Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

Jesus taught us that serving God might prove costly in family relationships. Jacob learned that painful lesson when his close family became the immediate source of his greatest problems. His father-in-law Laban cheated him, tricked him, abused him, and even chased him when he left (Genesis 31:23). In another instance, Jacob's brother Esau appeared to be angry to the point of revenge when he came to meet Jacob with his four hundred men. The outcome in both these situations? God intervened on Jacob's behalf! Laban was rebuked in a dream: "Be careful about what you say to Jacob!" Esau received Jacob back with tears and kisses (Genesis 33:4).

Jesus told His disciples to decide whether they loved Him or their relatives more. Because the time may come when a relative departs from the Lord's way, we, too, must choose to follow the "narrow way." This doesn't mean that we intentionally ostracize our relatives, only that we are fully prepared to be rejected or misunderstood by them.

God helped Jacob with both Laban and Esau. If you are having a family conflict, He will help you through it as well!

Genesis 31:17-32:12

17 Then Jacob put his children and his wivesS Ge 27:41 on camels,S Ge 24:63-6418 and he drove all his livestock ahead of him, along with all the goods he had accumulatedS Ge 12:5 in Paddan Aram,That is, Northwest MesopotamiaS Ge 25:20 to go to his father IsaacGe 35:27 in the land of Canaan.S Ge 10:19

19 When Laban had gone to shear his sheep,Ge 38:12, 13; 1Sa 25:2, 4, 7; 2Sa 13:23 Rachel stole her father’s household gods.ver 30, 32, 34-35; Ge 35:2; Jos 24:14; Jdg 17:5; 18:14, 17, 24, 30; 1Sa 7:3; 19:13; 2Ki 23:24; Hos 3:420 Moreover, Jacob deceivedS Ge 27:36 Laban the ArameanS Ge 25:20 by not telling him he was running away.ver 2721 So he fledver 22; Ex 2:15; 14:5; 1Ki 18:46; 19:3; Jer 26:21 with all he had, crossed the Euphrates River,S Ge 2:14 and headed for the hill country of Gilead.ver 23, 25; Ge 37:25; Nu 26:30; 32:1; Dt 3:10; Jos 12:2; Jer 22:6

Laban Pursues Jacob

22 On the third dayS Ge 30:36 Laban was told that Jacob had fled.S ver 2123 Taking his relativesver 37 with himEx 14:9, he pursued Jacob for seven days and caught up with him in the hill country of Gilead.S ver 2124 Then God came to Laban the ArameanS Ge 25:20 in a dream at night and said to him,S Ge 20:3 “Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.”S Ge 24:50

25 Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country of GileadS ver 21 when Laban overtook him, and Laban and his relatives camped there too.26 Then Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done?S Ge 12:18 You’ve deceived me,S Ge 27:36 and you’ve carried off my daughters like captives in war.Ge 34:29; 1Sa 30:2-327 Why did you run off secretly and deceive me? Why didn’t you tell me,ver 20 so I could send you away with joy and singing to the music of timbrelsEx 15:20; Jdg 11:34; 1Sa 10:5; 2Sa 6:5; Ps 68:25; Isa 24:8; Jer 31:4 and harps?S Ge 4:2128 You didn’t even let me kiss my grandchildren and my daughters goodbye.ver 55; S Ge 27:27; Ru 1:14; Ac 20:37 You have done a foolish thing.29 I have the power to harm you;S ver 7; S Ge 26:29 but last night the God of your fatherS ver 5 said to me, ‘Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.’S Ge 24:5030 Now you have gone off because you longed to return to your father’s household.S Ge 28:15; Job 29:2 But why did you stealGe 44:8 my gods?S ver 19

31 Jacob answered Laban, “I was afraid, because I thought you would take your daughters away from me by force.S Ge 20:1132 But if you find anyone who has your gods, that person shall not live.Ge 44:9 In the presence of our relatives, see for yourself whether there is anything of yours here with me; and if so, take it.” Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen the gods.S ver 19

33 So Laban went into Jacob’s tent and into Leah’s tentGe 24:67 and into the tent of the two female servants,S Ge 16:1 but he found nothing.ver 37 After he came out of Leah’s tent, he entered Rachel’s tent.34 Now Rachel had taken the household godsS ver 19 and put them inside her camel’s saddleS Ge 24:63-64 and was sitting on them. Laban searchedver 37; Ge 44:12 through everything in the tent but found nothing.

