Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

Rejection cuts deeply into the soul of man. To be rejected by one's own family and others can wound a person to the very core. Jephthah, son of a prostitute, knew what it was like to be rejected (Judges 11:2). His half brothers sent him away to the land of Tob simply because of his background. He had done nothing to deserve such rejection.

Often we are rejected because of factors beyond our control. Nevertheless, the pain of rejection makes us lash out at those who have hurt us, especially when they reach out to us for help later on. Our response is frequently like Jephthah's: "Why do you come to me now, when you're in trouble?" (Judges 11:7).

Jesus Christ knew the pain of rejection to the fullest. The entire nation turned its back on Him, for He was "despised and rejected-a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief" (Isaiah 53:3).

Have you ever come to your friends or family with a loving witness, only to have it flung back into your face? Love them anyway. One day, like Jephthah's brethren, they will come knocking on your door. When they do, give them a glimpse of the love of Christ in you.

Judges 11:1-12:15

11 JephthahJdg 12:1; 1Sa 12:11; Heb 11:32 the Gileadite was a mighty warrior.Jdg 6:12 His father was Gilead;Nu 26:29 his mother was a prostitute.S Ge 38:15Gilead’s wife also bore him sons, and when they were grown up, they drove Jephthah away. “You are not going to get any inheritance in our family,” they said, “because you are the son of another woman.”So Jephthah fled from his brothers and settled in the land of Tob,ver 5; 2Sa 10:6, 8 where a gang of scoundrelsS Jdg 9:4 gathered around him and followed him.

Some time later, when the AmmonitesS Jdg 10:9 were fighting against Israel,the elders of Gilead went to get Jephthah from the land of Tob.“Come,” they said, “be our commander, so we can fight the Ammonites.”

Jephthah said to them, “Didn’t you hate me and drive me from my father’s house?S Ge 26:16 Why do you come to me now, when you’re in trouble?”

The elders of Gilead said to him, “Nevertheless, we are turning to you now; come with us to fight the Ammonites, and you will be headS Jdg 10:18 over all of us who live in Gilead.”

Jephthah answered, “Suppose you take me back to fight the Ammonites and the Lord gives them to me—will I really be your head?”

10 The elders of Gilead replied, “The Lord is our witness;S Ge 31:50; S Isa 1:2 we will certainly do as you say.”11 So Jephthah went with the elders1Sa 8:4; 2Sa 3:17 of Gilead, and the people made him head and commander over them. And he repeatedEx 19:9; 1Sa 8:21 all his words before the Lord in Mizpah.S Jos 11:3

12 Then Jephthah sent messengers to the Ammonite king with the question: “What do you have against me that you have attacked my country?”

13 The king of the Ammonites answered Jephthah’s messengers, “When Israel came up out of Egypt, they took away my land from the ArnonS Nu 21:13 to the Jabbok,S Nu 21:24 all the way to the Jordan. Now give it back peaceably.”

14 Jephthah sent back messengers to the Ammonite king,15 saying:

“This is what Jephthah says: Israel did not take the land of MoabDt 2:9 or the land of the Ammonites.Dt 2:1916 But when they came up out of Egypt, Israel went through the wilderness to the Red SeaOr the Sea of ReedsNu 14:25; S Dt 1:40 and on to Kadesh.S Ge 14:717 Then Israel sent messengersver 19; S Ge 32:3; Nu 20:14 to the king of Edom, saying, ‘Give us permission to go through your country,’S Nu 20:17 but the king of Edom would not listen. They sent also to the king of Moab,Jer 48:1 and he refused.S Jos 24:9 So Israel stayed at Kadesh.

18 “Next they traveled through the wilderness, skirted the lands of EdomS Nu 20:21 and Moab, passed along the eastern sideDt 2:8 of the country of Moab, and camped on the other side of the Arnon.S Nu 21:13 They did not enter the territory of Moab, for the Arnon was its border.

