At the end of today’s Leviticus reading, Moses reprimands Aaron’s remaining sons, the priests, for offering sacrifices incorrectly. Aaron is also concerned because, as a priest, he is to eat the sin offerings. If they were not offered correctly, they would not have been ritually clean, thus, he would not have been either. If he had then entered God’s presence, he would have died. Not because God is mean, but because he is holy. Holiness and uncleanness cannot mix.
- 1-2 – We’ve read in previous readings this year that the Lord does not desire sacrifice but mercy. Clearly God desires for us to follow his instructions exactly.
- 16-20 – Moses does his best to assure that the priests follow God’s instructions perfectly.
- 30-32 – The mustard seed does not form the largest tree, but it does grow extremely quickly and in wild fashion.
- 39-41 – Jesus, through his actions and words is consistently having to remind the disciples of his power and ability.
- 12-13 – Interesting that Jesus allows a demonic spirit to influence his decision.
Leviticus and Revelation are probably the two most feared books of the Bible. Leviticus is full of scary sounding practices and pages and pages of laborious details.
The practices and details were carefully spelled out in order to protect God’s people. Just like we’re willing to go to 8 hours of school for 12 years because we know it’s for our good, the ancient Israelites understood the importance of ritual cleansings and animal sacrifices. True, we no longer need to offer a grain offering for this and a sin offering for that, but we do need to know the specificity with which God will go to ensure he can be in relationship with us.
Also in our reading this week, you’ll go from the super specific to the super cryptic. This week, in Mark, Jesus will dive into a number of parables. Parables are stories that relate something of God to something familiar. Most of the parables were agricultural in nature, which isn’t very familiar to us but was to the ancient Jews. What if, instead of a mustard seed, Jesus described the kingdom of God like compounding interest or an artificial intelligence robot? It’s something that starts small but grows quickly. It’s something we can relate to and it’s an opportunity to see God’s truths in a new light.
So whether super specific or cryptic, this week’s reading will guide you closer to the truths of who God is and how much he wants to be in relationship with us.
Before Abraham Lincoln spoke these words about our nation divided between pro-slave and pro-free, Jesus said them. Jesus spoke of the impossibility of him serving both God and demons. The religious authorities tried to explain his exorcisms and miracles away saying he was working for the demonic. Jesus makes it very clear, that was simply impossible.
- 26 – Interesting that priests are to eat the meat of sin offerings. It seems that it would be considered unholy or untouchable.
- 19-21 – There were a variety of things that could make a person or thing unclean. Anyone who was unclean had to undergo a ceremonial washing and/or a period of time for them to return to cleanness.
- 10 – Could be explanation why he tried to silence anyone he healed.
- 19 – Spoiler alert.
- 22-27 – Jesus explains that he can’t be rooting for both teams. For Beelzebul to be successful, he would first have to stop Jesus.
Sacrifices: why they used to do them, why we don’t do them anymore, why they were such a big deal, what their actual purpose was
The required sacrifices found in the Old Testament cause a lot of questions. This video will answer a ton of questions on what they were and what they were about.