Ezekiel 16-18; John 6
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The following text is from the English Standard Version.
Again the word of the LORD came to me:
‘Son of man, make known to Jerusalem her abominations,
and say, Thus says the Lord GOD to Jerusalem: Your origin and your birth are of the land of the Canaanites; your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite.
And as for your birth, on the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to cleanse you, nor rubbed with salt, nor wrapped in swaddling cloths.
No eye pitied you, to do any of these things to you out of compassion for you, but you were cast out on the open field, for you were abhorred, on the day that you were born.
‘And when I passed by you and saw you wallowing in your blood, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’
I made you flourish like a plant of the field. And you grew up and became tall and arrived at full adornment. Your breasts were formed, and your hair had grown; yet you were naked and bare.
‘When I passed by you again and saw you, behold, you were at the age for love, and I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your nakedness; I made my vow to you and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Lord GOD, and you became mine.
Then I bathed you with water and washed off your blood from you and anointed you with oil.
I clothed you also with embroidered cloth and shod you with fine leather. I wrapped you in fine linen and covered you with silk.
And I adorned you with ornaments and put bracelets on your wrists and a chain on your neck.
And I put a ring on your nose and earrings in your ears and a beautiful crown on your head.
Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your clothing was of fine linen and silk and embroidered cloth. You ate fine flour and honey and oil. You grew exceedingly beautiful and advanced to royalty.
And your renown went forth among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through the splendor that I had bestowed on you, declares the Lord GOD.
‘But you trusted in your beauty and played the whore because of your renown and lavished your whorings on any passerby; your beauty became his.
You took some of your garments and made for yourself colorful shrines, and on them played the whore. The like has never been, nor ever shall be.
You also took your beautiful jewels of my gold and of my silver, which I had given you, and made for yourself images of men, and with them played the whore.
And you took your embroidered garments to cover them, and set my oil and my incense before them.
Also my bread that I gave you–I fed you with fine flour and oil and honey–you set before them for a pleasing aroma; and so it was, declares the Lord GOD.
And you took your sons and your daughters, whom you had borne to me, and these you sacrificed to them to be devoured. Were your whorings so small a matter
that you slaughtered my children and delivered them up as an offering by fire to them?
And in all your abominations and your whorings you did not remember the days of your youth, when you were naked and bare, wallowing in your blood.
‘And after all your wickedness (woe, woe to you! declares the Lord GOD),
you built yourself a vaulted chamber and made yourself a lofty place in every square.
At the head of every street you built your lofty place and made your beauty an abomination, offering yourself to any passerby and multiplying your whoring.
You also played the whore with the Egyptians, your lustful neighbors, multiplying your whoring, to provoke me to anger.
Behold, therefore, I stretched out my hand against you and diminished your allotted portion and delivered you to the greed of your enemies, the daughters of the Philistines, who were ashamed of your lewd behavior.
You played the whore also with the Assyrians, because you were not satisfied; yes, you played the whore with them, and still you were not satisfied.
You multiplied your whoring also with the trading land of Chaldea, and even with this you were not satisfied.
‘How lovesick is your heart, declares the Lord GOD, because you did all these things, the deeds of a brazen prostitute,
building your vaulted chamber at the head of every street, and making your lofty place in every square. Yet you were not like a prostitute, because you scorned payment.
Adulterous wife, who receives strangers instead of her husband!
Men give gifts to all prostitutes, but you gave your gifts to all your lovers, bribing them to come to you from every side with your whorings.
So you were different from other women in your whorings. No one solicited you to play the whore, and you gave payment, while no payment was given to you; therefore you were different.
‘Therefore, O prostitute, hear the word of the LORD:
Thus says the Lord GOD, Because your lust was poured out and your nakedness uncovered in your whorings with your lovers, and with all your abominable idols, and because of the blood of your children that you gave to them,
therefore, behold, I will gather all your lovers with whom you took pleasure, all those you loved and all those you hated. I will gather them against you from every side and will uncover your nakedness to them, that they may see all your nakedness.
And I will judge you as women who commit adultery and shed blood are judged, and bring upon you the blood of wrath and jealousy.
And I will give you into their hands, and they shall throw down your vaulted chamber and break down your lofty places. They shall strip you of your clothes and take your beautiful jewels and leave you naked and bare.
They shall bring up a crowd against you, and they shall stone you and cut you to pieces with their swords.
And they shall burn your houses and execute judgments upon you in the sight of many women. I will make you stop playing the whore, and you shall also give payment no more.
So will I satisfy my wrath on you, and my jealousy shall depart from you. I will be calm and will no more be angry.
Because you have not remembered the days of your youth, but have enraged me with all these things, therefore, behold, I have returned your deeds upon your head, declares the Lord GOD. ”Have you not committed lewdness in addition to all your abominations?
