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1

Not so this time. The open hearings on Wednesday and on Friday center on the withholding—for partisan purposes—of national security aid to a vulnerable country, as well as on an effort to involve foreign actors in domestic political machinations.

Second, while former ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was testifying in open session on Friday, the president of the United States tweeted a screed against her—the very woman he’d removed from her post in Kyiv after a smear campaign from Rudy Giuliani and others had accused her of failing to press the Ukrainian government to investigate former vice president Joe Biden. “Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad,” Trump wrote. “She started off in Somalia, how did that go?” Blaming Somalia’s future woes on a woman who was, back then, a junior foreign service officer not only boggled minds, it also prompted Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff to say, “What we saw was witness intimidation in real time by the president of the United States.” Rep. Mike Quigley remarked, “The president continues to obstruct.”

Johnson, Nixon and Clinton didn’t have Twitter on hand when Congress went through their respective motions of impeachment. If they had possessed such a tool, even the mercurial and impulsive Johnson, who nevertheless recognized the severity of the situation, probably would have held himself back from attacking a live witness during impeachment proceedings. Trump, of course, did not—or could not. And the forthcoming articles of impeachment may reflect that difference.

https://www.politico.com/

2

“Johnson, Nixon and Clinton didn’t have Twitter on hand”

David Priess is the chief operating officer of the Lawfare Institute and the author of How To Get Rid of a President: History’s Guide to Removing Unpopular, Unable, or Unfit Chief Executives.

The United States has witnessed a lot in two and a half centuries, but only a few presidential impeachments. Representatives have introduced impeachment resolutions against several chief executives, yes, but only three presidents—Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton—faced hearings that culminated in voting for or against articles of impeachment. Thus we have only a few points of comparison to determine how “normal” this week’s events have been.

And yet, only two days of testimony this week have already highlighted just how unique our moment is. Two reasons rise above all others.

First, this round of impeachment, unlike those three others, centrally involves national security issues. Johnson’s misbehavior ranged far and wide, but it focused on clashes with Congress over the aftermath of the Civil War and over who controlled relevant Cabinet positions. Clinton’s misdeeds were in the realm of perjury and obstruction of justice to cover up a personal matter, not foreign policy folly. Nixon’s impeachment on the margins touched on issues of national security, but his core transgressions fell outside that.

3

Oddly enough, when Johnson was impeached in 1868, you might say he was up to the same thing. The deciding issue for the House, which voted overwhelmingly to impeach him, was Johnson’s violation of the Tenure of Office Act. Recently passed by Congress but of dubious constitutionality, the act intended to stop Johnson from firing his secretary of war, who was in charge of the military. The military had recently been tasked to protect black men and their white allies, particularly at the polls where, in 1868, black men in the South could cast a vote for the first time.

Johnson, a southern Democrat, did not want black men enfranchised in the South, despite Congress’ recent law granting them the vote. In this sense, you could say he too was thinking of his own interests rather than those of the nation. (When Ulysses S. Grant ran for president in 1868, black men in the South ensured his election—and by that time, Johnson, who had been impeached, wasn’t even nominated by either party.)

In his testimony, Taylor said that suspending military aid to Ukraine was wrong. Ukraine, after all, is a country struggling against years of Soviet domination, and it’s a fledgling democracy eager to align itself with the West and its stated values of freedom and self-determination. And so the decision to suspend aid is as wrong as it was to disregard, or perhaps implicitly encourage, the violence in the American South right after the Civil War when another albeit undeclared war was waged upon black people and their white allies.

4

“Oddly enough, when Johnson was impeached in 1868, you might say he was up to the same thing.”

Brenda Wineapple is the author of The Impeachers: The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Dream of a Just Nation, recently published by Random House.

What struck me most about Ambassador William Taylor’s testimony was his poignant description of the violence being visited upon Ukrainian soldiers at the hands of Russian forces in the Donbass region of Ukraine. U.S. security assistance “allows the Ukrainian military to deter further incursions by the Russians against their own, against Ukrainian territory,” Taylor explained. “If that further incursion, further aggression were to take place, more Ukrainians would die.” Just a week ago, when he toured the region, one Ukrainian soldier had been killed and four were wounded.

Until Taylor’s testimony, I hadn’t heard a more powerful statement of the human cost of President Donald Trump’s decision to withhold the military aid to Ukraine that had been authorized by Congress. And that made me think of President Andrew Johnson. Johnson and Trump’s impeachment cases are more similar than they might at first appear. By asking the president of Ukraine for a favor—to investigate Joe Biden and his son—and by allegedly withholding military aid to get that favor, Trump was trying to interfere with an upcoming election: his own. According to testimony this week, Trump appears to have cared more about an investigation of the Bidens and his own political future than about the welfare of Ukrainians—and, by extension, about U.S. national security.

