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First Reading: Isaiah Chapter 65 and 66

Isaiah 65

65:1 The Righteousness of God's Judgment

"I was sought by those who did not ask for Me;I was found by those who did not seek Me.I said, 'Here I am, here I am,'To a nation that was not called by My name. 2 I have stretched out My hands all day long to a rebellious people,Who walk in a way that is not good,According to their own thoughts; 3 A people who provoke Me to anger continually to My face;Who sacrifice in gardens,And burn incense on altars of brick; 4 Who sit among the graves,And spend the night in the tombs;Who eat swine's flesh,And the broth of abominable things is in their vessels; 5 Who say, 'Keep to yourself,Do not come near me,For I am holier than you!'These are smoke in My nostrils,A fire that burns all the day.
6 "Behold, it is written before Me:I will not keep silence, but will repay — Even repay into their bosom — 7 Your iniquities and the iniquities of your fathers together,"Says the LORD,"Who have burned incense on the mountains And blasphemed Me on the hills;Therefore I will measure their former work into their bosom."
8 Thus says the LORD:
"As the new wine is found in the cluster,And one says, 'Do not destroy it,For a blessing is in it,'So will I do for My servants' sake,That I may not destroy them all. 9 I will bring forth descendants from Jacob,And from Judah an heir of My mountains;My elect shall inherit it,And My servants shall dwell there. 10 Sharon shall be a fold of flocks,And the Valley of Achor a place for herds to lie down,For My people who have sought Me.
11 "But you are those who forsake the LORD,Who forget My holy mountain,Who prepare a table for Gad, And who furnish a drink offering for Meni. 12 Therefore I will number you for the sword,And you shall all bow down to the slaughter;Because, when I called, you did not answer;When I spoke, you did not hear,But did evil before My eyes,And chose that in which I do not delight."
13 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD:
"Behold, My servants shall eat,But you shall be hungry;Behold, My servants shall drink,But you shall be thirsty;Behold, My servants shall rejoice,But you shall be ashamed; 14 Behold, My servants shall sing for joy of heart,But you shall cry for sorrow of heart,And wail for grief of spirit. 15 You shall leave your name as a curse to My chosen;For the Lord GOD will slay you,And call His servants by another name; 16 So that he who blesses himself in the earth Shall bless himself in the God of truth;And he who swears in the earth Shall swear by the God of truth;Because the former troubles are forgotten,And because they are hidden from My eyes.
17 The Glorious New Creation

"For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth;And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. 18 But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create;For behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing,And her people a joy. 19 I will rejoice in Jerusalem,And joy in My people;The voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her,Nor the voice of crying.
20 "No more shall an infant from there live but a few days,Nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days;For the child shall die one hundred years old,But the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed. 21 They shall build houses and inhabit them;They shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. 22 They shall not build and another inhabit;They shall not plant and another eat;For as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people,And My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. 23 They shall not labor in vain,Nor bring forth children for trouble;For they shall be the descendants of the blessed of the LORD,And their offspring with them.
24 "It shall come to pass That before they call, I will answer;And while they are still speaking, I will hear. 25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together,The lion shall eat straw like the ox,And dust shall be the serpent's food.They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,"Says the LORD.

Isaiah 66

66:1 True Worship and False

Thus says the LORD:
"Heaven is My throne,And earth is My footstool.Where is the house that you will build Me?And where is the place of My rest? 2 For all those things My hand has made,And all those things exist,"Says the LORD."But on this one will I look:On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit,And who trembles at My word.
3 "He who kills a bull is as if he slays a man;He who sacrifices a lamb, as if he breaks a dog's neck;He who offers a grain offering, as if he offers swine's blood;He who burns incense, as if he blesses an idol.Just as they have chosen their own ways,And their soul delights in their abominations, 4 So will I choose their delusions,And bring their fears on them;Because, when I called, no one answered,When I spoke they did not hear;But they did evil before My eyes,And chose that in which I do not delight."
5 The LORD Vindicates Zion

Hear the word of the LORD,You who tremble at His word:"Your brethren who hated you,Who cast you out for My name's sake, said,'Let the LORD be glorified,That we may see your joy.'But they shall be ashamed."
6 The sound of noise from the city!A voice from the temple!The voice of the LORD,Who fully repays His enemies!
7 "Before she was in labor, she gave birth;Before her pain came,She delivered a male child. 8 Who has heard such a thing?Who has seen such things?Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day?Or shall a nation be born at once?For as soon as Zion was in labor,She gave birth to her children. 9 Shall I bring to the time of birth, and not cause delivery?" says the LORD."Shall I who cause delivery shut up the womb?" says your God. 10 "Rejoice with Jerusalem,And be glad with her, all you who love her;Rejoice for joy with her, all you who mourn for her; 11 That you may feed and be satisfied With the consolation of her bosom,That you may drink deeply and be delighted With the abundance of her glory."
12 For thus says the LORD:
"Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river,And the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream.Then you shall feed;On her sides shall you be carried,And be dandled on her knees. 13 As one whom his mother comforts,So I will comfort you;And you shall be comforted in Jerusalem."
14 The Reign and Indignation of God

