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Saturday, June 19, 2021
The Gospels & Early History
II Kings 16-20
As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury.
He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins.
"I tell you the truth," he said, "this poor widow has put in more than all the others.
All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on."
Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said,
"As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down."
"Teacher," they asked, "when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?"
He replied: "Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, `I am he,' and, `The time is near.' Do not follow them.
When you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away."
Then he said to them: "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.
"But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name.
This will result in your being witnesses to them.
But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves.
For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.
You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death.
All men will hate you because of me.
But not a hair of your head will perish.
By standing firm you will gain life.
"When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near.
Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city.
For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written.
How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people.
They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
"There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.
Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.
At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."
He told them this parable: "Look at the fig tree and all the trees.
When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near.
Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near.
"I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
"Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap.
For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth.
Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man."
Each day Jesus was teaching at the temple, and each evening he went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives,
and all the people came early in the morning to hear him at the temple.
Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching,
and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people.
Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve.
And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus.
They were delighted and agreed to give him money.
He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present.
Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed.
Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, "Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover."
"Where do you want us to prepare for it?" they asked.
He replied, "As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters,
and say to the owner of the house, `The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?'
He will show you a large upper room, all furnished. Make preparations there."
They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.
When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table.
And he said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.
For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God."
After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, "Take this and divide it among you.
For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes."
And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me."
In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.
But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table.
The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed, but woe to that man who betrays him."
They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this.
Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest.
Jesus said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors.
But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves.
For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.
You are those who have stood by me in my trials.
And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me,
so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
"Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat.
But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."
But he replied, "Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death."
Jesus answered, "I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me."
Then Jesus asked them, "When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?" "Nothing," they answered.
He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.
It is written: `And he was numbered with the transgressors' ; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment."
The disciples said, "See, Lord, here are two swords." "That is enough," he replied.
Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him.
On reaching the place, he said to them, "Pray that you will not fall into temptation."
He withdrew about a stone's throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed,
"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done."
An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.
And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.
When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow.
"Why are you sleeping?" he asked them. "Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation."
While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him,
but Jesus asked him, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?"
When Jesus' followers saw what was going to happen, they said, "Lord, should we strike with our swords?"
And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.
But Jesus answered, "No more of this!" And he touched the man's ear and healed him.
Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, who had come for him, "Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs?
Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour--when darkness reigns."
Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance.
But when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them.
A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, "This man was with him."
But he denied it. "Woman, I don't know him," he said.
A little later someone else saw him and said, "You also are one of them." "Man, I am not!" Peter replied.
About an hour later another asserted, "Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean."
Peter replied, "Man, I don't know what you're talking about!" Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed.
The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: "Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times."
And he went outside and wept bitterly.
The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating him.
They blindfolded him and demanded, "Prophesy! Who hit you?"
And they said many other insulting things to him.
At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them.
"If you are the Christ, " they said, "tell us." Jesus answered, "If I tell you, you will not believe me,
and if I asked you, you would not answer.
But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God."
They all asked, "Are you then the Son of God?" He replied, "You are right in saying I am."
Then they said, "Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips."
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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