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(Aug 8, 2000)
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Saturday, June 9, 2018
The Gospels & Early History
II Kings 6-10
Jesus said to his disciples: "Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come.
It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.
So watch yourselves. "If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.
If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, `I repent,' forgive him."
The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!"
He replied, "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, `Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you.
"Suppose one of you had a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Would he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, `Come along now and sit down to eat'?
Would he not rather say, `Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink'?
Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do?
So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, `We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.'"
Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee.
As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance
and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!"
When he saw them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were cleansed.
One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice.
He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him--and he was a Samaritan.
Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?
Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?"
Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well."
Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, "The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation,
nor will people say, `Here it is,' or `There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you."
Then he said to his disciples, "The time is coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it.
Men will tell you, `There he is!' or `Here he is!' Do not go running off after them.
For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other.
But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.
"Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man.
People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.
"It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building.
But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.
"It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed.
On that day no one who is on the roof of his house, with his goods inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything.
Remember Lot's wife!
Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.
I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left.
Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left. "
"Where, Lord?" they asked. He replied, "Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather."
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.
He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men.
And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, `Grant me justice against my adversary.'
"For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, `Even though I don't fear God or care about men,
yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!'"
And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says.
And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?
I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"
To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable:
"Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.
The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: `God, I thank you that I am not like other men--robbers, evildoers, adulterers--or even like this tax collector.
I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'
"But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, `God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'
"I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them.
But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."
A certain ruler asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good--except God alone.
You know the commandments: `Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.' "
"All these I have kept since I was a boy," he said.
When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth.
Jesus looked at him and said, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!
Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
Those who heard this asked, "Who then can be saved?"
Jesus replied, "What is impossible with men is possible with God."
Peter said to him, "We have left all we had to follow you!"
"I tell you the truth," Jesus said to them, "no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God
will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life."
Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, "We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled.
He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him.
On the third day he will rise again."
The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about.
As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging.
When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening.
They told him, "Jesus of Nazareth is passing by."
He called out, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"
Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!"
Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him,
"What do you want me to do for you?" "Lord, I want to see," he replied.
Jesus said to him, "Receive your sight; your faith has healed you."
Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. NIV. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.
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