Deuteronomy 4; Deuteronomy 5; Deuteronomy 6; Mark 11:1-18

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Deuteronomy 4

1 Israel, listen to the laws and rules I am about to teach you. Obey them so that you will live and be able to enter and take possession of the land that the LORD God of your ancestors is giving you.
2 Never add anything to what I command you, or take anything away from it. Then you will be able to obey the commands of the LORD your God that I give you.
3 With your own eyes you saw what the LORD did at Baal Peor. The LORD your God destroyed everyone among you who worshiped the god Baal while you were at Peor.
4 But you were loyal to the LORD your God and are still alive today.
5 I have taught you laws and rules as the LORD my God commanded me. You must obey them when you've entered the land and taken possession of it.
6 Faithfully obey these laws. This will show the people of the world your wisdom and insight. When they hear about all these laws, they will say, "What wise and insightful people there are in this great nation!"
7 What great nation ever had their gods as near to them as the LORD our God is near to us whenever we pray to him?
8 Or what other great nation has such fair laws and rules as all these teachings I am giving you today?
9 However, be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you don't forget the things which you have seen with your own eyes. Don't let them fade from your memory as long as you live. Teach them to your children and grandchildren.
10 Never forget the day you stood in front of the LORD your God at Mount Horeb. The LORD had said to me, "Assemble the people in front of me, and I will let them hear my words. Then they will learn to fear me as long as they live on earth, and they will teach their children the same thing."
11 So you came and stood at the foot of the mountain, which was on fire with flames shooting into the sky. It was dark, cloudy, and gloomy.
12 The LORD spoke to you from the fire. You heard a voice speaking but saw no one. There was only a voice.
13 The LORD told you about the terms of his promise, the ten commandments, which he commanded you to do. Then he wrote them on two stone tablets.
14 The LORD also commanded me to teach you the laws and rules you must obey after you cross [the Jordan River] and take possession of the land.
15 You didn't see the LORD the day he spoke to you from the fire at Mount Horeb. So be very careful
16 that you don't become corrupt and make your own carved idols. Don't make statues that represent men or women,
17 any animal on earth, any creature with wings that flies,
18 any creature that crawls on the ground, or any fish in the water.
19 Don't let yourselves be tempted to worship and serve what you see in the sky--the sun, the moon, the stars, or anything else. The LORD your God has given them to all people everywhere.
20 But you are the people the LORD brought out of Egypt, the iron smelter, in order to make you his own people as you still are today.
21 The LORD was angry with me because of you. So the LORD your God took an oath that I wouldn't cross the Jordan River and enter the good land he is giving you as your property.
22 I'm going to die in this land and not cross the Jordan River, but you're going to go across and take possession of that good land.
23 Be careful that you don't forget the promise that the LORD your God made to you. Don't make your own carved idols or statues that represent anything the LORD your God has forbidden.
24 The LORD your God is a raging fire, a God who does not tolerate rivals.
25 Even when you have children and grandchildren and have grown old in that land, don't become corrupt and make carved idols or statues that represent anything. I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you today: If you do this thing that the LORD your God considers evil, making him furious,
26 you will quickly disappear from the land you're going to possess on the other side of the Jordan River. You won't live very long there. You'll be completely wiped out.
27 The LORD will scatter you among the people of the world, and only a few of you will be left among the nations where the LORD will force you to live.
28 There you will worship wooden and stone gods made by human hands. These gods can't see, hear, eat, or smell.
29 But if you look for the LORD your God when you are among those nations, you will find him whenever you search for him with all your heart and with all your soul.
30 When you're in distress and all these things happen to you, then you will finally come back to the LORD your God and obey him.
31 The LORD your God is a merciful God. He will not abandon you, destroy you, or forget the promise to your ancestors that he swore he would keep.
32 Search the distant past, long before your time. Start from the very day God created people on earth. Search from one end of heaven to the other. Has anything as great as this ever happened before, or has anything like it ever been heard of?
33 Have any [other] people ever heard God speak from a fire and lived? You did!
34 Or has any god ever tried to come and take one nation away from another for himself? The LORD your God used his mighty hand and powerful arm to do this for you in Egypt. He did this using plagues, miraculous signs, amazing things, and war. He did his great and awe-inspiring deeds in front of you.
35 You were shown these things so that you would know that the LORD is God. There is no other god.
36 He let you hear his voice from heaven so that he could instruct you. He showed you his great fire on earth, and you heard him speak from the column of fire.
37 Because he loved your ancestors and chose their descendants, he was with you as he brought you out of Egypt by his great power.
38 He forced nations greater and stronger than you out of your way to bring you into their land and give it to you. This land is your own possession today.
39 Remember today, and never forget that the LORD is God in heaven above and here on earth. There is no other god.
40 Obey his laws and commands which I'm giving you today. Then things will go well for you and your descendants. You will live for a long time in the land. The LORD your God is giving you the land for as long as you live.
41 Then Moses set aside three cities on the east side of the Jordan River.
42 Those who unintentionally killed someone whom they had never hated could flee to one of these cities and save their lives.
43 The cities were Bezer on the desert plateau for the tribe of Reuben, Ramoth in Gilead for the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan for the tribe of Manasseh.
44 This is what Moses taught the people of Israel.
45 These are the commandments, laws, and rules Moses gave the Israelites after they had left Egypt.
46 He gave these to the people when they were east of the Jordan River in the valley near Beth Peor, in the land of King Sihon of the Amorites, who ruled in Heshbon. Moses and Israel defeated him after they left Egypt.
47 They took possession of his land and the land of King Og of Bashan, the two kings of the Amorites who were east of the Jordan River.
48 This land went from Aroer on the edge of the Arnon Valley to Mount Siyon (that is, Mount Hermon).
49 It included all the plains on the east side of the Jordan River as far as the Dead Sea at the foot of the slopes of Mount Pisgah.

