1. Meanwhile, an enormous crowd began to gather...thousands trying to get close to Him, literally trampling on one another. Before addressing or even acknowledging them, Jesus began to speak to His disciples, saying: "Beware of the yeast or leaven of the Pharisees...it's nothing but sheer hypocrisy.
2. The truth is, there is nothing concealed that will not be ultimately revealed... nothing hidden in the now that will not eventually be made known.
3. Everything that you have said in the secrecy of the night will be heard in the bright light of daybreak...what you have whispered in the ear in the secret rooms will be proclaimed from the rooftops."
4. Then He began to speak to the larger crowd, saying, "I'm speaking to you all as My dear friends...don't be intimidated into silence, or forced into phoniness by the threats of religious bullies. It's true that with the cooperation of this present government they have the power to destroy your physical life, but then what can they really do? There's nothing that they or anyone else can do to your real self...your inner being.
5. If you're really going to be in awe of someone to the point that it makes you tremble and shake, be in awe of God...the God Who holds both your entire external and internal realities in His hands.
6. Look...aren't five sparrows sold for just two pennies in the open market? Do you realize that not one of them is forgotten by God?
7. You are so important...your existence so valuable...that every single hair that grows out of your scalp has its own, personal inventory number. So you have nothing to fear...you are worth much more than many sparrows!
8. You define your terms with Me...public acknowledgment brings public acknowledgment...if you act like you really know Me, I will act like I really know you, even before the angels of God.
9. But when persecution comes on this nation, if you act like you don't know Me to save yourself, I will treat you the same way...even before the angels of God who can protect you in the hour of persecution.
10. And speaking of the power of words...everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. Let Me explain...it's all about the power of your words to create by the ability and influence of the Holy Spirit. Every sin and blasphemy can be automatically forgiven people because of the mercy extended to the limited flesh, but when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, your words become so effective that they literally create your reality. So when you speak things out of your mouth which are contrary to the purpose and nature of the Holy Spirit, you actually speak blasphemy against Him...and He can’t forgive you in order to prevent those words from coming to pass, because He has empowered you to have what you say. You’ll just have to deal with the consequences of whatever you’ve said, whether for good or for evil. You can speak against Me as the Son of Man, and I’ll automatically forgive you of your wrong words; but when you are empowered by the Holy Spirit, the words that you speak against His nature will have to stand just as you said them. They will not be erased through forgiveness.
11. And when the persecution comes, and you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, that same Holy Spirit will be there for you. Don't even worry about how you will defend yourselves at that time, or what you will say.
12. The Holy Spirit will inspire your words and teach you at that time what you should say."
13. Then someone in the crowd called out to Him, "Teacher...command my brother to divide the inheritance with me."
14. Jesus replied, "Who appointed Me to be an arbiter between the two of you in these matters?"
15. In response to this, He said to them, "You all need to watch out! You must be on your guard against all kinds of greed, because real life doesn't consist of an abundance of material possessions."
16. To underscore His point, He told them this illustration: "There was a certain rich landowner whose crops yielded an abundant harvest.
17. So when he realized how much he had, he thought to himself, 'What am I going to do with all of this? I don't have adequate facilities to store my crops.'
18. After giving it some thought, he said, 'All right...this is what I'll do. I'll tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and I'll store all my surplus grain there.
19. And then I'll say to myself, "Self, you have plenty of grain laid up for many years...more than enough to take care of yourself. Take life easy...don't worry about anyone else..don't even think about someone else's needs...just spend your time eating and drinking and having one big party!" '
20. But God said to him, 'You foolish, selfish clown! Tonight your physical life will be terminated...now who will get what you have prepared for yourself, seeing as how you cared more about things than about relationships?'
21. This is how things will turn out for those who only store up things for themselves, but never acquire spiritual prosperity."