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The Book of Jesus

Chapter Thirteen

The New Amsterdam Publishing Company
Copyright © 1997

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The Question Of Divorce

NARRATOR.
When Jesus had finished what he wanted to say, he departed from Galilee and came to the coasts of Judaea on the far side of the Jordan. And again, large crowds followed him and again, he healed them and taught them, as was his custom. Some Pharisees also came to him and trying to put him to the test said:
PHARISEES.
Is it against the Law for a man to divorce his wife for any reason?
JESUS.
What does Moses command you?
PHARISEES.
Moses allows us to draw up a writ of dismissal and so to divorce.
JESUS.
Haven't you read that at the beginning of creation He that made them, made them male and female and that He said; "This is why a man must leave his father and mother and join himself to his wife and the two will be one flesh." Therefore, they are two no longer, but one body. So then, whatever God has joined together, let no man enter in and separate.
PHARISEES.
Then why did Moses command that divorce papers be issued and permit her to be divorced?
JESUS.
It was because you were so unteachable that Moses went along with you and permitted you to divorce your wives. But it was not like this from the beginning. I tell you, the man who divorces his wife, and I am not speaking in the case of fornication, and marries another, is guilty of adultery against her. And the man who marries a woman divorced by her husband commits adultery. And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another she is also guilty of adultery.
NARRATOR.
Back in the house, his disciples questioned him again about this and said to him:
DISCIPLES.
If that is how things are between a man and his wife, it's not a good idea to get married.
JESUS.
It's not everyone who can accept what I've said, but only to those whom it's been given. For there are some eunuchs who were born that way from their mother's womb. And there are some eunuchs made so by men and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. The person who is able to accept this, let him accept it.

Matthew 19:...1-12; Mark 10:...1-12; Luke 16:18

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Jesus And The Children

NARRATOR.
People were even bringing little children to him so that he would touch them and lay his hands on them, and say a prayer. But when the disciples saw this, they reprimanded them and sent them away. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and called the children to him and said to the disciples:
JESUS.
Let the little children alone, and don't stop them from coming to me. For it is to such as these that the Kingdom of God belongs. I tell you most sincerely, anyone who does not welcome the Kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.
NARRATOR.
He then laid his hands on them, gave them his blessing and went on his way.

Matthew 19:13-15; Mark 10:13-16; Luke 18:15-17

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The Rich Young Man

NARRATOR.
As he set out and was on the road a man, a member of one of the leading families ran up to him, knelt before him and asked this question:
YOUNG MAN.
Good Master, what must I do to possess and inherit eternal life?
JESUS.
Why do you call me good? There is no one good except one and that one is God alone. But if you desire to enter into life, keep the commandments.
YOUNG MAN.
Which?
JESUS.
You know the commandments: You must not kill; you must not commit adultery; you must not steal; you must not bring false witness, you must not defraud; honor your father and mother; and, you must love your neighbor as yourself.
YOUNG MAN.
I have kept all these from my youth until now. What more do I need to do?'
NARRATOR.
When Jesus heard this, he looked steadily at him and loved him:
JESUS.
There is still one thing you lack. If you wish to be perfect, go and sell everything you own and distribute the money to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, and follow me.
NARRATOR.
But when the young man heard these words his face fell and he went away filled with sadness, for he was a very wealthy man and had many possessions.

Matthew 19:16-22; Mark 10:17-22; Luke 18:18-23

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The Danger of Riches

NARRATOR.
Jesus looked around, looked at the man and then said to his disciples:
JESUS.
How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the Kingdom of God. I tell you most sincerely, it will be very hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
NARRATOR.
The disciples were astounded at these words, but Jesus insisted:
JESUS.
My Children, how hard is it for a person who is rich and trusts in his riches to enter the kingdom of God! I will tell you again, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
NARRATOR.
They were more astonished than ever.
DISCIPLES. [To each other]
In that case, who can be saved then?
NARRATOR.
Looking at them he said:
JESUS.
For men, this is impossible; but not for God, because everything is possible for God. Things that are impossible for men, are possible for God.

