6 Many proclaim themselves loyal, but who can find one worthy of trust?
7 The righteous walk in integrity—happy are the children who follow them!
8 A king who sits on the throne of judgement winnows all evil with his eyes.
9 Who can say, ‘I have made my heart clean; I am pure from my sin’?
10 Diverse weights and diverse measures are both alike an abomination to the Lord.
11 Even children make themselves known by their acts, by whether what they do is pure and right.
12 The hearing ear and the seeing eye—the Lord has made them both.
13 Do not love sleep, or else you will come to poverty; open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread.
14 ‘Bad, bad’, says the buyer, then goes away and boasts.
15 There is gold, and abundance of costly stones; but the lips informed by knowledge are a precious jewel.
16 Take the garment of one who has given surety for a stranger; seize the pledge given as surety for foreigners.
17 Bread gained by deceit is sweet, but afterwards the mouth will be full of gravel.
18 Plans are established by taking advice; wage war by following wise guidance.
19 A gossip reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with a babbler.
20 If you curse father or mother, your lamp will go out in utter darkness.
21 An estate quickly acquired in the beginning will not be blessed in the end.
22 Do not say, ‘I will repay evil’; wait for the Lord, and he will help you.
21 Take courage, my children, cry to God, and he will deliver you from the power and hand of the enemy.
22 For I have put my hope in the Everlasting to save you, and joy has come to me from the Holy One,
because of the mercy that will soon come to you from your everlasting saviour.
23 For I sent you out with sorrow and weeping, but God will give you back to me with joy and gladness for ever.
24 For as the neighbours of Zion have now seen your capture, so they soon will see your salvation by God, which will come to you with great glory and with the splendour of the Everlasting.
2 Corinthians 4:1-11
Treasure in Clay Jars
1 Therefore, since it is by God’s mercy that we are engaged in this ministry, we do not lose heart.
2 We have renounced the shameful things that one hides; we refuse to practise cunning or to falsify God’s word; but by the open statement of the truth we commend ourselves to the conscience of everyone in the sight of God.
3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.
4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
5 For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake.
6 For it is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
7 But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us.
8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;
9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;
10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies.
11 For while we live, we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be made visible in our mortal flesh.
39 Jesus said, ‘I came into this world for judgement so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.’
40 Some of the Pharisees near him heard this and said to him, ‘Surely we are not blind, are we?’
41 Jesus said to them, ‘If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now that you say, “We see”, your sin remains.
Jesus the Good Shepherd
1 ‘Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit.
2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.
3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.
5 They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.’
6 Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.
7 So again Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep.
8 All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them.
9 I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture.
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.