Matthew 18:1–14; Acts 25:1–12; Psalm 40; Leviticus 8–10

Who Is the Greatest?

18 tAt that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, Truly, I say to you, unless you uturn and vbecome like children, you wwill never enter the kingdom of heaven. xWhoever humbles himself like this child is the wgreatest in the kingdom of heaven.

yWhoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but zwhoever causes one of these alittle ones who believe in me to sin,1 it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

Temptations to Sin

Woe to the world for btemptations to sin!2 cFor it is necessary that temptations come, dbut woe to the one by whom the temptation comes! eAnd if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into fthe eternal fire. eAnd if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the fhell3 of fire.

The Parable of the Lost Sheep

10 See that you do not despise gone of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven htheir angels always isee the face of my Father who is in heaven.4 12 jWhat do you think? kIf a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? 13 And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. 14 So lit is not the will of my5 Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.


Paul Appeals to Caesar

25 Now three days after Festus had arrived in ithe province, he went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea. And the chief priests and the principal men of the Jews jlaid out their case against Paul, and they urged him, asking as a favor against Paul1 that he summon him to Jerusalembecause kthey were planning an ambush to kill him on the way. Festus replied that Paul was being kept at Caesarea and that he himself intended to go there shortly. So, said he, let the men of authority among you go down with me, and if there is anything wrong about the man, let them bring charges against him.

After he stayed among them not more than eight or ten days, he went down to Caesarea. And the next day he took his seat on lthe tribunal and ordered Paul to be brought. When he had arrived, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him, bringing many and serious charges against him mthat they could not prove. Paul argued in his defense, Neither nagainst othe law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor pagainst Caesar have I committed any offense. But Festus, qwishing to do the Jews a favor, said to Paul, Do you wish to go up to Jerusalem and there be tried on these charges before me? 10 But Paul said, I am standing before Caesar’s rtribunal, where I ought to be tried. To the Jews I have done no wrong, as you yourself know very well. 11 If then I am a wrongdoer and have committed anything for which I deserve to die, I do not seek to escape death. But if there is nothing to their charges against me, no one can give me up to them. sI appeal to Caesar. 12 Then Festus, when he had conferred with his council, answered, To Caesar you have appealed; to Caesar you shall go.


My Help and My Deliverer

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

40  I uwaited patiently for the Lord;

he inclined to me and vheard my cry.

He drew me up from wthe pit of destruction,

out of xthe miry bog,

and yset my feet upon a rock,

zmaking my steps secure.

He put aa new song in my mouth,

a song of praise to our God.

Many will bsee and fear,

and put their trust in the Lord.

Blessed is the man who cmakes

the Lord his trust,

who does not turn to the proud,

to those who dgo astray after a lie!

You have multiplied, O Lord my God,

your ewondrous deeds and your fthoughts toward us;

none can compare with you!

I will proclaim and tell of them,

yet they are gmore than can be told.

hIn sacrifice and offering you have not delighted,

but you have given me an open iear.1

Burnt offering and sin offering

you have not required.

Then I said, Behold, I have come;

in the scroll of the book it is written jof me:

kI delight to do your will, O my God;

your law is lwithin my heart.

I have told the glad news of deliverance2

in mthe great congregation;

behold, I have not nrestrained my lips,

oas you know, O Lord.

10  I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart;

I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;

I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness

from the great congregation.

11  As for you, O Lord, you will not restrain

your mercy from me;

your psteadfast love and your faithfulness will

ever preserve me!

12  For evils have qencompassed me

beyond number;

my riniquities have overtaken me,

and I cannot ssee;

they are tmore than the hairs of my head;

my heart ufails me.

13  vBe pleased, O Lord, to wdeliver me!

O Lord, xmake haste to help me!

14  yLet those be put to shame and disappointed altogether

who seek to snatch away my life;

let those be zturned back and brought to dishonor

who delight in my hurt!

15  Let those be appalled because of their shame

who asay to me, Aha, Aha!

16  But may all who seek you

rejoice and be glad in you;

may those who love your salvation

bsay continually, Great is the Lord!

17  As for me, I am cpoor and needy,

but dthe Lord takes thought for me.

You are my help and my deliverer;

do not delay, O my God!


Consecration of Aaron and His Sons

wThe Lord spoke to Moses, saying, Take Aaron and his sons with him, and xthe garments and ythe anointing oil and the bull of the sin offering and the two rams and the basket of unleavened bread. And assemble all the congregation at the entrance of the tent of meeting. And Moses did as the Lord commanded him, and the congregation was assembled at the entrance of the tent of meeting.