5

Yovanovitch testified that the damage wrought by such McCarthy-style politics extends far beyond her reputation and career. She said that “shady interests the world over have learned how little it takes to remove an American ambassador who does not give them what they want.” “Such conduct undermines the U.S., exposes our friends and widens the playing field for autocrats like President Putin,” she continued.

During her testimony, we saw something else that was unprecedented: Trump himself intervened, tweeting, “Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad.” In real time, Trump was proving himself capable of the kind of national security sabotage Kent sounded the alarm on just two days earlier.

Future votes on impeachment might fall heavily along partisan lines, but the hearings this week made it clear that Trump’s conduct had an impact that rose far beyond political considerations and affected all Americans.

6

Already, witness testimony has said that that President Donald Trump set up a rogue foreign policy headed by his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, not to advance American interests but to benefit Trump politically. These witnesses say that the effort did not challenge but aided and abetted corruption in Ukraine, and all of them have made the case that Trump sold out American national security interests.

State Department official George Kent testified on Wednesday that, “it was unexpected, and most unfortunate—to watch some Americans—including those who allied themselves with corrupt Ukrainians—in pursuit of private agendas launch attacks on dedicated public servants advancing U.S. interests in Ukraine. In my opinion, those attacks undermined U.S. and Ukrainian national interests and damaged our critical bilateral relationship.”

Two days later, we heard from former Ukrainian Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. She is an anti-corruption crusader, who has served under presidents of both parties, and was fired by Trump after a smear campaign orchestrated by Giuliani and corrupt Ukrainians.

7

Of all the presidential impeachment inquiries, this is the one that transcends politics the most

Allan J. Lichtman is a history professor and author of The Case for Impeachment.

Never before has a presidential impeachment inquiry focused so heavily on U.S. foreign policy. That matters because the hearings this week, which involved more big-picture questions about national security than domestic affairs, transcended politics—or at least should have—more than any of the earlier hearings.

All prior impeachments of presidents involved domestic matters. In 1868, the House impeached President Andrew Johnson for obstructing Reconstruction. In 1974, the House Judiciary Committee recommended articles of impeachment against President Richard Nixon for defying congressional subpoenas, and for obstructing justice and abusing power in domestic political events. In 1998, the House impeached President Bill Clinton for covering up a consensual sexual affair. Both Nixon and Clinton refrained from inserting themselves personally into the impeachment process.

8

But what we saw this week was much more than just a dramatic retelling before the cameras of testimony already released in transcript form by the three House Committees assigned responsibility for the inquiry. Witnesses Ambassador Bill Taylor, George Kent, and Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, especially Taylor, had important new information to share in real time. Taylor reported evidence learned since his deposition from a staff member, David Holmes, who had overheard the president characterize investigating the Bidens as the motive behind his Ukraine policy. Within hours we then learned that Mr. Holmes had agreed to testify later in the week. And, today, he confirmed under oath what he had told Taylor.

Meanwhile, there came news that a key missing link in the story—how and why security assistance to Ukraine had been suspended—might yet be supplied by a staff member of the Office of Management and Budget. That deposition is to occur this weekend.

Finally, unlike in the cases of Nixon and Clinton—two presidential defendants who at least pretended to be focused on their presidential duties as the House deliberated their future—Trump has insisted on having a starring role in this public impeachment drama. His live tweeting today not only influenced the hearing with Yovanovitch but may shape the charges against him. One week in, this is already unmistakably the first social media impeachment.

9

“This is the first impeachment investigation that a citizen can watch unfold in real time”

Timothy Naftali is a professor of public service at New York University and former director of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum.

Initially, presidential impeachments came roughly a century apart, making them the very rare national crises that, I suspect, the Founders expected them to be. But now a portion of the American population is living through the third impeachment of their lifetimes. That fact alone deserves a moment’s reflection as we consider how the first week of the constitutional investigation of Donald J. Trump stacks up against its two modern predecessors, Nixon’s (1973-1974) and Clinton’s (1998-99).

Even those of us with two impeachments under our belts have never seen anything quite like this one. Besides the modern procedural innovation that this time the House Judiciary Committee is not in charge of all aspects of the inquiry, this is also the first impeachment investigation that a citizen (let alone a member of Congress) can watch unfold in real time. In the Clinton era, the public practically learned the whole case for the prosecution at once, when the House dumped Independent Counsel Kenneth W. Starr’s salacious report, unedited, on the web. In the Nixon era, the televised Senate Watergate Hearings and the very public struggle that ensued between the White House and the Watergate Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox introduced the public to a lot of the data points of presidential misconduct and issues of possible criminality but neither the Senate nor the special prosecutor initially had impeachment as their goal. It was the Saturday Night Massacre a few months later that led to impeachment. The House Judiciary Committee that ultimately impeached Nixon did most of its work in closed sessions, only publicly revealing the additional important tapes and documents it had collected once the members had largely made up their minds and their televised debate had started.

