16“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.
17Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues.
18On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles.
19But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say,
20for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
21“Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death.
22You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.
23When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
24“The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master.
25It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household!
26“So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.
27What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs.
28Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
29Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. Or will; or knowledge
30And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
31So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
32“Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.
33But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.
34“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
35For I have come to turn “ ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
36a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ Micah 7:6
37“Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
38Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
39Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.
40“Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.
41Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward.
42And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”
THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.