4 The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue,
to know the word that sustains the weary.
He wakens me morning by morning,
wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.
The Sovereign LORD has opened my ears,
and I have not been rebellious;
I have not drawn back.
I offered my back to those who beat me,
my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard;
I did not hide my face
from mocking and spitting.
Because the Sovereign LORD helps me,
I will not be disgraced.
Therefore have I set my face like flint,
and I know I will not be put to shame.
He who vindicates me is near.
Who then will bring charges against me?
Let us face each other!
Who is my accuser?
Let him confront me!
It is the Sovereign LORD who helps me.
Who is he that will condemn me?
God, come quickly and save me.
LORD, hurry to help me.
Let those who are trying to kill me
be ashamed and disgraced.
Let those who want to hurt me
run away in disgrace.
Let those who make fun of me
stop because of their shame.
But let all those who worship you
rejoice and be glad.
Let those who love your salvation
always say, "Praise the greatness of God."
I am poor and helpless;
God, hurry to me.
You help me and save me.
Lord, do not wait.
We are surrounded by a great cloud of people whose lives tell us what faith means. So let us run the race that is before us and never give up. We should remove from our lives anything that would get in the way and the sin that so easily holds us back. Let us look only to Jesus, the One who began our faith and who makes it perfect. He suffered death on the cross. But he accepted the shame as if it were nothing because of the joy that God put before him. And now he is sitting at the right side of God's throne. Think about Jesus' example. He held on while wicked people were doing evil things to him. So do not get tired and stop trying.
21 After Jesus said this, he was very troubled. He said openly, "I tell you the truth, one of you will turn against me."
22 The followers all looked at each other, because they did not know whom Jesus was talking about.23 One of the followers sitting[a] next to Jesus was the follower Jesus loved.24 Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus whom he was talking about.
25 That follower leaned closer to Jesus and asked, "Lord, who is it?"
26 Jesus answered, "I will dip this bread into the dish. The man I give it to is the man who will turn against me." So Jesus took a piece of bread, dipped it, and gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. 27 As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered him. Jesus said to him, "The thing that you will do—do it quickly." 28 No one at the table understood why Jesus said this to Judas.29 Since he was the one who kept the money box, some of the followers thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the feast or to give something to the poor.
30 Judas took the bread Jesus gave him and immediately went out. It was night.
31 When Judas was gone, Jesus said, "Now the Son of Man receives his glory, and God receives glory through him. 32 If God receives glory through him, then God will give glory to the Son through himself. And God will give him glory quickly."
Photo courtesy Melanie Guest Photography
For more information on why I include these readings read: A Story to Embody