19 “Then Israel sent messengersS ver 17 to Sihon king of the Amorites, who ruled in Heshbon,S Jos 12:2 and said to him, ‘Let us pass through your country to our own place.’Nu 21:21-2220 Sihon, however, did not trust IsraelOr however, would not make an agreement for Israel to pass through his territory. He mustered all his troops and encamped at Jahaz and fought with Israel.Nu 21:23

21 “Then the Lord, the God of Israel, gave Sihon and his whole army into Israel’s hands, and they defeated them. Israel took over all the land of the Amorites who lived in that country,22 capturing all of it from the Arnon to the Jabbok and from the desert to the Jordan.Nu 21:21-26; S Dt 2:26

23 “Now since the Lord, the God of Israel, has driven the Amorites out before his people Israel, what right have you to take it over?24 Will you not take what your god ChemoshS Nu 21:29; S Jos 3:10 gives you? Likewise, whatever the Lord our God has given us,Dt 2:36 we will possess.25 Are you any better than Balak son of Zippor,Nu 22:2 king of Moab? Did he ever quarrel with Israel or fight with them?S Jos 24:926 For three hundred years Israel occupiedNu 21:25 Heshbon, Aroer,S Nu 32:34; S Jos 13:9 the surrounding settlements and all the towns along the Arnon. Why didn’t you retake them during that time?27 I have not wronged you, but you are doing me wrong by waging war against me. Let the Lord, the Judge,S Ge 18:25 decideS Ge 16:5 the dispute this day between the Israelites and the Ammonites.2Ch 20:12

28 The king of Ammon, however, paid no attention to the message Jephthah sent him.

29 Then the SpiritS Jdg 3:10 of the Lord came on Jephthah. He crossed Gilead and Manasseh, passed through MizpahS Ge 31:49 of Gilead, and from there he advanced against the Ammonites.S Jdg 10:1730 And Jephthah made a vowS Ge 28:20; Nu 30:10; 1Sa 1:11; Pr 31:2 to the Lord: “If you give the Ammonites into my hands,31 whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumphGe 28:21 from the Ammonites will be the Lord’s, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.S Ge 8:20; Lev 1:3; Jdg 13:16

32 Then Jephthah went over to fight the Ammonites, and the Lord gave them into his hands.33 He devastated twenty towns from Aroer to the vicinity of Minnith,Eze 27:17 as far as Abel Keramim. Thus Israel subdued Ammon.

34 When Jephthah returned to his home in Mizpah, who should come out to meet him but his daughter, dancingS Ex 15:20 to the sound of timbrels!S Ge 31:27; S Ex 15:20 She was an only child.Zec 12:10 Except for her he had neither son nor daughter.35 When he saw her, he tore his clothesS Nu 14:6 and cried, “Oh no, my daughter! You have brought me down and I am devastated. I have made a vow to the Lord that I cannot break.Nu 30:2; S Dt 23:21; Ecc 5:2, 4, 5

36 “My father,” she replied, “you have given your word to the Lord. Do to me just as you promised,Lk 1:38 now that the Lord has avenged youS Nu 31:3 of your enemies,2Sa 18:19 the Ammonites.37 But grant me this one request,” she said. “Give me two months to roam the hills and weep with my friends, because I will never marry.”

38 “You may go,” he said. And he let her go for two months. She and her friends went into the hills and wept because she would never marry.39 After the two months, she returned to her father, and he did to her as he had vowed. And she was a virgin.

From this comes the Israelite tradition40 that each year the young women of Israel go out for four days to commemorate the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite.

Jephthah and Ephraim

12 The Ephraimite forces were called out, and they crossed over to Zaphon.S Jos 13:27 They said to Jephthah,S Jdg 11:1 “Why did you go to fight the Ammonites without calling us to go with you?Jdg 8:1 We’re going to burn down your house over your head.”

Jephthah answered, “I and my people were engaged in a great struggle with the Ammonites, and although I called, you didn’t save me out of their hands.When I saw that you wouldn’t help, I took my life in my handsS Jdg 9:17 and crossed over to fight the Ammonites, and the Lord gave me the victoryS Dt 20:4 over them. Now why have you come up today to fight me?”

