The Kingdom Of God
Once when little children were brought to Jesus that he might touch
them, the disciples found fault with those who brought them. When Jesus
saw it, he was displeased and said to his disciples, "Allow the little
children to come to me; and do not forbid them, for of such as these is
the Kingdom of God. I tell you, whoever will not accept the Kingdom of
God like a little child, will never enter it." Then he took the
ren in his arms, laid his hands on them, and lovingly blessed them.
One Sabbath day Jesus went to dine at the house of a leading Pharisee.
One of the guests said to him, "Fortunate is he who will have a share in
the Kingdom of God."
But Jesus said to him, "A man once gave a great dinner and invited many
guests. At dinner-time he sent out his servant to say to those who had
been invited, 'Come, for everything is now ready.' But all of them began
to make excuses. The first said, 'I have bought a field and must go and
look at it. I must ask you to excuse me.' Another said, 'I have bought
five yoke of oxen and am on my way to try them. I must ask you to excuse
me.' Another said, 'I have just married and so I cannot come.'
"The servant returned and reported these answers to his master. Then the
master of the house was angry and said to his servant, 'Go out at once
into the streets and alleys of the city, and bring in the poor, the
crippled, the blind, and the lame.' When the servant reported, 'Sir,
your order has been carried out, yet there is still room,' the master
said to him, 'Go out into the highways and the country lanes and compel
people to come, so that my house may be filled; for I tell you, that not
one of those who were first invited shall taste of my dinner.'"
Once when Jesus was walking along the road, a man ran up and knelt
before him and asked, "Good Master, what must I do that I may be sure of
eternal life?" Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is
good except one only: God. You know the commandments: 'Do not commit
adultery. Do not murder. Do not steal. Do not bear false witness. Do not
be dishonest. Honor your father and mother.'" He said to him, "Master, I
have kept all these commands from my youth." Looking upon him, Jesus
loved him and said, "One thing you lack; go, sell all that you have and
give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come with
me." But when the man heard this, he looked sad, and he went away in
sorrow, for he had great wealth. Then Jesus looked around and said to
his disciples, "How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the
Kingdom of God!" They were surprised at his words, but again he said,
"Children, how hard it is for those who trust in wealth to enter the
Kingdom of God. It is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye
than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God." And they were so
astonished that they said, "Then who can be saved?" Jesus looked at
them and said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God, for with
God everything is possible."