Leviticus 25:47-27:13 + Mark 10:32-52 + Psalm 45:1-17 + Proverbs 10:22
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Old Testament - Today in Leviticus chapter 25 we finish up reading about the Year of Jubilee. I don't know what it is about the Year of Jubilee, but for some reason I really like the concept of it! I actually read a commentary that said there is no evidence that the Year of Jubilee was actually ever carried out, which made me a bit sad. However, that same commentary suggested that the Year of Jubilee was ultimately fulfilled through the life of Jesus, as Jesus himself quotes this very Year-of-Jubilee-ic :) sounding verse from Isaiah in Luke chapter 4 verses 18-21: "“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.” Then Jesus rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”" Whaddya think? Think the concept of the Year of Jubilee was indeed fulfilled in the life of Jesus? I do. And we don't need to count down 50 years from now until the next Year of Jubilee. The Year of Jubilee is available to each of one of us today! I came across this beautiful piece of artwork below called "Year of Jubilee" - see anything in this artwork that might be pointing toward Jesus?
Leviticus chapter 26 is a great look at the blessings of obedience and punishments for disobedience. As I read through the punishments for disobedience my mind instantly went to where, later in the Bible, Israel would indeed walk down the path of disobedience - and ultimately be punished with the destruction of Jerusalem and the exile into Babylon. For those going through the One Year Bible for more than the first time, I am sure you probably recognized this as well. What is interesting to keep in mind that these words of God were written by Moses nearly 1,000 years before the Babylonian exile. This reminded me again of how powerful God's Word truly is - and how true it really is. And it reminded me that even in our modern times, the Bible is still truth, and the teachings of Jesus are still relevant now 2,000 years later... Truth is truth. We may be inconsistent, but God is not. Are you walking in the path of obedience in your relationship with God? Are you walking in Truth?
Verses 44 & 45 in this chapter stood out to me as a reminder that even though God punishes disobedience, he leaves room for repentance and he allows for a remnant to carry on the covenant: ""But despite all this, I will not utterly reject or despise them while they are in exile in the land of their enemies. I will not cancel my covenant with them by wiping them out. I, the LORD, am their God. I will remember my ancient covenant with their ancestors, whom I brought out of Egypt while all the nations watched. I, the LORD, am their God." And verses 12 & 13 in this chapter are awesome: "I will walk among you; I will be your God, and you will be my people. I, the LORD, am your God, who brought you from the land of Egypt so you would no longer be slaves. I have lifted the yoke of slavery from your neck so you can walk free with your heads held high." Do you believe that God walks among us today? Is God your God? And are you His? Has the yoke of slavery from sin been lifted from your neck? Are you walking free today with your head held high?
New Testament - In Mark chapter 10 verse 33 today we read Jesus' third and last prediction of his death to the disciples in Mark's Gospel. You'll note the two previous predictions are at Mark 8:31 & 9:31. Crucifixion is not explicitly stated by Jesus in this verse, but it is implied in that he states he will be handed over to the Romans. The Romans in this era killed non-Romans via crucifixion.
Verse 45 I think is such an important verse in the Bible for us to really meditate upon and understand, as this verse summarizes Jesus' ministry and purpose so succinctly and powerfully: "For even I, the Son of Man, came here not to be served but to serve others, and to give my life as a ransom for many." Jesus was not your typical "King - who lords it over the people beneath him". He did not come to be served. But to serve. And he gave his life as a ransom for our sins. Via crucifixion. For some reason in this Lenten / pre-Easter season I am thinking more and more about Jesus' Passion and what he did for each of us on the cross. It's really really humbling to think about. But so good I think for each of us to reflect upon the ransom that was paid for us by Jesus. The Suffering Servant. The King. The Savior of the World.
In today's readings we read about Jesus healing Bartimaeus, who was blind. You'll notice that Bartimaeus seems to have a very "expectant" faith! He expects that Jesus will heal him. But, it's not expectation alone that demonstrates his faith in Jesus - Bartimaeus verbalizes that Jesus is the Messiah, when he calls him "Son of David!" in verse 48. It was known that the Messiah would be a descendant of King David, and Bartimaeus clearly believed. Is there anything today you can learn from Bartimaeus and his expectant faith?
