June 12th, 2019

The Ecumenical Council of Nicaea, A.D. 325


First Reading: Num. 23:4-28

4(A) and God met Balaam. And Balaam said to him, "I have arranged the seven altars and I have offered on each altar a bull and a ram." 5And the LORD(B) put a word in Balaam’s mouth and said, "Return to Balak, and thus you shall speak." 6And he returned to him, and behold, he and all the princes of Moab were standing beside his burnt offering. 7And Balaam(C) took up his discourse and said,
   "From(D) Aram Balak has brought me,
   the king of Moab(E) from the eastern mountains:'Come,(F) curse Jacob for me,
   and come, denounce Israel!' 8How can I curse whom God has not cursed?
   How can I denounce whom the LORD has not denounced? 9For from the top of the crags(G) I see him,
   from the hills I behold him;behold,(H) a people dwelling alone,
   and(I) not counting itself among the nations! 10(J) Who can count the dust of Jacob
   or number the fourth part[a] of Israel?Let me die(K) the death of the upright,
   and let my end be like his!"

 11And Balak said to Balaam, "What have you done to me?(L) I took you to curse my enemies, and behold, you have done nothing but bless them." 12And he answered and said,(M) "Must I not take care to speak what the LORD puts in my mouth?"

Balaam’s Second Oracle
 13And Balak said to him, "Please come with me to another place, from which you may see them. You shall see only a fraction of them and shall not see them all. Then curse them for me from there." 14And he took him to the field of Zophim, to the top of Pisgah,(N) and built seven altars and offered a bull and a ram on each altar. 15Balaam said to Balak,(O) "Stand here beside your burnt offering, while I meet the LORD over there." 16And the LORD met Balaam and(P) put a word in his mouth and said, "Return to Balak, and thus shall you speak." 17And he came to him, and behold, he was standing beside his burnt offering, and the princes of Moab with him. And Balak said to him, "What has the LORD spoken?" 18And Balaam took up his discourse and said,
   "Rise, Balak, and hear;
   give ear to me, O son of Zippor: 19(Q) God is not man, that he should lie,
   or a son of man, that he should change his mind.Has he said, and will he not do it?
   Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? 20Behold, I received a command to bless:
   (R) he has blessed, and(S) I cannot revoke it. 21(T) He has not beheld misfortune in Jacob,
   nor has he seen trouble in Israel.The LORD their God is with them,
   and the shout of a king is among them. 22(U) God brings them out of Egypt
   and is for them like(V) the horns of the wild ox. 23For there is no enchantment against Jacob,
   no(W) divination against Israel;now it shall be said of Jacob and Israel,
   (X) 'What has God wrought!' 24Behold, a people!(Y) As a lioness it rises up
   and as a lion it lifts itself;(Z) it does not lie down until it has devoured the prey
   and drunk the blood of the slain."

 25And Balak said to Balaam, "Do not curse them at all, and do not bless them at all." 26But Balaam answered Balak, "Did I not tell you,(AA) 'All that the LORD says, that I must do'?" 27And Balak said to Balaam,(AB) "Come now, I will take you to another place. Perhaps it will please God that you may curse them for me from there." 28So Balak took Balaam to the top of(AC) Peor, which overlooks(AD) the desert.[b]

English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

Second Reading: Lk. 22:47-71

Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus

 47(A) While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called(B) Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him, 48but Jesus said to him, "Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?" 49And when those who were around him saw what would follow, they said, "Lord, shall we strike(C) with the sword?" 50And one of them struck the servant[a] of the high priest and cut off his right ear. 51But Jesus said, "No more of this!" And he touched his ear and healed him. 52Then Jesus said to the chief priests and(D) officers of the temple and elders, who had come out against him, "Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? 53When(E) I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is(F) your hour, and(G) the power of darkness."

Peter Denies Jesus

 54(H) Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house,(I) and Peter was following at a distance. 55(J) And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of(K) the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat down among them. 56Then a servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the light and looking closely at him, said, "This man also was with him." 57But he denied it, saying, "Woman, I do not know him." 58And a little later someone else saw him and said, "You also are one of them." But Peter said, "Man, I am not." 59And after an interval of about an hour still another(L) insisted, saying, "Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean." 60But Peter said, "Man, I do not know what you are talking about." And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. 61And the Lord turned and(M) looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, (N) "Before the rooster crows today, you will(O) deny me three times." 62And he went out and wept bitterly.

Jesus Is Mocked

 63(P) Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking him as they beat him. 64(Q) They also blindfolded him and kept asking him,(R) "Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?" 65And they said many other things against him,(S) blaspheming him.

Jesus Before the Council

 66(T) When day came,(U) the assembly of the elders of the people gathered together, both chief priests and scribes. And they led him away to their(V) council, and they(W) said, 67(X) "If you are(Y) the Christ, tell us." But he said to them, "If I tell you, you will not believe, 68and if I ask you, you will not answer. 69But from now on the Son of Man shall be seated(Z) at the right hand of the power of God." 70So they all said, "Are you(AA) the Son of God, then?" And he said to them, (AB) "You say that I am." 71Then they said, "What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips."

English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

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