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Numbers 26:1-51


For some reason the following verses came to me as I read the chapter,
While Israel was living in that land, Reuben had sexual relations with Bilhah, his father's concubine, and Israel heard about it. Jacob had twelve sons: The sons of Leah were Reuben… (Genesis 35:22-23 NET.)

I had never paid attention before to where and what tribe the rebellious Dathan and Abiram descended from. These were the same men who joined with Korah to rebel against the leadership of Moses back in the 16th chapter of Numbers. Their ancestor, Ruben, in sleeping with his father’s concubine, although he did not break the commandments because the Law had not been given, tried to take the authority and leadership of his father, Jacob, by his actions. Here we have his descendents trying to do the same thing to Moses. Is this a clear example of the following verses?

Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. (Exodus 20:5-6 KJVR)

Although most modern translation don’t use “visiting the iniquity,” in the Hebrew the word is visiting. For me this is a very sobering statement because that means my sins will knock on my two son’s door asking for access and prayerfully they will not let Mr Sin and his children into their homes and lives.

Based on Strong’s Numbering system:
H6485 (Visiting)
פּקד
pâqad
paw-kad'
A primitive root; to visit (with friendly or hostile intent); by analogy to oversee, muster, charge, care for, miss, deposit, etc


Luke 2:36-52

My “hit and run” comment on the New Testament Reading is based on the following passage:

After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Jesus were astonished at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were overwhelmed. His mother said to him, "Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously." But he replied, "Why were you looking for me? Didn't you know that I must be in my Father's house?" Yet his parents did not understand the remark he made to them. Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. But his mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and with people. (Luke 2:46-52 NET.)


This says several things to me, the first being: Jesus was operating in the Wisdom that came with Him being God while he walked the earth because the “teachers” of the Law was amazed and astonished at his insight. However, He did not operate as God but as a man, and here as a young, but wise, boy, or soon to be young adult, Jesus could not grow or increase in wisdom if he was operating out of His position of God. Growth means you have not reached your maximum potential.


Grace and peace,
Ramona

I write this from Canada. I don't know what it's like in the U.S or other parts of the world but in Canada 'evangelical Christians' are not looked upon favourably. In fact, I think people are afraid of 'us'. At times I don't blame them. I'm afraid of people who always seem to have all 'the right answers' and have no room for thoughtful dialogue. So I found Luke 2:52 an encouragment as we see Jesus growing 'both in height and in wisdom, and he was loved by God and by all who knew him." Jesus was loved BY ALL WHO KNEW HIM. What a wonderful example Jesus is for me/us. Sure there were those who wanted to do Jesus' harm, religious bigots that they were, but later in Luke 4:22 we'll see the outworking of Luke 2:52 where it says, "all who were there spoke well of him and were amazed by the gracious words that fell from his lips." The predominant core value of Jesus seemed to be love, and so that's what He was known for.

These causes me to wonder how am I perceived by the people around me? Not just those who follow the same practices and beliefs I do but how about those who don't buy into my faith, am I still loved or even liked by them? I think I have a long way to go. Having all the 'right answers' has not helped me to draw to many to the Way the Truth and the Life, but when I have sought to build authentic friendship with people and engage in spiritual dialgoue it's amazing how He has seen fit to move people towards Himself.

Thank You Jesus for always showing us a much better way to lovingly engage our unbelieving world.

NUMBERS 26 (NKJV)

Note from Matthew Henry's concise commentary:

Notice is here taken of the children of Korah; they died not, as the children of Dathan and Abiram; they seem not to have joined even their own father in rebellion. If we partake not of the sins of sinners, we shall not partake of their plagues.

