The words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, one of the priests at Anathoth in the territory of Benjamin.
The word of the LORD came to him in the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah son of Amon king of Judah,
and through the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, down to the fifth month of the eleventh year of Zedekiah son of Josiah king of Judah, when the people of Jerusalem went into exile.
The word of the LORD came to me, saying,
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."
"Ah, Sovereign LORD," I said, "I do not know how to speak; I am only a child."
But the LORD said to me, "Do not say, 'I am only a child.' You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you.
Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the LORD.
Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, "Now, I have put my words in your mouth.
See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant."
The word of the LORD came to me: "What do you see, Jeremiah?" "I see the branch of an almond tree," I replied.
The LORD said to me, "You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled."
The word of the LORD came to me again: "What do you see?" "I see a boiling pot, tilting away from the north," I answered.
The LORD said to me, "From the north disaster will be poured out on all who live in the land.
I am about to summon all the peoples of the northern kingdoms," declares the LORD. "Their kings will come and set up their thrones in the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem; they will come against all her surrounding walls and against all the towns of Judah.
I will pronounce my judgments on my people because of their wickedness in forsaking me, in burning incense to other gods and in worshiping what their hands have made.
"Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them.
Today I have made you a fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand against the whole land--against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests and the people of the land.
They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the LORD.
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth.
His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
3"Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.4As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.5While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."6
Having said this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man's eyes.
7"Go," he told him, "wash in the Pool of Siloam" (this word means Sent). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.
His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, "Isn't this the same man who used to sit and beg?"
Some claimed that he was. Others said, "No, he only looks like him." But he himself insisted, "I am the man."
"How then were your eyes opened?" they demanded.
He replied, "The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see."
"Where is this man?" they asked him. "I don't know," he said.
They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind.
Now the day on which Jesus had made the mud and opened the man's eyes was a Sabbath.
Therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. "He put mud on my eyes," the man replied, "and I washed, and now I see."
Some of the Pharisees said, "This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath." But others asked, "How can a sinner do such miraculous signs?" So they were divided.
Finally they turned again to the blind man, "What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened." The man replied, "He is a prophet."
The Jews still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man's parents.
"Is this your son?" they asked. "Is this the one you say was born blind? How is it that now he can see?"
"We know he is our son," the parents answered, "and we know he was born blind.
But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don't know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself."
His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews, for already the Jews had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Christ would be put out of the synagogue.
That was why his parents said, "He is of age; ask him."
A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. "Give glory to God, " they said. "We know this man is a sinner."
He replied, "Whether he is a sinner or not, I don't know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!"
Then they asked him, "What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?"
He answered, "I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples, too?"
Then they hurled insults at him and said, "You are this fellow's disciple! We are disciples of Moses!
We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don't even know where he comes from."
The man answered, "Now that is remarkable! You don't know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes.
We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly man who does his will.
Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind.
If this man were not from God, he could do nothing."
To this they replied, "You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!" And they threw him out.
Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?"36
"Who is he, sir?" the man asked. "Tell me so that I may believe in him."
Jesus said, "You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you."38
Then the man said, "Lord, I believe," and he worshiped him.
Jesus said, "For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind."40
Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, "What? Are we blind too?"
Jesus said, "If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.
1"I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber.2The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep.3The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.4When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.5But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice."6
Jesus used this figure of speech, but they did not understand what he was telling them.
Therefore Jesus said again, "I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep.8All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.9I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.11"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.12The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it.13The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.14"I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me--15just as the Father knows me and I know the Father--and I lay down my life for the sheep.16I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.17The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life--only to take it up again.18No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."19
At these words the Jews were again divided.
Many of them said, "He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?"
But others said, "These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?"
Then came the Feast of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter,
and Jesus was in the temple area walking in Solomon's Colonnade.
The Jews gathered around him, saying, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."
Jesus answered, "I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father's name speak for me,26but you do not believe because you are not my sheep.27My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.28I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand.30I and the Father are one."31
Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him,
but Jesus said to them, "I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?"33
"We are not stoning you for any of these," replied the Jews, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God."
Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your Law, 'I have said you are gods' ?35If he called them 'gods,' to whom the word of God came--and the Scripture cannot be broken--36what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, 'I am God's Son'?37Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does.38But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father."39
Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.
