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When Jesus returned to Capernaum, a centurion came up to him and begged him repeatedly, "Sir, my servant is lying at home paralyzed and in terrible pain." Jesus told him, "I will come and heal him."read more.
The centurion replied, "Sir, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed, because I, too, am a man under authority and I have soldiers under me. I say to one of them "Go' and he goes, to another "Come' and he comes, and to my servant "Do this' and he does it." When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and told those who were following him, "I tell all of you with certainty, not even in Israel have I found this kind of faith! I tell all of you, many will come from east and west and will feast with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom from heaven. But the unfaithful heirs of that kingdom will be thrown into the darkness outside. In that place there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth." "Go," Jesus told the centurion, "and it will be done for you, just as you have believed." And his servant was healed that very hour.
After Jesus had finished saying all these things to the people who were there listening, he went to Capernaum. There a centurion's servant, whom he valued highly, was sick and about to die. When the centurion heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders to him to ask him to come and save his servant's life. read more.
So they went to Jesus and begged him repeatedly, "He deserves to have this done for him, because he loves our people and built our synagogue for us." So Jesus went with them. He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to tell Jesus, "Sir, stop troubling yourself, because I'm not worthy to have you come under my roof. That's why I didn't presume to come to you. But just say the word, and let my servant be healed, because I, too, am a man under authority and have soldiers under me. I say to one "Go' and he goes, to another "Come' and he comes, and to my servant "Do this' and he does it." When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him. Turning to the crowd that was following him, he said, "I tell you, not even in Israel have I found this kind of faith!" Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant in perfect health.
Then Jesus left that place and went to the region of Tyre and Sidon. Suddenly, a Canaanite woman from that territory came near and began to shout, "Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed!" But he didn't answer her at all. Then his disciples came up and kept urging him, "Send her away, because she keeps on screaming as she follows us."read more.
But he replied, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the nation of Israel." Then she came and fell down before him, saying, "Lord, help me!" He replied, "It's not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the puppies." She said, "Yes, Lord. But even the puppies eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' tables." Then Jesus answered her, "Lady, your faith is great! What you want is granted." That very hour her daughter was healed.
Jesus left that place and went to the territory of Tyre and Sidon. He went into a house, not wanting anyone to know he was there. However, it couldn't be kept a secret. In fact, a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him and came and fell down at his feet. Now the woman happened to be a Greek, born in Phoenicia in Syria. She kept asking him to drive the demon out of her daughter. read more.
But he kept telling her, "First let the children be filled. It is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the puppies." But she answered him, "Yes, Lord. Yet even the puppies under the table eat some of the children's crumbs." Then he told her, "Because you have said this, go! The demon has left your daughter." So she went home and found her child lying in bed, and the demon was gone.
"Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a wall around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to tenant farmers and went abroad. When harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenant farmers to collect his produce. But the farmers took his servants and beat one, killed another, and attacked another with stones. read more.
Again, he sent other servants to them, a greater number than the first, but the tenant farmers treated them the same way. Finally, he sent his son to them, thinking, "They will respect my son.' But when the tenant farmers saw his son, they told one another, "This is the heir. Come on, let's kill him and get his inheritance!' So they grabbed him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. Now when the owner of the vineyard returns, what will he do to those farmers?" They told him, "He will put those horrible men to a horrible death. Then he will lease the vineyard to other farmers who will give him his produce at harvest time." Jesus asked them, "Have you never read in the Scriptures, "The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This was the Lord's doing, and it is amazing in our eyes.'? That is why I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce fruit for it.
Then Jesus began to speak to them in parables. "A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a pit for the wine press, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to tenant farmers and went abroad. At the right time, he sent a servant to the farmers to collect from them a share of the produce from the vineyard. But the farmers grabbed the servant, beat him, and sent him back empty-handed. read more.
Again, the man sent another servant to them. They beat the servant over the head and treated him shamefully. Then the man sent another, and that one they killed. So it was with many other servants. Some of these they beat, and others they killed. He still had one more person to send, a son whom he loved. Finally, he sent him to them, saying, "They will respect my son.' But those farmers told one another, "This is the heir. Come on, let's kill him, and the inheritance will be ours!' So they grabbed him, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. "Now what will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come, execute the farmers, and give the vineyard to others. Haven't you ever read this Scripture: "The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This was the Lord's doing, and it is amazing in our eyes'?"
Then he began to tell the people this parable: "A man planted a vineyard, leased it to tenant farmers, and went abroad for a long time. At the right time he sent a servant to the farmers in order to get his share of the produce of the vineyard. But the farmers beat him and sent him back empty-handed. He sent another servant, and they beat him, too, treated him shamefully, and sent him back empty-handed. read more.
Then he sent a third, and they wounded him and threw him out, too. "Then the owner of the vineyard said, "What should I do? I'll send my son whom I love. Maybe they'll respect him.' But when the farmers saw him, they talked it over among themselves and said, "This is the heir. Let's kill him so that the inheritance will be ours!' So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. Now what will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy those farmers and give the vineyard to others." Those who heard him said, "That must never happen!"
"When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then understand that its devastation is approaching. Then those in Judea must flee to the mountains, those inside the city must leave it, and those in the countryside must not go into it, because these are the days of vengeance when all that is written will be fulfilled.read more.
"How terrible it will be for those women who are pregnant or who are nursing babies in those days! because there will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. They will fall by the edge of the sword and be carried off as captives among all the nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled on by the unbelievers until the times of the unbelievers are fulfilled."
These were the Twelve whom Jesus sent out after he had given them these instructions: "Don't turn on to the road that leads to the unbelievers, and don't enter Samaritan towns. Instead, go to the lost sheep of the nation of Israel.
Therefore, as you go, disciple people in all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything that I've commanded you. And remember, I am with you each and every day until the end of the age."
Then he told them, "As you go into the entire world, proclaim the gospel to everyone. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever doesn't believe will be condemned.
He told them, "This is how it is written: the Messiah was to suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and then repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
He told them, "You understand how wrong it is for a Jew to associate or visit with unbelievers. But God has shown me that I should stop calling anyone common or unclean,
Around noon the next day, while they were on their way and coming close to the town, Peter went up on the roof to pray. He became very hungry and wanted to eat, and while the food was being prepared, he fell into a trance and saw heaven open and something like a large linen sheet coming down, being lowered by its four corners to the ground. read more.
In it were all kinds of four-footed animals, reptiles, and birds of the air. Then a voice told him, "Get up, Peter! Kill something and eat it." But Peter said, "Absolutely not, Lord, for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean!" Again the voice came to him a second time, "You must stop calling unclean what God has made clean." This happened three times. Then the sheet was quickly taken back into heaven. While Peter was still at a loss to know what the vision he had seen could mean, the men sent by Cornelius asked for Simon's house and went to the gate. They called out and asked if Simon who was called Peter was staying there. Peter was still thinking about the vision when the Spirit told him, "Look! Three men are looking for you. Get up, go downstairs, and don't hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them."
"I was in the town of Joppa praying when in a trance I saw a vision: Something like a large linen sheet descended down from heaven, lowered by its four corners, and it came right down to me. When I examined it closely, I saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild animals, reptiles, and birds of the air. I also heard a voice telling me, "Get up, Peter! Kill something and eat it.' read more.
But I replied, "Absolutely not, Lord, for nothing common or unclean has ever entered my mouth!' Then the voice from heaven answered a second time, "You must stop calling common what God has made clean!' This happened three times. Then everything was pulled back up to heaven. "At that very moment three men arrived at the house where we were staying. They had been sent to me from Caesarea. The Spirit told me to go with them without hesitating. These six brothers went with me, too, and we entered the house of the man from Caesarea. Then he told us how he had seen an angel standing in his home and saying, "Send messengers to Joppa and summon Simon, who is called Peter. He will discuss with you how you and your entire household will be saved.'