Jephthah then called together the men of Gilead1Ki 17:1 and fought against Ephraim. The Gileadites struck them down because the Ephraimites had said, “You Gileadites are renegades from Ephraim and Manasseh.S Ge 46:20; Isa 9:21; 19:2The Gileadites captured the fords of the JordanS Jos 2:7 leading to Ephraim, and whenever a survivor of Ephraim said, “Let me cross over,” the men of Gilead asked him, “Are you an Ephraimite?” If he replied, “No,”they said, “All right, say ‘Shibboleth.’” If he said, “Sibboleth,” because he could not pronounce the word correctly, they seized him and killed him at the fords of the Jordan. Forty-two thousand Ephraimites were killed at that time.

Jephthah ledTraditionally judged; also in verses 8-14 Israel six years. Then Jephthah the Gileadite died and was buried in a town in Gilead.

Ibzan, Elon and Abdon

After him, Ibzan of BethlehemS Ge 35:19 led Israel.He had thirty sons and thirty daughters. He gave his daughters away in marriage to those outside his clan, and for his sons he brought in thirty young women as wives from outside his clan. Ibzan led Israel seven years.10 Then Ibzan died and was buried in Bethlehem.

11 After him, Elon the Zebulunite led Israel ten years.12 Then Elon died and was buried in AijalonS Jos 10:12 in the land of Zebulun.

13 After him, Abdon son of Hillel, from Pirathon,ver 15; 2Sa 23:30; 1Ch 11:31; 27:14 led Israel.14 He had forty sons and thirty grandsons,S Jdg 8:30 who rode on seventy donkeys.S Jdg 5:10 He led Israel eight years.15 Then Abdon son of Hillel died and was buried at Pirathon in Ephraim, in the hill country of the Amalekites.Jdg 5:14

Jephthah Becomes Israel’s Judge

11 Now Jephthah of Gilead was a great warrior. He was the son of Gilead, but his mother was a prostitute.Gilead’s wife also had several sons, and when these half brothers grew up, they chased Jephthah off the land. “You will not get any of our father’s inheritance,” they said, “for you are the son of a prostitute.”So Jephthah fled from his brothers and lived in the land of Tob. Soon he had a band of worthless rebels following him.

At about this time, the Ammonites began their war against Israel.When the Ammonites attacked, the elders of Gilead sent for Jephthah in the land of Tob.The elders said, “Come and be our commander! Help us fight the Ammonites!”

But Jephthah said to them, “Aren’t you the ones who hated me and drove me from my father’s house? Why do you come to me now when you’re in trouble?”

“Because we need you,” the elders replied. “If you lead us in battle against the Ammonites, we will make you ruler over all the people of Gilead.”

Jephthah said to the elders, “Let me get this straight. If I come with you and if the Lord gives me victory over the Ammonites, will you really make me ruler over all the people?”

10 “The Lord is our witness,” the elders replied. “We promise to do whatever you say.”

11 So Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him their ruler and commander of the army. At Mizpah, in the presence of the Lord, Jephthah repeated what he had said to the elders.

12 Then Jephthah sent messengers to the king of Ammon, asking, “Why have you come out to fight against my land?”

13 The king of Ammon answered Jephthah’s messengers, “When the Israelites came out of Egypt, they stole my land from the Arnon River to the Jabbok River and all the way to the Jordan. Now then, give back the land peaceably.”

14 Jephthah sent this message back to the Ammonite king:

15 “This is what Jephthah says: Israel did not steal any land from Moab or Ammon.16 When the people of Israel arrived at Kadesh on their journey from Egypt after crossing the Red Sea,Hebrew sea of reeds.17 they sent messengers to the king of Edom asking for permission to pass through his land. But their request was denied. Then they asked the king of Moab for similar permission, but he wouldn’t let them pass through either. So the people of Israel stayed in Kadesh.

18 “Finally, they went around Edom and Moab through the wilderness. They traveled along Moab’s eastern border and camped on the other side of the Arnon River. But they never once crossed the Arnon River into Moab, for the Arnon was the border of Moab.

