From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, regret past sins, live your life in a way that proves repentance; seek God’s purpose for your life], for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
[ Matthew Called ] As Jesus went on from there, He saw a man named Matthew (Levi) sitting in the tax collector’s booth; and He said to him, “Follow Me [as My disciple, accepting Me as your Master and Teacher and walking the same path of life that I walk].” And Matthew got up and followed Him.
[ Jesus Foretells His Death ] From that time on Jesus began to show His disciples [clearly] that He must go to Jerusalem, and endure many things at the hands of the elders and the chief priests and scribes (Sanhedrin, Jewish High Court), and be killed, and be raised [from death to life] on the third day.
Jesus answered him, “If you wish to be perfect [that is, have the spiritual maturity that accompanies godly character with no moral or ethical deficiencies], go and sell what you have and give [the money] to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me [becoming My disciple, believing and trusting in Me and walking the same path of life that I walk].”
And Jesus said to them, “Follow Me [as My disciples, accepting Me as your Master and Teacher and walking the same path of life that I walk], and I will make you fishers of men.”
Looking at him, Jesus felt a love (high regard, compassion) for him, and He said to him, “You lack one thing: go and sell all your property and give [the money] to the poor, and you will have [abundant] treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me [becoming My disciple, believing and trusting in Me and walking the same path of life that I walk].”
[ Call of Levi (Matthew) ] After this Jesus went out and noticed a tax collector named Levi (Matthew) sitting at the tax booth; and He said to him, “Follow Me [as My disciple, accepting Me as your Master and Teacher and walking the same path of life that I walk].”
When the centurion heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders to Him, asking Him to come and save the life of his slave.
When Jesus heard this, He said to him, “You still lack one thing; sell everything that you have and distribute the money to the poor, and you will have [abundant] treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me [becoming My disciple, believing and trusting in Me and walking the same path of life that I walk].”
The next day Jesus decided to go into Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me [as My disciple, accepting Me as your Master and Teacher, and walking the same path of life that I walk].”
Jesus answered her, “If you knew [about] God’s gift [of eternal life], and who it is who says, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him [instead], and He would have given you living water (eternal life).”
Jesus replied to them, “I am the Bread of Life. The one who comes to Me will never be hungry, and the one who believes in Me [as Savior] will never be thirsty [for that one will be sustained spiritually].
And Jesus said to them, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood [unless you believe in Me as Savior and believe in the saving power of My blood which will be shed for you], you do not have life in yourselves.
[ Jesus Is the Light of the World ] Once more Jesus addressed the crowd. He said, “I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”
but these have been written so that you may believe [with a deep, abiding trust] that Jesus is the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed), the Son of God; and that by believing [and trusting in and relying on Him] you may have life in His name.
For Barnabas was a good man [privately and publicly—his godly character benefited both himself and others] and he was full of the Holy Spirit and full of faith [in Jesus the Messiah, through whom believers have everlasting life]. And a great number of people were brought to the Lord.
When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying [praising and giving thanks for] the word of the Lord; and all those who had been appointed (designated, ordained) to eternal life [by God] believed [in Jesus as the Christ and their Savior].
But we believe that we are saved through the [precious, undeserved] grace of the Lord Jesus [which makes us free of the guilt of sin and grants us eternal life], in just the same way as they are.”
But I do not consider my life as something of value or dear to me, so that I may [with joy] finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify faithfully of the good news of God’s [precious, undeserved] grace [which makes us free of the guilt of sin and grants us eternal life].
[I am writing] to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called to be saints (God’s people) and set apart for a sanctified life, [that is, set apart for God and His purpose]: Grace to you and peace [inner calm and spiritual well-being] from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
and are being justified [declared free of the guilt of sin, made acceptable to God, and granted eternal life] as a gift by His [precious, undeserved] grace, through the redemption [the payment for our sin] which is [provided] in Christ Jesus,
whom God displayed publicly [before the eyes of the world] as a [life-giving] sacrifice of atonement and reconciliation (propitiation) by His blood [to be received] through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness [which demands punishment for sin], because in His forbearance [His deliberate restraint] He passed over the sins previously committed [before Jesus’ crucifixion].
For if by the trespass of the one (Adam), death reigned through the one (Adam), much more surely will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in [eternal] life through the One, Jesus Christ.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God [that is, His remarkable, overwhelming gift of grace to believers] is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
For the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being] has set you free from the law of sin and of death.