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Deuteronomy 5The Message (MSG)

Moses Teaches Israel on the Plains of Moab

Moses called all Israel together. He said to them,

Attention, Israel. Listen obediently to the rules and regulations I am delivering to your listening ears today. Learn them. Live them.

2-5 God, our God, made a covenant with us at Horeb. God didn’t just make this covenant with our parents; he made it also with us, with all of us who are alive right now. God spoke to you personally out of the fire on the mountain. At the time I stood between God and you, to tell you what God said. You were afraid, remember, of the fire and wouldn’t climb the mountain. He said:

I am God, your God,

who brought you out of the land of Egypt,
out of a house of slaves.

No other gods, only me.

8-10 No carved gods of any size, shape, or form of anything whatever, whether of things that fly or walk or swim. Don’t bow down to them and don’t serve them because I am God, your God, and I’m a most jealous God. I hold parents responsible for any sins they pass on to their children to the third, and yes, even to the fourth generation. But I’m lovingly loyal to the thousands who love me and keep my commandments.

11 No using the name of God, your God, in curses or silly banter; God won’t put up with the irreverent use of his name.

12-15 No working on the Sabbath; keep it holy just as God, your God, commanded you. Work six days, doing everything you have to do, but the seventh day is a Sabbath, a Rest Day—no work: not you, your son, your daughter, your servant, your maid, your ox, your donkey (or any of your animals), and not even the foreigner visiting your town. That way your servants and maids will get the same rest as you. Don’t ever forget that you were slaves in Egypt and God, your God, got you out of there in a powerful show of strength. That’s why God, your God, commands you to observe the day of Sabbath rest.

16 Respect your father and mother—God, your God, commands it! You’ll have a long life; the land that God is giving you will treat you well.

17 No murder.

18 No adultery.

19 No stealing.

20 No lies about your neighbor.

21 No coveting your neighbor’s wife. And no lusting for his house, field, servant, maid, ox, or donkey either—nothing that belongs to your neighbor!

22 These are the words that God spoke to the whole congregation at the mountain. He spoke in a tremendous voice from the fire and cloud and dark mist. And that was it. No more words. Then he wrote them on two slabs of stone and gave them to me.

23-24 As it turned out, when you heard the Voice out of that dark cloud and saw the mountain on fire, you approached me, all the heads of your tribes and your leaders, and said,

24-26 “Our God has revealed to us his glory and greatness. We’ve heard him speak from the fire today! We’ve seen that God can speak to humans and they can still live. But why risk it further? This huge fire will devour us if we stay around any longer. If we hear God’s voice anymore, we’ll die for sure. Has anyone ever known of anyone who has heard the Voice of God the way we have and lived to tell the story?

27 “From now on, you go and listen to what God, our God, says and then tell us what God tells you. We’ll listen and we’ll do it.”

28-29 God heard what you said to me and told me, “I’ve heard what the people said to you. They’re right—good and true words. What I wouldn’t give if they’d always feel this way, continuing to revere me and always keep all my commands; they’d have a good life forever, they and their children!

30-31 “Go ahead and tell them to go home to their tents. But you, you stay here with me so I can tell you every commandment and all the rules and regulations that you must teach them so they’ll know how to live in the land that I’m giving them as their own.”

32-33 So be very careful to act exactly as God commands you. Don’t veer off to the right or the left. Walk straight down the road God commands so that you’ll have a good life and live a long time in the land that you’re about to possess.

The Message (MSG)

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

Deuteronomy 6The Message (MSG)

1-2 This is the commandment, the rules and regulations, that God, your God, commanded me to teach you to live out in the land you’re about to cross into to possess. This is so that you’ll live in deep reverence before God lifelong, observing all his rules and regulations that I’m commanding you, you and your children and your grandchildren, living good long lives.

Listen obediently, Israel. Do what you’re told so that you’ll have a good life, a life of abundance and bounty, just as God promised, in a land abounding in milk and honey.

Attention, Israel!

God, our God! God the one and only!

Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that’s in you, love him with all you’ve got!

6-9 Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates.

10-12 When God, your God, ushers you into the land he promised through your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to give you, you’re going to walk into large, bustling cities you didn’t build, well-furnished houses you didn’t buy, come upon wells you didn’t dig, vineyards and olive orchards you didn’t plant. When you take it all in and settle down, pleased and content, make sure you don’t forget how you got there—God brought you out of slavery in Egypt.

13-19 Deeply respect God, your God. Serve and worship him exclusively. Back up your promises with his name only. Don’t fool around with other gods, the gods of your neighbors, because God, your God, who is alive among you is a jealous God. Don’t provoke him, igniting his hot anger that would burn you right off the face of the Earth. Don’t push God, your God, to the wall as you did that day at Massah, the Testing-Place. Carefully keep the commands of God, your God, all the requirements and regulations he gave you. Do what is right; do what is good in God’s sight so you’ll live a good life and be able to march in and take this pleasant land that God so solemnly promised through your ancestors, throwing out your enemies left and right—exactly as God said.

20-24 The next time your child asks you, “What do these requirements and regulations and rules that God, our God, has commanded mean?” tell your child, “We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt and God powerfully intervened and got us out of that country. We stood there and watched as God delivered miracle-signs, great wonders, and evil-visitations on Egypt, on Pharaoh and his household. He pulled us out of there so he could bring us here and give us the land he so solemnly promised to our ancestors. That’s why God commanded us to follow all these rules, so that we would live reverently before God, our God, as he gives us this good life, keeping us alive for a long time to come.

