the other one was a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood up [conspicuously] and prayed about himself this way [i.e., bragging to God about how good he was], 'God, I thank you that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, sexually unfaithful to their mates, or even like that tax collector [over there]. 12 I fast [i.e., going without food and/or drink for religious reasons] twice a week and I give [to God's work] a tenth of everything I get.'
13 But the tax collector stood at a distance [i.e., inconspicuously] and would not even look up to heaven, but struck his chest [i.e., in remorse], saying, 'God, [please] have mercy on a sinner like me.' 14 I tell you, this man went back home right with God instead of the other man. For every person who exalts himself [as important] will be humbled, but whoever humbles himself will be exalted [as important]."
15 People were bringing babies to Jesus so He could touch them [i.e., to bestow a blessing on them], but when His disciples saw this, they spoke harshly to these people. 16 But Jesus called His disciples to Him and said, "Allow these little children to come to me and stop trying to prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these [i.e., humble ones. See Matt. 19:14]. 17 Truly I tell you, whoever does not welcome the kingdom of God the way a little child does, that person will by no means enter it."
18 Then a certain ruler [Note: This man was young and rich. See Matt. 19:16-22] asked Jesus, "Good Teacher, what should I do in order to inherit never ending life?"
19 Jesus answered him, "Why do you call me 'good'? No one is good except God only. 20 You know the commandments: Do not be sexually unfaithful to your mate. Do not murder. Do not steal. Do not give false testimony. Show honor to your father and mother."
21 And the ruler replied, "I have [already] been observing all of these commandments since I was [very] young."
22 When Jesus heard this He said to him, " [There is] one thing you still lack. Sell all your possessions and distribute [the money] to poor people; become my follower, [then] you will have treasure in heaven."
24 Now Jesus looked at him and said, "How difficult [it is] for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God! 25 For it is [actually] easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a wealthy person to enter the kingdom of God."
27 Jesus answered, "The things that are impossible with people are [certainly] possible with God."
29 And Jesus said to the disciples, "Truly I tell you, there is no person who has left his house, or wife, or brothers, or parents, or children for the sake of the kingdom of God [i.e., to become a servant of the Lord], 30 who will not receive [back] many times as much [as he left in this life], and never ending life in the coming age."
31 Then Jesus took the twelve apostles with Him, saying to them, "Look, we are going up to Jerusalem and [while there] everything written in [the writings of] the prophets will be fulfilled concerning the Son of man. 32 For He will be turned over to the [unconverted] Gentiles, and will be mocked, and insulted and spit on. 33 [The Romans] will flog Him and kill Him, but on the third day He will rise again [from the dead]."
34 But His disciples did not understand [what He meant by] any of these things, for this message was hidden from them so they did not comprehend what He was saying.
35 And it happened as Jesus was approaching Jericho [Note: This was a town about eighteen miles northeast of Jerusalem], that a certain blind man was [seen] sitting along side of the road, begging. 36 As he heard a crowd of people passing by, he asked [someone] what was happening. 37 And he was told that Jesus from Nazareth was passing by [that way].
38 So, he shouted out, "Jesus, you son of David, take pity on me." 39 But those walking in front [of Jesus] spoke harshly to the blind beggar, telling him to be quiet. But he continued shouting all the more, "You son of David, take pity on me."
40 So, Jesus stopped and ordered the beggar to be brought to Him. And when he came near, Jesus asked him, 41 "What do you want me to do for you?" And he replied, "Lord, I want to receive my sight."