Bible Society of South Africa

To The Word – Day 45

Deuteronomy 1–4, Mark 1–2

Bible text(s)

Introduction

1In this book are the words that Moses spoke to the people of Israel when they were in the wilderness east of the River Jordan. They were in the Jordan Valley near Suph, between the town of Paran on one side and the towns of Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Dizahab on the other. 2(It takes eleven days to travel from Mount Sinai to Kadesh Barnea by way of the hill country of Edom.) 3On the first day of the eleventh month of the fortieth year after they had left Egypt, Moses told the people everything the LORD had commanded him to tell them. 4This was after the LORD had defeated King Sihon of the Amorites, who ruled in the town of Heshbon, and King Og of Bashan, who ruled in the towns of Ashtaroth and Edrei. 5It was while the people were east of the Jordan in the territory of Moab that Moses began to explain God's laws and teachings.

He said, 6“When we were at Mount Sinai, the LORD our God said to us, ‘You have stayed long enough at this mountain. 7Break camp and move on. Go to the hill country of the Amorites and to all the surrounding regions — to the Jordan Valley, to the hill country and the lowlands, to the southern region, and to the Mediterranean coast. Go to the land of Canaan and on beyond the Lebanon Mountains as far as the great River Euphrates. 8All of this is the land which I, the LORD, promised to give to your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and to their descendants. Go and occupy it.’ ”

Moses Appoints Judges

(Ex 18.13–27)

9Moses said to the people, “While we were still at Mount Sinai, I told you, ‘The responsibility for leading you is too much for me. I can't do it alone. 10The LORD your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky. 11May the LORD, the God of your ancestors, make you increase a thousand times more and make you prosperous, as he promised! 12But how can I alone bear the heavy responsibility for settling your disputes? 13Choose some wise, understanding, and experienced men from each tribe, and I will put them in charge of you.’ 14And you agreed that this was a good thing to do. 15So I took the wise and experienced leaders you chose from your tribes, and I placed them in charge of you. Some were responsible for a thousand people, some for a hundred, some for fifty, and some for ten. I also appointed other officials throughout the tribes.

16“At that time I instructed them, ‘Listen to the disputes that come up among your people. Judge every dispute fairly, whether it concerns only your own people or involves foreigners who live among you. 17Show no partiality in your decisions; judge everyone on the same basis, no matter who they are. Do not be afraid of anyone, for the decisions you make come from God. If any case is too difficult for you, bring it to me, and I will decide it.’ 18At the same time I gave you instructions for everything else you were to do.

The Spies are Sent Out from Kadesh Barnea

(Num 13.1–33)

19“We did what the LORD our God commanded us. We left Mount Sinai and went through that vast and fearful desert on the way to the hill country of the Amorites. When we reached Kadesh Barnea, 20-21I said, ‘You have now come to the hill country of the Amorites, which the LORD our God, the God of our ancestors, is giving us. Look, there it is. Go and occupy it as he commanded. Do not hesitate or be afraid.’

22“But you came to me and said, ‘Let's send men ahead of us to spy out the land, so that they can tell us the best route to take and what kind of cities are there.’

23“That seemed a good thing to do, so I selected twelve men, one from each tribe. 24They went into the hill country as far as the Valley of Eshcol and explored it. 25They brought us back some fruit they found there, and reported that the land which the LORD our God was giving us was very fertile.

26“But you rebelled against the command of the LORD your God, and you would not enter the land. 27You grumbled to one another: ‘The LORD hates us. He brought us out of Egypt just to hand us over to these Amorites, so that they could kill us. 28Why should we go there? We are afraid. The men we sent tell us that the people there are stronger and taller than we are, and that they live in cities with walls that reach the sky. They saw giants there!’

29“But I said, ‘Don't be afraid of those people. 30The LORD your God will lead you, and he will fight for you, just as you saw him do in Egypt 31and in the desert. You saw how he brought you safely all the way to this place, just as a father would carry his son.’ 32But in spite of what I said, you still would not trust the LORD, 33even though he always went ahead of you to find a place for you to camp. To show you the way, he went in front of you in a pillar of fire by night and in a pillar of cloud by day.