19 “Then Israel sent messengers to King Sihon of the Amorites, who ruled from Heshbon, asking for permission to cross through his land to get to their destination.20 But King Sihon didn’t trust Israel to pass through his land. Instead, he mobilized his army at Jahaz and attacked them.21 But the Lord, the God of Israel, gave his people victory over King Sihon. So Israel took control of all the land of the Amorites, who lived in that region,22 from the Arnon River to the Jabbok River, and from the eastern wilderness to the Jordan.

23 “So you see, it was the Lord, the God of Israel, who took away the land from the Amorites and gave it to Israel. Why, then, should we give it back to you?24 You keep whatever your god Chemosh gives you, and we will keep whatever the Lord our God gives us.25 Are you any better than Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab? Did he try to make a case against Israel for disputed land? Did he go to war against them?

26 “Israel has been living here for 300 years, inhabiting Heshbon and its surrounding settlements, all the way to Aroer and its settlements, and in all the towns along the Arnon River. Why have you made no effort to recover it before now?27 Therefore, I have not sinned against you. Rather, you have wronged me by attacking me. Let the Lord, who is judge, decide today which of us is right—Israel or Ammon.”

28 But the king of Ammon paid no attention to Jephthah’s message.

Jephthah’s Vow

29 At that time the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah, and he went throughout the land of Gilead and Manasseh, including Mizpah in Gilead, and from there he led an army against the Ammonites.30 And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord. He said, “If you give me victory over the Ammonites,31 I will give to the Lord whatever comes out of my house to meet me when I return in triumph. I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.”

32 So Jephthah led his army against the Ammonites, and the Lord gave him victory.33 He crushed the Ammonites, devastating about twenty towns from Aroer to an area near Minnith and as far away as Abel-keramim. In this way Israel defeated the Ammonites.

34 When Jephthah returned home to Mizpah, his daughter came out to meet him, playing on a tambourine and dancing for joy. She was his one and only child; he had no other sons or daughters.35 When he saw her, he tore his clothes in anguish. “Oh, my daughter!” he cried out. “You have completely destroyed me! You’ve brought disaster on me! For I have made a vow to the Lord, and I cannot take it back.”

36 And she said, “Father, if you have made a vow to the Lord, you must do to me what you have vowed, for the Lord has given you a great victory over your enemies, the Ammonites.37 But first let me do this one thing: Let me go up and roam in the hills and weep with my friends for two months, because I will die a virgin.”

38 “You may go,” Jephthah said. And he sent her away for two months. She and her friends went into the hills and wept because she would never have children.39 When she returned home, her father kept the vow he had made, and she died a virgin.

So it has become a custom in Israel40 for young Israelite women to go away for four days each year to lament the fate of Jephthah’s daughter.

Ephraim Fights with Jephthah

12 Then the people of Ephraim mobilized an army and crossed over the Jordan River to Zaphon. They sent this message to Jephthah: “Why didn’t you call for us to help you fight against the Ammonites? We are going to burn down your house with you in it!”

Jephthah replied, “I summoned you at the beginning of the dispute, but you refused to come! You failed to help us in our struggle against Ammon.So when I realized you weren’t coming, I risked my life and went to battle without you, and the Lord gave me victory over the Ammonites. So why have you now come to fight me?”

The people of Ephraim responded, “You men of Gilead are nothing more than fugitives from Ephraim and Manasseh.” So Jephthah gathered all the men of Gilead and attacked the men of Ephraim and defeated them.

Jephthah captured the shallow crossings of the Jordan River, and whenever a fugitive from Ephraim tried to go back across, the men of Gilead would challenge him. “Are you a member of the tribe of Ephraim?” they would ask. If the man said, “No, I’m not,”they would tell him to say “Shibboleth.” If he was from Ephraim, he would say “Sibboleth,” because people from Ephraim cannot pronounce the word correctly. Then they would take him and kill him at the shallow crossings of the Jordan. In all, 42,000 Ephraimites were killed at that time.

Jephthah judged Israel for six years. When he died, he was buried in one of the towns of Gilead.

