Luke part 3 : Jesus the Teacher.

The gospel of Luke is heavy in content to know and lessons to learn and details to remember and Jesus 🙂 Luke has 24 chapters and I may take more than 4 parts to finish it all. If you missed Luke part 1 : Jesus is willing. or Luke part 2 : Jesus the healer., click on the links ( underlined). That only constitutes the first 10 chapters of Luke!

Continuing on with Luke…….

In chapter 11 : Jesus’ disciples ask Him to teach them how to pray. He teaches them The Lord’s prayer. Jesus tells them a parable about persevering and not giving up. Jesus tells them to ask, seek and knock and they will receive, find, and the door will be opened to them. Jesus tells them God ( the Father ) will give them the Holy Spirit when they ask. Jesus drives out a demon ( that made the man mute) and he talks. Jesus tells the people He is driving demons out by God, not by beelezebub ( prince of demons). Jesus says 23 “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. Jesus’ mother is blessed by a woman in the crowd. Jesus replies ” Blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it “. Jesus says no sign , except the sign of Jonah will be given to (their and our) wicked generation. {1} Jesus tells us that we need to be filled with Light (His) so that there is no darkness in us. Jesus is invited to a Pharisee’s house for a meal where He surprises him by NOT ritually washing. Jesus pronounces 3 woes (doom) on the Pharisees and then 3 woes on the experts of the Law. This angers all of them and they oppose Him fiercely.

In chapter 12 : Jesus teaches first His disciples and warns them to be on their guard against the “yeast” of the Pharisees which is hypocrisy. Jesus tells them to be afraid of the one who can kill both the body and the soul. He tells them ( and us) not one of them (us) will be forgotten by God. Jesus says He will acknowledge ( before His Father) those who acknowledge Him. Whoever speaks against the Son of Man will be forgiven but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not. The Holy Spirit will give us the words to speak ( to defend ourselves) when we are brought before authorities and rulers. Jesus warns the people to be on their guard against greed as Life does not consist in an abundance of possessions. Jesus tells them a parable about a rich man thinking of building more barns to store his wealth but dying that very night.{2} Jesus tells the people not to worry but to consider the ravens and the lilies ( God provides for them). God knows what we need, we are to seek His kingdom, and these things will be given to (us) as well.  We are to provide treasures for ourselves where it will not rot nor be stolen (in Heaven, by doing good works), for where our treasures are, there will be our hearts also. We must be ready and wait for the Son of Man for He will come back at an hour when we don’t expect Him. 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. Jesus says He has come to bring division not peace, family members will be against each other because of Him. Jesus tells the people to correctly interpret the signs of the times because He is coming soon.

In chapter 13 : Jesus tells the people no one is a worse sinner than the other ( even if he suffers more!) but that everyone should repent or they will perish. Jesus heals a woman who had been crippled for 18 years on the Sabbath and she straightens up. This infuriates the Pharisees. {3}. The Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed or yeast {4}. The entry into Heaven is like entering through a narrow door.{5} Jesus is sorrowful over Jerusalem because they have not accepted / received Him.

In chapter 14 : On a Sabbath when Jesus went to eat at a home of a prominent Pharisee, He healed a man with abnormal swelling on his body. Jesus told the guests that those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted, when He saw how they chose places of honour at the table. Jesus tells His host ( and us) to invite the poor, the crippled, the lame , the blind, when he (we) throw a banquet ( party/ celebration) so that we will get our reward at the resurrection of the righteous. {6} Jesus tells us to first count the cost before following Him. If don’t put Jesus first, above all else, above our marriages, our children, our spouses, our parents, our careers, our hobbies, our wealth, our reputations, we can never follow Him. He is God. He is Jealous for us with a holy desire. He will NOT share His glory with another, even if the other is us.

In chapter 15 : When the Pharisees and teachers of the Law see tax collectors and other “sinners” gather around Jesus, they mutter at Him. Jesus tells them 3 parables about lost things. A man has 100 sheep and loses one and goes in search of it leaving the 99 behind. A woman has 10 silver coins and loses one and searches her home inside and out to find it. A man “loses” one of his sons and when the son comes back, the father rejoices exceedingly. In each parable Jesus shows the increasing value of the things lost. In the last, He is the Father, waiting compassionately for the “lost son” ( us) to return, and when  we do, as un-deserving as we are, He runs to us with open arms, dresses us in fine clothes ( His robes of righteousness), prepares a banquet for us with choicest foods and celebrates over the return of one lost sinner.

 

{1} The sign of Jonah- Jonah was sent to tell a corrupt and wicked city to repent. He spent 3 days and 3 nights in the belly of a fish, then was vomited out. Like Jonah , Jesus is sent to a wicked and corrupt people , pleading with them to repent. Like Jonah, Jesus will spend 3 days and nights inside Hades but He will rise victorious again. Unlike Jonah though, Jesus will go willingly to the people but the people will not be willing to listen to Him and turn from their rebellious ways. }

{2} The man had so much wealth, he decided to build more barns to store it, and then be merry the rest of his life. That very night, his life was demanded from him, and his wealth went to nobody. Jesus says This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God. }

{3} The Pharisees want the people to be healed only on the first 6 days , not on the Sabbath. Jesus is furious and points out the work they do for their animals on the Sabbath and declares that this daughter of Abraham is more important and deserves to be set free. At this, His opponents were humiliated but the people were delighted at the wonderful things He did. }

{4} Yeast or mustard seed-  small to look at or insignificant but it grows into a tree that provides support to many birds or like yeast spreads throughout the dough and makes it rise. So it is with the Kingdom of God}

{5} Many people will call themselves Christians or think they are, but they will not be allowed into Heaven. At the same time, people from all over, all races, tribes, nations, cultures, languages will be there in Heaven. }

{6} Jesus then tells a parable about a rich man who invited guests to a banquet and none of them came making excuses. So he ordered his servants to go into the alleys and by ways of the town to find the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind and bring them instead. These people are the outcasts of society. Through this, Jesus illustrates that that is what He has come to do. Bring the outcasts of society ( us- the sinners, the corrupt, the rebellious,the needy, the sick, the dying) to His table where there is joy and the richest of foods. }

 

That concludes part 3! There are 9 chapters left, and I hope to finish those in 2 parts. We are the lost sons over whose return, all of Heaven rejoices. I hope you know this Loving Father and if you don’t, that you will. He is worth everything that you have to give up.

Until next time,

Vanessa

 

Luke part 2 : Jesus the healer.

I wrote about the first 6 chapters of Luke awhile ago. The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of events and catching up. I attended my brother’s reception out of town ( my husband stayed home with our children and did fantastic!), I came back and had volunteered to teach in a VBS so my kids could attend ( we went in the mornings and Adam had his therapy sessions in the afternoons so we were rushing from one place to another), the “check engine oil ” came on in my car (  turns out it was a computer glitch), I fell sick after VBS and Christina caught it from me. I’ve yet to unpack my suitcase, instead I’ve been catching up on laundry ( washing them, but not putting them away so today there were about 10 loads that needed to get sorted , folded and stored!!), feeding the kids in between Adam’s sessions ( we are up to 30 hours per week), helping Christina with worksheets to keep her busy, colouring with her and basically keeping her off electronics while Adam is engaged. I’ve not been on social media in weeks ( it’s not a bad thing :-)) and even less so on my blog ( that’s not what I wanted to do though 😦 ).

