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Saturday, June 2, 2018
The Gospels & Early History
II Kings 1-5
Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him.
And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, "This man receives sinners and eats with them."
So he told them this parable:
"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it?
And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost.'
Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
"Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it?
And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost.'
Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents."
And he said, "There was a man who had two sons;
and the younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of property that falls to me.' And he divided his living between them.
Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took his journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in loose living.
And when he had spent everything, a great famine arose in that country, and he began to be in want.
So he went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed swine.
And he would gladly have fed on the pods that the swine ate; and no one gave him anything.
But when he came to himself he said, 'How many of my father's hired servants have bread enough and to spare, but I perish here with hunger!
I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you;
I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired servants."'
And he arose and came to his father. But while he was yet at a distance, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.
And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'
But the father said to his servants, 'Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet;
and bring the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and make merry;
for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.' And they began to make merry.
"Now his elder son was in the field; and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing.
And he called one of the servants and asked what this meant.
And he said to him, 'Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has received him safe and sound.'
But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him,
but he answered his father, 'Lo, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command; yet you never gave me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends.
But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your living with harlots, you killed for him the fatted calf!'
And he said to him, 'Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.
It was fitting to make merry and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.'"
He also said to the disciples, "There was a rich man who had a steward, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his goods.
And he called him and said to him, 'What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.'
And the steward said to himself, 'What shall I do, since my master is taking the stewardship away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg.
I have decided what to do, so that people may receive me into their houses when I am put out of the stewardship.'
So, summoning his master's debtors one by one, he said to the first, 'How much do you owe my master?'
He said, 'A hundred measures of oil.' And he said to him, 'Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.'
Then he said to another, 'And how much do you owe?' He said, 'A hundred measures of wheat.' He said to him, 'Take your bill, and write eighty.'
The master commended the dishonest steward for his shrewdness; for the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light.
And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous mammon, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal habitations.
"He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and he who is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much.
If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will entrust to you the true riches?
And if you have not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own?
No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon."
The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all this, and they scoffed at him.
But he said to them, "You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts; for what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.
"The law and the prophets were until John; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is preached, and every one enters it violently.
But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away, than for one dot of the law to become void.
"Every one who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.
"There was a rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day.
And at his gate lay a poor man named Laz'arus, full of sores,
who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table; moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried;
and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham far off and Laz'arus in his bosom.
And he called out, 'Father Abraham, have mercy upon me, and send Laz'arus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish in this flame.'
But Abraham said, 'Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Laz'arus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish.
And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.'
And he said, 'Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house,
for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.'
But Abraham said, 'They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.'
And he said, 'No, father Abraham; but if some one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.'
He said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if some one should rise from the dead.'"
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