Matthew 16 (Listen)

The Pharisees and Sadducees Demand Signs

And the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and to test him they asked him to show them a sign from heaven. He answered them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” So he left them and departed.

The Leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees

When the disciples reached the other side, they had forgotten to bring any bread. Jesus said to them, “Watch and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” And they began discussing it among themselves, saying, “We brought no bread.” But Jesus, aware of this, said, “O you of little faith, why are you discussing among yourselves the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive? Do you not remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? 10 Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? 11 How is it that you fail to understand that I did not speak about bread? Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 12 Then they understood that he did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Peter Confesses Jesus as the Christ

13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.

Jesus Foretells His Death and Resurrection

21 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” 23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

Take Up Your Cross and Follow Jesus

24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done. 28 Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

(ESV)

Esther 3 (Listen)

Haman Plots Against the Jews

After these things King Ahasuerus promoted Haman the Agagite, the son of Hammedatha, and advanced him and set his throne above all the officials who were with him. And all the king’s servants who were at the king’s gate bowed down and paid homage to Haman, for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai did not bow down or pay homage. Then the king’s servants who were at the king’s gate said to Mordecai, “Why do you transgress the king’s command?” And when they spoke to him day after day and he would not listen to them, they told Haman, in order to see whether Mordecai’s words would stand, for he had told them that he was a Jew. And when Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow down or pay homage to him, Haman was filled with fury. But he disdained to lay hands on Mordecai alone. So, as they had made known to him the people of Mordecai, Haman sought to destroy all the Jews, the people of Mordecai, throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus.

In the first month, which is the month of Nisan, in the twelfth year of King Ahasuerus, they cast Pur (that is, they cast lots) before Haman day after day; and they cast it month after month till the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar. Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, “There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom. Their laws are different from those of every other people, and they do not keep the king’s laws, so that it is not to the king’s profit to tolerate them. If it please the king, let it be decreed that they be destroyed, and I will pay 10,000 talents of silver into the hands of those who have charge of the king’s business, that they may put it into the king’s treasuries.” 10 So the king took his signet ring from his hand and gave it to Haman the Agagite, the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews. 11 And the king said to Haman, “The money is given to you, the people also, to do with them as it seems good to you.”

12 Then the king’s scribes were summoned on the thirteenth day of the first month, and an edict, according to all that Haman commanded, was written to the king’s satraps and to the governors over all the provinces and to the officials of all the peoples, to every province in its own script and every people in its own language. It was written in the name of King Ahasuerus and sealed with the king’s signet ring. 13 Letters were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces with instruction to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all Jews, young and old, women and children, in one day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, and to plunder their goods. 14 A copy of the document was to be issued as a decree in every province by proclamation to all the peoples to be ready for that day. 15 The couriers went out hurriedly by order of the king, and the decree was issued in Susa the citadel. And the king and Haman sat down to drink, but the city of Susa was thrown into confusion.

(ESV)

Proverbs 4 (Listen)

A Father’s Wise Instruction

  Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction,
    and be attentive, that you may gain insight,
  for I give you good precepts;
    do not forsake my teaching.
  When I was a son with my father,
    tender, the only one in the sight of my mother,
  he taught me and said to me,
  “Let your heart hold fast my words;
    keep my commandments, and live.
  Get wisdom; get insight;
    do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.
  Do not forsake her, and she will keep you;
    love her, and she will guard you.
  The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom,
    and whatever you get, get insight.
  Prize her highly, and she will exalt you;
    she will honor you if you embrace her.
  She will place on your head a graceful garland;
    she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.”
10   Hear, my son, and accept my words,
    that the years of your life may be many.
11   I have taught you the way of wisdom;
    I have led you in the paths of uprightness.
12   When you walk, your step will not be hampered,
    and if you run, you will not stumble.
13   Keep hold of instruction; do not let go;
    guard her, for she is your life.
14   Do not enter the path of the wicked,
    and do not walk in the way of the evil.
15   Avoid it; do not go on it;
    turn away from it and pass on.
16   For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong;
    they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble.
17   For they eat the bread of wickedness
    and drink the wine of violence.
18   But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
    which shines brighter and brighter until full day.
19   The way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
    they do not know over what they stumble.
20   My son, be attentive to my words;
    incline your ear to my sayings.
21   Let them not escape from your sight;
    keep them within your heart.
22   For they are life to those who find them,
    and healing to all their flesh.
23   Keep your heart with all vigilance,
    for from it flow the springs of life.
24   Put away from you crooked speech,
    and put devious talk far from you.
25   Let your eyes look directly forward,
    and your gaze be straight before you.
26   Ponder the path of your feet;
    then all your ways will be sure.
27   Do not swerve to the right or to the left;
    turn your foot away from evil.

(ESV)

Psalm 67 (Listen)

Make Your Face Shine upon Us

To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Psalm. A Song.

  May God be gracious to us and bless us
    and make his face to shine upon us, Selah
  that your way may be known on earth,
    your saving power among all nations.
  Let the peoples praise you, O God;
    let all the peoples praise you!
  Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
    for you judge the peoples with equity
    and guide the nations upon earth. Selah
  Let the peoples praise you, O God;
    let all the peoples praise you!
  The earth has yielded its increase;
    God, our God, shall bless us.
  God shall bless us;
    let all the ends of the earth fear him!

(ESV)