What I have done though is worshipping My Saviour, My LORD and My God first thing in the morning. I’ve introduced Christian songs to my kids ( Christina’s favourite is “fruit of the Spirit”, Adam loves “where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom”). I’ve spent sweet time with my husband and enjoyed it. I’ve rested. I’ve not let myself feel (too much ) guilt. I’m in the process of re-writing the words that I speak to myself , words of grace and Truth instead of lies. I’ve cooked. I’ve taken the kids to the pool (they can’t get enough of the water ). I’ve played and coloured and crafted and cleaned and have been present (tried to) more than previous summers.

I still love writing, and especially these summaries on each chapter of the Bible, makes me read and re- read , and I’m intrigued when I find connections and details that I’ve missed before. I will devote as much time as I can to my blog, but when I can’t, I will allow Scripture to fill me up. Happy Summer and I hope you get to enjoy time with your family.

Continuing with the gospel of Luke,

In chapter 7 : Jesus enters Capernaum, a centurion (Roman senior officer)’s servant was ill. Some Jews came to Jesus and pleaded with Him to heal the servant for the man’s sake because he was a good man. Close to the house, some friends of the centurion come to Jesus and tell Him that the centurion doesn’t feel worthy about Jesus entering his house , but to say the Word and the servant will be healed. Jesus is amazed at his faith and does what he asks. Jesus goes to Nain and raises the dead (only) son of a widow and gives him back to her. 16 They were all filled with awe and praised God. ‘A great prophet has appeared among us,’ they said. ‘God has come to help his people.’ 17 This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country. John (the Baptist ) sends 2 disciples to Jesus to find out if He is the Messiah. Jesus replies with His miracles and says “Blessed is the one who doesn’t stumble because of Him”. After they leave, Jesus addresses the crowd and calls John a prophet and His messenger. He says on earth, there is no greater than John, but John will be the least of those who are in the Kingdom of God. Jesus compares that generation ( and ours) to willful children who are never satisfied ( they complained about John’s methods and about Jesus’ too). Simon the Pharisee invites Jesus to a meal where He is anointed by a sinful woman. She wet Jesus’ feet with tears, wiped them with her hair and poured perfume on them. Jesus talks about forgiveness and forgives the woman ( for the love she had shown).

In chapter 8: Jesus travels from town to town with His disciples and is supported by women out of their own means{1}. Jesus tells them the parable of the sower and the seed. {2}. Jesus talks about (us) listening carefully. Whoever has, will be given more, whoever doesn’t have, even what he has will be taken from him. Jesus says His (mother and brothers) family are those who hear God’s Word and put it into practice. Jesus crosses the lake with His disciples. A storm comes up while Jesus is sleeping. He wakes up and rebukes the storm and His disciples are fearful and amazed. Jesus goes to Gerasenes, heals a demon (many demons calling themselves Legion) possessed man. He sends the demons into a herd of a pigs who rush down the bank of the lake and are drowned. The people of the town come and see the (formerly) demon possessed man sitting at Jesus’ feet, clothed and in his right mind and beg Jesus to leave. He does. The man wishes to come with Jesus. Jesus tells him to go back home instead, the man goes back to town and tells all that happened. Jesus heals a women of bleeding ( she had it for 12 years and she touched His cloak and power went out from Him) and raises Jairus’ daughter from death. Her parents’ are astonished but Jesus tells them not to tell anyone.

In chapter 9: Jesus sends out the 12 with authority to drive out demons and to cure diseases and to proclaim the Kingdom of God. {3} Herod is disturbed by Jesus’ doings and wants to see Him. Jesus feeds 5000 men (women and children were not included in the count) with 5 loaves and 2 fish and the disciples pick up 12 basketfuls of broken bread. Peter declares that Jesus is the Messiah when asked. Jesus warns them not to tell others. Jesus predicts His death. He says The Son of Man must be rejected and killed according to prophesy and He will rise again on the 3rd day. 8 days after this, Jesus takes Peter, James and John and goes up on a mountain a pray. He is transfigured before them. {4} They hear a voice from Heaven say, “This is my Son whom I’ve chosen, listen to Him”. Jesus heals a demon possessed child whom the disciples couldn’t heal. And the people were all amazed at the greatness of God. Jesus predicts His death a second time. Jesus tells them the least among them is the greatest. Jesus tells the disciples whoever is not against them is with them and not to hinder them from performing miracles. Jesus heads to Jerusalem and is not offered hospitality in a Samarian town. James and John want to call down fire on the town but are rebuked by Jesus. Jesus tells people that once they decide to follow Him, they must do so completely without turning back.

In chapter 10: Jesus sends out 72 disciples in pairs to the towns He was going to, to preach the good news. Jesus denounces Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum for not accepting Him. Jesus says whoever listens to (us) listens to Him, and whoever rejects (us) rejects Him and whoever rejects Him rejects the one who sent Him.  The 72 return rejoicing because the demons submitted to them. Jesus tells them to rejoice because their names are written in Heaven. Jesus then full of joy through the Holy Spirit praises the Father.  Jesus tells His disciples they are blessed because of what they’ve been privileged to see ( and experience). Jesus tells the people a parable about being a good neighbour ( the good Samaritan {5}). Jesus talks to people in the home of 2 sisters ( Mary and Martha. They had a brother Lazarus). Martha is busy with the preparations while Mary listens to Jesus. Martha resentfully asks The LORD to make Mary help. Jesus replies that Mary has chosen the best thing and it will not be taken away from her.

 

 

{1} I love the fact that women who followed/ served Jesus are given names and hence identities. Here Mary Magdalene out of whom Jesus drove out 7 demons, Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household and Susanna are mentioned}.

{2} There are 4 different kings of “soil” which is the heart of man, the “seed” is the Word of God and there are 4 “results” which is what men do with the Word of God. (a)Either the devil snatches it away and they don’t miss it ( bird taking away the seed). (b) or they receive it with joy and live for the Lord for awhile but since they don’t have any roots, in times of testing they fall away ( seed on rocky soil which withered in the sun). (c) or they grow in the Lord but life’s worries, riches and treasure chokes them and they don’t mature ( seed falling among thorns). (d) and the last, they accept God’s Word with joy , it takes root in them and they  persevere and produce a fruitful harvest ( soil producing 30, 60 and 100 fold what was sown ).}

{3} This time when the disciples are sent out, Jesus tells them not to take anything extra with them. No bag, no money, no bread, no extra shirt. This time the disciples are well received by the people and they return joyous that even the demons tremble. The next time Jesus sends them out, He tells them to take extras with them and be wary since the people will try to kill or hurt them.}

{4} Jesus’ appearance changed before them, His clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning and 2 men, Moses and Elijah appeared with Him. They represent the whole of the prophets and the law, and both of them “met God” on a mountain themselves. They came to speak about His departure ( His Exodus) which Jesus would bring to fulfillment in Jerusalem. The disciples were sleepy and Peter, confused, wanted to build shelters for all three of them .}

{5} The parable of the good Samaritan- A man is beaten, stripped, robbed and left for dead by bandits. A priest comes that way and crosses over without helping. Next a Levite comes along and leaves the man. Last a Samaritan comes that way, bandages and disinfects the man’s wounds, puts him on his own donkey, takes him to an inn and pays the inn-keeper to care for the man. The priest is representation of the class of people who serve God and were supposed to serve the people. The Levites were the broader class of people who were set apart for the upkeep of the Temple and to serve before Him. The Samaritans were hated by the Jews for their corrupted religious beliefs. }

 

This is already 1800 words long! I was going to summarize 6 chapters in each post, but I’m going to end this one :-). See you next time, and I pray your eyes will be opened to the joy found in the scriptures.

