February - Reading 17

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Helen, Feb 17, 2002.

  1. Helen

    Helen
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
    OK, we're ready to go this morning!

    Matthew:

    We have been sitting here discussing this passage. There is so much to deal with here, so I hope people don't go over it too fast.

    First of all, there ARE illnesses and problems which are the result of demonic activity. This is scoffed at by the western medical and scientific communities today for the most part, but perhaps it is just more subtle here than the places such as India or Africa where it is quite overt at certain times. Are ALL illnesses demon-related? Of course not, although all, in the long run, are the result of sin in the human race.

    Something else which this passage shows almost uniquely in Scripture is Jesus' impatience with His own disciples. His response to the father who brought Him the boy for healing was "O unbelieving and perverse generation...how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you?"

    This puzzled me for a long time. But, as Barry mentioned, look at where Christ had just been -- on the mountain top transfigured; tasting a bit of his heavenly glory. Then He had to come down, back to us. And so we see that moment of perhaps feeling a little spiritually jarred at the profound difference.

    That sometimes happens to us, too. A sublime moment with the Lord, and then back to dishes and earning money and traffic jams and....

    Jesus said the disciples could not heal the boy because they had so little faith. This had puzzled me, too, as faith is a gift from God. But, then, we are supposed to USE that faith and not bury it. James says clearly, "Sho me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons belive that -- and shudder. You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? ... As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead also."

    Were the disciples then afraid that they did not have what it took to rid the boy of that demon? Perhaps they were unwilling to go that far in their new faith? What was different about this boy?

    In some manuscripts we see verse 21 as saying , "However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting." This verse is completely omitted in some texts as the manuscripts they translated from did not have it. Mark 9:29 has the phrase "by prayer and fasting" in some and only "by prayer" in others. So there was a definite difference in the early manuscripts regarding this verse. We know that Origen "corrected" some parts of Scripture to meet his own doctrines, and this may have been one of them. The correct version may actually have stated "by prayer and fasting" or "by prayer," at least, but it's really hard to know.

    "Faith as small as a mustard seed."... This is the subject of so much debate where today's "miracles" are concerned. The image of the seed is used several times by Jesus, and that makes me stop and think, "Why?"

    Seeds grow. That's what they do. That's what they are designed to do. If we have faith as small as a mustard seed, is that a clue that we should use that faith in our daily walk and that it will then grow to produce the radical changes that active faith does produce?

    First a seed sends down the root. Then the first leaves and later the full plant. Then at the right time, fruit is produced. The seed, allowed to grow, produces fruit. That's what it does.

    That's what we are supposed to do. Sink the root down into the Word of God and in prayer, and then grow. Act on the nourishment received. And that growth is DESIGNED to produce the fruit in our lives.

    Mustard seeds don't alter the environment in an hour or a day. But given time they become large plants and produce what they were meant to produce. Maybe we should remember this when we talk about the faith of a mustard seed.

    Then Jesus again talks about His coming death and Resurrection. Not that anyone understood, for the disciples were 'exceedingly sorrowful' or 'filled with grief.' They missed the meaning of the Resurrection before it happened.

    And then the two drachma tax. This was the Temple tax. Jesus makes two very strong points here.

    1. His identity. When He asks if the sons of the king should pay tax, the obvious answer is 'no', because those taxes support the royal family. In using this known physical picture, Jesus is implying again that the Temple is His and that He is God.

    2. BUT, He says, NEVERTHELESS... they will pay the tax. The reason He gives is something we need to pay attention to. It is so that no one will be offended. And how often do we simply say what we want to say or do what we want to do, thinking "this is the Christian way to do or say ...." and not paying attention to whom we might be offending? Yes we must tell the truth, but very often the way we tell it or the way we act on it can be very offensive not only to unbelievers, but also to new or weak believers. We must be sensitive to people and sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit, who knows what others will and will not respond to. There was no doctrinal or faith necessity for Jesus NOT to pay the tax. It didn't make sense in light of who He was/is, but that did not stand in His way of not causing offense where none was needed.

    There would be enough later!

    More later, enough for now. God bless you all.

    Helen and Barry
     
  2. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2001
    Messages:
    7,739
    Likes Received:
    4
    Thanks Helen -

    I would add to the mustard seed analogy that this particular type of seed is extremely tiny but it grows into a very large plant. We can also build on the anologies of "producing fruit" in the same way. Plants bear fruit in order to go to seed.

