Daily Bible Reading: June 30th - July 6th
Date Added: 6/30/2008 9:32:11 AM
May you be blessed and encouraged by this week's Daily Bible Reading.
Date: June 30
Reading: Mark 10:28-52
Jesus has just expressed how difficult it is for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. You read about that at the end of your reading yester day. Peter follows those comments by Jesus with the me-centered, “what about us?” question. “We’ve left everything to follow you?” Peter says.
Jesus does not address the me-centeredness of Peter at that time. He will have opportunity to address it in all the disciples later in the chapter when James and John try to get the favored seats beside Jesus in the Kingdom. Anyway, Jesus responds to Peter telling him that people who do give up much to follow Jesus will be rewarded. Now, you need to understand that Jesus is not advocating that we have to leave our families to follow him. If you are raised in a Christian home, then your family is already following Jesus. And, you can follow Him with your brothers and sisters and your parents.
However, at the time when Jesus brought the message of the kingdom of God, many people who put their faith in Christ and followed Him were the only one’s in their family that believed. So, they were ridiculed and mocked by their own family members. Many of them, by making the decision to follow Jesus had to literally leave father, mother, brother and sister. Many had to leave their homes and lands. They were people who Jesus said would be especially rewarded.
Even though I said that you and I may not have to face the fact of leaving our own families to follow Jesus, there are people today who live in lands where that is the case. Still today there are places where believing in Jesus could cost you your home, land and family.
But we can remember that Jesus paid the ultimate price for us as well. He was ridiculed, beaten and eventually put to death. After Jesus spoke of the high cost others may have to pay to follow Him, He told of His own eminent death. But He also spoke of His resurrection. Jesus’ death and resurrection is the reason He came to the earth. He is bringing it up more and more with His disciples to prepare them for that horrible time.
We can more confidently face any persecution we may go through for our faith knowing that Jesus is with us and He has faced every type of persecution, ridicule and even death.
Date: July 1
Reading: Mark 11:1-33
The beginning of Mark chapter 11 is the story of Jesus entering Jerusalem on a colt of a donkey. This is the event that we recognize as Palm Sunday every spring. Palm Sunday always occurs the week before Easter or Resurrection Day. So this event marks the beginning of the final week before Jesus is crucified. Now we know why His persecution, death and resurrection has been weighing so heavily on His mind.
The people are still so very enthusiastic about Jesus. They run to the road side to see Him. They throw their coats in front of Him. They have cut down palm branches and thrown them on the roadway as well. Some they are holding and waving as they shout,
“Hosanna, Blessesd is He that cometh in the name of the Lord: Blessed
be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord:
Hosanna in the highest” (vs. 9,10)
What the people are doing is honoring Jesus like a ruler or king. In their enthusiasm, whether they realize is or not, they are recognizing Jesus as the rightful king and heir of the throne of David. Now, you have not yet read about the nation of Israel after it enters the Promised Land. But when you do, you will read about a great king name King David. God will promise David that his throne will last forever. King David’s throne was a figure or foreshadow of the great kingdom of God that would be established by Jesus Chrsit. And Jesus, reigning upon the throne of David is a picture of Jesus reigning in the Kingdom of God over all people.
What a contrasting picture of Jesus, God the Son, riding on a lowly donkey into the city of Jerusalem, the great city of Israel, and being hailed as the great king who should sit on David’s Throne. This picture is very important, because Jesus is a servant king. Yes, He will rule with power, might and authority. However, He is a King who serves His people in grace and truth. Thank God for the servant King Jesus Christ.
Date: July 2
Reading: Mark 12:1-27
In this chapter, Jesus tells a very interesting parable. It is the story of a man who builds a vineyard and then lets some husbandmen, people who take care of vineyards, take responsibility for its care. The vineyard still belongs to the “certain man” even though he then leaves to go to a country far away.
So, in time, the season comes to harvest the fruit. So the man sends his servant to see how the harvest is in his vineyard. However, the husbandmen have decided that they want all the fruit and all the profit. So they chase off the servant and abuse and even kill other servants that are sent. Finally, the owner of the vineyard send his only son, believing that the husbandmen would treat his actual son properly. However, they look at the son as the one they have to kill to gain the inheritance of the vineyard. Thus, they kill the son as well.
If this were an actual story, then you could imagine how angry the owner of the vineyard would be and that he would probably get a force together and go and kill all the husbandmen. And, that is exactly the kind of thing Jesus said that this owner would do. Jesus said, “…he will come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others.”