Deuteronomy 5

1 Moses summoned all Israel and said to them: Israel, listen to the laws and rules I'm telling you today. Learn them and faithfully obey them.
2 The LORD our God made a promise to us at Mount Horeb.
3 He didn't make this promise to our ancestors, but to all of us who are alive here today.
4 The LORD spoke to you face to face from the fire on the mountain.
5 I stood between the LORD and you to tell you the word of the LORD, because you were afraid of the fire and didn't go up on the mountain. The LORD said:
6 "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of slavery in Egypt.
7 "Never have any other gods.
8 Never make your own carved idols or statues that represent any creature in the sky, on the earth, or in the water.
9 Never worship them or serve them, because I, the LORD your God, am a God who does not tolerate rivals. I punish children for their parents' sins to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me.
10 But I show mercy to thousands of generations of those who love me and obey my commandments.
11 "Never use the name of the LORD your God carelessly. The LORD will make sure that anyone who uses his name carelessly will be punished.
12 "Observe the day of worship as a holy day. This is what the LORD your God has commanded you.
13 You have six days to do all your work.
14 The seventh day is the day of worship dedicated to the LORD your God. You, your sons, your daughters, your male and female slaves, your oxen, your donkeys--all of your animals--even the foreigners living in your city must never do any work [on that day]. In this way your male and female slaves can rest as you do.
15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the LORD your God used his mighty hand and powerful arm to bring you out of there. This is why the LORD your God has commanded you to observe the day of worship.
16 "Honor your father and your mother as the LORD your God has commanded you. Then you will live for a long time, and things will go well for you in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
17 "Never murder.
18 "Never commit adultery.
19 "Never steal.
20 "Never avoid the truth when you testify about your neighbor.
21 "Never desire to take your neighbor's wife away from him. "Never long for your neighbor's household, his field, his male or female slave, his ox, his donkey, or anything else that belongs to him."
22 These are the commandments the LORD spoke to your whole assembly on the mountain. He spoke in a loud voice from the fire, the cloud, and the gloomy darkness. Then he stopped speaking. He wrote the commandments on two stone tablets and gave them to me.
23 But when you heard the voice coming from the darkness and saw the mountain blazing with fire, all the leaders and heads of your tribes came to me.
24 You said, "The LORD our God has let us see how great and glorious he is. We've heard his voice come from the fire. Today we've seen that people can live even if God speaks to them.
25 Why should we die? This great fire will consume us! If we continue to hear the voice of the LORD our God, we'll die!
26 Who has ever heard the voice of the living God speak from a fire, as we did, and lived?
27 [Moses,] go and listen to everything that the LORD our God says. Then tell us whatever the LORD our God tells you. We'll listen and obey."
28 When the LORD heard the words that you spoke to me, he said, "I have heard what these people said to you. Everything they said was good.
29 If only they would fear me and obey all my commandments as long as they live! Then things would go well for them and their children forever.
30 "Tell the people to go back to their tents.
31 But you stay here with me. I will give you all the commands, laws, and rules that you must teach them to obey in the land which I'm giving them to possess."
32 So be careful to do what the LORD your God has commanded you. Never stop living this way.
33 Follow all the directions the LORD your God has given you. Then you will continue to live, life will go well for you, and you will live for a long time in the land that you are going to possess.

Deuteronomy 6

1 These are the commands, laws, and rules the LORD your God commanded me to teach you. Obey them after you enter the land and take possession of it.
2 As long as you live, you, your children, and your grandchildren must fear the LORD your God. All of you must obey all his laws and commands that I'm giving you, and you will live a long time.
3 Listen, Israel, and be careful to obey these laws. Then things will go well for you and your population will increase in a land flowing with milk and honey, as the LORD God of your ancestors promised you.
4 Listen, Israel: The LORD is our God. The LORD is the only God.
5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
6 Take to heart these words that I give you today.
7 Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you're at home or away, when you lie down or get up.
8 [Write them down, and] tie them around your wrist, and wear them as headbands as a reminder.
9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
10 The LORD your God will bring you into the land and give it to you, as he swore to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This land will have large, prosperous cities that you didn't build.
11 Your houses will be filled with all kinds of things that you didn't put there. You will have cisterns that you didn't dig and vineyards and olive trees that you didn't plant. After you have eaten all that you want,
12 be careful that you don't forget the LORD, who brought you out of slavery in Egypt.
13 You must fear the LORD your God, serve him, and take your oaths only in his name.
14 Never worship any of the gods worshiped by the people around you.
15 If you do, the LORD your God will become very angry with you and will wipe you off the face of the earth, because the LORD your God, who is with you, is a God who does not tolerate rivals.
16 Never test the LORD your God as you did at Massah.
17 Be sure to obey the commands of the LORD your God and the regulations and laws he has given you.
18 Do what the LORD considers right and good. Then things will go well for you, and you will enter and take possession of that good land which the LORD promised to your ancestors with an oath.
19 You will see the LORD expel your enemies as he said he would.
20 In the future your children will ask you, "What do these regulations, laws, and rules which the LORD our God commanded you mean to you?"
21 Tell them, "We were Pharaoh's slaves in Egypt, but the LORD used his mighty hand to bring us out of there.
22 Right before our eyes the LORD did miraculous signs and amazing things that were spectacular but terrible for Egypt, Pharaoh, and his whole family.
23 The LORD led us out of there to bring us here and give us this land he promised to our ancestors with an oath.
24 The LORD our God commanded us to obey all these laws and to fear him. These laws are for our own good as long as we live so that he will preserve our lives. It's still true today.
25 This is how we'll have the LORD's approval: If we faithfully obey all these laws in the presence of the LORD our God, as he has commanded us."

Mark 11:1-18

1 When they came near Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples ahead of him.
2 He said to them, "Go into the village ahead of you. As you enter it, you will find a young donkey tied there. No one has ever sat on it. Untie it, and bring it.
3 If anyone asks you what you are doing, say that the Lord needs it. That person will send it here at once."
4 The disciples found the young donkey in the street. It was tied to the door of a house. As they were untying it,
5 some men standing there asked them, "Why are you untying that donkey?"
6 The disciples answered them as Jesus had told them. So the men let them go.
7 They brought the donkey to Jesus, put their coats on it, and he sat on it.
8 Many spread their coats on the road. Others cut leafy branches in the fields and spread them on the road.
9 Those who went ahead and those who followed him were shouting, "Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
10 Blessed is our ancestor David's kingdom that is coming! Hosanna in the highest heaven!"
11 Jesus came into Jerusalem and went into the temple courtyard, where he looked around at everything. Since it was already late, he went out with the twelve apostles to Bethany.
12 The next day, when they left Bethany, Jesus became hungry.
13 In the distance he saw a fig tree with leaves. He went to see if he could find any figs on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves because it wasn't the season for figs.
14 Then he said to the tree, "No one will ever eat fruit from you again!" His disciples heard this.
15 When they came to Jerusalem, Jesus went into the temple courtyard and began to throw out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the moneychangers' tables and the chairs of those who sold pigeons.
16 He would not let anyone carry anything across the temple courtyard.
17 Then he taught them by saying, "Scripture says, 'My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations,' but you have turned it into a gathering place for thieves."
18 When the chief priests and scribes heard him, they looked for a way to kill him. They were afraid of him because he amazed all the crowds with his teaching.