I am a former atheist who discovered Jesus in June of 2000. Now I am a chaplain and a licensed UPC minister who loves the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. . . I once was blind, but now I see. . . never say never.
Matthew 22:36-39 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? (37) Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. (38) This is the first and great commandment. (39) And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Mark 12:28-31 And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? (29) And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: (30) And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. (31) And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
Jesus was asked point blank, what is most important and He responds that it's all about love. . .He didn't go into the keeping of the Sabbath. He didn't dwell on holiness. So many things He might have talked about and the legal eagles of the Pharisees knew that each had their weaknesses. They were prepared with counter arguments. . . they were prepared for everything, but this incredible answer of His. Even His questioner had to admit:
And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: (33) And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.
They were striving to make Jesus appear foolish and He made a point so strong that they were forced to admit His correctness. . .The two loud and bold commandments are always remembered.
1. Love God
2. Love your fellow man
but there is a third, what I will call, 'the quiet commandment', not talked about, but crucially important. . .the commandment:
3. as thyself.
Within this second commandment of Jesus to love your fellow man, is a quiet, almost unspoken basis of loving another and that is that you first properly love yourself. One of the most destructive elements of all to be found in a person is to not love ourselves. . . love thy neighbor as thyself. . .If you don't love yourself, then you have no starting point from which to love someone else. Your lack of self acceptance and lack of self love becomes a dark and corrosive impediment to loving others.
A lack of self-love will cause one to tear down others in the effort to capture more love.
A lock of self-love will create bitterness and envy at the perceived slights of others.
A lack of self-love will have you measure the actions of others mirrored through the glass of your own unlove.
A lack of self-love will birth impatience and chafing at lack of recognition.
A lack of self-love will lead you into searching for ways to feel good about yourself, through external and usually destructive means.
How do we overcome not loving ourselves?
1. Take your attention off of yourself and focus on first loving God with everything that you have. Through your growing relationship with God, allow the circuit of your love for Him and His love for you build within you and charge yourself up to the point of overflowing. There is no limit to God's love. Take every bit of love He shows you and give it right back to Him. Each cycle of this magnifies and intensifies the current of love. . .Soon you will not be able to contain it within yourself, it must overflow into your relationship with others around you.
2. Forgive yourself. God forgives you. . . now you must forgive yourself. For me this is much harder than forgiving other people. There is nothing I can do about my actions of the past. I cannot take back my words or my misdeeds of long ago. To continue to dwell upon them, is not repentance, but is a tool of the devil to take my eyes off of God and eventually to destroy me. I only need to ask for forgiveness from God once for something, then He forgets it and I too need to move on and to forget it myself.
3. Accept yourself. I find it much easier to accept the weaknesses and shortcoming in other people, than I do in accepting them in myself. Take personal inventory. Ask God to help you to see yourself realistically and then come to accept yourself for who you are. Warts and beauty marks both, are a part of you. There are certain things I am good at and certain things that I am lousy at. Surely I can work to overcome certain of my weaknesses, but to be continually focused upon my shortcomings is to give them the power to paralyze and usurp my strengths.
Strive to come to love yourself. Forgive yourself. . . accept yourself. . .The body of Christ must be a body of love. Unlove in what ever form it takes, is a cancer that spreads and destroys and kills. . . causes pain and disables the body. . . Love God with everything you have. . .Love thy neighbor. . .as thyself. . .
I came to God after being an atheist for the first 45 years of my life. It's funny to think back, but it really was far more than a disbelief in God. I actually actively hated Him. . . never really stopping to consider how logical it was to hate that which was non-existent. I regularly cursed television preachers when ever I ran across them while channel surfing on TV. I felt myself oh so morally superior to every Christian. I felt myself able to do good deeds altruistically, not needing the promise of heaven as the simpleton Christians did.