Vanessa.

 

Luke part 1 : Jesus is willing.

The name of the author of the gospel of Luke is not mentioned in this book or the sequel (Acts) but the authorship is almost universally accepted to be Luke. Luke was a physician and later a traveling companion of Paul. Luke was most likely a gentile. He wrote this book (and Acts) to an unknown person named Theophilus ( who was probably a gentile as well ) so that (he) may know the certainty of the things (he) has been taught. In the same way we can know the truth of the gospel by the immense amount of detail available to us in scripture.

Luke is very thorough in his writing. The traditions that are explained and most importantly the people that he chronicles are extremely detailed. Luke portrays Jesus as a very personal God. He reaches out to the people on the “fringes” of society and these interactions are recorded in this book.

Just as Matthew portrays Jesus as the King, and as Mark reveals Him as the Servant, so Luke offers a unique perspective of Jesus as the Son of Man. This phrase, “Son of Man,” was Jesus’s favorite way to refer to Himself. (From Chuck Swindoll’s overview of LukeThe theme of Luke’s gospel seems to be: “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). Luke portrayed Jesus as God’s ideal Man, who offers salvation to all humanity—Jew and Gentile alike.

The book of Luke is one of the largest books in the Bible ( content wise ) and it would not be prudent for me to try and short change you with not including all that is important ( and there is a lot that is important! ), so the gospel of Luke may be divided into 3 or 4 parts.

In chapter 1 : Zechariah ( a priest) while offering incense in the Holy of Holies, is visited by Gabriel ( an angel of the Lord) with a promise that he and his wife ( Elizabeth ) will have a child ” that brings joy and delight to them”. Zechariah doesn’t believe him and so he’s struck mute until the child is born. Several months later Gabriel tells Mary ( a young virgin) that she will conceive by the Holy Spirit and will give birth to the Messiah and he tells her that Elizabeth is in her 6th month of pregnancy. Mary submits herself willingly. Mary visits Elizabeth ( who has been secluded) and the child in Elizabeth’s womb leaps up in joy. Elizabeth blesses Mary. Mary sings a song of worship to God. Elizabeth’s child is born and they name him John “God is gracious” and Zechariah’s mouth is opened and he prophesies over his son with a song. The child grows up strong in the Spirit and lives in the wilderness until he appears to Israel.

In chapter 2 : According to prophesy , the child of Mary is born in Bethlehem (  because Joseph and Mary went there for a census ordered by Caesar). Angels appear to shepherds watching in the fields and tell them of the birth of a Saviour. The shepherds go and worship Him. On the 8th day the child is taken to the temple to be circumcised and is named Jesus. A righteous and a devout man, Simeon, who had been waiting for the coming of the Messiah is led by the Spirit to the baby Jesus and he’s overjoyed and prophesies over Jesus and Jerusalem. Anna, an old widowed prophetess from the tribe of Asher gives thanks as well. Mary and Joseph go up every year for the feast to Jerusalem. When Jesus is 12 years old He stays back at the temple, listening to and questioning the teachers of the law. When Mary and Joseph realize He’s not with them and hurry back and find Him in the temple. He says  He needed to be in His Father’s house but goes back and is obedient to them. He grows in favour with God and man.

In chapter 3: John (who would later be called the Baptist) starts speaking to the people about the baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. He advices tax collectors and soldiers and the common people of what’s expected of them. He denies being the Messiah. John speaks against Herod ( because he took his brother’s wife) and is imprisoned. Jesus is baptized ( by John the Baptist), and the heavens are opened , the Spirit descends on Jesus and a voice from the heaven ( The Father) says ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’ * {1}. Jesus’ genealogy through His adopted father Joseph is mentioned.

In chapter 4: Jesus is led by the Spirit to the desert where He is tempted by the devil. He eats nothing for 40 days and at the end of it He is hungry. (1) the devil tells Him to turn the stones into bread, Jesus replies It is written: “Man shall not live on bread alone.”[b] (2) the devil leads Him to a high place and shows Him the kingdoms of the world and wants to be worshipped in exchange he’ll give those kingdoms to Jesus, Jesus replies ‘It is written: “Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.”[c] (3) the devil leads Jesus to the highest point of the temple and tells Him to throw Himself down and then (mis)quotes scripture at Jesus, Jesus replies ‘It is said: “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”[e] *{2}. The devil leaves Him for a more opportune time. Jesus full of the Spirit goes to Galilee, to Nazareth and teaches in the synagogue astounding the people. He reads the prophesy from Isaiah 61: 1-2 and tells them that portion of scripture is fulfilled in their hearing. They are furious with Him and try to throw Him off a cliff but Jesus walks through them and leaves the town. Jesus goes to Capernaum and drives an impure sprit out of a man. Jesus goes to Simon (Peter’s) house and heals his mother in law. Jesus heals many other people and the people try to keep Jesus from moving on. Jesus tells them He must bring the good news ( gospel) to all the towns. Jesus goes to a solitary place and prays.

In chapter 5 :  Jesus talks to the people from Simon’s boat. He tells them to put down their nets (they hadn’t caught any fish the night before), Simon does do and they catch so much fish that they have to signal their partners (James and John , the sons of Zebedee) because the boat was starting to sink and both boat start to sink. Simon wants the Lord to go away from him because he’s sinful. Jesus tells him, he’ll fish for men from now on. They left everything and followed Jesus. A man with leprosy asks Jesus to heal him, if He’s willing, Jesus replies He’s willing and heals him. Jesus often withdraws to lonely places and prays. Friends of a paralyzed man lower him through a roof of a house where Jesus was teaching. He sees their faith and tells the man his sins are forgiven. The Pharisees grumble at this “blasphemy” so Jesus tells him to get up, take up his mat and go home. The man walks and everyone praises God. Jesus calls Levi / Matthew ( a tax collector ) to be His disciple. At a  feast with tax collectors and “sinners”, Jesus tells the people He’s come to call the sinners to repentance not the righteous. Jesus is questioned about the lack of His disciples’ fasting. He replies they will celebrate while The Bridegroom is with them, but will fast when He’s taken away.

In chapter 6 : Jesus’ disciples eat corn on the Sabbath and are rebuked by the Pharisees but Jesus declares that The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath. Jesus on another Sabbath heals a man with a shriveled hand thus further angering the Pharisees.  Jesus spends a night praying to God and then choses 12 out of all His disciples calling them apostles. People come from all over Judea and Jerusalem to touch Jesus because they want to be healed since power was flowing out of Him. Jesus pronounces  blessings on His disciples and woes on the false prophets. Jesus tells His disciples to do unto others as they would have done unto them, to be merciful as His Father ( and ours) is merciful, to love their enemies, to forgive and they will be forgiven among other things. Jesus tells them the student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their Teacher. Jesus tells them a parable about a hypocrite (taking out a speck in the eye). He tells people to distinguish between good and bad people by their fruit (results). Jesus tells a parable about firm foundation (wise and foolish builders ).

 

 

*{1}This is one of the few places in the Bible where you can see all three persons of the Trinity at the same time. The Father, The Son and The Sprit}

*{2}Note Jesus uses scripture to refute the devil all three times, showing us that scripture is an offensive weapon too like a double edged sword}

I’ve tried keeping my post to 1000 words or under but this ended up being much too long! I’m going to make the gospel of Luke a 4 part series.

