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First Reading: Isaiah Chapter 53 and 54
53:1 The Sin-Bearing Messiah
Who has believed our report?And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,And as a root out of dry
ground.He has no form or comeliness;And when we see Him,There is no beauty that
we should desire Him. 3 He is despised and rejected by men,A Man of sorrows
and acquainted with grief.And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;He was
despised, and we did not esteem Him.
4 Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows;Yet we esteemed Him stricken,Smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions,He was bruised for our iniquities;The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,And by His stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray;We have turned, every one, to his own way;And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted,Yet He opened not His mouth;He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,So He opened not His mouth. 8 He was taken from prison and from judgment,And who will declare His generation?For He was cut off from the land of the living;For the transgressions of My people He was stricken. 9 And they made His grave with the wicked But with the rich at His death,Because He had done no violence,Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him;He has put Him to grief.When You make His soul an offering for sin,He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand. 11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied.By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,For He shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,Because He poured out His soul unto death,And He was numbered with the transgressors,And He bore the sin of many,And made intercession for the transgressors.
54:1 A Perpetual Covenant of Peace
"Sing, O barren,You who have not borne!Break forth into singing, and cry
aloud,You who have not labored with child!For more are the children of the desolate
Than the children of the married woman," says the LORD. 2 "Enlarge
the place of your tent,And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings;Do
not spare;Lengthen your cords,And strengthen your stakes. 3 For you shall expand
to the right and to the left,And your descendants will inherit the nations,And
make the desolate cities inhabited.
4 "Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed;Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame;For you will forget the shame of your youth,And will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore. 5 For your Maker is your husband,The LORD of hosts is His name;And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel;He is called the God of the whole earth. 6 For the LORD has called you Like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit,Like a youthful wife when you were refused,"Says your God. 7 "For a mere moment I have forsaken you,But with great mercies I will gather you. 8 With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment;But with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,"Says the LORD, your Redeemer.
9 "For this is like the waters of Noah to Me;For as I have sworn That the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth,So have I sworn That I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you. 10 For the mountains shall depart And the hills be removed,But My kindness shall not depart from you,Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,"Says the LORD, who has mercy on you.
11 "O you afflicted one,Tossed with tempest, and not comforted,Behold, I will lay your stones with colorful gems,And lay your foundations with sapphires. 12 I will make your pinnacles of rubies,Your gates of crystal,And all your walls of precious stones. 13 All your children shall be taught by the LORD,And great shall be the peace of your children. 14 In righteousness you shall be established;You shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear;And from terror, for it shall not come near you. 15 Indeed they shall surely assemble, but not because of Me.Whoever assembles against you shall fall for your sake.
16 "Behold, I have created the blacksmith Who blows the coals in the fire,Who brings forth an instrument for his work;And I have created the spoiler to destroy. 17 No weapon formed against you shall prosper,And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn.This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD,And their righteousness is from Me,"Says the LORD.
3:1 The New Birth
There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This
man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that You are
a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God
is with him."
3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
4 Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?"
5 Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit."
9 Nicodemus answered and said to Him,"How can these things be?"
10 Jesus answered and said to him, "Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? 11 Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
18 "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God."
22 John the Baptist Exalts Christ
After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and
there He remained with them and baptized. 23 Now John also was baptizing in
Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there. And they came and were
baptized. 24 For John had not yet been thrown into prison.
25 Then there arose a dispute between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purification. 26 And they came to John and said to him, "Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified behold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to Him!"
27 John answered and said,"A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven. 28 You yourselves bear me witness, that I said,'I am not the Christ,' but,'I have been sent before Him.' 29 He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. 30 He must increase, but I must decrease. 31 He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. 32 And what He has seen and heard, that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony. 33 He who has received His testimony has certified that God is true. 34 For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure. 35 The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand. 36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."
BOOKS OF THE BIBLE
Part 3 of 3
John recounts the life of Jesus on earth in the following order:
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