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ACAD – Give Grace: Romans 3

Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? Much, in every way. For in the first place, the Jews[a] were entrusted with the oracles of God. What if some were unfaithful? Will their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? By no means! Although every human is a liar, let God be proved true, as it is written,

“So that you may be justified in your words and you will prevail[b] when you go to trial.”

But if our injustice serves to confirm the justice of God, what should 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 judged as a sinner? And why not say (as some people slander us by saying that we say), “Let us do evil so that good may come”? Their judgment is deserved!

What then? Are we any better off?[c] No, not at all, for we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under the power of sin, as it is written:

“There is no one who is righteous, not even one; there is no one who has understanding; there is no one who seeks God.

All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; there is no one who shows kindness; there is not even one.”

“Their throats are opened graves; they use their tongues to deceive.”

“The venom of vipers is under their lips.”

“Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”

“Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery are in their paths, and the way of peace they have not known.”

“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

Now we know that, whatever the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For no human will be justified before him by deeds prescribed by the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin.

But now, apart from the law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed and is attested by the Law and the Prophets, the righteousness of God through the faith of Jesus Christ[d] for all who believe.[e] For there is no distinction, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement[f] by his blood, effective through faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed; it was to demonstrate at the present time his own righteousness, so that he is righteous and he justifies the one who has the faith of Jesus.[g]

Then what becomes of boasting? It is excluded. Through what kind of law? That of works? No, rather through the law of faith. For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of gentiles also? Yes, of gentiles also, since God is one, and he will justify the circumcised on the ground of faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. Do we then overthrow the law through this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.

Footnotes
3.2 Gk they
3.4 Other ancient authorities read you may prevail
3.9 Or at any disadvantage?
3.22 Or through faith in Jesus Christ
3.22 Or trust
3.25 Or a place of atonement
3.26 Or has faith in Jesus

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ACAD – Give Grace: Romans 1

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures, the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be Son of God with power according to the spirit[a] of holiness by resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the gentiles for the sake of his name, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,

To all God’s beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed throughout the world. For God, whom I serve with my spirit by announcing the gospel[b] of his Son, is my witness that without ceasing I remember you always in my prayers, asking that by God’s will I may somehow at last succeed in coming to you. For I long to see you so that I may share with you some spiritual gift so that you may be strengthened— or rather so that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you, as I have among the rest of the gentiles. I am obligated both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish, hence my eagerness to proclaim the gospel to you also who are in Rome.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is God’s saving power for everyone who believes,[c] for the Jew first and also for the Greek.  For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith, as it is written, “The one who is righteous will live by faith.”[d]

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and injustice of those who by their injustice suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. Ever since the creation of the world God’s eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been seen and understood through the things God has made. So they are without excuse, for though they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their senseless hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and they exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling a mortal human or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles.

Therefore God gave them over in the desires of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

For this reason God gave them over to dishonorable passions. Their females exchanged natural intercourse[e] for unnatural, and in the same way also the males, giving up natural intercourse[f] with females, were consumed with their passionate desires for one another. Males committed shameless acts with males and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error.

And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them over to an unfit mind and to do things that should not be done. They were filled with every kind of injustice, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, craftiness, they are gossips, slanderers, God-haters,[g] insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, rebellious toward parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. They know God’s decree, that those who practice such things deserve to die, yet they not only do them but even applaud others who practice them.

Footnotes
a.1.4 Or Spirit
b.1.9 Gk my spirit in the gospel
c.1.16 Or trusts
d.1.17 Or The one who is righteous through faith will live
e.1.26 Gk use
f.1.27 Gk use
g.1.30 Or God-hated

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ACAD – Give Grace: John 1

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life,[a] and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overtake it.

There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.[b]

He was in the world, and the world came into being through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own,[c] and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son,[d] full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’ ”) From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.[e] The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is the only Son, himself God, who[f] is close to the Father’s heart,[g] who has made him known.

This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed and did not deny it, but he confessed, “I am not the Messiah.”[h] And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” He answered, “No.” Then they said to him, “Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” He said,

“I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’” as the prophet Isaiah said.

Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, “Why, then, are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah,[i] nor Elijah, nor the prophet?” John answered them, “I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the strap of his sandal.” This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing.

The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him, but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.” And John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Chosen One.”[j]

The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by he exclaimed, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher), “where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon. One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated Anointed[k]). He brought Simon[l] to Jesus, who looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas”[m] (which is translated Peter[n]).