While Peter was still making this statement, the Holy Spirit fell on all the people who were listening to his message. Then the circumcised believers who had come with Peter were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the gentiles, too, because they heard them speaking in foreign languages and praising God. Then Peter said, read more.
"No one can stop us from using water to baptize these people who have received the Holy Spirit in the same way that we did, can they?" So Peter ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus the Messiah. Then they asked him to stay there for several days.
After a lengthy debate, Peter stood up and told them, "Brothers, you know that in the early days, God chose me to be the one among you through whom the gentiles would hear the message of the gospel and believe. God, who knows everyone's heart, showed them he approved by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us.
In fact, they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel for the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel for the circumcised. For the one who worked through Peter by making him an apostle to the circumcised also worked through me by sending me to the gentiles. So when James, Cephas, and John (who were reputed to be leaders) recognized the grace that had been given me, they gave Barnabas and me the right hand of fellowship, agreeing that we should go to the gentiles and they to the circumcised.
But the Lord told him, "Go, because he's my chosen instrument to carry my name to unbelievers, to their kings, and to the descendants of Israel.
"I asked, "Who are you, Lord?' "The Lord answered, "I'm Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But get up and stand on your feet, because I've appeared to you for the very purpose of appointing you to be my servant and witness of what you've seen and of what I'll show you. I'll continue to rescue you from your people and from the gentiles to whom I'm sending you. read more.
You will help them understand and turn them from darkness to light and from Satan's control to God, so that their sins will be forgiven and they will receive a share among those who are sanctified by faith in me.' "And so, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision. Instead, I first told the people in Damascus and Jerusalem, then all the people in Judea and after that the gentiles to repent, turn to God, and perform deeds that are consistent with such repentance. For this reason the Jewish leaders grabbed me in the Temple and kept trying to kill me. I've had help from God to this day, and so I stand here to testify to both the powerful and the lowly alike, stating only what the prophets and Moses said would happen that the Messiah would suffer and be the first to rise from the dead and would bring light both to our people and to the gentiles."
I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I often planned to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now), so that I might reap a harvest among you, just as I have among the rest of the gentiles. Both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to foolish people, I am a debtor. That is why I am so eager to proclaim the gospel to you who live in Rome, too.
However, on some points I have written to you rather boldly, both as a reminder to you and because of the grace given me by God to be a minister of the Messiah Jesus to the gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering brought by gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, in the Messiah Jesus I have the right to boast about my work for God. read more.
For I am bold enough to tell you only about what the Messiah has accomplished through me in bringing gentiles to obedience. By my words and actions, by the power of signs and wonders, and by the power of God's Spirit, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of the Messiah from Jerusalem as far as Illyricum.
I went in response to a revelation, and in a private meeting with the reputed leaders, I explained to them the gospel that I'm proclaiming to the gentiles. I did this because I was afraid that I was running or had run my life's race for nothing.
For this reason I was appointed to be an announcer, an apostle, and a faithful and true teacher of the gentiles. (I am telling you the truth. I am not lying.)
However, the Lord stood by me and gave me strength so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the gentiles could hear it. I was rescued out of a lion's mouth.
But when they began to oppose him and insult him, he shook out his clothes in protest and told them, "Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the gentiles."
Then Paul and Barnabas boldly declared, "We had to speak God's word to you first, but since you reject it and consider yourselves unworthy of eternal life, we are now going to turn to the gentiles.
When the gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord. Meanwhile, all who had been destined to eternal life believed,
In Iconium, Paul and Barnabas went into the Jewish synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed. But the Jews who refused to believe stirred up the gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers.
After greeting them, Paul related one by one the things that God had done among the gentiles through his ministry.
but we preach the Messiah crucified. He is a stumbling block to Jews and nonsense to gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, the Messiah is God's power and God's wisdom.
But when Peter went up to Jerusalem, those who emphasized circumcision disagreed with him. They said, "You went to uncircumcised men and ate with them!"
