Lessons                                                                       Bread of Life                                                     16 September 2023


Genesis 50:15–21

         15When Joseph's brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, "It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil that we did to him." 16So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, "Your father gave this command before he died, 17‘Say to Joseph, Please forgive the transgression of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you.' And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father." Joseph wept when they spoke to him. 18His brothers also came and fell down before him and said, "Behold, we are your servants." 19But Joseph said to them, "Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? 20As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. 21So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones." Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.


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Psalm 103:1–12

1Bless the Lord, | O my soul,*

         and all that is within me,

         bless his | holy name!

2Bless the Lord, | O my soul,*

         and forget not all his | benefits,

3who forgives all your in- | iquity,*

         who heals all your dis- | eases,

4who redeems your life | from the pit,*

         who crowns you with steadfast love and | mercy,

5who satisfies | you with good*

         so that your youth is renewed like the | eagle's.


6The Lord works | righteousness*

         and justice for all who | are oppressed.

7He made known his ways to | Moses,*

         his acts to the people of | Israel.

8The Lord is merciful and | gracious,*

         slow to anger and abounding in | steadfast love.9He will not | always chide,*

         nor will he keep his anger for- | ever.

10He does not deal with us according | to our sins,*

         nor repay us according to our in- | iquities.

11For as high as the heavens are a- | bove the earth,*

         so great is his steadfast love toward those who | fear him;

12as far as the east is | from the west,*

         so far does he remove our transgres- | sions from us.


Romans 14:1–12

         1As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. 2One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. 3Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. 4Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

         5One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. 8If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's. 9For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

         10Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; 11for it is written,

"As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me,

         and every tongue shall confess to God."

12So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.


Matthew 18:21–35

         21Peter came up and said to [Jesus], "Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?" 22Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.

         23"Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. 24When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.' 27And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. 28But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.' 29So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.' 30He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. 31When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. 32Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?' 34And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. 35So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart."