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Now Joseph, her husband [to be], being a man who did what was right, and not wanting to make a public spectacle out of her, decided to break off their engagement privately.

Now all this happened in order to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet [Isaiah 7:14], saying,

Then Joseph woke up from his sleep and did what the angel of the Lord commanded him and took Mary to be his wife.

They replied to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for this is what was written by the prophet [Micah 5:2],

They stayed there until Herod died, so that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet would be fulfilled, saying [Hosea 11:1], "I [i.e., God] called my Son out of Egypt."

This fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying,

and settled in a town called Nazareth, so that it could fulfill what was spoken by the prophets [Isa. 11:1 in the Hebrew text] that Jesus would be called a Nazarene.

The news [of what Jesus was doing] spread all over [the country of] Syria and they brought to Him all those who were sick, stricken with various diseases and pains, dominated by evil spirits, and afflicted with seizures and paralysis, and He healed them [all].

"You have heard what was said to the people in time's past [Exodus 20:13], 'You must not murder,' and whoever does will be subject to judgment.

"You have heard what was said [Exodus 20:14], 'You must not be sexually unfaithful to your mate.'

And if your right eye is what ensnares you into falling away [from God], gouge it out and throw it away from you. For it would be better for you to lose a part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. [Note: This is the word "Gehenna," and because of its Old Testament connotation of burning bodies, II Chron. 33:6, it is used figuratively here, and elsewhere, to describe the place of future, final punishment of the wicked].

And if your right hand is what ensnares you into falling away [from God], cut it off and throw it away from you. For it would be better for you to lose a part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

"Again, you have heard what was said to people in time's past [Lev. 19:12], 'You must not go back on your oaths, but [rather] fulfill the oaths you take to the Lord.'

"You have heard what was said [Exodus 21:24], 'Take an eye [from someone] if he takes yours, and take a tooth [from someone] if he takes yours.'

"You have heard what was said [Lev. 19:18], 'You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'

For if you love [only] those who love you, what reward will you get for that? Do not even the publicans [Note: These were people with a bad reputation for their dishonest tax collecting activities] do that much?

And if you greet [cordially] your brothers only, what are you doing more than other people? Do not even the [unconverted] Gentiles do that much?

But when you give money to help poor people, do not allow your left hand to know what your right hand is doing [i.e., do it inconspicuously]

so that people will not see that you are fasting, but [only] your Father who is in secret [will know about it]. For, [since] He sees [what is done] in secret, He will repay you.

Or, what person among you would give his son a stone if he asked you for a piece of bread?

You can recognize them by their fruit [i.e., by what their lives produce]. Do people harvest grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistle weeds?

Therefore, you will recognize them [i.e., prophets] by their fruit [i.e., by what their lives produce].

And Jesus said to the military officer, "Go on your way; since you have believed [in my power to heal], what you desired will be done for you." And the slave-boy was healed that [very] hour.

The men [on board the boat] marveled, saying, "What kind of a man is this, that even the wind and waves obey Him?"

Suddenly they shouted out, "What do you want with us, you Son of God? Have you come here to torture us before it is time to?" [i.e., before our punishment is due. See II Pet. 2:4; Jude 6].

[Upon seeing this happen] the men who were tending the herd ran away and went into the town [i.e., of Gadara, one of ten towns making up the province of Decapolis], and told the people everything, [including] what had happened to the men dominated by evil spirits.

But when the large crowds saw [what had happened], they were filled with deep reverence and gave honor to God for giving such authority to men.

No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth onto an old garment; for what was intended to cover up [the hole] actually tears away [part of] the garment [i.e., when it shrinks], causing a bigger hole.

And when He had entered the house [i.e., probably a friend's house there in Capernaum. See 8:20], the blind men came in [after Him]. Jesus said to them, "Do you believe that I am able to do what you are asking?" They replied, "Yes, Lord."

And [immediately] they were able to see. Jesus then strongly urged them, saying, "Make sure that no one knows [what I have done for you]."

And whoever does not welcome you or listen to what you have to say, shake the dust off of your shoes as you leave that house or town. [Note: This was a Jewish custom showing disdain and intended to suggest unworthiness]

What I am telling you in the darkness [i.e., in obscurity], you tell it in the light [i.e., openly]. And what you hear [whispered] in your ear [you should] declare it from the housetops.

As the messengers [sent by John. See Luke 7:27] went on their way, Jesus began to talk to the crowds about John. [He said], "What did you expect to see when you went out into the desert? A tall stem swaying in the wind?

What did you expect to see? A man dressed in fancy clothes? Look, people who wear fancy clothes live in kings' palaces.

But what should I compare the people of this generation with? They are like children sitting in the open shopping market, who call out to their playmates,

But when the Pharisees saw this, they said to Him, "Look, your disciples are doing what is against the law of Moses to do on a Sabbath day."

Jesus replied, "Have you not read what King David did when he and his men were hungry? [I Sam. 21:6]

If you had [fully] understood what this means: 'I desire mercy and not [only] sacrifice,' you would not have condemned someone who was not guilty [of wrongdoing].

Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep? Therefore, it is permissible by the law of Moses to do what is good on a Sabbath day."

When Jesus perceived what they were doing He withdrew from that place. Many people followed Him and He healed all of them.

You children of snakes! Since you are evil, how do you expect to speak good things? For the mouth speaks what the heart is filled with.

Therefore, I am speaking to them with parables because [although] they can see, they [really] do not perceive, and [although] they can hear, they [really] do not comprehend, and so they [utterly] fail to understand [what I am trying to get across].