25 “It will be a set-right and put-together life for us if we make sure that we do this entire commandment in the Presence of God, our God, just as he commanded us to do.”

The Message (MSG)

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

Psalm 43The Message (MSG)

43 1-2 Clear my name, God; stick up for me
    against these loveless, immoral people.
Get me out of here, away
    from these lying degenerates.
I counted on you, God.
    Why did you walk out on me?
Why am I pacing the floor, wringing my hands
    over these outrageous people?

3-4 Give me your lantern and compass,
    give me a map,
So I can find my way to the sacred mountain,
    to the place of your presence,
To enter the place of worship,
    meet my exuberant God,
Sing my thanks with a harp,
    magnificent God, my God.

Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?
    Why are you crying the blues?
Fix my eyes on God—
    soon I’ll be praising again.
He puts a smile on my face.
    He’s my God.

The Message (MSG)

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

Mark 14The Message (MSG)

Anointing His Head

14 1-2 In only two days the eight-day Festival of Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread would begin. The high priests and religion scholars were looking for a way they could seize Jesus by stealth and kill him. They agreed that it should not be done during Passover Week. “We don’t want the crowds up in arms,” they said.

3-5 Jesus was at Bethany, a guest of Simon the Leper. While he was eating dinner, a woman came up carrying a bottle of very expensive perfume. Opening the bottle, she poured it on his head. Some of the guests became furious among themselves. “That’s criminal! A sheer waste! This perfume could have been sold for well over a year’s wages and handed out to the poor.” They swelled up in anger, nearly bursting with indignation over her.

6-9 But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why are you giving her a hard time? She has just done something wonderfully significant for me. You will have the poor with you every day for the rest of your lives. Whenever you feel like it, you can do something for them. Not so with me. She did what she could when she could—she pre-anointed my body for burial. And you can be sure that wherever in the whole world the Message is preached, what she just did is going to be talked about admiringly.”

10-11 Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the cabal of high priests, determined to betray him. They couldn’t believe their ears, and promised to pay him well. He started looking for just the right moment to hand him over.

Traitor to the Son of Man

12 On the first of the Days of Unleavened Bread, the day they prepare the Passover sacrifice, his disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go and make preparations so you can eat the Passover meal?”

13-15 He directed two of his disciples, “Go into the city. A man carrying a water jug will meet you. Follow him. Ask the owner of whichever house he enters, ‘The Teacher wants to know, Where is my 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 for us there.”

16 The disciples left, came to the city, found everything just as he had told them, and prepared the Passover meal.

17-18 After sunset he came with the Twelve. As they were at the supper table eating, Jesus said, “I have something hard but important to say to you: One of you is going to hand me over to the conspirators, one who at this moment is eating with me.”

19 Stunned, they started asking, one after another, “It isn’t me, is it?”

20-21 He said, “It’s one of the Twelve, one who eats with me out of the same bowl. In one sense, it turns out that the Son of Man is entering into a way of treachery well-marked by the Scriptures—no surprises here. In another sense, the man who turns him in, turns traitor to the Son of Man—better never to have been born than do this!”

“This Is My Body”

22 In the course of their meal, having taken and blessed the bread, he broke it and gave it to them. Then he said,

Take, this is my body.

23-24 Taking the chalice, he gave it to them, thanking God, and they all drank from it. He said,

This is my blood,
God’s new covenant,
Poured out for many people.

25 “I’ll not be drinking wine again until the new day when I drink it in the kingdom of God.”

26 They sang a hymn and then went directly to Mount Olives.

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.

55-59 The high priests conspiring with the Jewish Council looked high and low for evidence against Jesus by which they could sentence him to death. They found nothing. Plenty of people were willing to bring in false charges, but nothing added up, and they ended up canceling each other out. Then a few of them stood up and lied: “We heard him say, ‘I am going to tear down this Temple, built by hard labor, and in three days build another without lifting a hand.’” But even they couldn’t agree exactly.

60-61 In the middle of this, the Chief Priest stood up and asked Jesus, “What do you have to say to the accusation?” Jesus was silent. He said nothing.

The Chief Priest tried again, this time asking, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed?”

62 Jesus said, “Yes, I am, and you’ll see it yourself:

The Son of Man seated
At the right hand of the Mighty One,
Arriving on the clouds of heaven.”

63-64 The Chief Priest lost his temper. Ripping his clothes, he yelled, “Did you hear that? After that do we need witnesses? You heard the blasphemy. Are you going to stand for it?”

They condemned him, one and all. The sentence: death.

65 Some of them started spitting at him. They blindfolded his eyes, then hit him, saying, “Who hit you? Prophesy!” The guards, punching and slapping, took him away.

The Rooster Crowed

66-67 While all this was going on, Peter was down in the courtyard. One of the Chief Priest’s servant girls came in and, seeing Peter warming himself there, looked hard at him and said, “You were with the Nazarene, Jesus.”

68 He denied it: “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” He went out on the porch. A rooster crowed.

69-70 The girl spotted him and began telling the people standing around, “He’s one of them.” He denied it again.

After a little while, the bystanders brought it up again. “You’ve got to be one of them. You’ve got ‘Galilean’ written all over you.”

71-72 Now Peter got really nervous and swore, “I never laid eyes on this man you’re talking about.” Just then the rooster crowed a second time. Peter remembered how Jesus had said, “Before a rooster crows twice, you’ll deny me three times.” He collapsed in tears.

The Message (MSG)

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

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