32 ‘Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
33 Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.
34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
35 ‘Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit;
36 be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks.
37 Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them.
38 If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.
39 ‘But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into.
40 You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.’
The Faithful or the Unfaithful Slave
41 Peter said, ‘Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for everyone?’
42 And the Lord said, ‘Who then is the faithful and prudent manager whom his master will put in charge of his slaves, to give them their allowance of food at the proper time?
43 Blessed is that slave whom his master will find at work when he arrives.
44 Truly I tell you, he will put that one in charge of all his possessions.
45 But if that slave says to himself, “My master is delayed in coming”, and if he begins to beat the other slaves, men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk,
46 the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour that he does not know, and will cut him in pieces, and put him with the unfaithful.
47 That slave who knew what his master wanted, but did not prepare himself or do what was wanted, will receive a severe beating.
48 But one who did not know and did what deserved a beating will receive a light beating. From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.
The Covenant Extended to All Who Obey
1 Thus says the Lord: Maintain justice, and do what is right, for soon my salvation will come, and my deliverance be revealed.
2 Happy is the mortal who does this, the one who holds it fast, who keeps the sabbath, not profaning it,
and refrains from doing any evil.
3 Do not let the foreigner joined to the Lord say, ‘The Lord will surely separate me from his people’;
and do not let the eunuch say, ‘I am just a dry tree.’
4 For thus says the Lord: To the eunuchs who keep my sabbaths, who choose the things that please me
and hold fast my covenant,
5 I will give, in my house and within my walls, a monument and a name better than sons and daughters;
I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off.
6 And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord,
and to be his servants, all who keep the sabbath, and do not profane it, and hold fast my covenant—
7 these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt-offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.
8 Thus says the Lord God, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, I will gather others to them besides those already gathered.
The Corruption of Israel’s Rulers
9 All you wild animals, all you wild animals in the forest, come to devour!
10 Israel’s sentinels are blind, they are all without knowledge; they are all silent dogs that cannot bark; dreaming, lying down, loving to slumber.
11 The dogs have a mighty appetite; they never have enough. The shepherds also have no understanding;
they have all turned to their own way, to their own gain, one and all.
12 ‘Come,’ they say, ‘let us get wine; let us fill ourselves with strong drink. And tomorrow will be like today, great beyond measure.’
Israel’s Futile Idolatry
1 The righteous perish, and no one takes it to heart; the devout are taken away, while no one understands. For the righteous are taken away from calamity,
2 and they enter into peace; those who walk uprightly will rest on their couches.
3 But as for you, come here, you children of a sorceress, you offspring of an adulterer and a whore.
4 Whom are you mocking? Against whom do you open your mouth wide and stick out your tongue? Are you not children of transgression, the offspring of deceit—
5 you that burn with lust among the oaks, under every green tree; you that slaughter your children in the valleys, under the clefts of the rocks?
6 Among the smooth stones of the valley is your portion; they, they, are your lot; to them you have poured out a drink-offering, you have brought a grain-offering. Shall I be appeased for these things?
7 Upon a high and lofty mountain you have set your bed, and there you went up to offer sacrifice.
8 Behind the door and the doorpost you have set up your symbol; for, in deserting me, you have uncovered your bed, you have gone up to it, you have made it wide; and you have made a bargain for yourself with them, you have loved their bed, you have gazed on their nakedness.
9 You journeyed to Molech with oil, and multiplied your perfumes; you sent your envoys far away, and sent down even to Sheol.
10 You grew weary from your many wanderings, but you did not say, ‘It is useless.’ You found your desire rekindled, and so you did not weaken.
11 Whom did you dread and fear so that you lied, and did not remember me or give me a thought?
Have I not kept silent and closed my eyes, and so you do not fear me?
12 I will concede your righteousness and your works, but they will not help you.
13 When you cry out, let your collection of idols deliver you! The wind will carry them off, a breath will take them away. But whoever takes refuge in me shall possess the land and inherit my holy mountain.
