We are saved by faith
3 • 1 How foolish you are, Galatians! How could they bewitch you after Jesus Christ has been presented to you as crucified? 2 I shall ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by the practice of the Law, or by believing the message? 3 How can you be such fools: you begin with the Spirit and end up with the flesh!
4 So you have experienced all this in vain! Would that it were not so! 5 Did God give you the Spirit and work miracles among you, because of your observance of the Law or because you believed in his message? 6 Remember Abraham: he believed God and because of this was held to be a just man. 7 Understand then that those who follow the way of faith are sons and daughters of Abraham.
8 The Scriptures foresaw that by the way of faith, God would give true righteousness to the non-Jewish nations. For God’s promise to Abraham was this: In you shall all the nations be blessed. 9 So now those who take the way of faith receive the same blessing as Abraham who believed; 10 but those who rely on the practice of the Law are under a curse, for it is written: Cursed is everyone who does not always fulfill everything written in the Law.
11 It is plainly written that no one becomes righteous, in God’s way, by the Law: by faith the righteous shall live. 12 Yet the Law gives no place to faith, for according to it: the one who fulfills the commandments shall have life through them.
13 Now Christ rescued us from the curse of the Law by becoming cursed himself for our sake, as it is written: there is a curse on everyone who is hanged on a tree. 14 So the blessing granted to Abraham reached the pagan nations in and with Christ, and we received the promised Spirit through faith.
The promise, not the Law, was the gift of God
• 15 Brothers, listen to this comparison. When anyone has made his will in the prescribed form, no one can annul it or add anything to it. 16 Well now, what God promised Abraham was for his descendant. Scripture does not say: for the descendants, as if they were many. It means only one: this will be for your descendant, and this is Christ. 17 Now I say this: if God has made a testament in due form, it cannot be annulled by the Law which came four hundred and thirty years later; God’s promise cannot be cancelled. 18 But if we now inherit for keeping the law, it is not because of the promise. Yet that promise was God’s gift to Abraham.
The Law was part of God’s pedagogy
• 19 Why then the Law? It was added because of transgressions; but was only valid until the descendant would come to whom the promise had been made; and it was ordained through angels by a mediator. 20 A mediator means that there are parties, and God is one.
21 Does the Law then compete with the promises of God? Not at all. Only if we had been given a Law capable of raising life, could righteousness be the fruit of the Law. 22 But the written Law has imprisoned all things under the power of sin, so that what was promised through faith in Jesus Christ, would be accomplished in those who believe.
We are now sons and daughters of God
23 Before the time of faith had come, the Law confined us and kept us in custody until the time in which faith would show up. 24 The Law then was serving as a slave to look after us until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. 25 With the coming of faith, we are no longer submitted to this guidance.
26 Now, in Christ Jesus, all of you are sons and daughters of God through faith. 27 All of you who were given to Christ through baptism, have put on Christ. 28 Here there is no longer any difference between Jew or Greek, or between slave or freed, or between man and woman: but all of you are one in Christ Jesus. 29 And because you belong to Christ, you are of Abraham’s race and you are to inherit God’s promise.
Should we speak of a “letter” from Paul? The letter to the Romans was already for the most part, a theme on faith and salvation. Here it is even more so: no news, no personal message for a particular community, but once more a lengthy dwelling on world salvation. It was, doubtless, destined for the Churches of the Ephesus area.
Why the world, what is happening to humanity? Every day the same question confronts us with more insistence, in the measure that recent years have seen mass movements on the part of very diverse peoples. Even those eager to dominate know they can no longer do so unless they speak for the majority. Where is salvation for humanity? What is its future? Paul answers from his prison in Rome. As we know from Acts (28:16 and 30), Paul was prisoner in Rome during the sixties. In this capital of the only world known to the West, he had ample leisure to evaluate the doctrines then circulating throughout the Roman Empire. They came from the Middle East where they were of special concern for the Christians in the region of Ephesus. Just as other religions claimed to offer a universal way of salvation, they offered Christ, as the only savior of the one humanity.
This letter to the Ephesians seems to have been written after the one to the Colossians. Paul again takes up and develops God’s plan that he must have understood through a revelation. The world was created for humankind to enable it to emerge as the New Human, one family in Christ. All will find themselves, each one in place, around a person capable of welcoming all, each in his own fullness.
Some people think the letter to the Ephesians is not Paul’s: how could he speak in an impersonal way to a community where he had worked for more than two years, approximately from 55 to 57 AD? As we have said, the letter must have been addressed, not only to the Christians of Ephesus, but more widely to the communities of the valley of Lycus: Hierapolis, Laodicea (Col 4:13 and 16) and Colossus which had been evangelized by Paul’s companions, in particular by Epaphras (Col 1:7).
Others think that the questions raised are more suited to a time later than Paul’s: like the letters of Titus and Timothy, this would be his only in a very broad sense. When one is aware of the very low level of Christian literature, immediately after the death of the apostles, it is difficult to accept that a letter of such theological certitude and of such doctrinal worth could have matured in someone other than Paul, even if he had left the writing of it to one of his disciples, Tychicus (Eph 6:21) or Timothy (Col 1:1).
• 1.3 This first page of the letter to the Ephesians is the best comprehensive expression of the Christian mystery in the Bible. It also serves to balance Paul’s great presentation in his letter to the Romans, which could appear to center God’s work in the tragedy of sinful humanity. The Letter to the Ephesians, like the Gospel of John, speaks of a re-creation of the world whereas the Letter to the Romans used more juridical terms: debt and reparation for sin.
Blessed be God! Usually Paul starts his letters with praise and thanksgiving. Here, however, the prayer is unusually lengthy: Paul gives thanks and at the same time proclaims God’s mysterious plan, which he understood through a revelation (3:3).
His mysterious design (v. 9). Actually Paul says: this mystery; this term designated at the time a decision or a secret doctrine. Here Paul speaks of the plan of God the Creator: a plan rooted in the mystery of the three divine Persons. We know that from God the Father proceed the Son and the Spirit, and from him they receive his very divinity, the three being only one God. Besides this communication and this effusion of life in God, before the creation of the world, God the Father wished to communicate his riches, beyond himself, to created beings. It is there that we have the beginning of all human history. God willed that sons and daughters (v. 5) multiply around his only Son and in him, be capable of receiving his Spirit and returning it to him. They would return to him at the end of history, forming one body (v. 10).
God chose us in Christ (v. 4). Note the expression in Christ on which we have commented in 1 Cor 1:4. Every creature comes from God through his Son in whom God contemplates his own riches, and on whom he pours his love. We are as God has loved us, and we are in him, in some way, from the beginning.
In creating us free, God knows that our freedom is fragile: it will be difficult for us to give him a filial response. How can we return to God, at the heart of his mystery, without dying to ourselves? All history must necessarily be a continual death and resurrection, for nations as for persons. So Divine Wisdom foresaw that the Son would be in our midst, with his cross and his resurrection, to show us the love of the Father who has called us (v. 5). And of course, wherever the Son is, the Spirit will be given (vv. 7 and 13).
In Christ we obtain freedom, sealed by his blood (v. 7). This does not mean that Christ shed his blood to make amends to his Father offended by sin, as if God were resentful as we often are, and as if his dignity were offended. Paul is referring to a biblical law: the emancipation of slaves used to be signed in blood (Ex 21:6).