Matthew 19:23-26; Mark 10:23-27; Luke 18:24-27

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The Reward of Those Following Christ

PETER.
What about us? We've left everything and have followed you. What are we to have then?
JESUS.
I tell you most sincerely, in the regeneration, when everything is made new and the Son of Man sits on his throne of glory, you will also sit on twelve thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel. There is no one who has left house, wife, brothers, sisters, father, mother, children or land for the sake of my name, the Kingdom of God and the gospel that will not be given repayment a hundred times over, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and land—not with out persecutions—now in this present time, and in the world to come, also inherit eternal life.

Matthew 19:27-29; Mark 10:28-30; Luke 18:28-30

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Parable Of The Vineyard Laborers

JESUS.
Many who are first will be last, and the last, first. For the Kingdom of Heaven is like a property owner who went out at daybreak to hire workers for his vineyard. When he had made an agreement with the workers for one denarius a day, he sent them to his vineyard. At around nine o'clock he went out and saw others standing idle in the market place and said to them, 'You, go to my vineyard also and I will give you a fair wage.' So they went. Around twelve noon and again at around three o'clock he went out and did the same. Then at around five o'clock he went out and found some more men standing around, and said to them, 'Why have you been standing idle here all day?' "Because no one's hired us," they answered. He said to them, 'You also go into my vineyard.'
That evening, the owner of the vineyard said to his paymaster, 'Call the workers in and pay them their wages, start with the men who arrived last and end with those who were first.' When the men who were hired around five o'clock came forward, they each received one denarius. Now when the men who had been hired first and had been working all day came forward, they expected to receive more, but they also received one denarius each. They took it, but started complaining to owner of the property. 'The men who came last?' they said, 'only worked one hour, and you've treated them the same as us, even though we had the burden of the day's work and worked all day in the scorching heat.' The property owner answered one of them and said, 'My friend, I'm not being unjust to you; didn't we agree that you would be paid one denarius? Take what you've earned and go. Don't I have the right to do what ever I want to do with what's mine, or are you jealous, because I am generous?' In this manner the last will be first, and the first, last.

Matthew 19:30-20:1-16; Mark 10:31

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Jesus Clarifies His Death

NARRATOR.
Now they were on the road on the way up to Jerusalem and Jesus was walking on ahead of them. They were in a daze, and as they followed they were afraid. Jesus again took the twelve aside and began to tell them what was going to happen to him.
JESUS.
Now we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that has been written through the prophets about the Son of Man is to come true. The Son of Man is about to be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to a people who don't believe in God. They will mock him, mistreat him, spit on him, and when they have whipped him, they will crucify him and put him to death. After three days he will rise again.
NARRATOR.
But they couldn't make any sense of what he said. The meaning of the words he spoke was hidden to them and they had no idea what it meant.

Matthew 20:17-19; Mark 10:32-34; Luke 18:31-34

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James And John Make Their Request

NARRATOR.
The mother of Zebedee's sons then came to Jesus with her sons to make a request of him and bowed low. James and John said to him:
JAMES/JOHN.
Master, we'd like to ask you to do us a favor.
JESUS.
What is it that you would you like me to do for you?
MOTHER.
Promise that these, my two sons may sit one at your right hand and the other at your left in your kingdom.
JAMES/JOHN.
Allow us to sit one at your right hand and the other at your left in your glory.
JESUS.
You don't know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I'm going to drink or be baptized with the baptism with which I must be baptized?
JAMES/JOHN.
We're able!
JESUS.
The cup that I must drink you will indeed drink, and the baptism with which I must be baptized, you will be baptized. But as for the seats on my right hand and my left, these aren't mine to give; they belong to those whom my Father has prepared them for.
NARRATOR.
When the other ten heard this, they began to feel resentment with the two brothers James and John. Jesus called them to him and said to them:
JESUS.
You know that among the people who don't believe in God, their so-called rulers lord it over them, and their great men make their authority felt. But this is not how it should be among you. No, anyone who wants to become great among you must become your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be slave to everyone else. For the Son of Man himself did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Matthew 20:20-28; Mark 10:35-45

