Today there are only 2 chapters to read, the beginning of Holy Week in the gospel of Mark, and the conditional promise of entering into the promised land in Deuteronomy.
March 11: Mark 11, Deuteronomy 4 (click on the chapter to begin reading)
Mark 11 starts what is called the Holy Week with the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem. Jesus entered, riding on an unbroken foal of a donkey. This was the sign. The next day Jesus cursed a fig tree (symbol of Israel) and cleared the Temple of the money-exchangers (You don’t want to give too much, you know). Following morning the fig tree was withered, and all marveled. Finally, Jesus authority was questioned by the religious authorities.
In Deuteronomy 4 God promised the people they will enter the promised land, but if they are disobedient they will be scattered all over the earth. Obedience means no idolatry “for the LORD, your God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God”. Three Cities of Refuge are mentioned.
In today’s reading, the chapter of Matthew contains many events, beginning with the triumphal entry. The two chapters of Leviticus deal with blood and sexual immorality.
February 16: Matthew 21, Leviticus 17, Leviticus 18 (click on the chapter to begin reading)
Matthew 21 starts with the triumphal entry, and that event begins what is called the “holy week” Jesus rode in to Jerusalem on an unbroken colt. In Jerusalem Jesus cleansed the temple and threw out the money changers. The spiritual leaders were offended that people sang “Hosanna in the highest” at the triumphal entry, even that little children sang it. As an object lesson Jesus cursed a fig tree, the symbol of Israel, and it withered. The spiritual leaders also questioned Jesus authority. Instead of giving an answer Jesus gave two parables, the one about the two sons and the parable about the wicked tenants. Moving on, Jesus quoted scripture by saying :The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone” meaning that the kingdom of God will be inherited by another people.
Leviticus 17 deals with the sanctity of blood and why eating of blood is forbidden in the Mosaic Law.
Leviticus 18 defines the laws of sexual morality, and especially to stay away from Molech, a Pagan god who enticed the people through sexual orgies, made them pass through the fire and offer child sacrifices (the result of those sexual orgies.)
Luke 19, Zacchaeus, the Parable of the Minas, The Triumphal Entry, Jesus weeps over Jerusalem, Jesus cleanses the Temple.
Mark 11, the Triumphal Entry, Jesus clears the Temple, the withered fig tree, Jesus authority questioned.
The fig tree is a symbol of Israel.