The LORD Punishes Israel

(Num 14.20–45)

34“The LORD heard your complaints and became angry, and so he solemnly declared, 35‘Not one of you from this evil generation will enter the fertile land that I promised to give your ancestors. 36Only Caleb son of Jephunneh will enter it. He has remained faithful to me, and I will give him and his descendants the land that he has explored.’ 37Because of you the LORD also became angry with me and said, ‘Not even you, Moses, will enter the land. 38But strengthen the determination of your helper, Joshua son of Nun. He will lead Israel to occupy the land.’

39“Then the LORD said to all of us, ‘Your children, who are still too young to know right from wrong, will enter the land — the children you said would be seized by your enemies. I will give the land to them, and they will occupy it. 40But as for you people, turn round and go back into the desert along the road to the Gulf of Aqaba.’

41“You replied, ‘Moses, we have sinned against the LORD. But now we will attack, just as the LORD our God commanded us.’ Then each one of you got ready to fight, thinking it would be easy to invade the hill country.

42“But the LORD said to me, ‘Warn them not to attack, for I will not be with them, and their enemies will defeat them.’ 43I told you what the LORD had said, but you paid no attention. You rebelled against him, and in your pride you marched into the hill country. 44Then the Amorites who lived in those hills came out against you like a swarm of bees. They chased you as far as Hormah and defeated you there in the hill country of Edom. 45So you cried out to the LORD for help, but he would not listen to you or pay any attention to you.

The Years in the Desert

46“So then, after we had stayed at Kadesh for a long time,

Deuteronomy 1GNBOpen in Bible reader
1we finally turned and went into the desert, along the road to the Gulf of Aqaba, as the LORD had commanded, and we spent a long time wandering about in the hill country of Edom.

2“Then the LORD told me 3that we had spent enough time wandering about in those hills and that we should go north. 4He told me to give you the following instructions: ‘You are about to go through the hill country of Edom, the territory of your distant relatives, the descendants of Esau. They will be afraid of you, 5but you must not start a war with them, because I am not going to give you so much as a square metre of their land. I have given Edom to Esau's descendants. 6You may buy food and water from them.’

7“Remember how the LORD your God has blessed you in everything that you have done. He has taken care of you as you wandered through this vast desert. He has been with you these forty years, and you have had everything you needed.

8“So we moved on and left the road that goes from the towns of Elath and Eziongeber to the Dead Sea, and we turned north-east towards Moab. 9The LORD said to me, ‘Don't trouble the people of Moab, the descendants of Lot, or start a war against them. I have given them the city of Ar, and I am not going to give you any of their land.’ ”

10(A mighty race of giants called the Emim used to live in Ar. They were as tall as the Anakim, another race of giants. 11Like the Anakim they were also known as Rephaim; but the Moabites called them Emim. 12The Horites used to live in Edom, but the descendants of Esau chased them out, destroyed their nation, and settled there themselves, just as the Israelites later chased their enemies out of the land that the LORD gave them.)

13“Then we crossed the River Zered as the LORD told us to do. 14This was 38 years after we had left Kadesh Barnea. All the fighting men of that generation had died, as the LORD had said they would. 15The LORD kept on opposing them until he had destroyed them all.

16“After they had all died, 17the LORD said to us, 18‘Today you are to pass through the territory of Moab by way of Ar. 19You will then be near the land of the Ammonites, the descendants of Lot. Don't trouble them or start a war against them, because I am not going to give you any of the land that I have given them.’ ”

20(This territory is also known as the land of the Rephaim, the name of the people who used to live there; the Ammonites called them Zamzummim. 21They were as tall as the Anakim. There were many of them, and they were a mighty race. But the LORD destroyed them, so that the Ammonites took over their land and settled there. 22The LORD had done the same thing for the Edomites, the descendants of Esau, who live in the hill country of Edom. He destroyed the Horites, so that the Edomites took over their land and settled there, where they still live. 23The land along the Mediterranean coast had been settled by people from the island of Crete. They had destroyed the Avvim, the original inhabitants, and had taken over all their land as far south as the city of Gaza.)

