Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The One Year Bible- March 15, 2006

Lent is nearly half over and our study of spiritual disciplines continues in Wednesday worship. I feel that daily Bible reading is a discipline that has lasting impact in our lives. Through these disciplines, the Holy Spirit forms us and makes us the person we are meant to be. It is hard work but God has promised to be with us always and by his strength we will succeed. I am reminded of the verse we started with back in January, “All Scripture is God-Breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”—2 Timothy 3:16-17

On to the study...

Where We Have Been

The Old Testament
The continued theme of the Old Testament is that of complaining. In Numbers Ch. 11 we see some complaining of the people. Their first complaint resulted in God sending a fire to destroy the people. Moses prayed to God and the fire left. One verse later the people start complaining again! Now they want meat. They were sick of this manna stuff and they longed to be back in Egypt. Moses even gets agitated with the people. But God, in his mercy, gives them meat to eat. So much meat that they get sick of it. Moses selects 12 men to go into the Promised Land to check it out and when the return, 10 of the men say that Israel should not go in because the people are giants. Only Joshua and Caleb give a true account. They trust in God’s promises. So the people started complaining again. They even wanted to kill Caleb and Joshua. God gets fed up with this group and tells them that none of them will even enter the Promised Land. Chapter 16 tells the story of the rebellion of Korah. This story serves as a lesson to all those who do not trust God. All those who followed Korah were either killed by fire or swallowed up by the earth. Then God wants to destroy all the people, but God in his mercy hears the cry of his people and spares them. (Do you see a theme here?) Surely this will put an end to the complaining. But as soon as they run out of water they rebel again. But God in his mercy hears the cry of his people and provides for them. This time Moses gets into trouble by not giving credit to God for providing the water from the rock and he finds out that he will not enter the Promised Land. So the people start complaining again in Chapter 21. So God sends snakes to kill the people. But God in his mercy, hears their cries for help. He tells Moses to put a snake on a pole and those who look at it will live. Some Bible scholars see this as foreshadowing of Christ, because those who look upon Jesus (on a pole a.k.a. the cross) will be saved. Our readings for this week ended with the people looking for safe passage through some of the lands near Canaan. They get themselves into trouble by trying to fight when God said not to. Then we read about Baalam. This is a story that tells about the power of God. Baalam knows the true God, but was not always faithful. Kink Balak wants Baalam to curse the people but Baalam will not because the Lord (Yahweh) is with them. God also shows his power by making Baalam’s donkey talk. God will use any means necessary to get his message across.

The New Testament
We finished up Mark’s Gospel and it was a quick journey. It is believed that Mark was the first account of Jesus that was written. And it ends just as it begins, with action. In quick succession we have the Last Supper, the time in the garden, the trial, the crucifixion, the resurrection, and Mark’s version of the Great Commission. Like Matthew, Mark mentions the Temple curtain being torn in two. This was very significant. Remember from our readings in the Old Testament that there was a curtain that separated the holy place from the most holy place and that only the high priest could enter it and then only once a year on the Day of Atonement. When that curtain tore, it showed that we no longer need a human person to go to God for us. Jesus has restored our relationship with the father and now we can approach him because of Christ. The book of Hebrews really drives this point home. It is also interesting that Matthew, Mark, and Luke all say that it tore from top to bottom. Thus signifying this was from God. We also started Luke’s Gospel which is the educated mans Gospel. Matthew was written for the Jews, Mark for the common man and Luke is for those who studied. Luke was a companion of Paul and spent years interviewing eyewitnesses of Jesus Christ. He probably spent time with Matthew and with Mark which explains why many things are repeated in Luke. Luke was a physician who had gone to school for many years. He was fluent in Greek and the Greek of Luke is some of the most polished in all the New Testament. Here are the Vital Stats on the Book:

Purpose: To present an accurate account of the life of Christ and the present Christ as the prefedt human and Savior

Author: Luke—a doctor (Colossians 4:14), a Greek and Gentile Christian. He is the only known Gentile author in the New Testament. Luke was a close friend and companion of Paul. He also wrote Acts, and the two books go together.

To Whom Written: Theophilus (“one who loves God”), Gentiles, and people everywhere

Date Written: About A.D. 60

Setting: Luke wrote from Rome or possible from Caesarea

Key Verses: “Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost’” (19:9-10)

Key People: Jesus, Elizabeth, Zechariah, John the Baptist, Mary, the disciples, Herod the Great, Pilate, Mary Magdalene

Key Places: Bethlehem, Galilee, Judea, Jerusalem

Special Features: This is the most comprehensive Gospel. The general vocabulary and diction show that the author was educated. He makes frequent references to illnesses and diagnoses. Luke stresses Jesus’ relationship with people; emphasizes prayer, miracles, and angels; records inspired hymns of praise; and gives a prominent place to women. Most of 9:51 to 18:35 is not found in any other Gospel.

Where We Are Going

The Old Testament
We will finish up with Baalam and his oracles. Then we will read about another census for the people. A few more regulations will be discussed and then Moses will get a peek into the Promised Land before he dies. Chapters 28 & 29 describe the offerings and the feasts that the people are supposed to remember for all times. The people then get some vengeance on the Midianites and get to take some of the spoils of that event. We will talk more about the righteousness of war later. Before the people cross the Jordan the tribes of Gad and Reuben decide that they will stay on this side of the river. Chapter 33 gives an account of where the people have been as they were in the wilderness for 40 years and the regulations for living in the Promised Land start being discussed.

The New Testament
We will read the familiar Christmas story from Luke. We will see Simeon and his gift of seeing the Messiah. We then see Jesus as a boy in the temple and the ministry of his cousin John. Luke gives us the genealogy of Joseph after Jesus’ baptism and then tells of his temptation. Jesus then begins his public ministry as he reads from Isaiah in the synagogue and tells them that the scripture is fulfilled in their hearing. Jesus begins to heal and drive out spirits and then calls his disciples.

Key Verses

Mark 14:23-24
Mark 14:61-62
Mark 16:15-16
Psalm 55:22
Luke 1:37
Psalm 57:9-11

Have a wonderful week!! Let me know if you have any questions.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Free Hit Counter