The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you,[o] you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition
Footnotes
a.1.4 Or through him. And without him not one thing came into being that has come into being. In him was life
b.1.9 Or He was the true light that enlightens everyone coming into the world
c.1.11 Or to his own home
d.1.14 Or the Father’s only Son
e.1.16 Or grace in place of grace
f.1.18 Other ancient authorities read is the only Son who
g.1.18 Gk bosom
h.1.20 Or the Christ
i.1.25 Or the Christ
j.1.34 Other ancient authorities read the Son of God
k.1.41 Or Christ
l.1.42 Gk him
m.1.42 Aramaic for rock
n.1.42 Greek for rock
o.1.51 Both instances of you in 1.51 are plural in Greek
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ACAD – Give Grace: Song of Songs 7

How graceful are your feet in sandals,
O queenly maiden!
Your rounded thighs are like jewels,
the work of a master hand.
Your navel is a rounded bowl;
may it never lack mixed wine.
Your belly is a heap of wheat,
encircled with lilies.
Your two breasts are like two fawns,
twins of a gazelle.
Your neck is like an ivory tower.
Your eyes are pools in Heshbon,
by the gate of Bath-rabbim.
Your nose is like a tower of Lebanon,
overlooking Damascus.
Your head crowns you like Carmel,
and your flowing locks are like purple;
a king is held captive in the tresses.

How fair and pleasant you are,
O loved one, delectable maiden![a]
You are stately[b] as a palm tree,
and your breasts are like its clusters.
I said, “I will climb the palm tree
and lay hold of its branches.”
O may your breasts be like clusters of the vine,
and the scent of your breath like apples,
and your kisses[c] like the best wine
that goes down[d] smoothly,
gliding over lips and teeth.[e]

I am my beloved’s,
and his desire is for me.
Come, my beloved,
let us go forth into the fields
and lodge in the villages;
let us go out early to the vineyards;
let us see whether the vines have budded,
whether the grape blossoms have opened
and the pomegranates are in bloom.
There I will give you my love.
The mandrakes give forth fragrance,
and over our doors are all choice fruits,
new as well as old,
which I have laid up for you, O my beloved.

Footnotes
7.6 Syr: Heb in delights
7.7 Heb This your stature is
7.9 Heb palate
7.9 Heb to my lover
7.9 Gk Syr Vg: Heb lips of sleepers
Song of Songs 6
Song of Songs 8
New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition (NRSVUE)

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ACAD – Women & Truth: 1 Esdras 4

[About Esdras: First Book of Esdras, also called Greek Ezra, abbreviation I Esdras, apocryphal work that was included in the canon of the Septuagint (the Greek version of the Hebrew Bible) but is not part of any modern biblical canon; it is called Greek Ezra by modern scholars to distinguish it from the Old Testament Book of Ezra written in Hebrew. Originally written in Aramaic or Hebrew, I Esdras has survived only in Greek and in a Latin translation made from the Greek.]

Then the second, who had spoken of the strength of the king, began to speak: “Gentlemen, are not men strongest, who rule over land and sea and all that is in them? But the king is stronger; he is their lord and master, and whatever he says to them they obey. If he tells them to make war on one another, they do it, and if he sends them out against the enemy, they go and conquer mountains, walls, and towers. They kill and are killed and do not disobey the king’s command; if they win the victory, they bring everything to the king—whatever spoil they take and everything else. Likewise those who do not serve in the army or make war but till the soil; whenever they sow and reap, they bring some to the king, and they compel one another to pay taxes to the king. And yet he is only one man! If he tells them to kill, they kill; if he tells them to release, they release; if he tells them to attack, they attack; if he tells them to lay waste, they lay waste; if he tells them to build, they build; if he tells them to cut down, they cut down; if he tells them to plant, they plant. All his people and his armies obey him. Furthermore, he reclines, he eats and drinks and sleeps, but they keep watch around him, and no one may go away to attend to his own affairs, nor do they disobey him. Gentlemen, why is not the king the strongest, since he is to be obeyed in this fashion?” And he stopped speaking.

Then the third, who had spoken of women and truth (and this was Zerubbabel), began to speak: “Gentlemen, is not the king great, and are not men many, and is not wine strong? Who is it, then, who rules them or has the mastery over them? Is it not women? Women gave birth to the king and to every people that rules over sea and land. From women they came, and women brought up the very men who plant the vineyards from which comes wine. Women make men’s clothes; they bring men glory; men cannot exist without women. If men gather gold and silver or any other beautiful thing and then see a woman lovely in appearance and beauty, they let all those things go and gape at her and with open mouths stare at her, and all prefer her to gold or silver or any other beautiful thing. A man leaves his own father, who brought him up, and his own region and clings to his wife. With his wife he ends his days, with no thought of his father or his mother or his region. Therefore you must realize that women rule over you!

