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After hearing the king they left and the star, which they had seen [while still] in the east, moved on ahead of them until it stopped over [the house] where the young child was staying. [See verse 11].

"You people are [like] salt on the earth. But if salt loses its flavoring ability, how will it ever get it back again? From then on it would be good for nothing except to be thrown out onto the roadway and walked on by people. [Note: This was mined salt which, when losing its "saltiness" due to exposure to the sun or rain, was simply disposed of by being dumped onto the roadway where people walked].

It was also said [Deut. 24:1-3], 'Whoever divorces his wife, let it be done with a [legally binding] divorce decree, which he must give her.'

Jesus replied to him, "The foxes have dens [in which to live] and the birds of the sky have nests [in which to roost]; but the Son of man does not have anywhere to lay His head."

[He said] "It will be too bad for you, Chorazin! It will be too bad for you, Bethsaida! For if the powerful miracles had been performed in [the cities of] Tyre and Sidon which were performed in your presence, they would have repented long ago, [demonstrating it] by wearing sackcloth [i.e., a coarse cloth made of goat hair] and throwing ashes [into the air].

And Capernaum, do you think you will be lifted up toward heaven [as a proud city]? [No indeed], you will [surely] go down to the place of the unseen [i.e., become obscure or obliterated as a city]. For if the powerful miracles had been performed in Sodom which were performed in your presence, it would have remained [even] until today.

He entered the house of God [i.e., the Temple] and ate the 'Bread of Presence', which was not permissible, according to the law of Moses, for him or those with him to do, since it was reserved only for the priests.

He answered them, "Which one of you who has [only] one sheep, and it fell in a ditch, would not reach down and lift it out [even] if it were on a Sabbath day?

The queen of the South [Note: This queen was from Sheba, I Kings 10:1, which was probably in Arabia] 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].

Then it says [to itself], I will return to my house which I came out of [i.e., the body of the person it dominated]. But when it returns [to that body] it finds it empty, cleaned out and [newly] decorated.

And other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and [eventually] choked out the tender sprouts.

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].

Jesus told them another parable, saying, "The kingdom of heaven is similar to a seed from the mustard tree which a man took and planted in his field.

Then He told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is similar to yeast, which a woman worked into a batch of dough [i.e., the amount was over half a bushel], until [the dough] was completely leavened [by it]."

They all ate until they were full; then gathered up seven baskets full of broken pieces which were left over.

The young man asked Him, "Which [ones]?" Jesus answered, "You must not murder. You must not be sexually unfaithful to your mate. You must not steal. You must not give false testimony.

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.

Jesus [then] said to the leading priests and elders of the Jewish people, "Did you not ever read in the Scriptures [Psa. 118:22-23], 'The building block rejected by the builders is the same one that was made the principal stone by which the entire building was aligned. This was planned by the Lord and is a marvelous thing to us'?

"Teacher, which one is the greatest commandment in the law of Moses?" he asked.

You foolish, blind people! Which is greater, the gold or the Temple that makes its gold sacred?

You blind people! Which is more important, the gift or the Altar that makes the gift sacred?

"It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you are like white-washed tombs, used for burial [sites], which appear beautiful on the outside, but on the inside are full of the bones and decaying flesh of dead people.

"Therefore, when you see that disgusting thing which causes total destruction [i.e., the Roman armies. See Luke 21:20], which Daniel the prophet spoke about [Dan. 9:27; 11:31; 12:11], standing in the sacred place [i.e., Jerusalem and especially the Temple area], (let the reader understand [what is meant by this]),

And He will send out His angels [i.e., as messengers] with the sound of a great trumpet [See I Thess. 4:16] to gather His elect [i.e., God's people] from all directions, [even] from throughout the whole world. [Note: See Mark 13:27, which suggests this thought by its use of 'earth' and 'sky']

The one with the five talents soon invested the money in business transactions which netted him five more.

[Thus the prophecy] spoken by Jeremiah, the prophet [Note: The passage actually appears to be Zech. 11:12-13], was fulfilled which said, "And they took the thirty silver coins, the amount charged for Him on whom certain Israelites had set a price,

But the governor asked them, "Which one of these two men do you want me to release to you?" And they answered, "Barabbas."

And when they had come to the place called Golgotha, which means "the place of a skull" [i.e., probably because it was a skull-shaped knoll in appearance],

They attached over His head [i.e., to the upright portion of the cross] the charge made against Him, which read, "This is Jesus, the king of the Jews."

and placed it in his own newly prepared grave, which he had cut out of [a ledge of] rock. Then he [had] a huge stone rolled across the entrance of the grave and went away.

Now on the following day, which was the day after the Preparation [for the Passover Festival], the leading priests and Pharisees assembled in front of Pilate

And when they were unable to get near Jesus, because of the [large] crowd, they removed [a section of] the roof [directly above Him]. [Note: The roof was a flat area, where people retired for rest, prayer, etc., and easily accessible from an outside stairway]. And when they had broken open [a sizable hole], they lowered the cot on which the paralyzed man was lying.

Which is easier, to say to the paralyzed man, 'your sins are forgiven,' or to say 'get up, pick up your cot and walk'?

Or how he entered the house of God [i.e., the Temple] when Abiathar was head priest, and ate the 'Bread of Presence' which was not permissible, according to the law of Moses, for anyone but priests? He even gave [some of it] to those who were with him."

He told His disciples to have a small boat waiting for Him [i.e., from which He could address the people. See 4:1], to prevent His being thronged by the large crowd.

James and his brother John, the sons of Zebedee, to whom He gave the added name Boanerges, which means "Sons of Thunder,"

And other seeds fell among thorns which grew up and choked them so that they yielded no crop.

Some of the seed that fell along the roadside represents where 'the word' was sown [i.e., preached]. When these people have heard, immediately Satan comes and takes away 'the word' which had been sown in them.

It is similar to a seed from the mustard tree which, when planted in the ground,

And taking the child by the hand He said to her, "Talitha cumi," which means "Little girl," (I tell you), "get up."

And about then Jesus compelled His disciples to get into a boat and go on ahead of Him to the other side [i.e., to the west side of Lake Galilee] to Bethsaida [Note: This was apparently a different "Bethsaida" from the one mentioned in Luke 9:10, which was on the east side of Lake Galilee], while He Himself sent the crowd away.

And when they returned from the open shopping markets they refused to eat [anything] until they washed themselves [or "it," that is, the food, thoroughly]. There were also many other traditions which they [strictly] observed, like washing cups, pots and copper kettles [thoroughly].) [Note: The most accurate Greek manuscripts do not add "and beds" in this verse].

They are worshiping me for nothing because they are teaching principles which are [merely] the requirements of men.'

and, looking up to heaven, He sighed and said, "Ephphatha," which means, "Be opened."

And they [all] ate until they were full, then gathered up seven baskets of broken pieces which were left over.

Immediately He boarded a boat with His disciples and crossed [to the west side of the lake], to the region of Dalmanutha. [Note: Matt. 15:39 says "Magadan," which was probably in the same vicinity as Dalmanutha].

And after six days had passed, Jesus took Peter, James and John aside alone and went up to a high mountain [i.e., probably Mt. Tabor, which was nearby]. [There] His whole appearance was [miraculously] changed in front of them.

And someone in the crowd answered Him, "Teacher, I brought to you my son, who is dominated by a spirit which causes him to be a mute.

But they kept quiet for they had been arguing with one another over which one of them was the greatest.

And they said to Him, " [Yes], we are able to." And Jesus said to them, "The cup [of suffering] that I [will] drink, you [also] will drink. And the immersion [with agony] with which I am [to be] immersed, you [also] will be immersed.

Many people spread their clothing on the roadway, while others spread leafy branches, which they had cut from the fields.

Have you never read this Scripture [Psa. 118:22-23], 'The building block rejected by the builders is the same [one] that was made the principal stone by which the entire building was aligned.

Then one of the experts in the law of Moses [Note: Matt. 22:34 identifies him as being a Pharisee also], came and heard Jesus and the Sadducees discussing together [i.e., the subject of the resurrection], and knowing that Jesus had refuted the Sadducees successfully, asked Him, "Which commandment is foremost, above all the others?"

Now the Passover Festival and the Festival of Unleavened Bread were held two days later. [Note: This was the annual Jewish Festival week commemorating Israel's deliverance from Egyptian bondage under Moses' leadership. The unleavened bread was specially baked bread containing no yeast, which was eaten for seven days as part of the celebration]. And the leading priests and experts in the law of Moses were looking for a way to take Jesus by trickery and kill Him.