35 Rachel said to her father, “Don’t be angry, my lord, that I cannot stand up in your presence;Ex 20:12; Lev 19:3, 32; Dt 21:18; 27:16; Jer 35:18 I’m having my period.Lev 15:19-23” So he searched but could not find the household gods.ver 19

36 Jacob was angry and took Laban to task. “What is my crime?” he asked Laban. “How have I wronged1Sa 19:5; 20:32 you that you hunt me down?1Sa 23:23; 24:1137 Now that you have searched through all my goods, what have you found that belongs to your household?ver 33 Put it here in front of your relativesver 23 and mine, and let them judge between the two of us.Dt 1:16; 16:18

38 “I have been with you for twenty years now.S Ge 27:44 Your sheep and goats have not miscarried,S Ge 30:27 nor have I eaten rams from your flocks.39 I did not bring you animals torn by wild beasts; I bore the loss myself. And you demanded payment from me for whatever was stolenGe 30:33 by day or night.Ex 22:1340 This was my situation: The heat consumed me in the daytime and the cold at night, and sleep fled from my eyes.Ps 132:4; 2Co 11:2741 It was like this for the twenty yearsS Ge 27:44 I was in your household. I worked for you fourteen years for your two daughtersGe 29:30 and six years for your flocks,S Ge 30:32 and you changed my wagesS Ge 29:15 ten times.S ver 742 If the God of my father,S ver 5; S Ex 3:15 the God of AbrahamS Ge 24:12 and the Fear of Isaac,ver 53; Ge 46:1 had not been with me,S Ge 21:22; Ps 124:1-2 you would surely have sent me away empty-handed. But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands,S Ge 3:17 and last night he rebuked you.S Ge 24:50

43 Laban answered Jacob, “The women are my daughters, the children are my children, and the flocks are my flocks.Ge 30:32, 42 All you see is mine. Yet what can I do today about these daughters of mine, or about the children they have borne?44 Come now, let’s make a covenant,S Ge 21:27 you and I, and let it serve as a witness between us.”S Ge 21:30

45 So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a pillar.S Ge 28:1846 He said to his relatives, “Gather some stones.” So they took stones and piled them in a heap,ver 48, 51, 52 and they ate there by the heap.47 Laban called it Jegar Sahadutha, and Jacob called it Galeed.The Aramaic Jegar Sahadutha and the Hebrew Galeed both mean witness heap.S Ge 21:30

48 Laban said, “This heapS ver 46 is a witness between you and me today.”S Ge 21:30; Jer 29:23; 42:5 That is why it was called Galeed.49 It was also called Mizpah,Mizpah means watchtower.Jos 11:3; Jdg 10:17; 11:29 because he said, “May the Lord keep watch between you and me when we are away from each other.50 If you mistreatGe 16:6 my daughters or if you take any wives besides my daughters, even though no one is with us, remember that God is a witnessDt 31:19; Jos 24:27; Jdg 11:10; 1Sa 12:5; 20:14, 23, 42; Job 16:19; Jer 29:23; 42:5; Mic 1:2 between you and me.”S Ge 21:30; S Dt 4:26; S Jer 7:11

51 Laban also said to Jacob, “Here is this heap,S ver 46 and here is this pillarS Ge 28:18 I have set up between you and me.52 This heap is a witness, and this pillar is a witness,S Ge 21:30 that I will not go past this heap to your side to harm you and that you will not go past this heapS ver 46 and pillar to my side to harm me.S ver 7; S Ge 26:2953 May the God of AbrahamS Ge 24:12 and the God of Nahor,S Ge 11:27 the God of their father, judge between us.”S Ge 16:5

So Jacob took an oathS Ge 21:23, 27 in the name of the Fear of his father Isaac.S ver 4254 He offered a sacrificeGe 46:1; Ex 24:5; Lev 3:1 there in the hill country and invited his relatives to a meal.S Ge 26:30 After they had eaten, they spent the night there.