Sealed with the Spirit (v. 13). The Jews were branded, “sealed” in the flesh by the circumcision ritual that showed they belonged to God. Christians, on the other hand, had received the Holy Spirit who acted in them: from the Spirit come faith, hope and love, the many forms of service, the gift of knowledge, miracles and healings. These gifts are the most obvious proof that they have become children of God. These gifts are only a foretaste of all the marvels that God has in store for us.
Paul distinguishes something like two insights: God’s plan in eternity (vv. 1-10) and its realization in time (vv. 11-14). The last two stanzas correspond to two stages in sacred history:
– We have been chosen and called (v. 11). Paul speaks for himself and in the name of the Jewish people chosen to be the people of God.
– You now… (v. 13). Here Paul means the pagan people like the Ephesians, whom he is addressing. And so, the fullness of time had come, that is to say the time of the Gospel proclaimed to the entire world so that everyone could receive the gifts of the Spirit.
This page clarifies some essential points of faith.
From eternity he destined us in love (v. 5). Here we recognize what Paul has affirmed in Romans 8:29-30. We cannot omit the word “predestination.” Many have used this word in the past in a different way from Paul’s. While Paul shows the Father’s decision to pour on created sons and daughters the infinite love which is lived within God, these preachers later spoke of a God who decides freely (and even capriciously) who will, and who will not, be saved. On this subject see “PREDESTINATION” in Romans 9.
It is impossible for us to understand how we can be free if we are known by God in eternity. It is not for that reason that we should share the doubts and anguish of those who believe they are subjected to a destiny or a fearsome “will of God.” In reality, we are “subject” to love and blessings (3) that await our response (see com. on Rom 9).
Paul does not speak of condemnation of anyone: he only affirms that God gives proof of a special love for those he calls to become members of Christ.
Many Christians are shocked when told they have received more than others, that in no other place have people been gifted with truth as they have, and they think: would it not be more honest and more humble to accept that all religions have their own truth? Yes, in a way all have some truth, but to doubt this unique grace that is to know God in Christ, is to deny the entire revelation of the Bible. See on this subject the note “The three sayings of God” in Genesis 12.
God chose us in Christ (v. 4). Many Christian authors have spoken as if, in the beginning, God created man without considering his possible fall and that Christ only came to save the lost sinner. This is not what Paul says here: from the beginning the coming of Christ and the gift of the Spirit together with the laws of life and the course of history are mysteriously linked with the order existing in God himself.
The Beloved (v. 6) is always the first for God and for us the desire to be “saved” cannot be the basis of our faith. It would be just as egoistic as practicing one’s religion in order to enjoy good health. The Son has revealed to us the Glory of the Father and how he returned to the Father. He wished to draw us out of our egoism, even our religious egoism (Jn 17 and Phil 2:9).
• 15. I have been told of your faith and your affection. Paul delights in the faith of the Ephesians but, above all, he prays they may have hope that must be the source of their dynamism. He describes the stages of hope this way: to know the Father; to appreciate the inheritance set apart for his saints; to understand the power of God to bring us to the realization of these hopes.
It is this hope that cracked open the immobility of ancient societies. Paul lived in a world where hope was considered an illness. Any project to transform humanity was taken as an illusion, and so the hopes of a nascent science were quickly smothered. Believers, on the contrary, lived the experience of a resurrection. In Christian countries appeared the certainty of a common destiny of humanity (the word “humanity” was non-existent at the time). People were beginning to be seen as persons in a truer way and it was this that set history in motion, never to return. How astonishing to see in our world so many Christians who believe, but who have very little hope: are they not the ones who carry the hope of the world?
Far above all power (v. 21). In Paul’s days, neither Jews nor Christians doubted that the world was governed by supernatural powers, “angels.” They called them: Rulers, Powers, Authorities, Dominion, and Paul was saying to them: all these Powers are inferior to Christ. In our days we express ourselves differently. Nevertheless, we see the universe subject to the laws of nature, to the forces of matter and of life. It is also subject to obscure forces: collective prejudices, vice and fanaticism. These ruled the world, preventing the emergence of humanity, until the coming of Christ: see Gal 3:23.
God has put all things under the feet of Christ (v. 22). This means the same as the words of our creed: “Jesus is seated at the right hand of God.” It means that in rising, Christ, the God-Human became the First in the universe. All things under his feet except humankind.
Paul adds: “He made him head of the Church.” Christ acts differently in two areas: in the world, where he is the invisible center in charge; in the Church, of which he is the head, where he can show the riches of his Spirit.
• 2.1 The path of humans without Christ leads to death.
We obeyed the urges of our human nature and consented to its desires (v. 3). There is no need to seek a clearer affirmation of what we call original sin. Paul does not speak of a fault committed before our personal sins, and in addition to the sins we are responsible for. It is a flaw easily seen in human condition and in all our acts; it is the liabilities of our life insofar as God has not taken us in hand.
The account of Genesis (chaps. 2–3) has placed in the past this “original” sin, as well as creation. It is a way of speaking proper to Hebrew culture. In fact both our creation by God (v. 10) and our revolt against him are a part of our daily reality.
He raised us to life with Christ (v. 6). Actually an authentic conversion is experienced as a resurrection. Paul is saying more: nothing can stop God’s merciful plan. He sees beyond time and has already raised us with Christ. We are seated with him in heaven, that is to say, assured of victory.
• 11. Another aspect of the human condition without Christ: death goes hand in hand with divisions. Before Christ, humanity was divided and people did not know our common Father. Since they were not mature enough for a quick unification in the true faith, God took that into account when he began to prepare for Christ’s coming. He chose a people and to avoid their being contaminated by the errors of the pagans, he separated them through a law that forbade their living together with other peoples (see Mk 7:14 and Acts 10:1). So there was in the Jerusalem Temple, far from the Sanctuary, a patio open to the pagans and another one, near the Sanctuary reserved for the Jews, and a wall between the two. There came a time when this dividing line became a sign of all the barriers that Christ was going to destroy.
He taught them to share life with non-Jews, forbidden until then. Christ, put on the cross by Jews and pagans, overcomes the hatred of all by a love that forgives and, once risen, gathers all people to himself.
Thus, just as the cross is made of two pieces, one vertical, towards heaven and the other, horizontal, towards the earth, so peace goes in two directions: towards God and towards others. He has made the two peoples one… and reconciled us both to God. These are the two sides of only one thing, because human violence is the other expression of our inability to meet God.
Christ united them, that is to say, whether we like it or not, the Gospel will destroy all differences between people. No matter how much segregation emerges in our societies, our laws and our institutions will collapse perhaps through violence, but better by being discredited through the sacrifices of their victims.
In one Spirit. It is only through the Spirit that each one has communion with others. Often, unity among people means one party, one ideology, one religion. Imposed order destroys both the one who accepts it and the one capable of silencing his adversaries.
Unity in the Church is not uniformity: the believers are not of one mold. It is not a question of having the same options regarding human problems; we have the right to differ in our view of faith provided that we accept all that the Credo contains. The Spirit enables each person to be true to himself and to continue “in communion” with the community. This is how the “new creature” is born: not as the work of politics or of any ideology, but as the work of God, since we are dealing with a new creation as Paul says.
You are of the household of God. In biblical language this means: to belong to God’s family. From there, Paul moves on to another image: you are the household, namely, the true temple of God. The community of believers form the temple, or better, is being transformed into the temple of God.
