New Testament Bible Stories

Here are some New Testament Bible stories that have been adapted and shortened for ESL students.Reading them introduces students to more complicated sentence structures without overwhelming them with unfamiliar vocabulary. Not only that, but the Bible really can change a person, and give them something even more valuable than English.

Here are some reading tips before you begin:

  • Try to identify nouns and verbs.
  • Identify important new words.
  • Try to get the big picture.
  • You do not need to know every word.

Table of Contents

The Shepherds
The Wise Men
The Temptation
The Sermon on the Mountain   Part I    Part II    Part III    Part IV    Part V
The House Built on a Rock
The Miraculous Haul of Fish
Jesus Heals a Paralytic
Jesus Raises a Girl from the Dead
Jesus Calms the Storm
The Farmer
The Tares
The Hidden Treasure
Jesus Feeds 5,000
Lazarus is Raised from the Dead
Peter Recognizes Jesus is the Christ
The Unmerciful Servant
The Good Samaritan
The Lost Son
The Good Shepherd
Zacchaeus
The Last Supper
Jesus and the Father are One
The Garden of Gethsemane
Betrayal
The Crucifixion
The Resurrection
The Road to Emmaus
Doubting Thomas
On the Mountain
The Ascension

The Shepherds (Luke 2)

Joseph went to Bethlehem, the town of David, to register for the Roman census with Mary, who was expecting a child. While they were there, she gave birth to a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. There were shepherds in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born. He is Christ the Lord. You will find the baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of angels appeared, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace to men.” When the angels had left them, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened.” So they ran and found the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they told others about him. They glorified and praised God for all the things they had heard and seen.

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The Wise Men (Matthew 2)

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.” When King Herod heard this he was upset. When he had called together all the religious leaders, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied. Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I go and worship him also.” Herod planned to find the baby and kill him. The Magi went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. They went into the house and saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. They were warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, so they returned to their country by another route.

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The Temptation (Matthew 3-4)

Jesus came to the Jordan to be baptized by John. Heaven was opened, and the Spirit of God descended on him like a dove. A voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” Then Jesus went into the desert. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word from the mouth of God.’” The devil placed him on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: ‘He will command his angels to protect you, and they will lift you up.’” Jesus answered, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” The devil took him to a high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” Then the devil left him, and angels came and took care of him. When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali. From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”

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The Sermon on the Mountain, Part I (Matthew 5)

He went up on a mountainside and began to teach the people. He said: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say evil things against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. People do not light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to the whole house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Unless your righteousness surpasses that of the religious teachers, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”

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The Sermon on the Mountain, Part II (Matthew 5)

“You have heard, ‘Do not murder,’ but I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.” “You have heard, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ but anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery in his heart. If your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.” “You have heard, ‘Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made.’ But do not swear at all. Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth,’ but do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.” “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy, ‘But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

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The Sermon on the Mountain, Part III (Matthew 6)

“When you give to the needy, do not do it to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, if you do that, you have received your reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in public to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. When you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” “This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

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The Sermon on the Mountain, Part IV (Matthew 6)

“Do not store up treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” Do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

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The Sermon on the Mountain, Part V (Matthew 6)

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Do to others what you would have them do to you.” “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” “Watch out for false prophets. They come in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

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The House Built on a Rock (Matthew 7)

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

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The Miraculous Haul of Fish (Luke 5)

One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the people crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He got into a boat that belonged to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.

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Jesus Heals a Paralytic (Luke 5)

One day as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law, who had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem, were sitting there. And the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick. Some men came carrying a paralytic on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves,” Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins....” He said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.”

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Jesus Raises a Young Girl from the Dead (Luke 8)

A synagogue ruler named Jairus came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying. As Jesus was on his way, a woman had been sick for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped. “Who touched me?” Jesus asked. Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding you.” Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.” Then the woman came forward trembling and fell at his feet. Jesus said, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.” Just then, someone came from Jairus’ home and said, “Your daughter is dead, Don’t bother the teacher anymore.” Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.” When he arrived at Jairus’ house, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother. Meanwhile, people were wailing and mourning. “Stop wailing,” Jesus said. “She is not dead but asleep.” They laughed at him, knowing she was dead. But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” Her spirit returned, and she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.

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Jesus Calms the Storm (Matthew 8)

Without warning, a furious storm came up, so that waves swept over the disciples’ boat. The disciples went and woke Jesus up, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” At the other side, two demon-possessed men came out from the tombs. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. “What do you want, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come to torture us before the appointed time?” The demons begged, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.” Jesus said, “Go!” Then the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water. Later, Some men brought to him a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” Some of the teachers said, “This fellow is blaspheming!” Jesus said, “Why do you think evil thoughts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins....Get up, take your mat and go home.” When the crowd saw this, they were amazed; and they praised God.

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The Parable of the Farmer (Matthew 13)

Jesus told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop--a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. He who has ears, let him hear.” “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

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The Parable of the Tares (Matthew 13)

Jesus said: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat. When the wheat sprouted, the weeds also appeared.” “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from? ’ ‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up? ’‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you pull up the weeds, you might pull up the wheat too. Let them grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters: Collect the weeds and burn them; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’” His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.” “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.”

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The Parable of the Hidden Treasure (Matthew 13)

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.” “Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” “Have you understood all these things?” Jesus asked. “Yes,” they replied. He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.”