24“After we had passed through Moab, the LORD said to us, ‘Now, start out and cross the River Arnon. I am placing in your power Sihon, the Amorite king of Heshbon, along with his land. Attack him, and begin occupying his land. 25From today on I will make people everywhere afraid of you. Everyone will tremble with fear at the mention of your name.’

Israel Defeats King Sihon

(Num 21.21–30)

26“Then I sent messengers from the desert of Kedemoth to King Sihon of Heshbon with the following offer of peace: 27‘Let us pass through your country. We will go straight through and not leave the road. 28We will pay for the food we eat and the water we drink. All we want to do is to pass through your country, 29until we cross the River Jordan into the land that the LORD our God is giving us. The descendants of Esau, who live in Edom, and the Moabites, who live in Ar, allowed us to pass through their territory.’

30“But King Sihon would not let us pass through his country. The LORD your God had made him stubborn and rebellious, so that we could defeat him and take his territory, which we still occupy.

31“Then the LORD said to me, ‘Look, I have made King Sihon and his land helpless before you; take his land and occupy it.’ 32Sihon came out with all his men to fight us near the town of Jahaz, 33but the LORD our God put him in our power, and we killed him, his sons, and all his men. 34At the same time we captured and destroyed every town, and put everyone to death, men, women, and children. We left no survivors. 35We took the livestock and plundered the towns. 36The LORD our God let us capture all the towns from Aroer, on the edge of the valley of the Arnon, and the city in the middle of that valley, all the way to Gilead. No town had walls too strong for us. 37But we did not go near the territory of the Ammonites or to the banks of the River Jabbok or to the towns of the hill country or to any other place where the LORD our God had commanded us not to go.

Deuteronomy 2GNBOpen in Bible reader

Israel Conquers King Og

(Num 21.31–35)

1“Next, we moved north towards the region of Bashan, and King Og came out with all his men to fight us near the town of Edrei. 2But the LORD said to me, ‘Don't be afraid of him. I am going to give him, his men, and all his territory to you. Do the same to him as you did to Sihon the Amorite king who ruled in Heshbon.’

3“So the LORD also placed King Og and his people in our power, and we slaughtered them all. 4At the same time we captured all his towns — there was not one that we did not take. In all we captured sixty towns — the whole region of Argob, where King Og of Bashan ruled. 5All these towns were fortified with high walls, gates, and bars to lock the gates, and there were also many villages without walls. 6We destroyed all the towns and put to death all the men, women, and children, just as we did in the towns that belonged to King Sihon of Heshbon. 7We took the livestock and plundered the towns.

8“At that time we took from those two Amorite kings the land east of the River Jordan, from the River Arnon to Mount Hermon. 9(Mount Hermon is called Sirion by the Sidonians, and Senir by the Amorites.) 10We took all the territory of King Og of Bashan: the cities on the plateau, the regions of Gilead and of Bashan, as far east as the towns of Salecah and Edrei.”

11(King Og was the last of the Rephaim. His coffin, made of stone, was four metres long and almost two metres wide according to standard measurements. It can still be seen in the Ammonite city of Rabbah.)

The Tribes that Settled East of the Jordan

(Num 32.1–42)

12“When we took possession of the land, I assigned to the tribes of Reuben and Gad the territory north of the town of Aroer near the River Arnon and part of the hill country of Gilead, along with its towns. 13To half the tribe of Manasseh I assigned the rest of Gilead and also all of Bashan, where Og had ruled, that is, the entire Argob region.”

(Bashan was known as the land of the Rephaim. 14Jair, from the tribe of Manasseh, took the entire region of Argob, that is, Bashan, as far as the border of Geshur and Maacah. He named the villages after himself, and they are still known as the villages of Jair.)