55 Early the next morning Laban kissed his grandchildren and his daughtersS ver 28; Ru 1:9 and blessedS Ge 24:60; S Ex 39:43 them. Then he left and returned home.In Hebrew texts this verse (31:55) is numbered 32:1.Ge 18:33

Jacob Prepares to Meet Esau

32 In Hebrew texts 32:1-32 is numbered 32:2-33.Jacob also went on his way, and the angels of GodS Ge 16:11; 2Ki 6:16-17; 1Ch 21:15; Ps 34:7; 35:5; 91:11; Da 6:22 met him.When Jacob saw them, he said, “This is the camp of God!”S Ge 28:17 So he named that place Mahanaim.Mahanaim means two camps.Jos 13:26, 30; 21:38; 2Sa 2:8, 29; 17:24; 19:32; 1Ki 2:8; 4:14; 1Ch 6:80

Jacob sent messengersNu 21:21; Jdg 11:17 ahead of him to his brother EsauS Ge 27:41-42 in the land of Seir,S Ge 14:6; S Nu 24:18 the country of Edom.S Ge 25:30; S 36:16He instructed them: “This is what you are to say to my lordS Ge 24:9 Esau: ‘Your servantS Ge 18:3 Jacob says, I have been staying with LabanGe 31:41 and have remained there till now.I have cattle and donkeys, sheep and goats, male and female servants.S Ge 12:16 Now I am sending this message to my lord,S Ge 24:9 that I may find favor in your eyes.Ge 33:8, 10, 15; 34:11; 47:25, 29; 50:4; Ru 2:13’”

When the messengers returned to Jacob, they said, “We went to your brother Esau, and now he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him.”Ge 33:1

In great fearver 11 and distressGe 35:3; Ps 4:1; 77:2; 107:6 Jacob divided the people who were with him into two groups,Or campsver 10; Ge 33:1 and the flocks and herds and camels as well.He thought, “If Esau comes and attacks one group,Or camp the groupOr camp that is left may escape.”

Then Jacob prayed, “O God of my father Abraham,S Ge 24:12 God of my father Isaac,S Ge 28:13 Lord, you who said to me, ‘Go back to your country and your relatives, and I will make you prosper,’S Ge 26:3; 31:1310 I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulnessS Ge 24:27 you have shown your servant. I had only my staffGe 38:18; 47:31; Nu 17:2 when I crossed this Jordan, but now I have become two camps.S ver 711 Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraidS ver 7 he will come and attack me,Ge 43:18; Ps 59:2 and also the mothers with their children.S Ge 27:4112 But you have said, ‘I will surely make you prosper and will make your descendants like the sandS Ge 22:17; 1Ki 4:20, 29 of the sea, which cannot be counted.S Ge 12:2; S 13:14; Hos 1:10; Ro 9:27’”

17 So Jacob put his wives and children on camels,18 and he drove all his livestock in front of him. He packed all the belongings he had acquired in Paddan-aram and set out for the land of Canaan, where his father, Isaac, lived.19 At the time they left, Laban was some distance away, shearing his sheep. Rachel stole her father’s household idols and took them with her.20 Jacob outwitted Laban the Aramean, for they set out secretly and never told Laban they were leaving.21 So Jacob took all his possessions with him and crossed the Euphrates River,Hebrew the river. heading for the hill country of Gilead.

Laban Pursues Jacob

22 Three days later, Laban was told that Jacob had fled.23 So he gathered a group of his relatives and set out in hot pursuit. He caught up with Jacob seven days later in the hill country of Gilead.24 But the previous night God had appeared to Laban the Aramean in a dream and told him, “I’m warning you—leave Jacob alone!”

25 Laban caught up with Jacob as he was camped in the hill country of Gilead, and he set up his camp not far from Jacob’s.26 “What do you mean by deceiving me like this?” Laban demanded. “How dare you drag my daughters away like prisoners of war?27 Why did you slip away secretly? Why did you deceive me? And why didn’t you say you wanted to leave? I would have given you a farewell feast, with singing and music, accompanied by tambourines and harps.28 Why didn’t you let me kiss my daughters and grandchildren and tell them good-bye? You have acted very foolishly!29 I could destroy you, but the God of your father appeared to me last night and warned me, ‘Leave Jacob alone!’30 I can understand your feeling that you must go, and your intense longing for your father’s home. But why have you stolen my gods?”

