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First Reading: Isaiah Chapter 61 and 62
61:1 The Good News of Salvation
"The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me,Because the LORD has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,To
proclaim liberty to the captives,And the opening of the prison to those who
are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD,And the day of vengeance
of our God;To comfort all who mourn, 3 To console those who mourn in Zion,To
give them beauty for ashes,The oil of joy for mourning,The garment of praise
for the spirit of heaviness;That they may be called trees of righteousness,The
planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified."
4 And they shall rebuild the old ruins,They shall raise up the former desolations,And they shall repair the ruined cities,The desolations of many generations. 5 Strangers shall stand and feed your flocks,And the sons of the foreigner Shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers. 6 But you shall be named the priests of the LORD,They shall call you the servants of our God.You shall eat the riches of the Gentiles,And in their glory you shall boast. 7 Instead of your shame you shall have double honor,And instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion.Therefore in their land they shall possess double;Everlasting joy shall be theirs.
8 "For I, the LORD, love justice;I hate robbery for burnt offering;I will direct their work in truth,And will make with them an everlasting covenant. 9 Their descendants shall be known among the Gentiles,And their offspring among the people.All who see them shall acknowledge them,That they are the posterity whom the LORD has blessed."
10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD,My soul shall be joyful in my God;For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation,He has covered me with the robe of righteousness,As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments,And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. 11 For as the earth brings forth its bud,As the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth,So the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.
62:1 Assurance of Zion's Salvation
For Zion's sake I will not hold My peace,And for Jerusalem's sake I will not
rest,Until her righteousness goes forth as brightness,And her salvation as a
lamp that burns. 2 The Gentiles shall see your righteousness,And all kings your
glory.You shall be called by a new name,Which the mouth of the LORD will name.
3 You shall also be a crown of glory In the hand of the LORD,And a royal diadem
In the hand of your God. 4 You shall no longer be termed Forsaken,Nor shall
your land any more be termed Desolate;But you shall be called Hephzibah, and
your land Beulah; For the LORD delights in you,And your land shall be married.
5 For as a young man marries a virgin,So shall your sons marry you;And as the
bridegroom rejoices over the bride,So shall your God rejoice over you.
6 I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem;They shall never hold their peace day or night.You who make mention of the LORD, do not keep silent, 7 And give Him no rest till He establishes And till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.
8 The LORD has sworn by His right hand And by the arm of His strength:"Surely I will no longer give your grain As food for your enemies;And the sons of the foreigner shall not drink your new wine,For which you have labored. 9 But those who have gathered it shall eat it,And praise the LORD;Those who have brought it together shall drink it in My holy courts."
10 Go through,Go through the gates!Prepare the way for the people;Build up,Build up the highway!Take out the stones,Lift up a banner for the peoples!
11 Indeed the LORD has proclaimed To the end of the world:"Say to the daughter of Zion,'Surely your salvation is coming;Behold, His reward is with Him,And His work before Him.'" 12 And they shall call them The Holy People,The Redeemed of the LORD;And you shall be called Sought Out,A City Not Forsaken.
5:1 A Man Healed at the Pool of Bethesda
After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2
Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew,
Bethesda, having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of sick people,
blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For an angel
went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever
stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever
disease he had. 5 Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight
years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in
that condition a long time, He said to him, "Do you want to be made well?"
7 The sick man answered Him, "Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me."
8 Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your bed and walk." 9 And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked.
And that day was the Sabbath. 10 The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, "It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed."
11 He answered them, "He who made me well said to me, 'Take up your bed and walk.'"
12 Then they asked him, "Who is the Man who said to you, 'Take up your bed and walk'?" 13 But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place. 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, "See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you."
15 The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.
16 Honor the Father and the Son
For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because
He had done these things on the Sabbath. 17 But Jesus answered them, "My
Father has been working until now, and I have been working."
18 Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God. 19 Then Jesus answered and said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. 20 For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel. 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. 22 For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, 23 that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.
24 Life and Judgment Are Through the Son
"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him
who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has
passed from death into life. 25 Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming,
and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who
hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted
the Son to have life in Himself, 27 and has given Him authority to execute judgment
also, because He is the Son of Man. 28 Do not marvel at this; for the hour is
coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29 and come forth
those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who
have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. 30 I can of Myself do nothing.
As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own
will but the will of the Father who sent Me.
31 The Fourfold Witness
"If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true. 32 There is another
who bears witness of Me, and I know that the witness which He witnesses of Me
is true. 33 You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. 34
Yet I do not receive testimony from man, but I say these things that you may
be saved. 35 He was the burning and shining lamp, and you were willing for a
time to rejoice in his light. 36 But I have a greater witness than John's; for
the works which the Father has given Me to finish the very works that
I do bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me. 37 And the Father
Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice
at any time, nor seen His form. 38 But you do not have His word abiding in you,
because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. 39 You search the Scriptures,
for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify
of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.
41 "I do not receive honor from men. 42 But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you. 43 I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive. 44 How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God? 45 Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you Moses, in whom you trust. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?"
REPENT: to be sorry, to turn away from sin. "Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, everyone according to his ways, saith the Lord God. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. Ezekiel 18:30
BAPTISM: immersion, submersion in water, to dip (as in dye). "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." Romans 6:5
DISCIPLE: a learner, pupil, student. "The disciple is not above his master; but every one that is perfect shall be as his master." Luke 6:40
APOSTLE: messenger, one sent. And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle--I am telling the truth, I am not lying--and a teacher of the true faith to the Gentiles. I Timothy 2:7
SAINT: Holy one."Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus:" Ephesians 1:1.
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