Psalms - Psalm 45 is very likely a song of praise to King David on his wedding day. Interestingly, after the Babylonian exile, this Psalm was applied to the Messiah, Jesus Christ, the promised Son of David. I can see how some verses in this Psalm could apply to both the current king of the day and the true king yet to come. Verse 7 is a good example: "You love what is right and hate what is wrong. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you, pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else." Below is Mary's (Martha's sister) anointing of Jesus from the Gospel of John chapter 12 verses 1-8.
Proverbs - Proverbs chapter 10 verse 22 is short but powerful! "The blessing of the LORD makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it." I love that thought - we should have no sorrow with the blessings God gives! God does not add the sorrow. We might... but, with God's blessings should come joy and thanksgiving and praise! What are 3 things in your life today that God has blessed you with? Will you take a moment to be joyful in these blessings, and thank and praise God for them?
Worship Video: Today's readings in Mark reminded me of the fantastic song "True Love" by Phil Wickham. Here's a great live version of the song. Make sure you watch past the short opening interview and worship to this powerful song:
Do you know your True Love? Click here for Love Eternal!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on three verses of Scripture today: "Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." Mark 10:43-45 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray that you will not seek to be served in this life, but will instead seek to serve. Pray that you will have a servant's heart. Pray that you will serve like Jesus served.
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
p.s. Download our monthly Small Group study notes for our One Year Bible readings at this link.
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I’m trying to see the difference between a resident foreigner “owning” an Israeli (fifty years) and a fellow Israeli (seven years), why the huge discrepancy? Is it because one should have went to a fellow country men first before selling oneself to a foreigner living in the country? This little dilemma is one I will think about.
We know through reading of the Prophets, especially Jeremiah and Ezekiel and the historical books of Ezra and Nehemiah that Israel never in acted the Sabbath rests nor the Jubilee year and because they didn’t, they went into captivity to Babylon for 70 years which represented the total Sabbath year rests, plus the Jubilee years. God commanded the rests; however Israel didn’t take them voluntarily, but she still took them involuntarily. What God has commanded will come to pass even when we rebel and don’t cooperate.
Blessings and curses, is it God blessing and cursing us, or is it the effect of a cause, obeying or disobeying a command. I believe when we obey God, there is a natural sequence of events, or causes, that happen because of our obedience. When we disobey God the same thing happens except those consequences are not beneficial to our well being and prosperity. In previous posts I noted that God told Israel that the land he was giving them had “vomited” out its original inhabitants because of their “sin” and if they sinned, it would vomit them out also. (Leviticus 18:25,28; 20:22). Blessings and curses are natural occurrences of our obedience or disobedience to the Word of God effecting our own bodies, those of our households, community and nation, as well as the land we stand on.
Again Jesus teaches them about His death, but they just don’t get it. If I were around, would I have gotten it? Probably not. I think it is near impossible to “get it” when you have your own agenda going on in your head. We project our own desires onto the God’s agenda, mudding the waters of righteousness. But even though we mess with the purpose and call of God, we can never change, defeat or hinder God’s plans.
Blind Bartimaeus is another blind man that saw that Jesus was the son of David, the Bread of Life, born in the House of Bread, Bethlehem (which means House of Bread), but called a Nazarene. If Jesus was the son of David, then Jesus was the promised Messiah. And a man with no sight saw what people who supposedly had vision couldn’t see.
May all those who visit this sight have their spiritual eyes and ears opened and see past the natural limitations of seeing and hearing. Amen
What I noticed when I looked at this Psalm was not the content of the Psalms but the directive to the choir director. This Psalm was to be sung and the music used was not composed for this Psalm but was taken from a love song called Lilies. I wonder if that shocked the folks of the day.
When the Lord blesses you not only are you a person of wealth, which doesn’t mean you have a lot of money, your new position of affluence and prosperity doesn’t come with headaches. I think it’s time for me to reexamine what true “riches” are.
Grace and peace,
Posted by: Leviticus | March 01, 2023 at 10:56 PM