Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.”  Matthew 27:37

Exodus 18-19

Exodus 18

The Visit of Jethro

1 Now Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses and the priest of Midian, heard of all that God had done for Moses and for Israel his people, how the Lord had brought Israel out of Egypt.

2 Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, took in Zipporah, Moses’ wife, after Moses had sent her back, 3 along with her two sons. The name of one son was Gershom, for Moses said, “I have lived as an alien in a foreign land.” 4 The name of the other was Eliezer, for he said, “The God of my father was my help and delivered me from Pharaoh’s sword.”

5 Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, came with the sons of Moses and his wife into the wilderness where Moses was encamped, at the Mountain of God. 6 He said to Moses, “I, your father-in-law Jethro, have come to you with your wife and her two sons with her.”

7 Moses went out to meet his father-in-law and bowed and kissed him. They asked each other of their welfare, and they came into the tent. 8 Moses told his father-in-law all that the Lord had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, all the hardships that had come upon them on the way and how the Lord delivered them.

9 Jethro rejoiced for all the goodness which the Lord had done to Israel, in that he had delivered them from the hand of the Egyptians.

10 Jethro said, “Blessed be the Lord, who has delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hand of Pharaoh, and who has delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. 11 Now I know that the Lord is greater than all gods because of the things he did over the Egyptians when they dealt arrogantly against Israel.”

12 Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, took a burnt offering and sacrifices to God. Aaron came with all the elders of Israel, to eat bread with Moses’ father-in-law before the Lord.

Jethro Advises Moses

13 The next day, Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood around Moses from morning to evening.

14 When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he did for the people, he said, “What is this that you are doing for the people? Why do you sit alone and all the people stand around you from morning to evening?”

15 Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God. 16 When they have a matter, they come to me, and I judge between a man and his neighbor, and I teach them the statutes of God and his laws.”

17 Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “What you are doing is not good. 18 You will surely wear yourself out, both you, and this people who are with you, for this burden is too heavy for you. You cannot accomplish it alone. 19 Now listen to me, and I will give you counsel. God be with you, and you will represent the people before God and bring their cases to God.

20 You shall teach them the statutes and the laws and shall show them the way in which they must walk and the work that they must do.

21 Moreover you shall provide, out of all the people, able men who fear God: men of truth, who hate unjust gain, and place them over the people, to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.

22 Let them judge the people all the time, except for every great matter–that they shall bring to you, but every small matter they shall judge themselves. So it will be easier for you, and they will share the burden with you.

23 If you will do this, and God commands you so, then you will be able to endure, and all these people also will go home in peace.”

24 So Moses listened to his father-in-law and did all that he had said. 25 Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. 26 They judged the people all the time, but they brought the difficult cases to Moses. Every small matter they judged themselves.

27 Moses let his father-in-law depart, and he went his way into his own land.

Exodus 19

Israel at Mount Sinai

1 In the third month after the Israelites had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that same day they came into the wilderness of Sinai. 2 When they had departed from Rephidim and had come to the wilderness of Sinai, they encamped in the wilderness, and there Israel encamped in front of the mountain.

3 Moses went up to the mountain to meet with God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, “This is what you shall tell the house of Jacob and tell the Israelites:

4 ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey me and keep my covenant, then you shall be my own special treasure from among all peoples, for all the earth is mine, 6 and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the Israelites.”

7 Moses came and called for the elders of the people and set before them all these words which the Lord commanded him.

8 All the people answered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.”  Moses reported the words of the people to the Lord.

9 The Lord said to Moses, “I will come to you in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you and may also believe you forever.” And Moses returned the words of the people back to the Lord.

10 The Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and sanctify them today and tomorrow and let them wash their garments 11 and be ready for the third day, for on the third day the Lord will come down in the sight of all the people on Mount Sinai.

12 You shall set boundaries for the people all around the mountain, saying, ‘Be careful that you do not go up onto the mountain or touch its border. Whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death. 13 No hand shall touch it, or he shall surely be stoned or shot, whether it is animal or man, he shall not live.’ When the trumpet sounds a long blast, they shall come up to the mountain.”

