September 10 - John 13.21-38, 2 Chronicles 19 and Psalm 78.38-55

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Jesus Tells What Will Happen to Him
(Matthew 26.20-25; Mark 14.17-21; Luke 22.21-23)

John 13 21After Jesus had said these things, he was deeply troubled and told his disciples, "I tell you for certain that one of you will betray me." 22They were confused about what he meant. And they just stared at each other.
23Jesus' favorite disciple was sitting next to him at the meal, 24and Simon motioned for that disciple to find out which one Jesus meant. 25So the disciple leaned toward Jesus and asked, "Lord, which one of us are you talking about?"
26Jesus answered, "I will dip this piece of bread in the sauce and give it to the one I was talking about."
Then Jesus dipped the bread and gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27Right then Satan took control of Judas.
Jesus said, "Judas, go quickly and do what you have to do." 28No one at the meal understood what Jesus meant. 29But because Judas was in charge of the money, some of them thought that Jesus had told him to buy something they needed for the festival. Others thought that Jesus had told him to give some money to the poor. 30Judas took the piece of bread and went out.
It was already night.

The New Command

31After Judas had gone, Jesus said:

Now the Son of Man will be given glory, and he will bring glory to God. 32Then, after God is given glory because of him, God will bring glory to him, and God will do it very soon.

33My children, I will be with you for a little while longer. Then you will look for me, but you won't find me. I tell you just as I told the people, "You cannot go where I am going." 34But I am giving you a new command. You must love each other, just as I have loved you. 35If you love each other, everyone will know that you are my disciples.

Peter's Promise
(Matthew 26.31-35; Mark 14.27-31; Luke 22.31-34)

36Simon Peter asked, "Lord, where are you going?"
Jesus answered, "You can't go with me now, but later on you will."
37Peter asked, "Lord, why can't I go with you now? I would die for you!"
38"Would you really die for me?" Jesus asked. "I tell you for certain that before a rooster crows, you will say three times that you don't even know me."

2 Chronicles 19 Jehoshaphat returned safely to his palace in Jerusalem. 2But the prophet Jehu son of Hanani met him and said:

By helping that wicked Ahab, you have made friends with someone who hates the LORD. Now the LORD God is angry at you! 3But not everything about you is bad. You destroyed the sacred poles used in worshiping the goddess Asherah--that shows you have tried to obey the LORD.

Jehoshaphat Appoints Judges To Settle Cases

4Jehoshaphat lived in Jerusalem, but he often traveled through his kingdom, from Beersheba in the south to the edge of the hill country of Ephraim in the north. He talked with the people and convinced them to turn back to the LORD God and worship him, just as their ancestors had done.
5He assigned judges to each of the fortified cities in Judah 6and told them:

Be careful when you make your decisions in court, because these are the LORD's people, and he will know what you decide. 7So do your work in honor of him and know that he won't allow you to be unfair to anyone or to take bribes.

8Jehoshaphat also chose some Levites, some priests, and some of the family leaders, and he appointed them to serve as judges in Jerusalem. 9He told them:

Faithfully serve the LORD! 10The people of Judah will bring you legal cases that involve every type of crime, including murder. You must settle these cases and warn the people to stop sinning against the LORD, so that he won't get angry and punish Judah. Remember, if you follow these instructions, you won't be held responsible for anything that happens.

11Amariah the high priest will have the final say in any religious case. And Zebadiah, the leader of the Judah tribe, will have the final say in all other cases. The rest of the Levites will serve as your assistants. Be brave, and I pray that the LORD will help you do right.

Pslam 78

38Yet God was kind.
He kept forgiving their sins and didn't destroy them.
He often became angry, but never lost his temper.
39God remembered that they were made of flesh
and were like a wind that blows once
and then dies down.

40While they were in the desert,
they often rebelled and made God sad.
41They kept testing him
and caused terrible pain for the Holy One of Israel.
42They forgot about his power
and how he had rescued them from their enemies.

43God showed them all kinds of wonderful miracles
near Zoan in Egypt.
44He turned the rivers of Egypt into blood,
and no one could drink from the streams.
45He sent swarms of flies to pester the Egyptians,
and he sent frogs to cause them trouble.

46God let worms and grasshoppers eat their crops.
47He destroyed their grapevines
and their fig trees with hail and floods.
48Then he killed their cattle with hail
and their other animals with lightning.

49God was so angry and furious that he went into a rage
and caused them great trouble
by sending swarms of destroying angels.
50God gave in to his anger
and slaughtered them in a terrible way.
51He killed the first-born son of each Egyptian family.

52Then God led his people out of Egypt
and guided them in the desert like a flock of sheep.
53He led them safely along, and they were not afraid,
but their enemies drowned in the sea.

54God brought his people to the sacred mountain
that he had taken by his own power.
55He made nations run from the tribes of Israel,
and he let the tribes take over their land.

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

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