Friday, May 28, 2021
Sixth Day of Pentecost,
 So Moses went out and told the people the words of the LORD; and he gathered seventy men of the elders of the people, and placed them round about the tent.
 Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the spirit that was upon him and put it upon the seventy elders; and when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did so no more.
 Now two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the spirit rested upon them; they were among those registered, but they had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp.
 And a young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.”
 For they will be made holy who observe holy things in holiness,
and those who have been taught them will find a defense.
 Therefore set your desire on my words;
long for them, and you will be instructed.
 Wisdom is radiant and unfading,
and she is easily discerned by those who love her,
and is found by those who seek her.
 She hastens to make herself known to those who desire her.
 He who rises early to seek her will have no difficulty,
for he will find her sitting at his gates.
 To fix one’s thought on her is perfect understanding,
and he who is vigilant on her account will
soon be free from care,
 because she goes about seeking those worthy of her,
and she graciously appears to them in their paths,
and meets them in every thought.
 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death.
 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,
 in order that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.
 To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
 Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicode’mus, a ruler of the Jews.
 This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him.”
 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
 Nicode’mus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”
 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
 Do not marvel that I said to you, `You must be born anew.’
 The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with every one who is born of the Spirit.”
 Circumcision indeed is of value if you obey the law; but if you break the law, your circumcision becomes uncircumcision.
 So, if a man who is uncircumcised keeps the precepts of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision?
 Then those who are physically uncircumcised but keep the law will condemn you who have the written code and circumcision but break the law.
 For he is not a real Jew who is one outwardly, nor is true circumcision something external and physical.
 He is a Jew who is one inwardly, and real circumcision is a matter of the heart, spiritual and not literal. His praise is not from men but from God.
 Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision?
 Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews are entrusted with the oracles of God.
 What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God?
 By no means! Let God be true though every man be false, as it is written, “That thou mayest be justified in thy words,
and prevail when thou art judged.”
 But if our wickedness serves to show the justice of God, what shall we say? That God is unjust to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.)
 By no means! For then how could God judge the world?
 But if through my falsehood God’s truthfulness abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner?
 And why not do evil that good may come? — as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just.
 What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all; for I have already charged that all men, both Jews and Greeks, are under the power of sin,
 And getting into a boat he crossed over and came to his own city.
 And behold, they brought to him a paralytic, lying on his bed; and when Jesus saw their faith he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.”
 And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.”
 But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts?
 For which is easier, to say, `Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, `Rise and walk’?
 But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins” — he then said to the paralytic — “Rise, take up your bed and go home.”
 And he rose and went home.
 When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.
 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.
 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.”
 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America