** MAY WE THINK BEFORE WE, AS MEN AND WOMEN, ACT. Our actions affect our children to the 3rd and 4th generations.

** MAY WE be people of purity, so that we will not be compromised, weakened, or judged.

** MAY WE EMBODY, by God's grace, God's will for us in Isaiah 54:17 (Amplified):

17
But no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall show to be in the wrong.

==> THIS[peace, righteousness, security, triumph over opposition]

IS THE HERITAGE OF THE SERVANTS OF THE LORD [THOSE IN WHOM THE IDEAL SERVANT OF THE LORD IS REPRODUCED];

THIS IS THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OR THE VINDICATION WHICH THEY OBTAIN FROM ME
[this is that which I impart to them as their justification], says the Lord.

~~~

Vance

P.S.

Since this is St. Patrick's day, take a moment and thank God for a soldier for the Lord -- Patrick.

Also, here is a joke, that might be an ice breaker today as you build bridges to people so you can touch them with Jesus' love as you relate to them:

Why do leprecauns carry shamrocks?

Because real rocks are too heavy!

Vance

It was apparently necessary for Jesus to dialog with the teachers of the law at this time. The first thing it reminds me of is really how humble Jesus was. He waited until He was accepted into the group of "men" at the temple to discuss what Passover represents. Did He really need to know their beliefs? Or was He showing His wisdom and increasing in wisdom by how he engaged them? I think that here in this environment as a young and humble student, He was both charming and disarming by the way He opened up the discussion. And the text then says that all who heard Him were amazed by His understanding and His answers. I think what amazed them was that He knew the heart issues and they were always about the externals of religiousity. At the first opportunity, when the timing was right, He started His ministry by saying amazing things about the "whys" of Passover and the Lamb that had to be slain.

It also reminds me of how important it is to discuss God's ways with your kids and listen to them. So often, they share beautiful insights from the Holy Spirit. As they grow older and start to "rebel" spiritually do we listen to them and hear from them, or are we just interested in defending our position or doctrine? I just spent 2 years teaching a Bible study with 9-12 year olds. They had amazing insight into the Word when they were in their Father's house. The times we had together were safe times where they could explore the Word with help and guidance. I learned a lot from them because I discovered that they had pure hearts that would receive easily with faith. Often, I was amazed as they would share insights that could only have come from the Holy Spirit. They didn't hold back and it was quite comfortable and natural for them to love the Lord and want to discuss Him in amazing ways.

Luke

Two things:

1)I do not know how may people here have taught, coached or raised a child prodigy. From the few brief encounters I have had - while it may be challenging and rewarding to deal with a normal child, and more so with a handicapped child - it is special to be around a prodigy. Especially if the learning is not being forced upon the child by his parents. It is just exciting to see a "gifted" child who has a natural hunger for his "gift".

I say this, because I wonder how wonderful the scene at the temple really was for the teachers (Pharisees?). Here they had a child, Jesus, who was hungry for the teachings of Scripture. Did most children have this hunger? Probably not. If so were they as bright? Definately not. The Teachers must have been delighted at his rapt attention and probing questions. Such attention might have given way to glazed eyes on other youths. I can see both parties, teachers and Jesus, losing track of time as they discussed the intricacies of Scripture. They must have developed a fondness for the boy (who wouldn't?), and Jesus (I would imagine) enjoyed this time of being about his Father's business.

It only makes me wonder, how much this increased the sadness of Jesus when the teacher's turned on him during his ministry. I can only imagine how it felt when (probably) some of the very same men that met with him at twelve later plotted to kill him.

It makes me harken back to "Mark's Gospel" where the implication was not that the Pharisees grieved Jesus internally, but he grieved "for" them as a relative at a funeral. Was he recalling better days of communication and understanding from when he was twelve?????

2)While Luke in original Greek never referred to Joseph using the word "father". Here he quotes Mary using the term - "father" for Joseph. Jesus as he always does when people cite scripture incorrectly or make a mistake of "fact" corrects Mary.

"Why were you searching for me?" he asked. "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?"

They did not understand, but Jesus, through Luke, got it on the record in this Gospel with words from our Savior as a pre-teen. Jesus was the "Son of God".

Re: Luke, Two things, by John:

Interesting reflections on the Jesus the 'child prodigy'. Thanks.

I attended a bible study Friday night the 17th, St Patricks Day and found out some interesting facts. One of the students who actually did a sermon before the study and said a prayer is Irish. He gave some interesting facts and information about the history of St Patrick. One thing mentioned is that the shamrock three leafed clover, which is a symbol of St Patrick actually represents the trinity. I never knew that myself until today. Just thought I'd share that with you all. I hope you had a blessed St Patricks day.

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