3:1 He said to me, “Son of man, eat what you see in front of you—eat this scroll—and then go and speak to the house of Israel.” 2So I opened my mouth and he fed me the scroll.
3He said to me, “Son of man, feed your stomach and fill your belly with this scroll I am giving to you.” So I ate it, and it was sweet like honey in my mouth.
4He said to me, “Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak my words to them. 5For you are not being sent to a people of unintelligible speech and difficult language, but to the house of Israel— 6not to many peoples of unintelligible speech and difficult language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely if I had sent you to them, they would listen to you! 7But the house of Israel is unwilling to listen to you, because they are not willing to listen to me, for the whole house of Israel is hardheaded and hardhearted.
8“I have made your face adamant to match their faces, and your forehead hard to match their foreheads. 9I have made your forehead harder than flint—like diamond! Do not fear them or be terrified of the looks they give you, for they are a rebellious house.”
10And he said to me, “Son of man, take all my words that I speak to you to heart and listen carefully. 11Go to the exiles, to your fellow countrymen, and speak to them. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says,’ whether they pay attention or not.”
12Then a wind lifted me up and I heard a great rumbling sound behind me as the glory of the Lord rose from its place, 13and the sound of the living beings’ wings brushing against each other, and the sound of the wheels alongside them, a great rumbling sound. 14A wind lifted me up and carried me away. I went bitterly, my spirit full of fury, and the hand of the Lord rested powerfully on me. 15I came to the exiles at Tel Abib, who lived by the Kebar River. I sat dumbfounded among them there, where they were living, for seven days.
16At the end of seven days the Lord’s message came to me: 17“Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you must give them a warning from me. 18When I say to the wicked, ‘You will certainly die,’ and you do not warn him—you do not speak out to warn the wicked to turn from his wicked lifestyle so that he may live—that wicked person will die for his iniquity, but I will hold you accountable for his death. 19But as for you, if you warn the wicked and he does not turn from his wicked deed and from his wicked lifestyle, he will die for his iniquity but you will have saved your own life.
20“When a righteous person turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I set an obstacle before him, he will die. If you have not warned him, he will die for his sin. The righteous deeds he performed will not be considered, but I will hold you accountable for his death. 21However, if you warn the righteous person not to sin, and he does not sin, he will certainly live because he was warned, and you will have saved your own life.”
22The hand of the Lord rested on me there, and he said to me, “Get up, go out to the valley, and I will speak with you there.” 23So I got up and went out to the valley, and the glory of the Lord was standing there, just like the glory I had seen by the Kebar River, and I threw myself face down.
24Then a wind came into me and stood me on my feet. The Lord spoke to me and said, “Go shut yourself in your house. 25As for you, son of man, they will put ropes on you and tie you up with them, so you cannot go out among them. 26I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth so that you will be silent and unable to reprove them, for they are a rebellious house. 27But when I speak with you, I will loosen your tongue and you must say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says.’ Those who listen will listen, but the indifferent will refuse, for they are a rebellious house.(NET Bible)
65:1 For the music director, a psalm of David, a song.
Praise awaits you, O God, in Zion.
Vows made to you are fulfilled.
2You hear prayers;
all people approach you.
3Our record of sins overwhelms me,
but you forgive our acts of rebellion.
4How blessed is the one whom you choose
and allow to live in your palace courts.
May we be satisfied with the good things of your house—
your holy palace.
5You answer our prayers by performing awesome acts of deliverance,
O God, our savior.
All the ends of the earth trust in you,
as well as those living across the wide seas.
6You created the mountains by your power
and demonstrated your strength.
7You calmed the raging seas
and their roaring waves,
as well as the commotion made by the nations.
8Even those living in the remotest areas are awestruck by your acts;
you cause those living in the east and west to praise you.
9You visit the earth and give it rain;
you make it rich and fertile.
God’s streams are full of water;
you provide grain for the people of the earth,
for you have prepared the earth in this way.
10You saturate its furrows,
and soak its plowed ground.
With rain showers you soften its soil,
and make its crops grow.
11You crown the year with your good blessings,
and you leave abundance in your wake.
12The pastures in the wilderness glisten with moisture,
and the hills are clothed with joy.
13The meadows are clothed with sheep,
and the valleys are covered with grain.
They shout joyfully, yes, they sing.(NET Bible)
2 Thess. 3:6–18
3:6 But we command you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to keep away from any brother who lives an undisciplined life and not according to the tradition they received from us. 7For you know yourselves how you must imitate us, because we did not behave without discipline among you, 8and we did not eat anyone’s food without paying. Instead, in toil and drudgery we worked night and day in order not to burden any of you. 9It was not because we do not have that right, but to give ourselves as an example for you to imitate. 10For even when we were with you, we used to give you this command: “If anyone is not willing to work, neither should he eat.” 11For we hear that some among you are living an undisciplined life, not doing their own work but meddling in the work of others. 12Now such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to work quietly and so provide their own food to eat. 13But you, brothers and sisters, do not grow weary in doing what is right. 14But if anyone does not obey our message through this letter, take note of him and do not associate closely with him, so that he may be ashamed. 15Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.
16Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with you all. 17I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand, which is how I write in every letter. 18The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.(NET Bible)
Luther was not unaware of the difficulties that arise when parallel passages in the Gospels are compared with each other. So in the Lenten Postil, of 1525, he discusses the order of time in the three temptations of our Lord. He makes this statement: “The order in which these temptations came to Christ cannot be determined with certainty, for the evangelists do not agree. What Matthew places in the middle, Luke places at the end, and what he places in the middle, Matthew places at the end, as though he placed little importance on the order. If we want to preach about it or discuss it, the order of Luke would be the best, for it makes a fine sequence that the devil first attacks through need and misfortune and, when this does not bring results, follows with fortune and honor. Finally, when this is all in vain, he strikes out with all force with errors, lies, and other spiritual deceits. But because they do not occur thus in our daily experience, but, as it happens, a Christian is tempted now with the last, now with the first, Matthew did not pay much attention to the order, as would be fitting for a preacher. And perhaps Christ was so tempted during the forty days that the devil did not observe any particular order but came today with the one temptation, tomorrow with the other, after ten days again with the first and so on as it happened to take place.” (45)
–Johann Michael Reu, Luther on the Scriptures
This daily Bible reading guide, Reading the Word of God, was conceived and prepared as a result of the ongoing discussions between representatives of three church bodies: Lutheran Church—Canada (LCC), The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) and the North American Lutheran Church (NALC). The following individuals have represented their church bodies and approved this introduction and the reading guide: LCC: President Robert Bugbee; NALC: Bishop John Bradosky, Revs. Mark Chavez, James Nestingen, and David Wendel; LCMS: Revs. Albert Collver, Joel Lehenbauer, John Pless, and Larry Vogel.