10

Similarly, in both the Nixon and Clinton inquiries, even those of the president’s party acknowledged that the events at issue were of genuine national concern and the president’s conduct was deeply disappointing, even if perhaps not so serious as to merit removal. Even in moments of great tension, both parties usually preserved the dignities of debate and kept one eye on how the process would reflect on Congress as an institution. Today’s Republicans—at least those on display in these hearings—have adopted Trump’s own signature move: deny the obvious and accuse one’s critics of whatever you’ve been caught doing. “They accuse President Trump of malfeasance in Ukraine when they, themselves, are culpable,” Nunes said in his opening statement. And far too many abandoned even the forms of civility in favor of personal attacks on Democratic leaders, the media and other bogeymen.

Which brings me to the final point of comparison—because they lived in a radically different media environment, congressional defenders of neither Nixon nor Clinton could have gotten away with the counterfactual, logic-defying approach taken by Republicans today. Had they attempted it, the major TV networks (even, I suspect, Fox, in its infancy during Clinton) and all the print press would have shredded them. Today, this behavior can be effective because the Republicans are secure in the embrace of a political base that primarily consumes media reflexively supportive of Trump. We already know that some Fox News personalities have spent the week calling the hearings “stupid,” “boring, “a joke,” hearsay and a “disaster for the Democrats.” Whether the self-evident decency, dedication and candor of the witnesses can penetrate this smokescreen remains to be seen.

11

Rather, the House Intelligence Committee—and all its members—represent both the public at large and the legislative branch of the national government, co-equal with the presidency, and charged by the Constitution with monitoring the conduct of the president, checking him when required and impeaching him as a last resort. This is not to suggest that impeachment of a president is ever a dispassionately apolitical affair. Those of the president’s faction will always look skeptically on efforts to remove the executive branch leader of their political “team.” Alexander Hamilton foresaw this in his essay Federalist 65. And any reasonable appreciation of human nature would predict the same thing.

But a striking fact about the Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton impeachments is the degree to which legislators of both parties generally demonstrated a commendable dedication to determining the facts and thereafter to arguing reasonable inferences from whatever facts emerged.

For example, in both the Nixon and Clinton cases, the parties were united in their resolution that the president must provide relevant evidence when requested by Congress in the impeachment inquiry. It is inconceivable that, in either case, the president’s party would have refused to join requests for White House witnesses or documents and then argue that the case against the president could not be proven because of the absence of the very witnesses or documents the President withheld. Yet that is precisely the position the Republicans have assumed in the Trump hearings, arguing, for instance, that the whistleblower’s complaints amount to “hearsay.”

12

Republicans on the House Intel Committee are not Trump’s defense lawyers

Frank O. Bowman III is a constitutional law professor and the author of High Crimes & Misdemeanors: A History of Impeachment for the Age of Trump.

The most unprecedented thing about these hearings was brought home to me by a journalist who, during a break in the Friday testimony of Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, asked me, “How do you expect Congressman Nunes to go after her when the hearing resumes?”

If this question seems natural to you, it shouldn’t. Because it assumed, as a matter of course, that the job of the ranking minority member of a House committee investigating impeachable conduct by the president was to attack the credibility of a lifelong public servant and undercut her account of the facts in order to exonerate the president. The question assumed that Nunes (and indeed all the Republicans on the committee) are merely Donald Trump’s defense lawyers. But they’re not. Or at least neither the Constitution nor 230 years of American history supports the notion that they should be.

13

During Friday’s testimony another piece of history got made: The president, in real time, weighed in with a tweet about the witness while she was being questioned, a move that would not only have been impossible at any other historical time but very unadvisable, since it had the appearance of witness intimidation—as the committee chairman quickly pointed out.

So what will future history books say about the first time a president used Twitter to dig himself deeper into a hole during his own impeachment hearings? We don’t know yet, but it’s clear from their answers that we are in the midst of proceedings as singular and disruptive as the president who keeps finding a way to surprise all of us. Every impeachment is a totally new beast, and as only the fourth impeachment process to hit this point in 230 years, it’s certain we’ll see far more made soon. Here’s what we’ve seen so far.

14

What Was Truly Unprecedented in This Week’s Impeachment Hearings?

We’ve seen impeachment proceedings before—but not like this. We rounded up 5 experts on the process to tell us what we should have been paying attention to.

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By POLITICO MAGAZINE
11/16/2019 06:32 AM EST

t’s easy to call an impeachment “historic,” but what kind of history did we really see this week? Most of us couldn’t answer that in real time, but POLITICO Magazine tracked down the tiny handful of Americans who can: The historians and legal analysts who specialize in the rare, high-stakes process of impeachment itself.