This imposing vision of the Church and our unity in the Church will perhaps astonish many Christians of today who are usually more aware of their responsibilities towards the world than towards our antiquated Church. Yet, of what Spirit shall we be bearers, and shall we do this work if we are not supported by a community? Solidarity with those who share our options and our culture cannot replace participation in the Christian community. There are probably many things in the Christian community we are not happy with. However, it would be a bad sign if we were unable to recognize in it the truth that is missing in our non-Christian friends, and without which we would lose our reason for living.
• 3.1 Prisoner of Christ. Paul writes this letter from his prison in Rome, but he does not say: prisoner “for the cause” of Christ. He is prisoner of Christ, for he cannot escape from Christ’s continual hold on him, nor from the apostolate that God has destined for him (1 Cor 9:16).
Paul emphasizes what he has meditated on in jail, what seems most new in the work of Christ: this is the “mystery,” or God’s plan calling all people to become a single body, without any racial distinctions. Jesus proclaimed this equality (Mt 20), but the early Christians needed several divine interventions before they were convinced (Acts 10).
The heavenly forces… (v. 10): see commentary on Gal 3:23 and Eph 1:21. We would not be distorting Paul’s thinking by saying that multinational directors, presidents and the great of this world are going to discover the true face of God, who manifests his glory in his poor and his saints (2 Thes 1:10), through the Church.
How fitting it would be to also express in poetry the wonderment of all nature, in discovering what God’s power has achieved after billions of years. Paul believes he is approaching the end, and we as well in this century where events move faster and faster, and we discover every day new signs of human awareness at a world level.
• 14. And now I kneel… without further delay. Paul moves from his presentation to prayer. Such is the way of the interior person (v. 16) who is not satisfied with thinking about God or talking about him as if he were an object. The Spirit preserves in him the awareness of this Presence that gives him life. As St. Teresa said: “I carry the heart of my God and the God of my heart everywhere.”
The Father from whom every family in heaven and on earth has received its name (v. 15). Our time has greatly devalued “the Father” with the obsession of an authority that would smother the personality of its children. This is not Paul’s way: he marvels before the One who alone is from all eternity. The Father is the source of the divine being, from him comes the order and the mystery of the divine persons. From him the universe draws its riches. Paul, speaking of the common destiny of all peoples, recalls that each one of them, every family, has received its name from the Father, which means its identity and its dignity.
Certainly we must recognize that the word Father no longer has the same meaning as in Paul’s time, when father was given a greater authority and respect. Once woman found her rightful place in the family and in society we are inclined to speak of “parents” rather than of “father.” Yet it is not by chance that God revealed himself in a culture—that of the Hebrews—where God was a masculine figure. Indeed they had already passed the primitive culture in which the woman was the center of family and the religion subsequently gave highest place to a female divinity. Among the neighboring peoples gods and goddesses went together. So God could have revealed to them with diverse faces, but this he did not do. Even if the Bible states that in God are all the riches of paternal and maternal love (Is 49:14), it keeps to the word Father. In so doing it insists on the liberty and initiative of God in all that he does: the universe and we ourselves have not come from God as a spontaneous “emanation”, as naturally born from the bosom of the all-powerful divinity. Everything was a lucid and creative decision.
Therefore, the family, with parental authority, is the basis of society, and fatherhood is also seen in the Church: the succession of bishops, with the authority of the hierarchy not dependent on people’s votes, is part of the divine order in the Church. A society which does not acknowledge fathers and which scorns marriage, as well as “spontaneous” churches, are devious structures.
The love of Christ that surpasses all knowledge (v. 19). Paul is certainly thinking of the love Christ has shown and continues to show him personally even in proportion to his trials. The knowledge and experience of this love surpasses all that could ever be imagined. We shall not find it through books and study or transcendental meditation. It will be freely given to us, on God’s initiative, on the way of love of which Christ made himself the model and the center.
• 4.1 Here, Paul returns to an important problem in communities where the style was still very free, we might say very charismatic, since the community counted on the unpredictable action of the Spirit through the charisms of different members. It is necessary that all in their own vocation work for the building up of the one body. Paul enthusiastically names all that we have in common through Christ and the action of the Spirit. It is not merely a temple that is constructed (see chapter 2:19-22); it is the Body of Christ, of the Perfect Man the mature one, in which Christ expresses his fullness.
Jesus of Nazareth lived humbly until his death only once, but having been made the Head of humanity through his resurrection, he suffers everywhere; he works in every field of human activity; gives his life in every possible way; he gathers in himself every form of love, and lives the whole diversity of human existence in the person of his members.
Then, we will no longer be like children. Paul suggests that the Ephesians are still children, at least from time to time, when they allow themselves to be influenced by some trend of opinion. He invites them to become a mature community, capable of being led by the truth, and of building itself up through love. We too should ask ourselves if we have really gone beyond the time when the “faithful” constantly waited for others to think for them, guide them and push them.
• 17. The old self and the new self. This image of Paul opposes two kinds of life that co-exist in every society and in a certain sense, in each of us. Conversion has not installed us in a state of perfection; even if we are at peace with God in a very real sense (Rom 5:1) unity is not in us. We experience temptation and struggle; our decisions both small and great lead us in one of two directions, either the old self hopelessly ruined and a slave of selfishness, or a person transfigured by love.
The self according to God. God created Man in his image, but the one who is truly this image is the risen Christ, conqueror of sin and of death. Here, as elsewhere in the Bible, Man is both Christ and humanity at the same time, and it is each one of us at our place in the “Body.” All that we admire in Christ is also for our benefit.
The white garment that adults put on at baptism denotes the change of life that they are beginning. This renewal may also take place after a retreat or when God unexpectedly makes us abandon a routine Christian life devoid of ambition. Then we put on Christ with rediscovered faith.
Paul immediately points out some of the moral requirements of this daily renewal: frankness, sobriety, cleanliness of language and imagination. Christian faith does not allow us to live in a carefree way, as did the oriental religions in the time of Paul. There much was said about renaissance and knowledge of mysteries, but nothing about the slavery of sex and the evil of social life.
Old self, new self correspond with other expressions of Paul: “according to the flesh” or “according to the Spirit” (Rom 8:5); “children of darkness” or “children of light” (Eph 5:8); “slaves of sin” or “persons free in Christ” (Gal 5:1).
Do not sadden the Holy Spirit. It is easy to understand this expression if we think of the sadness we feel each time we reject a good idea, a desire to do better: sadness of the “Holy Spirit” who suggested it in the first place, sadness of our own spirit, for it knows what we have lost.
• 5.1 Here are a few elements of a new way to live, as was already shown in the previous verses.
To imitate God (Rom 5:6-11) who loves everyone, the good and the bad (Mt 5:48). In a more tangible way we have a model in Christ, the Son of God, who gave himself out of love for us, as the way, the light and life.
Reject all that is shameful (v. 12) and that can only be done in the dark. It is true that much that was shameful has become normal today for many people: will it be so for a person who often seeks light and looks for it in the face in Christ? The witness of one Christian who lives in light (and still more of a community) is enough to condemn what has been taken as normal (v. 13).
To be more sensible and responsible in our lives. Because these days are evil (v. 16): that means that if we are unable to judge, choose, make a personal decision, the very current of daily events will keep us in mediocrity or will lead us to evil. Everything changes when a believer, a couple, a group “awakens” and takes daily or weekly time out to discover what is God’s will for them, in the time and circumstances in which they live.
Do not get drunk (v. 18)! We need stimulants; there is nothing wrong in experiencing a sort of trance to the point of feeling happy and relaxed when ice is broken and tongues untied. The Bible has praise for wine. It is impossible, however, to experience at the same time the ecstasy that comes from the spirit and that which is the effect of alcohol, drugs and dangerous diversions. We must constantly make choices.