31 “I rushed away because I was afraid,” Jacob answered. “I thought you would take your daughters from me by force.32 But as for your gods, see if you can find them, and let the person who has taken them die! And if you find anything else that belongs to you, identify it before all these relatives of ours, and I will give it back!” But Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen the household idols.

33 Laban went first into Jacob’s tent to search there, then into Leah’s, and then the tents of the two servant wives—but he found nothing. Finally, he went into Rachel’s tent.34 But Rachel had taken the household idols and hidden them in her camel saddle, and now she was sitting on them. When Laban had thoroughly searched her tent without finding them,35 she said to her father, “Please, sir, forgive me if I don’t get up for you. I’m having my monthly period.” So Laban continued his search, but he could not find the household idols.

36 Then Jacob became very angry, and he challenged Laban. “What’s my crime?” he demanded. “What have I done wrong to make you chase after me as though I were a criminal?37 You have rummaged through everything I own. Now show me what you found that belongs to you! Set it out here in front of us, before our relatives, for all to see. Let them judge between us!

38 “For twenty years I have been with you, caring for your flocks. In all that time your sheep and goats never miscarried. In all those years I never used a single ram of yours for food.39 If any were attacked and killed by wild animals, I never showed you the carcass and asked you to reduce the count of your flock. No, I took the loss myself! You made me pay for every stolen animal, whether it was taken in broad daylight or in the dark of night.

40 “I worked for you through the scorching heat of the day and through cold and sleepless nights.41 Yes, for twenty years I slaved in your house! I worked for fourteen years earning your two daughters, and then six more years for your flock. And you changed my wages ten times!42 In fact, if the God of my father had not been on my side—the God of Abraham and the fearsome God of IsaacOr and the Fear of Isaac.—you would have sent me away empty-handed. But God has seen your abuse and my hard work. That is why he appeared to you last night and rebuked you!”

Jacob’s Treaty with Laban

43 Then Laban replied to Jacob, “These women are my daughters, these children are my grandchildren, and these flocks are my flocks—in fact, everything you see is mine. But what can I do now about my daughters and their children?44 So come, let’s make a covenant, you and I, and it will be a witness to our commitment.”

45 So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a monument.46 Then he told his family members, “Gather some stones.” So they gathered stones and piled them in a heap. Then Jacob and Laban sat down beside the pile of stones to eat a covenant meal.47 To commemorate the event, Laban called the place Jegar-sahadutha (which means “witness pile” in Aramaic), and Jacob called it Galeed (which means “witness pile” in Hebrew).

48 Then Laban declared, “This pile of stones will stand as a witness to remind us of the covenant we have made today.” This explains why it was called Galeed—“Witness Pile.”49 But it was also called Mizpah (which means “watchtower”), for Laban said, “May the Lord keep watch between us to make sure that we keep this covenant when we are out of each other’s sight.50 If you mistreat my daughters or if you marry other wives, God will see it even if no one else does. He is a witness to this covenant between us.

51 “See this pile of stones,” Laban continued, “and see this monument I have set between us.52 They stand between us as witnesses of our vows. I will never pass this pile of stones to harm you, and you must never pass these stones or this monument to harm me.53 I call on the God of our ancestors—the God of your grandfather Abraham and the God of my grandfather Nahor—to serve as a judge between us.”

So Jacob took an oath before the fearsome God of his father, Isaac,Or the Fear of his father, Isaac. to respect the boundary line.54 Then Jacob offered a sacrifice to God there on the mountain and invited everyone to a covenant feast. After they had eaten, they spent the night on the mountain.

55 Verse 31:55 is numbered 32:1 in Hebrew text.Laban got up early the next morning, and he kissed his grandchildren and his daughters and blessed them. Then he left and returned home.

32 Verses 32:1-32 are numbered 32:2-33 in Hebrew text.As Jacob started on his way again, angels of God came to meet him.When Jacob saw them, he exclaimed, “This is God’s camp!” So he named the place Mahanaim.Mahanaim means “two camps.”

Jacob Sends Gifts to Esau

Then Jacob sent messengers ahead to his brother, Esau, who was living in the region of Seir in the land of Edom.He told them, “Give this message to my master Esau: ‘Humble greetings from your servant Jacob. Until now I have been living with Uncle Laban,and now I own cattle, donkeys, flocks of sheep and goats, and many servants, both men and women. I have sent these messengers to inform my lord of my coming, hoping that you will be friendly to me.’”

