18 1ALSO [Jesus] told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not to [H]turn coward (faint, lose heart, and give up). 2He said, In a certain city there was a judge who neither reverenced and feared God nor respected or considered man. 3And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, Protect and defend and give me justice against my adversary. 4And for a time he would not; but later he said to himself, Though I have neither reverence or fear for God nor respect or consideration for man, 5Yet because this widow continues to bother me, I will defend and protect and avenge her, lest she give me [I]intolerable annoyance and wear me out by her continual coming or [J]at the last she come and rail on me or [K]assault me or [L]strangle me. 6Then the Lord said, Listen to what the unjust judge says! 7And will not [our just] God defend and protect and avenge His elect (His chosen ones), who cry to Him day and night? Will He [M]defer them and [N]delay help on their behalf? 8I tell you, He will defend and protect and avenge them speedily. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find [[O]persistence in] faith on the earth? 9He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves and were confident that they were righteous [that they were upright and in right standing with God] and scorned and made nothing of all the rest of men: 10Two men went up into the temple [[P]enclosure] to pray, the one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee [Q]took his stand ostentatiously and began to pray thus before and with himself: God, I thank You that I am not like the rest of men--extortioners (robbers), swindlers [unrighteous in heart and life], adulterers--or even like this tax collector here. 12I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I gain. 13But the tax collector, [merely] standing at a distance, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but kept striking his breast, saying, O God, be favorable (be gracious, be merciful) to me, the [R]especially wicked sinner that I am! 14I tell you, this man went down to his home justified (forgiven and made upright and in right standing with God), rather than the other man; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted. 15Now they were also bringing [even] babies to Him that He might touch them, and when the disciples noticed it, they reproved them. 16But Jesus called them [[S]the parents] to Him, saying, Allow the little children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for to such [as these] belongs the kingdom of God. 17Truly I say to you, whoever does not accept and receive and welcome the kingdom of God like a little child [does] shall not in any way enter it [at all]. 18And a certain ruler asked Him, Good Teacher [You who are [T]essentially and perfectly [U]morally good], what shall I do to inherit eternal life [to partake of eternal salvation in the Messiah’s kingdom]? 19Jesus said to him, Why do you call Me [[V]essentially and perfectly [W]morally] good? No one is [[X]essentially and perfectly [Y]morally] good--except God only. 20You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery, do not kill, do not steal, do not witness falsely, honor your father and your mother. 21And he replied, All these I have kept from my youth. 22And when Jesus heard it, He said to him, One thing you still lack. Sell everything that you have and [Z]divide [the money] among the poor, and you will have [rich] treasure in heaven; and come back [and] follow Me [become My disciple, join My party, and accompany Me]. 23But when he heard this, he became distressed and very sorrowful, for he was rich--exceedingly so. 24Jesus, observing him, said, How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! 25For it is easier for a camel to enter through a needle’s eye than [for] a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. 26And those who heard it said, Then who can be saved? 27But He said, What is impossible with men is possible with God. 28And Peter said, See, we have left our own [things--home, family, and business] and have followed You. 29And He said to them, I say to you truly, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30Who will not receive in return many times more in this world and, in the coming age, eternal life. 31Then taking the Twelve [apostles] aside, He said to them, Listen! We are going up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written about the Son of Man through and by the prophets will be fulfilled. 32For He will be handed over to the Gentiles and will be made sport of and scoffed and jeered at and insulted and spit upon. 33They will flog Him and kill Him; and on the third day He will rise again. 34But they understood nothing of these things; His words were a mystery and hidden from them, and they did not comprehend what He was telling them. 35As He came near to Jericho, it occurred that a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 36And hearing a crowd going by, he asked what it meant. 37They told him, Jesus of Nazareth is passing by. 38And he shouted, saying, Jesus, Son of David, take pity and have mercy on me! 39But those who were in front reproved him, telling him to keep quiet; yet he [A]screamed and shrieked so much the more, Son of David, take pity and have mercy on me! 40Then Jesus stood still and ordered that he be led to Him; and when he came near, Jesus asked him, 41What do you want Me to do for you? He said, Lord, let me receive my sight! 42And Jesus said to him, Receive your sight! Your faith ([B]your trust and confidence that spring from your faith in God) has healed you. 43And instantly he received his sight and began to follow Jesus, [C]recognizing, praising, and honoring God; and all the people, when they saw it, praised God.
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