January 11 - Luke 10.21-42, Genesis 18 and Psalm 11

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Jesus Thanks His Father
(Matthew 11.25-27; 13.16, 17)

Luke 10 21At that same time, Jesus felt the joy that comes from the Holy Spirit, and he said:
My Father, Lord of heaven and earth, I am grateful that you hid all this from wise and educated people and showed it to ordinary people. Yes, Father, that is what pleased you.
22My Father has given me everything, and he is the only one who knows the Son. The only one who really knows the Father is the Son. But the Son wants to tell others about the Father, so that they can know him too.

23Jesus then turned to his disciples and said to them in private, "You are really blessed to see what you see! 24Many prophets and kings were eager to see what you see and to hear what you hear. But I tell you that they did not see or hear."

The Good Samaritan

25An expert in the Law of Moses stood up and asked Jesus a question to see what he would say. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to have eternal life?"
26Jesus answered, "What is written in the Scriptures? How do you understand them?"
27The man replied, "The Scriptures say, 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind.' They also say, 'Love your neighbors as much as you love yourself.' "
28Jesus said, "You have given the right answer. If you do this, you will have eternal life."
29But the man wanted to show that he knew what he was talking about. So he asked Jesus, "Who are my neighbors?"
30Jesus replied:
As a man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, robbers attacked him and grabbed everything he had. They beat him up and ran off, leaving him half dead.
31A priest happened to be going down the same road. But when he saw the man, he walked by on the other side. 32Later a temple helper came to the same place. But when he saw the man who had been beaten up, he also went by on the other side.
33A man from Samaria then came traveling along that road. When he saw the man, he felt sorry for him 34and went over to him. He treated his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put him on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. 35The next morning he gave the innkeeper two silver coins and said, "Please take care of the man. If you spend more than this on him, I will pay you when I return."

36Then Jesus asked, "Which one of these three people was a real neighbor to the man who was beaten up by robbers?"
37The teacher answered, "The one who showed pity."
Jesus said, "Go and do the same!"

Martha and Mary

38The Lord and his disciples were traveling along and came to a village. When they got there, a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39She had a sister named Mary, who sat down in front of the Lord and was listening to what he said. 40Martha was worried about all that had to be done. Finally, she went to Jesus and said, "Lord, doesn't it bother you that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to come and help me!"
41The Lord answered, "Martha, Martha! You are worried and upset about so many things, 42but only one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen what is best, and it will not be taken away from her."


The LORD Promises Abraham a Son

Genesis 18 One hot summer afternoon Abraham was sitting by the entrance to his tent near the sacred trees of Mamre, when the LORD appeared to him. 2Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. He quickly ran to meet them, bowed with his face to the ground, 3and said, "Please come to my home where I can serve you. 4I'll have some water brought, so you can wash your feet, then you can rest under the tree. 5Let me get you some food to give you strength before you leave. I would be honored to serve you."
"Thank you very much," they answered. "We accept your offer."
6Abraham quickly went to his tent and said to Sarah, "Hurry! Get a large sack of flour and make some bread." 7After saying this, he rushed off to his herd of cattle and picked out one of the best calves, which his servant quickly prepared. 8He then served his guests some yogurt and milk together with the meat.
While they were eating, he stood near them under the trees, 9and they asked, "Where is your wife Sarah?"
"She is right there in the tent," Abraham answered.
10One of the guests was the LORD, and he said, "I'll come back about this time next year, and when I do, Sarah will already have a son."
Sarah was behind Abraham, listening at the entrance to the tent. 11Abraham and Sarah were very old, and Sarah was well past the age for having children. 12So she laughed and said to herself, "Now that I am worn out and my husband is old, will I really know such happiness?"
13The LORD asked Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh? Does she doubt that she can have a child in her old age? 14I am the LORD! There is nothing too difficult for me. I'll come back next year at the time I promised, and Sarah will already have a son."
15Sarah was so frightened that she lied and said, "I didn't laugh."
"Yes, you did!" he answered.

Abraham Prays for Sodom

16When the three men got ready to leave, they looked down toward Sodom, and Abraham walked part of the way with them.
17The LORD said to himself, "I should tell Abraham what I am going to do, 18since his family will become a great and powerful nation that will be a blessing to all other nations on earth. 19I have chosen him to teach his family to obey me forever and to do what is right and fair. Then I will give Abraham many descendants, just as I promised."
20The LORD said, "Abraham, I have heard that the people of Sodom and Gomorrah are doing all kinds of evil things. 21Now I am going down to see for myself if those people really are that bad. If they aren't, I want to know about it."
22The men turned and started toward Sodom. But the LORD stayed with Abraham, 23who asked, "LORD, when you destroy the evil people, are you also going to destroy those who are good? 24Wouldn't you spare the city if there are only fifty good people in it? 25You surely wouldn't let them be killed when you destroy the evil ones. You are the judge of all the earth, and you do what is right."
26The LORD replied, "If I find fifty good people in Sodom, I will save the city to keep them from being killed."
27Abraham answered, "I am nothing more than the dust of the earth. Please forgive me, LORD, for daring to speak to you like this. 28But suppose there are only forty-five good people in Sodom. Would you still wipe out the whole city?"
"If I find forty-five good people," the LORD replied, "I won't destroy the city."
29"Suppose there are just forty good people?" Abraham asked.
"Even for them," the LORD replied, "I won't destroy the city."
30Abraham said, "Please don't be angry, LORD, if I ask you what you will do if there are only thirty good people in the city."
"If I find thirty," the LORD replied, "I still won't destroy it."
31Then Abraham said, "I don't have any right to ask you, LORD, but what would you do if you find only twenty?"
"Because of them, I won't destroy the city," was the LORD's answer.
32Finally, Abraham said, "Please don't get angry, LORD, if I speak just once more. Suppose you find only ten good people there."
"For the sake of ten good people," the LORD told him, "I still won't destroy the city."
33After speaking with Abraham, the LORD left, and Abraham went back home.


Psalm 11
[A psalm by David for the music leader.]
Trusting the LORD


1The LORD is my fortress!
Don't say to me,
"Escape like a bird to the mountains!"
2You tell me, "Watch out! Those evil people
have put their arrows on their bows,
and they are standing in the shadows,
aiming at good people.
3What can an honest person do
when everything crumbles?"

4The LORD is sitting in his sacred temple
on his throne in heaven.
He knows everything we do because he sees us all.
5The LORD tests honest people, but despises those
who are cruel and love violence.
6He will send fiery coals and flaming sulfur
down on the wicked,
and they will drink nothing but a scorching wind.

7The LORD always does right and wants justice done.
Everyone who does right will see his face.

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


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