Jeremiah 1–2; Matthew 20:17–34

Jeremiah Illustration

Jeremiah

The words of Jeremiah, the son of Hilkiah, one aof the priests who were in bAnathoth in the land of Benjamin, to whom the word of the Lord came in the days of cJosiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, in dthe thirteenth year of his reign. It came also in the days of eJehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, and funtil the end of the eleventh year of gZedekiah, the son of Josiah, king of Judah, huntil the captivity of Jerusalem in the fifth month.

The Call of Jeremiah

Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

iBefore I formed you in the womb I knew you,

and before you were born jI consecrated you;

I appointed you a prophet kto the nations.

Then I said, Ah, Lord God! Behold, lI do not know how to speak, mfor I am only a youth. But the Lord said to me,

Do not say, I am only a youth;

for to all to whom I send you, you shall go,

and nwhatever I command you, you shall speak.

oDo not be afraid of them,

pfor I am with you to deliver you,

declares the Lord.

qThen the Lord put out his hand and rtouched my mouth. And the Lord said to me,

Behold, I have put smy words in your mouth.

10  See, I have set you this day kover nations and over kingdoms,

tto pluck up and to break down,

to destroy and to overthrow,

to build and to plant.

11 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, uJeremiah, what do you see? And I said, I see an almond1 branch. 12 Then the Lord said to me, You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.

13 The word of the Lord came to me a second time, saying, What do you see? And I said, I see va boiling pot, facing away wfrom the north. 14 Then the Lord said to me, wOut of the north disaster2 shall be let loose upon all the inhabitants of the land. 15 For behold, xI am calling all the tribes of the kingdoms of the north, declares the Lord, yand they shall come, and every one shall set his throne at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, against all its walls all around and against all the cities of Judah. 16 And zI will declare my judgments against them, for all their evil ain forsaking me. bThey have made offerings to other gods and cworshiped the works of their own hands. 17 But you, ddress yourself for work;3 arise, and esay to them everything that I command you. fDo not be dismayed by them, lest I dismay you before them. 18 And I, behold, I make you this day ga fortified city, han iron pillar, and ibronze walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests, and the people of the land. 19 iThey will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for jI am with you, declares the Lord, to deliver you.

Israel Forsakes the Lord

The word of the Lord came to me, saying, Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the Lord,

I remember the devotion of kyour youth,

your love las a bride,

mhow you followed me in the wilderness,

nin a land not sown.

oIsrael was holy to the Lord,

pthe firstfruits of his harvest.

qAll who ate of it incurred guilt;

disaster came upon them,

declares the Lord.

Hear the word of the Lord, O house of Jacob, and all the clans of the house of Israel. Thus says the Lord:

rWhat wrong did your fathers find in me

that they went far from me,

sand went after tworthlessness, and became worthless?

They did not say, uWhere is the Lord

who brought us up from the land of Egypt,

who led us vin the wilderness,

in a land of deserts and pits,

in a land of drought and deep darkness,

in a land that none passes through,

where no man dwells?

wAnd I brought you into a plentiful land

to enjoy its fruits and its good things.

But when you came in, xyou defiled my land

and made my heritage an abomination.

The priests did not say, Where is the Lord?

yThose who handle the law did not know me;

zthe shepherds4 transgressed against me;

athe prophets prophesied by Baal

and went after bthings that do not profit.

Therefore cI still contend with you,

declares the Lord,

and dwith your children's children I will contend.

10  For cross to the coasts of eCyprus and see,

or send to fKedar and examine with care;

see if there has been such a thing.

11  gHas a nation changed its gods,

heven though they are no gods?

But my people ihave changed their glory

for bthat which does not profit.

12  Be appalled, jO heavens, at this;

be shocked, be utterly desolate,

declares the Lord,

13  for my people have committed two evils:

kthey have forsaken lme,

the fountain of mliving waters,

and hewed out cisterns for themselves,

broken cisterns that can hold no water.

14  nIs Israel a slave? Is he a homeborn servant?

Why then has he become a prey?

15  oThe lions have roared against him;

they have roared loudly.

They have made his land a waste;

his cities are in ruins, pwithout inhabitant.

16  Moreover, the men of qMemphis and rTahpanhes

shave shaved5 the crown of your head.