Then Jesus went back across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing in the early days. Here he stayed
and many people came to him. They said, "Though John never performed a miraculous sign, all that John said about this man was true."
And in that place many believed in Jesus.
The word of the LORD came to me:
"Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem: " 'I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the desert, through a land not sown.
Israel was holy to the LORD, the firstfruits of his harvest; all who devoured her were held guilty, and disaster overtook them,' " declares the LORD.
Hear the word of the LORD, O house of Jacob, all you clans of the house of Israel.
This is what the LORD says: "What fault did your fathers find in me, that they strayed so far from me? They followed worthless idols and became worthless themselves.
They did not ask, 'Where is the LORD, who brought us up out of Egypt and led us through the barren wilderness, through a land of deserts and rifts, a land of drought and darkness, a land where no one travels and no one lives?'
I brought you into a fertile land to eat its fruit and rich produce. But you came and defiled my land and made my inheritance detestable.
The priests did not ask, 'Where is the LORD?' Those who deal with the law did not know me; the leaders rebelled against me. The prophets prophesied by Baal, following worthless idols.
"Therefore I bring charges against you again," declares the LORD. "And I will bring charges against your children's children.
Cross over to the coasts of Kittim and look, send to Kedar and observe closely; see if there has ever been anything like this:
Has a nation ever changed its gods? (Yet they are not gods at all.) But my people have exchanged their Glory for worthless idols.
Be appalled at this, O heavens, and shudder with great horror," declares the LORD.
"My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.
Is Israel a servant, a slave by birth? Why then has he become plunder?
Lions have roared; they have growled at him. They have laid waste his land; his towns are burned and deserted.
Also, the men of Memphis and Tahpanhes have shaved the crown of your head.
Have you not brought this on yourselves by forsaking the LORD your God when he led you in the way?
Now why go to Egypt to drink water from the Shihor ? And why go to Assyria to drink water from the River ?
Your wickedness will punish you; your backsliding will rebuke you. Consider then and realize how evil and bitter it is for you when you forsake the LORD your God and have no awe of me," declares the Lord, the LORD Almighty.
"Long ago you broke off your yoke and tore off your bonds; you said, 'I will not serve you!' Indeed, on every high hill and under every spreading tree you lay down as a prostitute.
I had planted you like a choice vine of sound and reliable stock. How then did you turn against me into a corrupt, wild vine?
Although you wash yourself with soda and use an abundance of soap, the stain of your guilt is still before me," declares the Sovereign LORD.
"How can you say, 'I am not defiled; I have not run after the Baals'? See how you behaved in the valley; consider what you have done. You are a swift she-camel running here and there,
a wild donkey accustomed to the desert, sniffing the wind in her craving-- in her heat who can restrain her? Any males that pursue her need not tire themselves; at mating time they will find her.
Do not run until your feet are bare and your throat is dry. But you said, 'It's no use! I love foreign gods, and I must go after them.'
"As a thief is disgraced when he is caught, so the house of Israel is disgraced-- they, their kings and their officials, their priests and their prophets.
They say to wood, 'You are my father,' and to stone, 'You gave me birth.' They have turned their backs to me and not their faces; yet when they are in trouble, they say, 'Come and save us!'
Where then are the gods you made for yourselves? Let them come if they can save you when you are in trouble! For you have as many gods as you have towns, O Judah.
"Why do you bring charges against me? You have all rebelled against me," declares the LORD.
"In vain I punished your people; they did not respond to correction. Your sword has devoured your prophets like a ravening lion.
"You of this generation, consider the word of the LORD: "Have I been a desert to Israel or a land of great darkness? Why do my people say, 'We are free to roam; we will come to you no more'?
Does a maiden forget her jewelry, a bride her wedding ornaments? Yet my people have forgotten me, days without number.
How skilled you are at pursuing love! Even the worst of women can learn from your ways.
On your clothes men find the lifeblood of the innocent poor, though you did not catch them breaking in. Yet in spite of all this
you say, 'I am innocent; he is not angry with me.' But I will pass judgment on you because you say, 'I have not sinned.'
Why do you go about so much, changing your ways? You will be disappointed by Egypt as you were by Assyria.
You will also leave that place with your hands on your head, for the LORD has rejected those you trust; you will not be helped by them.