Friday, May 21, 2021
Forty-eighth Day of Zadeeg
 And as some spoke of the temple, how it was adorned with noble stones and offerings, he said,
 “As for these things which you see, the days will come when there shall not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”
 And they asked him, “Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign when this is about to take place?”
 And he said, “Take heed that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name, saying, `I am he!’ and, `The time is at hand!’ Do not go after them.
 And when you hear of wars and tumults, do not be terrified; for this must first take place, but the end will not be at once.”
 Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom;
 there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.
 But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake.
 This will be a time for you to bear testimony.
 Settle it therefore in your minds, not to meditate beforehand how to answer;
 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict.
 You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and kinsmen and friends, and some of you they will put to death;
 you will be hated by all for my name’s sake.
 But not a hair of your head will perish.
 By your endurance you will gain your lives.
 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near.
 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it;
 for these are days of vengeance, to fulfil all that is written.
 Alas for those who are with child and for those who give suck in those days! For great distress shall be upon the earth and wrath upon this people;
 they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led captive among all nations; and Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
 “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth distress of nations in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves,
 men fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
 And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
 Now when these things begin to take place, look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
 And he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees;
 as soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near.
 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near.
 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all has taken place.
 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
 “But take heed to yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a snare;
 for it will come upon all who dwell upon the face of the whole earth.
 But watch at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of man.”
 And every day he was teaching in the temple, but at night he went out and lodged on the mount called Olivet.
 And early in the morning all the people came to him in the temple to hear him.
 And when it was decided that we should sail for Italy, they delivered Paul and some other prisoners to a centurion of the Augustan Cohort, named Julius.
 And embarking in a ship of Adramyt’tium, which was about to sail to the ports along the coast of Asia, we put to sea, accompanied by Aristar’chus, a Macedo’nian from Thessaloni’ca.
 The next day we put in at Sidon; and Julius treated Paul kindly, and gave him leave to go to his friends and be cared for.
 And putting to sea from there we sailed under the lee of Cyprus, because the winds were against us.
 And when we had sailed across the sea which is off Cili’cia and Pamphyl’ia, we came to Myra in Ly’cia.
 There the centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing for Italy, and put us on board.
 We sailed slowly for a number of days, and arrived with difficulty off Cni’dus, and as the wind did not allow us to go on, we sailed under the lee of Crete off Salmo’ne.
 Coasting along it with difficulty, we came to a place called Fair Havens, near which was the city of Lase’a.
 As much time had been lost, and the voyage was already dangerous because the fast had already gone by, Paul advised them,
 saying, “Sirs, I perceive that the voyage will be with injury and much loss, not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives.”
 But the centurion paid more attention to the captain and to the owner of the ship than to what Paul said.
 And because the harbor was not suitable to winter in, the majority advised to put to sea from there, on the chance that somehow they could reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete, looking northeast and southeast, and winter there.
 And when the south wind blew gently, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, they weighed anchor and sailed along Crete, close inshore.
 But soon a tempestuous wind, called the northeaster, struck down from the land;
 and when the ship was caught and could not face the wind, we gave way to it and were driven.
 And running under the lee of a small island called Cauda, we managed with difficulty to secure the boat;
 after hoisting it up, they took measures to undergird the ship; then, fearing that they should run on the Syr’tis, they lowered the gear, and so were driven.
 As we were violently storm-tossed, they began next day to throw the cargo overboard;
 and the third day they cast out with their own hands the tackle of the ship.
 And when neither sun nor stars appeared for many a day, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope of our being saved was at last abandoned.
 As they had been long without food, Paul then came forward among them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me, and should not have set sail from Crete and incurred this injury and loss.
 I now bid you take heart; for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship.
 For this very night there stood by me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship,
 and he said, `Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar; and lo, God has granted you all those who sail with you.’
 So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told.
 But we shall have to run on some island.”
 When the fourteenth night had come, as we were drifting across the sea of A’dria, about midnight the sailors suspected that they were nearing land.
 So they sounded and found twenty fathoms; a little farther on they sounded again and found fifteen fathoms.
 And fearing that we might run on the rocks, they let out four anchors from the stern, and prayed for day to come.
 And as the sailors were seeking to escape from the ship, and had lowered the boat into the sea, under pretense of laying out anchors from the bow,
 Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be saved.”
 Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the boat, and let it go.
 As day was about to dawn, Paul urged them all to take some food, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day that you have continued in suspense and without food, having taken nothing.
 Therefore I urge you to take some food; it will give you strength, since not a hair is to perish from the head of any of you.”
 And when he had said this, he took bread, and giving thanks to God in the presence of all he broke it and began to eat.
 Then they all were encouraged and ate some food themselves.
 (We were in all two hundred and seventy-six persons in the ship.)
 And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, throwing out the wheat into the sea.
 Now when it was day, they did not recognize the land, but they noticed a bay with a beach, on which they planned if possible to bring the ship ashore.
 So they cast off the anchors and left them in the sea, at the same time loosening the ropes that tied the rudders; then hoisting the foresail to the wind they made for the beach.
 But striking a shoal they ran the vessel aground; the bow stuck and remained immovable, and the stern was broken up by the surf.
 The soldiers’ plan was to kill the prisoners, lest any should swim away and escape;
 but the centurion, wishing to save Paul, kept them from carrying out their purpose. He ordered those who could swim to throw themselves overboard first and make for the land,
 and the rest on planks or on pieces of the ship. And so it was that all escaped to land.