14 Moses went down from the mountain to the people and sanctified the people, and they washed their clothes. 15 He said to the people, “Be ready by the third day. Do not have sexual relations with a woman.”

16 On the third day, when it was morning, there was thunder and lightning and a thick cloud on the mountain and the sound of an exceedingly loud trumpet, and all the people who were in the camp trembled. 17 Moses brought the people forth from the camp to meet God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain.

The Lord Visits Sinai

18 And Mount Sinai was completely engulfed in smoke because the Lord descended on it in fire, and this smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly.

19 When the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and the Lord answered him in a voice. 20 The Lord came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain, and the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.

21 The Lord said to Moses, “Go down, warn the people, lest they break through to the Lord to gaze upon the Lord, and many of them perish.

22 Let the priests also, who come near to the Lord, sanctify themselves, lest the Lord break out against them.”

23 Moses said to the Lord, “The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai, for you warned us, saying, ‘Set boundaries around the mountain and sanctify it.’ ”

24 The Lord said to him, “Go down! You shall bring Aaron up with you, but do not let the priests and the people break through to come up to the Lord, lest he break out against them.”

25 So Moses went down to the people and told them.

Matthew 22:34-23:12

The Greatest Commandment

34 When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 One of them, a lawyer, asked him a question, testing him. 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?”

37 Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ a 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second likewise is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” b

40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

Whose Son is the Christ?

41 Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 “What do you think of the Messiah? Whose son is he?”

They said to him, “The son of David.”

43 He said to them, “How then does David, in the Spirit, call him Lord, saying,

44 ‘The Lord said to my Lord,
sit at my right hand,
until I make your enemies a footstool
for your feet?’ “

45 “If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?”

46 No one was able to answer him a word, nor did any man dare ask him any more questions from that day forward.

a Deuteronomy 6:5
b Leviticus 19:18
c Psalm 110:1

Matthew 23

Woes to Scribes and Pharisees

1 Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to his disciples, 2 saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees sat on Moses’ seat. 3 In everything, therefore, whatever they tell you to observe, observe and do, but do not do what they do, for they speak indeed, but act not.

4 For they bind heavy burdens that are grievous to bear and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves will not lift a finger to help them. 5 They do all their works to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad, enlarge the fringes of their garments, 6 and love the place of honor at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, 7 the greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called ‘Rabbi, Rabbi’ by men.

8 But do not be called Rabbi, for only one is your Teacher: Christ, and you are all brothers. 9 And call no man on earth your father, for only one is your Father, who is in heaven. 10 Nor be called masters, for only one is your Master: Christ. 11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be humbled, and he that humbles himself shall be exalted.

Psalm 27:7-14

7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry out with my voice.
Have mercy also on me and answer me.

8 When you said, “Seek my face,”
my heart said to you, “I will seek your face, Lord.”

9 Do not hide your face from me.
Do not put your servant away in anger.
You have been my help.
Do not abandon me,
nor forsake me, O God of my salvation.

10 When my father and my mother forsake me,
then the Lord will take me in.

11 Teach me your way, O Lord.
Lead me in a straight path, because of my enemies.

12 Do not deliver me over to the desire of my adversaries,
for false witnesses have risen up against me,
such ones breathe violence.

13 I would have fainted
unless I had believed I would see
the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.

14 Wait on the Lord.
Be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen your heart.
Wait, I say, on the Lord.

Proverbs 6:27-35

27 Can a man scoop fire into his lap,
and his clothes not be burned?

28 Or can one walk on hot coals,
and his feet not be scorched?

29 So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife.
Whoever touches her will not go unpunished.

30 Men do not despise a thief
if he steals to satisfy himself when he is hungry,
31 but if he is found, he must restore seven times.
even if he must give all the possessions of his house.

32 He who commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding.
He who does it destroys his own soul.

33 He will get wounds and dishonor.
His reproach will not be wiped away.

34 For jealousy is the rage of a man,
therefore he will not have mercy on the day of vengeance.

35 He will accept no bribe,
neither will he be satisfied, though you give many gifts.

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