17  tHave you not brought this upon yourself

by forsaking the Lord your God,

when uhe led you in the way?

18  vAnd now what do you gain by going to Egypt

to drink the waters of wthe Nile?

xOr what do you gain by going to Assyria

to drink the waters of ythe Euphrates?6

19  zYour evil will chastise you,

and ayour apostasy will reprove you.

Know and see that it is evil and bbitter

for cyou to forsake the Lord your God;

the fear of me is not in you,

declares the Lord God of hosts.

20  For long ago I dbroke your yoke

and burst your bonds;

but you said, eI will not serve.

Yes, fon every high hill

and under every green tree

you bowed down glike a whore.

21  hYet I planted you a choice vine,

wholly of pure seed.

iHow then have you turned degenerate

and become a wild vine?

22  Though you wash yourself with lye

and use much soap,

jthe stain of your guilt is still before me,

declares the Lord God.

23  kHow can you say, I am not unclean,

I have not gone after the Baals?

Look at your way lin the valley;

know what you have done

a restless young camel running here and there,

24  ma wild donkey used to the wilderness,

in her heat sniffing the wind!

Who can restrain her lust?

None who seek her need weary themselves;

in her month they will find her.

25  Keep nyour feet from going unshod

and oyour throat from thirst.

But you said, It is hopeless,

pfor I have loved foreigners,

and after them I will go.

26  As a thief is shamed when caught,

so the house of Israel shall be shamed:

qthey, their kings, their officials,

their priests, and their prophets,

27  who say to a tree, You are my father,

and to a stone, You gave me birth.

For they have turned their back to me,

and not their face.

But rin the time of their trouble they say,

Arise and save us!

28  But swhere are your gods

that you made for yourself?

Let them arise, tif they can save you,

in your time of trouble;

for uas many as your cities

are your gods, O Judah.

29  Why do you contend with me?

You have all transgressed against me,

declares the Lord.

30  In vain have I vstruck your children;

they took no correction;

wyour own sword devoured your prophets

like a ravening lion.

31  And you, O generation, behold the word of the Lord.

Have I been a wilderness to Israel,

or a land of thick darkness?

Why then do my people say, We are free,

we will come no more to you?

32  xCan a virgin forget her ornaments,

or a bride her attire?

Yet ymy people have forgotten me

days without number.

33  How well you direct your course

to seek love!

So that even to wicked women

you have taught your ways.

34  Also on your skirts is found

zthe lifeblood of the guiltless poor;

you did not find them abreaking in.

Yet in spite of all these things

35  you say, I am innocent;

surely his anger has turned from me.

bBehold, I will bring you to judgment

for csaying, I have not sinned.

36  dHow much you go about,

changing your way!

You shall be eput to shame by Egypt

as you were put to shame by Assyria.

37  From it too you will come away

with fyour hands on your head,

for the Lord has rejected those in whom you trust,

and you will not prosper by them.


Jesus Foretells His Death a Third Time

17 pAnd as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them, 18 See, qwe are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will rcondemn him to death 19 and sdeliver him over to the Gentiles tto be mocked and flogged and ucrucified, and he will be raised on vthe third day.

A Mother's Request

20 wThen xthe mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him with her sons, and ykneeling before him she asked him for something. 21 And he said to her, What do you want? She said to him, Say that these two sons of mine zare to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, ain your kingdom. 22 Jesus answered, bYou do not know what you are asking. Are you able cto drink the cup that I am to drink? They said to him, We are able. 23 He said to them, dYou will drink emy cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, fbut it is for those for whom it has been gprepared by my Father. 24 And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them to him and said, hYou know that the rulers of the Gentiles ilord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 26 jIt shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,1 27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave,2 28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but kto serve, and lto give his life as a ransom for mmany.

Jesus Heals Two Blind Men

29 nAnd as they went out of Jericho, a great crowd followed him. 30 And behold, there were two blind men sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, Lord,3 have mercy on us, oSon of David! 31 The crowd prebuked them, telling them to be silent, but they cried out all the more, Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David! 32 And stopping, Jesus called them and said, What do you want me to do for you? 33 They said to him, Lord, let our eyes be opened. 34 And Jesus in pity touched their eyes, and immediately they recovered their sight and followed him.