What was Jesus talking about in this parable. Well, a few verses after this quote by Jesus tells us what He was talking about. Verse 12, speaking about the religious leaders of that time (Pharisees, Sadducees, scribes, etc.), says, “And they sought to lay hold on him, fut feared the people: for they knew that he had spoken the parable against them…”
These leaders knew that Jesus was referring to them as the bad husbandmen that had persecuted and even killed God’s true servants. They knew that Jesus was saying that God would soon come and utterly destroy them and take away their authority as religious leaders and allow others to be given the trust of the Kingdom of God. This was ultimately the result of what happened with the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.
At this time, however, these leaders are interested in stopping Jesus. They could not take hold of Him at that time, because there were so many people who were there and were excited about Jesus. The tension is mounting in Jerusalem and the religious leaders believe they need to act quickly to stop Jesus.
Date: July 3
Reading: Mark 12:28-44
Finally, one of the religious leaders actually asks a question in an honest attempt to find out what Jesus had to say. He wasn’t trying to trap Jesus in His answer or to decieve Him by his question. The scribe that happened upon Jesus reasoning with the Sadducees heard them talking and realized that Jesus, “answered them well.” So, he asked Jesus the question, “Which is the first commandment of all?”
Jesus does not give the first commandment found in the Ten Commandments. Rather, He goes to another place in the law that you will read in a few months. What Jesus quotes is found in the Book of Deuteronomy and would have been a very well known passage of scripture to most Jewish leaders. Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 6:4 which declares that the God of Israel is one Lord. That is, the True and Living God is One. There are not many gods, but only One, True God.
Then, Jesus continues His answer by quoting the next two verses of Deuteronomy 6. Jesus said, the first commandment is,
“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy
soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.”
The greatest commandment is to submit your whole being to the Lord. The Lord wants you to love Him with all that you are and all that you have.
Jesus, then, went on to say that the second commandment is a commandment of love as well. It is to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” In other words, you are to care for those around you with the same depth of concern and interest as you would care for yourself.
It is interesting that Jesus again does not choose a commandment from among the Ten Commandments. Instead He chooses one that is buried in the midst of a host of Levitical laws. This second commandment is found in Leviticus 19:18.
Of these two laws, Jesus says, there is none greater. In Matthew, to a lawyer who asked a similar question, Jesus responded with these two commandments and then said, “On these two commandments hang all the laws and prophets.”
There are no commandments greater than these two, because they are the commandments from which we properly understand and live out the other commandments of God’s Word. Ask God to give you a deep love for Him and for those who you meet each and every day.
Date: July 4
Reading: Mark 13:1-37
This chapter is Mark’s version of the “Olivet Discourse” that we read in Matthew chapter 24. So, just as we concluded then that this discourse addresses the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, we conclude the same for Mark chapter 13. Since this is a continuous teaching throughout the chapter, I will divided it into approximate thirds and discuss each section each time you read through it in the complete 9-year reading program. Today, let’s look at verses 1-13.
Mark 13 begins almost identical to Matthew 24. Jesus and His disciples are leaving the temple area and the disciples exclaim about the magnificence of all the buildings. The temple and surrounding buildings were the pride and joy of the 1st century Jew. Jesus, however, declares something that is stunning to the disciples. He declares that all the buildings will be completely torn down.
This news stuns the disciples and when they get outside the city on the Mount of Olives from which they can view the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew ask specifically as to when this terrible destruction would take place and what signs they ought to be looking for. Clearly this is a message to the disciples of Jesus. However, as is true of all of Scriptures, it is instruction for us today, as well.
The very first thing Jesus tells His disciples is to be very careful to not be deceived. Jesus warns them that people will come pretending to speak for Him. They need to be careful to not get caught up in what these false teachers are teaching. We can definitely take a lesson from this warning, because there are many false teachers even today. But, how do you know if someone is a false teacher. You can only discern or determine if they are a true teacher or a false teacher by putting their teachings up against the Word of God. But, to be able to do that, you have to know God’s Word. That is another reason doing a regular Bible study such as this is so very important.
Other things Jesus said would happen prior to the destruction of the temple were wars, rumors of wars, and earthquakes and famines. These events have been happening in the earth since ancient times. So, it must have been that there would be an increase in these things. However, Jesus tells His disciples that this would only be “the beginnings of sorrow.”
