May - Reading 1

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Clint Kritzer, Apr 30, 2002.

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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  2. Helen

    Helen
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    Ok, I'm going to do this tonight! This is when I do Bible reading anyway and doing it 'the day' it is posted for is too late for everyone else!

    Mark 9:33-50
    Some big lessons here from Jesus. Even though most of this is parallel to material we have already read in Matthew, the lessons are big and should be read again carefully.

    First the disciples are arguing. When Christ asks them about it, they shut up. Just like little kids! But Jesus knew. And so He tells them that the greatest among them will be the servant. This is the same lesson as not taking a seat of honor at a banquet, but seating oneself at the lower end of the table. Then if the host wants to move you, you are honored.

    Then Jesus takes the little child and tells them that if they welcome the child in Jesus' name that is not only welcoming Jesus, but the Father as well. The children, again, belong to Him. Emphasizing this point a few verses later, Jesus warns that whoever causes a little one to sin would find himself better off if he just drowned himself!

    Then comes a section that really bothers people -- that business of cutting your hand or foot off if they cause you to sin, or gouging out your eye if it causes you to sin, since it is better for you to enter heaven minus a few parts than to go to hell.

    What does this mean? THINK! Your eye, your hand, your foot -- they cannot CAUSE you to sin! They obey orders from....where? Your head. Or your heart, if you like.

    So what is Christ saying? The clue is in the idioms used. The hand was the symbol of strength and what a person did. So use those words: If something you are doing is causing you to sin, cut that action out of your life altogether.

    And the foot? That is where you go. "If someplace you are going is causing you to sin, stop going there altogether."

    And the eye? We have the same idiom which explains this one: Do you see? They eye is the symbol for understanding, or the way to understanding. So what is Christ saying here? Perhaps "If your human wisdom and understanding are causing you to sin, abandon them. It is better to enter heaven not understanding very much at all than to go to hell because you think you understand everything!"

    This is exactly what Paul was telling the Ephesians in his letter to them: put off the old self and put on the new. You are different now. Act and behave in accordance with it. Every thought should be captive to Christ. In all things give thanks. Again and again Paul enlarges on what Christ was indicating in the Mark passage.

    Then we have this strange line: "Everyone will be salted with fire."

    What does that mean? A number of years ago I looked up every reference to salt in the Bible, Old Testament and New. I was sure there was something there I was missing. And there was, but I didn't find it until the very last possible thing to look up: "Lose saltiness." That phrase is used four times in the New Testament. Once is here, in Mark. Once in the parallel verse in Matthew in the Sermon on the Mount. Both times the Greek phrase is translated "lose saltiness." But the same Greek phrase is used two other places by Paul, but translated VERY differently! The times Paul uses it, it means 'become foolish.'

    And it hit me: salt was the idiomatic expression for wisdom. And just as there are salt wastes and the salt that preserves and flavors, so are there two kinds of wisdom: worldly and godly.

    So if we are all salted with fire, what does THAT mean? This is just opinion now, but I wonder if the message from Christ here is that all of us will have to gain wisdom through some very painful means. At least, that has been true in my life. So many times it has taken me a nasty experience for me to get some simple lesson driven into my stubborn brain by God!

    Maybe that idea is wrong.

    The last verse in Mark is this, "Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other."

    Let's try this substituting the word 'wisdom' --
    "Wisdom is good, but if you become foolish, how can you make your foolishness wise again? Have wisdom in yourselves, and be at peace with each other."

    ================

    More tomorrow... I'm really, really sleepy [​IMG]
     
  3. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Good evening everyone -

    Helen, it sure is nice to have you posting in here again. Bill had posted a poll asking how many are still reading and of those who answered, nine are stil reading and two read in here daily. I will assert again, I would have cosidered this forum a success if only one person was still reading.

    Now, about 1Samuel. Ruth was the oasis in the Bible that seperates Judges from the beginning of Samuel. In our reading tonight, aside from the birth of Samuel, we see that Israel is still in a total moral decay. The account of the two sons of Eli show that even the priesthood had turned from the ways and the Will of God and fallen into debauchery. Verse 2:35 primes us for tomorrow, "I will raise up for myself a faithful priest who will do according to what is in my heart and mind."
    As a preview, Samuel will be the one responsible for the establishment of the Jewish Kingdom.

    The point I glean from the opening passage of 2Corinthians is Paul's steadfastness in enduring hardship and persecution. Yet he attributes his ability to do so to God in verse 3. We are followers of the God of all comfort.

    If I have some time tomorrow, I will write a bit about the two new Books we started this month just in case those two people are interested. [​IMG] .

    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  4. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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