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(Aug 8, 2000)
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Saturday, August 1, 2020
The Gospels & Early History
II Timothy 1-2
I Chronicles 20-24
"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber;
but he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
To him the gatekeeper opens; the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.
A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers."
This figure Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.
So Jesus again said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.
All who came before me are thieves and robbers; but the sheep did not heed them.
I am the door; if any one enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
He who is a hireling and not a shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.
He flees because he is a hireling and cares nothing for the sheep.
I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me,
as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.
And I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd.
For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it again.
No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again; this charge I have received from my Father."
There was again a division among the Jews because of these words.
Many of them said, "He has a demon, and he is mad; why listen to him?"
Others said, "These are not the sayings of one who has a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?"
It was the feast of the Dedication at Jerusalem;
it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon.
So the Jews gathered round him and said to him, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."
Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness to me;
but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep.
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me;
and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand.
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.
I and the Father are one."
The Jews took up stones again to stone him.
Jesus answered them, "I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of these do you stone me?"
The Jews answered him, "It is not for a good work that we stone you but for blasphemy; because you, being a man, make yourself God."
Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your law, 'I said, you are gods'?
If he called them gods to whom the word of God came (and scripture cannot be broken),
do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, 'You are blaspheming,' because I said, 'I am the Son of God'?
If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me;
but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father."
Again they tried to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands.
He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John at first baptized, and there he remained.
And many came to him; and they said, "John did no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true."
And many believed in him there.
Now a certain man was ill, Laz'arus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.
It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Laz'arus was ill.
So the sisters sent to him, saying, "Lord, he whom you love is ill."
But when Jesus heard it he said, "This illness is not unto death; it is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by means of it."
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Laz'arus.
So when he heard that he was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.
Then after this he said to the disciples, "Let us go into Judea again."
The disciples said to him, "Rabbi, the Jews were but now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?"
Jesus answered, "Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any one walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world.
But if any one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him."
Thus he spoke, and then he said to them, "Our friend Laz'arus has fallen asleep, but I go to awake him out of sleep."
The disciples said to him, "Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover."
Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep.
Then Jesus told them plainly, "Laz'arus is dead;
and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him."
Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, "Let us also go, that we may die with him."
Now when Jesus came, he found that Laz'arus had already been in the tomb four days.
Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off,
and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother.
When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary sat in the house.
Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.
And even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you."
Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again."
Martha said to him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,
and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?"
She said to him, "Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, he who is coming into the world."
When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying quietly, "The Teacher is here and is calling for you."
And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him.
Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him.
When the Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there.
Then Mary, when she came where Jesus was and saw him, fell at his feet, saying to him, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died."
When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled;
and he said, "Where have you laid him?" They said to him, "Lord, come and see."
So the Jews said, "See how he loved him!"
But some of them said, "Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?"
Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb; it was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.
Jesus said, "Take away the stone." Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, "Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days."
Jesus said to her, "Did I not tell you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?"
So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, "Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.
I knew that thou hearest me always, but I have said this on account of the people standing by, that they may believe that thou didst send me."
When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, "Laz'arus, come out."
The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with bandages, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Unbind him, and let him go."
Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him;
but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.
So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council, and said, "What are we to do? For this man performs many signs.
If we let him go on thus, every one will believe in him, and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place and our nation."
But one of them, Ca'iaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, "You know nothing at all;
you do not understand that it is expedient for you that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation should not perish."
He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus should die for the nation,
and not for the nation only, but to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.
So from that day on they took counsel how to put him to death.
Jesus therefore no longer went about openly among the Jews, but went from there to the country near the wilderness, to a town called E'phraim; and there he stayed with the disciples.
Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover, to purify themselves.
They were looking for Jesus and saying to one another as they stood in the temple, "What do you think? That he will not come to the feast?"
Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that if any one knew where he was, he should let them know, so that they might arrest him.
Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Laz'arus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.
There they made him a supper; Martha served, and Laz'arus was one of those at table with him.
Mary took a pound of costly ointment of pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment.
But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was to betray him), said,
"Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?"
This he said, not that he cared for the poor but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box he used to take what was put into it.
Jesus said, "Let her alone, let her keep it for the day of my burial.
The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me."
When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came, not only on account of Jesus but also to see Laz'arus, whom he had raised from the dead.
So the chief priests planned to put Laz'arus also to death,
because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.
The next day a great crowd who had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem.
So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!"
And Jesus found a young ass and sat upon it; as it is written,
"Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on an ass's colt!"
His disciples did not understand this at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that this had been written of him and had been done to him.
The crowd that had been with him when he called Laz'arus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead bore witness.
The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign.
The Pharisees then said to one another, "You see that you can do nothing; look, the world has gone after him."
Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks.
So these came to Philip, who was from Beth-sa'ida in Galilee, and said to him, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus."
Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew went with Philip and they told Jesus.
And Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified.
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
If any one serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be also; if any one serves me, the Father will honor him.
"Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, for this purpose I have come to this hour.
Father, glorify thy name." Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again."
The crowd standing by heard it and said that it had thundered. Others said, "An angel has spoken to him."
Jesus answered, "This voice has come for your sake, not for mine.
Now is the judgment of this world, now shall the ruler of this world be cast out;
and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself."
He said this to show by what death he was to die.
The crowd answered him, "We have heard from the law that the Christ remains for ever. How can you say that the Son of man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of man?"
Jesus said to them, "The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, lest the darkness overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes.
While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light." When Jesus had said this, he departed and hid himself from them.
Though he had done so many signs before them, yet they did not believe in him;
it was that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: "Lord, who has believed our report, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?"
Therefore they could not believe. For Isaiah again said,
"He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they should see with their eyes and perceive with their heart, and turn for me to heal them."
Isaiah said this because he saw his glory and spoke of him.
Nevertheless many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:
for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
And Jesus cried out and said, "He who believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me.
And he who sees me sees him who sent me.
I have come as light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.
If any one hears my sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.
He who rejects me and does not receive my sayings has a judge; the word that I have spoken will be his judge on the last day.
For I have not spoken on my own authority; the Father who sent me has himself given me commandment what to say and what to speak.
And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has bidden me."
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