Cyrus, God's Instrument
45 Thus says the Lord to phis anointed, to Cyrus,
qwhose right hand I have grasped,
to subdue nations before him
and rto loose the belts of kings,
to open doors before him
that gates may not be closed:
2 “I will go before you
tI will break in pieces the doors of bronze
and cut through the bars of iron,
3 uI will give you the treasures of darkness
and the hoards in secret places,
that you may know that it is I, the Lord,
the God of Israel, vwho call you by your name.
4 For the sake of my servant Jacob,
and Israel my chosen,
vI call you by your name,
wI name you, though you do not know me.
5 xI am the Lord, and there is no other,
besides me there is no God;
yI equip you, though you do not know me,
6 zthat people may know, from the rising of the sun
and from the west, that there is none besides me;
I am the Lord, and there is no other.
7 I form light and create darkness;
I make well-being and acreate calamity;
I am the Lord, who does all these things.
8 b“Shower, O heavens, from above,
and clet the clouds rain down righteousness;
let the earth open, that salvation and righteousness may bear fruit;
let the earth cause them both to sprout;
I the Lord have created it.
9 d“Woe to him who strives with him who formed him,
a pot among earthen pots!
eDoes the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’
or ‘Your work has no handles’?
10 Woe to him who says to a father, ‘What are you begetting?’
or to a woman, ‘With what are you in labor?’”
11 Thus says fthe Lord,
the Holy One of Israel, and the one who formed him:
g“Ask me of things to come;
12 jI made the earth
and created man on it;
it was my hands kthat stretched out the heavens,
and lI commanded all their host.
13 mI have stirred him up in righteousness,
nand I will make all his ways level;
ohe shall build my city
pand set my exiles free,
not for price or reward,”
says the Lord of hosts.
The Lord, the Only Savior
14 Thus says the Lord:
q“The wealth of Egypt and the merchandise of Cush,
and the Sabeans, men of stature,
shall come over to you rand be yours;
they shall follow you;
they shall come over in chains and bow down to you.
They will plead with you, saying:
‘Surely God is in you, and there is no other,
no god besides him.’”
15 sTruly, you are a God who hides himself,
O God of Israel, the Savior.
16 tAll of them are put to shame and confounded;
the makers of idols go in confusion together.
17 But Israel is saved by the Lord
with everlasting salvation;
uyou shall not be put to shame or confounded
to all eternity.
18 vFor thus says the Lord,
who created the heavens
(he is God!),
who formed the earth and made it
(he established it;
he wdid not create it empty,
xhe formed it to be inhabited!):
“I am the Lord, and there is no other.
19 yI did not speak in secret,
in a land of darkness;
I did not say to the offspring of Jacob,
I the Lord speak athe truth;
I declare what is right.
20 b“Assemble yourselves and come;
draw near together,
you survivors of the nations!
cThey have no knowledge
who dcarry about their wooden idols,
eand keep on praying to a god
that cannot save.
21 fDeclare and present your case;
let them take counsel together!
Who told this long ago?
Who declared it of old?
Was it not I, the Lord?
And there is no other god besides me,
a righteous God gand a Savior;
there is none besides me.
22 “Turn to me and be saved,
hall the ends of the earth!
For I am God, and there is no other.
23 iBy myself I have sworn;
from my mouth has gone out in jrighteousness
a word that shall not return:
k‘To me every knee shall bow,
every tongue shall swear allegiance.’4
24 l“Only in the Lord, it shall be said of me,
are righteousness and mstrength;
to him shall come and be ashamed
nall who were incensed against him.
25 In the Lord all the offspring of Israel
shall be justified and shall glory.”
The Idols of Babylon and the One True God
46 oBel bows down; Nebo stoops;
their idols are on beasts and livestock;
these things you carry are borne
as burdens on weary beasts.
2 They stoop; they bow down together;
they cannot save the burden,
but pthemselves go into captivity.
3 “Listen to me, O house of Jacob,
all the remnant of the house of Israel,
qwho have been borne by me from before your birth,
carried from the womb;
4 reven to your old age I am he,
and to gray hairs I will carry you.
I have made, and I will bear;
I will carry and will save.
5 s“To whom will you liken me and make me equal,
and compare me, that we may be alike?
6 tThose who lavish gold from the purse,
and weigh out silver in the scales,
hire a goldsmith, and he makes it into a god;
uthen they fall down and worship!
7 vThey lift it to their shoulders, they carry it,
they set it in its place, and it stands there;
wit cannot move from its place.
If one cries to it, it does not answer
or save him from his trouble.
8 “Remember this and stand firm,
recall it to mind, xyou transgressors,
9 remember the former things of old;
for I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me,
10 ydeclaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, z‘My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all my purpose,’
11 acalling a bird of prey from the east,
the man of my counsel from a far country.
bI have spoken, and I will bring it to pass;
I have purposed, and I will do it.
12 “Listen to me, you stubborn of heart,
you who are far from righteousness:
13 cI bring near my righteousness; it is not far off,
and my salvation will not delay;
dI will put salvation in Zion,
for Israel my glory.”
The Lesson from the Withered Fig Tree
20 iAs they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. 21 And Peter remembered and said to him, j“Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” 22 And Jesus answered them, “Have kfaith in God. 23 lTruly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, m‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not ndoubt in his heart, but obelieves that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. 24 Therefore I tell you, pwhatever you ask in prayer, obelieve that you qhave received2 it, and it will be yours. 25 And whenever ryou stand praying, sforgive, tif you have anything against anyone, so that uyour Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”3
The Authority of Jesus Challenged
27 vAnd they came again to Jerusalem. And as he was walking in the temple, the chief priests and the scribes and the elders came to him, 28 and they said to him, w“By what authority are you doing these things, or who gave you this authority to do them?” 29 Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30 Was the baptism of John xfrom heaven or from man? Answer me.” 31 And they discussed it with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, y‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 32 But shall we say, ‘From man’?”—zthey were afraid of the people, for they all held that John really was aa prophet. 33 So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”