How very relieved I was to learn after opening my heart to God and being baptized in Jesus name for the remission of my sins. Verses such as:
Psalms 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
As good as I thought my life to be, I was so very good at overlooking major sins of mine: oath breaking, lying, cheating, stealing, drunkenness in my own life. As long as I could see someone whom I thought was committing worse crimes than mine, by comparison with them I felt I was in pretty good shape. If you've never seen anything white, than any shade of gray can be white in your mind, but once you view a virgin field of snow, never again will you mistake a filthy rag as being pure and clean.
That is what happens when the Lord reveals Himself to you. Suddenly any goodness you might have thought you possessed is revealed for the the filthy muck that it really is, but again Jesus forgives our sins. . . or so I thought until my Bible reading brought me to the following verses:
Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: (29) But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:
What in the world did Jesus mean by 'blasphemy against the Holy Ghost?' To blaspheme is to speak an egregious untruth. To say something that is very hurtful and damaging usually concerning God and religion. Now I had a real worry. I surely had cursed God. . . was I now destined to eternally be in an unforgiven state? But the verse doesn't say that blaspheming God is unforgiveable, but that specifically blaspheming the Holy Ghost was the unforgiveable crime.
In the Trinitarian view of the godhead, there are 3 separate entities (which confusingly somehow aren't separate entities) in the godhead: The Father God, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus. This verse is very difficult to understand in that context. Why would speaking against the Holy Spirit be worse than speaking against Jesus or God the Father? What would make words against one member of the Trinity worse than words against another member? I cannot find any explanation of that in Scripture. As an Apostolic, I am not interested in the arguments and reasonings of men. If it is not in Scripture than it is only of minimal interest to me.
The Apostolic belief holds that the Father God, the Holy Spirit and Jesus are all different manifestations of the same one true living God. God is omnipotent. There is nothing He cannot do. He is omniscient. There is nothing He does not know, and significantly he is omnipresent. He is everywhere. All of these statements are clearly supported by Scripture. This was/is the view of the godhead of the Jews (with the exception of Jesus) and was the view of the godhead for all of Christianity for first 1-2 hundred years after Christ.
So from the Apostolic point of view, what is the explanation of the special severity of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit? We find another verse in Hebrews that gives us the understanding that we need:
Hebrews 6:4-6 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, (5) And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, (6) If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
There is one God. According to Scripture Jesus was "God with us", and "God manifest in the flesh." Jesus said that He had to go away and when he left the Comforter would come, the Spirit of God would come and men would be able to be filled with this spirit. Among the very last words of Jesus were these:
Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you. . .
Jesus then ascended to heaven. A little time later, men and women were gathered together in prayer and the Spirit of God fell upon them. They were filled with God's Spirit and began to speak in another language (The book of Acts chapter 2). They were given power just as Jesus promised. Previously without Jesus, they seemed paralyzed. Now filled with the Spirit of God, the church exploded. Thousands were baptized and added to the church in one day. Peter emphasized that this occurrence was not only for the them, but that: the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
Paul tells us in Ephesians:
Ephesians 1:13-14 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
This Holy Spirit that we are filled with, this power promised to come by Jesus which is now within us when we are filled with His Spirit, is only a down payment, the earnest money, a mere token of what awaits us in heaven. I have felt this power. I have tasted the joy of God's Spirit within me. His Spirit guides me and leads me away from danger, give me knowledge that that there is no explanation of other than divine leading of the Holy Spirit of God.
If now with everything that I know, I turn my back upon God and deny the power and reality of the Spirit of God. If I call the power of being filled with the Holy Ghost a lie, after having been filled. . .after having tasted the wonders and joy of this wonderfully intimate relationship with God, it I then fall away and deny Him, I then have committed a crime above any other crime. I have spoken blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. I know better. After being filled with His Spirit, then to deny Him must be an absolute intentional lie against God and there is really no hope for me. Read our verses in Hebrews again:
Hebrews 6:4-6 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, (5) And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, (6) If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
I have tasted the heavenly Gift. I have partaken of, have been filled with the Holy Ghost. I have tasted the good word of God and His promised powers of the world to come. I have received the earnest of my heavenly inheritance, if I now fall away and deny Him it is worse than the Roman soldiers who nailed His hands to the cross. Jesus forgave them. He said it Himself, "They know not what they do", whereas if I deny Him, unlike them I would be full aware of what I was doing. I would be nailing Him to the cross, killing him with the premeditated awareness of each blow against Him. . .Jesus could forgive them in their ignorance. He could not forgive me in my knowledge. . .
