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22 Choose a good reputation over great riches;
    being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold.

The rich and poor have this in common:
    The Lord made them both.

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Those who plant injustice will harvest disaster,
    and their reign of terror will come to an end.[a]

Blessed are those who are generous,
    because they feed the poor.

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Footnotes

  1. 22:8 The Greek version includes an additional proverb: God blesses a man who gives cheerfully, / but his worthless deeds will come to an end. Compare 2 Cor 9:7.

22 Don’t rob the poor just because you can,
    or exploit the needy in court.
23 For the Lord is their defender.
    He will ruin anyone who ruins them.

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Psalm 125

A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.

Those who trust in the Lord are as secure as Mount Zion;
    they will not be defeated but will endure forever.
Just as the mountains surround Jerusalem,
    so the Lord surrounds his people, both now and forever.
The wicked will not rule the land of the godly,
    for then the godly might be tempted to do wrong.
O Lord, do good to those who are good,
    whose hearts are in tune with you.
But banish those who turn to crooked ways, O Lord.
    Take them away with those who do evil.

May Israel have peace!

A Warning against Prejudice

My dear brothers and sisters,[a] how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others?

For example, suppose someone comes into your meeting[b] dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in dirty clothes. If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, “You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor”—well, doesn’t this discrimination show that your judgments are guided by evil motives?

Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters. Hasn’t God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith? Aren’t they the ones who will inherit the Kingdom he promised to those who love him? But you dishonor the poor! Isn’t it the rich who oppress you and drag you into court? Aren’t they the ones who slander Jesus Christ, whose noble name[c] you bear?

Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[d] But if you favor some people over others, you are committing a sin. You are guilty of breaking the law.

10 For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws. 11 For the same God who said, “You must not commit adultery,” also said, “You must not murder.”[e] So if you murder someone but do not commit adultery, you have still broken the law.

12 So whatever you say or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law that sets you free. 13 There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.

Faith without Good Deeds Is Dead

14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?

17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.

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Footnotes

  1. 2:1 Greek brothers; also in 2:5, 14.
  2. 2:2 Greek your synagogue.
  3. 2:7 Greek slander the noble name.
  4. 2:8 Lev 19:18.
  5. 2:11 Exod 20:13-14; Deut 5:17-18.

The Faith of a Gentile Woman

24 Then Jesus left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre.[a] He didn’t want anyone to know which house he was staying in, but he couldn’t keep it a secret. 25 Right away a woman who had heard about him came and fell at his feet. Her little girl was possessed by an evil[b] spirit, 26 and she begged him to cast out the demon from her daughter.

Since she was a Gentile, born in Syrian Phoenicia, 27 Jesus told her, “First I should feed the children—my own family, the Jews.[c] It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.”

28 She replied, “That’s true, Lord, but even the dogs under the table are allowed to eat the scraps from the children’s plates.”

29 “Good answer!” he said. “Now go home, for the demon has left your daughter.” 30 And when she arrived home, she found her little girl lying quietly in bed, and the demon was gone.

Jesus Heals a Deaf Man

31 Jesus left Tyre and went up to Sidon before going back to the Sea of Galilee and the region of the Ten Towns.[d] 32 A deaf man with a speech impediment was brought to him, and the people begged Jesus to lay his hands on the man to heal him.

33 Jesus led him away from the crowd so they could be alone. He put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then, spitting on his own fingers, he touched the man’s tongue. 34 Looking up to heaven, he sighed and said, “Ephphatha,” which means, “Be opened!” 35 Instantly the man could hear perfectly, and his tongue was freed so he could speak plainly!

36 Jesus told the crowd not to tell anyone, but the more he told them not to, the more they spread the news. 37 They were completely amazed and said again and again, “Everything he does is wonderful. He even makes the deaf to hear and gives speech to those who cannot speak.”

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Footnotes

  1. 7:24 Some manuscripts add and Sidon.
  2. 7:25 Greek unclean.
  3. 7:27 Greek Let the children eat first.
  4. 7:31 Greek Decapolis.

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