Until next week,

Vanessa.

 

Mark part 2: The suffering- servant- King was and is the Son of God.

Previously in the gospel of Mark we see that Jesus healed many, even on the Sabbath. He declares that the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath. Jesus in this gospel seems to be always on the go, but even in an action-packed gospel, several times it’s mentioned that Jesus took time to pray/ He went away alone/ He prayed to His Father. Continuing on………..

In chapter 9: This chapter starts with Jesus’ transfiguration in front of Peter, James and John. For a brief moment, they see who Jesus really is, and Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!” Jesus warns them not to tell anyone until the Son of Man rises from the dead. Jesus *heals a child possessed by an impure spirit whom the disciples couldn’t heal. Jesus says these kind of spirits can be driven out only by prayer (and fasting in some manuscripts). Jesus predicts His death again.35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” Jesus tells them anyone not against them is for them and anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward. Jesus also says that those who cause others to stumble, it would be better for them to drown in the sea.

In chapter 10: Jesus talks about divorce. It wasn’t in His plan but because of the hardness of the hearts of people it had been permitted. [c] So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Jesus blessed the little children that the disciples tried to keep away from Him. Jesus sees a *rich man, and loves him, and then tells him what to do. The rich man goes away sorrowful. 28 Then Peter spoke up, “We have left everything to follow you!” 29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” Jesus predicts His death again. *James and John ask to be seated at the right and left of Jesus in heaven. The disciples are offended. Jesus again reiteirates that they must serve others and not be like the gentiles. *Bartimaeus who is blind receives his sight.

In chapter 11: Jesus sends 2 disciples to untie a colt and bring it to Him at Bethpage and Bethany before He enters Jerusalem. People spread cloaks on the donkey and the road and Jesus rides in to shouts of Hosanna![a]“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”[b]10 “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!”. Jesus curses a fig tree because He is hungry and it had no fruit (another gospel mentions it wasn’t  the season), the tree withers. Jesus cleanses the temple court of the merchandise and the selling going on. Jesus quotes Isaiah 56: 7. Jesus’ authority is questioned by the priests. He tells them He’ll answer if they can tell Him if John (the Baptist)’s anointing came from God or from man. The priests don’t want to answer “God” (because they don’t believe it) and they don’t want to answer “man” because of fear of the people who believed John was a prophet. So Jesus doesn’t answer to them either.

In chapter 12: Jesus tells a parable about the *vineyard. Jesus then quotes Psalm 118: 22-23. The Pharisees and the Herodians try to trick Jesus about paying taxes to Caesar. Jesus says ” Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and give to God what is God’s”. The Sadducees try to trick Jesus with a frivolous question about marriage at the resurrection( the Sadducees did not believe in resurrection), Jesus answers When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. 26 Now about the dead rising—have you not read in the Book of Moses, in the account of the burning bush, how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’[d]? 27 He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. When questioned about the greatest commandments 29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[e] 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[f] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[g] Jesus asks the people “whose son is the Messiah” and quotes Psalm 110:1. The crowd is *delighted. Jesus warns about the teachers of the law  saying that These men will be punished most severely.”. Jesus sees a widow put all she had in the temple treasury and He calls special attention to what she gave..” All that she had to live on”. gospel_of_mark_chapter_10-19_bible_illustrations_by_sweet_media

In chapter 13 : Jesus talks about the signs of His coming again. It’s really extensive.28 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 29 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it[d] is near, right at the door. 30 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. Jesus says that only the Father knows the day and time, no one else. Jesus tells His disciples to keep watch, as He told them , He tells us all to “keep watch, be alert, be on the lookout and not be deceived”.

In chapter 14: Jesus is anointed by an unnamed woman at Bethany. Judas agrees to betray Jesus. Jesus sends 2 disciples to find the furnished, upstairs room, which has been set apart for Jesus and His disciples to celebrate the Passover. Jesus institutes the *new covenant. Jesus predicts His disciples running away and Peter denying Him. Jesus and His disciples to the garden of Gethsemane and taking Peter, James and John aside, Jesus is sorrowful and pleads with the Father to take the cup away from Him, but also says “not His (Jesus’) will be done but the Father’s”. 3 times they fall asleep and then Jesus wakes them up to see His betrayer. Jesus is arrested and the ear of the servant of the priest is cut off by a disciple. 51 A young man, wearing nothing but a linen garment, was following Jesus. When they seized him, 52 he fled naked, leaving his garment behind. Jesus is brought before the Sanhedrin and the chief priests and teachers of the law try to find false witnesses but even their testimonies don’t agree. Finally the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One? 62 “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” They use Jesus’ declaration of Himself to convict Him. Peter denies Jesus 3 times.

In chapter 15: Jesus is brought before Pilate. “Are you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate. “You have said so,” Jesus replied. The crowd demands Jesus’ crucifixion. The soldiers mock Jesus and put a crown of thorns on His head. 21 A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross. Jesus is crucified around 9 in the morning with a charge against Him that read “King of the Jews” ( in another gospel it mentions that this was written in 3 languages). The soldiers divide Jesus’ clothes by casting lots. 2 criminals are crucified with Jesus. The people passing by mock Him and tell Him to save Himself. At noon darkness covered the land until 3 when Jesus *died. The temple curtain is torn in two from top to bottom 39 And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died,[c] he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”. Some *women watched from a distance. Joseph of Arimathea who was waiting for the kingdom of God himself, asked Pilate for Jesus’ body. Pilate is surprised because Jesus died in a few hours (when crucifixion takes days), after confirming with a centurion, Pilate gives Joseph the body. Joseph rolls Jesus in a linen cloth and puts the body in a tomb, and Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Jesus see where He is laid. 

In chapter 16:  On the first day of the week after Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body.  They worry about who will roll away the stone. They look up and see the tomb is already open. They go in and see a young man dressed in white on the right side who tells them “Jesus has risen, He is not here, go and tell His disciples and Peter that He is going to Galilee , you will see Him there just as He told you”. The women run away terrified.

This is the end of the gospel of Mark in the earliest manuscripts.  

Some other manuscripts have this portion added.When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. 11 When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it.12 Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. 13 These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either.14 Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

*21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” 23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

*Jesus meets a rich man who wants to know what he has to do to inherit eternal life. Jesus tells him to keep the commandments, which the young man had kept from his childhood. Jesus then sees him and loves him and then tells him to sell all he has and give it to the poor. The rich man goes away sorrowful and the disciples marvel and wonder who can enter the kingdom of God. Jesus then replies, “with man it is impossible but not with God”.

*In the gospel of Matthew, it mentions that it is the mother of James and John who makes this request. Here it mentions the brothers themselves. This is not a contradiction. Remember each book was written by different people, and different people remember an exact event differently.

*Bartimaeus shouts out :Son of David, have mercy on me” he is rebuked, and shouts out all the louder. Jesus hears him, and sends someone for him. Jesus asks Bartimaeus what he wants, he replies “I want to see” and Jesus says his faith ahs healed him, and Bartimaeus gains his sight.

*The parable of the Vineyard is directed at the priests. It’s about a Master who planted a vineyard and gave it to tenants and then moved away. When He sent servants to collect what the Master was owed, some were beaten, some were killed, some were treated shamefully. Then the Master sent His Son and His Heir assuming they would treat Him with respect. The tenants kill the Son. Then Jesus mentions that The Master will come and kill the tenants and give it to someone else to maintain. Here Jesus prophesies using a parable.