Ibzan Becomes Israel’s Judge

After Jephthah died, Ibzan from Bethlehem judged Israel.He had thirty sons and thirty daughters. He sent his daughters to marry men outside his clan, and he brought in thirty young women from outside his clan to marry his sons. Ibzan judged Israel for seven years.10 When he died, he was buried at Bethlehem.

Elon Becomes Israel’s Judge

11 After Ibzan died, Elon from the tribe of Zebulun judged Israel for ten years.12 When he died, he was buried at Aijalon in Zebulun.

Abdon Becomes Israel’s Judge

13 After Elon died, Abdon son of Hillel, from Pirathon, judged Israel.14 He had forty sons and thirty grandsons, who rode on seventy donkeys. He judged Israel for eight years.15 When he died, he was buried at Pirathon in Ephraim, in the hill country of the Amalekites.

11 Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valour, and he was the son of an harlot: and Gilead begat Jephthah.

And Gilead's wife bare him sons; and his wife's sons grew up, and they thrust out Jephthah, and said unto him, Thou shalt not inherit in our father's house; for thou art the son of a strange woman.

Then Jephthah fled from his brethren, and dwelt in the land of Tob: and there were gathered vain men to Jephthah, and went out with him.

And it came to pass in process of time, that the children of Ammon made war against Israel.

And it was so, that when the children of Ammon made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to fetch Jephthah out of the land of Tob:

And they said unto Jephthah, Come, and be our captain, that we may fight with the children of Ammon.

And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, Did not ye hate me, and expel me out of my father's house? and why are ye come unto me now when ye are in distress?

And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, Therefore we turn again to thee now, that thou mayest go with us, and fight against the children of Ammon, and be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.

And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, If ye bring me home again to fight against the children of Ammon, and the Lord deliver them before me, shall I be your head?

10 And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, The Lord be witness between us, if we do not so according to thy words.

11 Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and captain over them: and Jephthah uttered all his words before the Lord in Mizpeh.

12 And Jephthah sent messengers unto the king of the children of Ammon, saying, What hast thou to do with me, that thou art come against me to fight in my land?

13 And the king of the children of Ammon answered unto the messengers of Jephthah, Because Israel took away my land, when they came up out of Egypt, from Arnon even unto Jabbok, and unto Jordan: now therefore restore those lands again peaceably.

14 And Jephthah sent messengers again unto the king of the children of Ammon:

15 And said unto him, Thus saith Jephthah, Israel took not away the land of Moab, nor the land of the children of Ammon:

16 But when Israel came up from Egypt, and walked through the wilderness unto the Red sea, and came to Kadesh;

17 Then Israel sent messengers unto the king of Edom, saying, Let me, I pray thee, pass through thy land: but the king of Edom would not hearken thereto. And in like manner they sent unto the king of Moab: but he would not consent: and Israel abode in Kadesh.

18 Then they went along through the wilderness, and compassed the land of Edom, and the land of Moab, and came by the east side of the land of Moab, and pitched on the other side of Arnon, but came not within the border of Moab: for Arnon was the border of Moab.

19 And Israel sent messengers unto Sihon king of the Amorites, the king of Heshbon; and Israel said unto him, Let us pass, we pray thee, through thy land into my place.

20 But Sihon trusted not Israel to pass through his coast: but Sihon gathered all his people together, and pitched in Jahaz, and fought against Israel.

21 And the Lord God of Israel delivered Sihon and all his people into the hand of Israel, and they smote them: so Israel possessed all the land of the Amorites, the inhabitants of that country.

22 And they possessed all the coasts of the Amorites, from Arnon even unto Jabbok, and from the wilderness even unto Jordan.

23 So now the Lord God of Israel hath dispossessed the Amorites from before his people Israel, and shouldest thou possess it?

24 Wilt not thou possess that which Chemosh thy god giveth thee to possess? So whomsoever the Lord our God shall drive out from before us, them will we possess.

25 And now art thou any thing better than Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab? did he ever strive against Israel, or did he ever fight against them,

26 While Israel dwelt in Heshbon and her towns, and in Aroer and her towns, and in all the cities that be along by the coasts of Arnon, three hundred years? why therefore did ye not recover them within that time?

