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Isaiah 49:1-7

The Servant’s Mission

49Listen to me, O coastlands,
   pay attention, you peoples from far away!
The Lord called me before I was born,
   while I was in my mother’s womb he named me.
2 He made my mouth like a sharp sword,
   in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
he made me a polished arrow,
   in his quiver he hid me away.
3 And he said to me, ‘You are my servant,
   Israel, in whom I will be glorified.’
4 But I said, ‘I have laboured in vain,
   I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;
yet surely my cause is with the Lord,
   and my reward with my God.’


5 And now the Lord says,
   who formed me in the womb to be his servant,
to bring Jacob back to him,
   and that Israel might be gathered to him,
for I am honoured in the sight of the Lord,
   and my God has become my strength—
6 he says,
‘It is too light a thing that you should be my servant
   to raise up the tribes of Jacob
   and to restore the survivors of Israel;
I will give you as a light to the nations,
   that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.’


7 Thus says the Lord,
   the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One,
to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nations,
   the slave of rulers,
‘Kings shall see and stand up,
   princes, and they shall prostrate themselves,
because of the Lord, who is faithful,
   the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.’

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Psalm 17

Prayer for Deliverance from Persecutors

A Prayer of David.
1 Hear a just cause, O Lord; attend to my cry;
   give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit.
2 From you let my vindication come;
   let your eyes see the right.


3 If you try my heart, if you visit me by night,
   if you test me, you will find no wickedness in me;
   my mouth does not transgress.
4 As for what others do, by the word of your lips
   I have avoided the ways of the violent.
5 My steps have held fast to your paths;
   my feet have not slipped.


6 I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God;
   incline your ear to me, hear my words.
7 Wondrously show your steadfast love,
   O saviour of those who seek refuge
   from their adversaries at your right hand.


8 Guard me as the apple of the eye;
   hide me in the shadow of your wings,
9 from the wicked who despoil me,
   my deadly enemies who surround me.
15 As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness;
   when I awake I shall be satisfied, beholding your likeness.

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Acts 6:8-7:2a, 15-60

The Arrest of Stephen

Stephen, full of grace and power, did great wonders and signs among the people. 9Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and others of those from Cilicia and Asia, stood up and argued with Stephen. 10But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit* with which he spoke. 11Then they secretly instigated some men to say, ‘We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.’ 12They stirred up the people as well as the elders and the scribes; then they suddenly confronted him, seized him, and brought him before the council. 13They set up false witnesses who said, ‘This man never stops saying things against this holy place and the law; 14for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth* will destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses handed on to us.’ 15And all who sat in the council looked intently at him, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.

Stephen’s Speech to the Council

7Then the high priest asked him, ‘Are these things so?’ 2And Stephen replied:

‘Brothers* and fathers, listen to me. The God of glory appeared to our ancestor Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran, 15so Jacob went down to Egypt. He himself died there as well as our ancestors, 16and their bodies* were brought back to Shechem and laid in the tomb that Abraham had bought for a sum of silver from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.

17 ‘But as the time drew near for the fulfilment of the promise that God had made to Abraham, our people in Egypt increased and multiplied 18until another king who had not known Joseph ruled over Egypt. 19He dealt craftily with our race and forced our ancestors to abandon their infants so that they would die. 20At this time Moses was born, and he was beautiful before God. For three months he was brought up in his father’s house; 21and when he was abandoned, Pharaoh’s daughter adopted him and brought him up as her own son. 22So Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in his words and deeds.

23 ‘When he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his relatives, the Israelites.* 24When he saw one of them being wronged, he defended the oppressed man and avenged him by striking down the Egyptian. 25He supposed that his kinsfolk would understand that God through him was rescuing them, but they did not understand. 26The next day he came to some of them as they were quarrelling and tried to reconcile them, saying, “Men, you are brothers; why do you wrong each other?” 27But the man who was wronging his neighbour pushed Moses* aside, saying, “Who made you a ruler and a judge over us? 28Do you want to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?” 29When he heard this, Moses fled and became a resident alien in the land of Midian. There he became the father of two sons.

30 ‘Now when forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in the flame of a burning bush. 31When Moses saw it, he was amazed at the sight; and as he approached to look, there came the voice of the Lord: 32“I am the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” Moses began to tremble and did not dare to look. 33Then the Lord said to him, “Take off the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. 34I have surely seen the mistreatment of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their groaning, and I have come down to rescue them. Come now, I will send you to Egypt.”

35 ‘It was this Moses whom they rejected when they said, “Who made you a ruler and a judge?” and whom God now sent as both ruler and liberator through the angel who appeared to him in the bush. 36He led them out, having performed wonders and signs in Egypt, at the Red Sea, and in the wilderness for forty years. 37This is the Moses who said to the Israelites, “God will raise up a prophet for you from your own people* as he raised me up.” 38He is the one who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and with our ancestors; and he received living oracles to give to us. 39Our ancestors were unwilling to obey him; instead, they pushed him aside, and in their hearts they turned back to Egypt, 40saying to Aaron, “Make gods for us who will lead the way for us; as for this Moses who led us out from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has happened to him.” 41At that time they made a calf, offered a sacrifice to the idol, and revelled in the works of their hands. 42But God turned away from them and handed them over to worship the host of heaven, as it is written in the book of the prophets:
“Did you offer to me slain victims and sacrifices
   for forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel?
43 No; you took along the tent of Moloch,
   and the star of your god Rephan,
     the images that you made to worship;
so I will remove you beyond Babylon.”

44 ‘Our ancestors had the tent of testimony in the wilderness, as God* directed when he spoke to Moses, ordering him to make it according to the pattern he had seen. 45Our ancestors in turn brought it in with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations that God drove out before our ancestors. And it was there until the time of David, 46who found favour with God and asked that he might find a dwelling-place for the house of Jacob.* 47But it was Solomon who built a house for him. 48Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands;* as the prophet says,
49 “Heaven is my throne,
   and the earth is my footstool.
What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord,
   or what is the place of my rest?
50 Did not my hand make all these things?”

51 ‘You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you are for ever opposing the Holy Spirit, just as your ancestors used to do. 52Which of the prophets did your ancestors not persecute? They killed those who foretold the coming of the Righteous One, and now you have become his betrayers and murderers. 53You are the ones that received the law as ordained by angels, and yet you have not kept it.’

The Stoning of Stephen

54 When they heard these things, they became enraged and ground their teeth at Stephen.* 55But filled with the Holy Spirit, he gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56‘Look,’ he said, ‘I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!’ 57But they covered their ears, and with a loud shout all rushed together against him. 58Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ 60Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’ When he had said this, he died.*

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John 1:29-42

The Lamb of God

29 The next day he saw Jesus coming towards him and declared, ‘Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30This is he of whom I said, “After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.” 31I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.’ 32And John testified, ‘I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. 33I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, “He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.” 34And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.’*

The First Disciples of Jesus

35 The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, 36and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, ‘Look, here is the Lamb of God!’ 37The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. 38When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, ‘What are you looking for?’ They said to him, ‘Rabbi’ (which translated means Teacher), ‘where are you staying?’ 39He said to them, ‘Come and see.’ They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon. 40One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41He first found his brother Simon and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which is translated Anointed*). 42He brought Simon* to Jesus, who looked at him and said, ‘You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas’ (which is translated Peter*).

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v 2.5.1
29 April 2019

From the oremus Bible Browser https://bible.oremus.org v2.5.1 29 April 2019.