*I think the crowd is delighted because Jesus stumped the priests. They may have been a few people who truly believed, but I think the majority of them did not care about what Jesus was teaching or saying. Remember within a week of this happening, the crowd turns on Jesus (stirred up by the priests) and demand His crucifixion.

*Many scholars believe this unnamed woman was Mary ( the sister of Martha and Lazarus of Bethany). But even though she is not named in the Bible, she and what she did are mentioned. She had an expensive alabaster jar of nard, she broke it and poured it over Jesus’ head. When rebuked by the people gathered (that it could have been sold and the money given to the poor), Jesus tells them to “leave her alone. She has done a beautiful thing. She anointed Him for His burial. The poor we will always have with us”.

*The New covenant. Jesus tells the disciples to eat bread and remember His body broken for them. They are to drink wine and remember His blood poured out for them, for the forgiveness of sins. This is what we do when we take communion. We remember His death and His atonement for us. And we rejoice in His resurrection. And we await His coming again.

*Some scholars that this is Mark, the author of the gospel, who wrote himself into the narrative in Mark 14: 51-52.

*When Jesus died, 34 And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).[b] 35 When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.” 36 Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said. 37 With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.

*Women who are mentioned here, Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joseph,[d] and Salome. 41 In Galilee these women had followed him and cared for his needs. Many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem were also there.

 

Whew!!!! Mark is the shortest gospel, but writing a summary of it sure did not feel like it! It’s so full of action and details that I felt important, I honestly could not choose which to include and which to leave out 🙂 I’m going to take the advice of a few friends (Liv Campbell and Vanessa Grace, both writers as well) and further condense the summaries of these books of the Bible, with links to the original. Since I’ve finished four books of the Bible now, I’ll going to write condensed versions next and then pick up with Leviticus from the Old Testament. Hopefully you’ll join along with me and continue to be amazed at God’s thoughtfulness, His attention to detail and His faithfulness. I’d love to hear from you about your favourite  verse/ chapter/ book in the Bible. Till next week,

Vanessa.

 

Mark part 1: The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.

Mark is widely believed to have been written by John Mark, the cousin/nephew of Barnabas who ran away in the middle of a missionary journey with Barnabas and Paul, whom Barnabas wanted again on the 2nd journey and Paul said no, and Paul and Barnabas split. It is believed that Barnabas took Mark with him and they travelled with Peter. What Mark writes down seems to be from Peter’s eye witness accounts. The gospel of Mark is also famous for being an action gospel. These words “….and immediately,…. at once, …..quickly, ……without delay, …..right away” occur quite often.

Do you obey Christ immediately? –Tweet this!

In chapter 1: Mark writes this is the beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ the Messiah as prophesied in the prophets Malachi and Isaiah. Right away we see Jesus baptized in the Jordan, Jesus tested in the wilderness, John the Baptist put in jail, Jesus starting to teach about His kingdom, Jesus calling Simon and Andrew, Jesus driving out an impure spirit on the Sabbath, Jesus healing Peter’s mother-in-law, Jesus going away to be alone and to pray, and *Jesus healing a man with leprosy.

In chapter 2: 4 men bring their paralyzed friend to Jesus by making a hole in the roof of the house Jesus was talking to people in. Jesus forgives his sins and tells him to “take up his mat and walk” and he does. Jesus calls Levi and then eats at his house with tax collectors and “sinners”, when questioned by the priests, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Jesus is questioned about His disciples’ lack of fasting and  19 Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? They cannot, so long as they have him with them. 20 But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and on that day they will fast. His disciples pluck some heads of grain on the Sabbath and when questioned Jesus  said “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”.

In chapter 3: Jesus heals on the Sabbath again. This time a man with a shriveled hand, Jesus asks the people what to do on the Sabbath (evil or good, kill or save a life) and they remain silent.He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. Crowds follow Jesus so He asks the disciples to keep the boat ready for Him. Jesus appoints the *12 disciples (who are later called apostles meaning “sent”). Jesus is accused of driving out demons by beezelebub but replies 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. Jesus also says the sin of blaspheming against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven. Jesus’ mother and brothers come to take Him away, but Jesus says *”those who do the will of His Father are His mother and His brother and His sister”

In chapter 4: Jesus talks about the parable of the sower, a lamp on a stand, the parable of the growing seed, the parable of the mustard seed. Then Jesus said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” 10 When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. 11 He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you and He explained everything to them. While they cross over the lake in their boat, a storm comes up and Jesus is sleeping. They wake Him up and He rebukes the wind and the waves and it becomes calm again. The disciples are terrified at God’s power over nature.

In chapter 5: Jesus and His disciples go to Gerasenes and heal a demon(s) possessed man. The demon(s) reply that their name is Legion(which means many) and they ask to be sent to a herd of pigs(about 2000 in number) and the entire herd rushes down a cliff and drowns in the sea. *The man healed wants to come with Jesus, but He says no. Jesus then raises Jairus’ daughter from death. He only take Peter, James and John and the girl’s parents with Him into the room. On the way there , a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years touches His cloak and is healed. Jesus knows immediately power had gone out from Him and looks around. The woman confesses and Jesus says it’s her faith that healed her.

In chapter 6: Jesus goes to his hometown and teaches in the synagogue but the people who knew Him growing up are offended at Him, and He does not do a lot of miracles. Jesus sends out the 12 two by two and gives them power over impure spirits and tells them not to take anything with *them. We get more details about John the Baptist’s imprisonment and subsequent execution. *Jesus feeds the 5000 men with 5 loaves and 2 fish. Jesus goes to a mountain to pray while the disciples take the boat to cross the lake to Bethsaida. Jesus walks on the water around dawn, the disciples are frightened and think it’s a ghost. Jesus tells them not to be frightened and He gets into the boat and immediately the wind dies down. They reach Gennesarat.

In chapter 7: Jesus tells the people that Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.’ 21 For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come – sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and defile a person.’ It is implied from the context that *Jesus had declared all foods clean. Jesus heals a greek woman’s daughter of a demon. *He heals a deaf and mute man. They people are amazed and exclaim He does everything well. 

The people are amazed and say that He (Jesus) does all things well –Tweet this!

In chapter 8: Jesus feeds 4000 men (women and children would have taken this number up higher) with 7 loaves of bread and a few fish, and the disciples gather up 7 basketfuls of leftover food afterwards. Jesus warns against the *yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod. Jesus heals a *blind man at Bethsaida. Peter declares Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus predicts His death. Peter rebukes Him and is in turn rebuked. Jesus talks about the cost of following Him and the importance of acknowledging Him before people, otherwise the Son of Man will not acknowledge them before His Father.

 

*(he says “if you’re willing, make me clean” and Jesus  replies” I am willing” but further admonishing the man not to talk about Jesus healing him but to show the priests and take the offerings needed). * Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere.

*The 12 disciples are Simon/Peter, Andrew, James and John (called sons of thunder), Simon the Zealot, Phillip, Bartholomew(called Nathanael in John), Judas Iscariot(Matthias takes his place after he betrays Jesus), Levi/Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus and Thaddeus. These are given power to drive out demons and to preach repentance and the coming of the kingdom in Jesus’ name.

*Notice Jesus does not mention they are His Father. He gives His respect and honour and glory to only One Father.

*18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19 Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20 So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis[b] how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.  Remember in an earlier passage that Jesus warns the person healed of leprosy to be quiet about Jesus but show the priests and offer the appropriate offerings.

*Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.”

*12 They went out and preached that people should repent. 13 They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them. (the 12 disciples).