15“I assigned Gilead to the clan of Machir of the tribe of Manasseh. 16And to the tribes of Reuben and Gad I assigned the territory from Gilead to the River Arnon. The middle of the river was their southern boundary, and their northern boundary was the River Jabbok, part of which formed the Ammonite border. 17On the west their territory extended to the River Jordan, from Lake Galilee in the north down to the Dead Sea in the south and to the foot of Mount Pisgah on the east.

18“At the same time, I gave them the following instructions: ‘The LORD our God has given you this land east of the Jordan to occupy. Now arm your fighting men and send them across the Jordan ahead of the other tribes of Israel, to help them to occupy their land. 19Only your wives, children, and livestock — I know you have a lot of livestock — will remain behind in the towns that I have assigned to you. 20Help your fellow-Israelites until they occupy the land that the LORD is giving them west of the Jordan and until the LORD lets them live there in peace, as he has already done here for you. After that, you may return to this land which I have assigned to you.’

21“Then I instructed Joshua: ‘You have seen all that the LORD your God did to those two kings, Sihon and Og; and he will do the same to everyone else whose land you invade. 22Don't be afraid of them, for the LORD your God will fight for you.’

Moses is not Permitted to Enter Canaan

23“At that time I earnestly prayed, 24‘Sovereign LORD, I know that you have shown me only the beginning of the great and wonderful things you are going to do. There is no god in heaven or on earth who can do the mighty things that you have done! 25Let me cross the River Jordan, LORD, and see the fertile land on the other side, the beautiful hill country and the Lebanon Mountains.’

26“But because of you people the LORD was angry with me and would not listen. Instead, he said, ‘That's enough! Don't mention this again! 27Go to the peak of Mount Pisgah and look to the north and to the south, to the east and to the west. Look carefully at what you see, because you will never go across the Jordan. 28Give Joshua his instructions. Strengthen his determination, because he will lead the people across to occupy the land that you see.’

29“So we remained in the valley opposite the town of Bethpeor.”

Deuteronomy 3GNBOpen in Bible reader

Moses Urges Israel to be Obedient

1Then Moses said to the people, “Obey all the laws that I am teaching you, and you will live and occupy the land which the LORD, the God of your ancestors, is giving you. 2Do not add anything to what I command you, and do not take anything away. Obey the commands of the LORD your God that I have given you. 3You yourselves saw what the LORD did at Mount Peor. He destroyed everyone who worshipped Baal there, 4but those of you who were faithful to the LORD your God are still alive today.

5“I have taught you all the laws, as the LORD my God told me to do. Obey them in the land that you are about to invade and occupy. 6Obey them faithfully, and this will show the people of other nations how wise you are. When they hear of all these laws, they will say, ‘What wisdom and understanding this great nation has!’

7“No other nation, no matter how great, has a god who is so near when they need him as the LORD our God is to us. He answers us whenever we call for help. 8No other nation, no matter how great, has laws so just as those that I have taught you today. 9Be on your guard! Make certain that you do not forget, as long as you live, what you have seen with your own eyes. Tell your children and your grandchildren 10about the day you stood in the presence of the LORD your God at Mount Sinai, when he said to me, ‘Assemble the people. I want them to hear what I have to say, so that they will learn to obey me as long as they live and so that they will teach their children to do the same.’

11“Tell your children how you went and stood at the foot of the mountain which was covered with thick clouds of dark smoke and fire blazing up to the sky. 12Tell them how the LORD spoke to you from the fire, how you heard him speaking but did not see him in any form at all. 13He told you what you must do to keep the covenant he made with you — you must obey the Ten Commandments, which he wrote on two stone tablets. 14The LORD told me to teach you all the laws that you are to obey in the land that you are about to invade and occupy.

