January 9 - Luke 9.28-62, Genesis 16 and Psalm 9

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The True Glory of Jesus
(Matthew 17.1-8; Mark 9.2-8)

Luke 9 28About eight days later Jesus took Peter, John, and James with him and went up on a mountain to pray. 29While he was praying, his face changed, and his clothes became shining white. 30Suddenly Moses and Elijah were there speaking with him. 31They appeared in heavenly glory and talked about all that Jesus' death in Jerusalem would mean.
32Peter and the other two disciples had been sound asleep. All at once they woke up and saw how glorious Jesus was. They also saw the two men who were with him.
33Moses and Elijah were about to leave, when Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is good for us to be here! Let us make three shelters, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." But Peter did not know what he was talking about.
34While Peter was still speaking, a shadow from a cloud passed over them, and they were frightened as the cloud covered them. 35From the cloud a voice spoke, "This is my chosen Son. Listen to what he says!"
36After the voice had spoken, Peter, John, and James saw only Jesus. For some time they kept quiet and did not say anything about what they had seen.

Jesus Heals a Boy
(Matthew 17.14-18; Mark 9.14-27)

37The next day Jesus and his three disciples came down from the mountain and were met by a large crowd. 38Just then someone in the crowd shouted, "Teacher, please do something for my son! He is my only child! 39A demon often attacks him and makes him scream. It shakes him until he foams at the mouth, and it won't leave him until it has completely worn the boy out. 40I begged your disciples to force out the demon, but they couldn't do it."
41Jesus said to them, "You people are stubborn and don't have any faith! How much longer must I be with you? Why do I have to put up with you?"
Then Jesus said to the man, "Bring your son to me." 42While the boy was being brought, the demon attacked him and made him shake all over. Jesus ordered the demon to stop. Then he healed the boy and gave him back to his father. 43Everyone was amazed at God's great power.

Jesus Again Speaks about His Death
(Matthew 17.22, 23; Mark 9.30-32)

While everyone was still amazed at what Jesus was doing, he said to his disciples, 44"Pay close attention to what I am telling you! The Son of Man will be handed over to his enemies." 45But the disciples did not know what he meant. The meaning was hidden from them. They could not understand it, and they were afraid to ask.

Who Is the Greatest?
(Matthew 18.1-5; Mark 9.33-37)

46Jesus' disciples were arguing about which one of them was the greatest. 47Jesus knew what they were thinking, and he had a child stand there beside him. 48Then he said to his disciples, "When you welcome even a child because of me, you welcome me. And when you welcome me, you welcome the one who sent me. Whichever one of you is the most humble is the greatest."

For or against Jesus
(Mark 9.38-40)

49John said, "Master, we saw a man using your name to force demons out of people. But we told him to stop, because he isn't one of us."
50"Don't stop him!" Jesus said. "Anyone who isn't against you is for you."

A Samaritan Village Refuses To Receive Jesus

51Not long before it was time for Jesus to be taken up to heaven, he made up his mind to go to Jerusalem. 52He sent some messengers on ahead to a Samaritan village to get things ready for him. 53But he was on his way to Jerusalem, so the people there refused to welcome him. 54When the disciples James and John saw what was happening, they asked, "Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to destroy these people?"
55But Jesus turned and corrected them for what they had said. 56Then they all went on to another village.

Three People Who Wanted To Be Followers
(Matthew 8.19-22)

57Along the way someone said to Jesus, "I'll go anywhere with you!"
58Jesus said, "Foxes have dens, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man doesn't have a place to call his own."
59Jesus told someone else to come with him. But the man said, "Lord, let me wait until I bury my father."
60Jesus answered, "Let the dead take care of the dead, while you go and tell about God's kingdom."
61Then someone said to Jesus, "I want to go with you, Lord, but first let me go back and take care of things at home."
62Jesus answered, "Anyone who starts plowing and keeps looking back isn't worth a thing to God's kingdom!"

Hagar and Ishmael

Genesis 16 Abram's wife Sarai had not been able to have any children. But she owned a young Egyptian slave woman named Hagar, 2and Sarai said to Abram, "The LORD has not given me any children. Sleep with my slave, and if she has a child, it will be mine." Abram agreed, 3and Sarai gave him Hagar to be his wife. This happened after Abram had lived in the land of Canaan for ten years. 4Later, when Hagar knew she was going to have a baby, she became proud and was hateful to Sarai.
5Then Sarai said to Abram, "It's all your fault! I gave you my slave woman, but she has been hateful to me ever since she found out she was pregnant. You have done me wrong, and you will have to answer to the LORD for this."
6Abram said, "All right! She's your slave, and you can do whatever you want with her." But Sarai began treating Hagar so harshly that she finally ran away.
7Hagar stopped to rest at a spring in the desert on the road to Shur. While she was there, the angel of the LORD came to her 8and asked, "Hagar, where have you come from, and where are you going?"
She answered, "I'm running away from Sarai, my owner."
9The angel said, "Go back to Sarai and be her slave. 10-11I will give you a son, who will be called Ishmael, because I have heard your cry for help. And later I will give you so many descendants that no one will be able to count them all. 12But your son will live far from his relatives; he will be like a wild donkey, fighting everyone, and everyone fighting him."
13Hagar thought, "Have I really seen God and lived to tell about it?" So from then on she called him, "The God Who Sees Me." 14That's why people call the well between Kadesh and Bered, "The Well of the Living One Who Sees Me."
15-16Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar gave birth to their son, and he named him Ishmael.

Psalm 9
[A psalm by David for the music leader. To the tune "The Death of the Son."]
Sing Praises to the LORD

1I will praise you, LORD, with all my heart
and tell about the wonders you have worked.
2God Most High, I will rejoice;
I will celebrate and sing because of you.

3When my enemies face you,
they run away and stumble and are destroyed.
4You take your seat as judge,
and your fair decisions prove
that I was in the right.
5You warn the nations and destroy evil people;
you wipe out their names forever and ever.
6Our enemies are destroyed completely for all time.
Their cities are torn down,
and they will never be remembered again.

7You rule forever, LORD, and you are on your throne,
ready for judgment.
8You judge the world fairly
and treat all nations with justice.
9The poor can run to you
because you are a fortress in times of trouble.
10Everyone who honors your name can trust you,
because you are faithful to all who depend on you.

11You rule from Zion, LORD, and we sing about you
to let the nations know everything you have done.
12You did not forget to punish the guilty
or listen to the cries of those in need.

13Please have mercy, LORD! My enemies mistreat me.
Keep me from the gates that lead to death,
14and I will sing about you at the gate to Zion.
I will be happy there because you rescued me.

15Our LORD, the nations fell into their own pits,
and their feet were caught in their own traps.
16You showed what you are like,
and you made certain that justice is done,
but evil people are trapped by their own evil deeds.
17The wicked will go down to the world of the dead
to be with those nations that forgot about you.

18The poor and the homeless won't always be forgotten
and without hope.

19Do something, LORD! Don't let the nations win.
Make them stand trial in your court of law.
20Make the nations afraid and let them all discover
just how weak they are.

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This reading is from The Holy Bible, Contemporary English Version, copyright © American Bible Society, 1995.

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