Wednesday, May 5, 2021
Thirty-second Day of Zadeeg
I John 2:18-23
 “I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled!
 I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how I am constrained until it is accomplished!
 Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division;
 for henceforth in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three;
 they will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against her mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”
 He also said to the multitudes, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, `A shower is coming’; and so it happens.
 And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, `There will be scorching heat’; and it happens.
 You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky; but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?
 “And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?
 As you go with your accuser before the magistrate, make an effort to settle with him on the way, lest he drag you to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer put you in prison.
 I tell you, you will never get out till you have paid the very last copper.”
 There were some present at that very time who told him of the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
 And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered thus?
 I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.
 Or those eighteen upon whom the tower in Silo’am fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who dwelt in Jerusalem?
 I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”
 And he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came seeking fruit on it and found none.
 And he said to the vinedresser, `Lo, these three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down; why should it use up the ground?’
 And he answered him, `Let it alone, sir, this year also, till I dig about it and put on manure.
 And if it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’”
 But when Gallio was proconsul of Acha’ia, the Jews made a united attack upon Paul and brought him before the tribunal,
 saying, “This man is persuading men to worship God contrary to the law.”
 But when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, “If it were a matter of wrongdoing or vicious crime, I should have reason to bear with you, O Jews;
 but since it is a matter of questions about words and names and your own law, see to it yourselves; I refuse to be a judge of these things.”
 And he drove them from the tribunal.
 And they all seized Sos’thenes, the ruler of the synagogue, and beat him in front of the tribunal. But Gallio paid no attention to this.
 After this Paul stayed many days longer, and then took leave of the brethren and sailed for Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aq’uila. At Cen’chre-ae he cut his hair, for he had a vow.
 And they came to Ephesus, and he left them there; but he himself went into the synagogue and argued with the Jews.
 When they asked him to stay for a longer period, he declined;
 but on taking leave of them he said, “I will return to you if God wills,” and he set sail from Ephesus.
 When he had landed at Caesare’a, he went up and greeted the church, and then went down to Antioch.
 After spending some time there he departed and went from place to place through the region of Galatia and Phryg’ia, strengthening all the disciples.
 Now a Jew named Apol’los, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, well versed in the scriptures.
 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John.
 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue; but when Priscilla and Aq’uila heard him, they took him and expounded to him the way of God more accurately.
 And when he wished to cross to Acha’ia, the brethren encouraged him, and wrote to the disciples to receive him. When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed,
 for he powerfully confuted the Jews in public, showing by the scriptures that the Christ was Jesus.
I John 2:18-23
 Children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come; therefore we know that it is the last hour.
 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out, that it might be plain that they all are not of us.
 But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all know.
 I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and know that no lie is of the truth.
 Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son.
 No one who denies the Son has the Father. He who confesses the Son has the Father also.
 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
 The Pharisees then said to him, “You are bearing witness to yourself; your testimony is not true.”
 Jesus answered, “Even if I do bear witness to myself, my testimony is true, for I know whence I have come and whither I am going, but you do not know whence I come or whither I am going.
 You judge according to the flesh, I judge no one.
 Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone that judge, but I and he who sent me.
 In your law it is written that the testimony of two men is true;
 I bear witness to myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness to me.”
 They said to him therefore, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father; if you knew me, you would know my Father also.”
 These words he spoke in the treasury, as he taught in the temple; but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.
 Then he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds.
 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone,
 but the boat by this time was many furlongs distant from the land, beaten by the waves; for the wind was against them.
 And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea.
 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear.
 But immediately he spoke to them, saying, “Take heart, it is I; have no fear.”
 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, bid me come to you on the water.”
 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus;
 but when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.”
 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “O man of little faith, why did you doubt?”
 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
 And when they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret.
 And when the men of that place recognized him, they sent round to all that region and brought to him all that were sick,
 and besought him that they might only touch the fringe of his garment; and as many as touched it were made well.
 And when he had entered the house, and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable.
 And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a man from outside cannot defile him,
 since it enters, not his heart but his stomach, and so passes on?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.)
 And he said, “What comes out of a man is what defiles a man.
 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, fornication, theft, murder, adultery,
 coveting, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, foolishness.
 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a man.”
 And from there he arose and went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And he entered a house, and would not have any one know it; yet he could not be hid.
 But immediately a woman, whose little daughter was possessed by an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell down at his feet.
 Now the woman was a Greek, a Syrophoeni’cian by birth. And she begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter.
 And he said to her, “Let the children first be fed, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”
 But she answered him, “Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”
 And he said to her, “For this saying you may go your way; the demon has left your daughter.”
 And she went home, and found the child lying in bed, and the demon gone.
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America