Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The One Year Bible- June 7, 2006

Blogger is still having issues so I hope you can all read this post:

June gloom is officially here. I kind of like this time of year; the Jacarandas are in bloom, the mornings are overcast, school is almost over; it is just a nice time of the year for me. Others don’t like this time of year. It is stressful with the kids being home, its overcast every day, you still have to go to work even in the summer months, it’s not that fun. I think we go through these seasons in our Christian lives too. At times things are going well and at others nothing seems to work out. There we seasons in the life of Christ as well. He started his ministry and things seemed to be going well, he was gaining popularity, healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, etc. Then he makes his way into Jerusalem where he suffers and dies. The difference here is that it was love that motivated Jesus. It was his love that drove him to the cross. It was his love that broke the chains of death and the power of the devil so we can one day be with him forever in paradise. This is some good news. That will be a great day. No more tears or sadness, no more schoolwork to do, no more work at the office in the summer. This is the reason Jesus came. One day we will all have the ultimate vacation and freedom in heaven. Enough of my rambling.....on to the Study.

Where We Have Been

The Old Testament
I am not sure what has happened to the writer of 2nd Samuel. I seemed to notice that the flow of the story was much more difficult to follow this week. It could have been me, but it is true that the literary structure of this book is nowhere near that of the books of Moses. Once again the main point of the story is that problems abound in the house of David. His son Absalom leads a revolt and it does not end well. There were plenty of guts spilling on the ground this week. There were a bunch of murders and stories of warriors. I did find it interesting that there was a guy with six fingers and six toes on each hand (2 Sam. 21:20). That was pretty cool. As the book of 1 Kings opens we see a struggle for power. What usually happened at the end of the reign of a King is that there was a power struggle. Many of the sons would claim the right to be the king. When one obtained the dominant position, he usually tried to kill all the other sons. This is what was going on here. Adonijah and Solomon have a problem with who will be the king, and true to the house of David, Solomon orders the execution of Ahonijah. Even king David from his deathbed orders for the death of one of his enemies. This is the family of the promised Messiah? This is the line of the savior of the world? It just goes to show that God loves us so much and he desires that we are all saved. He loves us so much that even to this sinful family will come the long awaited Christ, the Son of the Most High God. A member of this horrible family will fulfill the promise given to Abraham long ago. God’s mercy endures forever.

The New Testament
There are some great things to talk about this week in our New Testament readings. First of all, lets go back to when Jesus was on the cross. One of the things that Jesus says from the cross is, “It is finished!” (John 19:30) Many people get confused by this in thinking that the ministry of Jesus is over and complete at this moment. The Greek word used here means that a goal has been reached. The goal of the salvation of the world was met when Jesus died, but it was not the end of his work. Jesus would take it a step further and destroy the power of the devil and the grip of sin and death on the world. This is an important lesson to remember. The goal was reached but the job was not done. Jesus did more than just become a sacrifice. He totally reversed the effect of death and now we are free from its power forever. This is awesome!! Even with all of this, the disciples still have there problems and doubts. Thomas struggles with not seeing the risen Lord with his own eyes, but when he does he has one of the greatest statements of faith, “My Lord and my God!” If we all could be so bold to shout this with Thomas. John tells us in chapter 20 the reason for his Gospel, “But these things are written so that you man continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have live by the power of his name.” (John 20:31 NLT) One other thing in John that astounds me is that we only get a glimpse of the ministry of Jesus. John tells us, “Jesus also did many other things. If they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written.” (John 21:25 NLT) I am excited to get to heaven and find out the other things that Jesus said and did. It was pretty awesome that the reading for this past Sunday was the story of the day of Pentecost and it was the day of Pentecost! Was this just a coincidence? Probably so, but it is cool nonetheless. A few amazing things happened the first few days of the Christian Church. Can you imagine 3,000 baptisms in one day?? Where would this take place? I had wondered that for years and this past week I heard a reasonable explanation. Just outside of the temple was a place where the Jews of the day could wash and become ritually clean. This was a large complex just south of the entrance to the temple. My seminary professor showed us pictures this week from this location and by seeing it, it would be easy to baptize many people all in one day. This may or may not be true, but it does make sense. We have already seen the disciples get in trouble for their message but the Lord helps them. This will continue throughout the book. More about Acts next week.

Where We Are Going

The Old Testament
This weeks readings will focus on Solomon. We will see how Solomon becomes a very wise man. Solomon will also be the one to build a permanent house for the LORD as he builds the temple and its furnishings. The temple will be dedicated and temple life for the Jewish people will begin. Israel will prosper under Solomon but dark clouds are on the horizon.

The New Testament
We will read some familiar stories this week from Acts. We will see Stephens arrest, speech and his death as a martyr for Jesus. We will see the spread of the Christian faith to the Gentiles with the story of Philip and the Ethiopian, and we will get to hear the story about a Pharisee named Saul and what happened to him on the road to Damascus. You might want to find some good maps of Paul’s missionary journeys so you can keep them straight in your head as we see them unfold.

Key Verses
John 20:28
John 20:30-31
John 21:25
Psalm 121:1-3
Acts 4:12

Have a great week!!


At June 09, 2006 10:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Vicar Seth, this is Ted Martin. Can you recommend a bible commentary that I could use in my bible study? Something that gives an explanation of what I am reading in my bible. You can email me at

At June 09, 2006 10:54 PM, Blogger Pastor Seth said...

I sent you an email...let me know if you have any more questions.


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