Warning against Idolatry

15“When the LORD spoke to you from the fire on Mount Sinai, you did not see any form. For your own good, then, make certain 16that you do not sin by making for yourselves an idol in any form at all — whether man or woman, 17animal or bird, 18reptile or fish. 19Do not be tempted to worship and serve what you see in the sky — the sun, the moon, and the stars. The LORD your God has given these to all other peoples for them to worship. 20But you are the people he rescued from Egypt, that blazing furnace. He brought you out to make you his own people, as you are today. 21Because of you the LORD your God was angry with me and solemnly declared that I would not cross the River Jordan to enter the fertile land which he is giving you. 22I will die in this land and never cross the river, but you are about to go across and occupy that fertile land. 23Be certain that you do not forget the covenant that the LORD your God made with you. Obey his command not to make yourselves any kind of idol, 24because the LORD your God is like a flaming fire; he tolerates no rivals.

25“Even when you have been in the land a long time and have children and grandchildren, do not sin by making for yourselves an idol in any form at all. This is evil in the LORD's sight, and it will make him angry. 26I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you today that, if you disobey me, you will soon disappear from the land. You will not live very long in the land across the Jordan that you are about to occupy. You will be completely destroyed. 27The LORD will scatter you among other nations, where only a few of you will survive. 28There you will serve gods made by human hands, gods of wood and stone, gods that cannot see or hear, eat or smell. 29There you will look for the LORD your God, and if you search for him with all your heart, you will find him. 30When you are in trouble and all those things happen to you, then you will finally turn to the LORD and obey him. 31He is a merciful God. He will not abandon you or destroy you, and he will not forget the covenant that he himself made with your ancestors.

32“Search the past, the time before you were born, all the way back to the time when God created humanity on the earth. Search the entire earth. Has anything as great as this ever happened before? Has anyone ever heard of anything like this? 33Have any people ever lived after hearing a god speak to them from a fire, as you have? 34Has any god ever dared to go and take a people from another nation and make them his own, as the LORD your God did for you in Egypt? Before your very eyes he used his great power and strength; he brought plagues and war, worked miracles and wonders, and caused terrifying things to happen. 35The LORD has shown you this, to prove to you that he alone is God and that there is no other. 36He let you hear his voice from heaven so that he could instruct you; and here on earth he let you see his holy fire, and he spoke to you from it. 37Because he loved your ancestors, he chose you, and by his great power he himself brought you out of Egypt. 38As you advanced, he drove out nations greater and more powerful than you, so that he might bring you in and give you their land, the land which still belongs to you. 39So remember today and never forget: the LORD is God in heaven and on earth. There is no other god. 40Obey all his laws that I have given you today, and all will go well with you and your descendants. You will continue to live in the land which the LORD your God is giving you to be yours for ever.”

The Cities of Refuge East of the Jordan

41Then Moses set aside three cities east of the River Jordan 42to which a man could escape and be safe if he had accidentally killed someone who had not been his enemy. He could escape to one of these cities and not be put to death. 43For the tribe of Reuben there was the city of Bezer, on the desert plateau; for the tribe of Gad there was Ramoth, in the territory of Gilead; and for the tribe of Manasseh there was Golan, in the territory of Bashan.

Introduction to the Giving of God's Law

44Moses gave God's laws and teachings to the people of Israel. 45-46It was after they had come out of Egypt and were in the valley east of the River Jordan, opposite the town of Bethpeor, that he gave them these laws. This was in the territory that had belonged to King Sihon of the Amorites, who had ruled in the town of Heshbon. Moses and the people of Israel defeated him when they came out of Egypt. 47They occupied his land and the land of King Og of Bashan, the other Amorite king who lived east of the Jordan. 48This land extended from the town of Aroer, on the edge of the River Arnon, all the way north to Mount Sirion, that is, Mount Hermon. 49It also included all the region east of the River Jordan as far south as the Dead Sea and east to the foot of Mount Pisgah.

