Lessons                                                                       Bread of Life                                                     30 September 2023

Ezekiel 18:1–4, 25–32

         1The word of the Lord came to me: 2"What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge'? 3As I live, declares the Lord God, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel. 4Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die. . . .

         25"Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.' Hear now, O house of Israel: Is my way not just? Is it not your ways that are not just? 26When a righteous person turns away from his righteousness and does injustice, he shall die for it; for the injustice that he has done he shall die. 27Again, when a wicked person turns away from the wickedness he has committed and does what is just and right, he shall save his life. 28Because he considered and turned away from all the transgressions that he had committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 29Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.' O house of Israel, are my ways not just? Is it not your ways that are not just?

         30"Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, declares the Lord God. Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin. 31Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? 32For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord God; so turn, and live."


Psalm 25:1–10

1To you, | O Lord,*

         I lift | up my soul.

2O my God, in you I trust;

         let me not be | put to shame;*

         let not my enemies exult | over me.

3Indeed, none who wait for you shall be | put to shame;*

         they shall be ashamed who are wantonly | treacherous.

4Make me to know your ways, | O Lord;*

         teach me | your paths.

5Lead me in your truth and teach me,

         for you are the God of my sal- | vation;*

         for you I wait all the | day long.

6Remember your mercy, O Lord, and your | steadfast love,*

         for they have been | from of old.

7Remember not the sins of my youth or my trans- | gressions;*

         according to your steadfast love remember me,

         for the sake of your goodness, | O Lord!

8Good and upright | is the Lord;*

         therefore he instructs sinners | in the way.

9He leads the humble in | what is right,*

         and teaches the humble | his way.

10All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and | faithfulness,*

         for those who keep his covenant and his testi- | monies.

Philippians 2:1–4, 14–18

         1If there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. . . .

         14Do all things without grumbling or questioning, 15that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. 17Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 18Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.

Matthew 21:23–27

         23When [Jesus] entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching, and said, "By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?" 24Jesus answered them, "I also will ask you one question, and if you tell me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things. 25The baptism of John, from where did it come? From heaven or from man?" And they discussed it among themselves, saying, "If we say, ‘From heaven,' he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?' 26But if we say, ‘From man,' we are afraid of the crowd, for they all hold that John was a prophet." 27So they answered Jesus, "We do not know." And he said to them, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things."