Wednesday, May 19, 2021
Forty-sixth Day of Zadeeg
 So they watched him, and sent spies, who pretended to be sincere, that they might take hold of what he said, so as to deliver him up to the authority and jurisdiction of the governor.
 They asked him, “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach rightly, and show no partiality, but truly teach the way of God.
 Is it lawful for us to give tribute to Caesar, or not?”
 But he perceived their craftiness, and said to them,
 “Show me a coin. Whose likeness and inscription has it?” They said, “Caesar’s.”
 He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
 And they were not able in the presence of the people to catch him by what he said; but marveling at his answer they were silent.
 Now when some days had passed, Agrippa the king and Berni’ce arrived at Caesare’a to welcome Festus.
 And as they stayed there many days, Festus laid Paul’s case before the king, saying, “There is a man left prisoner by Felix;
 and when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews gave information about him, asking for sentence against him.
 I answered them that it was not the custom of the Romans to give up any one before the accused met the accusers face to face, and had opportunity to make his defense concerning the charge laid against him.
 When therefore they came together here, I made no delay, but on the next day took my seat on the tribunal and ordered the man to be brought in.
 When the accusers stood up, they brought no charge in his case of such evils as I supposed;
 but they had certain points of dispute with him about their own superstition and about one Jesus, who was dead, but whom Paul asserted to be alive.
 Being at a loss how to investigate these questions, I asked whether he wished to go to Jerusalem and be tried there regarding them.
 But when Paul had appealed to be kept in custody for the decision of the emperor, I commanded him to be held until I could send him to Caesar.”
 And Agrippa said to Festus, “I should like to hear the man myself.” “Tomorrow,” said he, “you shall hear him.”
 Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James, To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ:
 May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.
 Beloved, being very eager to write to you of our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.
 For admission has been secretly gained by some who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly persons who pervert the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
 Now I desire to remind you, though you were once for all fully informed, that he who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.
 And the angels that did not keep their own position but left their proper dwelling have been kept by him in eternal chains in the nether gloom until the judgment of the great day;
 just as Sodom and Gomor’rah and the surrounding cities, which likewise acted immorally and indulged in unnatural lust, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.
 And Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me.
 And he who sees me sees him who sent me.
 I have come as light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.
 If any one hears my sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.
 He who rejects me and does not receive my sayings has a judge; the word that I have spoken will be his judge on the last day.
 For I have not spoken on my own authority; the Father who sent me has himself given me commandment what to say and what to speak.
 And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has bidden me.”
 And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying,
 “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a marriage feast for his son,
 and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the marriage feast; but they would not come.
 Again he sent other servants, saying, `Tell those who are invited, Behold, I have made ready my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves are killed, and everything is ready; come to the marriage feast.’
 But they made light of it and went off, one to his farm, another to his business,
 while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them.
 The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.
 Then he said to his servants, `The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy.
 Go therefore to the thoroughfares, and invite to the marriage feast as many as you find.’
 And those servants went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good; so the wedding hall was filled with guests.
 “But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment;
 and he said to him, `Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless.
 Then the king said to the attendants, `Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.’
 For many are called, but few are chosen.”
 And Sad’ducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection; and they asked him a question, saying,
 “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife, but leaves no child, the man must take the wife, and raise up children for his brother.
 There were seven brothers; the first took a wife, and when he died left no children;
 and the second took her, and died, leaving no children; and the third likewise;
 and the seven left no children. Last of all the woman also died.
 In the resurrection whose wife will she be? For the seven had her as wife.”
 Jesus said to them, “Is not this why you are wrong, that you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God?
 For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.
 And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God said to him, `I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’?
 He is not God of the dead, but of the living; you are quite wrong.”
 And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?”
 Jesus answered, “The first is, `Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one;
 and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’
 The second is this, `You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
 And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that he is one, and there is no other but he;
 and to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
 And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any question.
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America