27 Wherefore I have not sinned against thee, but thou doest me wrong to war against me: the Lord the Judge be judge this day between the children of Israel and the children of Ammon.

28 Howbeit the king of the children of Ammon hearkened not unto the words of Jephthah which he sent him.

29 Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah, and he passed over Gilead, and Manasseh, and passed over Mizpeh of Gilead, and from Mizpeh of Gilead he passed over unto the children of Ammon.

30 And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the Lord, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands,

31 Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord's, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.

32 So Jephthah passed over unto the children of Ammon to fight against them; and the Lord delivered them into his hands.

33 And he smote them from Aroer, even till thou come to Minnith, even twenty cities, and unto the plain of the vineyards, with a very great slaughter. Thus the children of Ammon were subdued before the children of Israel.

34 And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and she was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter.

35 And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he rent his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me very low, and thou art one of them that trouble me: for I have opened my mouth unto the Lord, and I cannot go back.

36 And she said unto him, My father, if thou hast opened thy mouth unto the Lord, do to me according to that which hath proceeded out of thy mouth; forasmuch as the Lord hath taken vengeance for thee of thine enemies, even of the children of Ammon.

37 And she said unto her father, Let this thing be done for me: let me alone two months, that I may go up and down upon the mountains, and bewail my virginity, I and my fellows.

38 And he said, Go. And he sent her away for two months: and she went with her companions, and bewailed her virginity upon the mountains.

39 And it came to pass at the end of two months, that she returned unto her father, who did with her according to his vow which he had vowed: and she knew no man. And it was a custom in Israel,

40 That the daughters of Israel went yearly to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in a year.

12 And the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and went northward, and said unto Jephthah, Wherefore passedst thou over to fight against the children of Ammon, and didst not call us to go with thee? we will burn thine house upon thee with fire.

And Jephthah said unto them, I and my people were at great strife with the children of Ammon; and when I called you, ye delivered me not out of their hands.

And when I saw that ye delivered me not, I put my life in my hands, and passed over against the children of Ammon, and the Lord delivered them into my hand: wherefore then are ye come up unto me this day, to fight against me?

Then Jephthah gathered together all the men of Gilead, and fought with Ephraim: and the men of Gilead smote Ephraim, because they said, Ye Gileadites are fugitives of Ephraim among the Ephraimites, and among the Manassites.

And the Gileadites took the passages of Jordan before the Ephraimites: and it was so, that when those Ephraimites which were escaped said, Let me go over; that the men of Gilead said unto him, Art thou an Ephraimite? If he said, Nay;

Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth: and he said Sibboleth: for he could not frame to pronounce it right. Then they took him, and slew him at the passages of Jordan: and there fell at that time of the Ephraimites forty and two thousand.

And Jephthah judged Israel six years. Then died Jephthah the Gileadite, and was buried in one of the cities of Gilead.

And after him Ibzan of Bethlehem judged Israel.

And he had thirty sons, and thirty daughters, whom he sent abroad, and took in thirty daughters from abroad for his sons. And he judged Israel seven years.

10 Then died Ibzan, and was buried at Bethlehem.

11 And after him Elon, a Zebulonite, judged Israel; and he judged Israel ten years.

12 And Elon the Zebulonite died, and was buried in Aijalon in the country of Zebulun.

13 And after him Abdon the son of Hillel, a Pirathonite, judged Israel.

14 And he had forty sons and thirty nephews, that rode on threescore and ten ass colts: and he judged Israel eight years.

15 And Abdon the son of Hillel the Pirathonite died, and was buried in Pirathon in the land of Ephraim, in the mount of the Amalekites.

