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Don't Be Like the Pharisees

12 1Many thousands of people came together. There were so many people that they were stepping on each other. Before Jesus spoke to the people, he said to his followers, "Be careful of the yeast (bad influence) of the Pharisees.* I mean that they are hypocrites.* 2Everything that is hidden will be shown. Everything that is secret will be made known. 3The things you say in the dark (secretly) will be told in the light (openly). The things you whisper in a secret room will be shouted from the top of the house."

Fear Only God

4Then Jesus said to the people, "I tell you, my friends, don't be afraid of people. People can kill the body, but after that they can do nothing more to hurt you. 5I will show you the One to fear. You should fear him (God) who has the power to kill you and also to throw you into hell. Yes, he is the One you should fear. 6"When birds are sold, five small birds cost only two pennies. But God does not forget any of them. 7Yes, God even knows how many hairs you have on your head. Don't be afraid. You are worth much more than many birds.

Don't Be Ashamed of Jesus

8"I tell you, if any person stands before other people and says that he believes in me, then I* will say that person belongs to me. I will say this before the angels of God. 9But if any person stands before people and says he does not believe in me, then I will say that person does not belong to me. I will say this before the angels of God. 10"If a person says something against the Son of Man,* he can be forgiven. But a person that says bad things against (refuses to accept) the Holy Spirit* will not be forgiven. 11"When men bring you into the synagogues* before the leaders and other important men, don't worry about what you will say. 12At that time the Holy Spirit* will teach you what you must say."

Jesus Warns Against Selfishness

13One of the men in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, [our father just died]. Tell my brother to share with me the things our father owned." 14But Jesus said to him, "Who said that I should be your judge or decide how to divide your father's things between you two?" 15Then Jesus said to them. "Be careful and guard against all kinds of selfishness. A person does not get life from the many things he owns." 16Then Jesus used this story: "There was a rich man that had some land. His land grew a very good crop of food. 17The rich man thought to himself, 'What will I do? I have no place to keep all my crops.' 18Then the rich man said, 'I know what I will do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger barns! I will put all my wheat and good things together in my new barns. 19Then I can say to myself, I have many good things stored. I have saved enough for many years. Rest, eat, drink, and enjoy life!' 20But God said to that man, 'Foolish man! Tonight you will die. So what about the things you prepared for yourself? Who will get those things now?' 21"This is how it will be for the person that saves things only for himself. To God that person is not rich."

Pharisees The Pharisees were a Jewish religious group that claimed to follow carefully all Jewish laws and customs. hypocrites Bad people that act like they are good. I Literally, "the Son of Man" (Jesus). 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. Holy Spirit Also called the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, and the Comforter. Joined with God and Christ, he does God's work among people in the world. synagogue(s) Synagogues were places where Jews gathered for prayer, study of the Scriptures, and other public meetings.

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