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Deuteronomy 25-27The Message (MSG)

25 1-3 When men have a legal dispute, let them go to court; the judges will decide between them, declaring one innocent and the other guilty. If the guilty one deserves punishment, the judge will have him prostrate himself before him and lashed as many times as his crime deserves, but not more than forty. If you hit him more than forty times, you will degrade him to something less than human.

Don’t muzzle an ox while it is threshing.

5-6 When brothers are living together and one of them dies without having had a son, the widow of the dead brother shall not marry a stranger from outside the family; her husband’s brother is to come to her and marry her and do the brother-in-law’s duty by her. The first son that she bears shall be named after her dead husband so his name won’t die out in Israel.

7-10 But if the brother doesn’t want to marry his sister-in-law, she is to go to the leaders at the city gate and say, “My brother-in-law refuses to keep his brother’s name alive in Israel; he won’t agree to do the brother-in-law’s duty by me.” Then the leaders will call for the brother and confront him. If he stands there defiant and says, “I don’t want her,” his sister-in-law is to pull his sandal off his foot, spit in his face, and say, “This is what happens to the man who refuses to build up the family of his brother—his name in Israel will be Family-No-Sandal.”

11-12 When two men are in a fight and the wife of the one man, trying to rescue her husband, grabs the genitals of the man hitting him, you are to cut off her hand. Show no pity.

13-16 Don’t carry around with you two weights, one heavy and the other light, and don’t keep two measures at hand, one large and the other small. Use only one weight, a true and honest weight, and one measure, a true and honest measure, so that you will live a long time on the land that God, your God, is giving you. Dishonest weights and measures are an abomination to God, your God—all this corruption in business deals!

17-19 Don’t forget what Amalek did to you on the road after you left Egypt, how he attacked you when you were tired, barely able to put one foot in front of another, mercilessly cut off your stragglers, and had no regard for God. When God, your God, gives you rest from all the enemies that surround you in the inheritance-land God, your God, is giving you to possess, you are to wipe the name of Amalek from off the Earth. Don’t forget!

26 1-5 Once you enter the land that God, your God, is giving you as an inheritance and take it over and settle down, you are to take some of all the firstfruits of what you grow in the land that God, your God, is giving you, put them in a basket and go to the place God, your God, sets apart for you to worship him. At that time, go to the priest who is there and say, “I announce to God, your God, today that I have entered the land that God promised our ancestors that he’d give to us.” The priest will take the basket from you and place it on the Altar of God, your God. And there in the Presence of God, your God, you will recite:

5-10 A wandering Aramean was my father,
he went down to Egypt and sojourned there,
he and just a handful of his brothers at first, but soon
they became a great nation, mighty and many.
The Egyptians abused and battered us,
in a cruel and savage slavery.
We cried out to God, the God-of-Our-Fathers:
He listened to our voice, he saw
our destitution, our trouble, our cruel plight.
And God took us out of Egypt
with his strong hand and long arm, terrible and great,
with signs and miracle-wonders.
And he brought us to this place,
gave us this land flowing with milk and honey.
So here I am. I’ve brought the firstfruits
of what I’ve grown on this ground you gave me, O God.

10-11 Then place it in the Presence of God, your God. Prostrate yourselves in the Presence of God, your God. And rejoice! Celebrate all the good things that God, your God, has given you and your family; you and the Levite and the foreigner who lives with you.

12-14 Every third year, the year of the tithe, give a tenth of your produce to the Levite, the foreigner, the orphan, and the widow so that they may eat their fill in your cities. And then, in the Presence of God, your God, say this:

I have brought the sacred share,
I’ve given it to the Levite, foreigner, orphan, and widow.
What you commanded, I’ve done.
I haven’t detoured around your commands,
I haven’t forgotten a single one.
I haven’t eaten from the sacred share while mourning,
I haven’t removed any of it while ritually unclean,
I haven’t used it in funeral feasts.
I have listened obediently to the Voice of God, my God,
I have lived the way you commanded me.

15 Look down from your holy house in Heaven!
Bless your people Israel and the ground you gave us,
just as you promised our ancestors you would,
this land flowing with milk and honey.

16-17 This very day God, your God, commands you to follow these rules and regulations, to live them out with everything you have in you. You’ve renewed your vows today that God is your God, that you’ll live the way he shows you; do what he tells you in the rules, regulations, and commandments; and listen obediently to him.

18-19 And today God has reaffirmed that you are dearly held treasure just as he promised, a people entrusted with keeping his commandments, a people set high above all other nations that he’s made, high in praise, fame, and honor: you’re a people holy to God, your God. That’s what he has promised.

27 1-3 Moses commanded the leaders of Israel and charged the people: Keep every commandment that I command you today. On the day you cross the Jordan into the land that God, your God, is giving you, erect large stones and coat them with plaster. As soon as you cross over the river, write on the stones all the words of this Revelation so that you’ll enter the land that God, your God, is giving you, that land flowing with milk and honey that God, the God-of-Your-Fathers, promised you.