‘Behold, everyone who uses proverbs will use this proverb about you: ‘Like mother, like daughter.’
You are the daughter of your mother, who loathed her husband and her children; and you are the sister of your sisters, who loathed their husbands and their children. Your mother was a Hittite and your father an Amorite.
And your elder sister is Samaria, who lived with her daughters to the north of you; and your younger sister, who lived to the south of you, is Sodom with her daughters.
Not only did you walk in their ways and do according to their abominations; within a very little time you were more corrupt than they in all your ways.
As I live, declares the Lord GOD, your sister Sodom and her daughters have not done as you and your daughters have done.
Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.
They were haughty and did an abomination before me. So I removed them, when I saw it.
Samaria has not committed half your sins. You have committed more abominations than they, and have made your sisters appear righteous by all the abominations that you have committed.
Bear your disgrace, you also, for you have intervened on behalf of your sisters. Because of your sins in which you acted more abominably than they, they are more in the right than you. So be ashamed, you also, and bear your disgrace, for you have made your sisters appear righteous.
‘I will restore their fortunes, both the fortunes of Sodom and her daughters, and the fortunes of Samaria and her daughters, and I will restore your own fortunes in their midst,
that you may bear your disgrace and be ashamed of all that you have done, becoming a consolation to them.
As for your sisters, Sodom and her daughters shall return to their former state, and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former state, and you and your daughters shall return to your former state.
Was not your sister Sodom a byword in your mouth in the day of your pride,
before your wickedness was uncovered? Now you have become an object of reproach for the daughters of Syria and all those around her, and for the daughters of the Philistines, those all around who despise you.
You bear the penalty of your lewdness and your abominations, declares the LORD.
‘For thus says the Lord GOD: I will deal with you as you have done, you who have despised the oath in breaking the covenant,
yet I will remember my covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish for you an everlasting covenant.
Then you will remember your ways and be ashamed when you take your sisters, both your elder and your younger, and I give them to you as daughters, but not on account of the covenant with you.
I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall know that I am the LORD,
that you may remember and be confounded, and never open your mouth again because of your shame, when I atone for you for all that you have done, declares the Lord GOD.”
The word of the LORD came to me:
‘Son of man, propound a riddle, and speak a parable to the house of Israel;
say, Thus says the Lord GOD: A great eagle with great wings and long pinions, rich in plumage of many colors, came to Lebanon and took the top of the cedar.
He broke off the topmost of its young twigs and carried it to a land of trade and set it in a city of merchants.
Then he took of the seed of the land and planted it in fertile soil. He placed it beside abundant waters. He set it like a willow twig,
and it sprouted and became a low spreading vine, and its branches turned toward him, and its roots remained where it stood. So it became a vine and produced branches and put out boughs.
‘And there was another great eagle with great wings and much plumage, and behold, this vine bent its roots toward him and shot forth its branches toward him from the bed where it was planted, that he might water it.
It had been planted on good soil by abundant waters, that it might produce branches and bear fruit and become a noble vine.
‘Say, Thus says the Lord GOD: Will it thrive? Will he not pull up its roots and cut off its fruit, so that it withers, so that all its fresh sprouting leaves wither? It will not take a strong arm or many people to pull it from its roots.
Behold, it is planted; will it thrive? Will it not utterly wither when the east wind strikes it–wither away on the bed where it sprouted?”
Then the word of the LORD came to me:
‘Say now to the rebellious house, Do you not know what these things mean? Tell them, behold, the king of Babylon came to Jerusalem, and took her king and her princes and brought them to him to Babylon.
And he took one of the royal offspring and made a covenant with him, putting him under oath (the chief men of the land he had taken away),
that the kingdom might be humble and not lift itself up, and keep his covenant that it might stand.
But he rebelled against him by sending his ambassadors to Egypt, that they might give him horses and a large army. Will he thrive? Can one escape who does such things? Can he break the covenant and yet escape?
‘As I live, declares the Lord GOD, surely in the place where the king dwells who made him king, whose oath he despised, and whose covenant with him he broke, in Babylon he shall die.
Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company will not help him in war, when mounds are cast up and siege walls built to cut off many lives.
He despised the oath in breaking the covenant, and behold, he gave his hand and did all these things; he shall not escape.
Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: As I live, surely it is my oath that he despised, and my covenant that he broke. I will return it upon his head.
I will spread my net over him, and he shall be taken in my snare, and I will bring him to Babylon and enter into judgment with him there for the treachery he has committed against me.
And all the pick of his troops shall fall by the sword, and the survivors shall be scattered to every wind, and you shall know that I am the LORD; I have spoken.”
Thus says the Lord GOD: ”I myself will take a sprig from the lofty top of the cedar and will set it out. I will break off from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one, and I myself will plant it on a high and lofty mountain.
