Sunday, April 11, 2021
Eighth Day of Zadeeg,
 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee, and a report concerning him went out through all the surrounding country.
 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.
 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up; and he went to the synagogue, as his custom was, on the sabbath day. And he stood up to read;
 and there was given to him the book of the prophet Isaiah. He opened the book and found the place where it was written,
 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
 to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
 And he closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him.
 And he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
 And all spoke well of him, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth; and they said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?”
 And he said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, `Physician, heal yourself; what we have heard you did at Caper’na-um, do here also in your own country.’”
 And he said, “Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his own country.
 But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Eli’jah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when there came a great famine over all the land;
 and Eli’jah was sent to none of them but only to Zar’ephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow.
 And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Eli’sha; and none of them was cleansed, but only Na’aman the Syrian.”
 When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath.
 And they rose up and put him out of the city, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw him down headlong.
 But passing through the midst of them he went away.
 But a Pharisee in the council named Gama’li-el, a teacher of the law, held in honor by all the people, stood up and ordered the men to be put outside for a while.
 And he said to them, “Men of Israel, take care what you do with these men.
 For before these days Theu’das arose, giving himself out to be somebody, and a number of men, about four hundred, joined him; but he was slain and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing.
 After him Judas the Galilean arose in the days of the census and drew away some of the people after him; he also perished, and all who followed him were scattered.
 So in the present case I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this undertaking is of men, it will fail;
 but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!”
 So they took his advice, and when they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
 Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name.
 And every day in the temple and at home they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.
 Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, the Hellenists murmured against the Hebrews because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution.
 And the twelve summoned the body of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables.
 Therefore, brethren, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this duty.
 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
 And what they said pleased the whole multitude, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Proch’orus, and Nica’nor, and Ti’mon, and Par’menas, and Nicola’us, a proselyte of Antioch.
 These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands upon them.
 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.
 Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, for you know that we who teach shall be judged with greater strictness.
 For we all make many mistakes, and if any one makes no mistakes in what he says he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body also.
 If we put bits into the mouths of horses that they may obey us, we guide their whole bodies.
 Look at the ships also; though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs.
 So the tongue is a little member and boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire!
 And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is an unrighteous world among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the cycle of nature, and set on fire by hell.
 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by humankind,
 but no human being can tame the tongue — a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
 With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who are made in the likeness of God.
 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brethren, this ought not to be so.
 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening fresh water and brackish?
 Can a fig tree, my brethren, yield olives, or a grapevine figs? No more can salt water yield fresh.
 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
 He was in the beginning with God;
 all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.
 In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
 He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him.
 He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light.
 The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world.
 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not.
 He came to his own home, and his own people received him not.
 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God;
 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father.
 (John bore witness to him, and cried, “This was he of whom I said, `He who comes after me ranks before me, for he was before me.’”)
 And from his fulness have we all received, grace upon grace.
 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.”
 A second time he said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.”
 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.
 Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you girded yourself and walked where you would; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go.”
 (This he said to show by what death he was to glorify God.) And after this he said to him, “Follow me.”
 Peter turned and saw following them the disciple whom Jesus loved, who had lain close to his breast at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?”
 When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?”
 Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? Follow me!”
 The saying spread abroad among the brethren that this disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he was not to die, but, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?”
 This is the disciple who is bearing witness to these things, and who has written these things; and we know that his testimony is true.
 But there are also many other things which Jesus did; were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.
 And Jesus cried again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.
 And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom; and the earth shook, and the rocks were split;
 the tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised,
 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.
 When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe, and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”
 There were also many women there, looking on from afar, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him;
 among whom were Mary Mag’dalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zeb’edee.
 When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathe’a, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus.
 He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him.
 And Joseph took the body, and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud,
 and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock; and he rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb, and departed.
 Mary Mag’dalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the sepulchre.
 Eight days later, his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood among them, and said, “Peace be with you.”
 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing.”
 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”
 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”
 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book;
 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America