    In Acts today, once again we find Paul standing accused of heresy. This time he goes before Felix with the high priest Ananias watching over the proceedings.
    Notice the amount of time Paul spent incarcerated: two years! In all that time, he still continued to witness to Felix and his wife. Felix, I surmise, never became a believer in that he kept expecting a bribe from Paul, and left him bound on his own recognizance even to the end of his term as judge. Paul will now have to testify to the new judge, Festus.

    Thanks for picking up the slack, Helen. May God bless all of you

    - Clint
     
  3. RodH

    RodH
    Expand Collapse
    <img src ="http://humphrey.homestead.com/files/Rod

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2002
    Messages:
    1,485
    Likes Received:
    0
    While reading in Leviticus about the sacrifices required, I was curious about the Jewish people of today. Do they still offer sacrifices? I know there is a Muslim mosque on the site where the temple used to be, but do they offer sacrifices somewhere else or have they abandoned that practice of their faith? I assume that if they don't believe Jesus was the Messiah, they must still put themselves under the law which requires sacrifice for forgiveness of sin. Also, are there still Levites or priests decended from Aaron in the Jewish faith today?

    I heard a sermon this weekend about the many churches that no longer use the Old Testament for any teaching, instead relying totally on the New Testament. The preacher made the statement that it is still good to teach about the law because it brings people under conviction of their sin and shows them of their need for Christ. He also said that there are over 1,000 references in the New Testament to passages in the Old Testament. I know many on this board would disagree with parts of the sermon, but it helped motivate me to keep reading.
     
  4. Gwyneth

    Gwyneth
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/gwyneth.gif>

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2002
    Messages:
    4,137
    Likes Received:
    0
    "However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting."
    Please can anyone here explain what `this kind`means in this context ...this kind of what?
    Finding the OT a bit hard going at present, but persevering.
     
  5. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2001
    Messages:
    7,739
    Likes Received:
    4
    Interestingly, the verse you cite, Gwyneth, is not found in all manuscripts. The KJV taken from the Texus Receptus does include it. I believe that in the context "this kind" refers to faith. We will only have the faith to move mountains, small as it may be, by reverence and devotion and obedience, immersing ourselves within the Christian philosophy.

    Matthew Henry, on the other hand, seems to apply the context to the demon in the child:

     
  6. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2001
    Messages:
    7,739
    Likes Received:
    4
    Rod, there had been a very interesting thread on the question of Jewish sacrifice some months back on the board but I am unable to locate it at present.

    I do remember that it was explained that the Jews ceased animal sacrifice when the Herodian Temple was destroyed in 70AD. When the Temple is rebuilt the practice may recommence. This may perhaps be Ezekiel's Temple (Ezekiel 40 - 43) according to some who study eschatology as this prophetic vision was never fulfilled here on Earth.

    Also, many, if not all Jewish folks that I have met, know from what tribe they descended. Therefore, the Levites would still be a sect. I did find a link regarding the Aaronic (I think I may have just made that word up) lineage, or the Kohanim.

    http://www.jewishgen.org/Rabbinic/journal/oldest.htm
     
  7. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2001
    Messages:
    7,739
    Likes Received:
    4
  8. RodH

    RodH
    Expand Collapse
    <img src ="http://humphrey.homestead.com/files/Rod

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2002
    Messages:
    1,485
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Clint! [​IMG]
     
  9. RodH

    RodH
    Expand Collapse
    <img src ="http://humphrey.homestead.com/files/Rod

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2002
    Messages:
    1,485
    Likes Received:
    0
    I finally got a chance to read through them this morning. It is interesting to read from the Jewish perspective. One of the sites referred to God as Hashem. I don't think I had ever heard that before.

    The links pretty much agree that sacrifices were only permitted at the temple, and when it was destroyed, sacrifices were no longer permitted unless they rebuild again. They also refer to Solomon in 1 Kings 8:46-49 and several passages in Hosea to show that prayer could replace sacrifice. One of the sites even implies that sacrifice was only given to them to satisfy the desires of more primitive people and that God always desired prayer and acts of kindness & charity more. Very interesting reading, thanks for finding them Clint!
     
  10. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2001
    Messages:
    7,739
    Likes Received:
    4
  11. Gwyneth

    Gwyneth
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/gwyneth.gif>

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2002
    Messages:
    4,137
    Likes Received:
    0
    Please can anyone tell me - what are "wave offerings" and "heave offerings "
    I always wonder this when reading this part of the Bible.
    Gwyneth
     
  12. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2001
    Messages:
    7,739
    Likes Received:
    4
    Hi Gwyneth!

    From Easton's Bible Dictionary:

     
  13. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2001
    Messages:
    7,739
    Likes Received:
    4

Share This Page

Loading...