In the reading for today Jesus in the chapter of the gospel of Mark Jesus is full of action, teaching and preparing the disciples for the future. The four chapters in Numbers is good historical reading.
March 8: Mark 8, Numbers 33, Numbers 34, Numbers 35, Numbers 36, (click on the chapter to begin reading)
Mark 8 begins with Jesus as he fed the four thousand, the Pharisees were still looking for a sign, but Jesus warned of the yeast of the Pharisees and Herod, all very confusing for the disciples; they were still not thinking in the spiritual realm. Jesus healed a blind man at Bethsaida, then followed Peter’s Confession and Jesus predicted his death.
Numbers 33 is a reciting of Israel’s Journey from Egypt, and provides instructions on how the Israelites were to conquer Canaan.
Numbers 34 defines the Boundaries of Canaan and mentions all the leaders appointed to divide the land.
Numbers 35 names the Cities for the Levites and defines the six Cities of Refuge.
Numbers 36 tells about the Inheritance of Zelophehad’s Daughters and why the Israelite women must marry within their tribe.
Today there are four chapters to read.
March 7: Mark 7, Numbers 30, Numbers 31 , Numbers 32, (click on the chapter to begin reading)
Mark 7. Jesus explained what is clean and what is unclean. Jesus went to the region of Tyre and Sidon and gave an example of Great Faith: The Canaanite woman, and the healing of her daughter. Then Jesus healed a deaf-mute man, and the people say: “He has done everything well.”
Numbers 30 is short, and it deals with what the Law says about vows.
Numbers 31. The Israelites executed vengeance on the Midianites, returned from the war and dividied the spoils.
Numbers 32, The Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh decided to settle East of Jordan.
The three chapters chosen for today’s reading is one chapter of Mark and two chapters in Numbers.
March 6: Mark 6, Numbers 28, Numbers 29, (click on the chapter to begin reading)
In Mark 6 Jesus proclaimed ”A Prophet is not without honor, but in his own hometown, and among his own kin.” Jesus sent out the Twelve, and they were amazed they could heal too. John the Baptist was beheaded. By the way – the name Salome is not in the Bible, we know it because beheading fascinates many. Then is retold the feeding of the Five Thousand, and after that Jesus walked on the water.
Numbers 28 is all about offerings, the Daily Offerings, Sabbath Offerings, Monthly Offerings, Offerings at Passover and Offerings at the Feast of Weeks.
In Numbers 29 the specifications for offerings continue, Offerings at the Feast of Trumpets, Offerings at the Day of Atonement and finally Offerings at the Feast of Tabernacles.
The chapter from Mark contains some interesting examples of healing, to say the least. The two chapters from Numbers on the other hand is mostly for historical purposes.
March 5: Mark 5, Numbers 26, Numbers 27, (click on the chapter to begin reading)
Mark 5 is full of action. On a hillside east of the sea of Galilee a demon possessed man met Jesus and recognized him as “The Son of the Most High God” and begged him not to torture him. The demons in the man asked Jesus to send them into a herd of pigs, about 2000 or so. Jesus let the demons go into the swine, and they promptly rushed down the hill and into Lake Galilee and drowned. This was too much for the people living in the area, so they begged Jesus to leave. Jesus did depart, and doing so he met Jarius, who had a daughter that was dying. As they went to Jarius’ house a large crowd followed them, and a woman with a bleeding issue for twelve years touched his garment. This Jesus noticed, and said to the woman “Daughter, your faith has healed you”. While still at a distance from Jarius’ house the news arrived that Jarius’ daughter had died, they were too late for healing. Jesus ignored them, saying: “Be not afraid, only believe.” Then he told the child “Talitha koum”, she rose up, and that is the end of the chapter.
Numbers 26 lists in detail, by tribe, the Second Census of Israel.
Numbers 27 defines inheritance laws, and it was decided that Joshua should succeed Moses.
The four chapter chose for today are one chapter of Mark dealing with Jesus’ parables and three chapters in Numbers dealing with Balaam’s oracles and Balaam’s error.
March 4: Mark 4, Numbers 23, Numbers 24, Numbers 25, (click on the chapter to begin reading)
Mark 4 starts out with the parable of the sower, and Jesus provided the explanation of it, and with that the key to the parables. Then He told the parable of the lamp on a stand, not under a bushel, and the parable of the seed in the ground, followed by the parable of the faith of a mustard seed, all parables relating to the Kingdom of God. Finally Jesus calmed the storm and chastised the disciples for their lack of faith.
Numbers 23 tells of Balaam’s first oracle, his second oracle, and the beginning of his third oracle.
Numbers 24 continues with Balaam’s third oracle, his fourth, and his final oracle.
Numbers 25 finally tells how Israel went astray in Moab.
