Reading for March 29th

Luke 20-21 (Listen)

The Authority of Jesus Challenged
One day, as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes with the elders came up and said to him, “Tell us by what authority you do these things, or who it is that gave you this authority.” He answered them, “I also will ask you a question. Now tell me, was the baptism of John from heaven or from man?” And they discussed it with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From man,’ all the people will stone us to death, for they are convinced that John was a prophet.” So they answered that they did not know where it came from. And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

The Parable of the Wicked Tenants
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, so that they would 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. But they also beat and treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. And he sent yet a third. This one also they wounded and cast out. Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ But when the tenants saw him, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Let us kill him, so that the inheritance may be ours.’ And they threw 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, “Surely not!” But he looked directly at them and said, “What then is this that is written:

“‘The stone that the builders rejected

has become the cornerstone’?

Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”

Paying Taxes to Caesar
The scribes and the chief priests sought to lay hands on him at that very hour, for they perceived that he had told this parable against them, but they feared the people. So they watched him and sent spies, who pretended to be sincere, that they might catch him in something he said, so as to deliver him up to the authority and jurisdiction of the governor. So they asked him, “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach rightly, and show no partiality, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful for us to give tribute to Caesar, or not?” But he perceived their craftiness, and said to them, “Show me a denarius. Whose likeness and inscription does it have?” They said, “Caesar's.” He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.” And they were not able in the presence of the people to catch him in what he said, but marveling at his answer they became silent.

Sadducees Ask About the Resurrection
There came to him some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection, and they asked him a question, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man's brother dies, having a wife but no children, the man must take the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. Now there were seven brothers. The first took a wife, and died without children. And the second and the third took her, and likewise all seven left no children and died. Afterward the woman also died. In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had her as wife.”

And Jesus said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for all live to him.” Then some of the scribes answered, “Teacher, you have spoken well.” For they no longer dared to ask him any question.

Whose Son Is the Christ?
But he said to them, “How can they say that the Christ is David's son? For David himself says in the Book of Psalms, 

“‘The Lord said to my Lord,

“Sit at my right hand,

until I make your enemies your footstool.”’

David thus calls him Lord, so how is he his son?”

Beware of the Scribes
And in the hearing of all the people he said to his disciples, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love greetings in the marketplaces and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, who devour widows' houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”

The Widow's Offering
Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

Jesus Foretells Destruction of the Temple
And while some were speaking of the temple, how it was adorned with noble stones and offerings, he said,“As for these things that you see, the days will come when there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” And they asked him, “Teacher, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when these things are about to take place?” And he said, “See that you are not led astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is at hand!’ Do not go after them. And when you hear of wars and tumults, do not be terrified, for these things must first take place, but the end will not be at once.”

Jesus Foretells Wars and Persecution
Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name's sake. This will be your opportunity to bear witness. Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. You will be hated by all for my name's sake. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives.

Jesus Foretells Destruction of Jerusalem
“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it, for these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written. Alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! For there will be great distress upon the earth and wrath against this people. They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive among all nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

The Coming of the Son of Man
“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

The Lesson of the Fig Tree
And he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. As soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all has taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

Watch Yourselves
“But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

And every day he was teaching in the temple, but at night he went out and lodged on the mount called Olivet.And early in the morning all the people came to him in the temple to hear him.

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Psalm 89 (Listen)

I Will Sing of the Steadfast Love of the Lord

A Maskil of Ethan the Ezrahite.

I will sing of the steadfast love of the Lord, forever;

with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations.

For I said, “Steadfast love will be built up forever;

in the heavens you will establish your faithfulness.”

You have said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one;

I have sworn to David my servant:

‘I will establish your offspring forever,

and build your throne for all generations.’” Selah

 

Let the heavens praise your wonders, O Lord,

your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones!

For who in the skies can be compared to the Lord?

Who among the heavenly beings is like the Lord,

a God greatly to be feared in the council of the holy ones,

and awesome above all who are around him?

O Lord God of hosts,

who is mighty as you are, O Lord,

with your faithfulness all around you?

You rule the raging of the sea;

when its waves rise, you still them.

You crushed Rahab like a carcass;

you scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.

The heavens are yours; the earth also is yours;

the world and all that is in it, you have founded them.

The north and the south, you have created them;

Tabor and Hermon joyously praise your name.

You have a mighty arm;

strong is your hand, high your right hand.

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne;

steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.

Blessed are the people who know the festal shout,

who walk, O Lord, in the light of your face,

who exult in your name all the day

and in your righteousness are exalted.

For you are the glory of their strength;

by your favor our horn is exalted.

For our shield belongs to the Lord,

our king to the Holy One of Israel.

 

Of old you spoke in a vision to your godly one, and said:

“I have granted help to one who is mighty;

I have exalted one chosen from the people.

I have found David, my servant;

with my holy oil I have anointed him,

so that my hand shall be established with him;

my arm also shall strengthen him.

The enemy shall not outwit him;

the wicked shall not humble him.

I will crush his foes before him

and strike down those who hate him.

My faithfulness and my steadfast love shall be with him,

and in my name shall his horn be exalted.

I will set his hand on the sea

and his right hand on the rivers.

He shall cry to me, ‘You are my Father,

my God, and the Rock of my salvation.’

And I will make him the firstborn,

the highest of the kings of the earth.

My steadfast love I will keep for him forever,

and my covenant will stand firm for him.

I will establish his offspring forever

and his throne as the days of the heavens.

If his children forsake my law

and do not walk according to my rules,

if they violate my statutes

and do not keep my commandments,

then I will punish their transgression with the rod

and their iniquity with stripes,

but I will not remove from him my steadfast love

or be false to my faithfulness.

I will not violate my covenant

or alter the word that went forth from my lips.

Once for all I have sworn by my holiness;

I will not lie to David.

His offspring shall endure forever,

his throne as long as the sun before me.

Like the moon it shall be established forever,

a faithful witness in the skies.” Selah

 

But now you have cast off and rejected;

you are full of wrath against your anointed.

You have renounced the covenant with your servant;

you have defiled his crown in the dust.

You have breached all his walls;

you have laid his strongholds in ruins.

All who pass by plunder him;

he has become the scorn of his neighbors.

You have exalted the right hand of his foes;

you have made all his enemies rejoice.

You have also turned back the edge of his sword,

and you have not made him stand in battle.

You have made his splendor to cease

and cast his throne to the ground.

You have cut short the days of his youth;

you have covered him with shame. Selah

 

How long, O Lord? Will you hide yourself forever?

How long will your wrath burn like fire?

Remember how short my time is!

For what vanity you have created all the children of man!

What man can live and never see death?

Who can deliver his soul from the power of Sheol? Selah

 

Lord, where is your steadfast love of old,

which by your faithfulness you swore to David?

Remember, O Lord, how your servants are mocked,

and how I bear in my heart the insults of all the many nations,

with which your enemies mock, O Lord,

with which they mock the footsteps of your anointed.

 

Blessed be the Lord forever!

Amen and Amen.