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Showing posts from February 4, 2015

Jericho: Mount of Temptation

Jericho: Mount of Temptation ‎ From its position above the plain of Jericho, west of the city, the Mount of Temptation affords a good view of the Dead Sea, the north of the Judean Desert, and the Hills of Jerusalem. The mountain is described in the New Testament as the Mount in the Wilderness, where Satan tried for forty days and forty nights to tempt Jesus, promising him the kingdoms of the world (Matthew 4:1–11). Christians started to live as hermits in the caves scattered over the mountain slopes in the 4th century A.D. In the 19th century a Greek Orthodox monastery was built on the hilltop, financed by the Russian Church. The monastery is called the Quarantal, a mis-pro-nounciation of the Latin word for forty.

Behold Ye

Behold Ye
Excerpt “Behold” is plural here, literally, “behold ye.” The usual form is singular. John is calling upon all the saints to wonder at the particular kind of love God has bestowed upon them. “What manner of” ispotapēn(ποταπην), “from what country, race or tribe?” The word speaks of something foreign. The translation could read, “Behold, what foreign kind of love the Father has bestowed upon us.” The love of God is foreign to the human race. It is not found naturally in humanity. When it exists there, it is in a saved individual, andby reason of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Smith suggests, “from what far realm? What unearthly love, … how other-worldly.”More Wuest, Kenneth S. Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997. Print

Serpent in the Ancient World

Serpent in the Ancient World
Genesis 3:1241314
Excerpt serpent, a reptile, in the Bible another term for snake. In the ancient world, there was general respect for, revulsion at, and fear of serpents, most being assumed to be poisonous and therefore dangerous. The serpent thus came to be understood symbolically with both positive and negative connotations. In some ancient cultures, the serpent was associated with deity and was depicted in statues and paintings with various gods and goddesses. Serpents also played various roles in ancient mythological stories (e.g., the BabylonianGilgamesh Epic). Some even linked the serpent with the process of healing, as in the case of the Greek god Asclepius. In Canaanite religion, which the early Hebrew people encountered upon their arrival in the area, the serpent was associated with the fertility worship of Baal, his consort Astarte (also known as Anath or Asherah) being depicted with a serpent. More Achtemeier, Paul J., Harper & Row an…

Lutheran Service Book Three Year Lectionary

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2015 | EPIPHANY
FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY
YEAR B

Old TestamentIsaiah 40:21–31
Psalm Psalm 147:1–11
Epistle       1 Corinthians 9:16–27
GospelMark 1:29–39


Lutheran Service Book Three Year Lectionary. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2009. Print.

The Episcopal Church. Book of Common Prayer Lectionary

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2015 | EPIPHANY
WEDNESDAY OF THE FOURTH WEEK AFTER EPIPHANY
YEAR 1

Psalms (Morning)       Psalm 72
Psalms (Evening)       Psalm 119:73–96
Old TestamentIsaiah 54:1–10 (11–17)
New Testament Galatians 4:21–31
 Gospel Mark 8:11–26


The Episcopal Church. Book of Common Prayer Lectionary. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2010. Print.

The Episcopal Church. Book of Common Prayer Lectionary

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2015 | EPIPHANY
WEDNESDAY OF THE FOURTH WEEK AFTER EPIPHANY
YEAR 1

Psalms (Morning)       Psalm 72
Psalms (Evening)       Psalm 119:73–96
Old Testament       Isaiah 54:1–10 (11–17)
New TestamentGalatians 4:21–31
Gospel Mark 8:11–26


The Episcopal Church. Book of Common Prayer Lectionary. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2010. Print.

Spurgeon, Charles H. Morning and Evening: Daily Readings

Morning, February 4                                         Go To Evening Reading

 “The love of the Lord.” 
 — Hosea 3:1
Believer, look back through all thine experience, and think of the way whereby the Lord thy God has led thee in the wilderness, and how he hath fed and clothed thee every day—how he hath borne with thine ill manners—how he hath put up with all thy murmurings, and all thy longings after the flesh-pots of Egypt—how he has opened the rock to supply thee, and fed thee with manna that came down from heaven. Think of how his grace has been sufficient for thee in all thy troubles—how his blood has been a pardon to thee in all thy sins—how his rod and his staff have comforted thee. When thou hast thus looked back upon the love of the Lord, then let faith survey his love in the future, for remember that Christ’s covenant and blood have something more in them than the past. He who has loved thee and pardoned thee, shall never cease to love and pardon. He is Alpha, and he shall …

Connect the Testaments

February 4: What Type of Savior?
Exodus 9:1–10:29; John 2:1–12; Song of Solomon 1:15–17

It’s tempting to operate life on our own terms and only call on God when we hit a crisis. If we’re not busy studying how God has worked in the past and relying on the work of the Spirit in our lives, we can easily fall into the pattern of calling on Him to meet our desires rather than realizing that He is the first to deliver what we need.

In John 2, we get a sense of what this was like for Mary and the disciples at the wedding in Cana. While Mary wants Jesus to save the day—and save the bridegroom from certain ruin and humiliation—Jesus shows her that He is no magician. His soft rebuke reminds her that His plan of salvation exceeds what she can perceive: “What does your concern have to do with me, woman? My hour has not yet come” (John 2:4). (This phrase seems derogatory to our modern ears, but it actually would have been normal language between a son and mother in the first century AD.) However, a…