*This time they aren’t to take extra clothes, shoes, or money. They are to go to a home in every village, and if they accept the disciples, they are to stay there till they leave( the disciples are not to look for a better place to stay). Later when Jesus commissions them to go again and preach the good news, He tells them to go prepared. With extra clothes, sturdy shoes and all their money. (the first time the disciples have favour with the people and are welcomed, the second time they’ll be attacked by the people )

*Jesus feeding the 5000 men (and there were women and children too who were not counted) is mentioned in all 4 gospels.

*Jesus will confirm this to a Peter in a vision much later (in Acts) that Peter is not to call anything unclean that Christ has made clean. By this Peter gets the go-ahead to preach to the gentiles as well.

*In this healing of a deaf and mute man, Jesus puts His fingers into the man’s ears, He spits and then touches his tongue, He sighs, looks up to heaven and says Ephphatha (which means be opened).

*Just like yeast when it is mixed with dough, makes its way through the whole thing and causes the bread to rise, if attention was given to the Pharisees’  and Herod’s teachings, it would spread everywhere and corrupt everything.

*For this healing, Jesus spits on the man’s eyes and puts hands on him and at first the images aren’t clear. Jesus lays hands on him again and this time the man sees clearly.

Whew! I expected to finish gospel of Mark in one post since it has only 16 chapters, but looking at the word count already, I’m not going to do so. This really is an action packed gospel. Every chapter has so much going on 🙂 Read along if you can, and I’ll post Mark part 2 next week. Till then,

Vanessa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exodus part 2: The God who dwells among us.

Edited to add: This is the ONLY post which I finished in one sitting!!!! A big shout out to my husband who watched the kids on a Saturday while I was elsewhere and finished the whole thing over several hours. 

In the previous post, I wrote about chapters 1-20. I don’t know if I was stressed, worried, under attack or just exhausted but it took me longer to finish than I thought. We’ll continue with chapters 20-40 here. I hope to instill in you a love of His Word and a joy in reading it that will take you closer to Him and deeper in your faith. I’ve mentioned before that writing is my act of worship to Christ. Usually when I write ( and especially topics from the Bible), I’m reading and re-reading the Bible/passage constantly and then I see details I’ve missed before. When I put into words , I’m focusing on Him and asking for guidance on what I should share. I need to point out as well, that what I find important is based on where I am in my personal life, my up-bringing, my church’s doctrine and theology  taught by my pastor/s. It may be different for you. The only way for you to find out what you like and what is important for you is to read the Bible yourself.

Continuing with the journey………

In chapters 21-22: God gives provisions for slaves., male and female, bought or born in service. God says He will designate cities of refuge where those who un-intentionally kill someone can go while those who plotted deliberately must die. He further gives other instances where the crimes deserve death (attacks their father/mother, kidnaps someone, curses their father/mother). God gives guidelines for personal injury, for injury/death done to slaves, for injury/death done by animals owned, for personal property, for things that have been lost/damaged when borrowed. God talks about a man’s responsibility if he seduces a virgin. God talks about being kind to the foreigner, being just with a brother/kin when they borrow, being compassionate to the widows and the fatherless for When they cry out to me, I will hear, for I am compassionate. God further tells the people to abstain from worship of idols, from sorcery, from blaspheming God.

In chapter 23: Here God gives them guidelines about taking Cannan. He’ll send His angel ahead of them, the Israelites are to follow his instructions and listen to him, for God’s name is in him. God will give the Israelites Canaan little by little, while He will drive out all the inhabitants of the land, He won’t do so all at once otherwise the land will become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for them. God also gives them further instructions about being just and merciful in their laws. He gives them rules for obeying the Sabbath ( day and year- the 7th year is to be a Sabbath year where they are not to plant anything or till the ground, but to allow the land to rest). God institutes three annual festivals where all the men are to appear before the Sovereign Lord.

In chapter 24: God invites specific people to come up to Him on the mountain. Before going up Moses builds an altar with 12 stones representing the 12 tribes of Israel. Moses sent young Israelite men who sacrificed fellowship and burnt offerings. Moses uses half the blood to consecrate the altar and the other half to consecrate the people. Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up 10 and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of lapis lazuli, as bright blue as the sky. 11 But God did not raise his hand against these leaders of the Israelites; they saw God, and they ate and drank. Moses and Joshua go up further, where they see the glory of God cover the mountain ( it looked like a cloud of fire) for 6 days, on the 7th day God invites Moses into the cloud.

In chapter 25: God asks Moses to accept offerings from the people for the tabernacle (gold, silver, precious stones, dyed skins etc, remember they plundered the Egyptians when they left). He tells Moses  “Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. God then gives Moses detailed instructions regarding making an ark, a table for the ark of the covenant,  gold dishes to place the bread of the Presence on and a lampstand which you can read  about here.

Do your friends see God dwelling among and in you? –Tweet this!

In chapter 26: God gives very detailed instructions about building a tabernacle which you can read here.

In chapter 27: God tells Moses to make an altar for the burnt offerings Make the altar hollow, out of boards. It is to be made just as you were *shown on the mountain and with rings attached to it and poles that slide through them to carry it. He tells him to make a courtyard for the tabernacle and gives instructions about the oil to be used in the lampstand, you can reads it here. Aaron and his sons are to keep the lamp buring continually before the Lord.

In chapter 28: God tells Moses to Make sacred garments for your brother Aaron to give him dignity and honor. These priestly garments will be made by the ones to whom God has given wisdom and skill. They are to make an Ephod, a Breast-piece, a gold plate which has Holy to the Lord engraved on it, a turban onto which they attach the gold plate, tunics, sashes and caps made of linen , and linen undergarments. You can read the details here.

In chapter 29: The consecration of Aaron and his sons take place. The Lord gives very detailed instructions which you can read here. He tells Moses that the priestly duties belong to Aaron’s descendants as a lasting ordinance. He tells Moses to sacrifice several offerings which include a sin offering, a burnt offering and a wave offering. The reason that God will dwell in their amidst is so that 46 They will know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them out of Egypt so that I might dwell among them. I am the Lord their God.

In chapter 30: God gives instructions for building an altar of incense ( again with gold rings attached to allow poles to slip through for carrying it). The Lord tells Moses  “When you take a census of the Israelites to count them, each one must pay the Lord a ransom for his life at the time he is counted. Then no plague will come on them when you number them. Those older than 20 years are to counted and the money collected used in the service of the tent/tabernacle. A bronze basin is to be used for ceremonial washing. The ingredients to be used for the anointing oil and the incense are given and are not to be used for any other purpose.

In chapter 31: Then the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills— to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts. Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, to help him. Also I have given ability to all the skilled workers to make everything I have commanded you. God reminds Moses again to tell the people to observe the Sabbath day ( a day of doing no work, but to keep it Holy because God is Holy).

In chapter 32: Moses is long in coming down from the mountain, the people get restless and want other gods, Aaron takes their gold ear-rings and makes a golden calf and the people worship it. God’s anger burns and He tells Moses that He will destroy them all and start afresh with Moses. But Moses sought the favor of the Lord his God. Moses reminds God of His covenant and His promises to the people. 14 Then the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened. Moses goes down with the two tablets of stone which were 16 the work of God; the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets. We see Joshua is with Moses. Moses throws the tablets breaking them into pieces at the foot of the mountain, He burns the calf, grinds it to powder, scatters it over the water and makes the Israelites drink it. Aaron makes excuses. Moses26  stood at the entrance to the camp and said, “Whoever is for the Lord, come to me.” And all the Levites rallied to him. They strap on a sword and go and kill nearly 3000 of their fellow men and brothers. Moses tells them You have been set apart to the Lord today, for you were against your own sons and brothers, and he has blessed you this day.” The next day Moses goes back up to the mountain and pleads with the Lord to forgive their sin or blot his(Moses’) name from the book. The Lord says He’ll only blot those names who sinned against Him. He tells Moses to continue to lead the people, His angel will go before them, and He’ll punish the people later.