And He said to them, "This is [i.e., represents] my blood of the Agreement [i.e., between God and mankind] which is [to be] poured out for many people.

"We heard him say, 'I will destroy this Temple, which was constructed by hand, and in three days I will build another one, not made by hand.'"

Then they brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha which, being interpreted, means "the place of the skull" [i.e., probably because it was a skull-shaped knoll in appearance].

"And the Scripture was fulfilled, which said, 'He was counted with the lawbreakers.'"}}

Then at three o'clock Jesus shouted in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama, sabachthani?" [Note: These words were in the commonly spoken Aramaic language], which being interpreted, means "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

And consider this, you will [have to] remain a mute and be unable to speak until the day when these things happen because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in due time."

About that time Mary made a hurried trip to a Judean town in the hill country. [Note: This was be the same province in which Jerusalem was located].

And she who [has] believed [the promises made by the Lord] is [truly] blessed, for the things which have been spoken to her [i.e., to Mary] by the Lord will [indeed] be fulfilled."

[This Agreement was] the oath by which He swore to Abraham, our forefather,

So, Joseph also went from the Galilean town of Nazareth to David's town, which was the Judean town of Bethlehem, because he was among the descendants and family of David.

Eight days later it was time to circumcise Jesus [i.e., to perform the Jewish rite of identity, signifying the responsibility to observe the law of Moses], and they named Him Jesus, which was the name given by the angel before He was [even] conceived.

which [i.e., whom] you have prepared before all people [i.e., for their benefit],

They rose up and threw Jesus out of the city, leading Him to the top of the hill on which the city was built, in order to throw Him down [from a cliff].

Which is easier; to say [to the paralyzed man], 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up and walk'?

When these two men did not have [the money] to repay him, the moneylender canceled [the debts of] both of them. Now which of them will love him more?"

And other [seed] fell among thorns, which grew up with it and [eventually] choked out [the tender sprouts].

[Finally] they arrived at the district of the Gerasenes, which is opposite [i.e., across the lake from the province of] Galilee. [Note: Matt. 8:28 says 'Gadara.' Geresa and Gadara were two towns about twelve miles apart in the same region east of Lake Galilee].

And it happened about eight days after Jesus said these things that He took Peter, John and James with Him and went up in the mountain to pray. [Note: This was probably Mt. Tabor, which was nearby].

who appeared in splendor, and were speaking of Jesus' [coming] departure [i.e., His imminent death], which He was soon to experience at Jerusalem.

Then a dispute developed among Jesus' disciples as to which one of them was the greatest.

Jesus replied to him, "The foxes have dens [in which to live] and the birds of the sky have nests [in which to roost], but the Son of man does not have anywhere to lay His head."

"It is too bad for you, Chorazin! It is too bad for you, Bethsaida! For if the powerful miracles had been performed in Tyre and Sidon which were performed in your presence, they would have repented long ago by sitting in ashes and wearing sackcloth. [Note: This sackcloth was a coarse cloth made of goat hair and indicated deep remorse or mourning].

[Now] which of these three men do you think acted like a neighbor to the man attacked by the robbers?"

But only one thing is [really] needful. For Mary has made the better choice, which will not be taken away from her."

"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].'

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].

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.

About this time, while a crowd of many thousands had assembled, [so large that] people were trampling on one another, Jesus first began telling His disciples, "Watch out for the leavening [effect] of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

But if God so [beautifully] dresses the grass in a field, which is [green] today, and [then] tomorrow [dries up and] is thrown into the oven [i.e., as fuel], will He not do even more in providing your clothing, you people with such little faith?

Then He told them this parable: A certain man had a fig tree [which had been] planted in his orchard. When he came looking for figs on it, he did not find any.

It is similar to a seed from the mustard tree, which a man took and planted in his garden. And it grew and became a [large] tree, and the birds of the sky roosted in its branches."

It is similar to yeast, which a woman worked into three batches of dough, until the dough was completely permeated [by it]."

And there He saw a certain man suffering from dropsy [Note: This is a condition in which the tissues of the body retain too much fluid].

Then He said to them, "Which one of you, who has a son or an ox that falls into a well, would not immediately pull him out on a Sabbath day?"