John 1:1-28

The Word Became Flesh

In the beginning was the Word,Isa 55:11; Rev 19:13 and the Word was with God,Jn 17:5; 1Jn 1:2 and the Word was God.Php 2:6He was with God in the beginning.Ge 1:1; Jn 8:58; 17:5, 24; 1Jn 1:1; Rev 1:8Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.ver 10; 1Co 8:6; Col 1:16; Heb 1:2In him was life,S Jn 5:26; 6:57; 11:25; 14:6; Ac 3:15; Heb 7:16; 1Jn 1:1, 2; 5:20; Rev 1:18 and that life was the lightPs 36:9; Jn 3:19; 8:12; 9:5; 12:46 of all mankind.The light shines in the darkness,Ps 18:28 and the darkness has not overcomeOr understood it.Jn 3:19

There was a man sent from God whose name was John.S Mt 3:1He came as a witness to testifyver 15, 19, 32; Jn 3:26; 5:33 concerning that light, so that through him all might believe.ver 12; S Jn 3:15He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

The true light1Jn 2:8 that gives light to everyoneIsa 49:6 was coming into the world.10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him,S ver 3 the world did not recognize him.11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.Isa 53:312 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believedver 7; S Jn 3:15 in his name,S 1Jn 3:23 he gave the right to become children of GodDt 14:1; S Ro 8:14; 8:16, 21; Eph 5:1; 1Jn 3:1, 213 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.Jn 3:6; Tit 3:5; Jas 1:18; 1Pe 1:23; 1Jn 3:9; 4:7; 5:1, 4

14 The Word became fleshGal 4:4; Php 2:7, 8; 1Ti 3:16; Heb 2:14; 1Jn 1:1, 2; 4:2 and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory,Ex 33:18; 40:34 the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of graceS Ro 3:24 and truth.Jn 14:6

15 (John testifiedver 7 concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”)ver 30; Mt 3:1116 Out of his fullnessEph 1:23; Col 1:19; 2:9 we have all received graceS Ro 3:24 in place of grace already given.17 For the law was given through Moses;Dt 32:46; Jn 7:19 grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.ver 1418 No one has ever seen God,Ex 33:20; Jn 6:46; Col 1:15; 1Ti 6:16; 1Jn 4:12 but the one and only Son, who is himself God andSome manuscripts but the only Son, whoJn 3:16, 18; 1Jn 4:9 is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.

John the Baptist Denies Being the Messiah

19 Now this was John’sS Mt 3:1 testimony when the Jewish leadersThe Greek term traditionally translated the Jews (hoi Ioudaioi) refers here and elsewhere in John’s Gospel to those Jewish leaders who opposed Jesus; also in 5:10, 15, 16; 7:1, 11, 13; 9:22; 18:14, 28, 36; 19:7, 12, 31, 38; 20:19.Jn 2:18; 5:10, 16; 6:41, 52; 7:1; 10:24 in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was.20 He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.”Jn 3:28; Lk 3:15, 16

21 They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?”S Mt 11:14

He said, “I am not.”

“Are you the Prophet?”Dt 18:15

He answered, “No.”

22 Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”

23 John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness,Mt 3:1 ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’”Isaiah 40:3Isa 40:3

24 Now the Pharisees who had been sent25 questioned him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”

26 “I baptize withOr in; also in verses 31 and 33 (twice) water,”S Mk 1:4 John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know.27 He is the one who comes after me,ver 15, 30 the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.”Mk 1:7

28 This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan,Jn 3:26; 10:40 where John was baptizing.

Prologue: Christ, the Eternal Word

In the beginning the Word already existed.

The Word was with God,

and the Word was God.

He existed in the beginning with God.

God created everything through him,

and nothing was created except through him.

The Word gave life to everything that was created,Or and nothing that was created was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything.

and his life brought light to everyone.

The light shines in the darkness,

and the darkness can never extinguish it.Or and the darkness has not understood it.

God sent a man, John the Baptist,Greek a man named John.to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony.John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light.The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.

10 He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him.11 He came to his own people, and even they rejected him.12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.13 They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.

14 So the Word became humanGreek became flesh. and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness.Or grace and truth; also in 1:17. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.

15 John testified about him when he shouted to the crowds, “This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Someone is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’”

16 From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another.Or received the grace of Christ rather than the grace of the law; Greek reads received grace upon grace.17 For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ.18 No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God,Some manuscripts read But the one and only Son. is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.

