61:1 The spirit of the
Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me; he has sent
me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the
brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor, and the day of vengeance
of our God; to comfort all who mourn;
to provide for those who mourn in Zion-- to give them a garland
instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the
mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit. They will be called
oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, to display his
They shall build up the ancient ruins, they shall raise up the
former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the
devastations of many generations.
For I the LORD love justice, I hate robbery and wrongdoing; I will
faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an
everlasting covenant with them.
Their descendants shall be known among the nations, and their
offspring among the peoples; all who see them shall acknowledge
that they are a people whom the LORD has blessed.
I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my whole being shall exult in
my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he
has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom
decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with
For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes
what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord GOD will cause
righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.
126:1 When the LORD
restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with
shouts of joy; then it was said among the nations, "The LORD
has done great things for them."
The LORD has done great things for us, and we rejoiced.
Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like the watercourses in the Negeb.
May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy.
Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come
home with shouts of joy, carrying their sheaves.
5:16 Rejoice always,
pray without ceasing,
give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in
Christ Jesus for you.
Do not quench the Spirit.
Do not despise the words of prophets,
but test everything; hold fast to what is good;
abstain from every form of evil.
May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your
spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming
of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.
1:6 There was a man
sent from God, whose name was John.
He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might
believe through him.
He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.
This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and
Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you?"
He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, "I am not
And they asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?" He
said, "I am not." "Are you the prophet?" He
Then they said to him, "Who are you? Let us have an answer
for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?"
He said, "I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness,
'Make straight the way of the Lord,'" as the prophet Isaiah
Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.
They asked him, "Why then are you baptizing if you are
neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?"
John answered them, "I baptize with water. Among you stands
one whom you do not know,
the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong
of his sandal."
This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was