Reading my Bible recently I was struck by how much we owe the skepticism of the Pharisees. Without their skepticism and critical questioning of Jesus, our knowledge of God and the doctrine of God would be much poorer. The disciples asked Him the respectful and kind, often naive questions as children trying to learn and we certainly learned along with them, but the Pharisees and the lawyers in all likelihood lay awake at night devising difficult rhetorical traps for Jesus. . . preparing, setting pitfalls for Him. Giving Him no advance warning to their hours and days of preparation. Jesus had to answer on his feet, in the charged atmosphere of their opposition and disdain, in full view of crowds of people that Jesus was trying to reach. What Preacher today would be able to withstand open skeptics throwing out critical questions in the middle of a sermon without losing control of the situation?
Jesus not only did not allow the flaming arrows shot at Him by the Pharisees to disrupt His ministry, He turned the Pharisees best efforts to ruin Him into bold and stunning revelations of their own hypocrisy and flawed thinking. . . .no second chance was available to Jesus to clarify or to rethink or restate something, but yet He came away every time with jaw dropping clarity. Even after having read the words of Jesus time and time again, I continue to shake my head in awe at His ability to lay bare the tricks and traps and faulty philosophies of those who were gunning for Him.
In our physical bodies strength and power come from the using of our muscles. Overcoming the resistance of gravity. . . lifting, carrying, pulling, pushing are all vital to our strength and power. On the International Space Station, without gravity, without resistance, the astronauts become perilously weak. After enough time in the weight free environment of space, the bones lose calcium becoming brittle and prone to fracture, the muscles quickly weaken and tend towards complete atrophy. . .after enough time in a weightless environment a formerly powerful and physically fit astronaut will require to be wheeled from his space vehicle, unable even to support his own weight. Lack of resistance is not a blessing. Resistance is essential for strength. The more resistance, the more strength. . . As it is in the physical, so it is in the Spiritual. . .The more opposition, the stronger the church grows. . .The more opposition the stronger our faith becomes. . .Today the opposition to Christianity grows. . .This is a blessing and not a curse. . .
The times of Jesus were times also of great opposition. The ministry of Jesus required the opposition of the Pharisees. We owe a great debt to the skepticism of the Pharisees. . .The opposition that we are confronted with today is an amazing opportunity and blessing beyond anything our forefathers in this country ever knew and is vitally needed for our growth in power and strength. . .
And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples,Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?(12) But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.
But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him,Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.(3) But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him; (4) How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests? (5) Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless? (6) But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple. (7) But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. (8) For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.
And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue: (10) And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they [the Pharisees] asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him. (11) And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? (12) How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.
But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.(25) And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: (26) And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? (27) And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges. (28) But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. (29) Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house. (30) He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad. (31) Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. (32) And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. (33) Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. (34) O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. (35) A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. (36) But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. (37) For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying,Master, we would see a sign from thee.(39) But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: (40) For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (41) The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. (42) The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here. (43) When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. (44) Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. (45) Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.
Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, (2) Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. (3) But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? (4) For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. (5) But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; (6) And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. (7) Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, (8) This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. (9) But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (10) And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand: (11) Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.
The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? (4) And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, (5) And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? (6) Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. (7) They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? (8) He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. (9) And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk. (16) And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men. (17) Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou?Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? (18) But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? (19) Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. (20) And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? (21) They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.