"When I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as he was first given to us. Then I remembered what the Lord had said: "John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.' Now if God gave them the same gift that he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus, the Messiah, who was I to try to stop God?"read more.
When they heard this, they calmed down, and praised God by saying, "So God has given repentance that leads to life even to gentiles."
Until some men arrived from James, he was in the habit of eating with the gentiles, but after those men came, he withdrew from the gentiles and would not associate with them any longer, because he was afraid of the circumcision party. The other Jews also joined him in this hypocritical behavior, to the extent that even Barnabas was caught up in their hypocrisy.
But some believers from the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, "The gentiles must be circumcised and ordered to keep the Law of Moses." So the apostles and the elders met to look into this claim. After a lengthy debate, Peter stood up and told them, "Brothers, you know that in the early days, God chose me to be the one among you through whom the gentiles would hear the message of the gospel and believe. read more.
God, who knows everyone's heart, showed them he approved by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us. He made no distinction between them and us, because of their faith-cleansed hearts. So why do you test God by putting on the disciples' neck a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we could carry? We certainly believe that it is through the grace of the Lord Jesus, the Messiah, that we are saved, just as they are." The whole crowd was silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul tell about all the signs and wonders that God had done through them among the gentiles. After Paul and Barnabas had finished speaking, James responded, "Brothers, listen to me: Simeon has explained how God first showed his concern for the gentiles by taking from among them a people for his name. This agrees with the words of the prophets. As it is written, ""After this, I will come back and set up David's fallen tent again. I will restore its ruined places and set it up again so that the rest of the people may search for the Lord, including all the gentiles who are called by my name,' declares the Lord. "He is the one who has been doing these things that have been known from long ago.' "Therefore, I have decided that we should not trouble these gentiles who are turning to God. Instead, we should write to them to keep away from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from anything strangled, and from blood. After all, Moses has had people to proclaim him in every city for generations, and on every Sabbath his books are read aloud in the synagogues." Then the apostles, the elders, and the whole church decided to choose some of their men to send with Paul and Barnabas to Antioch. These were Judas, who was called Barsabbas, and Silas, who were leaders among the brothers. They wrote this letter for them to deliver: "From: The apostles and the elders, your brothers To: Their gentile brothers in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia. Greetings. We have heard that some men, coming from us without instructions from us, have said things to trouble you and have unsettled you. So we have unanimously decided to choose men and send them to you with our dear Barnabas and Paul, who have risked their lives for the sake of our Lord Jesus, the Messiah. We have therefore sent Judas and Silas to tell you the same things by word of mouth. For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to place on you any burden but these essential requirements: to keep away from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from anything strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you avoid these things, you will do well. Goodbye." So the men were sent on their way and arrived in Antioch. They gathered the congregation together and delivered the letter. When the people read it, they were pleased with how the letter encouraged them.
Then fourteen years later, I again went up to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus with me. I went in response to a revelation, and in a private meeting with the reputed leaders, I explained to them the gospel that I'm proclaiming to the gentiles. I did this because I was afraid that I was running or had run my life's race for nothing. But not even Titus, who was with me, was forced to be circumcised, even though he was a Greek. read more.
However, false brothers were secretly brought in. They slipped in to spy on the freedom we have in the Messiah Jesus so that they might enslave us. But we did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might always remain with you.
The Messiah has set us free so that we may enjoy the benefits of freedom. So keep on standing firm in it, and stop putting yourselves under the yoke of slavery again. Listen! I, Paul, am telling you that if you allow yourselves to be circumcised, the Messiah will be of no benefit to you. Again, I insist that everyone who allows himself to be circumcised is obligated to obey the entire Law. read more.
Those of you who are trying to be justified by the Law have been cut off from the Messiah. You have fallen away from grace. Through the Spirit by faith we confidently await the fulfillment of our righteous hope, for in union with the Messiah Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision matters. What matters is faith expressed through love.
But now, in union with the Messiah Jesus, you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah.
