Lessons                                                                       Bread of Life                                                          4 February 2023

Isaiah 58:3–9a

3"‘Why have we fasted, and you see it not?

          Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?'

Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure,

          and oppress all your workers.

4Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight

          and to hit with a wicked fist.

Fasting like yours this day

          will not make your voice to be heard on high.

5Is such the fast that I choose,

          a day for a person to humble himself?

Is it to bow down his head like a reed,

          and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him?

Will you call this a fast,

          and a day acceptable to the Lord?

6"Is not this the fast that I choose:

          to loose the bonds of wickedness,

          to undo the straps of the yoke,

to let the oppressed go free,

          and to break every yoke?

7Is it not to share your bread with the hungry

          and bring the homeless poor into your house;

when you see the naked, to cover him,

          and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?

8Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,

          and your healing shall spring up speedily;

your righteousness shall go before you;

          the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.

9Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;

          you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.'"


Psalm 112:1–9

1Praise the Lord!

Blessèd is the man who | fears the Lord,*

          who greatly delights in his com- | mandments!

2His offspring will be mighty | in the land;*

          the generation of the upright | will be blessed.

3Wealth and riches are | in his house,*

          and his righteousness endures for- | ever.

4Light dawns in the darkness for the | upright;*

          he is gracious, merciful, and | righteous.

5It is well with the man who deals generous- | ly and lends;*

          who conducts his affairs with | justice.

6For the righteous will nev- | er be moved;*

          he will be remembered for- | ever.

7He is not afraid of | bad news;*

          his heart is firm, trusting | in the Lord.

8His heart is steady; he will not | be afraid,*

          until he looks in triumph on his adver- | saries.

9He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor;

          his righteousness endures for- | ever;*

          his horn is exalted in | honor.

1 Corinthians 2:1–16

          1And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. 2For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, 4and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

          6Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. 7But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. 8None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9But, as it is written,

"What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,

          nor the heart of man imagined,

what God has prepared for those who love him"—

10these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.

          14The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16"For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.

Matthew 5:13–20

          13[Jesus said:] "You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet.

          14"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

          17"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."