So, the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled by them, which says, [Isa. 6:9f] 'You will hear all right, but you will not understand [what you hear]. You will see all right but you will not perceive [what you see].

For these people's minds are dull, and their ears have difficulty hearing, and they have shut their eyes. For if this were not the case, they would perceive what they see with their eyes, and comprehend what they hear with their ears, and understand with their minds and would turn [back to God] again so I would heal them [from their sins].'

When anyone hears the message of the kingdom but does not understand it, the evil one [i.e., the devil] comes to him and grabs away what had been sown in his heart. This is the person who was scattered to the side of the road.

[This was] so that what was spoken by the prophet would be fulfilled, when he said [Psa. 78:2], "I will open my mouth [to speak] with parables. I will say things that have been hidden from the beginning of time."

At the end of the world it will be that same way. The angels will come and divide the sinful people from the ones who did what was right,

and governor of that district] heard the report about what Jesus had been saying and doing.

These people [claim to] honor me with their lips [i.e., by what they say], but their heart is far from [honoring] me.

It is not what enters the mouth of a person that [spiritually] corrupts him, but what proceeds out of his mouth that [spiritually] corrupts him."

But the things that come out of a person's mouth come from his heart. These are what [spiritually] corrupt a person.

and are what corrupt him [spiritually]. But eating [a meal] with [ceremonially] unwashed hands does not [spiritually] corrupt him."

And when the sky is reddish and overcast in the morning, you predict [that it will be] bad weather that day. You know how to interpret [weather] conditions from the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times [i.e., what will happen in the spiritual realm]"]}]}.

Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is so good for us to be here. If you wish, I will build three [small] shelters here, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah." [Note: Perhaps Peter wanted to provide quarters for the three to stay temporarily, thus prolonging the wonderful experience. In any event, he should not have done what suggested that Moses and Elijah were equal to Jesus].

But I tell you that Elijah has already come, but they [i.e., the Jewish leaders] did not understand who he was, but [instead] did to him what they wanted to. In the same way, the Son of man will also suffer from what the Jews will do."

He replied, "Yes, [He does]." And when Peter entered the house, Jesus spoke to him first, [i.e., without waiting for Peter to tell Him what he had said to the tax collectors], saying, "What do you think, Simon? From whom do earthly kings collect custom duty and taxes? From their children or from strangers?"

What do you think? If anyone had a hundred sheep, and one of them wandered away, would he not leave the ninety-nine [safe ones] and go to the mountains looking for the one that wandered away?

But since he did not have enough [money] to pay [what he owed], his master ordered that he, his wife, his children and all his possessions be sold [in order] to pay [his debt].

But that [same] servant went out and found one of his fellow-servants who owed him a small sum of money [Note: The amount was about days of a farm laborer's pay or about $7,000 in 1994]. He grabbed him by the throat, saying, 'Pay [me] what you owe.'

When his fellow-servants saw what he had done, they were very upset and went and told their master everything that had happened.

Then a rich, young man [See verse 22] came to Him and said, "Teacher, what good deed should I do in order to have never ending life?"

Jesus answered him, "Why do you ask me about what is good? There is [only] One who is good [i.e., God]. But if you want to enter [never ending] life, [then] obey His commandments."

The young man said to Him, "I have [already] been observing all of these commandments. What do I [still] lack?"

Peter then answered Him, "Look, we have left everything [i.e., homes, jobs, family, etc.], to follow you. What will we get for it?"

Take what belongs to you and go on your way. I want to give this last person [hired] the same wages I gave you.

Is it against the law for me to do what I want with my own money? Or, is it that your eye is envious because I choose to be so generous?'

He responded to her, "What would you like me to do for you?" She answered, "Appoint my two sons to sit at your right side and at your left in your [coming] kingdom."

But Jesus replied to her, "You [really] do not know what you are asking for. Are you able to drink the cup [i.e., of suffering] that I am about to drink?" They [i.e., James, John and their mother. See Mark 10:35ff] answered, "[Yes] we are able to."

Then Jesus stopped, and calling to them, said, "What do you want me to do for you?"

Now this will happen in order to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying,

And the disciples went and did exactly what Jesus had ordered them to do.

They said to Jesus, "Do you hear what these [children] are saying [about you]?" Jesus answered them, "Yes, [I do]. Have you not read [in Psa. 8:2] 'You have ordained that praise would come from the mouths of infants and small children?'"

Jesus answered, "Truly I tell you, if you have faith, without doubting, you will not only [be able to] do what was done to this fig tree, but even if you tell this mountain, 'Be lifted up and thrown into the ocean,' it will happen.

When He had come into the Temple, the leading priests and elders of the [Jewish] people came to Him while He was teaching, and said, "By what authority are you doing these things [i.e., miracles and teaching]? And who gave you this authority?"

Jesus answered them, "Let me also ask you a question. If you answer it, then I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things.

So, they answered Jesus, "We do not know [where John got the authority for his immersion]." Jesus then replied to them, "[Then] neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things [i.e., miracles and teaching].

But what do you think [about this]? A man had two sons; He went to the first one and said, 'Son, go to work in my vineyard today.'

Which of these two sons did what his father wanted?" They answered, "The first one." Jesus said to them, "Truly I tell you, tax collectors and prostitutes [will] enter the kingdom of God ahead of you.

When the owner of the vineyard returns, what [do you think] he will do to those tenant farmers?