4-7 So when you’ve crossed the Jordan, erect these stones on Mount Ebal. Then coat them with plaster. Build an Altar of stones for God, your God, there on the mountain. Don’t use an iron tool on the stones; build the Altar to God, your God, with uncut stones and offer your Whole-Burnt-Offerings on it to God, your God. When you sacrifice your Peace-Offerings you will also eat them there, rejoicing in the Presence of God, your God.

Write all the words of this Revelation on the stones. Incise them sharply.

9-10 Moses and the Levitical priests addressed all Israel: Quiet. Listen obediently, Israel. This very day you have become the people of God, your God. Listen to the Voice of God, your God. Keep his commandments and regulations that I’m commanding you today.

11-13 That day Moses commanded: After you’ve crossed the Jordan, these tribes will stand on Mount Gerizim to bless the people: Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin. And these will stand on Mount Ebal for the curse: Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali.

14-26 The Levites, acting as spokesmen and speaking loudly, will address Israel:

God’s curse on anyone who carves or casts a god-image—an abomination to God made by a craftsman—and sets it up in secret.
    All respond: Yes. Absolutely.
God’s curse on anyone who demeans a parent.
    All respond: Yes. Absolutely.
God’s curse on anyone who moves his neighbor’s boundary marker.
    All respond: Yes. Absolutely.
God’s curse on anyone who misdirects a blind man on the road.
    All respond: Yes. Absolutely.
God’s curse on anyone who interferes with justice due the foreigner, orphan, or widow.
    All respond: Yes. Absolutely.
God’s curse on anyone who has sex with his father’s wife; he has violated the woman who belongs to his father.
    All respond: Yes. Absolutely.
God’s curse on anyone who has sex with an animal.
    All respond: Yes. Absolutely.
God’s curse on anyone who has sex with his sister, the daughter of his father or mother.
    All respond: Yes. Absolutely.
God’s curse on anyone who has sex with his mother-in-law.
    All respond: Yes. Absolutely.
God’s curse on anyone who kills his neighbor in secret.
    All respond: Yes. Absolutely.
God’s curse on anyone who takes a bribe to kill an innocent person.
    All respond: Yes. Absolutely.
God’s curse on whoever does not give substance to the words of this Revelation by living them.
    All respond: Yes. Absolutely.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Mark 14:27-54The Message (MSG)

27-28 Jesus told them, “You’re all going to feel that your world is falling apart and that it’s my fault. There’s a Scripture that says,

I will strike the shepherd;
The sheep will go helter-skelter.

“But after I am raised up, I will go ahead of you, leading the way to Galilee.”

29 Peter blurted out, “Even if everyone else is ashamed of you when things fall to pieces, I won’t be.”

30 Jesus said, “Don’t be so sure. Today, this very night in fact, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.”

31 He blustered in protest, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you.” All the others said the same thing.

Gethsemane

32-34 They came to an area called Gethsemane. Jesus told his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” He took Peter, James, and John with him. He plunged into a sinkhole of dreadful agony. He told them, “I feel bad enough right now to die. Stay here and keep vigil with me.”

35-36 Going a little ahead, he fell to the ground and prayed for a way out: “Papa, Father, you can—can’t you?—get me out of this. Take this cup away from me. But please, not what I want—what do you want?”

37-38 He came back and found them sound asleep. He said to Peter, “Simon, you went to sleep on me? Can’t you stick it out with me a single hour? Stay alert, be in prayer, so you don’t enter the danger zone without even knowing it. Don’t be naive. Part of you is eager, ready for anything in God; but another part is as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire.”

39-40 He then went back and prayed the same prayer. Returning, he again found them sound asleep. They simply couldn’t keep their eyes open, and they didn’t have a plausible excuse.

41-42 He came back a third time and said, “Are you going to sleep all night? No—you’ve slept long enough. Time’s up. The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up. Let’s get going. My betrayer has arrived.”

A Gang of Ruffians

43-47 No sooner were the words out of his mouth when Judas, the one out of the Twelve, showed up, and with him a gang of ruffians, sent by the high priests, religion scholars, and leaders, brandishing swords and clubs. The betrayer had worked out a signal with them: “The one I kiss, that’s the one—seize him. Make sure he doesn’t get away.” He went straight to Jesus and said, “Rabbi!” and kissed him. The others then grabbed him and roughed him up. One of the men standing there unsheathed his sword, swung, and came down on the Chief Priest’s servant, lopping off the man’s ear.

48-50 Jesus said to them, “What is this, coming after me with swords and clubs as if I were a dangerous criminal? Day after day I’ve been sitting in the Temple teaching, and you never so much as lifted a hand against me. What you in fact have done is confirm the prophetic writings.” All the disciples cut and ran.

51-52 A young man was following along. All he had on was a bedsheet. Some of the men grabbed him but he got away, running off naked, leaving them holding the sheet.

Condemned to Death

53-54 They led Jesus to the Chief Priest, where the high priests, religious leaders, and scholars had gathered together. Peter followed at a safe distance until they got to the Chief Priest’s courtyard, where he mingled with the servants and warmed himself at the fire.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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