June - Reading 2

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Clint Kritzer, Jun 2, 2002.

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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  2. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Good evening -

    Our reading in 1Kings tonight showed the establishment of Solomon on the throne. David before his death charges Solomon with with certain warnings of enemies of the throne and basically commissions his son to make sure that they die. Solomon faithfully carries out all three of these executions, with a few added on the side, and thus squelches any chance of sympathizers with the house of Saul leading any rebellions. Solomon also has his rebellious brother, Adonijah, executed when he asks for David's last concubine, Abishag, to be his wife. Though this may seem a harmless request, aquiring a fallen king's harem was a sign to the people of successorship. Thus, Solomon dispatched Benaiah to execute the rebellious brother.
    We will find that Solomon's weakness is his pagan wives. We get a hint of that today from verse 3:3 when Solomon follows the pagan practice of presenting sacrafices "on the high places." The climax of our reading today is the meeting of the Lord in Solomon's dream where the young king (about twenty) asks for wisdom. The end of chapter three gives us a story that demonstrates how Solomon used this God-given gift.

    Our reading in Luke tonight covered the second birth announcement in this Gospel, the appearance of Gabriel to Mary. I think the most significant lesson learned in the first chapter of Luke is the response of Zecharia to the news versus the reaction of Mary. Zecharia's response was one of disbelief whereas Mary's was one of wonderment. Hence, Zecharia is struck dumb for the time of Elizabeth's pregnancy. Mary's response in verse 38 is the most admirable that could have been given.

    The Book of Ephesians is addressed to a fairly well to do church in what is now Turkey. Ephesus was quite prosperous in that they were a coastal town at the at the mouth of the Aegean Sea. The Epistle to Ephesus is not directed toward any specific heresies but is rather an exploration of the Nature of God. Ephesus is also the church addressed in Revelation 2:1-7. I think of this church as the one that did all the right things for all the wrong reasons.
    Our reading in the second half of the first chapter tonight is a basic statement of the greatness of Christ and a prayer for wisdom for the Ephesian believers.

    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  3. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Sunday School Lecture 12/19/04

    Luke 1:26-56

    There are two places in the New Testament that speak of the virgin birth of Jesus, Matthew 1:18-25 and today’s lesson, Luke 1:26-56. In Matthew, the Scriptures tell us that the virgin birth was in fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14. While in Matthew the focus is on Joseph and the seeming dilemma that Mary’s pregnancy presented to him and his family, Luke focuses on Mary and her reaction to the news.

    The story of Gabriel’s pronouncement to Mary parallels the story of the announcement to Zechariah in the preceding Passage. The Passage today ties together the relationship between John and Jesus on both the physical and the spiritual realm.

    Luke 1:26-38 The Annunciation to Mary

    The account opens with Gabriel, God’s angel of good news mentioned first in Daniel, being sent to Nazareth, a small city in Galilee. It is significant that these events occur in the upper regions of what had been the Jewish State. The Galileans were surrounded by gentiles and isolated from Jerusalem. As such, the Pharisees had begun to take a negative view of the region which we see reflected in John’s writings (John 1:46; John 7:52). Luke’s recording that Nazareth was in Galilee is a reminder that this Gospel was written to a Gentile audience who may not have known the geography of the region.

    Nonetheless, Gabriel appeared to a young virgin of that region who was currently betrothed to a young man who was a descendant of David. It should be understood that betrothal was a very formal arrangement, far more binding than our modern day engagements. The betrothal was legally binding but intercourse was forbidden at this point. The only way to break a betrothal was through death or divorce. It is after this fairly long description that Luke tells us that the girl’s name is Mary.

    Gabriel greets Mary with an encouraging introduction: she is highly favored by God. The statement that the Lord was with her reflects the angel’s pronouncement to Gideon in Judges 6:12 when Gideon receives his assignment. Where Zechariah had reacted with fear, Mary is recorded as being “troubled” at the greeting. While angelic visits were rare, such visits to women were almost unheard of. Yet herein lies the wonder of this account. God had chosen a young, Galilean maiden to be the mother of His Son, the promised Messiah.

    Mary’s reaction to the greeting brings about a reassuring announcement by Gabriel. He describes the upcoming event and tells her the significance of it. Mary had the honor for which many Jewish women had prayed. She would have a Son, the Son that had been promised, and his name would be Jesus, the Graecized equivalent of the Hebrew Joshua meaning “Yahweh is salvation.”

    In verses 32-35 the coming Son is described clearly as the Messiah. He is the Son of the Most High, a Messianic title. He will be the fulfillment of the Old Testament promises such as 2Samuel 7:13-16. Later in his narrative Luke establishes the universality of Christ’s mission but for now Jesus is noted as the fulfillment of the hopes and expectations of His own people.

    Mary finally speaks and asks the angel how such a thing could be as she was still a virgin. Gabriel explains the means by which such a thing should come to pass. The Holy Spirit would come upon Mary and the power of the Most High would overshadow her. In other words, Mary’s Son would come into this world as a creative act by God’s Spirit. The Holy Spirit would be bringing into being a new humanity, or, in Pauline terms, a new Adam. This child would have a relationship to deity unique among men. He would be a first generation Son of God.

    God would not be frustrated by the physical limitations of this world, be they Mary’s virginity or Elizabeth’s age. He can accomplish what He wants. Unlike Zechariah, Mary reacts with humility and consigns herself to the Will of God, calling herself His handmaid, or literally, “slave.”
     
  4. Clint Kritzer

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