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First Reading: Deuteronomy Chapter 5 and 6
5:1 The Ten Commandments Reviewed
And Moses called all Israel, and said to them: "Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your hearing today, that you may learn them and be careful to observe them. 2 The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. 3 The LORD did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, those who are here today, all of us who are alive. 4 The LORD talked with you face to face on the mountain from the midst of the fire. 5 I stood between the LORD and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the LORD; for you were afraid because of the fire, and you did not go up the mountain. He said:
6'I am the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
7'You shall have no other gods before Me.
8'You shall not make for yourself a carved image any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 9 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, 10 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
11'You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
12'Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your ox, nor your donkey, nor any of your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. 15 And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.
16'Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you.
17'You shall not murder.
18'You shall not commit adultery.
19'You shall not steal.
20'You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
21'You shall not covet your neighbor's wife; and you shall not desire your neighbor's house, his field, his male servant, his female servant, his ox, his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's.'
22 "These words the LORD spoke to all your assembly, in the mountain from the midst of the fire, the cloud, and the thick darkness, with a loud voice; and He added no more. And He wrote them on two tablets of stone and gave them to me.
23 The People Afraid of God's Presence
"So it was, when you heard the voice from the midst of the darkness, while the mountain was burning with fire, that you came near to me, all the heads of your tribes and your elders. 24 And you said: 'Surely the LORD our God has shown us His glory and His greatness, and we have heard His voice from the midst of the fire. We have seen this day that God speaks with man; yet he still lives. 25 Now therefore, why should we die? For this great fire will consume us; if we hear the voice of the LORD our God anymore, then we shall die. 26 For who is there of all flesh who has heard the voice of the living God speaking from the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived? 27 You go near and hear all that the LORD our God may say, and tell us all that the LORD our God says to you, and we will hear and do it.'
28 "Then the LORD heard the voice of your words when you spoke to me, and the LORD said to me: 'I have heard the voice of the words of this people which they have spoken to you. They are right in all that they have spoken. 29 Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever! 30 Go and say to them, "Return to your tents." 31 But as for you, stand here by Me, and I will speak to you all the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments which you shall teach them, that they may observe them in the land which I am giving them to possess.'
32 "Therefore you shall be careful to do as the LORD your God has commanded you; you shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. 33 You shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you shall possess.
6:1 The Greatest Commandment
"Now this is the commandment, and these are the statutes and judgments
which the LORD your God has commanded to teach you, that you may observe them
in the land which you are crossing over to possess, 2 that you may fear the
LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command
you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that
your days may be prolonged. 3 Therefore hear, O Israel, and be careful to observe
it, that it may be well with you, and that you may multiply greatly as the LORD
God of your fathers has promised you 'a land flowing with milk and honey.'
4 "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! 5 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
6 "And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
10 Caution Against Disobedience
"So it shall be, when the LORD your God brings you into the land of which
He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give you large and
beautiful cities which you did not build, 11 houses full of all good things,
which you did not fill, hewn-out wells which you did not dig, vineyards and
olive trees which you did not plant when you have eaten and are full
12 then beware, lest you forget the LORD who brought you out of the land
of Egypt, from the house of bondage. 13 You shall fear the LORD your God and
serve Him, and shall take oaths in His name. 14 You shall not go after other
gods, the gods of the peoples who are all around you 15(for the LORD your God
is a jealous God among you), lest the anger of the LORD your God be aroused
against you and destroy you from the face of the earth.
16 "You shall not tempt the LORD your God as you tempted Him in Massah. 17 You shall diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, His testimonies, and His statutes which He has commanded you. 18 And you shall do what is right and good in the sight of the LORD, that it may be well with you, and that you may go in and possess the good land of which the LORD swore to your fathers, 19 to cast out all your enemies from before you, as the LORD has spoken.
20 "When your son asks you in time to come, saying, 'What is the meaning of the testimonies, the statutes, and the judgments which the LORD our God has commanded you?' 21 then you shall say to your son: 'We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, and the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand; 22 and the LORD showed signs and wonders before our eyes, great and severe, against Egypt, Pharaoh, and all his household. 23 Then He brought us out from there, that He might bring us in, to give us the land of which He swore to our fathers. 24 And the LORD commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is this day. 25 Then it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to observe all these commandments before the LORD our God, as He has commanded us.'
3:1 Healing on the Sabbath
(Matt 12:9-14; Luke 6:6-11)
And He entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a withered hand. 2 So they watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him. 3 And He said to the man who had the withered hand, "Step forward." 4 Then He said to them, "Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?" But they kept silent. 5 And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other. 6 Then the Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him.
7 A Great Multitude Follows Jesus
But Jesus withdrew with His disciples to the sea. And a great multitude from Galilee followed Him, and from Judea 8 and Jerusalem and Idumea and beyond the Jordan; and those from Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they heard how many things He was doing, came to Him. 9 So He told His disciples that a small boat should be kept ready for Him because of the multitude, lest they should crush Him. 10 For He healed many, so that as many as had afflictions pressed about Him to touch Him. 11 And the unclean spirits, whenever they saw Him, fell down before Him and cried out, saying,"You are the Son of God." 12 But He sternly warned them that they should not make Him known.
13 The Twelve Apostles
(Matt 10:1-4; Luke 6:12-16)
And He went up on the mountain and called to Him those He Himself wanted. And they came to Him. 14 Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, 15 and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons: 16 Simon, to whom He gave the name Peter; 17 James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, to whom He gave the name Boanerges, that is, "Sons of Thunder"; 18 Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Cananite; 19 and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him. And they went into a house.
20 A House Divided Cannot Stand
(Matt 12:22-30; Luke 11:14-23)
Then the multitude came together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. 21 But when His own people heard about this, they went out to lay hold of Him, for they said, "He is out of His mind."
22 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said,"He has Beelzebub," and, "By the ruler of the demons He casts out demons."
23 So He called them to Himself and said to them in parables: "How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26 And if Satan has risen up against himself, and is divided, he cannot stand, but has an end. 27 No one can enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. And then he will plunder his house.
28 The Unpardonable Sin
(Matt 12:31,32; Luke 12:10)
"Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; 29 but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation" 30 because they said, "He has an unclean spirit."
31 Jesus' Mother and Brothers Send for Him
(Matt 12:46-50; Luke 8:19-21)
Then His brothers and His mother came, and standing outside they sent to Him, calling Him. 32 And a multitude was sitting around Him; and they said to Him, "Look, Your mother and Your brothers are outside seeking You."
33 But He answered them, saying, "Who is My mother, or My brothers?" 34 And He looked around in a circle at those who sat about Him, and said, "Here are My mother and My brothers! 35 For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother."
THEMES OF THE BIBLE
Many people conclude that the New Testament is about a loving, merciful God but the Old Testament is about a vengeful God. When the entire Bible is read as whole, God's love is its entire theme and message from beginning to end:
Exodus 15:13 (NIV) "In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed...."
Deut. 7:9 (NIV) "Know therefore that the LORD you God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands."
Psalm 6:4 (NIV) "Turn, O LORD, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love."
Joel 2:13 (NIV) "....Return to the LORD you God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love,..."
Romans 5:8 (NIV) "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
I John 4:7-9 (NIV) "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him."
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