He also taught them by a parable that they must always pray and never lose heart.
"In a certain town," He said, "there was a judge who had no fear of God and no respect for man.
And in the same town was a widow who repeatedly came and entreated him, saying, "`Give me justice and stop my oppressor.'
"For a time he would not, but afterwards he said to himself, "`Though I have neither reverence for God nor respect for man,
yet because she annoys me I will give her justice, to prevent her from constantly coming to pester me.'"
And the Lord said, "Hear those words of the unjust judge.
And will not God avenge the wrongs of His own People who cry aloud to Him day and night, although He seems slow in taking action on their behalf?
Yes, He will soon avenge their wrongs. Yet, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?"
And to some who relied on themselves as being righteous men, and looked down upon all others, He addressed this parable.
"Two men went up to the Temple to pray," He said; "one being a Pharisee and the other a tax-gatherer.
The Pharisee, standing erect, prayed as follows by himself: "`O God, I thank Thee that I am not like other people--I am not a thief nor a cheat nor an adulterer, nor do I even resemble this tax-gatherer.
I fast twice a week. I pay the tithe on all my gains.'
"But the tax-gatherer, standing far back, would not so much as lift his eyes to Heaven, but kept beating his breast and saying, "`O God, be reconciled to me, sinner that I am.'
"I tell you that this man went home more thoroughly absolved from guilt than the other; for every one who uplifts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be uplifted."
On one occasion people also brought with them their infants, for Him to touch them; but the disciples, noticing this, proceeded to find fault with them.
Jesus however called the infants to Him. "Let the little children come to me," He said; "do not hinder them; for it is to those who are childlike that the Kingdom of God belongs.
I tell you in solemn truth that, whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child will certainly not enter it."
The question was put to Him by a Ruler: "Good Rabbi, what shall I do to inherit the Life of the Ages?"
"Why do you call me good?" replied Jesus; "there is no one good but One, namely God.
You know the Commandments: <`Do not commit adultery;' `Do not murder;' `Do not steal;' `Do not lie in giving evidence;' `Honour thy father and thy mother.'">
"All of those," he replied, "I have kept from my youth."
On receiving this answer Jesus said to him, "There is still one thing wanting in you. Sell everything you possess and give the money to the poor, and you shall have wealth in Heaven; and then come, follow me."
But on hearing these words he was deeply sorrowful, for he was exceedingly rich.
Jesus saw his sorrow, and said, "With how hard a struggle do the possessors of riches ever enter the Kingdom of God!
Why, it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God."
"Who then can be saved?" exclaimed the hearers.
"Things impossible with man," He replied, "are possible with God."
Then Peter said, "See, we have given up our homes and have followed you."
"I solemnly tell you," replied Jesus, "that there is no one who has left house or wife, or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of God's Kingdom,
who shall not certainly receive many times as much in this life, and in the age that is coming the life of the Ages."
Then He drew the Twelve to Him and said, "See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything written in the Prophets which refers to the Son of Man will be fulfilled.
For He will be given up to the Gentiles, and be mocked, outraged and spit upon.
They will scourge Him and put Him to death, and on the third day He will rise to life again."
Nothing of this did they understand. The words were a mystery to them, nor could they see what He meant.
As Jesus came near to Jericho, there was a blind man sitting by the way-side begging.
He heard a crowd of people going past, and inquired what it all meant.
"Jesus the Nazarene is passing by," they told him.
Then, at the top of his voice, he cried out, "Jesus, son of David, take pity on me."
Those in front reproved him and tried to silence him; but he continued shouting, louder than ever, "Son of David, take pity on me."
At length Jesus stopped and desired them to bring the man to Him; and when he had come close to Him He asked him,
"What shall I do for you?" "Sir," he replied, "let me recover my sight."
"Recover your sight," said Jesus: "your faith has cured you."
No sooner were the words spoken than the man regained his sight and followed Jesus, giving glory to God; and all the people, seeing it, gave praise to God.