Deuteronomy 4GNBOpen in Bible reader

The Preaching of John the Baptist

(Mt 3.1–12; Lk 3.1–18; Jn 1.19–28)

1This is the Good News about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 2It began as the prophet Isaiah had written:

“God said, ‘I will send my messenger ahead of you

to clear the way for you.’

3Someone is shouting in the desert,

‘Get the road ready for the Lord;

make a straight path for him to travel!’ ”

4So John appeared in the desert, baptizing and preaching. “Turn away from your sins and be baptized,” he told the people, “and God will forgive your sins.” 5Many people from the province of Judea and the city of Jerusalem went out to hear John. They confessed their sins, and he baptized them in the River Jordan.

6John wore clothes made of camel's hair, with a leather belt round his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. 7He announced to the people, “The man who will come after me is much greater than I am. I am not good enough even to bend down and untie his sandals. 8I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

The Baptism and Temptation of Jesus

(Mt 3.13—4.11; Lk 3.21–22; 4.1–13)

9Not long afterwards Jesus came from Nazareth in the province of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10As soon as Jesus came up out of the water, he saw heaven opening and the Spirit coming down on him like a dove. 11And a voice came from heaven, “You are my own dear Son. I am pleased with you.”

12At once the Spirit made him go into the desert, 13where he stayed forty days, being tempted by Satan. Wild animals were there also, but angels came and helped him.

Jesus Calls Four Fishermen

(Mt 4.12–22; Lk 4.14–15; 5.1–11)

14After John had been put in prison, Jesus went to Galilee and preached the Good News from God. 15“The right time has come,” he said, “and the Kingdom of God is near! Turn away from your sins and believe the Good News!”

16As Jesus walked along the shore of Lake Galilee, he saw two fishermen, Simon and his brother Andrew, catching fish with a net. 17Jesus said to them, “Come with me, and I will teach you to catch people.” 18At once they left their nets and went with him.

19He went a little farther on and saw two other brothers, James and John, the sons of Zebedee. They were in their boat getting their nets ready. 20As soon as Jesus saw them, he called them; they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and went with Jesus.

A Man with an Evil Spirit

(Lk 4.31–37)

21Jesus and his disciples came to the town of Capernaum, and on the next Sabbath Jesus went to the synagogue and began to teach. 22The people who heard him were amazed at the way he taught, for he wasn't like the teachers of the Law; instead, he taught with authority.

23Just then a man with an evil spirit in him came into the synagogue and screamed, 24“What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Are you here to destroy us? I know who you are — you are God's holy messenger!”

25Jesus ordered the spirit, “Be quiet, and come out of the man!”

26The evil spirit shook the man hard, gave a loud scream, and came out of him. 27The people were all so amazed that they started saying to one another, “What is this? Is it some kind of new teaching? This man has authority to give orders to the evil spirits, and they obey him!”

28And so the news about Jesus spread quickly everywhere in the province of Galilee.

Jesus Heals Many People

(Mt 8.14–17; Lk 4.38–41)

29Jesus and his disciples, including James and John, left the synagogue and went straight to the home of Simon and Andrew. 30Simon's mother-in-law was sick in bed with a fever, and as soon as Jesus arrived, he was told about her. 31He went to her, took her by the hand, and helped her up. The fever left her, and she began to wait on them.

32After the sun had set and evening had come, people brought to Jesus all the sick and those who had demons. 33All the people of the town gathered in front of the house. 34Jesus healed many who were sick with all kinds of diseases and drove out many demons. He would not let the demons say anything, because they knew who he was.

Jesus Preaches in Galilee

(Lk 4.42–44)

35Very early the next morning, long before daylight, Jesus got up and left the house. He went out of the town to a lonely place, where he prayed. 36But Simon and his companions went out searching for him, 37and when they found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you.”

38But Jesus answered, “We must go on to the other villages round here. I have to preach in them also, because that is why I came.”

39So he travelled all over Galilee, preaching in the synagogues and driving out demons.

