Psalm 119:97-104 The Voice (VOICE)
97 Oh, how I love Your law!
Deuteronomy 12:1-12 The Voice (VOICE)
12 Moses: These are the regulations and judgments you must carefully obey in the land the Eternal, the God of your ancestors, is giving you to live in, for as long as you are alive. 2 Completely destroy all the places where the nations you’re going to conquer worshiped their gods—on the mountain heights and hilltops, and under every leafy tree.
Commanding heights are recognized as positions of power and advantage. They are also closer to the sky on mountains and hills, which are thought to be the home of the gods. Nations chose heights and hilltops as places of worship. Leafy trees are also a favored location because of the shelter and shade they provided in a hot climate, and because they reach all realms of creation—the underworld, the physical world, and the heavens. In the absence of trees, carved poles serve as portable tree shrines honoring the goddess Asherah.
Moses: 3 Tear down their altars, smash their monoliths, burn their sacred poles,[a] and shatter their idols! Wipe out every trace of the names of their gods in those places. 4 The Eternal your God doesn’t want you to worship Him in the way these nations worshiped their gods, setting up shrines and altars all over the land. 5 He will choose a place within the territory of one of your tribes to be His home; He will put His Name there. Go there to worship Him. 6 Whenever you have something to offer, take it there: burnt offerings and sacrifices, tithes, uplifted offerings, freewill gifts, payments to fulfill vows, and firstborn animals from your herds and flocks. 7 Eat your sacred meals there in His presence, and celebrate with your whole household how the Eternal your God has blessed everything you’ve done. 8 Right now we’re letting everyone do as he or she sees fit here with unregulated sacrifices, 9 because you aren’t yet living in peace on the land He is going to give you. 10 When you’ve crossed the Jordan River and have settled in the land He is giving you to live in and pass on to your descendants, and you’re living in safety because He’s defeated the enemies all around you and they’re no longer a threat, 11 then bring everything I command you to the place the Eternal, your True God, will choose as a sanctuary, as a place for His name. Bring your burnt offerings and other sacrifices there; bring your tithes, uplifted offerings, and the special gifts you choose to dedicate along with your vow to the Eternal. 12 Celebrate in His presence with your sons and daughters and with your male and female slaves. And be sure to invite any Levites who live in your town, because their tribe won’t have any property as yours does.
John 6:41-51 The Voice (VOICE)
41 Some of the Jews began to grumble quietly against Him because He said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.”
Crowd: 42 Isn’t Jesus the son of Joseph? We know His parents! We know where He came from, so how can He claim to have “come down from heaven”?
Jesus: 43 Stop grumbling under your breaths. 44 If the Father who sent Me does not draw you, then there’s no way you can come to Me. But I will resurrect everyone who does come on the last day. 45 Among the prophets, it’s written, “Everyone will be taught of God.”[a] So everyone who has heard and learned from the Father finds Me. 46 No one has seen the Father, except the One sent from God. He has seen the Father. 47 I am telling you the truth: the one who accepts these things has eternal life. 48 I am the bread that gives life. 49 Your fathers ate manna in the wilderness, and they died as you know. 50 But there is another bread that comes from heaven; if you eat this bread, you will not die. 51 I am the living bread that has come down from heaven to rescue those who eat it. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever. The bread that I will give breathes life into the cosmos. This bread is My flesh.