Monthly Archives: October 2013

October 31

Special Note:  For those not using “The Daily Bible”, now that we are in the life of Jesus the schedule contains history from all four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John).  There will be more skipping around and more different sections to read which can be a challenge! Don’t get discouraged!  Try to read each days scriptures in the order they are given. They are arranged that way for a logical reason!

Today’s Reading: Matthew 9:35-38, Matthew 10:1-42, Mark 6:7-29, Matthew 11:1, Luke 9:6-9, Matthew 14:3-12

Highlights:  In today’s reading we see Jesus sending the 12 out on what is called the “limited commission”.  The designation “limited” refers to the scope of their preaching: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. 6 “But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 10:5-6).  This is in contrast to the “Great Commission” Jesus will give before He ascends into heaven telling the apostles to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15), and,  “make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19).

Also in today’s reading is Herod’s reaction to news about Jesus. Herod thinks He might be John (who Herod had beheaded). The record then gives details about John’s execution.

Question: In Matthew 10:17, as Jesus prepared His apostles to go and preach He told them to “beware of men”.  Is that a valid warning for us today? What more does he say about this in 10:16, 21, 28?

2 Comments

Filed under Old Testament

October 30

Texts: Matthew 8:18-22, Luke 9:57-62, Mark 4:35-41, Mark 5, Matthew 9:27-34, Mark 6:1-6

Highlights: Today’s reading contains 5 more wonderful miracles: 2 cases of demon possession, 2 blind men healed at the same time, a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years, and a girl raised from the dead.  The reading begins with Jesus challenging His would be followers to truly dedicate themselves God, and closes with another example of His being rejected in “His own country”.

Two days ago we read about a “ruler of the synagogue” that condemned Jesus for performing a miracle. Today we read about a “ruler of the synagogue” begging Jesus for help.  We don’t know the hearts of these two men but what circumstances might have caused the man in today’s reading to be more open to Jesus?  What does this teach us about our own need for God?

5 Comments

Filed under Old Testament

October 29

Text: Matthew 13, Mark 4

Highlights: Today’s reading includes several parables including the Sower, the Tares, the Hidden Treasure, The Pearl of Great Price, and the Leaven. Jesus also explains why He used parables. A rejection at Nazareth is recorded as well as the account of Jesus calming the storm.

The Parable of the Sower describes four different types of soil which represent four different attitudes and responses to the teaching of the gospel. Only one accepts the word and goes on to bear fruit for God. The other 3 are all insufficient due to various reasons.

Why do some accept and apply God’s word and others do not? Is it our choice or are all things predetermined by God? What does Jesus say in these chapters about personal responsibility? Consider especially Mark 4: 9 and 23.

2 Comments

Filed under Old Testament

October 28

Today’s Texts:  Luke 11:37-54, Luke 12, Luke 13:1-17

Highlights: The controversy between Jesus and the Pharisees heats up. In chapter 11 Jesus accepts an invitation to eat at a Pharisee’s house. He is criticized for not washing His hands a certain way, and He launches into a lengthy rebuke of the Pharisees hypocritical religious ways. In chapter 12 he warns the multitudes about the Pharisees. Other topics discussed include covetousness, worry, persecutions, and repentance.

Jesus performed some truly wonderful miracles! The final example in today’s reading is a woman who had a spirit of infirmity for 18 years.  Instead of finding joy in what had happened the ruler of the synagogue criticized Jesus for doing the miracle on the sabbath. But what did Jesus say that man was willing to do on the Sabbath? What does this teach us about this man’s heart?

 

5 Comments

Filed under Old Testament

October 27

Text: Matthew 8:5-13, Luke 7:1-50, Luke 8:1-3, Luke 11:24-36, Matthew 11:7-15, Matthew 12:22-50, Mark 3:20-30

Highlights: Jesus is teaching and performing miracles in Galilee. A few notable miracles are recorded, including raising a man from the dead and healing a centurion’s servant. (Don’t miss that the centurion was a gentile and Jesus praised him for his faith. He is another example of how God loves men of all nations.)

Much of today’s reading concerns the Pharisees response to one of his miracles. They accuse him of casting out demons by the power of Satan. Jesus responds with a warning about blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

Another prominent topic is John the Baptist, who is now in prison. Jesus says something fascinating in Matthew 11:11: “Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

Question: In what sense are those least in the kingdom of heaven greater than John the baptist?

