February 23rd, 2019

Polycarp of Smyrna, Pastor and Martyr

  1. First Reading
  2. Second Reading

First Reading · Job 18:1-21

Bildad: The Wicked Are Punished

 1 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said:

 2 “How long till you put an end to words?
      Gain understanding, and afterward we will speak.

 3 Why are we counted as beasts,
      And regarded as stupid in your sight?

 4 You who tear yourself in anger,
      Shall the earth be forsaken for you?
      Or shall the rock be removed from its place?

 5 “The light of the wicked indeed goes out,
      And the flame of his fire does not shine.

 6 The light is dark in his tent,
      And his lamp beside him is put out.

 7 The steps of his strength are shortened,
      And his own counsel casts him down.

 8 For he is cast into a net by his own feet,
      And he walks into a snare.

 9 The net takes him by the heel,
      And a snare lays hold of him.

 10 A noose is hidden for him on the ground,
      And a trap for him in the road.

 11 Terrors frighten him on every side,
      And drive him to his feet.

 12 His strength is starved,
      And destruction is ready at his side.

 13 It devours patches of his skin;
      The firstborn of death devours his limbs.

 14 He is uprooted from the shelter of his tent,
      And they parade him before the king of terrors.

 15 They dwell in his tent who are none of his;
      Brimstone is scattered on his dwelling.

 16 His roots are dried out below,
      And his branch withers above.

 17 The memory of him perishes from the earth,
      And he has no name among the renowned.[a]

 18 He is driven from light into darkness,
      And chased out of the world.

 19 He has neither son nor posterity among his people,
      Nor any remaining in his dwellings.

 20 Those in the west are astonished at his day,
      As those in the east are frightened.

 21 Surely such are the dwellings of the wicked,
      And this is the place of him who does not know God.”

New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.


Second Reading · John 7:32-53

Jesus and the Religious Leaders

    32 The Pharisees heard the crowd murmuring these things concerning Him, and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take Him. 33 Then Jesus said to them,[a] “I shall be with you a little while longer, and then I go to Him who sent Me. 34 You will seek Me and not find Me, and where I am you cannot come.” 35 Then the Jews said among themselves, “Where does He intend to go that we shall not find Him? Does He intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks? 36 What is this thing that He said, ‘You will seek Me and not find Me, and where I am you cannot come’?”

The Promise of the Holy Spirit

    37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing[b] in Him would receive; for the Holy[c] Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Who Is He?

    40 Therefore many[d] from the crowd, when they heard this saying, said, “Truly this is the Prophet.” 41 Others said, “This is the Christ.” But some said, “Will the Christ come out of Galilee? 42 Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was?” 43 So there was a division among the people because of Him. 44 Now some of them wanted to take Him, but no one laid hands on Him.

Rejected by the Authorities

    45 Then the officers came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why have you not brought Him?” 46 The officers answered, “No man ever spoke like this Man!” 47 Then the Pharisees answered them, “Are you also deceived? 48 Have any of the rulers or the Pharisees believed in Him? 49 But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed.” 50 Nicodemus (he who came to Jesus by night,[e] being one of them) said to them, 51 “Does our law judge a man before it hears him and knows what he is doing?” 52 They answered and said to him, “Are you also from Galilee? Search and look, for no prophet has arisen[f] out of Galilee.”

An Adulteress Faces the Light of the World

    53 And everyone went to his own house.[g]

New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.



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