The Testimony of John the Baptist

19 This was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders sent priests and Temple assistantsGreek and Levites. from Jerusalem to ask John, “Who are you?”20 He came right out and said, “I am not the Messiah.”

21 “Well then, who are you?” they asked. “Are you Elijah?”

“No,” he replied.

“Are you the Prophet we are expecting?”Greek Are you the Prophet? See Deut 18:15, 18; Mal 4:5-6.

“No.”

22 “Then who are you? We need an answer for those who sent us. What do you have to say about yourself?”

23 John replied in the words of the prophet Isaiah:

“I am a voice shouting in the wilderness,

‘Clear the way for the Lord’s coming!’”Isa 40:3.

24 Then the Pharisees who had been sent25 asked him, “If you aren’t the Messiah or Elijah or the Prophet, what right do you have to baptize?”

26 John told them, “I baptize withOr in; also in 1:31, 33. water, but right here in the crowd is someone you do not recognize.27 Though his ministry follows mine, I’m not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandal.”

28 This encounter took place in Bethany, an area east of the Jordan River, where John was baptizing.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The same was in the beginning with God.

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.

He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.

16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.

17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

18 No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

19 And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou?

20 And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ.

21 And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.

22 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?

23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.

24 And they which were sent were of the Pharisees.

25 And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet?

26 John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not;

27 He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose.

28 These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.

Psalm 101:1-8

Psalm 101

Of David. A psalm.

I will sing of your lovePs 33:1; 51:14; 89:1; 145:7 and justice;

to you, Lord, I will sing praise.

I will be careful to lead a blameless lifeS Ge 17:1; Php 1:10

when will you come to me?

I will conduct the affairsS 1Ki 3:14 of my house

with a blameless heart.

I will not look with approval

on anything that is vile.Jer 16:18; Eze 11:21; Hos 9:10

I hate what faithless people do;S Ps 5:5

I will have no part in it.

The perverse of heartPr 3:32; 6:16-19; 11:20 shall be far from me;

I will have nothing to do with what is evil.

Whoever slanders their neighborS Ex 20:16; S Lev 19:16 in secret,

I will put to silence;

whoever has haughty eyesS Ps 10:5 and a proud heart,

I will not tolerate.

My eyes will be on the faithful in the land,

that they may dwell with me;

the one whose walk is blamelessver 2; Ps 119:1

will minister to me.

No one who practices deceit

will dwell in my house;

no one who speaks falsely

will stand in my presence.

Every morningPs 5:3; Jer 21:12 I will put to silence

all the wickedPs 75:10 in the land;

I will cut off every evildoerS 2Sa 3:39; Ps 118:10-12

from the city of the Lord.S Ps 46:4

Psalm 101

A psalm of David.

I will sing of your love and justice, Lord.

I will praise you with songs.

I will be careful to live a blameless life—

when will you come to help me?

I will lead a life of integrity

in my own home.

I will refuse to look at

anything vile and vulgar.

I hate all who deal crookedly;

I will have nothing to do with them.

I will reject perverse ideas

and stay away from every evil.

I will not tolerate people who slander their neighbors.

I will not endure conceit and pride.

I will search for faithful people

to be my companions.

Only those who are above reproach

will be allowed to serve me.

I will not allow deceivers to serve in my house,

and liars will not stay in my presence.

My daily task will be to ferret out the wicked

and free the city of the Lord from their grip.

101 I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O Lord, will I sing.

I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.

I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.

A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person.

Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer.

Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me.

He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.

I will early destroy all the wicked of the land; that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the Lord.

Proverbs 14:13-14

13 Even in laughterEcc 2:2; 7:3, 6 the heart may ache,

and rejoicing may end in grief.

14 The faithless will be fully repaid for their ways,S Pr 1:31

and the good rewarded for theirs.S 2Ch 15:7; Pr 12:14

13 Laughter can conceal a heavy heart,

but when the laughter ends, the grief remains.

14 Backsliders get what they deserve;

good people receive their reward.

13 Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness.

14 The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself.

Apr 29 May 1
Bible Gateway