Verses 11-13 tell of the persecution that would take place. It would get so bad that brothers would turn their brothers into the authorities and children would turn in their parents. The bottom line, Jesus says, is this, “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” This is a truth for all ages and places. The type and level of persecution may vary, but the call and duty of all Christians is the same. Stay faithful to Jesus. That is our duty today, and that was the call placed upon the disciples before the terrible destruction of Jerusalem and its magnificent temple.
Date: July 5
Reading: Mark 14:1-36
Mark chapter 14 opens with it being the day of the Passover. I am sure you remember about the “Feast of the Passover” and the “Feast of Unleavened Bread” that we read about in Exodus and Leviticus. The “Feast of Unleavened Bread” started with the Passover and then included 7 more days of the feast. This day, recorded in Mark 14 is the Passover Day when the Israelites in Egypt killed the Passover Lamb and spread the blood on their doorposts in order to protect them and their families from the plague of the death of their firstborn.
At the time that we read that story in Exodus I told you that the Passover Lamb spoken of there was a foreshadow of the True Passover Lamb, which is Jesus. Now, as we read the Gospel of Mark, we are at the point in Jesus’ life when He will fulfill His role as the Perfect Passover Lamb of God. He will need to be killed so that His blood can cover our lives and protect us from the wrath of God.
In the first part of that day, Jesus was in the home of Simon the leper with His disciples. While He was there, a woman, with a very expensive oil came in, broke open the oil and poured it upon Jesus’ head. Why she did this, we do not really know. It may have been a way she had determined she could show her love for Jesus. Several of the disciples were, however, pretty upset by the act. The oil was very expensive and instead of wasting it by pouring it on someone’s head, she could have sold it for a lot of money and given the money to the pour.
Jesus, however, tells us two very important things. First, He says that this woman’s act was good and that her act was a preparation for His burial. It was the custom of that day to put oil and spices upon a dead body before it was put into a grave or tomb. However, the circumstances under which Jesus is going to die, there will not be time to do this act. Whether this woman meant her act to be a anointing of Jesus in preparation for His burial or not, that is the function that it fulfilled in God’s purposes.
The second thing Jesus tells His disciples is that they need to be conscious of the times. Yes, they should do good for the poor whenever they can. Yet, Jesus is only going to be with them for a short time, and the poor will always be with them. We, too, need to be very aware of how we spend our time, our money, and our efforts. There are always needs in this world, but some needs can only be met at certain times. Those certain needs should have our attention at those unique times.
The giving of one’s time, one’s efforts, and even one’s most precious possessions needed to be directed to Jesus, because the time for Him to fulfill His great purpose for coming to earth had arrived. Ask God to help you to always keep your heart and mind upon Jesus and to use wisdom in how you spend your time, efforts and money.
Date: July 6
Reading: Mark 14:37-72
Jesus continues to pray in the Garden of Gethsamane, while His disciples sleep. After the third time of praying and returning to His disciples and finding them still asleep, Jesus tells them to sleep on. And, while He is speaking to them, Judas arrives with a mob carrying swords and clubs. The betrayal of Jesus is about to take place.
Each of the Gospels gives us a little more information on the arrest of Jesus. In Mark, he seems to emphasize that Jesus was innocent yet taken like a criminal. Jesus even pointed this out when He said,
“Are ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and with staves to take
me? I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not:
but the scriptures must be fulfilled.”
Jesus was a perfectly innocent man. There was nothing that He could be found guilty of before God or man. Yet, He was treated as the worst of criminals and sinners. Jesus said that this had to happen to fulfill Scripture. As you continue your readings in the Bible, you will read parts of the Old Testament that speak about how Jesus will be treated. In one chapter of the Book of Isaiah it says that Jesus would be “oppressed, and…afflicted.” It also says in that chapter that He would be “numbered with the transgressors” (see Isaiah 53:7,12). What we read about happening to Jesus in this chapter of Mark is the fulfillment of those things predicted by the prophet Isaiah hundreds of years before.
In fact, when Jesus was brought before high priest and put on trial, He would not speak or answer the charges brought before Him by the false witnesses. Jesus was innocent and only false accusations could be made against Him. But God would not even let the false accusers agree with one another, so the priests could not find any two witnesses that agreed. Thus, they could not legally bring any charge against Jesus.
Finally, the high priest directly asked Jesus a question that Jesus answered. The high priest asked, “Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?”
Jesus said, “I am.”
Those two words condemned Him as they accused Him of blasphemy. You see, Jesus had equated Himself with God; He had said He was equal to God.
What Jesus said was and is True. Jesus is the Great “I Am” of the Bible and of the universe.