The People of Israel Cross the Jordan
3 The next morning Joshua and all the people of Israel got up early, left the camp at Acacia, and went to the Jordan, where they camped while waiting to cross it. 2 Three days later the leaders went through the camp 3 and told the people, “When you see the priests carrying the Covenant Box of the Lord your God, break camp and follow them. 4 You have never been here before, so they will show you the way to go. But do not get near the Covenant Box; stay about half a mile behind it.”
5 Joshua told the people, “Purify yourselves, because tomorrow the Lord will perform miracles among you.” 6 Then he told the priests to take the Covenant Box and go with it ahead of the people. They did as he said.
7 The Lord said to Joshua, “What I do today will make all the people of Israel begin to honor you as a great man, and they will realize that I am with you as I was with Moses. 8 Tell the priests carrying the Covenant Box that when they reach the river, they must wade in and stand near the bank.”
9 Then Joshua said to the people, “Come here and listen to what the Lord your God has to say. 10 As you advance, he will surely drive out the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Hivites, the Perizzites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, and the Jebusites. You will know that the living God is among you 11 when the Covenant Box of the Lord of all the earth crosses the Jordan ahead of you. 12 Now choose twelve men, one from each of the tribes of Israel. 13 When the priests who carry the Covenant Box of the Lord of all the earth put their feet in the water, the Jordan will stop flowing, and the water coming downstream will pile up in one place.”
14-15 It was harvest time, and the river was in flood.
When the people left the camp to cross the Jordan, the priests went ahead of them, carrying the Covenant Box. As soon as the priests stepped into the river, 16 the water stopped flowing and piled up, far upstream at Adam, the city beside Zarethan. The flow downstream to the Dead Sea was completely cut off, and the people were able to cross over near Jericho. 17 While the people walked across on dry ground, the priests carrying the Lord's Covenant Box stood on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan until all the people had crossed over.
Memorial Stones Are Set Up
4 When the whole nation had crossed the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, 2 “Choose twelve men, one from each tribe, 3 and command them to take twelve stones out of the middle of the Jordan, from the very place where the priests were standing. Tell them to carry these stones with them and to put them down where you camp tonight.”
4 Then Joshua called the twelve men he had chosen, 5 and he told them, “Go into the Jordan ahead of the Covenant Box of the Lord your God. Each one of you take a stone on your shoulder, one for each of the tribes of Israel. 6 These stones will remind the people of what the Lord has done. In the future, when your children ask what these stones mean to you, 7 you will tell them that the water of the Jordan stopped flowing when the Lord's Covenant Box crossed the river. These stones will always remind the people of Israel of what happened here.”
8 The men followed Joshua's orders. As the Lord had commanded Joshua, they took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, one for each of the tribes of Israel, carried them to the camping place, and put them down there. 9 Joshua also set up twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan, where the priests carrying the Covenant Box had stood. (Those stones are still there.) 10 The priests stood in the middle of the Jordan until everything had been done that the Lord ordered Joshua to tell the people to do. This is what Moses had commanded.
The people hurried across the river. 11 When they were all on the other side, the priests with the Lord's Covenant Box went on ahead of the people. 12 The men of the tribes of Reuben and Gad and of half the tribe of Manasseh, ready for battle, crossed ahead of the rest of the people, as Moses had told them to do. 13 In the presence of the Lord about forty thousand men ready for war crossed over to the plain near Jericho. 14 What the Lord did that day made the people of Israel consider Joshua a great man. They honored him all his life, just as they had honored Moses.
15 Then the Lord told Joshua 16 to command the priests carrying the Covenant Box to come up out of the Jordan. 17 Joshua did so, 18 and when the priests reached the riverbank, the river began flowing once more and flooded its banks again.
19 The people crossed the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month and camped at Gilgal, east of Jericho. 20 There Joshua set up the twelve stones taken from the Jordan. 21 And he said to the people of Israel, “In the future, when your children ask you what these stones mean, 22 you will tell them about the time when Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground. 23 Tell them that the Lord your God dried up the water of the Jordan for you until you had crossed, just as he dried up the Red Sea for us. 24 Because of this everyone on earth will know how great the Lord's power is, and you will honor the Lord your God forever.”
