"I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me. To a nation that did not call on my name, I said, 'Here am I, here am I.'
All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations--
a people who continually provoke me to my very face, offering sacrifices in gardens and burning incense on altars of brick;
who sit among the graves and spend their nights keeping secret vigil; who eat the flesh of pigs, and whose pots hold broth of unclean meat;
who say, 'Keep away; don't come near me, for I am too sacred for you!' Such people are smoke in my nostrils, a fire that keeps burning all day.
"See, it stands written before me: I will not keep silent but will pay back in full; I will pay it back into their laps--
both your sins and the sins of your fathers," says the LORD. "Because they burned sacrifices on the mountains and defied me on the hills, I will measure into their laps the full payment for their former deeds."
This is what the LORD says: "As when juice is still found in a cluster of grapes and men say, 'Don't destroy it, there is yet some good in it,' so will I do in behalf of my servants; I will not destroy them all.
I will bring forth descendants from Jacob, and from Judah those who will possess my mountains; my chosen people will inherit them, and there will my servants live.
Sharon will become a pasture for flocks, and the Valley of Achor a resting place for herds, for my people who seek me.
"But as for you who forsake the LORD and forget my holy mountain, who spread a table for Fortune and fill bowls of mixed wine for Destiny,
I will destine you for the sword, and you will all bend down for the slaughter; for I called but you did not answer, I spoke but you did not listen. You did evil in my sight and chose what displeases me."
Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: "My servants will eat, but you will go hungry; my servants will drink, but you will go thirsty; my servants will rejoice, but you will be put to shame.
My servants will sing out of the joy of their hearts, but you will cry out from anguish of heart and wail in brokenness of spirit.
You will leave your name to my chosen ones as a curse; the Sovereign LORD will put you to death, but to his servants he will give another name.
Whoever invokes a blessing in the land will do so by the God of truth; he who takes an oath in the land will swear by the God of truth. For the past troubles will be forgotten and hidden from my eyes.
"Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.
But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy.
I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more.
"Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; he who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere youth; he who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed.
They will build houses and dwell in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
No longer will they build houses and others live in them, or plant and others eat. For as the days of a tree, so will be the days of my people; my chosen ones will long enjoy the works of their hands.
They will not toil in vain or bear children doomed to misfortune; for they will be a people blessed by the LORD, they and their descendants with them.
Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.
The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, but dust will be the serpent's food. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain," says the LORD.
After this, Jesus went around in Galilee, purposely staying away from Judea because the Jews there were waiting to take his life.
But when the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles was near,
Jesus' brothers said to him, "You ought to leave here and go to Judea, so that your disciples may see the miracles you do.
No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world."
For even his own brothers did not believe in him.
Therefore Jesus told them, "The right time for me has not yet come; for you any time is right.7The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that what it does is evil.8You go to the Feast. I am not yet going up to this Feast, because for me the right time has not yet come."9
Having said this, he stayed in Galilee.
However, after his brothers had left for the Feast, he went also, not publicly, but in secret.
Now at the Feast the Jews were watching for him and asking, "Where is that man?"
Among the crowds there was widespread whispering about him. Some said, "He is a good man." Others replied, "No, he deceives the people."
But no one would say anything publicly about him for fear of the Jews.
Not until halfway through the Feast did Jesus go up to the temple courts and begin to teach.
The Jews were amazed and asked, "How did this man get such learning without having studied?"
Jesus answered, "My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me.17If anyone chooses to do God's will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.18He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.19Has not Moses given you the law? Yet not one of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?"20
"You are demon-possessed," the crowd answered. "Who is trying to kill you?"
Jesus said to them, "I did one miracle, and you are all astonished.22Yet, because Moses gave you circumcision (though actually it did not come from Moses, but from the patriarchs), you circumcise a child on the Sabbath.23Now if a child can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with me for healing the whole man on the Sabbath?24Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment."
At that point some of the people of Jerusalem began to ask, "Isn't this the man they are trying to kill?
Here he is, speaking publicly, and they are not saying a word to him. Have the authorities really concluded that he is the Christ ?
But we know where this man is from; when the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from."
Then Jesus, still teaching in the temple courts, cried out, "Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own, but he who sent me is true. You do not know him,29but I know him because I am from him and he sent me."30
At this they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his time had not yet come.
Still, many in the crowd put their faith in him. They said, "When the Christ comes, will he do more miraculous signs than this man?"
The Pharisees heard the crowd whispering such things about him. Then the chief priests and the Pharisees sent temple guards to arrest him.
Jesus said, "I am with you for only a short time, and then I go to the one who sent me.34You will look for me, but you will not find me; and where I am, you cannot come."35
The Jews said to one another, "Where does this man intend to go that we cannot find him? Will he go where our people live scattered among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks?
What did he mean when he said, 'You will look for me, but you will not find me,' and 'Where I am, you cannot come'?"
On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.38Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him."39
By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.
On hearing his words, some of the people said, "Surely this man is the Prophet."
Others said, "He is the Christ." Still others asked, "How can the Christ come from Galilee?
Does not the Scripture say that the Christ will come from David's family and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?"
Thus the people were divided because of Jesus.
Some wanted to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him.
Finally the temple guards went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, "Why didn't you bring him in?"
"No one ever spoke the way this man does," the guards declared.
