22. Then Jesus said to His disciples: "This is why I keep telling you not to worry about your physical life...about what you will eat...or about your body...what you will wear.
23. Real life...authentic life...is more than natural food; and the body is more important than clothes.
24. Pay attention to the birds of the air. They don't sow or reap...they don't have storerooms or barns, but they never go hungry because God feeds them. And, as I've told you before, you are so much more valuable than birds!
25. Anyway, who of you by worrying can add even a single hour to your life?
26. So, since you can't even do that, what's the point of worrying about anything?
27. Pay attention, also, to how the wild flowers grow. They don't labor or obsess about what they're going to wear, and I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed as well as one of them.
28. So think about it...if that's how God clothes the flowers and the grass of the field...plants which are here today, and thrown into the fire tomorrow...how much more will he clothe you, you of small faith!
29. And don't fixate on what you're going to eat or drink...don't even worry about it.
30. People who don't know anything about God, or about His paternal love and affection for humanity are preoccupied with such things...your Father knows full well that you need them.
31. But seek out and search for a revelation of His Kingdom in and through every circumstance, and in every situation. When you prioritize the Kingdom in this way, then you can be sure that everything in your personal world will come into order, and that all you need for your daily provision will just automatically flow into your life, and will be added to you as a result of your quest.
32. Don't be afraid of anything, little flock, because it pleases your Father to no end to give you the abundance of the Kingdom.
33. When you can, sell some of your possessions and give the money to the poor. Create a spiritual bank for yourselves that will not ever be emptied...treasures in the heavenly dimension that will never be devalued...a secure place that no bank robber can penetrate, and no pest can destroy.
34. The bottom line is this...where your treasure is, there your affections and thoughts will be, also.
35. Stay prepared...ready for service...keep your lights on.
36. Be like people waiting for the owner of their company to return from his honeymoon, so that when he arrives and knocks on the door of the business, they can immediately open up for him.
37. Those employees whose boss finds them watching for him will be glad that they were prepared. The truth is that not only will he be glad to see them, he will actually dress himself to serve them, and personally wait on them at his own special table.
38. It will be advantageous for those employees whose employer finds them ready to see him, even if he comes at an unexpected or inconvenient time.
39. Furthermore, you know that if the office manager had been aware that a burglar or vandal was coming, he wouldn't have stayed out late and left the place untended and unlocked.
40. So don't be careless or clueless...just when you don't expect Him, the Son of Man will be revealed."
41. Peter asked Him, "Lord, are you trying to get a message to us with this illustration, or is this story for everyone?"
42. Jesus answered his question indirectly, saying, "So, who is a qualified and trustworthy manager, whom the owner of the company puts in charge of his employees to make sure that they have everything that they need, when they need it?
43. It will be good for that employed man or woman whom the owner finds faithfully doing his or her job anytime he decides to return to take inventory of his company.
44. The truth is that he will promote such an employer, and put him or her in charge of his entire corporation.
45. But let's say, hypothetically, that such a manager...perhaps a man...says to himself, 'My boss is going to be gone a long time,' and he then begins to physically abuse the men in the company, and harass the women, and be inappropriate with them...maybe he even begins to drink on the job, and get drunk in the middle of the day.
46. Inevitably, the owner of the company will show up on a day when he does not expect him, and at an hour that is the most inopportune for him. The boss will no doubt cut him down to size, and utterly demote him.
47. That manager who is very familiar with his boss's way of doing things, his standard of excellence, and the company policies, and still doesn't conduct himself in the way that he should, might even get mysteriously beaten up in an alley somewhere.
48. But the one whose poor job performance is simply the result of ignorance or inexperience won't be dealt with so harshly. Let Me put it this way...from everyone who has been given much, much will be expected and demanded...and from the one who has been entrusted with a lot of responsibility, much more will be asked of him or her.
49. I'm telling you this because I have come to baptize the earth with fire, and I am ready to get the fire started!
50. I have my own personal fiery baptism ahead of Me, and I'm ready to go ahead and face it...ready to deal with it now!
51. So do you suppose that I have come to only bring peace to the earth? Definitely not...sometimes before there can be peace, there has to first come a division.
52. In the days ahead, especially when the persecution on this nation begins, in one house there will be five divided among themselves...three against two, and two against three.
53. Families will even be divided...father against son, and son against father... mother against daughter, and daughter against mother...mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law, and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law."
54. He went on to say to the crowd of people, "Look...when you see a cloud rising in the west, you automatically say, 'It's going to rain!' And, indeed, it does.
55. In the same way, when you see that a south wind is blowing, you say, 'It's going to be so hot today!' And, sure enough, it occurs.
56. You bunch of misguided phonies! You know how to intelligently discern and interpret the appearance of the earth and sky, but you have absolutely no idea how to discern and interpret the times! You're completely unaware that a whole new world is coming!
57. Why can't you just personally decide what is right?
58. But since you can't seem to do that, let Me give you some advice to help you through the transition that is on its way...as you go with your accuser before a magistrate, on the way to see the judge, make a real effort to settle out of court. If you don't do that, but instead inflexibly hold onto your irrelevant religion and your obsolete laws and your antiquated customs, the judge will turn you over to the officer, and the officer will put you in prison.
59. And don't be naive...you won't get out until you have paid the very last penny of your fine."