Future Worship at the East.
Paul writes that Jesus breaks down the walls of division between people of different ethnic origins – he brings reconciliation and makes peace. Those who follow him are no longer strangers, but fellow members of the household of God.
Paul prays that the Ephesians may be strengthened by the Spirit, with Christ dwelling in their hearts; and that they might understand the magnitude of the love of Christ, and be filled with the fullness of God.
Paul urges the Ephesians to be humble, gentle, patient and loving. He reminds them of the gifts that God gives to a community, to equip them to be one body in Christ, with each part working together properly for the good of the whole.
Paul encourages the Ephesians to speak the truth, to work hard and honestly for the common good, and to be ‘imitators of God’ – living in love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us.
Paul exhorts the Ephesians to be wise, to understand the will of the Lord and be filled with the Spirit, as they sing and make music – giving thanks to God, always and for everything, in the name of Jesus Christ.
Paul encourages the Ephesians to be strong in the Lord, to put on the whole armour of God, that they may stand firm against any foe. He tells them to persevere in prayer, and he asks them to pray for him
Some Pharisees and scribes accuse Jesus’ disciples of eating with defiled (i.e. unwashed) hands. Jesus tells the Pharisees that they honour God with their lips but not their hearts. It is evil intentions from the heart that defile a person.
In Tyre, a Gentile woman begs Jesus to heal her daughter. At first Jesus rebuffs the woman, but she argues back and the child is healed. Travelling on to Sidon, Jesus heals a deaf man, and his reputation as a healer spreads.
Peter acclaims Jesus as the Messiah. Jesus explains that he must suffer and die, and be raised again. Peter protests, but is rebuked by Jesus – who also says that anyone who follows him must first deny themselves and take up their cross.
Jesus teaches his disciples about his death and resurrection, but they do not understand. They argue about who is the greatest, but Jesus says that the greatest is one who is servant of all, and he encourages them to be humble and childlike.
When the disciples see someone casting out demons in Jesus’ name, Jesus says, ‘ Whoever is not against us is for us.’ He warns his disciples not to put any stumbling block in the way of those who believe in him.
Some Pharisees test Jesus by asking about divorce. In response, Jesus honours the ideal of marriage and the equality of both partners. When the disciples try to stop people bringing children to Jesus, he says that the kingdom of God involves childlike acceptance.