Sing and celebrate the Lord in your heart, giving thanks (v. 19)! Experience the comfort of the Spirit and find it in a community gathering.
• 21. In the passage 5:21–6:9, Paul more or less repeats what he wrote in the letter to the Colossians (3:18–4:1). Here he has so much on his mind on the role of Christ as head of redeemed humanity that he will develop in an unexpected way the meaning of marriage.
So wives to their husbands (v. 22). It is not Paul who in the name of God demands that the wife be submissive: it is the society of the time that required it. And Paul says: “Let all kinds of submission become obedience to Christ.”
So, even if Paul’s way of speaking reflects the culture of his day with regard to marriage, there is no reason to scorn his teaching in support of feminism. There have been and there are different cultural models regarding the relationship between husband and wife. In our time the models differ in the economically developed countries from those of the Third World, for the middle and lower classes. What is still better, it is each couple that should find its own balance and the taking of initiatives according to the natural authority and the capacity of each one.
In any case, whether one partner makes a decision or follows it, neither will feel superior or inferior since the ideal for both is to “make oneself slave” (Mk 9:35). Paul says: The husband is the head but being the head is not the same as being the boss. Think of Christ: he has authority since he is the truth of God (which the husband is not to his wife); Paul however prefers to show him as the savior of his partner baptized humanity.
Paul points out what is essential in conjugal love when he recalls the word of Scripture: a man shall leave… (v. 31). He applies this word to the union of God with humanity in Christ, the Beloved (Mk 2:19). For marriage contains a mystery, that is a divine treasure which cannot be understood before the coming of Christ. When it is said that marriage is a “sacrament,” that does not mean primarily that there is a Church ceremony: it signifies that through marriage and the couples who live a life of love “according to Christ,” the mystery of the love of God is manifested among humankind. That is, in our midst, the sign of a covenant that God made with humanity, as the husband with his wife: a covenant of love, fidelity, fruitfulness.
He gave himself up for her. Christ finds us in our sins and he takes charge of us, even to the ultimate consequences: he gives his life to purify us. This is the way to show the main quality of Christian love, which is faithfulness. The self-gift of the spouse is permanent and from that moment on, each will do his best to save the other, that is, to help the other grow and be better. The perfect couple is not the one that lives without problems and accepts mediocrity, but the two who compel each other to give their best.
He washed her by the baptism in the Word (see James 1:18-21 and Jn 15:3). If the ritual of baptism is important, what is even more important is for us to welcome the Word of God that gives us life.
Many young people flee marriage, partly because they fear a risk (total fidelity is indeed a way of losing one’s life: Mk 8:35), partly because they consider that their love is their own business. Paul shows that Christ’s love for us, however personal it may be, never forgets his love for all those who make up his body. It is an example: married Christians are invited to have their place in the transformation of the world through the radiation of their love and their service to others.
• 6.1 Paul reminds children that God asks for obedience, and parents that they must not neglect their duty as educators (see commentary on Sirac 30:1-2). Parents have the difficult task of leading their children to true freedom, teaching them first to obey a law, to serve rather than be served, to share rather than demand. Later, they will show them how to follow the calls of the Spirit, well beyond what is considered good or bad all around them.
Paul reminds the slave of his nobility. Let him live without servility: this is the first step toward genuine liberation.
• 10. Paul has said what he had to say. What does his invitation to be strong mean, when he takes his examples from military life? Is it because he feels the Christians of Ephesus are not sufficiently strong? See verses 18-20: Paul invites them, without saying it, to compare their situation with his. Free or slaves, most of them were people of modest means of the cities near Ephesus. Subjected for a long time to the Roman Empire that imposed peace on them, they were free of serious problems. They were not rich but they were able to content themselves with little. Under a Mediterranean sky they had abundant light and a friendly, natural environment. They found the faith at a time when it cost them little; what would they do the day the Empire became an obstacle and when suddenly they would be classed a bad lot, responsible for all that was wrong?
This is why Paul warns them: peace is only provisional, for the demon is waiting for his hour (11 and 16). Paul asks them to persevere in prayer: the only effective arms against evil are those that Christ has left us: truth, faith, the word of God… and if they believe they have found salvation, let them exert themselves to evangelize others.
You will catch people
(Mt 4:18; Mk 1:16)
• 1 One day, as Jesus stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, with a crowd gathered around him listening to the word of God, 2 he caught sight of two boats left at the water’s edge by the fishermen now washing their nets. 3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to pull out a little from the shore. There he sat and continued to teach the crowd.
4 When he had finished speaking he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” 5 Simon replied, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing. But if you say so, I will lower the nets.” 6 This they did and caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7 They signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. They came and filled both boats almost to the point of sinking.
8 Upon seeing this, Simon Peter fell at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Leave me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” 9 For he and his companions were amazed at the catch they had made 10 and so were Simon’s partners, James and John, Zebedee’s sons.
Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. You will catch people from now on.” 11 So they brought their boats to land and followed him, leaving everything.
Cure of a leper
(Mk 1:40; Mt 8:2)
• 12 One day in another town, a man came to Jesus covered with leprosy. On seeing him he bowed down to the ground, and said, “Lord, if you want to, you can make me clean.”
13 Stretching out his hand, Jesus touched the man and said, “Yes, I want it. Be clean.” In an instant the leprosy left him. 14 Then Jesus instructed him, “Tell this to no one. But go and show yourself to the priest. Make an offering for your healing, as Moses prescribed; that should be a proof to the people.”
• 15 But the news about Jesus spread all the more, and large crowds came to him to listen and be healed of their sickness. 16 As for Jesus, he would often withdraw to solitary places and pray.
The paralytic saved
(Mk 2:1; Mt 9:1)
• 17 One day Jesus was teaching and many Pharisees and teachers of the Law had come from every part of Galilee and Judea and even from Jerusalem. They were sitting there while the power of the Lord was at work to heal the sick. 18 Then some men brought a paralyzed man who lay on his mat. They tried to enter the house to place him before Jesus, 19 but they couldn’t find a way through the crowd. So they went up on the roof and, removing the tiles, they lowered him on his mat into the middle of the crowd, in front of Jesus.
20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “My friend, your sins are forgiven.” 21 At once the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees began to wonder, “This man insults God! Who can forgive sins but only God?”
22 But Jesus knew their thoughts and asked them, “Why are you reacting like this? 23 Which is easier to say: ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or: ‘Get up and walk’? 24 Now you shall know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” And Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” 25 At once the man stood before them. He took up the mat he had been lying on and went home praising God.
26 Amazement seized the people and they praised God. They were filled with a holy fear and said, “What wonderful things we have seen today!”
Call of Levi
(Mk 2:13; Mt 9:9)
• 27 After this Jesus went out, and as he noticed a tax collector named Levi sitting in the tax-office, he said to him, “Follow me.” 28 So Levi, leaving everything, got up and followed Jesus.
29 Levi gave a great feast for Jesus, and many tax collectors came to his house and took their place at table with the other people. 30 Then the Pharisees and their fellow teachers complained to Jesus’ disciples, “How is it that you eat and drink with tax collectors and other sinners?” 31 But Jesus spoke up, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor, but sick people do. 32 I have come to call to repentance; I call sinners, not the righteous.”
33 Some people asked him, “The disciples of John fast often and say long prayers, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees. Why is it that your disciples eat and drink?” Then Jesus said to them, 34 “You can’t make wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them. 35 But later the bridegroom will be taken from them and they will fast in those days.”
