Thirty-first Day of Easter (Zadeeg),
I John 2:7-17
 “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
 Sell your possessions, and give alms; provide yourselves with purses that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.
 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
 “Let your loins be girded and your lamps burning,
 and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the marriage feast, so that they may open to him at once when he comes and knocks.
 Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes; truly, I say to you, he will gird himself and have them sit at table, and he will come and serve them.
 If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those servants!
 But know this, that if the householder had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into.
 You also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an unexpected hour.”
 Peter said, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for all?”
 And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise steward, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time?
 Blessed is that servant whom his master when he comes will find so doing.
 Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions.
 But if that servant says to himself, `My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, and to eat and drink and get drunk,
 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will punish him, and put him with the unfaithful.
 And that servant who knew his master’s will, but did not make ready or act according to his will, shall receive a severe beating.
 But he who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, shall receive a light beating. Every one to whom much is given, of him will much be required; and of him to whom men commit much they will demand the more.
 After this he left Athens and went to Corinth.
 And he found a Jew named Aq’uila, a native of Pontus, lately come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. And he went to see them;
 and because he was of the same trade he stayed with them, and they worked, for by trade they were tentmakers.
 And he argued in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded Jews and Greeks.
 When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedo’nia, Paul was occupied with preaching, testifying to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus.
 And when they opposed and reviled him, he shook out his garments and said to them, “Your blood be upon your heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”
 And he left there and went to the house of a man named Titius Justus, a worshiper of God; his house was next door to the synagogue.
 Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord, together with all his household; and many of the Corinthians hearing Paul believed and were baptized.
 And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak and do not be silent;
 for I am with you, and no man shall attack you to harm you; for I have many people in this city.”
 And he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
I John 2:7-17
 Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment which you had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word which you have heard.
 Yet I am writing you a new commandment, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining.
 He who says he is in the light and hates his brother is in the darkness still.
 He who loves his brother abides in the light, and in it there is no cause for stumbling.
 But he who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
 I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his sake.
 I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, children, because you know the Father.
 I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.
 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If any one loves the world, love for the Father is not in him.
 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world.
 And the world passes away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides for ever.
 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and proclaimed, “If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink.
 He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, `Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.'”
 Now this he said about the Spirit, which those who believed in him were to receive; for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
 When they heard these words, some of the people said, “This is really the prophet.”
 Others said, “This is the Christ.” But some said, “Is the Christ to come from Galilee?
 Has not the scripture said that the Christ is descended from David, and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David was?”
 So there was a division among the people over him.
 Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.
 The officers then went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why did you not bring him?”
 The officers answered, “No man ever spoke like this man!”
 The Pharisees answered them, “Are you led astray, you also?
 Have any of the authorities or of the Pharisees believed in him?
 But this crowd, who do not know the law, are accursed.”
 Nicode’mus, who had gone to him before, and who was one of them, said to them,
 “Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?”
 They replied, “Are you from Galilee too? Search and you will see that no prophet is to rise from Galilee.”
 They went each to his own house,
 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
 Early in the morning he came again to the temple; all the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them.
 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst
 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery.
 Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such. What do you say about her?”
 This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.
 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”
 And once more he bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.
 But when they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the eldest, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him.
 Jesus looked up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again.”
 Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a lonely place apart. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns.
 As he went ashore he saw a great throng; and he had compassion on them, and healed their sick.
 When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a lonely place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.”
 Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.”
 They said to him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.”
 And he said, “Bring them here to me.”
 Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass; and taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.
 And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over.
 And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
 Now when the Pharisees gathered together to him, with some of the scribes, who had come from Jerusalem,
 they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands defiled, that is, unwashed.
 (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they wash their hands, observing the tradition of the elders;
 and when they come from the market place, they do not eat unless they purify themselves; and there are many other traditions which they observe, the washing of cups and pots and vessels of bronze.)
 And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with hands defiled?”
 And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, `This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me;
 in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’
 You leave the commandment of God, and hold fast the tradition of men.”
 And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God, in order to keep your tradition!
 For Moses said, `Honor your father and your mother’; and, `He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him surely die’;
 but you say, `If a man tells his father or his mother, What you would have gained from me is Corban’ (that is, given to God) —
 then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother,
 thus making void the word of God through your tradition which you hand on. And many such things you do.”
 And he called the people to him again, and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand:
 there is nothing outside a man which by going into him can defile him; but the things which come out of a man are what defile him.”
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America