After delivering the message, the messengers returned to Jacob and reported, “We met your brother, Esau, and he is already on his way to meet you—with an army of 400 men!”Jacob was terrified at the news. He divided his household, along with the flocks and herds and camels, into two groups.He thought, “If Esau meets one group and attacks it, perhaps the other group can escape.”

Then Jacob prayed, “O God of my grandfather Abraham, and God of my father, Isaac—O Lord, you told me, ‘Return to your own land and to your relatives.’ And you promised me, ‘I will treat you kindly.’10 I am not worthy of all the unfailing love and faithfulness you have shown to me, your servant. When I left home and crossed the Jordan River, I owned nothing except a walking stick. Now my household fills two large camps!11 O Lord, please rescue me from the hand of my brother, Esau. I am afraid that he is coming to attack me, along with my wives and children.12 But you promised me, ‘I will surely treat you kindly, and I will multiply your descendants until they become as numerous as the sands along the seashore—too many to count.’”

17 Then Jacob rose up, and set his sons and his wives upon camels;

18 And he carried away all his cattle, and all his goods which he had gotten, the cattle of his getting, which he had gotten in Padanaram, for to go to Isaac his father in the land of Canaan.

19 And Laban went to shear his sheep: and Rachel had stolen the images that were her father's.

20 And Jacob stole away unawares to Laban the Syrian, in that he told him not that he fled.

21 So he fled with all that he had; and he rose up, and passed over the river, and set his face toward the mount Gilead.

22 And it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob was fled.

23 And he took his brethren with him, and pursued after him seven days' journey; and they overtook him in the mount Gilead.

24 And God came to Laban the Syrian in a dream by night, and said unto him, Take heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad.

25 Then Laban overtook Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the mount: and Laban with his brethren pitched in the mount of Gilead.

26 And Laban said to Jacob, What hast thou done, that thou hast stolen away unawares to me, and carried away my daughters, as captives taken with the sword?

27 Wherefore didst thou flee away secretly, and steal away from me; and didst not tell me, that I might have sent thee away with mirth, and with songs, with tabret, and with harp?

28 And hast not suffered me to kiss my sons and my daughters? thou hast now done foolishly in so doing.

29 It is in the power of my hand to do you hurt: but the God of your father spake unto me yesternight, saying, Take thou heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad.

30 And now, though thou wouldest needs be gone, because thou sore longedst after thy father's house, yet wherefore hast thou stolen my gods?

31 And Jacob answered and said to Laban, Because I was afraid: for I said, Peradventure thou wouldest take by force thy daughters from me.

32 With whomsoever thou findest thy gods, let him not live: before our brethren discern thou what is thine with me, and take it to thee. For Jacob knew not that Rachel had stolen them.

33 And Laban went into Jacob's tent, and into Leah's tent, and into the two maidservants' tents; but he found them not. Then went he out of Leah's tent, and entered into Rachel's tent.

34 Now Rachel had taken the images, and put them in the camel's furniture, and sat upon them. And Laban searched all the tent, but found them not.

35 And she said to her father, Let it not displease my lord that I cannot rise up before thee; for the custom of women is upon me. And he searched but found not the images.

36 And Jacob was wroth, and chode with Laban: and Jacob answered and said to Laban, What is my trespass? what is my sin, that thou hast so hotly pursued after me?

37 Whereas thou hast searched all my stuff, what hast thou found of all thy household stuff? set it here before my brethren and thy brethren, that they may judge betwixt us both.

38 This twenty years have I been with thee; thy ewes and thy she goats have not cast their young, and the rams of thy flock have I not eaten.

39 That which was torn of beasts I brought not unto thee; I bare the loss of it; of my hand didst thou require it, whether stolen by day, or stolen by night.

40 Thus I was; in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep departed from mine eyes.

41 Thus have I been twenty years in thy house; I served thee fourteen years for thy two daughters, and six years for thy cattle: and thou hast changed my wages ten times.

42 Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely thou hadst sent me away now empty. God hath seen mine affliction and the labour of my hands, and rebuked thee yesternight.

