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(Aug 8, 2000)
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Saturday, December 29, 2017
The Gospels & Early History
When he came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him;
and behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, "Lord, if you will, you can make me clean."
And he stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, "I will; be clean." And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
And Jesus said to him, "See that you say nothing to any one; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a proof to the people."
As he entered Caper'na-um, a centurion came forward to him, beseeching him
and saying, "Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, in terrible distress."
And he said to him, "I will come and heal him."
But the centurion answered him, "Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant will be healed.
For I am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes, and to another, 'Come,' and he comes, and to my slave, 'Do this,' and he does it."
When Jesus heard him, he marveled, and said to those who followed him, "Truly, I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.
I tell you, many will come from east and west and sit at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven,
while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth."
And to the centurion Jesus said, "Go; be it done for you as you have believed." And the servant was healed at that very moment.
And when Jesus entered Peter's house, he saw his mother-in-law lying sick with a fever;
he touched her hand, and the fever left her, and she rose and served him.
That evening they brought to him many who were possessed with demons; and he cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick.
This was to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah, "He took our infirmities and bore our diseases."
Now when Jesus saw great crowds around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side.
And a scribe came up and said to him, "Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go."
And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head."
Another of the disciples said to him, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father."
But Jesus said to him, "Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead."
And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him.
And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep.
And they went and woke him, saying, "Save, Lord; we are perishing."
And he said to them, "Why are you afraid, O men of little faith?" Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.
And the men marveled, saying, "What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?"
And when he came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes, two demoniacs met him, coming out of the tombs, so fierce that no one could pass that way.
And behold, they cried out, "What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?"
Now a herd of many swine was feeding at some distance from them.
And the demons begged him, "If you cast us out, send us away into the herd of swine."
And he said to them, "Go." So they came out and went into the swine; and behold, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea, and perished in the waters.
The herdsmen fled, and going into the city they told everything, and what had happened to the demoniacs.
And behold, all the city came out to meet Jesus; and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their neighborhood.
And getting into a boat he crossed over and came to his own city.
And behold, they brought to him a paralytic, lying on his bed; and when Jesus saw their faith he said to the paralytic, "Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven."
And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, "This man is blaspheming."
But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, "Why do you think evil in your hearts?
For which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise and walk'?
But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins" --he then said to the paralytic--"Rise, take up your bed and go home."
And he rose and went home.
When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.
As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax office; and he said to him, "Follow me." And he rose and followed him.
And as he sat at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Jesus and his disciples.
And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?"
But when he heard it, he said, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.
Go and learn what this means, 'I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.' For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners."
Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, "Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?"
And Jesus said to them, "Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come, when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.
And no one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch tears away from the garment, and a worse tear is made.
Neither is new wine put into old wineskins; if it is, the skins burst, and the wine is spilled, and the skins are destroyed; but new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved."
While he was thus speaking to them, behold, a ruler came in and knelt before him, saying, "My daughter has just died; but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live."
And Jesus rose and followed him, with his disciples.
And behold, a woman who had suffered from a hemorrhage for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment;
for she said to herself, "If I only touch his garment, I shall be made well."
Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, "Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well." And instantly the woman was made well.
And when Jesus came to the ruler's house, and saw the flute players, and the crowd making a tumult,
he said, "Depart; for the girl is not dead but sleeping." And they laughed at him.
But when the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose.
And the report of this went through all that district.
And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed him, crying aloud, "Have mercy on us, Son of David."
When he entered the house, the blind men came to him; and Jesus said to them, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" They said to him, "Yes, Lord."
Then he touched their eyes, saying, "According to your faith be it done to you."
And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly charged them, "See that no one knows it."
But they went away and spread his fame through all that district.
As they were going away, behold, a dumb demoniac was brought to him.
And when the demon had been cast out, the dumb man spoke; and the crowds marveled, saying, "Never was anything like this seen in Israel."
But the Pharisees said, "He casts out demons by the prince of demons."
And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every infirmity.
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;
pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest."
And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every infirmity.
The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zeb'edee, and John his brother;
Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus;
Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
These twelve Jesus sent out, charging them, "Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans,
but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
And preach as you go, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.'
Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying, give without pay.
Take no gold, nor silver, nor copper in your belts,
no bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor a staff; for the laborer deserves his food.
And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it, and stay with him until you depart.
As you enter the house, salute it.
And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you.
And if any one will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town.
Truly, I say to you, it shall be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomor'rah than for that town.
"Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.
Beware of men; for they will deliver you up to councils, and flog you in their synagogues,
and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear testimony before them and the Gentiles.
When they deliver you up, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour;
for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
Brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death;
and you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.
When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next; for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel, before the Son of man comes.
"A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master;
it is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Be-el'zebul, how much more will they malign those of his household.
"So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.
What I tell you in the dark, utter in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim upon the housetops.
And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father's will.
But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.
Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
So every one who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven;
but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.
"Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.
For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
and a man's foes will be those of his own household.
He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;
and he who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it.
"He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives him who sent me.
He who receives a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward, and he who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward.
And whoever gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he shall not lose his reward."
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