July - Reading 12

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Clint Kritzer, Jul 12, 2002.

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Clint Kritzer
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    Good evening –

    We finished the Book of 1Chronicles this evening with the story of Solomon’s second anointing. It is interesting that the Chronicler cites the writings of Samuel as a reference. I would be interested to know what percentage of the people would have had access at this time to those scrolls or who would have been literate enough to read them. The writer of 1Chronicles certainly looked at the events of David’s reign through rose tinted glasses as none of the sins or the affairs of his house are mentioned. Also, there is a deliberate circumnavigation of the infirmity of health suffered by the great king toward the end of his life. The Chronicler states that David rose from bed and addressed the people concerning the new regime of Solomon as opposed to the picture painted in 1Kings 2, which does not state that the charge to Solomon was private but indicates such through the course of the story.

    We pick up an interesting bit from Luke today concerning the Samaritans. As has been stated before, the Samaritans and Jews despised each other and at the time of the writing of the New Testament Gospels, the Samaritans were still quite bitter over the destruction of their temple. The animosity toward the Jews was so strong that often Jewish travelers would cross to the east bank of the Jordan to make their pilgrimages from Judea to Galilee. This added another 40 miles or so onto an already 60 mile journey! The act called for by James and John of calling down fire was performed by Elijah in 2Kings 1 and perhaps it was the recent Transfiguration which inspired them to suggest this type of retribution. Christ rebuked them for this. Our Lord obviously liked, or at least sympathized with the Samaritans as they appear in many of the Gospel teachings.

    In 1Thessaloinans we see more of the instructions of ministry from Paul. He had an appreciation and a fondness for the church in Thessalonica. I like verse 13 in which Paul states that the people there accepted the Gospel as it was intended: the very Word of God. These people had demonstrated great faith and as a result had to endure persecution as we surmise from verse 14.

    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  3. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Sunday School lesson 11/7/05

    Luke 9:51-10:42

    At this point in the account, Luke departs from his Markan source and embarks on a section of his Gospel that is exclusive to this witness. From this section to 19:27 we are given a unique view of the ministry of Christ that focuses primarily on His venture into the southern part of what was Israel and centers around the goal of Jerusalem.

    It is imperative that the student recognizes that at this point the identity of Jesus as the Christ has been confirmed and well established. Now the theme of the Gospel of Luke begins to center on the inevitability of the cross. Luke now begins bringing us towards the climax at Calvary.

    Luke 9:51-56 The Rejection by the Samaritans

    Verse 51 is a decisive turning point in the narrative. It is at this point that the journey to Jerusalem begins. The wording of verse 59 tells us that the upcoming events of Gathsemene and Calvary were voluntary and accepted acts by Jesus in that He "set His face" towards Jerusalem. Luke as well as the other New Testament writers are emphatic that the cross was not a defeat suffered by God. Man had not "taken over" as God, in the form of the Father and the Son, was always in control. Jesus was fully aware of the destiny that faced Him as He turned south from Galilee.

    That the Samaritans rejected the messengers sent ahead by Jesus is really no surprise. The animosity between the Jews and Samaritans had been long standing. The Samaritans were a half-breed people who held to a belief in the God of Abraham though their practices differed from the pure blood Jews in several issues. Both groups hated each other and had done so for a long time. So severe was the shared animosity that often Jews would cross the Jordan in order to travel along the east bank to avoid Samaria. The rejection in this account was likely due to the fact that Jesus had His face set towards Jerusalem, the city of the Temple in which they could not worship.

    James and John, the sons of thunder as Mark calls them, asked Jesus if they should call down fire from Heaven to punish these Samaritans. It is significant that this request comes against foreigners, in particular, Samaritans. The Jewish towns who had rejected Christ never warranted this bloodthirsty response from the Disciples. The attitude seems to reflect a belief that God shares their contempt for the Samaritans. They had not yet perceived that their mission was one of healing and conversion, not destruction. In light of this attitude, Jesus rebukes them.

    Luke 9:57-62 Jesus' Severe Demands

    This Passage gives an account of three men who all wished to be followers of Christ but each is shown his shortcomings in his desire. The call to follow Jesus requires a commitment on the part of the believer that matches the commitment shown by Christ.

    The first man volunteers his service to Christ by offering to go wherever Jesus went. He reckoned rightly that the road on which Christ traveled led to glory but he probably did not know that it went through Calvary. To share the road with Christ requires that we accept homelessness in the world and ultimately rejection and death.

    The second man volunteers to follow Christ but only after he has discharged the duty of burying his father. Jesus tells him that he is to leave the dead to bury the dead. This is a very curious reply and has been the subject of much conjecture. Proclaiming the kingdom of God requires the highest prioritization on the part of the believer. There were already those who were spiritually dead who can attend to the father's burial. The man who wished to follow Christ could not postpone his decision if he were sincere.

    The third man also wishes to postpone his commitment until he can say goodbye to his family. Surprisingly, Jesus sets the condition that one's commitment must not be delayed by such an action. This man has demonstrated that he is finding difficulty in cutting ties with the past in order to go into the future into which God has called him. The analogy Christ makes is an agricultural metaphor referring to the necessity of keeping one's eyes fixed to a point ahead in order to plow a straight furrow. If the plowman looks back he will swerve off of the straight path.
     
    #3 Clint Kritzer, Jul 12, 2005
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  4. Clint Kritzer

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