Day with the Bishop 2010
March 6, 2010
Time: 08:30 Registration & Coffee
Who Should Attend: Any man from age 15 and up
Phone: Jim Collier 423/272-6627 or Kim 423/272-7311
Price: $20.00/person by Friday, February 26, 2010 or $25.00 per person at the door
-This gathering for ALL men of the church. It will be held at First UMC Rogersville in Rogersville, TN. This is our day with Bishop Swanson. We have a business meeting in the morning, lunch and afternoon Worship Service with Holy Communion lead by Bishop Swanson. Come and learn what all the United Methodist Men’s Ministry is doing in our Conference. Enjoy meeting new men in the chruch and renewing old friendships.
-Scouts are encouraged to attend and bring a canned food item as their registration. This food will be donated to “Manna Kitchen” at First UMC Rogersville.
-The Upper Room Prayer Line will be open from 10 am to 12 Noon.
-Learn more information about Calling All Men 2010.
Ministries: United Methodist Men
Out of the Box Youth men and adult men, lets make this trip to be with the Bishop. Let me know if you are interested ASAP.
On Feb. 19-20, 353 persons representing 100 churches gathered at Cokesbury Center in Knoxville for the Holston Evangelism Conference. After hearing presentations by the Rev. Rudy Rasmus and the Rev. Bob Pierson, participants were led in worship by Bishop James Swanson.
Now, Holston members will join in a 90-day campaign to baptize 3,000 people by Pentecost Sunday. The campaign begins with 40 days of prayer (Feb. 23 to April 3), followed by 50 days of evangelism (Easter Sunday/April 4 through Pentecost Sunday/May 23).Ongoing information and resources will be provided at Holston.org and through The Call.
In the meantime, Bishop James Swanson appeals to Holston’s 904 churches in east Tennessee, southwest Virginia, and north Georgia to join this conference-wide effort beginning Tuesday, Feb. 23.
40 Day Prayer Journey Begins Tomorrow
Many people have questions about what “Direct Invoicing” is going to mean for your church. Here are two videos where John Tate talks about just what this means for your place of worship.
I am reading through the New Testament and I am behind one day. However, the reading from yesterday falling today is just what I need. I am in Luke 5 this morning. I am thinking about the fact that tomorrow, February 23rd begins a 40 day journey of fasting and prayer in anticipation of 3000 people being saved and baptized between now and Pentecost Sunday 2010 in Holston Conference.
Look at what Jesus has to say to us this morning.
Luke 5 (TNIV)
1 One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. 2 He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. 3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”
5 Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”
6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.
Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
All we have to do is be obedient. To Go! Jesus knows who is there, ready and waiting for us to make an invitation.
Let down your nets Holston.
Tuesday February 23rd will start the 1st phase of our Holston Conference emphasis on Evangelism. I hope that you will come along and join us. God is at work!
I will be posting each day of the 40 Day Devotional here on the blog. Each day has been inspired by something in Harry Denman’s life. I hope that you draw closer to God, get a passion for leading people to know Jesus and get to know more about who we celebrate in Harry Denman. Please pray that God will help us to discover those he has already prepared for this time.
Introduction to A 90-Day Investment in the Lives of 3000 People
By Ronnie G Collins
Chair: Holston Conference Witness Team
February 23rd, 2010
You are about to embark on an adventure with God. What will this adventure look like?
It could mean that you will pray, fast, and seek God’s face and that He will lead you to people that
need to know Him, people who need to be baptized, people who need to be discipled. It may mean
that at the end of these 90 days, you will have drawn closer to God through the spiritual disciplines
of prayer, fasting, and the giving of your time and energy. It may mean that there will be more
people in heaven someday because you took the challenge to ask God for 3000 souls that will follow
Matthew 28: 18-20
Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: “God authorized and commanded me to
commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by
baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I
have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the
Jesus said, go and make disciples and that is just what we intend to do. In order to find them, we
have to go. And in order to disciple them, we have to introduce them to Jesus Christ.
We are extending this challenge to you. Seek God in prayer and fasting in some form or fashion for
40 days, from February 23rd to April 3rd, 2010. Ask God to lead us, empower us, and embolden us
as witnesses that we might see 3000 people come for baptism on Pentecost Sunday 2010, May 23rd.
Use this devotional guide to lead your prayers over the next 40 days; after this 40-day period of
prayer and fasting, prepare to spend 50 intentional days seeking those who need to know Jesus the
In answer to the question you may have about why 3000, I offer the following letter written by
Harry Denman in 1949.
This letter is to ask every pastor not to observe Pentecost on June 5, but to meet the conditions so
that every church will have a Pentecost on that day. It can be done if we will organize our church to
witness to the fact that Jesus is Christ and that he is alive and can save persons from sin and death.
Easter to Pentecost
Fifty Golden Days of Evangelism
EASTER, We celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Redeemer. We have a living Christ. This
is the beginning of evangelism. Why shouldn’t every church organize visitation teams to visit one night
each week during this period and secure thousands of first commitments for Christ and his church, to be
received on Pentecost Sunday, June 5?