   Do you seek the favour of the Lord your God on behalf of those you know, like Moses did?- Tweet this!

In chapter 33: God tells the people He won’t lead them into the promised land, they mourn and take off all their jewels at Mount Horeb(Sinai). Moses had pitched a tent outside of camp where he would go to speak with God. When the Glory of God came down, a pillar of smoke would cover the tent. The Israelites stood at the entrance of their tents and watched Moses go. The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent. Moses pleads with God to lead them and  The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Moses asks to see God’s glory And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 20 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”

In chapter 34: God tells Moses to chisel 2 more tablets just like the first and come up to the mountain. And he(the Lord) passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.”. In addition to the 10 commandments, God gives Moses other commandments that he is to tell the people to follow. When Moses comes down from the mountain, his face is radiant, so when speaking to the people he puts a veil over his face, and takes it off when he is in the presence of the Lord.

In chapter 35: Moses tells the people what God had commanded him regarding Sabbath regulations, materials for the tabernacle and Bezalel and Oholiab . You can read the complete list here.

In chapter 36: So Bezalel, Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the Lord has given skill and ability to know how to carry out all the work of constructing the sanctuary are to do the work just as the Lord has commanded.” The people bring so much for the tabernacle that is more than enough. The workers tell Moses who in turn asks the people to stop bringing offerings for the tabernacle.

tabernacle

In chapters 37-38: At the end of the previous chapter and in these ones, we see the skilled workers making the tabernacle, the ark, the table, the lampstand and the altar of incense, the altar of burnt offering, the basin for washing, the courtyard and the measurements of the materials used.

In chapter 39: The priestly garments are made. The Ephod, the Breast-plate and the other priestly garments. Moses inspects the tabernacle.

In chapter 40:  Then the Lord said to Moses: “Set up the tabernacle, the tent of meeting, on the first day of the first month. Place the ark of the covenant law in it and shield the ark with the curtain. Bring in the table and set out what belongs on it. Then bring in the lampstand and set up its lamps. Place the gold altar of incense in front of the ark of the covenant law and put the curtain at the entrance to the tabernacle.“Place the altar of burnt offering in front of the entrance to the tabernacle, the tent of meeting; place the basin between the tent of meeting and the altar and put water in it. Set up the courtyard around it and put the curtain at the entrance to the courtyard.“Take the anointing oil and anoint the tabernacle and everything in it; consecrate it and all its furnishings, and it will be holy. 10 Then anoint the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils; consecrate the altar, and it will be most holy. 11 Anoint the basin and its stand and consecrate them. Then Moses consecrates Aaron and his sons and dresses them in the priestly garments. Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 35 Moses could not enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. When the cloud lifted, the Israelites travelled, when they cloud stayed on the tabernacle, the Israelites camped.

*I love the fact that God shows Moses on the mountain what the tabernacle will look like, but still takes the time to give Moses detailed instructions.

I started writing he post with the intention of making it shorter than the previous one, but it still ended up being over 2000 words! Sorry!!! I hope you’ll take the time to read the Bible yourself. Start somewhere. Start small. Read a devotional with a verse, go up to a chapter, then a few chapters, then read commentaries and go deeper. May God who dwells among us make Himself known to you in a way you will not forget.

Love,

Vanessa.

 

 

Exodus part 1: A God who speaks.

A couple of weeks ago we read in Genesis, how God created everything from nothing, chose a man for no other reason that He did, He was faithful to his descendants and gave them a promise, a covenant. We’ll start with the next book of the Old Testament Exodus. Exodus was also written by Moses (as Genesis was) and starts nearly 400 years later. Exodus is named for the Israelites leaving Egypt but deals with their journey in the desert as well.

In chapter 1: We see that there’s a new Pharaoh who doesn’t know or care about Joseph  saving Egypt. He and his people are jealous/ worried about/ fearful of the number of Israelites and so force them into hard labour.* Pharaoh orders the midwives Shiphrah and Puah to kill all male Hebrew babies at birth. They fear God and so don’t obey him.

In chapter 2: A Levite couple hide their son in a papyrus basket and let him float on the River Nile. Pharaoh’s daughter rescues him and lets his mother nurse him till he is weaned. Moses as an adult sees an Egyptian beating an Israelite and so kills the Egyptian. Pharaoh tries to kill Moses, so he flees to Midian. There he stays with Reuel /Jethro and marries his daughter Zipporah and has a son and names him Gershom ( I have become a foreigner in a foreign land). The chapter ends with saying God remembered His covenant with Abraham’s descendants.

In chapters 3-4: Moses sees a burns on fire but that hasn’t burned up. He hears God speaking to him, who says (in v 5) “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then he said, “I am the God of your father,[a] the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Moses is given his commission , to deliver the Israelites. God warns him that Pharaoh will not relent until he sees all the signs God will perform. God also tells Moses that the people will not leave empty-handed, but will plunder the Egyptians when they leave ( the same promise He gave Abraham nearly 400 years earlier). God gives Moses three signs to perform for the people to prove that I AM Who I AM has sent him, ( staff turning into a snake and back again, Moses’ hand becoming leprous and then being healed, water poured on the ground becoming blood). Moses argues with God, but God’s anger burns against Moses and He says (in v 15)”I will help both of you( Moses ad Aaron) speak and will teach you what to do.” Aaron(his brother) is on his way to meet Moses. Moses leaves to Egypt with his wife and sons. *Zipporah circumcises her son to prevent Moses being struck down by the Lord who meets them on the way.

In chapters 5-6: At the end of chapter 4, Moses had reached Egypt and meets with the elders and gives them the signs God gave him, and they believe in Him and worship Him. Moses asks Pharaoh to let his people go, but Pharaoh orders the workload of the Israelites increased ( they still need to make bricks but straw is not provided). God promises (in v 6)‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the Lord.’ God tells Moses, Aaron can speak for him, be his prophet.

In chapters 7,8,9,10: God performs many signs. First Aaron’s staff becomes a snake and eats up the snakes conjured by the chief priests from their staffs. Then the River Nile and all water stored in the cisterns turn into blood, and the chief priests of Egypt do the same. Then frogs cover the land, the chief priests do it as well. After this plague, we see Pharaoh tell Moses for the first time to pray to God to remove the plague and then he’ll let the people go to sacrifice to the Lord. But changes his heart later. Then gnats cover the land, the priests are unable to do so and so say “this is the Hand of God”. Then flies cover the land, from this time on God makes a distinction between the Israelites living in Goshen and the Egyptians, the Israelites are not affected by these latter plagues. Then the livestock of the Egyptians die. Then all the Egyptians have boils break out on their bodies. *Then a plague of hail. Then a plague of locusts (this time Pharaoh says only the men may leave). Then a plague of darkness lasting three days ( this time Pharaoh says the men, women and children may go to worship God but they must leave their flocks behind).

Can your enemies see “the Hand of God” in your life? –Tweet this!

