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Friday, February 15, 2008

Exodus 39-40:38; Mark 1:1-28; Psalm 35:1-16; Proverbs 9:11-12 (New Living Translation)

Old Testament

1. The bible gives a lot of detai about the making of the Ark, Tabernacle, Tent, and clothing the priests.

- For many people this ranks right up there with reading the geneologies. I think we have so many specifics because God is establishing a culture with the children of Israel. And learning the details can lead us to understand the specifics of the will of God. For us Gentiles, these specific items and ornamentaions don't mean a lot. They are not part of our culture. But it's the ideas behind them that should strike a cord with us.

2. Each of the items mentioned has a specific meaning...for instance, pomegranates. Jewish tradition teaches that the pomegranate is a symbol for righteousness, because it is said to have 613 seeds which corresponds with the 613 commandments of the Torah. However, the actual number of seeds varies with individual fruits. The pomegranate is one of the few images which appear on ancient coins of Judea as a holy symbol, and today many Torah scrolls are stored while not in use with a pair of decorative hollow silver "pomegranates " For the same reason, pomegranates are a motif found in Christian religious decoration. They are often woven into the fabric on vestments and liturgical hangings or wrought in metalwork.

3. The work is finished. Moses inspects it, and blesses the people.

4. The tabernacle is set up. And the Glory of the Lord fills it!

5. And the Lord led them---a cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night.

New Testament

6. We have finished the Gospel of Matthew, and begin the Gospel of Mark today.

7. The Gospel of Mark, is anonympous, but was attributed to Mark, a disciple of Peter.

8. Overview of Mark - It narrates the life of Jesus from John the Baptist to the Ascension. It concentrates particularly on the last week of his life. It very quickly describes Jesus as a heroic man of action, an exorcist, a healer and miracle worker. It calls him the Christ (the Greek translation of Messiah), the Son of Man, and the Son of God.

9. Mark begins with John, the Baptist (or baptizer). John had strange habits camel hair clothes, eating honey and locusts, living and preaching in the wilderness.

10. Interestingly, John is regarded as a preacher and ascetic regarded as a prophet by four religions: Christianity, Islam, Mandaeanism and the Bahá'í Faith.

11. John is the messenger (or forerunner, or precursor) of Jesus' coming.

12. John recognizes Jesus, and states his unworthiness. He baptises Jesus nonetheless.

13. The Holy Spirit escends on Jesus and compels Him to go into the wilderness, where He is tempted by the devil for 40 days. The wild animals and angels took care of Him.

14. John gets arrseted.

15. Jesus calls His first disciples...Simon, and his brother Andrew...the brother James and John. (Remember James and John's mother from Matthew...trying to get them seats next to Jesus.)

16. Jesus casts out evil spirits. Amazingly, the evil spirits recognize jesus as "the Holy One sent from God," but the rest of the audience doesn't know who He is. This is, according to Mark, the beginning of Jesus' fame.


17. “Lord, who can compare with you? Who else rescues the helpless from the strong? Who else protects the helpless and poor from those who rob them?”


18. "Wisdom will multiply your days and add years to your life."

See you next post...

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