All of you people in faraway places, listen to me.
Listen, all you nations far away.
Before I was born, the Lord called me to serve him.
The Lord named me while I was still in my mother's womb.
He made my tongue like a sharp sword.
He hid me in the shadow of his hand.
He made me like a sharp arrow.
He hid me in the holder for his arrows.
He told me, "Israel, you are my servant.
I will show my glory through you."
But I said, "I have worked hard for nothing;
I have used all my power, but I did nothing useful.
But the Lord will decide what my work is worth;
God will decide my reward."
The Lord made me in the body of my mother
to be his servant,
to lead the people of Jacob back to him
so that Israel might be gathered to him.
The Lord will honor me,
and I will get my strength from my God.
Now he told me,
"You are an important servant to me
to bring back the tribes of Jacob,
to bring back the people of Israel who are left alive.
But, more importantly, I will make you a light for all nations
to show people all over the world the way to be saved."
The Lord who saves you
is the Holy One of Israel.
He speaks to the one who is hated by the people,
to the servant of rulers.
This is what he says: "Kings will see you and stand to honor you;
great leaders will bow down before you,
because the Lord can be trusted.
He is the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you."
In you, Lord, is my protection.
Never let me be ashamed.
Because you do what is right, save and rescue me;
listen to me and save me.
Be my place of safety
where I can always come.
Give the command to save me,
because you are my rock and my strong, walled city.
My God, save me from the power of the wicked
and from the hold of evil and cruel people.
Lord, you are my hope.
Lord, I have trusted you since I was young.
I have depended on you since I was born;
you helped me even on the day of my birth.
I will always praise you.
I am an example to many people,
because you are my strong protection.
I am always praising you;
all day long I honor you.
Do not reject me when I am old;
do not leave me when my strength is gone.
My enemies make plans against me,
and they meet together to kill me.
They say, "God has left him.
Go after him and take him,
because no one will save him."
God, don't be far off.
My God, hurry to help me.
Let those who accuse me
be ashamed and destroyed.
Let those who are trying to hurt me
be covered with shame and disgrace.
But I will always have hope
and will praise you more and more.
I Corinthians 1:18-31
The teaching about the cross is foolishness to those who are being lost, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 It is written in the Scriptures:
"I will cause the wise to lose their wisdom;
I will make the wise unable to understand." — Isaiah 29:14
20 Where is the wise person? Where is the educated person? Where is the skilled talker of this world? God has made the wisdom of the world foolish.21 In the wisdom of God the world did not know God through its own wisdom. So God chose to use the message that sounds foolish to save those who believe.22 The Jews ask for miracles, and the Greeks want wisdom. 23 But we preach a crucified Christ. This causes the Jews to stumble and is foolishness to non-Jews. 24 But Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God to those people God has called—Jews and Greeks.25 Even the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
26 Brothers and sisters, look at what you were when God called you. Not many of you were wise in the way the world judges wisdom. Not many of you had great influence. Not many of you came from important families.27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and he chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.28 He chose what the world thinks is unimportant and what the world looks down on and thinks is nothing in order to destroy what the world thinks is important.29 God did this so that no one can brag in his presence.30 Because of God you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God. In Christ we are put right with God, and have been made holy, and have been set free from sin. 31 So, as the Scripture says, "If people want to brag, they should brag only about the Lord."[a]
There were some Greek people, too, who came to Jerusalem to worship at the Passover Feast.21 They went to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said, "Sir, we would like to see Jesus."22 Philip told Andrew, and then Andrew and Philip told Jesus.
23 Jesus said to them, "The time has come for the Son of Man to receive his glory. 24 I tell you the truth, a grain of wheat must fall to the ground and die to make many seeds. But if it never dies, it remains only a single seed.25 Those who love their lives will lose them, but those who hate their lives in this world will keep true life forever. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me. Then my servant will be with me everywhere I am. My Father will honor anyone who serves me.
27 "Now I am very troubled. Should I say, 'Father, save me from this time'? No, I came to this time so I could suffer. 28 Father, bring glory to your name!"
Then a voice came from heaven, "I have brought glory to it, and I will do it again."
29 The crowd standing there, who heard the voice, said it was thunder.
But others said, "An angel has spoken to him."
30 Jesus said, "That voice was for your sake, not mine. 31 Now is the time for the world to be judged; now the ruler of this world will be thrown down. 32 If I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people toward me." 33 Jesus said this to show how he would die.
34 The crowd said, "We have heard from the law that the Christ will live forever. So why do you say, 'The Son of Man must be lifted up'? Who is this 'Son of Man'?"
35 Then Jesus said, "The light will be with you for a little longer, so walk while you have the light. Then the darkness will not catch you. If you walk in the darkness, you will not know where you are going. 36 Believe in the light while you still have it so that you will become children of light." When Jesus had said this, he left and hid himself from them.