1 Kings 12-13 The Message (MSG)
12 1-2 Rehoboam traveled to Shechem where all Israel had gathered to inaugurate him as king. Jeroboam had been in Egypt, where he had taken asylum from King Solomon; when he got the report of Solomon’s death he had come back.
3-4 Rehoboam assembled Jeroboam and all the people. They said to Rehoboam, “Your father made life hard for us—worked our fingers to the bone. Give us a break; lighten up on us and we’ll willingly serve you.”
5 “Give me three days to think it over, then come back,” Rehoboam said.
6 King Rehoboam talked it over with the elders who had advised his father when he was alive: “What’s your counsel? How do you suggest that I answer the people?”
7 They said, “If you will be a servant to this people, be considerate of their needs and respond with compassion, work things out with them, they’ll end up doing anything for you.”
8-9 But he rejected the counsel of the elders and asked the young men he’d grown up with who were now currying his favor, “What do you think? What should I say to these people who are saying, ‘Give us a break from your father’s harsh ways—lighten up on us’?”
10-11 The young turks he’d grown up with said, “These people who complain, ‘Your father was too hard on us; lighten up’—well, tell them this: ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist. If you think life under my father was hard, you haven’t seen the half of it. My father thrashed you with whips; I’ll beat you bloody with chains!’”
12-14 Three days later Jeroboam and the people showed up, just as Rehoboam had directed when he said, “Give me three days to think it over, then come back.” The king’s answer was harsh and rude. He spurned the counsel of the elders and went with the advice of the younger set, “If you think life under my father was hard, you haven’t seen the half of it. My father thrashed you with whips; I’ll beat you bloody with chains!”
15 Rehoboam turned a deaf ear to the people. God was behind all this, confirming the message that he had given to Jeroboam son of Nebat through Ahijah of Shiloh.
16-17 When all Israel realized that the king hadn’t listened to a word they’d said, they stood up to him and said,
Get lost, David!
And with that, they left. But Rehoboam continued to rule those who lived in the towns of Judah.
18-19 When King Rehoboam next sent out Adoniram, head of the workforce, the Israelites ganged up on him, pelted him with stones, and killed him. King Rehoboam jumped in his chariot and fled to Jerusalem as fast as he could. Israel has been in rebellion against the Davidic regime ever since.
Jeroboam of Israel
20 When the word was out that Jeroboam was back and available, the assembled people invited him and inaugurated him king over all Israel. The only tribe left to the Davidic dynasty was Judah.
21 When Rehoboam got back to Jerusalem, he called up the men of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin, a 180,000 of their best soldiers, to go to war against Israel and recover the kingdom for Rehoboam son of Solomon.
22-24 At this time the word of God came to Shemaiah, a man of God: “Tell this to Rehoboam son of Solomon king of Judah, along with everyone in Judah and Benjamin and anyone else who is around: This is God’s word: Don’t march out; don’t fight against your brothers the Israelites; go back home, every last one of you; I’m in charge here.” And they did it; they did what God said and went home.
25 Jeroboam made a fort at Shechem in the hills of Ephraim, and made that his headquarters. He also built a fort at Penuel.
26-27 But then Jeroboam thought, “It won’t be long before the kingdom is reunited under David. As soon as these people resume worship at The Temple of God in Jerusalem, they’ll start thinking of Rehoboam king of Judah as their ruler. They’ll then kill me and go back to King Rehoboam.”
28-30 So the king came up with a plan: He made two golden calves. Then he announced, “It’s too much trouble for you to go to Jerusalem to worship. Look at these—the gods who brought you out of Egypt!” He put one calf in Bethel; the other he placed in Dan. This was blatant sin. Think of it—people traveling all the way to Dan to worship a calf!
31-33 And that wasn’t the end of it. Jeroboam built forbidden shrines all over the place and recruited priests from wherever he could find them, regardless of whether they were fit for the job or not. To top it off, he created a holy New Year festival to be held on the fifteenth day of the eighth month to replace the one in Judah, complete with worship offered on the Altar at Bethel and sacrificing before the calves he had set up there. He staffed Bethel with priests from the local shrines he had made. This was strictly his own idea to compete with the feast in Judah; and he carried it off with flair, a festival exclusively for Israel, Jeroboam himself leading the worship at the Altar.
13 1-3 And then this happened: Just as Jeroboam was at the Altar, about to make an offering, a holy man came from Judah by God’s command and preached (these were God’s orders) to the Altar: “Altar, Altar! God’s message! ‘A son will be born into David’s family named Josiah. The priests from the shrines who are making offerings on you, he will sacrifice—on you! Human bones burned on you!’” At the same time he announced a sign: “This is the proof God gives—the Altar will split into pieces and the holy offerings spill into the dirt.”
4-5 When the king heard the message the holy man preached against the Altar at Bethel, he reached out to grab him, yelling, “Arrest him!” But his arm was paralyzed and hung useless. At the same time the Altar broke apart and the holy offerings all spilled into the dirt—the very sign the holy man had announced by God’s command.
6 The king pleaded with the holy man, “Help me! Pray to your God for the healing of my arm.” The holy man prayed for him and the king’s arm was healed—as good as new!
7 Then the king invited the holy man, “Join me for a meal; I have a gift for you.”
8-10 The holy man told the king, “Not on your life! You couldn’t pay me enough to get me to sit down with you at a meal in this place. I’m here under God’s orders, and he commanded, ‘Don’t eat a crumb, don’t drink a drop, and don’t go back the way you came.’” Then he left by a different road than the one on which he had walked to Bethel.
11 There was an old prophet who lived in Bethel. His sons came and told him the story of what the holy man had done that day in Bethel, told him everything that had happened and what the holy man had said to the king.
12 Their father said, “Which way did he go?” His sons pointed out the road that the holy man from Judah had taken.
13-14 He told his sons, “Saddle my donkey.” When they had saddled it, he got on and rode after the holy man. He found him sitting under an oak tree.
He asked him, “Are you the holy man who came from Judah?”
“Yes, I am,” he said.
15 “Well, come home with me and have a meal.”
16-17 “Sorry, I can’t do that,” the holy man said. “I can neither go back with you nor eat with you in this country. I’m under strict orders from God: ‘Don’t eat a crumb; don’t drink a drop; and don’t come back the way you came.’”
18-19 But he said, “I am also a prophet, just like you. And an angel came to me with a message from God: ‘Bring him home with you, and give him a good meal!’” But the man was lying. So the holy man went home with him and they had a meal together.
20-22 There they were, sitting at the table together, when the word of God came to the prophet who had brought him back. He confronted the holy man who had come from Judah: “God’s word to you: You disobeyed God’s command; you didn’t keep the strict orders your God gave you; you came back and sat down to a good meal in the very place God told you, ‘Don’t eat a crumb; don’t drink a drop.’ For that you’re going to die far from home and not be buried in your ancestral tomb.”
23-25 When the meal was over, the prophet who had brought him back saddled his donkey for him. Down the road a way, a lion met him and killed him. His corpse lay crumpled on the road, the lion on one side and the donkey on the other. Some passersby saw the corpse in a heap on the road, with the lion standing guard beside it. They went to the village where the old prophet lived and told what they had seen.
26 When the prophet who had gotten him off track heard it, he said, “It’s the holy man who disobeyed God’s strict orders. God turned him over to the lion who knocked him around and killed him, just as God had told him.”
27-30 The prophet told his sons, “Saddle my donkey.” They did it. He rode out and found the corpse in a heap in the road, with the lion and the donkey standing there. The lion hadn’t bothered either the corpse or the donkey. The old prophet loaded the corpse of the holy man on his donkey and returned it to his own town to give it a decent burial. He placed the body in his own tomb. The people mourned, saying, “A sad day, brother!”
31-32 After the funeral, the prophet said to his sons, “When I die, bury me in the same tomb where the holy man is buried, my bones alongside his bones. The message that he preached by God’s command against the Altar at Bethel and against all the sex-and-religion shrines in the towns of Samaria will come true.”
33-34 After this happened, Jeroboam kept right on doing evil, recruiting priests for the forbidden shrines indiscriminately—anyone who wanted to could be a priest at one of the local shrines. This was the root sin of Jeroboam’s government. And it was this that ruined him.
Luke 22:1-30 The Message (MSG)
The Passover Meal
22 1-2 The Feast of Unleavened Bread, also called Passover, drew near. The high priests and religion scholars were looking for a way to do away with Jesus but, fearful of the people, they were also looking for a way to cover their tracks.
3-6 That’s when Satan entered Judas, the one called Iscariot. He was one of the Twelve. Leaving the others, he conferred with the high priests and the Temple guards about how he might betray Jesus to them. They couldn’t believe their good luck and agreed to pay him well. He gave them his word and started looking for a way to betray Jesus, but out of sight of the crowd.
7-8 The Day of Unleavened Bread came, the day the Passover lamb was butchered. Jesus sent Peter and John off, saying, “Go prepare the Passover for us so we can eat it together.”
9 They said, “Where do you want us to do this?”
10-12 He said, “Keep your eyes open as you enter the city. A man carrying a water jug will meet you. Follow him home. Then speak with the owner of the house: The Teacher wants to know, ‘Where is the guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?’ He will show you a spacious second-story room, swept and ready. Prepare the meal there.”
13 They left, found everything just as he told them, and prepared the Passover meal.
14-16 When it was time, he sat down, all the apostles with him, and said, “You’ve no idea how much I have looked forward to eating this Passover meal with you before I enter my time of suffering. It’s the last one I’ll eat until we all eat it together in the kingdom of God.”
17-18 Taking the cup, he blessed it, then said, “Take this and pass it among you. As for me, I’ll not drink wine again until the kingdom of God arrives.”
19 Taking bread, he blessed it, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, given for you. Eat it in my memory.”
20 He did the same with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant written in my blood, blood poured out for you.
21-22 “Do you realize that the hand of the one who is betraying me is at this moment on this table? It’s true that the Son of Man is going down a path already marked out—no surprises there. But for the one who turns him in, turns traitor to the Son of Man, this is doomsday.”
23 They immediately became suspicious of each other and began quizzing one another, wondering who might be about to do this.
Get Ready for Trouble
24-26 Within minutes they were bickering over who of them would end up the greatest. But Jesus intervened: “Kings like to throw their weight around and people in authority like to give themselves fancy titles. It’s not going to be that way with you. Let the senior among you become like the junior; let the leader act the part of the servant.
27-30 “Who would you rather be: the one who eats the dinner or the one who serves the dinner? You’d rather eat and be served, right? But I’ve taken my place among you as the one who serves. And you’ve stuck with me through thick and thin. Now I confer on you the royal authority my Father conferred on me so you can eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and be strengthened as you take up responsibilities among the congregations of God’s people.