Forty-fifth Day of Zadeeg
III John 1:1-14
 And he began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard, and let it out to tenants, and went into another country for a long while.
 When the time came, he sent a servant to the tenants, that they should give him some of the fruit of the vineyard; but the tenants beat him, and sent him away empty-handed.
 And he sent another servant; him also they beat and treated shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed.
 And he sent yet a third; this one they wounded and cast out.
 Then the owner of the vineyard said, `What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; it may be they will respect him.’
 But when the tenants saw him, they said to themselves, `This is the heir; let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.’
 And they cast him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them?
 He will come and destroy those tenants, and give the vineyard to others.” When they heard this, they said, “God forbid!”
 But he looked at them and said, “What then is this that is written: `The very stone which the builders rejected
has become the head of the corner’?
 Every one who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; but when it falls on any one it will crush him.”
 The scribes and the chief priests tried to lay hands on him at that very hour, but they feared the people; for they perceived that he had told this parable against them.
 But when two years had elapsed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus; and desiring to do the Jews a favor, Felix left Paul in prison.
 Now when Festus had come into his province, after three days he went up to Jerusalem from Caesare’a.
 And the chief priests and the principal men of the Jews informed him against Paul; and they urged him,
 asking as a favor to have the man sent to Jerusalem, planning an ambush to kill him on the way.
 Festus replied that Paul was being kept at Caesare’a, and that he himself intended to go there shortly.
 “So,” said he, “let the men of authority among you go down with me, and if there is anything wrong about the man, let them accuse him.”
 When he had stayed among them not more than eight or ten days, he went down to Caesare’a; and the next day he took his seat on the tribunal and ordered Paul to be brought.
 And when he had come, the Jews who had gone down from Jerusalem stood about him, bringing against him many serious charges which they could not prove.
 Paul said in his defense, “Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I offended at all.”
 But Festus, wishing to do the Jews a favor, said to Paul, “Do you wish to go up to Jerusalem, and there be tried on these charges before me?”
 But Paul said, “I am standing before Caesar’s tribunal, where I ought to be tried; to the Jews I have done no wrong, as you know very well.
 If then I am a wrongdoer, and have committed anything for which I deserve to die, I do not seek to escape death; but if there is nothing in their charges against me, no one can give me up to them. I appeal to Caesar.”
 Then Festus, when he had conferred with his council, answered, “You have appealed to Caesar; to Caesar you shall go.”
III John 1:1-14
 The elder to the beloved Ga’ius, whom I love in the truth.
 Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in health; I know that it is well with your soul.
 For I greatly rejoiced when some of the brethren arrived and testified to the truth of your life, as indeed you do follow the truth.
 No greater joy can I have than this, to hear that my children follow the truth.
 Beloved, it is a loyal thing you do when you render any service to the brethren, especially to strangers,
 who have testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey as befits God’s service.
 For they have set out for his sake and have accepted nothing from the heathen.
 So we ought to support such men, that we may be fellow workers in the truth.
 I have written something to the church; but Diot’rephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge my authority.
 So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, prating against me with evil words. And not content with that, he refuses himself to welcome the brethren, and also stops those who want to welcome them and puts them out of the church.
 Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. He who does good is of God; he who does evil has not seen God.
 Deme’trius has testimony from every one, and from the truth itself; I testify to him too, and you know my testimony is true.
 I had much to write to you, but I would rather not write with pen and ink;
 I hope to see you soon, and we will talk together face to face.
 “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? `Father, save me from this hour’? No, for this purpose I have come to this hour.
 Father, glorify thy name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”
 The crowd standing by heard it and said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.”
 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not for mine.
 Now is the judgment of this world, now shall the ruler of this world be cast out;
 and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.”
 He said this to show by what death he was to die.
 The crowd answered him, “We have heard from the law that the Christ remains for ever. How can you say that the Son of man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of man?”
 Jesus said to them, “The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, lest the darkness overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes.
 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.”
When Jesus had said this, he departed and hid himself from them.
 Though he had done so many signs before them, yet they did not believe in him;
 it was that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “Lord, who has believed our report,
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”
 Therefore they could not believe. For Isaiah again said,
 “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart,
lest they should see with their eyes and perceive with their heart,
and turn for me to heal them.”
 Isaiah said this because he saw his glory and spoke of him.
 Nevertheless many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:
 for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
 “Hear another parable. There was a householder who planted a vineyard, and set a hedge around it, and dug a wine press in it, and built a tower, and let it out to tenants, and went into another country.
 When the season of fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants, to get his fruit;
 and the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another.
 Again he sent other servants, more than the first; and they did the same to them.
 Afterward he sent his son to them, saying, `They will respect my son.’
 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, `This is the heir; come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.’
 And they took him and cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him.
 When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?”
 They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.”
 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the scriptures:
`The very stone which the builders rejected
has become the head of the corner;
this was the Lord’s doing,
and it is marvelous in our eyes’?
 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation producing the fruits of it.”
 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he was speaking about them.
 But when they tried to arrest him, they feared the multitudes, because they held him to be a prophet.
 And they came again to Jerusalem. And as he was walking in the temple, the chief priests and the scribes and the elders came to him,
 and they said to him, “By what authority are you doing these things, or who gave you this authority to do them?”
 Jesus said to them, “I will ask you a question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things.
 Was the baptism of John from heaven or from men? Answer me.”
 And they argued with one another, “If we say, `From heaven,’ he will say, `Why then did you not believe him?’
 But shall we say, `From men’?” — they were afraid of the people, for all held that John was a real prophet.
 So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
 And he began to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard, and set a hedge around it, and dug a pit for the wine press, and built a tower, and let it out to tenants, and went into another country.
 When the time came, he sent a servant to the tenants, to get from them some of the fruit of the vineyard.
 And they took him and beat him, and sent him away empty-handed.
 Again he sent to them another servant, and they wounded him in the head, and treated him shamefully.
 And he sent another, and him they killed; and so with many others, some they beat and some they killed.
 He had still one other, a beloved son; finally he sent him to them, saying, `They will respect my son.’
 But those tenants said to one another, `This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’
 And they took him and killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard.
 What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants, and give the vineyard to others.
 Have you not read this scripture: `The very stone which the builders rejected
has become the head of the corner;
 this was the Lord’s doing,
and it is marvelous in our eyes’?”
 And they tried to arrest him, but feared the multitude, for they perceived that he had told the parable against them; so they left him and went away.
 And they sent to him some of the Pharisees and some of the Hero’di-ans, to entrap him in his talk.
 And they came and said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are true, and care for no man; for you do not regard the position of men, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?
 Should we pay them, or should we not?” But knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, “Why put me to the test? Bring me a coin, and let me look at it.”
 And they brought one. And he said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said to him, “Caesar’s.”
 Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were amazed at him.
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America