ADVENT CHALLENGE IN THE YEAR OF THE WORD OF GOD; Day Six
11th December 2019
1 It happened that one Sabbath he was walking through the cornfields, and his disciples were picking ears of corn, rubbing them in their hands and eating them.
2 Some of the Pharisees said, 'Why are you doing something that is forbidden on the Sabbath day?'
3 Jesus answered them, 'So you have not read what David did when he and his followers were hungry-
4 how he went into the house of God and took the loaves of the offering and ate them and gave them to his followers, loaves which the priests alone are allowed to eat?'
5 And he said to them, 'The Son of man is master of the Sabbath.'
6 Now on another Sabbath he went into the synagogue and began to teach, and a man was present, and his right hand was withered.
7 The scribes and the Pharisees were watching him to see if he would cure somebody on the Sabbath, hoping to find something to charge him with.
8 But he knew their thoughts; and he said to the man with the withered hand, 'Get up and stand out in the middle!' And he came forward and stood there.
9 Then Jesus said to them, 'I put it to you: is it permitted on the Sabbath to do good, or to do evil; to save life, or to destroy it?'
10 Then he looked round at them all and said to the man, 'Stretch out your hand.' He did so, and his hand was restored.
11 But they were furious and began to discuss the best way of dealing with Jesus.
12 Now it happened in those days that he went onto the mountain to pray; and he spent the whole night in prayer to God.
13 When day came he summoned his disciples and picked out twelve of them; he called them 'apostles':
14 Simon whom he called Peter, and his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew,
15 Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon called the Zealot,
16 Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot who became a traitor.
17 He then came down with them and stopped at a piece of level ground where there was a large gathering of his disciples, with a great crowd of people from all parts of Judaea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon
18 who had come to hear him and to be cured of their diseases. People tormented by unclean spirits were also cured,
19 and everyone in the crowd was trying to touch him because power came out of him that cured them all.
20 Then fixing his eyes on his disciples he said: How blessed are you who are poor: the kingdom of God is yours.
21 Blessed are you who are hungry now: you shall have your fill. Blessed are you who are weeping now: you shall laugh.
22 'Blessed are you when people hate you, drive you out, abuse you, denounce your name as criminal, on account of the Son of man.
23 Rejoice when that day comes and dance for joy, look!-your reward will be great in heaven. This was the way their ancestors treated the prophets.
24 But alas for you who are rich: you are having your consolation now.
25 Alas for you who have plenty to eat now: you shall go hungry. Alas for you who are laughing now: you shall mourn and weep.
26 'Alas for you when everyone speaks well of you! This was the way their ancestors treated the false prophets.
27 'But I say this to you who are listening: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who treat you badly.
29 To anyone who slaps you on one cheek, present the other cheek as well; to anyone who takes your cloak from you, do not refuse your tunic.
30 Give to everyone who asks you, and do not ask for your property back from someone who takes it.
31 Treat others as you would like people to treat you.
32 If you love those who love you, what credit can you expect? Even sinners love those who love them.
33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit can you expect? For even sinners do that much.
34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to get money back, what credit can you expect? Even sinners lend to sinners to get back the same amount.
35 Instead, love your enemies and do good to them, and lend without any hope of return. You will have a great reward, and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.
36 'Be compassionate just as your Father is compassionate.
37 Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven.
38 Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap; because the standard you use will be the standard used for you.'
39 He also told them a parable, 'Can one blind person guide another? Surely both will fall into a pit?
40 Disciple is not superior to teacher; but fully trained disciple will be like teacher.
41 Why do you observe the splinter in your brother's eye and never notice the great log in your own?
42 How can you say to your brother, "Brother, let me take out that splinter in your eye," when you cannot see the great log in your own? Hypocrite! Take the log out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take out the splinter in your brother's eyes.
43 'There is no sound tree that produces rotten fruit, nor again a rotten tree that produces sound fruit.
44 Every tree can be told by its own fruit: people do not pick figs from thorns, nor gather grapes from brambles.
45 Good people draw what is good from the store of goodness in their hearts; bad people draw what is bad from the store of badness. For the words of the mouth flow out of what fills the heart.
46 'Why do you call me, "Lord, Lord" and not do what I say?
47 'Everyone who comes to me and listens to my words and acts on them -- I will show you what such a person is like.
48 Such a person is like the man who, when he built a house, dug, and dug deep, and laid the foundations on rock; when the river was in flood it bore down on that house but could not shake it, it was so well built.
49 But someone who listens and does nothing is like the man who built a house on soil, with no foundations; as soon as the river bore down on it, it collapsed; and what a ruin that house became!'