FAMILY WEEK. May 1-8, This is a splendid time to visit young families and secure their first
commitment for Christ and his church and establish a Christian home. What holy days there are, Easter to
Pentecost, Including Family Week!
There were One-hundred-twenty in the Upper Room. They were all filled with the Holy Ghost.
Three thousand were baptized that first Pentecost. How many will be baptized in our churches on
Pentecost Sunday 1949?
Let us pray and work daily that every church will have a Pentecost.
Your Friend, Harry Denman
Shepherds, May 1949
In memory of Evangelist Harry Denman, the Witness Team is presenting a challenge to all United
Methodist Churches in the Holston Conference.
Easter Sunday is April 4, 2010, and Pentecost Sunday is May 23. There are 50 days between
Easter and Pentecost. We are presenting the challenge to each church to organize visitation teams to visit
in your community, engage people on facebook, in e-mails, to come up with your own unique ways to
invite people to Christ, to church, during these 50 days.
In his book The Unchurched Next Door, Thom Rainer and his group conducted a scientific
survey and found the following results:
• 82 percent of the unchurched are at least “somewhat likely” to attend church if they are invited.
• Eight out of 10 unchurched persons said they would come to church if they were invited.
• Only 21 percent of active churchgoers invite anyone to church in the course of a year.
• Only 2 percent of church members invite an unchurched person to church.
• Very few of the unchurched have had someone share with them how to become a Christian.
• The unchurched would like to develop a real and sincere relationship with a Christian.
“For years I have been asked how churches can grow. I have consulted with hundreds of church
leaders across America, leaders who sincerely desire that their churches reach people. ‘Why aren’t we
reaching people?’ I am often asked. ‘Why is our society so resistant to the gospel?’ many inquire.
“After nearly a decade of research and almost fifteen years of consulting with churches, I am
becoming more and more convinced that the answers to most of these questions can be found in the
mirror. Nearly 130 million people in the United States alone would come to church if they were invited.
And if they came, many would hear about the Savior who offers the only way of salvation.”
Thom S. Rainer, The Unchurched Next Door
Please e-mail us to let us know that your church will participate in “50 Golden Days of
Evangelism 2010.” Let us pray and work daily that each of our churches will have a Pentecost Sunday on
May 23, 2010.
Enjoy the journey.
Ronnie G Collins, Chair – Holston Witness Team
If you have questions, please contact Rev. Ronnie Collins, Chair of The Holston Conference
Witness Team, phone 276-728-2434 or email
AWESOME SNL, Go SouledOut, Go God about 12 hours ago from web
to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, This is our Job as Christians, Luke 1 about 23 hours ago from web
no word from God will ever fail.” Luke 1:37 about 23 hours ago from web
Let us not become weary n doing good, 4 at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9 looking 4 the harvest about 23 hours ago from web
Galatians 5: 25-26 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep n step w the Spirit. Let us not bcome conceited, provoking & envying each other. about 23 hours ago from web
We won’t win 3000 people on Christ on our own, we will win them with the Spirit and on our knees! about 23 hours ago from web
After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by human effort? Galatians 3:3 about 23 hours ago from web
Jesus Sends Out the Twelve
1 When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 3 He told them: “Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt. 4 Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. 5 If people do not welcome you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave their town, as a testimony against them.” 6 So they set out and went from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere.
7 Now Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was going on. And he was perplexed because some were saying that John had been raised from the dead, 8 others that Elijah had appeared, and still others that one of the prophets of long ago had come back to life. 9 But Herod said, “I beheaded John. Who, then, is this I hear such things about?” And he tried to see him.
Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand
10 When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus what they had done. Then he took them with him and they withdrew by themselves to a town called Bethsaida, 11 but the crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing.
12 Late in the afternoon the Twelve came to him and said, “Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote place here.”
13 He replied, “You give them something to eat.”
They answered, “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish—unless we go and buy food for all this crowd.” 14 (About five thousand men were there.)
But he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” 15 The disciples did so, and everyone sat down. 16 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to set before the people. 17 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.
Peter Declares That Jesus Is the Messiah
18 Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say I am?”
19 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life.”
20 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Peter answered, “God’s Messiah.”
Jesus Predicts His Death
21 Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone. 22 And he said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”
23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for you to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit your very self? 26 If any of you are ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of you when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.
27 “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.”
28 About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. 29 As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. 30 Two men, Moses and Elijah, 31 appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, [a] which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem. 32 Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. 33 As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, “Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what he was saying.)
34 While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and covered them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.” 36 When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone. The disciples kept this to themselves and did not tell anyone at that time what they had seen.
Jesus Heals a Demon-Possessed Boy
37 The next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met him. 38 A man in the crowd called out, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child. 39 A spirit seizes him and he suddenly screams; it throws him into convulsions so that he foams at the mouth. It scarcely ever leaves him and is destroying him. 40 I begged your disciples to drive it out, but they could not.”