In chapters 11-12: In the previous plagues Moses warns Pharaoh, then the plague comes, Pharaoh relents and gives permission for the people to leave but asks Moses to pray to take away the plague, Moses prays, the plague stops ,then Pharaoh hardens his heart and refuses to let the people go. God warns Moses about the last plague, but tells them  (in v 2) that men and women alike are to ask their neighbours for articles of silver and gold.’ (The Lord made the Egyptians favourably disposed towards the people, and Moses himself was highly regarded in Egypt by Pharaoh’s officials and by the people.) Moses warns Pharaoh. *God gives Moses the Passover instructions. At midnight the Lord strikes down the firstborn of every Egyptian, but the Israelites who followed God’s directions are saved. Pharaoh and his officials urge the people to leave. Pharaoh asks to be blessed first. His people are afraid they’ll die if the Israelites remain any longer. They give the Israelites all they ask for ,so the Israelites plunder the Egyptians. (in v 42) Because the Lord kept vigil that night to bring them out of Egypt, on this night all the Israelites are to keep vigil to honour the Lord for the generations to come. 

ornamental decorative cabbage close-up

In chapter 13: God gives Moses guidelines to consecrate every firstborn to Him, of the human womb and the animals as well, if they do not redeem the animal, they must break its neck. God leads them from in front by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. (in v 18)The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle.19 Moses took the bones of Joseph with him because Joseph had made the Israelites swear an oath. He had said, ‘God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up with you from this place.’[b

In chapter 14: God tells the Israelites to camp by the Red Sea. The Egyptians changed their minds about letting the Israelites leave and chase them with 600 chariots and the whole army. The Israelite people in fear cry out to Moses and wish that they had stayed in Egypt. God tells Moses that I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. Moses tells the people  The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.’ The Angel of the Lord goes from in front of the people to the back and the pillar of cloud gives light to the Israelites while the Egyptians are in darkness the whole night. During the night the Lord drives the water back with a strong east wind and the Israelites cross on dry land. When the Egyptians try to cross the Lord brings the water back and they drown.  And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand of the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant. 

In chapter 15: Moses sings a song of joy to the Lord. Miriam and the women take out tambourines and with dancing praise Him. It’s so beautiful  you might want to read the whole thing here. They travel from the Red Sea into the desert for 3 days without finding water.They find water in Marah but it is bitter. *Here we see the Israelites complain. Moses cries out to the Lord who shows him a piece of wood, which when thrown into the water makes it fit to drink. There the Lord issued a ruling and instruction for them and put them to the test. 26 He said, ‘If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.’  Then the Lord took them to Elim which had 12 springs and 70 palm trees and they camped near water. 

In chapter 16: They travel from Elim to the desert of Sin where the Israelites grumble about the lack of food. God sends quail to the camp at twilight and in the morning after the dew evaporates there’s a layer of manna (bread that was white like coriander seed and tasted like honey) on the ground. Each person collected enough for their family. No one had too much, no one had too little. They were to collect manna each day except on the Sabbath ( when what they collected the previous day would be enough for two days without spoiling). God does this so that  I(He) will test them and see whether they will follow my(His) instructions. The Lord tells them to keep a jar of manna for generations to remember that God provided for them.

In chapter 17: The Israelites left the desert of Sin and travelled from place to place till they came to Rephidim where they grumbled about not having water. This time the Lord tells Moses to take his staff and the elders of Israel and in their presence, strike a rock and water comes gushing out. Amalekites attack them at Rephidim, Moses sends Joshua and the *fighting men to attack them. Moses, Aaron and Hur watch the battle from on top of a hill. When Moses holds his hands up, the Israelites win, and when his hands come down , the Amalekites win. So Aaron and Hur put a rock for Moses to sit on and hold up his hands. The Israelites win and  (in v 15) Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is our Banner. 16 He said, ‘Because hands were lifted up against[c] the throne of the Lord. 

In chapter 18: Jethro/Reuel Moses’ father-in-law who is a priest in Midian hears about what God has done for the Israelites and that they have been released from Egypt. He received Moses’ wife Zipporah and his two sons Gershom and Eliezer whom Moses had sent away (we don’t know when that happened) and brings them to Moses in the desert. Jethro listens to everything that God did for the Israelites and gives Him praise and brings sacrifices to God. He also sees the way Moses handles the leadership (disputes, administration etc) and gives him very good advice about choosing helpers and delegating authority which Moses follows.

In chapter 19: On the first day of the 3rd month after the Israelites leave Egypt, they enter the desert of Sinai and camp at the base of the Mount Sinai. God calls Moses up to the mountain to speak to Him and tells him to remind the people “You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you[a] will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. *Moses comes back down and gives the Israelites the message. 

In chapter 20: God gives Moses the 10 Commandments. The people see thunder and lightning coming from the mountain and are terrified to speak or see God themselves so they ask Moses to speak for them and they’ll listen to him. 20 Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.’ God asks Moses to build an altar of earth and sacrifice their offerings on it. If they build one of stones it should be of undressed stones and they should not use a tool on it or it’ll be defiled.

*I love that their names, Shiprah and Puah, are mentioned, while Pharaoh ( a title)’s isn’t. Because they were faithful to Him, He gave them families of their own.

*We don’t see Zipporah after this , until Jethro brings Moses’ family to him in the desert and gives him advice about governing (later chapter). Zipporah and the sons may have gone back to her father’s house now, or turned back later, it’s not clear. What we do know is that Jethro does bring them back after Moses and the Israelites are in the desert and have escaped from Egypt.

*The plague of hail was such a storm that Egypt hadn’t seen. There was lightning and thunder and hail. What’s interesting to note is that God allows Moses to warn Pharaoh. Some Egyptians  (who are said to fear the Lord) bring their slaves and livestock under shelter, but others leave them out in the fields. Those who were left in the fields were beaten down by the hail, all trees were stripped bare and the flax and barley are destroyed ( I love the details provided in the Bible).

*Passover was later celebrated as a festival and was one of the most important ones in Israel. Even Jesus celebrated Passover. He would be crucified during it as the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world. Here He tells them to take a year old male lamb without defect, kill it, and spread its blood on the doorpost of each home. They were to eat the meat of the lamb quickly and not leave any of it for the next day, if the meat was too much for a family, they were to share with another family . They were to cleanse their homes of all leaven and eat unleavened bread. Jesus as the Ultimate Sacrifice would shed His blood for us and cover  our sins. We “eat bread and drink wine/juice” in remembrance of His flesh broken for and His blood shed for us.

*We’ll see that the Israelites complain again and again and again. They seem to forget all the great things God has done for them until then. The Israelites sinned by complaining, because they complained against God, not Moses.

*Fighting men. The Israelites leave Egypt armed for battle in Exodus13:18.

*We’ll see Moses go up to Mount Sinai, speak to God, bring His message down to the people and take their reply back to Him, and he does this multiple times. The people say they will do what God asked them to do. God tells them the mountain is be set apart for Him, the people are not to force their way to see Him or they will be killed. God invites Moses to come up and then later Aaron. God tells the people He will come down to them in a cloud and they are to consecrate themselves before He does and the priests are to do as well. This is amazing because when God is born as a man, He comes down to the people as well, but He chooses the form of a common man who interacts with all people and at His death, He tears the veil of the temple signifying that all people now have unfiltered and unlimited access to Him. 

I know this is a long post on Exodus, but God reveals Himself through the Old Testament as well if you look for Him. He uses the OT to talk to the disciples on the road to Emmaus. Have a blessed week friend.

Love,

Vanessa.