1 Meanwhile, the crowds grew until thousands were milling about and crushing each other. Jesus turned first to his disciples and warned them, "Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees--beware of their hypocrisy.
2 The time is coming when everything will be revealed; all that is secret will be made public.
3 Whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be shouted from the housetops for all to hear!
4 "Dear friends, don't be afraid of those who want to kill you. They can only kill the body; they cannot do any more to you.
5 But I'll tell you whom to fear. Fear God, who has the power to kill people and then throw them into hell.
6 "What is the price of five sparrows? A couple of pennies? Yet God does not forget a single one of them.
7 And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are more valuable to him than a whole flock of sparrows.
8 "And I assure you of this: If anyone acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I, the Son of Man, will openly acknowledge that person in the presence of God's angels.
9 But if anyone denies me here on earth, I will deny that person before God's angels.
10 Yet those who speak against the Son of Man may be forgiven, but anyone who speaks blasphemies against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven.
11 "And when you are brought to trial in the synagogues and before rulers and authorities, don't worry about what to say in your defense,
12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you what needs to be said even as you are standing there."
13 Then someone called from the crowd, "Teacher, please tell my brother to divide our father's estate with me."
14 Jesus replied, "Friend, who made me a judge over you to decide such things as that?"
15 Then he said, "Beware! Don't be greedy for what you don't have. Real life is not measured by how much we own."
16 And he gave an illustration: "A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops.
17 In fact, his barns were full to overflowing.
18 So he said, `I know! I'll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I'll have room enough to store everything.
19 And I'll sit back and say to myself, My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!'
20 "But God said to him, `You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get it all?'
21 "Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God."
22 Then turning to his disciples, Jesus said, "So I tell you, don't worry about everyday life--whether you have enough food to eat or clothes to wear.
23 For life consists of far more than food and clothing.
24 Look at the ravens. They don't need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds!
25 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not!
26 And if worry can't do little things like that, what's the use of worrying over bigger things?
27 "Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.
28 And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won't he more surely care for you? You have so little faith!
29 And don't worry about food--what to eat and drink. Don't worry whether God will provide it for you.
30 These things dominate the thoughts of most people, but your Father already knows your needs.
31 He will give you all you need from day to day if you make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.
32 "So don't be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.
33 "Sell what you have and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven have no holes in them. Your treasure will be safe--no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it.