As you’re reading, try asking these questions:
1. What does the passage actually say?
2. What are some lessons from it?
3. What might God be saying to me in it?
Daily Reading for January 21, 2021
14On one occasion when Jesus was going to the house of a leader of the Pharisees to eat a meal on the sabbath, they were watching him closely. 2Just then, in front of him, there was a man who had dropsy. 3And Jesus asked the lawyers and Pharisees, Is it lawful to cure people on the sabbath, or not? 4But they were silent. So Jesus took him and healed him, and sent him away. 5Then he said to them, If one of you has a child or an ox that has fallen into a well, will you not immediately pull it out on a sabbath day? 6And they could not reply to this.
7When he noticed how the guests chose the places of honor, he told them a parable. 8When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not sit down at the place of honor, in case someone more distinguished than you has been invited by your host; 9and the host who invited both of you may come and say to you, Give this person your place, and then in disgrace you would start to take the lowest place. 10But when you are invited, go and sit down at the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he may say to you, Friend, move up higher; then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you. 11For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. 12He said also to the one who had invited him, When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. 13But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. 14And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.
15One of the dinner guests, on hearing this, said to him, Blessed is anyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God! 16Then Jesus said to him, Someone gave a great dinner and invited many. 17At the time for the dinner he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, Come; for everything is ready now. 18But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, I have bought a piece of land, and I must go out and see it; please accept my regrets. 19Another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please accept my regrets. 20Another said, I have just been married, and therefore I cannot come. 21So the slave returned and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and said to his slave, Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame. 22And the slave said, Sir, what you ordered has been done, and there is still room. 23Then the master said to the slave, Go out into the roads and lanes, and compel people to come in, so that my house may be filled. 24For I tell you, none of those who were invited will taste my dinner.
25Now large crowds were traveling with him; and he turned and said to them, 26Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple. 27Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. 28For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and estimate the cost, to see whether he has enough to complete it? 29Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it will begin to ridicule him, 30saying, This fellow began to build and was not able to finish. 31Or what king, going out to wage war against another king, will not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to oppose the one who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32If he cannot, then, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for the terms of peace. 33So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions. 34Salt is good; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? 35It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; they throw it away. Let anyone with ears to hear listen!
15After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.
2But Abram said, O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus? 3And Abram said, You have given me no offspring, and so a slave born in my house is to be my heir. 4But the word of the Lord came to him, This man shall not be your heir; no one but your very own issue shall be your heir. 5He brought him outside and said, Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them. Then he said to him, So shall your descendants be. 6And he believed the Lord; and the Lord reckoned it to him as righteousness.
7Then he said to him, I am the Lord who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess. 8But he said, O Lord God, how am I to know that I shall possess it? 9He said to him, Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon. 10He brought him all these and cut them in two, laying each half over against the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. 11And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.
12As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram, and a deep and terrifying darkness descended upon him. 13Then the Lord said to Abram, Know this for certain, that your offspring shall be aliens in a land that is not theirs, and shall be slaves there, and they shall be oppressed for four hundred years; 14but I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions. 15As for yourself, you shall go to your ancestors in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age. 16And they shall come back here in the fourth generation; for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.
17When the sun had gone down and it was dark, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. 18On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates, 19the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, 20the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, 21the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.