King Xerxes imposed tribute throughout the empire, to its distant shores.
And all his acts of power and might, together with a full account of the greatness of Mordecai to which the king had raised him, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Media and Persia?
Mordecai the Jew was second in rank to King Xerxes, preeminent among the Jews, and held in high esteem by his many fellow Jews, because he worked for the good of his people and spoke up for the welfare of all the Jews.
It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.
The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus.
Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God;
so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.
After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?"
Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand."8
"No," said Peter, "you shall never wash my feet." Jesus answered, "Unless I wash you, you have no part with me."9
"Then, Lord," Simon Peter replied, "not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!"
Jesus answered, "A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you."11
For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.
When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. "Do you understand what I have done for you?" he asked them.
13"You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am.14Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet.15I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.16I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.17Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
18"I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill the scripture: 'He who shares my bread has lifted up his heel against me.'19"I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am He.20I tell you the truth, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me."21
After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, "I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray me."22
His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant.
One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him.
Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, "Ask him which one he means."
Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, "Lord, who is it?"
Jesus answered, "It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish." Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon.
As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. "What you are about to do, do quickly," Jesus told him,
but no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him.
Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the Feast, or to give something to the poor.
As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night.
When he was gone, Jesus said, "Now is the Son of Man glorified and God is glorified in him.32If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once.33"My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come.34"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.35By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."36
Simon Peter asked him, "Lord, where are you going?" Jesus replied, "Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later."37
Peter asked, "Lord, why can't I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you."
Then Jesus answered, "Will you really lay down your life for me? I tell you the truth, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!
1"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.2In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.4You know the way to the place where I am going."
Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?"
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.7If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him."8
Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us."
Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?10Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.11Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.12I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
15"If you love me, you will obey what I command.16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever--17the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.18I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.19Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.20On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.21Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."22
Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, "But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?"
Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.24He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.25"All this I have spoken while still with you.26But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.28"You heard me say, 'I am going away and I am coming back to you.' If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.29I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe.30I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me,31but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me. "Come now; let us leave.
In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.
He had seven sons and three daughters,
and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East.
His sons used to take turns holding feasts in their homes, and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them.
When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would send and have them purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, "Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts." This was Job's regular custom.
One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them.
The LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?" Satan answered the LORD, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it."
Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil."
"Does Job fear God for nothing?" Satan replied.
"Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land.
But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face."
The LORD said to Satan, "Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger." Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.
One day when Job's sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother's house,
a messenger came to Job and said, "The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby,
and the Sabeans attacked and carried them off. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!"
While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, "The fire of God fell from the sky and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!"
While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, "The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and swept down on your camels and carried them off. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!"
While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, "Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother's house,
when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!"
At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship
and said: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised."
In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.
On another day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them to present himself before him.
And the LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?" Satan answered the LORD, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it."
Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason."
"Skin for skin!" Satan replied. "A man will give all he has for his own life.
But stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face."
The LORD said to Satan, "Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life."
So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head.
Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes.
His wife said to him, "Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!"
He replied, "You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?" In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.
When Job's three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him.
When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads.
Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.