A Promise of Help and Healing
14 It shall be said, ‘Build up, build up, prepare the way, remove every obstruction from my people’s way.’
15 For thus says the high and lofty one who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with those who are contrite and humble in spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite.
16 For I will not continually accuse, nor will I always be angry; for then the spirits would grow faint before me, even the souls that I have made.
17 Because of their wicked covetousness I was angry; I struck them, I hid and was angry; but they kept turning back to their own ways.
18 I have seen their ways, but I will heal them; I will lead them and repay them with comfort,
creating for their mourners the fruit of the lips.
19 Peace, peace, to the far and the near, says the Lord; and I will heal them.
20 But the wicked are like the tossing sea that cannot keep still; its waters toss up mire and mud.
21 There is no peace, says my God, for the wicked.
The Old Life and the New
17 Now this I affirm and insist on in the Lord: you must no longer live as the Gentiles live, in the futility of their minds.
18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of their ignorance and hardness of heart.
19 They have lost all sensitivity and have abandoned themselves to licentiousness, greedy to practise every kind of impurity.
20 That is not the way you learned Christ!
21 For surely you have heard about him and were taught in him, as truth is in Jesus.
22 You were taught to put away your former way of life, your old self, corrupt and deluded by its lusts,
23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,
24 and to clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
Rules for the New Life
25 So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbours, for we are members of one another.
26 Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,
27 and do not make room for the devil.
28 Thieves must give up stealing; rather let them labour and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy.
29 Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear.
30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption.
31 Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice,
32 and be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.
1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children,
2 and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Renounce Pagan Ways
3 But fornication and impurity of any kind, or greed, must not even be mentioned among you, as is proper among saints.
4 Entirely out of place is obscene, silly, and vulgar talk; but instead, let there be thanksgiving.
5 Be sure of this, that no fornicator or impure person, or one who is greedy (that is, an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes on those who are disobedient.
7 Therefore do not be associated with them.
8 For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light—
9 for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true.
10 Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord.
11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.
12 For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly;
13 but everything exposed by the light becomes visible,
14 for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, ‘Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.’
The Parable of the Dishonest Manager
1 Then Jesus said to the disciples, ‘There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was squandering his property.
2 So he summoned him and said to him, “What is this that I hear about you? Give me an account of your management, because you cannot be my manager any longer.”
3 Then the manager said to himself, “What will I do, now that my master is taking the position away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg.
4 I have decided what to do so that, when I am dismissed as manager, people may welcome me into their homes.”
5 So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he asked the first, “How much do you owe my master?”
6 He answered, “A hundred jugs of olive oil.” He said to him, “Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it fifty.”
7 Then he asked another, “And how much do you owe?” He replied, “A hundred containers of wheat.” He said to him, “Take your bill and make it eighty.”
8 And his master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light.
9 And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes.
10 ‘Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much.
11 If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?
12 And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own?
13 No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.’
The Law and the Kingdom of God
14 The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all this, and they ridiculed him.
15 So he said to them, ‘You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of others; but God knows your hearts; for what is prized by human beings is an abomination in the sight of God.
16 ‘The law and the prophets were in effect until John came; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is proclaimed, and everyone tries to enter it by force.
17 But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away, than for one stroke of a letter in the law to be dropped.
18 ‘Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and whoever marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.
The Rich Man and Lazarus
19 ‘There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day.
20 And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,
21 who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man’s table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores.
22 The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried.
23 In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side.
24 He called out, “Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.”
25 But Abraham said, “Child, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony.
26 Besides all this, between you and us a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who might want to pass from here to you cannot do so, and no one can cross from there to us.”
27 He said, “Then, father, I beg you to send him to my father’s house—
28 for I have five brothers—that he may warn them, so that they will not also come into this place of torment.”
29 Abraham replied, “They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.”
30 He said, “No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.”
31 He said to him, “If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.” ’