And Moses said to the congregation, zThis is the thing that the Lord has commanded to be done. And Moses brought Aaron and his sons and washed them with water. And he put athe coat on him and tied the sash around his waist and clothed him with the robe and put the ephod on him and tied the skillfully woven band of the ephod around him, binding it to him with the band.1 And he placed the breastpiece on him, and bin the breastpiece he put the Urim and the Thummim. And he set athe turban on his head, and con the turban, in front, he set the golden plate, the holy crown, as the Lord commanded Moses.

10 dThen Moses took the anointing oil and anointed the tabernacle and all that was in it, and consecrated them. 11 And he sprinkled some of it on the altar seven times, and anointed the altar and all its utensils and the basin and its stand, to consecrate them. 12 And ehe poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron’s head and anointed him to consecrate him. 13 And Moses brought Aaron’s sons and clothed them with coats and tied sashes around their waists and bound caps on them, as the Lord commanded Moses.

14 Then he brought fthe bull of the sin offering, and Aaron and his sons glaid their hands on the head of the bull of the sin offering. 15 And he2 killed it, and hMoses took the blood, and with his finger put it on the horns of the altar around it and purified the altar and poured out the blood at the base of the altar and consecrated it to make atonement for it. 16 iAnd he took all the fat that was on the entrails and the long lobe of the liver and the two kidneys with their fat, and Moses burned them on the altar. 17 But jthe bull and its skin and its flesh and its dung he burned up with fire outside the camp, as the Lord commanded Moses.

18 kThen he presented the ram of the burnt offering, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the ram. 19 And he killed it, and Moses threw the blood against the sides of the altar. 20 He cut the ram into pieces, and Moses burned lthe head and the pieces and the fat. 21 He washed the entrails and the legs with water, and Moses burned the whole ram on the altar. It was a burnt offering with a pleasing aroma, a food offering for the Lord, as the Lord commanded Moses.

22 Then mhe presented the other ram, the ram of ordination, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the ram. 23 And he killed it, and Moses took some of its blood and nput it on the lobe of Aaron’s right ear and on the thumb of his right hand and on the big toe of his right foot. 24 Then he presented Aaron’s sons, and Moses put some of the blood on the lobes of their right ears and on the thumbs of their right hands and on the big toes of their right feet. And Moses threw the blood against the sides of the altar. 25 Then he took the fat and the fat tail and all the fat that was on the entrails and the long lobe of the liver and the two kidneys with their fat and the right thigh, 26 and out of the basket of unleavened bread that was before the Lord he took one unleavened loaf and one loaf of bread with oil and one wafer and placed them on the pieces of fat and on the right thigh. 27 And he put all these in the hands of Aaron and in the hands of his sons and waved them as a wave offering before the Lord. 28 Then Moses took them from their hands and burned them on the altar with the burnt offering. This was an ordination offering with a pleasing aroma, a food offering to the Lord. 29 And Moses took the breast and waved it for a wave offering before the Lord. It was Moses’ portion of the ram of ordination, as the Lord commanded Moses.

30 Then oMoses took some of the anointing oil and of the blood that was on the altar and sprinkled it on Aaron and his garments, and also on his sons and his sons’ garments. So he consecrated Aaron and his garments, and his sons and his sons’ garments with him.

31 And Moses said to Aaron and his sons, Boil the flesh at the entrance of the tent of meeting, and there eat it and the bread that is in the basket of ordination offerings, as I commanded, saying, Aaron and his sons shall eat it. 32 And what remains of the flesh and the bread you shall burn up with fire. 33 And you shall not go outside the entrance of the tent of meeting for seven days, until the days of your ordination are completed, for it pwill take seven days to ordain you. 34 As has been done today, the Lord has commanded to be done to make atonement for you. 35 At the entrance of the tent of meeting you shall remain day and night for seven days, performing what the Lord has qcharged, so that you do not die, for so I have been commanded. 36 And Aaron and his sons did all the things that the Lord commanded by Moses.

The Lord Accepts Aaron’s Offering

rOn the eighth day Moses called Aaron and his sons and the elders of Israel, and he said to Aaron, sTake for yourself a bull calf for a sin offering and ta ram for a burnt offering, both without blemish, and offer them before the Lord. And say to the people of Israel, uTake a male goat for a sin offering, and a calf and a lamb, both a year old without blemish, for a burnt offering, and an ox and a ram for peace offerings, to sacrifice before the Lord, and va grain offering mixed with oil, for wtoday the Lord will appear to you. And they brought what Moses commanded in front of the tent of meeting, and all the congregation drew near and stood before the Lord. And Moses said, This is the thing that the Lord commanded you to do, that the glory of the Lord may appear to you. Then Moses said to Aaron, Draw near to the altar and xoffer your sin offering and your burnt offering and ymake atonement for yourself and for the people, and bring the offering of the people and make atonement for them, as the Lord has commanded.

