Nineteenth Day of Easter (Zadeeg),
I Peter 3:10-22
 Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, preaching and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him,
 and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Mag’dalene, from whom seven demons had gone out,
 and Joan’na, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means.
 And when a great crowd came together and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable:
 “A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell along the path, and was trodden under foot, and the birds of the air devoured it.
 And some fell on the rock; and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture.
 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns grew with it and choked it.
 And some fell into good soil and grew, and yielded a hundredfold.” As he said this, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
 And when his disciples asked him what this parable meant,
 he said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God; but for others they are in parables, so that seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.
 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
 The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, that they may not believe and be saved.
 And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy; but these have no root, they believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away.
 And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature.
 And as for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bring forth fruit with patience.
 “No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a vessel, or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, that those who enter may see the light.
 For nothing is hid that shall not be made manifest, nor anything secret that shall not be known and come to light.
 Take heed then how you hear; for to him who has will more be given, and from him who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.”
 Then his mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not reach him for the crowd.
 And he was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see you.”
 But he said to them, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.”
 Now the apostles and the brethren who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God.
 So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcision party criticized him,
 saying, “Why did you go to uncircumcised men and eat with them?”
 But Peter began and explained to them in order:
 “I was in the city of Joppa praying; and in a trance I saw a vision, something descending, like a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came down to me.
 Looking at it closely I observed animals and beasts of prey and reptiles and birds of the air.
 And I heard a voice saying to me, `Rise, Peter; kill and eat.’
 But I said, `No, Lord; for nothing common or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’
 But the voice answered a second time from heaven, `What God has cleansed you must not call common.’
 This happened three times, and all was drawn up again into heaven.
 At that very moment three men arrived at the house in which we were, sent to me from Caesare’a.
 And the Spirit told me to go with them, making no distinction. These six brethren also accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house.
 And he told us how he had seen the angel standing in his house and saying, `Send to Joppa and bring Simon called Peter;
 he will declare to you a message by which you will be saved, you and all your household.’
 As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning.
 And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, `John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’
 If then God gave the same gift to them as he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?”
 When they heard this they were silenced. And they glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance unto life.”
 Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoeni’cia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to none except Jews.
 But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyre’ne, who on coming to Antioch spoke to the Greeks also, preaching the Lord Jesus.
 And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number that believed turned to the Lord.
 News of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch.
 When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad; and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose;
 for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a large company was added to the Lord.
 So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul;
 and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church, and taught a large company of people; and in Antioch the disciples were for the first time called Christians.
I Peter 3:10-22
 For “He that would love life
and see good days,
let him keep his tongue from evil
and his lips from speaking guile;
 let him turn away from evil and do right;
let him seek peace and pursue it.
 For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous,
and his ears are open to their prayer.
But the face of the Lord is against those that do evil.”
 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is right?
 But even if you do suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled,
 but in your hearts reverence Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence;
 and keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are abused, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.
 For it is better to suffer for doing right, if that should be God’s will, than for doing wrong.
 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit;
 in which he went and preached to the spirits in prison,
 who formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water.
 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him.
 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ); when he comes, he will show us all things.”
 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”
 Just then his disciples came. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but none said, “What do you wish?” or, “Why are you talking with her?”
 So the woman left her water jar, and went away into the city, and said to the people,
 “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?”
 They went out of the city and were coming to him.
 Meanwhile the disciples besought him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.”
 But he said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.”
 So the disciples said to one another, “Has any one brought him food?”
 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work.
 Do you not say, `There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see how the fields are already white for harvest.
 He who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together.
 For here the saying holds true, `One sows and another reaps.’
 I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor; others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”
 Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.”
 So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days.
 And many more believed because of his word.
 They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of your words that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.”
 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every infirmity.
 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;
 pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
 And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every infirmity.
 The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zeb’edee, and John his brother;
 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus;
 Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
 These twelve Jesus sent out, charging them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans,
 but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
 And preach as you go, saying, `The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying, give without pay.
 Take no gold, nor silver, nor copper in your belts,
 no bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor a staff; for the laborer deserves his food.
 And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it, and stay with him until you depart.
 As you enter the house, salute it.
 And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you.
 And if any one will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town.
 Truly, I say to you, it shall be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomor’rah than for that town.
 Again he began to teach beside the sea. And a very large crowd gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat in it on the sea; and the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land.
 And he taught them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them:
 “Listen! A sower went out to sow.
 And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it.
 Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it had not much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil;
 and when the sun rose it was scorched, and since it had no root it withered away.
 Other seed fell among thorns and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain.
 And other seeds fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”
 And he said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America