This week we invited a group of them to watch the Congressional hearings with an eye to what actually made history. They saw quite a bit of it unfold in the hearings on President Donald Trump’s conduct around Ukraine, and the conduct of the Congress looking into it.

First, one historian noted that the way we consumed the news this week was completely unprecedented: Unlike any previous impeachment, we were all able to follow along with the inquiry as it unfolded and witnesses revealed new information. Second, never before, two of the experts pointed out, has an impeachment turned directly on matters of national security. By any normal standard that should strip the domestic politics out of the proceedings—except, as another historian pointed out, the Republicans in Congress have chosen to act as his legal defense rather than as serious fact-finders about his conduct, which is another historical outlier.

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Bible Study / Re: New Christmas Tradition
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12 December

Luke 12

Warnings and Encouragements

1 Meanwhile, when a crowd of many thousands had gathered, so that they were trampling on one another, Jesus began to speak first to his disciples, saying: “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
2 There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed or hidden that will not be made known.
3 What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.
4 “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more.
5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.
6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.
7 Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
8 “I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God.
9 But whoever disowns me before others will be disowned before the angels of God.
10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
11 “When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say,
12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”

The Parable of the Rich Fool

13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
14 Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?”
15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest.
17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain.
19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ’
20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

Do Not Worry

22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.
23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.
24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn, yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!
25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?
26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.
28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith!
29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it.
30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.
31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.
33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.
34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Watchfulness

35 “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning,
36 like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him.
37 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them.
38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak.
39 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into.
40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”
41 Peter asked, “Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?”
42 The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time?
43 It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns.
44 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.
45 But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk.
46 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.
47 “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows.
48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

Not Peace but Division

49 “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!
50 But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed!
51 Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.
52 From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three.
53 They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

Interpreting the Times

54 He said to the crowd: “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘It’s going to rain,’ and it does.
55 And when the south wind blows, you say, ‘It’s going to be hot,’ and it is.
56 Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time?
57 “Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right?
58 As you are going with your adversary to the magistrate, try hard to be reconciled on the way, or your adversary may drag you off to the judge, and the judge turns you over to the officer, and the officer throws you into prison.
59 I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.”

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Bible Study / Re: New Christmas Tradition
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11 December

Luke 11

Jesus’ Teaching on Prayer

1 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
2 He said to them, “When you pray, say: “ ‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.
3 Give us each day our daily bread.
4 Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.’ ”
5 Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread;
6 a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’
7 And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’
8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.
9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks fora fish, will give him a snake instead?
12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?
13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Jesus and Beelzebul

14 Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute. When the demon left, the man who had been mute spoke, and the crowd was amazed.
15 But some of them said, “By Beelzebul, the prince of demons, he is driving out demons.”
16 Others tested him by asking for a sign from heaven.
17 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall.
18 If Satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? I say this because you claim that I drive out demons by Beelzebul.
19 Now if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your followers drive them out? So then, they will be your judges.
20 But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
21 “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe.
22 But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up his plunder.
23 “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
24 “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’
25 When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order.
26 Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first.”
27 As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.”
28 He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

The Sign of Jonah

29 As the crowds increased, Jesus said, “This is a wicked generation. It asks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.
30 For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation.
31 The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the people of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom; and now something greater than Solomon is here.
32 The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and now something greater than Jonah is here.

The Lamp of the Body

33 “No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light.
34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy, your body also is full of darkness.
35 See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness.
36 Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you.”

Woes on the Pharisees and the Experts in the Law

37 When Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee invited him to eat with him; so he went in and reclined at the table.
38 But the Pharisee was surprised when he noticed that Jesus did not first wash before the meal.
39 Then the Lord said to him, “Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness.
40 You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also?
41 But now as for what is inside you—be generous to the poor, and everything will be clean for you.
42 “Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.
43 “Woe to you Pharisees, because you love the most important seats in the synagogues and respectful greetings in the marketplaces.
44 “Woe to you, because you are like unmarked graves, which people walk over without knowing it.”
45 One of the experts in the law answered him, “Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us also.”
46 Jesus replied, “And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.
47 “Woe to you, because you build tombs for the prophets, and it was your ancestors who killed them.
48 So you testify that you approve of what your ancestors did; they killed the prophets, and you build their tombs.
49 Because of this, God in his wisdom said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and others they will persecute.’
50 Therefore this generation will be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world,
51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be held responsible for it all.
52 “Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering.”
53 When Jesus went outside, the Pharisees and the teachers of the law began to oppose him fiercely and to besiege him with questions,
54 waiting to catch him in something he might say.

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Inspiration & Hope / Re: Lasting friendships start early
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Inspiration & Hope / Re: Lasting friendships start early
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