Humility and Hospitality
7 Jesus noticed how some of the guests were choosing the best places, so he told this parable to all of them: 8 (A)“When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place. It could happen that someone more important than you has been invited, 9 and your host, who invited both of you, would have to come and say to you, ‘Let him have this place.’ Then you would be embarrassed and have to sit in the lowest place. 10 Instead, when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that your host will come to you and say, ‘Come on up, my friend, to a better place.’ This will bring you honor in the presence of all the other guests. 11 (B)For those who make themselves great will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be made great.”
12 Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or your rich neighbors—for they will invite you back, and in this way you will be paid for what you did. 13 When you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind; 14 and you will be blessed, because they are not able to pay you back. God will repay you on the day the good people rise from death.”
The Parable of the Great Feast(C)
15 When one of the guests sitting at the table heard this, he said to Jesus, “How happy are those who will sit down at the feast in the Kingdom of God!”
16 Jesus said to him, “There was once a man who was giving a great feast to which he invited many people. 17 When it was time for the feast, he sent his servant to tell his guests, ‘Come, everything is ready!’ 18 But they all began, one after another, to make excuses. The first one told the servant, ‘I have bought a field and must go and look at it; please accept my apologies.’ 19 Another one said, ‘I have bought five pairs of oxen and am on my way to try them out; please accept my apologies.’ 20 Another one said, ‘I have just gotten married, and for that reason I cannot come.’ 21 The servant went back and told all this to his master. The master was furious and said to his servant, ‘Hurry out to the streets and alleys of the town, and bring back the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ 22 Soon the servant said, ‘Your order has been carried out, sir, but there is room for more.’ 23 So the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the country roads and lanes and make people come in, so that my house will be full. 24 I tell you all that none of those who were invited will taste my dinner!’”
The Cost of Being a Disciple(D)
25 Once when large crowds of people were going along with Jesus, he turned and said to them, 26 (E)“Those who come to me cannot be my disciples unless they love me more than they love father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and themselves as well. 27 (F)Those who do not carry their own cross and come after me cannot be my disciples. 28 If one of you is planning to build a tower, you sit down first and figure out what it will cost, to see if you have enough money to finish the job. 29 If you don't, you will not be able to finish the tower after laying the foundation; and all who see what happened will make fun of you. 30 ‘You began to build but can't finish the job!’ they will say. 31 If a king goes out with ten thousand men to fight another king who comes against him with twenty thousand men, he will sit down first and decide if he is strong enough to face that other king. 32 If he isn't, he will send messengers to meet the other king to ask for terms of peace while he is still a long way off. 33 In the same way,” concluded Jesus, “none of you can be my disciple unless you give up everything you have.
34 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, there is no way to make it salty again. 35 It is no good for the soil or for the manure pile; it is thrown away. Listen, then, if you have ears!”
A Prayer for the Nation's Restoration[a]
80 (A)Listen to us, O Shepherd of Israel;
hear us, leader of your flock.
Seated on your throne above the winged creatures,
2 reveal yourself to the tribes of Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh.
Show us your strength;
come and save us!
3 Bring us back, O God!
Show us your mercy, and we will be saved!
4 How much longer, Lord God Almighty,
will you be angry with your people's prayers?
5 You have given us sorrow to eat,
a large cup of tears to drink.
6 You let the surrounding nations fight over our land;
our enemies insult us.
7 Bring us back, Almighty God!
Show us your mercy, and we will be saved!
8 You brought a grapevine out of Egypt;
you drove out other nations and planted it in their land.
9 You cleared a place for it to grow;
its roots went deep, and it spread out over the whole land.
10 It covered the hills with its shade;
its branches overshadowed the giant cedars.
11 It extended its branches to the Mediterranean Sea
and as far as the Euphrates River.
12 Why did you break down the fences around it?
Now anyone passing by can steal its grapes;
13 wild hogs trample it down,
and wild animals feed on it.
14 Turn to us, Almighty God!
Look down from heaven at us;
come and save your people!
15 Come and save this grapevine that you planted,
this young vine you made grow so strong!
16 Our enemies have set it on fire and cut it down;
look at them in anger and destroy them!
17 Preserve and protect the people you have chosen,
the nation you made so strong.
18 We will never turn away from you again;
keep us alive, and we will praise you.
19 Bring us back, Lord God Almighty.
Show us your mercy, and we will be saved.
- Psalm 80:1 HEBREW TITLE: A psalm by Asaph; a testimony.
27 If you are lazy, you will never get what you are after, but if you work hard, you will get a fortune.[a]
28 Righteousness is the road to life; wickedness[b] is the road to death.