43 And Laban answered and said unto Jacob, These daughters are my daughters, and these children are my children, and these cattle are my cattle, and all that thou seest is mine: and what can I do this day unto these my daughters, or unto their children which they have born?

44 Now therefore come thou, let us make a covenant, I and thou; and let it be for a witness between me and thee.

45 And Jacob took a stone, and set it up for a pillar.

46 And Jacob said unto his brethren, Gather stones; and they took stones, and made an heap: and they did eat there upon the heap.

47 And Laban called it Jegarsahadutha: but Jacob called it Galeed.

48 And Laban said, This heap is a witness between me and thee this day. Therefore was the name of it called Galeed;

49 And Mizpah; for he said, The Lord watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another.

50 If thou shalt afflict my daughters, or if thou shalt take other wives beside my daughters, no man is with us; see, God is witness betwixt me and thee.

51 And Laban said to Jacob, Behold this heap, and behold this pillar, which I have cast betwixt me and thee:

52 This heap be witness, and this pillar be witness, that I will not pass over this heap to thee, and that thou shalt not pass over this heap and this pillar unto me, for harm.

53 The God of Abraham, and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge betwixt us. And Jacob sware by the fear of his father Isaac.

54 Then Jacob offered sacrifice upon the mount, and called his brethren to eat bread: and they did eat bread, and tarried all night in the mount.

55 And early in the morning Laban rose up, and kissed his sons and his daughters, and blessed them: and Laban departed, and returned unto his place.

32 And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him.

And when Jacob saw them, he said, This is God's host: and he called the name of that place Mahanaim.

And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother unto the land of Seir, the country of Edom.

And he commanded them, saying, Thus shall ye speak unto my lord Esau; Thy servant Jacob saith thus, I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed there until now:

And I have oxen, and asses, flocks, and menservants, and womenservants: and I have sent to tell my lord, that I may find grace in thy sight.

And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, We came to thy brother Esau, and also he cometh to meet thee, and four hundred men with him.

Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed: and he divided the people that was with him, and the flocks, and herds, and the camels, into two bands;

And said, If Esau come to the one company, and smite it, then the other company which is left shall escape.

And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the Lord which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee:

10 I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands.

11 Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children.

12 And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.

Matthew 10:24-11:6

24 “The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master.S Jn 13:1625 It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul,S Mk 3:22 how much more the members of his household!

26 “So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.Mk 4:22; Lk 8:1727 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs.28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the OneIsa 8:12, 13; Heb 10:31 who can destroy both soul and body in hell.29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.Or will; or knowledge30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.1Sa 14:45; 2Sa 14:11; 1Ki 1:52; Lk 21:18; Ac 27:3431 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.Mt 6:26; 12:12

32 “Whoever acknowledges me before others,Ro 10:9 I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.Mk 8:38; 2Ti 2:12

34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.35 For I have come to turn

“‘a man against his father,

a daughter against her mother,

a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-lawver 21

36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’Micah 7:6Mic 7:6

37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.Lk 14:2638 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.Mt 16:24; Lk 14:2739 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.S Jn 12:25

40 “Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me,Ex 16:8; Mt 18:5; Gal 4:14 and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.Lk 9:48; 10:16; Jn 12:44; 13:2041 Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward.42 And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”Pr 14:31; 19:17; Mt 25:40; Mk 9:41; Ac 10:4; Heb 6:10

Jesus and John the Baptist11:2-19pp — Lk 7:18-35

11 After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples,S Mt 7:28 he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee.Greek in their towns

When John,S Mt 3:1 who was in prison,Mt 14:3 heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciplesto ask him, “Are you the one who is to come,Ps 118:26; Jn 11:27; Heb 10:37 or should we expect someone else?”

Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see:The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosyThe Greek word traditionally translated leprosy was used for various diseases affecting the skin. are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.Isa 35:4-6; 61:1; Mt 15:31; Lk 4:18, 19Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”Mt 13:21; 26:31

24 “StudentsOr Disciples. are not greater than their teacher, and slaves are not greater than their master.25 Students are to be like their teacher, and slaves are to be like their master. And since I, the master of the household, have been called the prince of demons,Greek Beelzeboul; other manuscripts read Beezeboul; Latin version reads Beelzebub. the members of my household will be called by even worse names!