On the mountain height of Israel will I plant it, that it may bear branches and produce fruit and become a noble cedar. And under it will dwell every kind of bird; in the shade of its branches birds of every sort will nest.
And all the trees of the field shall know that I am the LORD; I bring low the high tree, and make high the low tree, dry up the green tree, and make the dry tree flourish. I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it.”
The word of the LORD came to me:
‘What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’?
As I live, declares the Lord GOD, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel.
Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die.
‘If a man is righteous and does what is just and right–
if he does not eat upon the mountains or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor’s wife or approach a woman in her time of menstrual impurity,
does not oppress anyone, but restores to the debtor his pledge, commits no robbery, gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment,
does not lend at interest or take any profit, withholds his hand from injustice, executes true justice between man and man,
walks in my statutes, and keeps my rules by acting faithfully–he is righteous; he shall surely live, declares the Lord GOD.
‘If he fathers a son who is violent, a shedder of blood, who does any of these things
(though he himself did none of these things), who even eats upon the mountains, defiles his neighbor’s wife,
oppresses the poor and needy, commits robbery, does not restore the pledge, lifts up his eyes to the idols, commits abomination,
lends at interest, and takes profit; shall he then live? He shall not live. He has done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon himself.
‘Now suppose this man fathers a son who sees all the sins that his father has done; he sees, and does not do likewise:
he does not eat upon the mountains or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor’s wife,
does not oppress anyone, exacts no pledge, commits no robbery, but gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment,
withholds his hand from iniquity, takes no interest or profit, obeys my rules, and walks in my statutes; he shall not die for his father’s iniquity; he shall surely live.
As for his father, because he practiced extortion, robbed his brother, and did what is not good among his people, behold, he shall die for his iniquity.
‘Yet you say, ‘Why should not the son suffer for the iniquity of the father?’ When the son has done what is just and right, and has been careful to observe all my statutes, he shall surely live.
The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.
‘But if a wicked person turns away from all his sins that he has committed and keeps all my statutes and does what is just and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die.
None of the transgressions that he has committed shall be remembered against him; for the righteousness that he has done he shall live.
Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord GOD, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?
But when a righteous person turns away from his righteousness and does injustice and does the same abominations that the wicked person does, shall he live? None of the righteous deeds that he has done shall be remembered; for the treachery of which he is guilty and the sin he has committed, for them he shall die.
‘Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Hear now, O house of Israel: Is my way not just? Is it not your ways that are not just?
When a righteous person turns away from his righteousness and does injustice, he shall die for it; for the injustice that he has done he shall die.
Again, when a wicked person turns away from the wickedness he has committed and does what is just and right, he shall save his life.
Because he considered and turned away from all the transgressions that he had committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die.
Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ O house of Israel, are my ways not just? Is it not your ways that are not just?
‘Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, declares the Lord GOD. Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin.
Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel?
For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord GOD; so turn, and live.”
After this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias.
And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick.
Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples.
Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand.
Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, ”Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?”
He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do.
Philip answered him, ”Two hundred denarii would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.”
One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him,
‘There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?”
Jesus said, ”Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number.
Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted.
And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, ”Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.”
So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten.
When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, ”This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!”
Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.
When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea,
got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them.
The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing.
When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were frightened.
But he said to them, ”It is I; do not be afraid.”
Then they were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.
On the next day the crowd that remained on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone.
Other boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks.
So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus.
When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, ”Rabbi, when did you come here?”
Jesus answered them, ”Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.
Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.”
Then they said to him, ”What must we do, to be doing the works of God?”
Jesus answered them, ”This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”
So they said to him, ”Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform?
Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”’
Jesus then said to them, ”Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.
For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
They said to him, ”Sir, give us this bread always.”
Jesus said to them, ”I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.
But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.
All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.
For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.
And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.
For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, ”I am the bread that came down from heaven.”
They said, ”Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”
Jesus answered them, ”Do not grumble among yourselves.
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.
It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me–
not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father.
Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.
I am the bread of life.
Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.
This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.
I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, ”How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
So Jesus said to them, ”Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.
Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.
For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.
Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.
As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me.
This is the bread that came down from heaven, not as the fathers ate and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.”
Jesus said these things in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum.
When many of his disciples heard it, they said, ”This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?”
But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, ”Do you take offense at this?
Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is of no avail. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.
But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.)
And he said, ”This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”
After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.
So Jesus said to the Twelve, ”Do you want to go away as well?”
Simon Peter answered him, ”Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,
and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”
Jesus answered them, ”Did I not choose you, the Twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.”
He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the Twelve, was going to betray him.
The reading plan I’ve chosen is from Bible Class Material and it’s a 5 day plan, with weekend days to catch up or get ahead or just take a break!