When you see this, your heart shall rejoice,And your bones shall flourish like grass;The hand of the LORD shall be known to His servants,And His indignation to His enemies. 15 For behold, the LORD will come with fire And with His chariots, like a whirlwind,To render His anger with fury,And His rebuke with flames of fire. 16 For by fire and by His sword The LORD will judge all flesh;And the slain of the LORD shall be many.
17 "Those who sanctify themselves and purify themselves,To go to the gardens After an idol in the midst,Eating swine's flesh and the abomination and the mouse,Shall be consumed together," says the LORD.
18 "For I know their works and their thoughts. It shall be that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and see My glory. 19 I will set a sign among them; and those among them who escape I will send to the nations: to Tarshish and Pul and Lud, who draw the bow, and Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands afar off who have not heard My fame nor seen My glory. And they shall declare My glory among the Gentiles. 20 Then they shall bring all your brethren for an offering to the LORD out of all nations, on horses and in chariots and in litters, on mules and on camels, to My holy mountain Jerusalem," says the LORD, "as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the LORD. 21 And I will also take some of them for priests and Levites," says the LORD.
22 "For as the new heavens and the new earth Which I will make shall remain before Me," says the LORD,"So shall your descendants and your name remain. 23 And it shall come to pass That from one New Moon to another,And from one Sabbath to another,All flesh shall come to worship before Me," says the LORD.
24 "And they shall go forth and look Upon the corpses of the men Who have transgressed against Me.For their worm does not die,And their fire is not quenched.They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh."

Second Reading: John Chapter 7

John 7

7:1 Jesus' Brothers Disbelieve

After these things Jesus walked in Galilee; for He did not want to walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill Him. 2 Now the Jews' Feast of Tabernacles was at hand. 3 His brothers therefore said to Him, "Depart from here and go into Judea, that Your disciples also may see the works that You are doing. 4 For no one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world." 5 For even His brothers did not believe in Him.
6 Then Jesus said to them, "My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil. 8 You go up to this feast. I am not yet going up to this feast, for My time has not yet fully come." 9 When He had said these things to them, He remained in Galilee.

But when His brothers had gone up, then He also went up to the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. 11 Then the Jews sought Him at the feast, and said, "Where is He?" 12 And there was much complaining among the people concerning Him. Some said, "He is good"; others said, "No, on the contrary, He deceives the people." 13 However, no one spoke openly of Him for fear of the Jews.
14 Now about the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and taught. 15 And the Jews marveled, saying, "How does this Man know letters, having never studied?"
16 Jesus answered them and said, "My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me. 17 If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority. 18 He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him. 19 Did not Moses give you the law, yet none of you keeps the law? Why do you seek to kill Me?"
20 The people answered and said,"You have a demon. Who is seeking to kill You?"
21 Jesus answered and said to them, "I did one work, and you all marvel. 22 Moses therefore gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. 23 If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath, so that the law of Moses should not be broken, are you angry with Me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath? 24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment."
25 Could This Be the Christ?

Now some of them from Jerusalem said, "Is this not He whom they seek to kill? 26 But look! He speaks boldly, and they say nothing to Him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is truly the Christ? 27 However, we know where this Man is from; but when the Christ comes, no one knows where He is from."
28 Then Jesus cried out, as He taught in the temple, saying, "You both know Me, and you know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know. 29 But I know Him, for I am from Him, and He sent Me."
30 Therefore they sought to take Him; but no one laid a hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come. 31 And many of the people believed in Him, and said, "When the Christ comes, will He do more signs than these which this Man has done?"
32 Jesus and the Religious Leaders

The Pharisees heard the crowd murmuring these things concerning Him, and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take Him. 33 Then Jesus said to them, "I shall be with you a little while longer, and then I go to Him who sent Me. 34 You will seek Me and not find Me, and where I am you cannot come."
35 Then the Jews said among themselves, "Where does He intend to go that we shall not find Him? Does He intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks? 36 What is this thing that He said, 'You will seek Me and not find Me, and where I am you cannot come'?"
37 The Promise of the Holy Spirit

On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
40 Who Is He?

Therefore many from the crowd, when they heard this saying, said, "Truly this is the Prophet." 41 Others said, "This is the Christ."
But some said, "Will the Christ come out of Galilee? 42 Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was?" 43 So there was a division among the people because of Him. 44 Now some of them wanted to take Him, but no one laid hands on Him.
45 Rejected by the Authorities

Then the officers came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, "Why have you not brought Him?"
46 The officers answered,"No man ever spoke like this Man!"
47 Then the Pharisees answered them, "Are you also deceived? 48 Have any of the rulers or the Pharisees believed in Him? 49 But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed."
50 Nicodemus (he who came to Jesus by night, being one of them) said to them, 51 "Does our law judge a man before it hears him and knows what he is doing?"
52 They answered and said to him, "Are you also from Galilee? Search and look, for no prophet has arisen out of Galilee."
53 An Adulteress Faces the Light of the World

And everyone went to his own house.

Bible Background



Part 2 of 3

The Bible defines many roles for Jesus:


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