“Do you not labor and toil and bring everything and give it to women? A man takes his sword and goes out to travel and rob and steal and to sail the sea and rivers; he faces lions, and he walks in darkness, and when he steals and robs and plunders, he brings it back to the woman he loves. A man loves his wife more than his father or his mother. Many men have lost their minds because of women and have become slaves because of them. Many have perished or stumbled or sinned because of women. And now do you not believe me?

“Is not the king great in his authority? Do not all lands fear to touch him? Yet I have seen him with Apame, the king’s concubine, the daughter of the illustrious Bartacus; she would sit at the king’s right hand and take the crown from the king’s head and put it on her own and slap the king with her left hand. At this the king would gaze at her with mouth agape. If she smiles at him, he laughs; if she loses her temper with him, he flatters her, so that she may be reconciled to him. Gentlemen, why are not women strong, since they do such things?”

Then the king and the nobles looked at one another, and he began to speak about truth: “Gentlemen, are not women strong? The earth is vast, and heaven is high, and the sun is swift in its course, for it makes the circuit of the heavens and returns to its place in one day. Is not the one who does these things great? But truth is great and stronger than all things. The whole earth calls upon truth, and heaven blesses it. All the works quake and tremble, and with it[a] there is nothing unrighteous. Wine is unrighteous; the king is unrighteous; women are unrighteous; all humans are unrighteous; all their works are unrighteous and all such things. There is no truth in them, and in their unrighteousness they will perish. But truth endures and is strong forever and lives and prevails forever and ever. With it there is no partiality or preference, but it does what is righteous instead of anything that is unrighteous or wicked. Everyone approves its deeds, and there is nothing unrighteous in its judgment. To it belongs the strength and the kingship and the power and the majesty of all the ages. Blessed be the God of truth!” When he stopped speaking, all the people shouted and said, “Great is truth and strongest of all!”

Then the king said to Zerubbabel,[b] “Ask what you wish, even beyond what is written, and we will give it to you, for you have been found to be the wisest. You shall sit next to me and be called my Kinsman.” Then he said to the king, “Remember the vow that you made on the day when you became king, to build Jerusalem and to send back all the vessels that were taken from Jerusalem, which Cyrus set apart when he began[c] to destroy Babylon and vowed to send them back there. You also vowed to build the temple, which the Edomites burned when Judea was laid waste by the Chaldeans. And now, O lord the king, this is what I ask and request of you, and this befits your greatness. I pray, therefore, that you fulfill the vow whose fulfillment you vowed to the King of heaven with your own lips.”

Then King Darius got up and kissed him and wrote letters for him to all the treasurers and governors and generals and satraps, that they should give safe conduct to him and to all who were going up with him to build Jerusalem. And he wrote letters to all the governors in Coelesyria and Phoenicia and to those in Lebanon, to bring cedar timber from Lebanon to Jerusalem and to help him build the city. He wrote in behalf of all the Jews who were going up from his kingdom to Judea, in the interest of their freedom, that no officer or satrap or governor or treasurer should forcibly enter their doors; that all the region that they would occupy should be theirs without tribute; that the Idumeans should give up the villages of the Jews that they held; that twenty talents a year should be given for the building of the temple until it was completed and an additional ten talents a year for burnt offerings to be offered on the altar every day, in accordance with the commandment to make seventeen offerings; and that all who came from Babylonia to build the city should have their freedom, they and their children and all the priests who came. He wrote also concerning their support and the priests’ vestments in which they were to minister. He wrote that the support for the Levites should be provided until the day when the temple would be finished and Jerusalem built. He wrote that land and wages should be provided for all who guarded the city. And he sent back from Babylon all the vessels that Cyrus had set apart; everything that Cyrus had ordered to be done, he also commanded to be done and to be sent to Jerusalem.

When the young man went out, he lifted up his face to heaven toward Jerusalem and praised the King of heaven, saying, “From you comes the victory; from you comes wisdom, and yours is the glory. I am your servant. Blessed are you, who have given me wisdom; I give you thanks, O Lord of our ancestors.”

So he took the letters and went to Babylon and told this to all his kindred. And they praised the God of their ancestors because he had given them freedom and permission to go up and build Jerusalem and the temple that is called by his name, and they feasted, with music and rejoicing, for seven days.

Footnotes
4.36 That is, heaven
4.42 Gk him
4.44 Cn: Gk vowed
[Note: The books from 1 Esdras through 3 Maccabees are recognized as Deuterocanonical Scripture by the Greek and the Russian Orthodox Churches. They are not so recognized by the Roman Catholic Church, but 1 Esdras and the Prayer of Manasseh (together with 2 Esdras) are placed in an appendix to the Latin Vulgate Bible.]
Resource: BibleGateway.com, New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition
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ACAD – Women & Truth: 1 Esdras 3

Now King Darius gave a great banquet for all who were under him, all who were born in his house, and all the nobles of Media and Persia, and all the satraps and generals and governors who were under him in the hundred twenty-seven satrapies from India to Ethiopia. They ate and drank, and when they were satisfied they went away, and King Darius went to his bedroom; he went to sleep but woke up again.

