Sunday, May 9, 2021
Thirty-sixth Day of Zadeeg,
I John 3:2-6
 Now great multitudes accompanied him; and he turned and said to them,
 “If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.
 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?
 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him,
 saying, `This man began to build, and was not able to finish.’
 Or what king, going to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and take counsel whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand?
 And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an embassy and asks terms of peace.
 So therefore, whoever of you does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.
 “Salt is good; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltness be restored?
 It is fit neither for the land nor for the dunghill; men throw it away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him.
 And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”
 So he told them this parable:
 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it?
 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, `Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost.’
 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
 “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it?
 And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, `Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost.’
 Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
 And he said, “There was a man who had two sons;
 and the younger of them said to his father, `Father, give me the share of property that falls to me.’ And he divided his living between them.
 Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took his journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in loose living.
 And when he had spent everything, a great famine arose in that country, and he began to be in want.
 So he went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed swine.
 And he would gladly have fed on the pods that the swine ate; and no one gave him anything.
 But when he came to himself he said, `How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, but I perish here with hunger!
 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you;
 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired servants.”‘
 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was yet at a distance, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.
 And the son said to him, `Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
 But the father said to his servants, `Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet;
 and bring the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and make merry;
 for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to make merry.
 “Now his elder son was in the field; and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing.
 And he called one of the servants and asked what this meant.
 And he said to him, `Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has received him safe and sound.’
 But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him,
 but he answered his father, `Lo, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command; yet you never gave me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends.
 But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your living with harlots, you killed for him the fatted calf!’
 And he said to him, `Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.
 It was fitting to make merry and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’”
 And from Mile’tus he sent to Ephesus and called to him the elders of the church.
 And when they came to him, he said to them:
“You yourselves know how I lived among you all the time from the first day that I set foot in Asia,
 serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials which befell me through the plots of the Jews;
 how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house,
 testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance to God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
 And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, bound in the Spirit, not knowing what shall befall me there;
 except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me.
 But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may accomplish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
 And now, behold, I know that all you among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom will see my face no more.
 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all of you,
 for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.
 Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God which he obtained with the blood of his own Son.
 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock;
 and from among your own selves will arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.
 Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears.
 And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
 I coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel.
 You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities, and to those who were with me.
 In all things I have shown you that by so toiling one must help the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, `It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
 And when he had spoken thus, he knelt down and prayed with them all.
 And they all wept and embraced Paul and kissed him,
 sorrowing most of all because of the word he had spoken, that they should see his face no more. And they brought him to the ship.
I John 3:2-6
 Beloved, we are God’s children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
 And every one who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
 Every one who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.
 You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.
 No one who abides in him sins; no one who sins has either seen him or known him.
 Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.”
 Some of the Pharisees near him heard this, and they said to him, “Are we also blind?”
 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, `We see,’ your guilt remains.
 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber;
 but he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
 To him the gatekeeper opens; the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
 When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.
 A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”
 This figure Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.
 So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.
 All who came before me are thieves and robbers; but the sheep did not heed them.
 I am the door; if any one enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.
 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesare’a Philip’pi, he asked his disciples, “Who do men say that the Son of man is?”
 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Eli’jah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.
 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.
 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
 Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.
 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.
 And Peter took him and began to rebuke him, saying, “God forbid, Lord! This shall never happen to you.”
 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me; for you are not on the side of God, but of men.”
 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
 For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
 For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life?
 For the Son of man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay every man for what he has done.
 Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.”
 And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain apart.
 And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light.
 And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Eli’jah, talking with him.
 And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is well that we are here; if you wish, I will make three booths here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Eli’jah.”
 He was still speaking, when lo, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”
 When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces, and were filled with awe.
 But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.”
 And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.
 And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Tell no one the vision, until the Son of man is raised from the dead.”
 And the disciples asked him, “Then why do the scribes say that first Eli’jah must come?”
 He replied, “Eli’jah does come, and he is to restore all things;
 but I tell you that Eli’jah has already come, and they did not know him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of man will suffer at their hands.”
 Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.
 then they sat down and kept watch over him there.
 And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus the King of the Jews.”
 Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left.
 And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads
 and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”
 So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying,
 “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.
 He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him; for he said, `I am the Son of God.’”
 And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way.
 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour.
 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, la’ma sabach-tha’ni?” that is, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
 And some of the bystanders hearing it said, “This man is calling Eli’jah.”
 And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave it to him to drink.
 But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Eli’jah will come to save him.”
 And Jesus cried again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.
 And Jesus went on with his disciples, to the villages of Caesare’a Philip’pi; and on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do men say that I am?”
 And they told him, “John the Baptist; and others say, Eli’jah; and others one of the prophets.”
 And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.”
 And he charged them to tell no one about him.
 And he began to teach them that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.
 And he said this plainly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him.
 But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter, and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not on the side of God, but of men.”
 And he called to him the multitude with his disciples, and said to them, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
 For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.
 For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?
 For what can a man give in return for his life?
 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man also be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
 And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power.”
 And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves; and he was transfigured before them,
 and his garments became glistening, intensely white, as no fuller on earth could bleach them.
 And there appeared to them Eli’jah with Moses; and they were talking to Jesus.
 And Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is well that we are here; let us make three booths, one for you and one for Moses and one for Eli’jah.”
 For he did not know what to say, for they were exceedingly afraid.
 And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.”
 And suddenly looking around they no longer saw any one with them but Jesus only.
 And as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of man should have risen from the dead.
 So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what the rising from the dead meant.
 And they asked him, “Why do the scribes say that first Eli’jah must come?”
 And he said to them, “Eli’jah does come first to restore all things; and how is it written of the Son of man, that he should suffer many things and be treated with contempt?
 But I tell you that Eli’jah has come, and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written of him.”
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America