36 Jesus also told them this parable, “No one tears a piece from a new coat to put it on an old one; otherwise the new will be torn and the piece taken from the new will not match the old. 37 No one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed as well. 38 But new wine must be put into fresh skins. 39 Yet no one who has tasted old wine is eager to get new wine, but says: The old is good.”
John the Baptist prepares the way
(Mk 1:1; Mt 3:1; Jn 1:19)
3 • 1 It was the fifteenth year of the rule of the Emperor Tiberius; Pontius Pilatus was governor of Judea; Herod ruled over Galilee, his brother Philip ruled over the country of Iturea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias over Abilene. 2 Annas and Caiaphas were the High Priests at that time when the word of God came to John, the son of Zechariah in the desert.
• 3 John proclaimed a baptism for repentant people to obtain forgiveness of sins and he went through the whole country bordering the Jordan River. 4 It was just as is written in the book of the prophet Isaiah: listen to this voice crying out in the desert: prepare the way of the Lord, make his path straight. 5 The valleys will be filled and the mountains and hills made low. Everything crooked will be made straight and the rough paths smooth; 6 and every mortal will see the salvation of God.
7John said to the crowds who came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! How will you escape when divine punishment comes? 8 Produce now the fruits of a true change of heart, and do not deceive yourselves by saying: ‘Abraham is our ancestor!’ For I tell you, God can make children of Abraham from these stones. 9 The axe is already laid to the root of the tree and every tree that fails to produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”
10 The people asked him, “What are we to do?” 11 And John answered, “If you have two coats, give one to the person who has none; and if you have food, do the same.”
12 Even tax collectors came to be baptized and asked him, “Master, what must we do?” 13 John said to them, “Collect no more than your fixed rate.” 14 People serving as soldiers asked John, “What about us? What are we to do?” And he answered, “Don’t take anything by force or threaten the people by denouncing them falsely. Be content with your pay.”
• 15 The people were wondering about John’s identity, “Could he be the Messiah?” 16 Then John answered them, “I baptize you with water, but the one who is coming will do much more: he will baptize you with Holy Spirit and fire. As for me, I am not worthy to untie his sandal. 17 He comes with a winnowing fan to clear his threshing floor and gather the grain into his barn. But the chaff he will burn with fire that never goes out.”
18 With these and many other words John announced the Good News to the people 19 until Herod had him put in prison. For John reproached Herod for living with Herodias, his brother’s wife, and for his evil deeds. 20 Then Herod added another crime to all the rest he had committed: he put John in prison.
Jesus is baptized by John
(Mt 3:13; Mk 1:9; Jn 1:29)
• 21 Now, with all the people who came to be baptized, Jesus too was baptized. Then, while he was praying, the heavens opened: 22 the Holy Spirit came down upon him in the bodily form of a dove and a voice from heaven was heard, “You are my Son, this day I have begotten you.”
• 23 When Jesus made his appearance, he had reached the age of thirty years. He was known as the son of Joseph, whose father and forefathers were:
Heli, 24 Matthat, Levi, Melchi, Jannai, Joseph, 25 Matthathias, Amos, Nahum, Esli, Naggai, 26 Maath, Mattathias, Semein, Josech, Joda, 27 Joanan, Rhesa, Zerubbabel, Shealtiel, Neri, 28 Melchi, Addi, Cosam, Elmadam, Er, 29 Joshua, Eliezer, Jorim, Matthat, Levi, 30 Simeon, Judah, Joseph, Jonam, Eliakim, 31 Melea, Menna, Mattatha, Nathan, David, 32 Jesse, Obed, Boaz, Salmon, Nahson, 33 Amminadab, Adnim, Arni, Hezron, Perez, Judah, 34 Jacob, Isaac, Abraham, Terah, Nahor, 35 Serug, Reu, Peleg, Eber, Shelah, 36 Cainan, Arphaxad, Shem, Noah, Lamech, 37 Methuselah, Enoch, Jared, Malaleel, Cainan, 38 Enos, Seth, and Adam – who was from God.
The transfiguration of Jesus
(Mt 17:1; Lk 9:28)
• 1 And he went on to say, “Truly I tell you, there are some here who will not die before they see the kingdom of God coming with power.”
2 Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain. There his appearance was changed before their eyes. 3 Even his clothes shone, becoming as white as no bleach of this world could make them. 4 Elijah and Moses appeared to them; the two were talking with Jesus.
5 Then Peter spoke and said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here; let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 6 For he did not know what to say; they were overcome with awe. 7 But a cloud formed, covering them in a shadow, and from the cloud came this word, “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him.” 8 And suddenly, as they looked around, they no longer saw anyone except Jesus with them.
9 As they came down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man be risen from the dead. 10 So they kept this to themselves, although they discussed with one another what ‘to rise from the dead’ could mean.
The question about Elijah
• 11 Finally they asked him, “Why then do the teachers of the Law say that Elijah must come first?” 12 Jesus answered them, “Of course, Elijah will come first so that everything may be as it should be… But, why do the Scriptures say that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be despised? 13 I tell you that Elijah has already come and they have treated him as they pleased, as the Scriptures say of him.”
The boy with an evil spirit
• 14 When they came to the place where they had left the disciples, they saw many people around and some teachers of the Law arguing with them. 15 When the people saw Jesus, they were astonished and ran to greet him.
16 He asked, “What are you arguing about with them?” A man answered him from the crowd, 17 “Master, I brought my son to you for he has a dumb spirit. 18 Whenever the spirit seizes him, it throws him down and he foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth and becomes stiff all over. I asked your disciples to drive the spirit out, but they could not.”
19 Jesus replied, “You faithless people. How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring him to me.” 20 And they brought the boy to him.
As soon as the spirit saw Jesus, it shook and convulsed the boy who fell on the ground and began rolling about, foaming at the mouth. 21 Then Jesus asked the father, “How long has this been happening to him?” He replied, “From childhood. 22 And it has often thrown him into the fire and into the water to destroy him. If you can do anything, have pity on us and help us.”
23 Jesus said to him, “Why do you say: ‘If you can?’ All things are possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the boy cried out, “I do believe, but help the little faith I have.”
25 Jesus saw that the crowd was increasing rapidly, so he ordered the evil spirit, “Dumb and deaf spirit, I command you: Leave the boy and never enter him again.” 26 The evil spirit shook and convulsed the boy and with a terrible shriek came out. The boy lay like a corpse and people said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him and the boy stood up.
28 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive out the spirit?” 29 And he answered, “Only prayer can drive out this kind, nothing else.”
Jesus again speaks of his passion
(Mt 17:22; Lk 9:43)
• 30 After leaving that place, they made their way through Galilee; but Jesus did not want people to know where he was 31 because he was teaching his disciples. And he told them, “The Son of Man will be delivered into human hands. They will kill him, but three days after he has been killed, he will rise.” 32 The disciples, however, did not understand these words and they were afraid to ask him what he meant.
Who is the greatest?
(Mt 18:1; Lk 9:46; 18:17; 22:24)
• 33 They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house, Jesus asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” 34 But they did not answer because they had been arguing about who was the greatest.
• 35 Then he sat down, called the Twelve and said to them, “If someone wants to be first, let him be last of all and servant of all.” 36 Then he took a little child, placed it in their midst, and putting his arms around it he said to them, 37 “Whoever welcomes a child such as this in my name, welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me, welcomes not me but the One who sent me.”