They sang a new song: "You are worthy to take the scroll and open its seals, because you were slaughtered. With your blood you purchased people for God from every tribe, language, people, and nation. You made them a kingdom and priests for our God, and they will reign on the earth."
And so I ask, "They have not stumbled so as to fall, have they?" Of course not! On the contrary, because of their stumbling, salvation has come to the gentiles to make the Jews jealous. Now if their stumbling means riches for the world, and if their fall means riches for the gentiles, how much more will their full participation mean! I am speaking to you gentiles. Because I am an apostle to the gentiles, I magnify my ministry read more.
in the hope that I can make my people jealous and save some of them. For if their rejection results in reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance bring but life from the dead? If the first part of the dough is holy, so is the whole batch. If the root is holy, so are the branches. Now if some of the branches have been broken off, and you, a wild olive branch, have been grafted in their place to share the rich root of the olive tree, do not boast about being better than the other branches. If you boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. Then you will say, "Branches were cut off so that I could be grafted in." That's right! They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you remain only because of faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid! For if God did not spare the natural branches, he certainly will not spare you, either.
And if you belong to the Messiah, then you are Abraham's descendants indeed, and heirs according to the promise.
After these things, I looked, and there was a crowd so large that no one was able to count it! They were from every nation, tribe, people, and language. They were standing in front of the throne and the lamb and were wearing white robes, with palm branches in their hands.
Then I saw another angel flying overhead with the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on earth to every nation, tribe, language, and people.
Because all of you are one in the Messiah Jesus, a person is no longer a Jew or a Greek, a slave or a free person, a male or a female.
There will be suffering and anguish for every human being who practices doing evil, for Jews first and for Greeks as well. But there will be glory, honor, and peace for everyone who practices doing good, initially for Jews but also for Greeks as well, because God does not show partiality.
That is why you are no longer strangers and foreigners but fellow citizens with the saints and members of God's household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, the Messiah Jesus himself being the cornerstone.
In him there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, or free person. Instead, the Messiah is all and in all.
I have other sheep that don't belong to this fold. I must lead these also, and they'll listen to my voice. So there will be one flock and one shepherd.
For that is what the Lord ordered us to do: "I have made you a light to the gentiles to be the means of salvation to the very ends of the earth.'" When the gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord. Meanwhile, all who had been destined to eternal life believed,
including us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but from the gentiles as well? As the Scripture says in Hosea, "Those who are not my people I will call my people, and the one who was not loved I will call my loved one. In the very place where it was told them, "You are not my people,' they will be called children of the living God."
but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, the Messiah is God's power and God's wisdom. For God's nonsense is wiser than human wisdom, and God's weakness is stronger than human strength.
In the same way, Abraham "believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness." You see, then, that those who have faith are Abraham's real descendants. Because the Scripture saw ahead of time that God would justify the gentiles by faith, it announced the gospel to Abraham beforehand when it said, "Through you all nations will be blessed." read more.
Therefore, those who believe are blessed together with Abraham, the one who believed. Certainly all who depend on the actions of the Law are under a curse. For it is written, "A curse on everyone who does not obey everything that is written in the Book of the Law!" Now it is obvious that no one is justified in the sight of God by the Law, because "The righteous will live by faith." But the Law has nothing to do with faith. Instead, "The person who keeps the commandments will have life in them." The Messiah redeemed us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse for us. For it is written, "A curse on everyone who is hung on a tree!" This happened in order that the blessing promised to Abraham would come to the gentiles through the Messiah Jesus, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.
Now does this blessedness come to the circumcised alone, or also to the uncircumcised? For we say, "Abraham's faith was credited to him as righteousness." Under what circumstances was it credited? Was he circumcised or uncircumcised? He had not yet been circumcised, but was uncircumcised. Afterward he received the mark of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. Therefore, he is the ancestor of all who believe while uncircumcised, in order that righteousness may be credited to them. read more.
He is also the ancestor of the circumcised those who are not only circumcised, but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.
for in union with the Messiah Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision matters. What matters is faith expressed through love.