So Aaron drew near to the altar and killed the calf of the sin offering, which was for himself. zAnd the sons of Aaron presented the blood to him, and he dipped his finger in the blood and aput it on the horns of the altar and poured out the blood at the base of the altar. 10 bBut the fat and the kidneys and the long lobe of the liver from the sin offering he burned on the altar, cas the Lord commanded Moses. 11 dThe flesh and the skin he burned up with fire outside the camp.

12 Then he killed the burnt offering, and Aaron’s sons handed him the blood, and he ethrew it against the sides of the altar. 13 fAnd they handed the burnt offering to him, piece by piece, and the head, and he burned them on the altar. 14 gAnd he washed the entrails and the legs and burned them with the burnt offering on the altar.

15 hThen he presented the people’s offering and took the goat of the sin offering that was for the people and killed it and ioffered it as a sin offering, jlike the first one. 16 And he presented the burnt offering and offered it kaccording to the lrule. 17 And he presented the mgrain offering, took a handful of it, and burned it on the altar, nbesides the burnt offering of the morning.

18 Then he killed the ox and the ram, othe sacrifice of peace offerings for the people. And Aaron’s sons handed him the blood, and he threw it against the sides of the altar. 19 But the fat pieces of the ox and of the ram, the fat tail and that which covers pthe entrails and the kidneys and the long lobe of the liver 20 they put the fat pieces on the breasts, qand he burned the fat pieces on the altar, 21 but the breasts and the right thigh Aaron waved rfor a wave offering before the Lord, as Moses commanded.

22 Then Aaron slifted up his hands toward the people and tblessed them, and he came down from offering the sin offering and the burnt offering and the peace offerings. 23 And Moses and Aaron went into the tent of meeting, and when they came out they blessed the people, and uthe glory of the Lord appeared to all the people. 24 And vfire came out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the pieces of fat on the altar, and when all the people saw it, wthey shouted and xfell on their faces.

The Death of Nadab and Abihu

10 Now yNadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, zeach took his censer and put fire in it and laid incense on it and offered aunauthorized3 fire before the Lord, which he had not commanded them. And fire bcame out from before the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. Then Moses said to Aaron, This is what the Lord has said: Among cthose who are near me dI will be sanctified, and before all the people I will be glorified. eAnd Aaron held his peace.

And Moses called Mishael and Elzaphan, the sons of fUzziel the uncle of Aaron, and said to them, Come near; carry your brothers away from the front of the sanctuary and out of the camp. So they came near and carried them in their coats out of the camp, as Moses had said. And Moses said to Aaron and to Eleazar and Ithamar his sons, gDo not let the hair of your heads hang loose, and do not tear your clothes, lest you die, and hwrath come upon all the congregation; but let your brothers, the whole house of Israel, bewail the burning that the Lord has kindled. iAnd do not go outside the entrance of the tent of meeting, lest you die, jfor the anointing oil of the Lord is upon you. And they did according to the word of Moses.

And the Lord spoke to Aaron, saying, kDrink no wine or strong drink, you or your sons with you, when you go into the tent of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations. 10 You are to ldistinguish between the holy and the common, and between the unclean and the clean, 11 and myou are to teach the people of Israel all the statutes that the Lord has spoken to them by Moses.

12 Moses spoke to Aaron and to Eleazar and Ithamar, his surviving sons: Take the ngrain offering that is left of the Lord’s food offerings, and eat it unleavened beside the altar, for oit is most holy. 13 You shall eat it in a holy place, because it is your due and your sons’ due, from the Lord’s food offerings, for pso I am commanded. 14 But the qbreast that is waved and the thigh that is contributed you shall eat in a clean place, you and your sons and your daughters with you, for they are given as your due and your sons’ due from the sacrifices of the peace offerings of the people of Israel. 15 rThe thigh that is contributed and the breast that is waved they shall bring with the food offerings of the fat pieces to wave for a wave offering before the Lord, and it shall be yours and your sons’ with you as a due forever, as the Lord has commanded.

16 Now Moses diligently inquired about sthe goat of the sin offering, and behold, it was burned up! And he was angry with Eleazar and Ithamar, the surviving sons of Aaron, saying, 17 tWhy have you not eaten the sin offering in the place of the sanctuary, since oit is a thing most holy and has been given to you that you may bear the iniquity of the congregation, to make atonement for them before the Lord? 18 Behold, uits blood was not brought into the inner part of the sanctuary. You certainly ought to have eaten it in the sanctuary, vas I commanded. 19 And Aaron said to Moses, Behold, wtoday they have offered their sin offering and their burnt offering before the Lord, and yet such things as these have happened to me! If I had eaten the sin offering today, xwould the Lord have approved? 20 And when Moses heard that, he approved.