Then the three young men of the bodyguard who kept guard over the person of the king said to one another, “Let each of us state what one word is strongest, and to the one whose statement seems wisest, King Darius will give rich gifts and great honors of victory. He shall be clothed in purple and drink from gold cups and sleep on a gold bed[a] and have a chariot with gold bridles and a turban of fine linen and a necklace around his neck, and because of his wisdom he shall sit next to Darius and shall be called Kinsman of Darius.”

Then each bodyguard wrote his own statement, and they sealed them and put them under the pillow of King Darius and said, “When the king wakes, they will give him the writing, and to the one whose statement the king and the three nobles of Persia judge to be wisest the victory shall be given according to what is written.” The first wrote, “Wine is strongest.” The second wrote, “The king is strongest.” The third wrote, “Women are strongest, but above all things truth is victor.”[b]

When the king awoke, they took the writing and gave it to him, and he read it. Then he sent and summoned all the nobles of Persia and Media and the satraps and generals and governors and prefects, and he took his seat in the council chamber, and the writing was read in their presence. He said, “Call the young men, and they shall explain their statements.” So they were summoned and came in. They said to them, “Explain to us what you have written.”

Then the first, who had spoken of the strength of wine, began and said: “Gentlemen, how is wine the strongest? It leads astray the minds of all who drink it. It makes equal the mind of the king and the orphan, of the slave and the free, of the poor and the rich. It turns every thought to feasting and gladness and forgets all sorrow and debt. It makes all hearts feel rich, forgets kings and satraps, and makes everyone talk of extravagant sums.[c] When people drink they forget to be friendly with friends and kindred, and before long they draw their swords. And when they recover from the wine, they do not remember what they have done. Gentlemen, is not wine the strongest, since it forces people to do these things?” When he had said this, he stopped speaking.

Footnotes
3.6 Gk on gold
3.12 Or but truth triumphs over all things
3.20 Gk talents

[Note: The books from 1 Esdras through 3 Maccabees are recognized as Deuterocanonical Scripture by the Greek and the Russian Orthodox Churches. They are not so recognized by the Roman Catholic Church, but 1 Esdras and the Prayer of Manasseh (together with 2 Esdras) are placed in an appendix to the Latin Vulgate Bible.]

Resource: BibleGateway.com, New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition

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Thoughts on being pursued

The longest ongoing war in the world has been pitched by men against women. Men seek to control, possess and destroy women, in general. However, when men begin to nurture, respect and join with women’s feminine power, healing between the male and female will begin.

What’s your take on this?

The Woman and the Dragon

A great portent appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pangs, in the agony of giving birth. Then another portent appeared in heaven: a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns and seven diadems on his heads. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. Then the dragon stood before the woman who was about to deliver a child, so that he might devour her child as soon as it was born. And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a scepter of iron. But her child was snatched away and taken to God and to his throne, and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, so that there she can be nourished for one thousand two hundred sixty days.

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Harvest Life 2022 Content Engagement Goals

Spoiler: More audio and video!

Monthly
💻 Zoom Bible Study
🎙Conversations/Interviews (#twitter #spaces + #zoom)
🏠 Home Ownership

What topics are you interest in? Share in the comments.

Watch for additional details here:

#harvestlife #harvestbooks #harvestphotography #harvesthomes #harvestlifer #keepmoving #forward #grace #space #opportunity #harvest

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Kingdom of Heaven (ACAD: Matthew 20)

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace; and he said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same. And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, ‘Why are you standing here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’

When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.’ When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

While Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside by themselves, and said to them on the way, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death; then they will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified; and on the third day he will be raised.”

Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to him with her sons, and kneeling before him, she asked a favor of him. And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Declare that these two sons of mine will sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” He said to them, “You will indeed drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left, this is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”

When the ten heard it, they were angry with the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

As they were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. There were two blind men sitting by the roadside. When they heard that Jesus was passing by, they shouted, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” The crowd sternly ordered them to be quiet; but they shouted even more loudly, “Have mercy on us, Lord, Son of David!” Jesus stood still and called them, saying, “What do you want me to do for you?” They said to him, “Lord, let our eyes be opened.” Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes. Immediately they regained their sight and followed him.


Matthew 20:1-34 – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Matthew%2020:1-34&version=NRSV

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Kingdom of Heaven (ACAD: Matthew 25)

“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise replied, ‘No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’ Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.

“For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”


Matthew 25:1-46 – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Matthew%2025:1-46&version=NRSV