• 38 John said to him, “Master, we saw someone who drove out demons by calling upon your name, and we tried to forbid him because he does not belong to our group.” 39 Jesus answered, “Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in my name can soon after speak evil of me. 40 For whoever is not against us is for us.
41 If anyone gives you a drink of water because you belong to Christ and bear his name, truly, I say to you, he will not go without reward.
If your eye causes you to sin
(5:13; Mt 18:6; Lk 17:1)
• 42 If anyone should cause one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble and sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a great millstone around his neck.
43 If your hand makes you fall into sin, cut it off! It is better for you to enter life without a hand than with two hands to go to hell, to the fire that never goes out. 45 And if your foot makes you fall into sin, cut it off! It is better for you to enter life without a foot than with both feet to be thrown into hell. 47 And if your eye makes you fall into sin, tear it out! It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than, keeping both eyes, to be thrown into hell 48 where the worms that eat them never die, and the fire never goes out. 49 The fire itself will preserve them.
50 Salt is a good thing; but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves and be at peace with one another.”
1 Nang panahong iyon, sinabi sa akin ni Yawe – Suminsel ka ng dalawang tapyas na bato tulad ng una, at umahon ka rito sa akin sa bundok. Gumawa ka rin ng isang kabang yari sa kahoy. 2 Isusulat ko sa mga tapyas ang mga salitang nasa unang mga tapyas na sinira mo. At ilalagay mo ang mga ito sa kaban.
3 Kaya gumawa ako ng kabang yari sa kahoy na akasya, at suminsel ng dalawang tapyas na bato tulad ng una. At umahon ako sa bundok, hawak ang dalawang tapyas. 4 Isinulat naman ni Yawe sa mga tapyas ang isinulat niya noon sa una, ang sampung salitang sinabi niya sa inyo sa bundok mula sa apoy, sa Araw ng Pagtitipon. At ibinigay sa akin ni Yawe ang mga ito.
5 Nang bumaba ako mula sa bundok, inilagay ko ang mga tapyas sa kabang ginawa ko, at naroroon ang mga ito gaya ng iniutos sa akin ni Yawe.
6 Nagpunta ang mga anak ng Israel sa mga balon ng Bene-Yakan, at dumaan sa Mosera. Doon namatay si Aaron, at doon din siya inilibing; at ang kanyang anak na si Eleazar ang humalili sa kanya bilang pari. 7 Mula roon, naglakbay sila sa Gudgoda, at mula sa Gudgoda patungong Yotbata na lupain ng mga ilog at mga bukal. 8 Noon ibinukod ni Yawe ang tribu ni Levi upang sila ang bumuhat sa Kaban ng Pakikipagtipan ni Yawe, at tumayo sa harap ni Yawe at maglingkod sa kanya, at magbasbas sa pagtawag sa kanyang Pangalan, tulad ng ginagawa nila hanggang ngayon. 9 Kaya walang kaparte si Levi sa pamana ng kanyang mga kapatid. Si Yawe ang kanyang mana, tulad ng sinabi sa kanya ni Yaweng iyong Diyos.
10 At apatnapung araw at apatnapung gabi akong nanatili sa bundok, at pinakinggan din ako ni Yawe noon, at hindi niya niloob na puksain ka. 11 At sinabi sa akin ni Yawe – Tumindig ka at pamunuan ang sambayanang ito upang makapasok sila at maangkin ang lupaing ipinangako ko sa kanilang mga ninuno na ibibigay sa kanila.
Paglingkuran at mahalin ang Diyos
• 12 At ngayon, Israel, ano pa ang hinihingi sa iyo ni Yaweng iyong Diyos kundi ang magkaroon ka ng pitagan kay Yaweng iyong Diyos at lumakad sa lahat niyang daan? Mahalin mo siya at paglingkuran si Yaweng iyong Diyos nang buo mong puso at nang buo mong kaluluwa. 13 Tuparin ang mga utos ni Yawe at ang kanyang mga tuntuning iniuutos ko sa iyo ngayon para sa iyong kapakanan.
14 Tingnan mo! Kay Yaweng iyong Diyos ang langit at ang himpapawid, ang sangkalupaan at lahat ng naririto. 15 Ngunit ang iyong mga ninuno lamang ang inibig mahalin ni Yawe. Pinili niya ang kanilang mga inapo na sumunod sa kanila – kayo mismo – mula sa lahat ng bansa, tulad ngayon.
16 Dalisayin ninyo ang inyong mga puso at huwag nang maging matigas ang ulo kay Yawe 17 sapagkat si Yaweng inyong Diyos ang Diyos ng mga diyos at Panginoon ng mga panginoon. Diyos na dakila, malakas at kagila-gilalas! Wala siyang kinikilingan at hindi siya tumatanggap ng suhol. 18 Iginagawad niya ang katarungan sa mga ulila at mga biyuda; at mahal niya ang mga dayuhan, binibigyan niya sila ng pagkain at damit. 19 Kaya mahalin mo ang mga dayuhan sapagkat naging dayuhan din kayo sa lupain ng Ehipto. 20 Magkaroon ka ng pitagan kay Yaweng iyong Diyos, paglingkuran siya, kumapit sa kanya at tawagin ang kanyang Pangalan sa iyong panunumpa. 21 Siya ang iyong dangal, siya ang iyong Diyos na gumawa para sa iyo ng mga dakila at kagila-gilalas na bagay na iyon na nakita ng iyong mga mata. 22 Pipitumpung katao lamang ang iyong mga ninuno nang bumaba sila sa Ehipto, ngunit ngayo’y ginawa ka ni Yaweng sindami ng mga bituin sa langit.
1 Makinig ka, Israel! Tatawid ka ngayon sa Jordan para agawan ang mga bansang mas malaki at mas malakas kaysa iyo, mga bansang may naglalakihang mga siyudad na abot hanggang langit ang mga pader. 2 Isang bayang marami at matatangkad – ang mga Anakim na nakita mo at nabalitaang walang makatatalo sa kanila. 3 Subalit makikita mo ngayon si Yaweng iyong Diyos na mangunguna sa iyo gaya ng tumutupok na apoy. Pupuksain niya sila at ipaiilalim niya sila sa iyo. At aagawin mo ang lupain sa kanila at agad silang lilipulin tulad ng sabi sa iyo ni Yawe.
4 Kapag itinaboy na sila sa harap mo ni Yaweng iyong Diyos, huwag mong isaloob na – Dinala ako rito ni Yawe para angkinin ang lupaing ito dahil sa sarili kong kabutihan. Ngunit pinalayas ni Yawe ang mga bansang iyon sa harap ninyo dahil sa kanilang kasamaan. 5 Hindi dahil sa iyong kabutihan o dahil dapat kang gantimpalaan kaya ka makapapasok para angkinin ang kanilang lupain. Dahil ito sa kasamaan ng mga bansang iyon kaya sila palalayasin ni Yawe sa harap mo bilang katuparan ng salitang binitiwan niya sa iyong mga ninunong sina Abraham, Isaac at Jacob.
Isa kang bayang mapaghimagsik
• 6 Kaya alamin mong mabuti na ibinigay sa iyo ni Yaweng iyong Diyos ang magandang lupaing ito para angkinin hindi dahil sa iyong kabutihan, sapagkat isa ka ngang bayang matigas ang ulo. 7 Alalahanin mo at huwag kaligtaan kung paano mo ginalit sa disyerto si Yaweng iyong Diyos. Sapagkat naging mapaghimagsik ka na kay Yawe mula pa sa araw na lumabas ka sa Ehipto hanggang dumating ka sa lugar na ito.