41 “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you and put up with you? Bring your son here.”
42 Even while the boy was coming, the demon threw him to the ground in a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the evil [b] spirit, healed the boy and gave him back to his father. 43 And they were all amazed at the greatness of God.
Jesus Predicts His Death a Second Time
While everyone was marveling at all that Jesus did, he said to his disciples, 44 “Listen carefully to what I am about to tell you: The Son of Man is going to be delivered over to human hands.” 45 But they did not understand what this meant. It was hidden from them, so that they did not grasp it, and they were afraid to ask him about it.
46 An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. 47 Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. 48 Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For whoever is least among you all is the greatest.”
49 “Master,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.”
50 “Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.”
51 As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. 52 And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; 53 but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. 54 When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them [c]?” 55 But Jesus turned and rebuked them. 56 Then he and his disciples went to another village.
The Cost of Following Jesus
57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
59 He said to another man, “Follow me.”
But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”
60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
61 Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family.”
62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
Jesus Sends Out the Seventy-Two
1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two [d] others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4 Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.
5 “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ 6 If the head of the house loves peace, your peace will rest on that house; if not, it will return to you. 7 Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for workers deserve their wages. Do not move around from house to house.
8 “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you. 9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’ 12 I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.
13 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14 But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. 15 And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths. [e]
16 “Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me.”
17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”
18 He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
21 At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.
22 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
23 Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. 24 For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”
The Parable of the Good Samaritan
25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii [h] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
At the Home of Martha and Mary
38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. [i] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Jesus’ Teaching on Prayer
1 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
3 Give us each day our daily bread.
5 Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6 a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.’ 7 And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity [n] he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.
9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; those who seek find; and to those who knock, the door will be opened.
11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for [o] a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
Jesus and Beelzebul
14 Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute. When the demon left, the man who had been mute spoke, and the crowd was amazed. 15 But some of them said, “By Beelzebul, the prince of demons, he is driving out demons.” 16 Others tested him by asking for a sign from heaven.
17 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall. 18 If Satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? I say this because you claim that I drive out demons by Beelzebul. 19 Now if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your followers drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. 20 But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
21 “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe. 22 But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up his plunder.
23 “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
24 “When an evil [p] spirit comes out of anyone, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ 25 When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. 26 Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first.”
27 As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.”
28 He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”
The Sign of Jonah
29 As the crowds increased, Jesus said, “This is a wicked generation. It asks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah. 30 For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation. 31 The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the people of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom; and now one [q] greater than Solomon is here. 32 The people of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and now one greater than Jonah is here.
The Lamp of the Body
33 “None of you lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead you put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. 34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy, [r] your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy, [s] your body also is full of darkness. 35 See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. 36 Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you.”
Woes on the Pharisees and the Experts in the Law
37 When Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee invited him to eat with him; so he went in and reclined at the table. 38 But the Pharisee was surprised when he noticed that Jesus did not first wash before the meal.
39 Then the Lord said to him, “Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. 40 You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? 41 But now as for what is inside you—be generous to the poor, and everything will be clean for you.
42 “Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.
43 “Woe to you Pharisees, because you love the most important seats in the synagogues and respectful greetings in the marketplaces.
44 “Woe to you, because you are like unmarked graves, which people walk over without knowing it.”
45 One of the experts in the law answered him, “Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us also.”
46 Jesus replied, “And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.
47 “Woe to you, because you build tombs for the prophets, and it was your ancestors who killed them. 48 So you testify that you approve of what your ancestors did; they killed the prophets, and you build their tombs. 49 Because of this, God in his wisdom said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and others they will persecute.’ 50 Therefore this generation will be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be held responsible for it all.
52 “Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering.”
53 When Jesus went outside, the Pharisees and the teachers of the law began to oppose him fiercely and to besiege him with questions, 54 waiting to catch him in something he might say.
Warnings and Encouragements
1 Meanwhile, when a crowd of many thousands had gathered, so that they were trampling on one another, Jesus began to speak first to his disciples, saying: “Be [t] on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 3 What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.
4 “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. 5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. 7 Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
8 “I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God. 9 But whoever publicly disowns me will be disowned before the angels of God. 10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
11 “When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”
The Parable of the Rich Fool
13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
14 Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” 15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ‘
20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
21 “This is how it will be with those who store up things for themselves but are not rich toward God.”
Do Not Worry
22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life [u]? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
35 “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, 36 like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. 37 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. 38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak. 39 But understand 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, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”
41 Peter asked, “Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?”
42 The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? 43 It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. 44 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45 But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk. 46 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.
47 “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.
Not Peace but Division
49 “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed! 51 Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. 52 From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
Interpreting the Times
54 He said to the crowd: “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘It’s going to rain,’ and it does. 55 And when the south wind blows, you say, ‘It’s going to be hot,’ and it is. 56 Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time?
57 “Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right? 58 As you are going with your adversary to the magistrate, try hard to be reconciled on the way, or your adversary may drag you off to the judge, and the judge turn you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. 59 I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.”
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