The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

Bible Readings for Holy Week: Tuesday

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Want to take an Easter pilgrimage? On each day of the week before Easter, I'll post the day's reading at 12:01 A.M. It'll be waiting for you when you get up! Journal your thoughts, if you like, at the end of the day's readings, to share with others who come by.

Prefer another translation? You'll find it at (click on it, then pick the version you want and click update).

Tuesday of Holy Week
Isaiah 49:1-7; Psalm 71:1-14; I Corinthians 1:18-31; John 12:20-36

Isaiah 49:1-7Lighthouse at Pemaquid Pt., ME <>
A Light for the Nations
1Listen, far-flung islands,
pay attention, faraway people:
GOD put me to work from the day I was born.
The moment I entered the world he named me.
2He gave me speech that would cut and penetrate.
He kept his hand on me to protect me.
He made me his straight arrow
and hid me in his quiver.
3He said to me, "You're my dear servant,
Israel, through whom I'll shine."
4But I said, "I've worked for nothing.
I've nothing to show for a life of hard work.
Nevertheless, I'll let GOD have the last word.
I'll let him pronounce his verdict."
5"And now," GOD says,
this God who took me in hand
from the moment of birth to be his servant,
To bring Jacob back home to him,
to set a reunion for Israel–
What an honor for me in GOD's eyes!
That God should be my strength!
6He says, "But that's not a big enough job for my servant–
just to recover the tribes of Jacob,
merely to round up the strays of Israel.
I'm setting you up as a light for the nations
so that my salvation becomes global!"
7GOD, Redeemer of Israel, The Holy of Israel,
says to the despised one, kicked around by the nations,
slave labor to the ruling class:
"Kings will see, get to their feet–the princes, too–
and then fall on their faces in homage
Because of GOD, who has faithfully kept his word,
The Holy of Israel, who has chosen you."


Psalm 71:1-14
1I run for dear life to GOD, I'll never live to regret it.
2Do what you do so well:
get me out of this mess and up on my feet.
Put your ear to the ground and listen,
give me space for salvation.
3Be a guest room where I can retreat;
you said your door was always open!
You're my salvation–my vast, granite fortress.

4My God, free me from the grip of Wicked,
from the clutch of Bad and Bully.
5You keep me going when times are tough–
my bedrock, GOD, since my childhood.
6I've hung on you from the day of my birth,
the day you took me from the cradle;
I'll never run out of praise.
7Many gasp in alarm when they see me,
but you take me in stride.

8Just as each day brims with your beauty,
my mouth brims with praise.
9But don't turn me out to pasture when I'm old
or put me on the shelf when I can't pull my weight.
10My enemies are talking behind my back,
watching for their chance to knife me.
11The gossip is: "God has abandoned him.
Pounce on him now; no one will help him."

12God, don't just watch from the sidelines.
Come on! Run to my side!
13My accusers–make them lose face.
Those out to get me–make them look
Like idiots, 14while I stretch out, reaching for you,
and daily add praise to praise.

1 Corinthians 1:18-31
18The Message that points to Christ on the Cross seems like sheer silliness to those hellbent on destruction, but for those on the way of salvation it makes perfect sense. This is the way God works, and most powerfully as it turns out. 19It's written,

I'll turn conventional wisdom on its head,
I'll expose so-called experts as crackpots.

20So where can you find someone truly wise, truly educated, truly intelligent in this day and age? Hasn't God exposed it all as pretentious nonsense? 21Since the world in all its fancy wisdom never had a clue when it came to knowing God, God in his wisdom took delight in using what the world considered dumb–preaching, of all things!-to bring those who trust him into the way of salvation.

22While Jews clamor for miraculous demonstrations and Greeks go in for philosophical wisdom, 23we go right on proclaiming Christ, the Crucified. Jews treat this like an anti-miracle–and Greeks pass it off as absurd. 24But to us who are personally called by God himself–both Jews and Greeks–Christ is God's ultimate miracle and wisdom all wrapped up in one. 25Human wisdom is so tinny, so impotent, next to the seeming absurdity of God. Human strength can't begin to compete with God's "weakness."

26Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don't see many of "the brightest and the best" among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. 27Isn't it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, 28chose these "nobodies" to expose the hollow pretensions of the "somebodies"? 29That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. 30Everything that we have–right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start–comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. 31That's why we have the saying, "If you're going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God."

John 12:20-36
A Grain of Wheat Must Die
20There were some Greeks in town who had come up to worship at the Feast. 21They approached Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee: "Sir, we want to see Jesus. Can you help us?"

22Philip went and told Andrew. Andrew and Philip together told Jesus. 23Jesus answered, "Time's up. The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

24"Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. 25In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you'll have it forever, real and eternal.

26"If any of you wants to serve me, then follow me. Then you'll be where I am, ready to serve at a moment's notice. The Father will honor and reward anyone who serves me.

27"Right now I am storm-tossed. And what am I going to say? "Father, get me out of this'? No, this is why I came in the first place. 28I'll say, "Father, put your glory on display.'"

A voice came out of the sky: "I have glorified it, and I'll glorify it again."

29The listening crowd said, "Thunder!"

Others said, "An angel spoke to him!"

30Jesus said, "The voice didn't come for me but for you. 31At this moment the world is in crisis. Now Satan, the ruler of this world, will be thrown out. 32And I, as I am lifted up from the earth, will attract everyone to me and gather them around me." 33He put it this way to show how he was going to be put to death.

34Voices from the crowd answered, "We heard from God's Law that the Messiah lasts forever. How can it be necessary, as you put it, that the Son of Man "be lifted up'? Who is this "Son of Man'?"

35Jesus said, "For a brief time still, the light is among you. Walk by the light you have so darkness doesn't destroy you. If you walk in darkness, you don't know where you're going. 36As you have the light, believe in the light. Then the light will be within you, and shining through your lives. You'll be children of light."

Jesus said all this, and then went into hiding.

The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson


Written by Monte

April 11, 2006 at 12:01 am

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