8 At sa Horeb, ginalit ninyo si Yawe kaya binalak niya kayong puksain sa kanyang poot. 9 Umahon ako sa bundok para tanggapin ang mga tapyas na bato, ang mga tapyas ng Pakikipagtipang pinagtibay sa inyo ni Yawe. Apatnapung araw at apatnapung gabi akong nanatili sa bundok, hindi kumakain o umiinom. 10 At ibinigay sa akin ni Yawe ang dalawang tapyas na bato na sinulatan ng daliri ng Diyos. Nasa mga ito ang lahat ng salitang sinabi sa inyo ni Yawe sa bundok mula sa apoy, sa Araw ng Pagtitipon.
11 Ibinigay sa akin ni Yawe ang dalawang tapyas na bato, ang mga tapyas ng Pakikipagtipan, pagkatapos ng apatnapung araw at apatnapung gabi. 12 At sinabi ni Yawe sa akin – Lumusong ka agad mula rito dahil nagpakabulok ang iyong bayan na inilabas mo mula sa Ehipto. Kay dali nilang lumihis mula sa daang iniutos ko sa kanila at gumawa sila ng tinunaw na diyus-diyusan para sa kanilang sarili.
13 At sinabi pa sa akin ni Yawe – Nakikita ko ang sambayanang ito; sila nga’y isang bayang matigas ang ulo! 14 Pabayaan mo ako para puksain sila at pawiin ang kanilang pangalan sa silong ng langit. At gagawin kitang isang bansang mas malakas at mas marami kaysa kanila. 15 Kaya bumaba ako mula sa naglalagablab na bundok, tangan sa aking mga kamay ang dalawang tapyas ng Pakikipagtipan. 16 At nakita ko: nagkasala nga kayo kay Yaweng inyong Diyos, at gumawa kayo ng guyang tinunaw na metal. Kay dali ninyong lumihis mula sa daang iniutos sa inyo ni Yawe! 17 Kayat hinawakan ko ang dalawang tapyas na bato at ibinalibag ang mga ito, at nadurog ang mga ito sa paningin ng lahat.
18 Pagkatapos, nagpatirapa ako sa harap ni Yawe, at tulad noong una, apatnapung araw at apatnapung gabi akong hindi kumain ni uminom dahil sa lahat ng kasalanan ninyo sa paggawa ng masama sa paningin ni Yawe hanggang siya ay magalit. 19 Natakot ako dahil sa galit at poot ni Yawe sa inyo sapagkat gusto niya kayong puksain. Ngunit muli akong pinakinggan ni Yawe.
20 Galit na galit din si Yawe kay Aaron para puksain siya. Kaya ipinanalangin ko rin noon si Aaron. 21 Tungkol naman sa kasalanan – ang guyang iyon na ginawa ninyo – kinuha ko iyon at inihagis sa apoy, dinurog at giniling na simpino ng alabok. Itinapon ko ang pulbos sa ilog na umaagos pababa sa bundok.
22 Ginalit din ninyo si Yawe sa Tabera at Massa, at sa Kibrothatava. 23 At nang paalisin kayo ni Yawe sa Kades-Barnea, sinabi niyang – Umahon kayo at angkinin ang lupaing bigay ko sa inyo – ngunit muli kayong naghimagsik sa utos ni Yaweng inyong Diyos. Hindi ninyo pinaniwalaan si Yawe, ni pinakinggan ang kanyang tinig. 24 Naging mapaghimagsik na kayo kay Yawe mula pa sa araw na makilala ko kayo.
25 Kaya apatnapung araw at apatnapung gabi akong nagpatirapa sa harap ni Yawe sapagkat sinabi ni Yaweng pupuksain niya kayo. 26 Nanalangin ako kay Yawe, at sinabi – O Yaweng Panginoon, huwag mong puksain ang iyong sambayanan, ang sarili mong ari-arian na tinubos mo sa iyong kadakilaan at inilabas mula sa Ehipto nang may malakas na kamay. 27 Alalahanin mo ang iyong mga lingkod na sina Abraham, Isaac at Jacob. Huwag mong tingnan ang katigasan ng ulo ng bayang ito, o ang kanilang kasamaan o kasalanan, 28 kung hindi’y sasabihin ng bansang pinagkunan mo sa amin – Hindi nakaya ni Yawe na dalhin sila sa lupaing ipinangako niya sa kanila at ayaw na niya sa kanila kaya niya sila inilabas para patayin sa disyerto. 29 Ngunit sila ang iyong sambayanan, ang sarili mong ari-arian na inilabas mo sa pamamagitan ng iyong malakas na kapangyarihan at ng iyong nakaunat na bisig.
Huwag kalimutan ang Diyos sa panahon ng kasaganaan
1 Pakaingatan ninyong tuparin ang bawat utos na iniuutos ko sa inyo ngayon upang kayo’y mabuhay at dumami, at makapasok at maangkin ang lupaing ipinangako ni Yawe sa inyong mga ninuno.
2 Alalahanin mo ang lahat ng daang pinagdalhan sa iyo sa disyerto ni Yaweng Diyos mo sa loob ng apatnapung taong ito. Pinapaghirap ka niya at ginutom upang subukan ka at malaman ang nasa iyong puso, kung tutuparin mo nga ang kanyang mga utos o hindi. 3 Subalit pinakain ka niya ng manna na hindi mo alam ni ng iyong mga ninuno upang ipakita sa iyo na hindi lamang sa tinapay nabubuhay ang tao, kundi sa lahat ng namumutawi sa bibig ni Yawe mabubuhay ang tao. 4 Ni hindi man lang namulmol ang suot mo, o namaga ang iyong paa sa loob ng apatnapung taong iyon. 5 Kaya unawain mo sa iyong puso na dinisiplina ka ni Yawe gaya ng pagdisiplina ng isang ama sa kanyang anak.
6 Tuparin mo ang mga utos ni Yaweng iyong Diyos, lumakad ka sa kanyang mga daan at magkaroong-pitagan sa kanya. 7 Sapagkat dinadala ka ni Yaweng iyong Diyos sa magandang lupain, lupain ng mga ilog at batis, ng mga bukal na umaagos sa mga lambak at mga burol, 8 lupain ng trigo at sebada, ng mga ubasan at mga puno ng igos at ng iba pang mga prutas, lupain ng langis ng olibo at pulot-pukyutan, 9 lupaing kung saan hindi ka kakain ng tinapay sa karukhaan at hindi ka mangangailangan ng anuman, lupaing may bakal ang mga bato at may mina ng tanso ang mga burol.
10 Kakain ka hanggang mabusog, at pagpapalain mo si Yaweng Diyos mo para sa magandang lupaing bigay niya sa iyo.
11 Kaya pakaingatan mong huwag limutin si Yaweng iyong Diyos sa di pagtupad sa kanyang mga utos, mga batas at mga tuntuning iniuutos ko sa iyo ngayon. 12 At kapag nakakain ka na at nabusog, kapag nakapagtayo ka na ng magagandang bahay at nakatira na sa mga ito, 13 kapag dumami na ang iyong hayupan, kapag sagana ka na sa ginto at pilak, at dumami na ang lahat mong ari-arian, 14 huwag maging palalo ang iyong puso at huwag limutin si Yaweng iyong Diyos na naglabas sa iyo mula sa lupain ng Ehipto, mula sa bahay ng pagkaalipin. 15 Siya ang umakay sa iyo para makalampas sa malawak at nakatatakot na disyertong puno ng mga “apuy-apuyang” ahas at mga alakdan, isang lupaing tigang at walang tubig. Subalit pinabukal niya ang tubig para sa iyo mula sa napakatigas na bato. 16 At pinakain ka niya sa disyerto ng mannang hindi alam ng iyong mga ninuno.