But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. (35) Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, (36) Master, which is the great commandment in the law?(37) Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. (38) This is the first and great commandment. (39) And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (40) On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners? (17) When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?(25) And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he, and they that were with him? (26) How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him? (27) And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: (28) Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands? (6) He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. (7) Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (8) For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. (9) And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. (10) For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: (11) But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. (12) And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; (13) Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye. (14) And when he had called all the people unto him, he said unto them, Hearken unto me every one of you, and understand: (15) There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man. (16) If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.
And the Pharisees came forth, and began to question with him, seeking of him a sign from heaven, tempting him. (12) And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation.
And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him. (3) And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you? (4) And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away. (5) And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. (6) But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. (7) For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; (8) And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. (9) What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words. (14) And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth:Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not? (15) Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it. (16) And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar's. (17) And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him.
And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them. (18) And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him. (19) And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus. (20) And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee. (21) And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying,Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?(22) But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts? (23) Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk? (24) But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house.
But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners?(31) And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. (32) I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
And certain of the Pharisees said unto them,Why do ye that which is not lawful to do on the sabbath days? (3) And Jesus answering them said, Have ye not read so much as this, what David did, when himself was an hungred, and they which were with him; (4) How he went into the house of God, and did take and eat the shewbread, and gave also to them that were with him; which it is not lawful to eat but for the priests alone? (5) And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat. (37) And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, (38) And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. (39) Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying,This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.(40) And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. (41) There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. (42) And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? (43) Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. (44) And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. (45) Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. (46) My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. (47) Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. (48) And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. (49) And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? (50) And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.
And as he spake, a certain Pharisee besought him to dine with him: and he went in, and sat down to meat. (38)And when the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled that he had not first washed before dinner. (39) And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness. (40) Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also? (41) But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you. (42) But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. (43) Woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets. (44) Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them.
And it came to pass, as he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath day, that they watched him. (2) And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy. (3) And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying,Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?(4) And they held their peace. And he took him, and healed him, and let him go; (5) And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day? (6) And they could not answer him again to these things. (7) And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them, (8) When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him; (9) And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room. (10) But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee. (11) For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. (12) Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee. (13) But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: (14) And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.
Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. (2) And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying,This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.(3) And he spake this parable unto them, saying, (4) What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? (5) And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. (6) And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. (7) I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. (8) Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? (9) And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. (10) Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth. (11) And he said, A certain man had two sons: (12) And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. (13) And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. (14) And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. (15) And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. (16) And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. (17) And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! (18) I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, (19) And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. (20) And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. (21) And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. (22) But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: (23) And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: (24) For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. (25) Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing. (26) And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. (27) And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. (28) And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him. (29) And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: (30) But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. (31) And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. (32) It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.
And the Pharisees also, who were covetous,heard all these things: and they derided him.(15) And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. (16) The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it. (17) And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail. (18) Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery. (19) There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: (20) And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, (21) And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. (22) And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; (23) And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. (24) And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. (25) But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. (26) And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. (27) Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: (28) For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. (29) Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. (30) And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. (31) And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: (21) Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:(10) Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. (11) The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. (12) I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. (13) And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. (14) I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples.(40) And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.
And they which were sent were of the Pharisees. (25) And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet? (26) John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; (27) He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose.
There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: (2)The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. (3) Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (4) Nicodemus saith unto him,How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?(5) Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (6) That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (7) Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. (8) The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. (9) Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?(10) Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? (11) Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. (12) If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? (13) And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. (14) And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: (15) That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. (16) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (17) For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (18) He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (19) And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (20) For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. (21) But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, (4) They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. (5) Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? (6) This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. (7) So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. (8) And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. (9) And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. (10) When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? (11) She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (13) The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true.(14) Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go. (15) Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. (16) And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me. (17) It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. (18) I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.
Then said they [the Pharisees] unto him,Where is thy Father?Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also. (20) These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come. (21) Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come.
John 9:40-41 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him,Are we blind also? (41) Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.