 After we had escaped, we then learned that the island was called Malta.
 And the natives showed us unusual kindness, for they kindled a fire and welcomed us all, because it had begun to rain and was cold.
 Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and put them on the fire, when a viper came out because of the heat and fastened on his hand.
 When the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, “No doubt this man is a murderer. Though he has escaped from the sea, justice has not allowed him to live.”
 He, however, shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm.
 They waited, expecting him to swell up or suddenly fall down dead; but when they had waited a long time and saw no misfortune come to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a god.
 Now in the neighborhood of that place were lands belonging to the chief man of the island, named Publius, who received us and entertained us hospitably for three days.
 It happened that the father of Publius lay sick with fever and dysentery; and Paul visited him and prayed, and putting his hands on him healed him.
 And when this had taken place, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases also came and were cured.
 They presented many gifts to us; and when we sailed, they put on board whatever we needed.
 After three months we set sail in a ship which had wintered in the island, a ship of Alexandria, with the Twin Brothers as figurehead.
 Putting in at Syracuse, we stayed there for three days.
 And from there we made a circuit and arrived at Rhe’gium; and after one day a south wind sprang up, and on the second day we came to Pute’oli.
 There we found brethren, and were invited to stay with them for seven days. And so we came to Rome.
 And the brethren there, when they heard of us, came as far as the Forum of Ap’pius and Three Taverns to meet us. On seeing them Paul thanked God and took courage.
 And when we came into Rome, Paul was allowed to stay by himself, with the soldier that guarded him.
 These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own passions, loud-mouthed boasters, flattering people to gain advantage.
 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him.
 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
 I am not speaking of you all; I know whom I have chosen; it is that the scripture may be fulfilled, `He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’
 I tell you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he.
 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who receives any one whom I send receives me; and he who receives me receives him who sent me.”
 When Jesus had thus spoken, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”
 The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke.
 One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was lying close to the breast of Jesus;
 so Simon Peter beckoned to him and said, “Tell us who it is of whom he speaks.”
 So lying thus, close to the breast of Jesus, he said to him, “Lord, who is it?”
 Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I shall give this morsel when I have dipped it.” So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.
 Then after the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.”
 Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him.
 Some thought that, because Judas had the money box, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast”; or, that he should give something to the poor.
 So, after receiving the morsel, he immediately went out; and it was night.
 Then said Jesus to the crowds and to his disciples,
 “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat;
 so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice.
 They bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with their finger.
 They do all their deeds to be seen by men; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long,
 and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues,
 and salutations in the market places, and being called rabbi by men.
 But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brethren.
 And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.
 Neither be called masters, for you have one master, the Christ.
 He who is greatest among you shall be your servant;
 whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you shut the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither enter yourselves, nor allow those who would enter to go in.
 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you traverse sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.
 “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, `If any one swears by the temple, it is nothing; but if any one swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’
 You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred?
 And you say, `If any one swears by the altar, it is nothing; but if any one swears by the gift that is on the altar, he is bound by his oath.’
 You blind men! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred?
 So he who swears by the altar, swears by it and by everything on it;
 and he who swears by the temple, swears by it and by him who dwells in it;
 and he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by him who sits upon it.
 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy and faith; these you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.
 You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!
 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you cleanse the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of extortion and rapacity.
 You blind Pharisee! first cleanse the inside of the cup and of the plate, that the outside also may be clean.
 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.
 So you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous,
 saying, `If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’
 Thus you witness against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets.
 Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers.
 You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?
 Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from town to town,
 that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of innocent Abel to the blood of Zechari’ah the son of Barachi’ah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.
 Truly, I say to you, all this will come upon this generation.
 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!
 Behold, your house is forsaken and desolate.
 For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, `Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”
 And as he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!”
 And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another, that will not be thrown down.”
 And as he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately,
 “Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign when these things are all to be accomplished?”
 And Jesus began to say to them, “Take heed that no one leads you astray.
 Many will come in my name, saying, `I am he!’ and they will lead many astray.
 And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is not yet.
 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places, there will be famines; this is but the beginning of the birth-pangs.
 “But take heed to yourselves; for they will deliver you up to councils; and you will be beaten in synagogues; and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear testimony before them.
 And the gospel must first be preached to all nations.
 And when they bring you to trial and deliver you up, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say; but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.
 And brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death;
 and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.
 “But when you see the desolating sacrilege set up where it ought not to be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains;
 let him who is on the housetop not go down, nor enter his house, to take anything away;
 and let him who is in the field not turn back to take his mantle.
 And alas for those who are with child and for those who give suck in those days!
 Pray that it may not happen in winter.
 For in those days there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will be.
 And if the Lord had not shortened the days, no human being would be saved; but for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he shortened the days.
 And then if any one says to you, `Look, here is the Christ!’ or `Look, there he is!’ do not believe it.
 False Christs and false prophets will arise and show signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect.
 But take heed; I have told you all things beforehand.
 “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light,
 and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
 And then they will see the Son of man coming in clouds with great power and glory.
 And then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.
 “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near.
 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates.
 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away before all these things take place.
 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
 “But of that day or that hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
 Take heed, watch; for you do not know when the time will come.
 It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch.
 Watch therefore — for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning —
 lest he come suddenly and find you asleep.
 And what I say to you I say to all: Watch.”
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America