"You mean he has deceived you also?" the Pharisees retorted.
"Has any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him?
No! But this mob that knows nothing of the law--there is a curse on them."
Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own number, asked,
"Does our law condemn anyone without first hearing him to find out what he is doing?"
They replied, "Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee."
Then each went to his own home.
But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them.
The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group
and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.
In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?"
They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger.
When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."8
Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.
Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?"11
"No one, sir," she said. "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin."
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."13
The Pharisees challenged him, "Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid."
Jesus answered, "Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going.15You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one.16But if I do judge, my decisions are right, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me.17In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two men is valid.18I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me."19
Then they asked him, "Where is your father?" "You do not know me or my Father," Jesus replied. "If you knew me, you would know my Father also."20
He spoke these words while teaching in the temple area near the place where the offerings were put. Yet no one seized him, because his time had not yet come.
Once more Jesus said to them, "I am going away, and you will look for me, and you will die in your sin. Where I go, you cannot come."22
This made the Jews ask, "Will he kill himself ? Is that why he says, 'Where I go, you cannot come'?"
But he continued, "You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.24I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am [the one I claim to be], you will indeed die in your sins."25
"Who are you?" they asked. "Just what I have been claiming all along," Jesus replied.
26"I have much to say in judgment of you. But he who sent me is reliable, and what I have heard from him I tell the world."27
They did not understand that he was telling them about his Father.
So Jesus said, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am [the one I claim to be] and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.29The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him."30
Even as he spoke, many put their faith in him.
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."33
They answered him, "We are Abraham's descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?"
Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.35Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.36So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.37I know you are Abraham's descendants. Yet you are ready to kill me, because you have no room for my word.38I am telling you what I have seen in the Father's presence, and you do what you have heard from your father. "39
"Abraham is our father," they answered. "If you were Abraham's children," said Jesus, "then you would do the things Abraham did.40As it is, you are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things.41You are doing the things your own father does." "We are not illegitimate children," they protested. "The only Father we have is God himself."
Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me.43Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say.44You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.45Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!46Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don't you believe me?47He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God."
The Jews answered him, "Aren't we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?"
49"I am not possessed by a demon," said Jesus, "but I honor my Father and you dishonor me.50I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge.51I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death."52
At this the Jews exclaimed, "Now we know that you are demon-possessed! Abraham died and so did the prophets, yet you say that if anyone keeps your word, he will never taste death.
Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?"
Jesus replied, "If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me.55Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and keep his word.56Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad."57
"You are not yet fifty years old," the Jews said to him, "and you have seen Abraham!"
58"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!"59
At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.
This is what the LORD says: "Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be?
Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?" declares the LORD. "This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.
But whoever sacrifices a bull is like one who kills a man, and whoever offers a lamb, like one who breaks a dog's neck; whoever makes a grain offering is like one who presents pig's blood, and whoever burns memorial incense, like one who worships an idol. They have chosen their own ways, and their souls delight in their abominations;
so I also will choose harsh treatment for them and will bring upon them what they dread. For when I called, no one answered, when I spoke, no one listened. They did evil in my sight and chose what displeases me."
Hear the word of the LORD, you who tremble at his word: "Your brothers who hate you, and exclude you because of my name, have said, 'Let the LORD be glorified, that we may see your joy!' Yet they will be put to shame.
Hear that uproar from the city, hear that noise from the temple! It is the sound of the LORD repaying his enemies all they deserve.
"Before she goes into labor, she gives birth; before the pains come upon her, she delivers a son.
Who has ever heard of such a thing? Who has ever seen such things? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children.
Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?" says the LORD. "Do I close up the womb when I bring to delivery?" says your God.
"Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice greatly with her, all you who mourn over her.
For you will nurse and be satisfied at her comforting breasts; you will drink deeply and delight in her overflowing abundance."
For this is what the LORD says: "I will extend peace to her like a river, and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream; you will nurse and be carried on her arm and dandled on her knees.
As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem."
When you see this, your heart will rejoice and you will flourish like grass; the hand of the LORD will be made known to his servants, but his fury will be shown to his foes.
See, the LORD is coming with fire, and his chariots are like a whirlwind; he will bring down his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.
For with fire and with his sword the LORD will execute judgment upon all men, and many will be those slain by the LORD.
"Those who consecrate and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following the one in the midst of those who eat the flesh of pigs and rats and other abominable things--they will meet their end together," declares the LORD.
"And I, because of their actions and their imaginations, am about to come and gather all nations and tongues, and they will come and see my glory.
"I will set a sign among them, and I will send some of those who survive to the nations--to Tarshish, to the Libyans and Lydians (famous as archers), to Tubal and Greece, and to the distant islands that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory. They will proclaim my glory among the nations.
And they will bring all your brothers, from all the nations, to my holy mountain in Jerusalem as an offering to the LORD--on horses, in chariots and wagons, and on mules and camels," says the LORD. "They will bring them, as the Israelites bring their grain offerings, to the temple of the LORD in ceremonially clean vessels.
And I will select some of them also to be priests and Levites," says the LORD.
"As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me," declares the LORD, "so will your name and descendants endure.
From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me," says the LORD.
"And they will go out and look upon the dead bodies of those who rebelled against me; their worm will not die, nor will their fire be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind."