Today our passages are Exodus 12:14–13:16; Matthew 20:29–21:22; Psalm 25:16-22; and Proverbs 6:12-15. The readings are the Contemporary English Version.
Exodus 12:14-13:16 (Contemporary English Version)
14Remember this day and celebrate it each year as a festival in my honor. 15For seven days you must eat bread made without yeast. And on the first of these seven days, you must remove all yeast from your homes. If you eat anything made with yeast during this festival, you will no longer be part of Israel. 16Meet together for worship on the first and seventh days of the festival. The only work you are allowed to do on either of these two days is that of preparing the bread. 17Celebrate this Festival of Thin Bread as a way of remembering the day that I brought your families and tribes out of Egypt. And do this each year. 18Begin on the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month by eating bread made without yeast. Then continue this celebration until the evening of the twenty-first day. 19During these seven days no yeast is allowed in anyone's home, whether they are native Israelites or not. If you are caught eating anything made with yeast, you will no longer be part of Israel. 20Stay away from yeast, no matter where you live. No one is allowed to eat anything made with yeast! 21Moses called the leaders of Israel together and said: Each family is to pick out a sheep and kill it for Passover. 22Make a brush from a few small branches of a hyssop plant and dip the brush in the bowl that has the blood of the animal in it. Then brush some of the blood above the door and on the posts at each side of the door of your house. After this, everyone is to stay inside. 23During that night the LORD will go through the country of Egypt and kill the first-born son in every Egyptian family. He will see where you have put the blood, and he will not come into your house. His angel that brings death will pass over and not kill your first-born sons. 24-25After you have entered the country promised to you by the LORD, you and your children must continue to celebrate Passover each year. 26Your children will ask you, " What are we celebrating?" 27And you will answer, " The Passover animal is killed to honor the LORD. We do these things because on that night long ago the LORD passed over the homes of our people in Egypt. He killed the first-born sons of the Egyptians, but he saved our children from death." After Moses finished speaking, the people of Israel knelt down and worshiped the LORD. 28Then they left and did what Moses and Aaron had told them to do.
Death for the First-Born Sons29At midnight the LORD killed the first-born son of every Egyptian family, from the son of the king [a] to the son of every prisoner in jail. He also killed the first-born male of every animal that belonged to the Egyptians. 30That night the king, his officials, and everyone else in Egypt got up and started crying bitterly. In every Egyptian home, someone was dead.
The People of Israel Escape from Egypt31During the night the king [b] sent for Moses and Aaron and told them, " Get your people out of my country and leave us alone! Go and worship the LORD, as you have asked. 32Take your sheep, goats, and cattle, and get out. But ask your God to be kind to me." 33The Egyptians did everything they could to get the Israelites to leave their country fast. They said, " Please hurry and leave. If you don't, we will all be dead." 34So the Israelites quickly made some bread dough and put it in pans. But they did not mix any yeast in the dough to make it rise. They wrapped cloth around the pans and carried them on their shoulders. 35The Israelites had already done what Moses had told them to do. They had gone to their Egyptian neighbors and asked for gold and silver and for clothes. 36The LORD had made the Egyptians friendly toward the people of Israel, and they gave them whatever they asked for. In this way they carried away the wealth of the Egyptians when they left Egypt. 37The Israelites walked from the city of Rameses to the city of Succoth. There were about six hundred thousand of them, not counting women and children. 38Many other people went with them as well, and there were also a lot of sheep, goats, and cattle. 39They left Egypt in such a hurry that they did not have time to prepare any food except the bread dough made without yeast. So they baked it and made thin bread. 40-41The LORD's people left Egypt exactly four hundred thirty years after they had arrived. 42On that night the LORD kept watch for them, and on this same night each year Israel will always keep watch in honor of the LORD.
Instructions for Passover43The LORD gave Moses and Aaron the following instructions for celebrating Passover: No one except Israelites may eat the Passover meal. 44Your slaves may eat the meal if they have been circumcised, 45but no foreigners who work for you are allowed to have any. 46The entire meal must be eaten inside, and no one may leave the house during the celebration. No bones of the Passover lamb may be broken. 47And all Israelites must take part in the meal. 48If anyone who isn't an Israelite wants to celebrate Passover with you, every man and boy in that family must first be circumcised. Then they may join in the meal, just like native Israelites. No uncircumcised man or boy may eat the Passover meal! 49This law applies both to native Israelites and to those foreigners who live among you. 50The Israelites obeyed everything the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron to tell them. 51And on that same day the LORD brought Israel's families and tribes out of Egypt.
Dedication of the First-Born1The LORD said to Moses, 2" Dedicate to me the first-born son of every family and the first-born males of your flocks and herds. These belong to me."
The Festival of Thin Bread3-4Moses said to the people: Remember this day in the month of Abib. [c] It is the day when the LORD's mighty power rescued you from Egypt, where you were slaves. Do not eat anything made with yeast. 5The LORD promised your ancestors that he would bring you into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Hivites, and Jebusites. It is a land rich with milk and honey. Each year during the month of Abib, celebrate these events in the following way: 6For seven days you are to eat bread made without yeast, and on the seventh day you are to celebrate a festival in honor of the LORD. 7During those seven days, you must not eat anything made with yeast or even have yeast anywhere near your homes. 8Then on the seventh day you must explain to your children that you do this because the LORD brought you out of Egypt. 9This celebration will be like wearing a sign on your hand or on your forehead, because then you will pass on to others the teaching of the LORD, whose mighty power brought you out of Egypt. 10Celebrate this festival each year at the same time. 11The LORD will give you the land of the Canaanites, just as he promised you and your ancestors. 12From then on, you must give him every first-born son from your families and every first-born male from your animals, because these belong to him. 13You can save the life of a first-born donkey [d] by sacrificing a lamb; if you don't, you must break the donkey's neck. You must save every first-born son. 14In the future your children will ask what this ceremony means. Explain it to them by saying, " The LORD used his mighty power to rescue us from slavery in Egypt. 15The king [e] stubbornly refused to set us free, so the LORD killed the first-born male of every animal and the first-born son of every Egyptian family. This is why we sacrifice to the LORD every first-born male of every animal and save every first-born son." 16This ceremony will serve the same purpose as a sign on your hand or on your forehead to tell how the LORD's mighty power rescued us from Egypt.
- Exodus 12:29the king: See the note at 1.11.
- Exodus 12:31the king: See the note at 1.11.
- Exodus 13:3Abib: Or Nisan, the first month of the Hebrew calendar, from about mid-March to mid-April.
- Exodus 13:13donkey: This was the only " unclean" animal that had to be saved; the first-born of all " clean" animals (sheep, goats, cattle) had to be sacrificed. Donkeys were important because they were the basic means of transportation.
- Exodus 13:15The king: See the note at 1.11.
Matthew 20:29-21:22 (Contemporary English Version)
Jesus Heals Two Blind Men
(Mark 10.46-52; Luke 18.35-43)29Jesus was followed by a large crowd as he and his disciples were leaving Jericho. 30Two blind men were sitting beside the road. And when they heard that Jesus was coming their way, they shouted, "Lord and Son of David, [a] have pity on us!" 31The crowd told them to be quiet, but they shouted even louder, "Lord and Son of David, have pity on us!" 32When Jesus heard them, he stopped and asked, "What do you want me to do for you?" 33They answered, "Lord, we want to see!" 34Jesus felt sorry for them and touched their eyes. Right away they could see, and they became his followers.
Jesus Enters Jerusalem
(Mark 11.1-11; Luke 19.28-38; John 12.12-19)1When Jesus and his disciples came near Jerusalem, he went to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives and sent two of them on ahead. 2He told them, "Go into the next village, where you will at once find a donkey and her colt. Untie the two donkeys and bring them to me. 3If anyone asks why you are doing that, just say, `The Lord [b] needs them.' Right away he will let you have the donkeys." 4So God's promise came true, just as the prophet had said, 5"Announce to the people of Jerusalem: `Your king is coming to you! He is humble and rides on a donkey. He comes on the colt of a donkey.' " 6The disciples left and did what Jesus had told them to do. 7They brought the donkey and its colt and laid some clothes on their backs. Then Jesus got on. 8Many people spread clothes in the road, while others put down branches [c] which they had cut from trees. 9Some people walked ahead of Jesus and others followed behind. They were all shouting, "Hooray [d] for the Son of David! [e] God bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord. Hooray for God in heaven above!" 10When Jesus came to Jerusalem, everyone in the city was excited and asked, "Who can this be?" 11The crowd answered, "This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee."
Jesus in the Temple
(Mark 11.15-19; Luke 19.45-48; John 2.13-22)12Jesus went into the temple and chased out everyone who was selling or buying. He turned over the tables of the moneychangers and the benches of the ones who were selling doves. 13He told them, "The Scriptures say, `My house should be called a place of worship.' But you have turned it into a place where robbers hide." 14Blind and lame people came to Jesus in the temple, and he healed them. 15But the chief priests and the teachers of the Law of Moses were angry when they saw his miracles and heard the children shouting praises to the Son of David. 16The men said to Jesus, "Don't you hear what those children are saying?" "Yes, I do!" Jesus answered. "Don't you know that the Scriptures say, `Children and infants will sing praises'?" 17Then Jesus left the city and went out to the village of Bethany, where he spent the night.
Jesus Puts a Curse on a Fig Tree
(Mark 11.12-14,20-24)18When Jesus got up the next morning, he was hungry. He started out for the city, 19and along the way he saw a fig tree. But when he came to it, he found only leaves and no figs. So he told the tree, "You will never again grow any fruit!" Right then the fig tree dried up. 20The disciples were shocked when they saw how quickly the tree had dried up. 21But Jesus said to them, "If you have faith and don't doubt, I promise that you can do what I did to this tree. And you will be able to do even more. You can tell this mountain to get up and jump into the sea, and it will. 22If you have faith when you pray, you will be given whatever you ask for."
- Matthew 20:30Son of David: See the note at 9.27.
- Matthew 21:3The Lord: Or "The master of the donkeys."
- Matthew 21:8spread clothes. . . put down branches: This was one way that the Jewish people welcomed a famous person.
- Matthew 21:9Hooray: This translates a word that can mean "please save us." But it is most often used as a shout of praise to God.
- Matthew 21:9Son of David: See the note at 9.27.
Psalm 25:16-22 (Contemporary English Version)
16I am lonely and troubled. Show that you care and have pity on me. 17My awful worries keep growing. Rescue me from sadness. 18See my troubles and misery and forgive my sins. 19Look at all my enemies! See how much they hate me. 20I come to you for shelter. Protect me, keep me safe, and don't disappoint me. 21I obey you with all my heart, and I trust you, knowing that you will save me. 22Our God, please save Israel from all of its troubles.
Proverbs 6:12-15 (Contemporary English Version)
12Worthless liars go around 13winking and giving signals to deceive others. 14They are always thinking up something cruel and evil, and they stir up trouble. 15But they will be struck by sudden disaster and left without a hope.
Verse of the Day
“You willingly forgive, and your love is always there for those who pray to you.” - Psalm 86:5
Verse of the Day
“You willingly forgive, and your love is always there for those who pray to you.” - Psalm 86:5
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.
Thought for the Day
American comedian and actor Milton Berle said, “You can lead a man to Congress, but you can't make him think.”