Matthew 16–18; Psalm 53

The Pharisees and Sadducees Demand Signs

16 fAnd the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and gto test him hthey asked him to show them ia sign from heaven. He answered them,1 jWhen it is evening, you say, It will be fair weather, for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening. kYou know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret lthe signs of the times. mAn evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah. So nhe left them and departed.

The Leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees

When the disciples reached the other side, they had forgotten to bring any bread. Jesus said to them, Watch and obeware of pthe leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees. And they began discussing it among themselves, saying, We brought no bread. But qJesus, aware of this, said, rO you of little faith, why are you discussing among yourselves the fact that you have no bread? sDo you not yet perceive? Do you not remember tthe five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? 10 Or uthe seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? 11 How is it that you fail to understand that I did not speak about bread? oBeware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees. 12 vThen they understood that he did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of wthe teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Peter Confesses Jesus as the Christ

13 xNow when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, Who do people say that the Son of Man is? 14 And they said, Some say yJohn the Baptist, others say zElijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets. 15 He said to them, But who do you say that I am? 16 Simon Peter replied, aYou are bthe Christ, cthe Son of dthe living God. 17 And Jesus answered him, eBlessed are you, fSimon Bar-Jonah! For gflesh and blood has not revealed this to you, hbut my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, iyou are Peter, and jon this rock2 I will build my church, and kthe gates of lhell3 shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you mthe keys of the kingdom of heaven, and nwhatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed4 in heaven. 20 oThen he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.

Jesus Foretells His Death and Resurrection

21 pFrom that time Jesus began to show his disciples that qhe must go to Jerusalem and rsuffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on sthe third day be raised. 22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, Far be it from you, Lord!5 This shall never happen to you. 23 But he turned and said to Peter, tGet behind me, Satan! You are ua hindrance6 to me. For you vare not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.

Take Up Your Cross and Follow Jesus

24 Then Jesus told his disciples, If anyone would come after me, let him wdeny himself and xtake up his cross and follow me. 25 For xwhoever would save his life7 will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For ywhat will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or zwhat shall a man give in return for his soul? 27 aFor the Son of Man is going to come with bhis angels in the glory of his Father, and cthen he will repay each person according to what he has done. 28 Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not dtaste death euntil they see the Son of Man fcoming in his kingdom.

The Transfiguration

17 gAnd after six days Jesus took with him hPeter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was itransfigured before them, and jhis face shone like the sun, and khis clothes became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. And Peter said to Jesus, Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for lElijah. He was still speaking when, behold, ma bright cloud overshadowed them, and ma voice from the cloud said, nThis is my beloved Son,8 with whom I am well pleased; olisten to him. When pthe disciples heard this, qthey fell on their faces and were terrified. But Jesus came and rtouched them, saying, Rise, and shave no fear. And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.

tAnd as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, uTell no one the vision, until the Son of Man is raised from the dead. 10 And the disciples asked him, Then why do the scribes say vthat first Elijah must come? 11 He answered, Elijah does come, and whe will restore all things. 12 But I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but xdid to him whatever they pleased. ySo also the Son of Man will certainly suffer at their hands. 13 zThen the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.

Jesus Heals a Boy with a Demon

14 aAnd when they came to the crowd, a man came up to him and, kneeling before him, 15 said, Lord, have mercy on my son, for he has bseizures and he suffers terribly. For often he falls into the fire, and often into the water. 16 And I brought him to your disciples, and cthey could not heal him. 17 And Jesus answered, O faithless and dtwisted generation, how long am I to be with you? eHow long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me. 18 And Jesus frebuked the demon,9 and it10 came out of him, and gthe boy was healed instantly.11 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, Why could we not cast it out? 20 He said to them, hBecause of your little faith. For itruly, I say to you, jif you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, kyou will say to this mountain, Move from here to there, and it will move, and lnothing will be impossible for you.12

Jesus Again Foretells Death, Resurrection

22 mAs they were gathering13 in Galilee, Jesus said to them, The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men, 23 and they will kill him, and he will be raised on nthe third day. And they were greatly distressed.

The Temple Tax

24 oWhen they came to Capernaum, the collectors of pthe two-drachma tax went up to Peter and said, Does your teacher not pay the tax? 25 He said, Yes. And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, qWhat do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or rtax? From their sons or from others? 26 And when he said, From others, Jesus said to him, Then the sons are free. 27 However, not to give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel.14 Take that and give it to them for me and for yourself.

Who Is the Greatest?

18 tAt that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, Truly, I say to you, unless you uturn and vbecome like children, you wwill never enter the kingdom of heaven. xWhoever humbles himself like this child is the wgreatest in the kingdom of heaven.

yWhoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but zwhoever causes one of these alittle ones who believe in me to sin,15 it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

Temptations to Sin

Woe to the world for btemptations to sin!16 cFor it is necessary that temptations come, dbut woe to the one by whom the temptation comes! eAnd if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into fthe eternal fire. eAnd if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the fhell17 of fire.

The Parable of the Lost Sheep

10 See that you do not despise gone of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven htheir angels always isee the face of my Father who is in heaven.18 12 jWhat do you think? kIf a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? 13 And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. 14 So lit is not the will of my19 Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

If Your Brother Sins Against You

15 mIf your brother sins against you, ngo and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have ogained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established pby the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, qtell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, rlet him be to you as sa Gentile and sa tax collector. 18 Truly, I say to you, twhatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed20 in heaven. 19 Again I say to you, if two of you uagree on earth about anything they ask, vit will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are wgathered in my name, xthere am I among them.

The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant

21 Then Peter came up and said to him, Lord, how often ywill my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? zAs many as seven times? 22 Jesus said to him, I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.

23 Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished ato settle accounts with his servants.21 24 When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him bten thousand ctalents.22 25 dAnd since he could not pay, his master ordered him eto be sold, with his wife and fchildren and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 So the servant23 gfell on his knees, imploring him, Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything. 27 And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and dforgave him the debt. 28 But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred hdenarii,24 and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, Pay what you owe. 29 So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, Have patience with me, and I will pay you. 30 He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. 31 When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. 32 Then his master summoned him and said to him, You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 iAnd should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you? 34 jAnd in anger his master delivered him to the jailers,25 kuntil he should pay all his debt. 35 lSo also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother mfrom your heart.


There Is None Who Does Good

To the choirmaster: according to pMahalath. A Maskil1 of David.

53  qThe fool says in his heart, There is no God.

They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity;

there is none who does good.

God looks down from heaven

on the children of man

to see if there are any who understand,2

who seek after God.

They have all fallen away;

together they have become corrupt;

there is none who does good,

not even one.

Have those who work evil no knowledge,

who eat up my people as they eat bread,

and do not call upon God?

There they are, in great terror,

rwhere there is no terror!

For God sscatters the bones of him who encamps against you;

you put them to shame, for God has rejected them.

Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!

When God restores the fortunes of his people,

let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.