Jesus Cleanses Ten Lepers
11 It happened that as he made his way toward Jerusalem, he crossed over the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he entered a village, ten men, all lepers, met him. They kept their distance 13 but raised their voices, calling out, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" 14 Taking a good look at them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." 15 One of them, when he realized that he was healed, turned around and came back, shouting his gratitude, glorifying God. 16 He kneeled at Jesus' feet, so grateful. He couldn't thank him enough - and he was a Samaritan. 17 Jesus said, "Were not ten healed? Where are the nine? 18 Can none be found to come back and give glory to God except this outsider?" 19 Then he said to him, "Get up. On your way. Your faith has healed and saved you."
The Coming of the Kingdom
20 Jesus, grilled by the Pharisees on when the kingdom of God would come, answered, "The kingdom of God doesn't come by counting the days on the calendar. 21 Nor when someone says, 'Look here!' or, 'There it is!' And why? Because God's kingdom is already among you." 22 He went on to say to his disciples, "The days are coming when you are going to be desperately homesick for just a glimpse of one of the days of the Son of Man, and you won't see a thing. 23 And they'll say to you, 'Look over there!' or, 'Look here!' Don't fall for any of that nonsense. 24 The arrival of the Son of Man is not something you go out to see. He simply comes. 25 But first it's necessary that he suffer many things and be turned down by the people of today. 26 "The time of the Son of Man will be just like the time of Noah - 27 everyone carrying on as usual, having a good time right up to the day Noah boarded the ship. They suspected nothing until the flood hit and swept everything away. 28 "It was the same in the time of Lot - the people carrying on, having a good time, business as usual 29 right up to the day Lot walked out of Sodom and a firestorm swept down and burned everything to a crisp. 30 That's how it will be - sudden, total - when the Son of Man is revealed. 31 "When the Day arrives and you're out working in the yard, don't run into the house to get anything. And if you're out in the field, don't go back and get your coat. 32 Remember what happened to Lot's wife! 33 If you grasp and cling to life on your terms, you'll lose it, but if you let that life go, you'll get life on God's terms. 34 "On that Day, two men will be in the same boat fishing - one taken, the other left. 35 Two women will be working in the same kitchen - one taken, the other left." 37 Trying to take all this in, the disciples said, "Master, where?" He told them, "Watch for the circling of the vultures. They'll spot the corpse first. The action will begin around my dead body."
The Parable of the Widow and the Judge
18 1 Jesus told them a story showing that it was necessary for them to pray consistently and never quit. 2 He said, "There was once a judge in some city who never gave God a thought and cared nothing for people. 3 A widow in that city kept after him: 'My rights are being violated. Protect me!' 4 "He never gave her the time of day. But after this went on and on he said to himself, 'I care nothing what God thinks, even less what people think. 5 But because this widow won't quit badgering me, I'd better do something and see that she gets justice - otherwise I'm going to end up beaten black and blue by her pounding.'" 6 Then the Master said, "Do you hear what that judge, corrupt as he is, is saying? 7 So what makes you think God won't step in and work justice for his chosen people, who continue to cry out for help? Won't he stick up for them? 8 I assure you, he will. He will not drag his feet. But how much of that kind of persistent faith will the Son of Man find on the earth when he returns?"
The Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican
9 He told his next story to some who were complacently pleased with themselves over their moral performance and looked down their noses at the common people: 10 "Two men went up to the Temple to pray, one a Pharisee, the other a tax man. 11 The Pharisee posed and prayed like this: 'Oh, God, I thank you that I am not like other people - robbers, crooks, adulterers, or, heaven forbid, like this tax man. 12 I fast twice a week and tithe on all my income.' 13 "Meanwhile the tax man, slumped in the shadows, his face in his hands, not daring to look up, said, 'God, give mercy. Forgive me, a sinner.'" 14 Jesus commented, "This tax man, not the other, went home made right with God. If you walk around with your nose in the air, you're going to end up flat on your face, but if you're content to be simply yourself, you will become more than yourself."