The three chapters chosen for today, one chapter of Mark and two chapters of Numbers deal with healing, seeing, recognizing and acknowledging.
March 3: Mark 3, Numbers 21 , Numbers 22, (click on the chapter to begin reading)
Again, in Mark 3 Jesus did healing on a Sabbath, this time He healed a man with a withered hand. The powers that were hated it, but more and more people followed him. Jesus appointed the 12 apostles, and began teaching in parables. He issued a strong warning: “All sins can be forgiven except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.” Jesus mother and brothers tried to meet him, but Jesus reminded all “Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother”.
In Numbers 21 the Canaanites were defeated in Hormath. The people kept speaking against God, so God sent venomous snakes their way and many died. Moses made a bronze snake, put it on a pole and when people looked at it, they got healed. (Does that remind you of a symbol used even today?) The travels continued.
Numbers 22 tells the story of how Balak sent for Balaam, and how Balaam’s Donkey behaved when he saw the Angel.
For today we read one chapter of Mark and three chapters in Numbers.
March 2: Mark 2, Numbers 18 , Numbers 19, Numbers 20, (click on the chapter to begin reading)
In Mark 2 Jesus healed a paralytic man, but he also forgave the man his sins. This caused quite a stir, since nobody can forgive sins but God alone. Then he called Levi, the tax collector, also called Matthew. This was also controversial, since tax collectors were held in disregard, but Jesus assured them he came to save sinners. Then Jesus was questioned about why he and the disciples did not fast, as they should, and worse yet, they picked food from the head of the grain on a Sabbath! Jesus assured all that he is also Lord of the Sabbath.
Numbers 18 describes the duties of Priests and Levites, offerings for Supporting the Priests, tithes Supporting the Levites and the tithe of the Levites. As representatives of the LORD they were entitled to get the best part.
Numbers 19 details the laws and procedures of Purification.
In Numbers 20 Moses committed a major error in Kadesh. Thy were short on water, so God told Moses to speak to the rock. Water sprung forth but God punished Moses and his people so severely that that generation was not allowed to enter the promised land. Why did God give them this harsh punishment? The rock was to be smitten only once, the second time Moses was to speak to the rock, a foreshadowing of Jesus, who was smitten once for our sins. At the end of the chapter Aaron died.
Today we start reading one chapter of the gospel of Mark and continue with two chapters of Numbers.
March 1: Mark 1, Numbers 16, Numbers 17, (click on the chapter to begin reading)
Mark 1 starts, not with the birth of Jesus, but with the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus, and Baptized Jesus. Immediately Jesus was tested in the wilderness for forty days. After that Jesus began calling his disciples. Jesus drove out an evil spirit while teaching in a synagogue. As had become his habit, Jesus healed many and many people started following him, and as always Jesus prayed in a solitary place, but continued to teach and heal many, including a man with leprosy. This is a chapter full of action.
In Numbers 16 Korah, Dathan and Abiram as well as 250 other men rose up in opposition to Moses. Things did not turn out well for them.
Numbers 17 tells of the budding of Aaron’s rod, a really short chapter.
In between the gospel of Matthew and the gospel of Mark we enjoy reading one short Psalm and two chapters of Numbers.
February 28: Psalm 15, Numbers 14,Numbers 15, (click on the chapter to begin reading)
Psalm 15 is only 5 verses long but full of truth that carries on into the New Testament. For that reason there are five 5 references from the New Testament added.
In Numbers 14 the people rebelled and refused to go into the promised land. As a punishment the people had to continue wandering for forty years in the desert until that generation, with the exception of Caleb and Joshua had passed away. Meanwhile the people tried to take on the Amalekites in their own strength, but failed miserably.
Numbers 15 deals with Laws of Grain and Drink Offerings, Laws Concerning Unintentional Sin, Laws concerning Presumptuous Sin, Penalty for Violating the Sabbath, and specifies how to make Tassels on Garments, all good stuff if you are an orthodox Jew.
Relaxing between the gospel of Matthew and the gospel of Mark we read two short Psalms and two chapters out of Exodus.
February 27: Psalm 13, Psalm 14, Numbers 12, Numbers 13, (click on the chapter to begin reading)
Psalm 13 is only 6 verses, but there is a moving Anglican Chant written and sung. Enjoy.
Psalm 14 is also short. It begins “The fool has said in his heart, there is NO GOD.”
In Numbers 12 Miriam and Aaron opposed Moses and Miriam suffered the consequences.
In Numbers 13 God prepared His people to take the land He had promised them, so they were sending out scouts to survey the land and how best to take it. They came back with a discouraging report; it is a good land flowing with milk and honey, but the people are too strong for them, they felt like grasshoppers in their sight. Only Caleb dissented. (Joshua joined Caleb in the next chapter)