February - Reading 19

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Clint Kritzer, Feb 19, 2002.

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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  2. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Good evening all –

    Our reading tonight in Leviticus shows how intricate the Jewish law was and how high a responsibility lay upon the priests. These laws to the modern reader may seem a bit frivolous and extreme, but keep in mind that the Israelites at this time were a nomadic people and many of these laws have to do with hygeine and eating habits. Also, living in the wilderness at this time there were probably times when food was scarce so an osprey passing overhead may have well looked like a pretty appetizing meal. Touching corpses and eating birds of prey are no way to preserve a people in a desert.

    On other forums of this board, I see the issue of Biblical morality argued a great deal, but the instructions for making up with one’s brother in Matthew can certainly be viewed as universal. Going to your offending brother or sister first not only allows for an early reconciliation, but also allows that person to "save face."

    In Acts tonight, the situation with Paul seems to be viewed as a curiosity to the Roman leaders. Being outside observers they see that the charges have been greatly exagerated by the Jewish leaders but now they are more or less commited by law to send Paul to Rome. I like how much the Roman system of law seems to mirror our own.

    I hope tulpje might join in our reading and contribute someday to the passages that are the focus of that day.

    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  3. preacher

    preacher
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    Since I was absent when you all started this, got a question...can anyone contribute,
    I mean as far as commentary to the listed verses? Preciate' It!! :D
     
  4. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Of course, Preacher, please do! [​IMG]
     
  5. preacher

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    Thanks, I'll start studying up more!
     
  6. Helen

    Helen
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    PSALM 41

    As sick as he evidently was at this time, David was aware that his enemies were attempting to gather forces to strike him down. And yet, even at this point, he recognizes the vital truth:

    "I know that you [God] are pleased with me, for my enemy does not triumph over me."

    David starts the Psalm with a reassurance, perhaps to himself as much as anyone, that the Lord will deliver those who have regard for the weak, and then David ends the Psalm with praise to the Lord, regardless of his own illness.


    MATTHEW 18:15-35

    With apologies for not being here last night, we would like to mention something about the passage here from yesterday. When Jesus talks about cutting off a hand or foot or gouging out an eye if any of them cause sin, please understand what the Jews who were listening to him understood -- the meaning was spiritual, not physical. A hand, an eye, a foot, canNOT cause a person to sin -- they are ordered about by the brain. So what is the meaning of what Jesus was saying?

    The foot was a symbol of where you go. If someplace you go is causing you to sin, cut it out. Don't go there.

    The hand is the symbol of strength and action. If an area where you are strong in, in life or something you are doing is causing you to sin, then get rid of that part of your life.

    The eye is a symbol for understanding ("Do you see?"). If something you think you understand or perhaps have reasoned out for yourself is causing you to sin, abandon it in favor of God.

    Because, Jesus says, it is better to enter heaven without having gone that place, done that thing, or depended on a certain human understanding than to go to hell having gone, done, understood it all. The Jews were used to this kind of symbolism. My mother says the Bible is too gory for her and points to this passage as an example. She has rejected it all, which breaks my heart. So at least I can share here what the Jews understood Jesus as meaning.


    Now, let's dig into today's material in Matthew a bit:

    vv15-17

    If your brother sins against you,

    -- not if your brother sins in general, but if he sins against YOU --

    go and show him his fault, just between the two of you.

    -- don't use a prayer circle as a gossip chain to build up your sense of 'righteousness.' Go quietly -- just you, and talk to this fellow Christian.

    If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.

    -- and no gossip has been spread.

    But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.

    -- what is interesting here is that often the simple presence of witnesses will cause a man to break his own pride and admit his fault. So there is a double advantage to doing this AT THE RIGHT TIME.

    If he refuses to listen to them, tell it the the church;

    -- the local congregation where you both worship; people who know both of you.

    and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

    -- this does NOT mean to ignore him. It does mean that he has placed himself outside the companionship and fellowship of believers, however, even if he is actually a believer. Ego can be a difficult thing to strangle, or crucify, and sometimes it takes being separated from close fellowship for a person to finally pay attention to the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. So whatever is done, needs to be done in love, for it is the love and graciousness of God that attracts people to repentance, not the sternness and threat of the Judge, although Judge He is.


    v. 18 -- again, we see from the beginning of chapter 18 that Jesus is talking to His disciples and promising them the discernment to know His judgments so that they can build the new church carefully and accurately.

    v. 19 -- widely misused
    ...if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.

    He is talking to His disciples. If we are His disciples, that means we have the mind of Christ. If we have the mind of Christ and two of us together ask for something, then that is agreement concerning the mind of Christ without individual personalities getting involved. This is what is indicated here. It is not that two or more somehow force God's hand. NOTHING forces God's hand!


    Then Peter asks how often we should forgive our BROTHERS who sin against us -- brothers means fellow believers. And the answer is, essentially, times without number. Just keep on forgiving, because that is what God is doing with us!

    Jesus then illustrates that truth with the parable of the unmerciful servant.


    LEVITICUS

    Clint said the main point. One point might be added here so that people will understand something that gets mocked by unbelievers.

    The Hebrews, like many other peoples, classified animals by means of locomotion. If it flew and was not an insect, it was in the group classified as 'birds'. This would have included bats and any extant flying reptiles.

    In the same way, whales and dolphins and eels would have been classified as 'fish' simply because they all swim.

    "Walking on all fours" was not an indication of the number of feet but that the animal did not walk in an upright position. Therefore six-legged insects, eight-legged spiders, whatever-legged centipedes, etc. all 'walked on all fours,' simply meaning they did not walk upright like penguins and people.

    When we read the Bible, or read anything to do with other cultures, we MUST keep in mind that although human nature has never changed, the way humans view the world around them and classify it very well may have. If we are to understand the meaning of various passages in the Bible, knowing such classifications and cultural idioms is very important for understanding the basic meanings of some passages.

    Chapter 13, involving the regulations of infectious skin diseases, is still accurate today insofar as its descriptions of which skin lesions are dangerous and which are not. Again, this is an example of the fact that although the Bible is not a medicinal or science text, when it does speak of these matters, it is correct.


    As far as the Acts reading goes, Clint was right on the money -- the Romans had no idea what to do with this man!
     
  7. Clint Kritzer

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