Jesus Heals a Man

(Mt 8.1–4; Lk 5.12–16)

40A man suffering from a dreaded skin disease came to Jesus, knelt down, and begged him for help. “If you want to,” he said, “you can make me clean.”

41Jesus was filled with pity, and stretched out his hand and touched him. “I do want to,” he answered. “Be clean!” 42At once the disease left the man, and he was clean. 43Then Jesus spoke sternly to him and sent him away at once, 44after saying to him, “Listen, don't tell anyone about this. But go straight to the priest and let him examine you; then in order to prove to everyone that you are cured, offer the sacrifice that Moses ordered.”

45But the man went away and began to spread the news everywhere. Indeed, he talked so much that Jesus could not go into a town publicly. Instead, he stayed out in lonely places, and people came to him from everywhere.

Jesus Heals a Paralysed Man

(Mt 9.1–8; Lk 5.17–26)

1A few days later Jesus went back to Capernaum, and the news spread that he was at home. 2So many people came together that there was no room left, not even out in front of the door. Jesus was preaching the message to them 3when four men arrived, carrying a paralysed man to Jesus. 4Because of the crowd, however, they could not get the man to him. So they made a hole in the roof right above the place where Jesus was. When they had made an opening, they let the man down, lying on his mat. 5Seeing how much faith they had, Jesus said to the paralysed man, “My son, your sins are forgiven.”

6Some teachers of the Law who were sitting there thought to themselves, 7“How does he dare to talk like this? This is blasphemy! God is the only one who can forgive sins!”

8At once Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he said to them, “Why do you think such things? 9Is it easier to say to this paralysed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven’, or to say, ‘Get up, pick up your mat, and walk’? 10I will prove to you, then, that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralysed man, 11“I tell you, get up, pick up your mat, and go home!”

12While they all watched, the man got up, picked up his mat, and hurried away. They were all completely amazed and praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”

Jesus Calls Levi

(Mt 9.9–13; Lk 5.27–32)

13Jesus went back again to the shore of Lake Galilee. A crowd came to him, and he started teaching them. 14As he walked along, he saw a tax collector, Levi son of Alphaeus, sitting in his office. Jesus said to him, “Follow me.” Levi got up and followed him.

15Later on Jesus was having a meal in Levi's house. A large number of tax collectors and other outcasts were following Jesus, and many of them joined him and his disciples at the table. 16Some teachers of the Law, who were Pharisees, saw that Jesus was eating with these outcasts and tax collectors, so they asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with such people?”

17Jesus heard them and answered, “People who are well do not need a doctor, but only those who are sick. I have not come to call respectable people, but outcasts.”

The Question about Fasting

(Mt 9.14–17; Lk 5.33–39)

18On one occasion the followers of John the Baptist and the Pharisees were fasting. Some people came to Jesus and asked him, “Why is it that the disciples of John the Baptist and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but yours do not?”

19Jesus answered, “Do you expect the guests at a wedding party to go without food? Of course not! As long as the bridegroom is with them, they will not do that. 20But the day will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.

21“No one uses a piece of new cloth to patch up an old coat, because the new patch will shrink and tear off some of the old cloth, making an even bigger hole. 22Nor does anyone pour new wine into used wineskins, because the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins will be ruined. Instead, new wine must be poured into fresh wineskins.”

The Question about the Sabbath

(Mt 12.1–8; Lk 6.1–5)

23Jesus was walking through some cornfields on the Sabbath. As his disciples walked along with him, they began to pick the ears of corn. 24So the Pharisees said to Jesus, “Look, it is against our Law for your disciples to do that on the Sabbath!”

25Jesus answered, “Have you never read what David did that time when he needed something to eat? He and his men were hungry, 26so he went into the house of God and ate the bread offered to God. This happened when Abiathar was the High Priest. According to our Law only the priests may eat this bread — but David ate it and even gave it to his men.”

27And Jesus concluded, “The Sabbath was made for the good of human beings; they were not made for the Sabbath. 28So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

Bible Society of South Africav.4.16.16
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