Pinapaghirap ka niya at sinubok upang mapabuti ka sa bandang huli, 17 kung hindi’y sasabihin mo sa iyong sarili – Yumaman ako sa sarili kong kayod at lakas. 18 Alalahanin mo si Yaweng iyong Diyos, siya ang nagbigay sa iyo ng lakas para yumaman, para pagtibayin tulad ngayon ang Pakikipagtipang sinumpaan niya sa iyong mga ninuno.
19 Ngunit kung lilimutin mo si Yaweng Diyos mo at susunod sa ibang mga diyos, kung sasambahin mo sila at yuyukuan, ngayon pa ma’y binabalaan na kita na tiyak ka ngang mapupuksa. 20 Tulad ng mga bansang pinuksa ni Yawe sa harap mo, gayon ka rin niya pupuksain dahil sa hindi mo pagsunod kay Yaweng iyong Diyos.
1 Kapag dinala ka na ni Yawe sa lupaing pupuntahan mo at aangkinin, at itinaboy na niya sa harap mo ang maraming bansa – ang mga Heteo, Gergaseo, Amorreo, Kananeo, Pereceo, Heveo at Hebuseo – pitong bansang mas marami at mas malakas kaysa iyo, 2 kapag ibinigay niya ang mga ito sa iyong mga kamay at malupig mo sila, pupuksain mo silang lahat ayon sa batas ng anatema.
Huwag kang makikipagtipan ni maaawa sa kanila. 3 Huwag kang magpapakasal sa kanila; huwag mong ibibigay ang iyong mga anak na dalaga sa mga binata nila, ni kunin ang kanilang mga dalaga para sa iyong mga anak na binata. 4 Sapagkat hihikayatin nila ang iyong mga anak na binata na talikuran ako para sambahin ang mga banyagang diyos. At mag-aapoy ang galit ni Yawe sa inyo at agad kayong lilipulin. 5 Subalit ito ang dapat ninyong gawin sa kanila: gibain ang kanilang mga altar at durugin ang kanilang mga sagradong bato, wasakin ang mga sagradong poste nila at sunugin ang kanilang mga diyus-diyusan.
Ginagantimpalaan ng Diyos ang mga tapat sa kanya
6 Isa kang bayang banal para kay Yaweng iyong Diyos. Pinili ka ni Yawe mula sa lahat ng bayan sa balat ng lupa upang maging sariling sambayanan niya. 7 Ibinigkis ni Yawe ang kanyang sarili sa iyo at ikaw ang pinili, hindi dahil ikaw ang pinakamarami sa lahat ng bayan (sapagkat ikaw pa nga ang pinakakaunti). 8 Ngunit pinili ka niya sapagkat mahal ka niya at upang tuparin ang pangakong binitiwan niya sa iyong mga ninuno. Kaya inilabas ka ni Yawe nang may malakas na kamay at tinubos ka sa bahay ng pagkaalipin at mula sa kamay ni Paraong hari ng Ehipto.
9 Kaya alamin mong mabuti na si Yaweng iyong Diyos ay Diyos, ang matapat na Diyos. Nananatili siyang matapat sa kanyang pakikipagtipan, at abot sa libong henerasyon ang kanyang walang maliw na pag-ibig sa mga nagmamahal sa kanya at tumutupad sa kanyang mga utos. 10 Ngunit pinarurusahan niya ang namumuhi sa kanya at kaagad na sinusuklian.
11 Kaya tuparin mo ang utos, mga tuntunin at mga batas na iniuutos ko sa iyo ngayong isabuhay. 12 Kung pakikinggan mong mabuti ang mga batas na ito, tutuparin at isasabuhay, tutuparin naman ni Yawe ang kanyang pakikipagtipan sa iyo at ang walang maliw na pag-ibig na ipinangako niya sa iyong mga ninuno.
13 Mamahalin ka niya, pagpapalain at pararamihin.
Pagpapalain niya ang bunga ng iyong sinapupunan at ang bunga ng iyong lupa – ang iyong trigo, ang iyong bagong alak at sariwang langis – ang mga anak ng iyong bakahan at tupahan sa lupaing ipinangako niya sa iyong mga ninuno na ibibigay sa iyo.
14 Pagpapalain ka niya nang higit sa alinmang bayan. Di magkakaroon ng lalaki o babaeng baog sa piling mo o sa iyong hayupan. 15 Itataboy ni Yawe mula sa iyo ang lahat ng karamdaman; hindi niya ilalapat sa iyo ang alinman sa mga salot sa Ehipto na alam mo. Subalit ilalapat niya ang mga ito sa lahat ng namumuhi sa iyo.
16 Kaya ubusin mo ang lahat ng bayang ibinibigay sa iyong mga kamay ni Yaweng Diyos mo. Huwag mo silang kaawaan ni paglingkuran ang kanilang mga diyos, sapagkat magiging bitag iyon para sa iyo.
17 Sasabihin mo siguro sa iyong puso – Mas marami kaysa akin ang mga bansang ito, paano ko sila mapapalayas? 18 Ngunit huwag kang matakot sa kanila. Alalahanin mong mabuti ang ginawa ni Yaweng iyong Diyos kay Paraon at sa buong Ehipto. 19 Nakita ng iyong mga mata ang mga kakila-kilabot na pagsubok at mga tanda at mga kahanga-hangang bagay, ang malakas na kamay at nakaunat na bisig na ginamit ni Yaweng iyong Diyos upang ikaw ay palayain. Gayon din ang gagawin ni Yaweng Diyos mo sa lahat ng bayang kinatatakutan mo ngayon. 20 Ipadadala sa kanila ni Yaweng Diyos mo kahit mga bubuyog hanggang mapawi ang mga natirang buhay na nagtatago mula sa iyo.
21 Huwag kang masindak sa kanila sapagkat kapiling mo si Yaweng iyong Diyos, malakas na Diyos at dapat katakutan.
22 Si Yaweng Diyos mo mismo ang dahan-dahang magpapalayas sa mga bansang ito sa iyong harap. Hindi mo sila sabay-sabay na malilipol, kung hindi’y dadami ang mababangis na hayop laban sa iyo.
23 Ibibigay sila sa iyo ni Yaweng iyong Diyos at lilituhin sila hanggang mapuksang lahat. 24 Ibibigay ni Yawe sa iyong mga kamay ang kanilang mga hari upang burahin mo ang kanilang mga pangalan sa silong ng langit. Walang makatatayo laban sa iyo hanggang mapuksa mo sila. 25 Sunugin mo ang mga nililok na imahen ng mga diyos nila at huwag pag-imbutan ang ginto o pilak na nakabalot sa mga ito. Huwag mo itong angkinin, kung hindi’y mabibitag ka nito sapagkat kasuklam-suklam ito kay Yaweng iyong Diyos. 26 Huwag kang mag-uuwi ng kasuklam-suklam na bagay sa bahay mo, kung hindi’y isusumpa ka ring tulad nito. Lubos mong kasuklaman at kamuhian ito sapagkat anatema o isinumpa ito.