Tuesday: Reflection on the Third Sunday in Epiphany

Tuesday: Reflection on the Third Sunday in Epiphany

Hebrew Scripture Lesson (Torah): Genesis 45:25-46:7

So they went up out of Egypt and came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan. And they told him, “Joseph is still alive! He is even ruler over all the land of Egypt.” He was stunned; he could not believe them. But when they told him all the words of Joseph that he had said to them, and when he saw the wagons that Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of their father Jacob revived. Israel said, “Enough! My son Joseph is still alive. I must go and see him before I die.”

When Israel set out on his journey with all that he had and came to Beer-sheba, he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. God spoke to Israel in visions of the night, and said, “Jacob, Jacob.” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make of you a great nation there. I myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again; and Joseph's own hand shall close your eyes.”

Then Jacob set out from Beer-sheba; and the sons of Israel carried their father Jacob, their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons that Pharaoh had sent to carry him. They also took their livestock and the goods that they had acquired in the land of Canaan, and they came into Egypt, Jacob and all his offspring with him, his sons, and his sons' sons with him, his daughters, and his sons' daughters; all his offspring he brought with him into Egypt.

Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,
 a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
 though the earth should change,
though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
 though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble with its tumult. Selah

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
 the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of the city;
 it shall not be moved;
God will help it when the morning dawns.
The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter;
 he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
 the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

Come, behold the works of the Lord;
 see what desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
 he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
“Be still, and know that I am God!
I am exalted among the nations,
 I am exalted in the earth.”
The Lord of hosts is with us;
 the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

New Testament Lesson: Acts 5:33-42

[The apostles were arrested and thrown in prison. An angel released them and they returned to the temple to teach. The high council admonished them to stop teaching in Jesus' name. Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than any human authority. God raised up Jesus as Leader and Savior that he might give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.”]

Rabbi Gamaliel

When they heard this, they were enraged and wanted to kill them. But a Pharisee in the council named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, respected by all the people, stood up and ordered the men to be put outside for a short time. Then he said to them, “Fellow Israelites, consider carefully what you propose to do to these men. For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a number of men, about four hundred, joined him; but he was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and disappeared. After him Judas the Galilean rose up at the time of the census and got people to follow him; he also perished, and all who followed him were scattered. So in the present case, I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone; because if this plan or this undertaking is of human origin, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them—in that case you may even be found fighting against God!”

They were convinced by him, and when they had called in the apostles, they had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. As they left the council, they rejoiced that they were considered worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name. And every day in the temple and at home they did not cease to teach and proclaim Jesus as the Messiah.

Year B Epiphany 3 Tuesday

Bible verses from The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All right reserved.

Selections from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright 1995 by the Consultation on Common Texts.

Image credit: Rabbi Gamaliel, illustration from Brockhaus and Efron Jewish Encyclopedia (1906-1913). The image was taken from a copy of the Sarajevo Haggadah, via Wikimedia Commons. Image cropped by Michael Gilbertson to delete text. This is a public domain image.

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