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Zacchaeus

NARRATOR.
He entered Jericho. He was going through the town when a man whose name was Zacchaeus appeared. Zacchaeus, who was one of the senior tax collectors and a wealthy man wanted to see what kind of man Jesus was, but he was too short and could not see him for the crowd. Running ahead, he climbed a sycamore tree to catch a glimpse of Jesus who was going to pass by that way. When Jesus reached the spot he looked up and said to him:
JESUS.
Zacchaeus, hurry up and come down, because I must stay at your house today.
NARRATOR.
He hurried down and welcomed him joyfully. When they saw what had happened, they all started complaining.
PEOPLE.
He's going to stay at a sinner's house!
NARRATOR.
Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord:
ZACCHAEUS.
Look, sir, I give half of my property to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody I pay him back four times the amount.
JESUS.[to him]
Today salvation has come to this house, because this man also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek out and save what was lost.

Luke 19:1-10

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Parable Of The Pounds

NARRATOR.
While the people were listening to this he went on to tell a parable. As Jesus was near Jerusalem and they imagined that the Kingdom of God was going to show itself then and there. Because of this he said:
JESUS.
There was a man of noble birth who went to a distant country to receive for himself a kingdom and then to return afterwards. The man summoned his ten servants, gave them each one pound and said. 'Use this money to do business with until I get back.' But the citizens of the country that he was going to be made king of hated the man and sent a messenger to follow him with this word, 'We do not want this man to be king over us. Now it occurred that when he returned, having received his appointment as king, he sent for those servants to whom he had given the money, to find out how much profit each one had made. The first one came in and said, 'Sir, your one pound has earned you ten.' Well done, you are a good servant, he replied. Because you have proved yourself faithful in a very small thing, you now have authority over ten cities. The second one came in and said, 'Sir, your one pound has earned you five.' To this one he also said, you now are in charge of five cities.
Another one came and said, 'Sir, here is your pound. I put it away safely in a piece of linen because I was afraid of you, for you are an exacting man: you pick up what you have not put down and reap what you have not sown.' You wicked servant!, he said, "From the words out of your own mouth will I condemn you. You know that I am an exacting man, picking up what I have not put down and reaping what I have not sown? Then why didn't you put my money in the bank? On my return I could have drawn it out with interest?' And he said to those standing by, 'Take the pound from him and give it to the man who has ten pounds.' And they said to him, 'But sir, he has ten pounds...' I tell you, to everyone who has, more will be given; but from the man who has not, even what he has will be taken away. Now as for my enemies who did not want me for their king, bring them here and execute them in my presence.

Luke 19:11-27

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Bartimaeus, The Blind Man

NARRATOR.
As he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a large crowd; a blind man named Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, was sitting at the side of the road begging. When the blind man heard the crowd going past he asked what it was all about. They told him that Jesus the Nazarene was passing by. When he heard that it was Jesus, he began to shout:
BLIND MAN.
Lord! Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.
NARRATOR.
The people in front scolded him and told him to keep quiet, but he shouted all the louder:
BLIND MAN.
Lord! Have mercy on me, Son of David.
NARRATOR.
Jesus stopped and ordered them to bring the man to him.
JESUS.
Call him here.
NARRATOR.
So they called the blind man and said:
DISCIPLES.
Courage [be of good comfort]! Get up, he wants to see you.
NARRATOR.
The blind man threw off his cloak, jumped up and went to Jesus. When he came up Jesus asked him:
JESUS.
What do you want me to do for you?
BLIND MAN.
Rabbuni, Master, let me be able to see.
NARRATOR.
Jesus felt pity for him and touched his eyes.
JESUS.
Receive your sight. Go, your faith has saved you.
NARRATOR.
Instantly his sight returned and he followed Jesus along the road praising God. All the people who saw it gave praise to God for what had happened.

Matthew 20:29-34; Mark 10:46-52; Luke 18:35-43

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