There is much more here than I have noted. Feel free to make any observation or ask any question you may have. Thanks again for all your comments!

4 Comments

Filed under Old Testament

October 26

Today’s Reading: Matthew 5, 6, 7:6-29, Luke 6:20-26, 6:37-49

Highlights: Today we read the “Sermon on the Mount”. Yesterday we read about the opposition Jesus received from the scribes and pharisees. We shouldn’t miss the point that much of this sermon is contrasting the mess their religion had become with what God really wants of us. “For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:20).

At the end of Matthew 6 Jesus talks about worrying about material things, and in chapter 7 he speaks about the need to hear and obey His teachings.

Toward the conclusion, in Matthew 7:21, Jesus says, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” The Pharisees of course wouldn’t call him Lord – but even among those who will, that is not enough. What is the lesson there for us?

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under Old Testament

October 25

Today’s Reading: Mark 2:13-14, Matthew 9:10-13, Luke 5:29-39, John 5, Matt 12:1-21, Mark 2:23-3:12, Luke 6:6-19

Highlights: There are two sides to today’s reading: On the one hand Jesus continues performing wonderful miracles of all sorts and has great multitudes following him, so much so that His physical safety is threatened (Mark 6:9).

Those wonderful healings are sadly overshadowed by the ugly opposition Jesus is receiving from the Jewish religious elite, especially the Pharisees, a sect of the Jews who emphasized strict observance of the rites and ceremonies of the Law of Moses. They oppose him for associating with sinners, not fasting as they do, claims to be the Son of God, and for performing miracles on the Sabbath, and even begin plotting His death (Luke 6:11, Mark 3:6, John 5:16).

Also in our reading is how Jesus spends a night in prayer and then chooses His 12 apostles.

Its difficult to imagine someone getting angry at Jesus for some of these wonderful, compassionate miracles. Why did the Pharisees react as they did? Did Jesus really break God’s law? Does He teach that it is acceptable to ignore God’s law?

Thanks for your comments!

4 Comments

Filed under Old Testament

October 24

Today’s Text: Matthew 4:12-25, Luke 4:14-30, Luke 5:1-11, Mark 1:21 – 2:12

Highlights: This is the beginning of what we call the Great Galilean Ministry of Jesus. In fact, the reading begins with a prophecy from Isaiah 9, which speaks of a great light shining in Galilee where there had been darkness. Jesus calls Peter, Andrew, James, and John to follow Him. He is teaching and performing many miracles and great multitudes are following Him. One miracle, a miraculous catch of fish (Luke 5) served as a lesson to the former fishermen that they would become fishers of men.

For the most part this was a time of great popularity for Jesus. But at Nazareth (Luke 4), his home town, he was not received by everyone so well. In fact, it sounds as though they wanted to kill Him! What are some of the reasons why Jesus was rejected at Nazareth?

10 Comments

Filed under Old Testament

October 23

Today’s Reading: John 1:35-4:54, Luke 3:19-20

Highlights: After His baptism and temptation Jesus ministry begins. Jesus begins to build a group of followers near the Sea of Galilee, He performs His first sign at a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and then travels to Jerusalem. In Jerusalem He speaks with Nicodemus about the need to be born again and confronts the people buying and selling in the temple. He returns to Galilee through Samaria, and back in Capernaum heals a nobleman’s son. Meanwhile, John has been put into prison.

Did Jesus understand that he was ultimately going to die on the cross? What does He say (or what is said about Him) that shows this was clearly his purpose in coming into the world? (See John 1:36, 2:19-21, 3:14-16).

There is a lot of material in these daily readings. Please feel free to make a comment or ask a question about anything else that you find interesting!

4 Comments

Filed under Old Testament

October 22

Today’s Reading:  Luke 3:1-23, Matthew 3:13-17, Matthew 4:1-11, John 1:19-34

Highlights: Today’s reading tells us about the ministry of John the baptist. (No events are recorded between Jesus in the temple at age 12 and today’s reading).  John begins his work of “preparing the way of the Lord” by preaching a message of repentance and baptizing those who come to him.

Jesus comes and is baptized by John. At His baptism God gives testimony concerning Jesus “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased”.  Jesus is then tempted in the wilderness and resists each temptation.

John is questioned by priests and Levites sent from Jerusalem. He points all men to Jesus identifying Him as the Lamb of God and Son of God.

What does John’s message of repentance (Luke 3:7-14) teach us about the kind of people God wants us to be?

3 Comments

Filed under Old Testament