26 “But don’t be afraid of those who threaten you. For the time is coming when everything that is covered will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all.27 What I tell you now in the darkness, shout abroad when daybreak comes. What I whisper in your ear, shout from the housetops for all to hear!

28 “Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell.Greek Gehenna.29 What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coinGreek one assarion [i.e., one “as,” a Roman coin equal to 1⁄16 of a denarius].? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it.30 And the very hairs on your head are all numbered.31 So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.

32 “Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.33 But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.

34 “Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword.

35 ‘I have come to set a man against his father,

a daughter against her mother,

and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.

36 Your enemies will be right in your own household!’Mic 7:6.

37 “If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine.38 If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine.39 If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.

40 “Anyone who receives you receives me, and anyone who receives me receives the Father who sent me.41 If you receive a prophet as one who speaks for God,Greek receive a prophet in the name of a prophet. you will be given the same reward as a prophet. And if you receive righteous people because of their righteousness, you will be given a reward like theirs.42 And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded.”

Jesus and John the Baptist

11 When Jesus had finished giving these instructions to his twelve disciples, he went out to teach and preach in towns throughout the region.

John the Baptist, who was in prison, heard about all the things the Messiah was doing. So he sent his disciples to ask Jesus,“Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting,Greek Are you the one who is coming? or should we keep looking for someone else?”

Jesus told them, “Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen—the blind see, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor.”And he added, “God blesses those who do not fall away because of me.Or who are not offended by me.

24 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.

25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?

26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.

27 What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.

28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.

30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.

33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.

37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

40 He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

41 He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward.

42 And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.

11 And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities.

Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples,

And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?

Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see:

The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.

And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.

Psalm 13:1-6

Psalm 13In Hebrew texts 13:1-6 is numbered 13:2-6.

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

How long,Ps 6:3 Lord? Will you forget mePs 42:9; La 5:20 forever?

How long will you hide your faceS Dt 31:17; S Ps 22:24; S Isa 8:17; S 54:9 from me?

How long must I wrestle with my thoughtsPs 42:4; 55:2; 139:23; Isa 33:18; Da 7:28

and day after day have sorrow in my heart?

How long will my enemy triumph over me?Ps 94:3

Look on mePs 9:12; 25:18; 31:7; 35:23; 59:4; 80:14; 107:41; 119:50, 153 and answer,S Ps 4:1 Lord my God.

Give light to my eyes,S Ezr 9:8 or I will sleep in death,Ps 76:5; 90:5; Jer 51:39

and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,S 1Ki 19:2; Ps 25:2

and my foes will rejoice when I fall.Ps 38:16; 118:13

But I trust in your unfailing love;S Ps 6:4

my heart rejoices in your salvation.S Job 33:26; Ps 9:14; Isa 25:9; 33:2

I will singS Ex 15:1; Ps 7:17 the Lord’s praise,

for he has been good to me.

Psalm 13

For the choir director: A psalm of David.

O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever?

How long will you look the other way?

How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul,

with sorrow in my heart every day?

How long will my enemy have the upper hand?

Turn and answer me, O Lord my God!

Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.

Don’t let my enemies gloat, saying, “We have defeated him!”

Don’t let them rejoice at my downfall.

But I trust in your unfailing love.

I will rejoice because you have rescued me.

I will sing to the Lord

because he is good to me.

13 How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me?

How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?

Consider and hear me, O Lord my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death;

Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved.

But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation.

I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.

Proverbs 3:16-18

16 Long life is in her right hand;S Ge 15:15

in her left hand are riches and honor.S 1Ki 3:13, 14

17 Her ways are pleasant ways,

and all her paths are peace.Mt 11:28-30

18 She is a tree of lifeS Ge 2:9; S Pr 10:11; S Rev 2:7 to those who take hold of her;

those who hold her fast will be blessed.S Pr 2:12; 4:3-9, 8; 8:17-21

16 She offers you long life in her right hand,

and riches and honor in her left.

17 She will guide you down delightful paths;

all her ways are satisfying.

18 Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her;

happy are those who hold her tightly.

16 Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.

17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.

18 She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.

Jan 14 Jan 16
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