1Jesus said to His disciples, “Stumbling blocks [temptations and traps set to lure one to sin] are sure to come, but woe (judgment is coming) to him through whom they come! 2It would be better for him if a millstone [as large as one turned by a donkey] were hung around his neck and he were hurled into the sea, than for him to cause one of these little ones to stumble [in sin and lose faith]. 3Pay attention and always be on guard [looking out for one another]! If your brother sins and disregards God’s precepts, solemnly warn him; and if he repents and changes, forgive him. 4Even if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times and says, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him [that is, give up resentment and consider the offense recalled and annulled].”
5The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith [our ability to confidently trust in God and in His power].” 6And the Lord said, “If you have [confident, abiding] faith in God [even as small] as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree [which has very strong roots], ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea’; and [if the request was in agreement with the will of God] it would have obeyed you.
7“Which of you who has a servant plowing or tending sheep will say to him when he comes in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat?’ 8Will he not instead say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat, and appropriately clothe yourself [for service] and serve me while I eat and drink; then afterward you may eat and drink?’ 9He does not thank the servant just because he did what he was ordered to do, does he? 10So you too, when you have done everything that was assigned and commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy servants [undeserving of praise or a reward, for we have not gone beyond our obligation]; we have merely done what we ought to do.’ ”
Ten Lepers Cleansed
11While Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem, He was passing [along the border] between Samaria and Galilee. 12As He entered a village, He was met by ten lepers who stood at a distance; 13and they raised their voices and called out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” 14When He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were [miraculously] healed and made clean. 15One of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, glorifying and praising and honoring God with a loud voice; 16and he lay face downward at Jesus’ feet, thanking Him [over and over]. He was a Samaritan. 17Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten [of you] cleansed? Where are the [other] nine? 18Was there no one found to return and to give thanks and praise to God, except this foreigner?” 19Jesus said to him, “Get up and go [on your way]. Your faith [your personal trust in Me and your confidence in God’s power] has restored you to health.”
20Now having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He replied, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed or with a visible display; 21nor will people say, ‘Look! Here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For the kingdom of God is among you [because of My presence].”
Second Coming Foretold
22Then He said to the disciples, “The time will come when you will long to see [even] one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. 23They will say to you, ‘Look [the Messiah is] there!’ or ‘Look [He is] here!’ Do not go away [to see Him], and do not run after them. 24For just like the lightning, when it flashes out of one part of the sky, gives light to the other part of the sky, so [visible] will the Son of Man be in His day. 25But first He must suffer many things and be repudiated and rejected and considered unfit [to be the Messiah] by this [unbelieving] generation. 26And just as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the time of [the second coming of] the Son of Man: 27the people were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, [they were indifferent to God] until the day that Noah went into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. 28It was the same as it was in the days of Lot. People were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building [carrying on business as usual, without regard for their sins]; 29but on the [very] day that Lot left Sodom it rained fire and brimstone (burning sulfur) from heaven and destroyed them all. 30It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. 31On that day, whoever is on the housetop, with his belongings in the house, must not come down [and go inside] to take them out; and likewise whoever is in the field must not turn back. 32Remember [what happened to] Lot’s wife [when she looked back]! 33Whoever seeks to save his life will [eventually] lose it [through death], and whoever loses his life [in this world] will keep it [from the consequences of sin and separation from God]. 34I tell you, on that night [when Messiah comes again] there will be two [sleeping] in one bed; the one (the non-believer) will be taken [away in judgment] and the other (the believer) will be left. 35There will be two women grinding [at the mill] together; the one (the non-believer) will be taken [away in judgment] and the other (the believer) will be left. 36[Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other will be left.”] 37And they asked Him, “Where, Lord?” He answered, “Where the corpse is, there the vultures will be gathered.”