The Story of the Widow Who Would Not Give Up
1Jesus told his disciples a story. He wanted to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2He said, "In a certain town there was a judge. He didn't have any respect for God or care about people. 3A widow lived in that town. She came to the judge again and again. She kept begging him, 'Make things right for me. Someone is doing me wrong.'
4"For some time the judge refused. But finally he said to himself, 'I don't have any respect for God. I don't care about people. 5But this widow keeps bothering me. So I will see that things are made right for her. If I don't, she will wear me out by coming again and again!' "
6The Lord said, "Listen to what the unfair judge says.
7"God's chosen people cry out to him day and night. Won't he make things right for them? Will he keep putting them off? 8I tell you, God will see that things are made right for them. He will make sure it happens quickly.
"But when the Son of Man comes, will he find people on earth who have faith?"
The Story of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector
9Jesus told a story to some people who were sure they were right with God. They looked down on everybody else. 10He said to them, "Two men went up to the temple to pray. One was a Pharisee. The other was a tax collector.
11"The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself. 'God, I thank you that I am not like other people,' he said. 'I am not like robbers or those who do other evil things. I am not like those who commit adultery. I am not even like this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week. And I give a tenth of all I get.'
13"But the tax collector stood not very far away. He would not even look up to heaven. He beat his chest and said, 'God, have mercy on me. I am a sinner.'
14"I tell you, the tax collector went home accepted by God. But not the Pharisee. Everyone who lifts himself up will be brought down. And anyone who is brought down will be lifted up."
New International Readers Version (NIrV)