Thirty-ninth Day of Zadeeg
I John 3:21-4:6
 Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed;
 nor will they say, `Lo, here it is!’ or `There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”
 And he said to the disciples, “The days are coming when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and you will not see it.
 And they will say to you, `Lo, there!’ or `Lo, here!’ Do not go, do not follow them.
 For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of man be in his day.
 But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.
 As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of man.
 They ate, they drank, they married, they were given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.
 Likewise as it was in the days of Lot — they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built,
 but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom fire and sulphur rained from heaven and destroyed them all —
 so will it be on the day when the Son of man is revealed.
 On that day, let him who is on the housetop, with his goods in the house, not come down to take them away; and likewise let him who is in the field not turn back.
 Remember Lot’s wife.
 Whoever seeks to gain his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will preserve it.
 I tell you, in that night there will be two in one bed; one will be taken and the other left.
 There will be two women grinding together; one will be taken and the other left.”
 And they said to him, “Where, Lord?” He said to them, “Where the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together.”
 When the seven days were almost completed, the Jews from Asia, who had seen him in the temple, stirred up all the crowd, and laid hands on him,
 crying out, “Men of Israel, help! This is the man who is teaching men everywhere against the people and the law and this place; moreover he also brought Greeks into the temple, and he has defiled this holy place.”
 For they had previously seen Troph’imus the Ephesian with him in the city, and they supposed that Paul had brought him into the temple.
 Then all the city was aroused, and the people ran together; they seized Paul and dragged him out of the temple, and at once the gates were shut.
 And as they were trying to kill him, word came to the tribune of the cohort that all Jerusalem was in confusion.
 He at once took soldiers and centurions, and ran down to them; and when they saw the tribune and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul.
 Then the tribune came up and arrested him, and ordered him to be bound with two chains. He inquired who he was and what he had done.
 Some in the crowd shouted one thing, some another; and as he could not learn the facts because of the uproar, he ordered him to be brought into the barracks.
 And when he came to the steps, he was actually carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the crowd;
 for the mob of the people followed, crying, “Away with him!”
I John 3:21-4:6
 Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God;
 and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.
 And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.
 All who keep his commandments abide in him, and he in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit which he has given us.
 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God,
 and every spirit which does not confess Jesus is not of God. This is the spirit of antichrist, of which you heard that it was coming, and now it is in the world already.
 Little children, you are of God, and have overcome them; for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
 They are of the world, therefore what they say is of the world, and the world listens to them.
 We are of God. Whoever knows God listens to us, and he who is not of God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
 Now a certain man was ill, Laz’arus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.
 It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Laz’arus was ill.
 So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.”
 But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness is not unto death; it is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by means of it.”
 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Laz’arus.
 So when he heard that he was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.
 Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go into Judea again.”
 The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were but now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?”
 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any one walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world.
 But if any one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.”
 Thus he spoke, and then he said to them, “Our friend Laz’arus has fallen asleep, but I go to awake him out of sleep.”
 The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.”
 Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep.
 Then Jesus told them plainly, “Laz’arus is dead;
 and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”
 Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
 Now when Jesus came, he found that Laz’arus had already been in the tomb four days.
 Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off,
 and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother.
 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary sat in the house.
 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.
 And even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.”
 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,
 and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
 She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, he who is coming into the world.”
 When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying quietly, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.”
 And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him.
 Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him.
 When the Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there.
 Then Mary, when she came where Jesus was and saw him, fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled;
 and he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.”
 Jesus wept.
 So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”
 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”
 Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb; it was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.
 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.”
 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?”
 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.
 I knew that thou hearest me always, but I have said this on account of the people standing by, that they may believe that thou didst send me.”
 When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Laz’arus, come out.”
 The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with bandages, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”
 Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him;
 but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.
 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven.
 What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray?
 And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray.
 So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.
 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.
 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses.
 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.
 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
 Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?”
 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.
 “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants.
 When he began the reckoning, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents;
 and as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made.
 So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, `Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’
 And out of pity for him the lord of that servant released him and forgave him the debt.
 But that same servant, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat he said, `Pay what you owe.’
 So his fellow servant fell down and besought him, `Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’
 He refused and went and put him in prison till he should pay the debt.
 When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place.
 Then his lord summoned him and said to him, `You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you besought me;
 and should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’
 And in anger his lord delivered him to the jailers, till he should pay all his debt.
 So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”
 And he left there and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan, and crowds gathered to him again; and again, as his custom was, he taught them.
 And Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?”
 He answered them, “What did Moses command you?”
 They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce, and to put her away.”
 But Jesus said to them, “For your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment.
 But from the beginning of creation, `God made them male and female.’
 `For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife,
 and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh.
 What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.”
 And in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter.
 And he said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her;
 and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America