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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Numbers 33:40-35:34; Luke 5:12-28; Psalm 65:1-13; Proverbs 11:23 (New Living Translation)

Old Testament

1. The boundaries of the Promised Land.

- Division of the land.

2. Chapter 35 of Numbers establishes a very important feature in Israel's legal justice system.

- The Old Testament system of justice relied more on restitution than on imprisonment. A person who was responsible for another's loss was to reimburse the value of the property destroyed.

- Murder and homicide were special cases with a distinct code to govern how they were to be judged.

- Justice in Israel was a community responsibility, as there were no police. Therefore the one with primary responsibility to execute a murderer was the one in the community most affected by that crime; a member of the murdered person's family. He, in this way, was not a murderer himself, but an executioner appointed by the Law to purify the holy community.

- At the same time this passage makes a distinction between intentional, hostile killing (murder) and what we would call accidental homicide.

- There were cities of refuge scattered throughout the land where a person committing accidental homicide could flee an overzealous relative whose motives might involve revenge, even if the death was accidental.

- They were required to stay here until the high priest who had heard the case died. By then the anger of the avenger might have died, and the accidental killer would receive the full protection of the law. Should he then be attacked by a family avenger, the avenger himself would be put to death.

New Testament

3. Not all who saw Jesus responded as Simon Peter and his friends. So Jesus moved on, to continue to show that His authority extended to healing the inner man as well as the outer.

4. Jesus heals the leper

- The leper recognizes Jesus' power, but was uncertain of His love. Hence the form of the statement, "if you are willing...." Jesus answered the implied doubt fully. He said, "I am willing." And then as Jesus spoke the healing word our Lord reached out and touched the hand of the leper. Remember that in those days, as well as now, lepers were untouchable. But Jesus touched him.

- Jesus' touch was not needed to heal the leprosy, but it was necessary to meet this man's deep, inner need for love. The touching of the leper healed his heart.

5. Jesus heals a paralyzed man

- Jesus once again speaks to the external (get up and walk) and internal (your sins are forgiven) needs of this man.

6. Jesus calls Levi (Matthew), a tax collector.


7. "even the hard pathways overflow with abundance..."


8. "The godly can look forward to a reward, while the wicked can expect only judgment."

See you next post...

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