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Jesus Feeds 5, 000 People (Matthew 14)

Jesus went privately to a solitary place. The crowds followed him. Jesus had compassion on them and healed their sick. As evening approached, the disciples said, “Send the crowds away, so they can buy some food.” Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. Give them something to eat.” “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. “Bring them to me,” he said. He made the people sit down on the grass. He looked up to heaven, gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. About five thousand men, besides women and children, ate and were satisfied. The disciples got into a boat, while Jesus stayed with the crowd. When evening came, the boat was far from land, buffeted by the wind and waves. Then the disciples saw Jesus walking to them on the water. “It’s a ghost,” they cried. But Jesus said: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter out of the boat, and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and began to sink. He cried, “Lord, save me!” Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” They climbed into the boat, and the wind died down. Those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

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Lazarus is Raised from the Dead (John 11)

Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus that Lazarus was sick. Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. It is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified.” Jesus loved Lazarus, but he waited two more days before going. When he arrived, Martha said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Jesus said, “Lazarus will rise again.” Martha said, “I know he will rise in the resurrection.” Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will never die.” When Mary saw Jesus she fell at his feet weeping and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Jesus was deeply moved and asked, “Where have you laid him?” “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. Jesus wept. Jesus came to the tomb and said, “Take away the stone.” “But, Lord,” said Martha, “he has been there four days.” Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” So they removed the stone. Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this so people may believe that you sent me.” Then he called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out. Jesus said, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” Then many of the Jews who saw what Jesus did, put their faith in him.

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Peter Recognizes that Jesus is the Christ (Matthew 16)

Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do people say I am?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Peter, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” , Jesus began to explain that he would suffer by the chief priests, and that he would be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Peter took him aside and said, “Never, Lord! This shall never happen to you!” Jesus said, “Get behind me, Satan! You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me. Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good is it for a man to gain the world, yet lose his soul? What can a man give in exchange for his soul?”

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The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant (Matthew 18)

“The kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. A man who owed him money was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.” “The servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.” “But the servant went out, and found one of his fellow servants who owed him money. He grabbed him and said, ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ His fellow servant begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you.’” “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened.” “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you? ’ In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”

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The Good Samaritan (Luke 10)

An expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” He answered: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” But the man asked, “Who is my neighbor?” In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They took his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest was going by, but when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. A Levite saw him, but passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan took pity on him. He bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he gave two silver coins to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’” “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

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The Parable of the Lost Son (Luke 15)

“There was a man who had two sons. The younger son took his share of the inheritance and set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.” When he came to his senses, he said, ‘I will go back to my father and say: Father, make me like one of your hired men.’ But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming and he ran to his son. He threw his arms around him and kissed him. The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.” “Meanwhile, the older son heard music and dancing. He became angry and refused to go in. He said to his father, ‘Look! I have never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has wasted your money comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’” ‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

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The Good Shepherd (Luke 15)

The Pharisees muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Jesus said: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one. Does he not leave the ninety-nine and go after the lost sheep? When he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. He says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ In the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who do not need to repent.”

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Zacchaeus (Luke 19)

Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man named Zacchaeus; a wealthy tax collector wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. Jesus looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “I will give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”

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The Last Supper (Matthew 26)

During the Passover, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. And while they were eating, he said, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me.” They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, “Surely not I, Lord?” Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.” While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took the cup, gave thanks, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom.” When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

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Jesus and the Father are One (John 14)

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. I will come back and take you to be with me. You know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas said, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except by me. If you knew me, you would know my Father also. You know him and have seen him.” Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough.” Jesus said: “Don’t you know me after I have been with you so long? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” “If you love me, you will obey my commands. I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever; the Spirit of truth. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Soon the world will not see me, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. You will realize I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever obeys me is the one who loves me. My Father and I will love him and I will show myself to him. The Counselor, the Holy Spirit will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have said. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you, not as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

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The Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26)

Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.

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Betrayal (Matthew 26)

Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us go! Here comes my betrayer!” While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Judas had told them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.” Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him. Jesus replied, “Friend, do what you came for.” Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. With that, one of Jesus’ companions drew his sword, and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. “Put your sword away,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?” Jesus said, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled. The men who arrested Jesus took him to the teachers of the law and the elders.

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The Crucifixion (Matthew 27)

All the soldiers gathered around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and set a crown of thorns on his head. They put a staff in his hand and knelt before him saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” They spit on him, and struck him on the head with the staff again and again. Then they put his own clothes on him and led him away to a place called Golgotha, which means The Place of the Skull. They crucified Jesus there and placed a sign above his head: This Is Jesus, The King of the Jews. Two robbers were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. The chief priests said. “He saved others, but he can’t save himself! He’s the King of Israel! Let him come down from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” Darkness came over all the land. Jesus cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the earth shook and rocks split. Tombs broke open and many holy people who had died were raised to life. When the centurion and those with him saw the earthquake and all that happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”

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The Resurrection (Matthew 27)

A man named Joseph went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. He took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that was cut out of a rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the tomb and went away. The next day, the chief priests and Pharisees went to Pilate. “Sir,” they said, “that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ Give orders to make the tomb secure.” So a seal was placed on the stone and a guard was posted. At dawn on the first day of the week, as Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to the tomb, there was a violent earthquake. An angel of the Lord came down from heaven and rolled back the stone. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said, “Do not be afraid. I know that you are looking for Jesus. He is not here; he has risen. Go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead.’” So the women ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Jesus said, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” Meanwhile, the priests gave the guards money to say the disciples came and stole him away while they slept. This story has been widely circulated to this very day.

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The Road to Emmaus (Luke 24)

That same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus. As they were talking about everything that had happened, Jesus came up and walked with them; but they were kept from recognizing him. He asked, “What are you discussing as you walk along?” “About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. Our rulers sentenced him to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped he was the one who would redeem Israel. Some of our women went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen angels, who said he was alive. He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what the Scriptures said concerning himself. They stopped at the village, but Jesus kept walking. But they urged him strongly, so he went to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

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Doubting Thomas (John 20)

Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.” A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

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On the Mountain (Matthew 27)

Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

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The Ascension (Mark 15)

After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

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