Luke 11:29-54 : Easy-to-Read Version
Give Us Proof!
29The group of people grew larger and larger. Jesus said, "The people that live today are evil. They ask for a miracle* as a sign (proof) from God. But no miracle will be given as a sign to them. The only sign will be the miracle that happened to Jonah.* 30Jonah was a sign for those people that lived in Nineveh. It is the same with the Son of Man.* The Son of Man will be a sign for the people of this time. 31On the judgment day the Queen of the South* will stand up with the men that live now, and she will show that they are wrong (guilty). Why? Because that queen came from far, far away to listen to Solomon's wise teaching. And I tell you that I am greater than Solomon! 32On the judgment day the men of Nineveh will stand up with the people that live now, and they will show that you are wrong (guilty). Why? Because when Jonah preached to those people, they changed their hearts and lives. And I tell you that I am greater than Jonah!
Be a Light for the World
33"No person takes a light and puts it under a bowl or hides it. Instead, a person puts the light on a lamp table so that the people that come in can see. 34Your eye is a light for the body. If your eyes are good, then your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, then your whole body will be full of darkness (sin). 35So be careful! Don't let the light in you become dark. 36If your whole body is full of light, and none of it is dark, then it will be all bright. It will be like you have the light of a lamp shining on you."
Jesus Criticizes the Pharisees
37After Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee* asked Jesus to eat with him. So Jesus came and took a place at the table. 38But the Pharisee was surprised when he saw that Jesus did not wash [his hands]* first before the meal. 39The Lord (Jesus) said to him, "You Pharisees [think that washing the outside of the body is so important. That's like] cleaning only the outside of a cup or a dish! [The inside is more important.] And what is inside you? You want only to cheat and hurt people. 40You are foolish! The same One (God) that made what is outside also made what is inside. 41So pay attention to what is inside. Give to the people that need help. Then you will be fully clean. 42But it will be bad for you Pharisees! You give God one-tenth of [everything you own]--even your mint, your rue, and every other little plant in your garden. But you forget to be fair to other people and to love God. These are the things you should do. And you should also continue to do those other things--[like giving one-tenth]. 43It will be bad for you Pharisees because you love to get the most important seats in the synagogues.* And you love for people to show respect to you in the market places. 44It will be bad for you, because you are like hidden graves. People walk on them without knowing it."
Jesus Talks to the Jewish Teachers
45One of the teachers of the law said to Jesus, "Teacher, when you say these things [about the Pharisees],* you are criticizing our group too." 46Jesus answered, "It will be bad for you, you teachers of the law! You make strict rules that are very hard for people to obey.* You try to force other people to obey those rules. But you yourselves don't even try to follow any of those rules. 47It will be bad for you, because you build tombs* for the prophets.* But these are the same prophets that your fathers* killed! 48And now you show all people that you agree with what your fathers did. They killed the prophets, and you build tombs for the prophets! 49This is why the Wisdom of God said, 'I will send prophets and apostles* to them. Some of my prophets and apostles will be killed by evil men. Others will be treated badly.' 50So you people that live now will be punished for the deaths of all the prophets that were killed since the beginning of the world. 51You will be punished for the killing of Abel.* And you will be punished for the killing of Zechariah.* Zechariah was killed between the altar and the temple.* Yes, I tell you that you people that live now will be punished for them all. 52"It will be bad for you, you teachers of the law. You have hidden the key to learning about God. You yourselves would not learn, and you stopped others from learning, too." 53When Jesus was leaving, the teachers of the law and the Pharisees* began to give him much trouble. They tried to make Jesus answer questions about many things. 54They were trying to find a way to catch Jesus saying something wrong.
miracle(s) Amazing works done by God's power. Jonah A prophet in the Old Testament. After 3 days in a big fish he came out alive, like Jesus would come out from the tomb on the third day. Son of Man A name Jesus used for himself. In Dan. 7:13-14, this is the name for the Messiah, the one God chose to save his people. Queen of the South Queen of Sheba. She traveled 1000 miles to learn God's wisdom from Solomon. Read 1 Kings 10:1-3. Pharisees The Pharisees were a Jewish religious group that claimed to follow carefully all Jewish laws and customs. wash his hands Washing the hands was a Jewish religious custom that the Pharisees thought was very important. synagogue(s) Synagogues were places where Jews gathered for prayer, study of the Scriptures, and other public meetings. You make ... obey Literally, "You put heavy burdens on people that are hard for them to carry." tombs Small buildings made to show respect for important persons that had died. prophets People that spoke for God in Old Testament times. fathers Important ancestors of the Jews, especially the leaders of the twelve Jewish family groups. prophets, apostles People chosen by God to tell his Good News to the world. Abel, Zechariah In the Hebrew Old Testament, the first and last men to be murdered. altar ... temple This altar was the place where sacrifices were offered to God outside the temple, the building in Jerusalem for Jewish worship. Pharisees The Pharisees were a Jewish religious group that claimed to follow carefully all Jewish laws and customs.