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Pastor’s Note

The centrality of worship, the seriousness of blasphemy, rules of criminal justice, and the wisdom of both the sabbatical year and the year of jubilee are just a few of the insights we gain from today’s reading. May our New Testament text, which focuses on the power, authority, and sovereignty of Christ motivate us to live wholeheartedly for him today.

— Pastor Mike

Leviticus 24-25

The Lamps

24:1 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Command the people of Israel to bring you pure oil from beaten olives for the lamp, that a light may be kept burning regularly. Outside the veil of the testimony, in the tent of meeting, Aaron shall arrange it from evening to morning before the Lord regularly. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations. He shall arrange the lamps on the lampstand of pure gold [1] before the Lord regularly.

Bread for the Tabernacle

“You shall take fine flour and bake twelve loaves from it; two tenths of an ephah [2]shall be in each loaf. And you shall set them in two piles, six in a pile, on the table of pure gold [3] before the LordAnd you shall put pure frankincense on each pile, that it may go with the bread as a memorial portion as a food offering to the LordEvery Sabbath day Aaron shall arrange it before the Lord regularly; it is from the people of Israel as a covenant forever. And it shall be for Aaron and his sons, and they shall eat it in a holy place, since it is for him a most holy portion out of the Lord‘s food offerings, a perpetual due.”

Punishment for Blasphemy

10 Now an Israelite woman’s son, whose father was an Egyptian, went out among the people of Israel. And the Israelite woman’s son and a man of Israel fought in the camp, 11 and the Israelite woman’s son blasphemed the Name, and cursed. Then they brought him to Moses. His mother’s name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan. 12 And they put him in custody, till the will of the Lord should be clear to them.

13 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 14 “Bring out of the camp the one who cursed, and let all who heard him lay their hands on his head, and let all the congregation stone him. 15 And speak to the people of Israel, saying, Whoever curses his God shall bear his sin. 16 Whoever blasphemes the name of the Lord shall surely be put to death. All the congregation shall stone him. The sojourner as well as the native, when he blasphemes the Name, shall be put to death.

An Eye for an Eye

17 “Whoever takes a human life shall surely be put to death. 18 Whoever takes an animal’s life shall make it good, life for life. 19 If anyone injures his neighbor, as he has done it shall be done to him, 20 fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; whatever injury he has given a person shall be given to him. 21 Whoever kills an animal shall make it good, and whoever kills a person shall be put to death. 22 You shall have the same rule for the sojourner and for the native, for I am the Lord your God.” 23 So Moses spoke to the people of Israel, and they brought out of the camp the one who had cursed and stoned him with stones. Thus the people of Israel did as the Lordcommanded Moses.

The Sabbath Year

25:1 The Lord spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you come into the land that I give you, the land shall keep a Sabbath to the LordFor six years you shall sow your field, and for six years you shall prune your vineyard and gather in its fruits, but in the seventh year there shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a Sabbath to the Lord. You shall not sow your field or prune your vineyard. You shall not reap what grows of itself in your harvest, or gather the grapes of your undressed vine. It shall be a year of solemn rest for the land. The Sabbath of the land shall provide food for you, for yourself and for your male and female slaves and for your hired servant and the sojourner who lives with you, and for your cattle and for the wild animals that are in your land: all its yield shall be for food.

The Year of Jubilee

“You shall count seven weeks [4] of years, seven times seven years, so that the time of the seven weeks of years shall give you forty-nine years. Then you shall sound the loud trumpet on the tenth day of the seventh month. On the Day of Atonement you shall sound the trumpet throughout all your land. 10 And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, when each of you shall return to his property and each of you shall return to his clan. 11 That fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you; in it you shall neither sow nor reap what grows of itself nor gather the grapes from the undressed vines. 12 For it is a jubilee. It shall be holy to you. You may eat the produce of the field. [5]

13 “In this year of jubilee each of you shall return to his property. 14 And if you make a sale to your neighbor or buy from your neighbor, you shall not wrong one another. 15 You shall pay your neighbor according to the number of years after the jubilee, and he shall sell to you according to the number of years for crops. 16 If the years are many, you shall increase the price, and if the years are few, you shall reduce the price, for it is the number of the crops that he is selling to you. 17 You shall not wrong one another, but you shall fear your God, for I am the Lord your God.

18 “Therefore you shall do my statutes and keep my rules and perform them, and then you will dwell in the land securely. 19 The land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill and dwell in it securely. 20 And if you say, ‘What shall we eat in the seventh year, if we may not sow or gather in our crop?’ 21 I will command my blessing on you in the sixth year, so that it will produce a crop sufficient for three years. 22 When you sow in the eighth year, you will be eating some of the old crop; you shall eat the old until the ninth year, when its crop arrives.

Redemption of Property

23 “The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine. For you are strangers and sojourners with me. 24 And in all the country you possess, you shall allow a redemption of the land.

25 “If your brother becomes poor and sells part of his property, then his nearest redeemer shall come and redeem what his brother has sold. 26 If a man has no one to redeem it and then himself becomes prosperous and finds sufficient means to redeem it, 27 let him calculate the years since he sold it and pay back the balance to the man to whom he sold it, and then return to his property. 28 But if he has not sufficient means to recover it, then what he sold shall remain in the hand of the buyer until the year of jubilee. In the jubilee it shall be released, and he shall return to his property.

29 “If a man sells a dwelling house in a walled city, he may redeem it within a year of its sale. For a full year he shall have the right of redemption. 30 If it is not redeemed within a full year, then the house in the walled city shall belong in perpetuity to the buyer, throughout his generations; it shall not be released in the jubilee. 31 But the houses of the villages that have no wall around them shall be classified with the fields of the land. They may be redeemed, and they shall be released in the jubilee. 32 As for the cities of the Levites, the Levites may redeem at any time the houses in the cities they possess. 33 And if one of the Levites exercises his right of redemption, then the house that was sold in a city they possess shall be released in the jubilee. For the houses in the cities of the Levites are their possession among the people of Israel. 34 But the fields of pastureland belonging to their cities may not be sold, for that is their possession forever.

Kindness for Poor Brothers

35 “If your brother becomes poor and cannot maintain himself with you, you shall support him as though he were a stranger and a sojourner, and he shall live with you. 36 Take no interest from him or profit, but fear your God, that your brother may live beside you. 37 You shall not lend him your money at interest, nor give him your food for profit. 38 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan, and to be your God.

39 “If your brother becomes poor beside you and sells himself to you, you shall not make him serve as a slave: 40 he shall be with you as a hired servant and as a sojourner. He shall serve with you until the year of the jubilee. 41 Then he shall go out from you, he and his children with him, and go back to his own clan and return to the possession of his fathers. 42 For they are my servants, [6] whom I brought out of the land of Egypt; they shall not be sold as slaves. 43 You shall not rule over him ruthlessly but shall fear your God. 44 As for your male and female slaves whom you may have: you may buy male and female slaves from among the nations that are around you. 45 You may also buy from among the strangers who sojourn with you and their clans that are with you, who have been born in your land, and they may be your property. 46 You may bequeath them to your sons after you to inherit as a possession forever. You may make slaves of them, but over your brothers the people of Israel you shall not rule, one over another ruthlessly.

Redeeming a Poor Man

47 “If a stranger or sojourner with you becomes rich, and your brother beside him becomes poor and sells himself to the stranger or sojourner with you or to a member of the stranger’s clan, 48 then after he is sold he may be redeemed. One of his brothers may redeem him, 49 or his uncle or his cousin may redeem him, or a close relative from his clan may redeem him. Or if he grows rich he may redeem himself. 50 He shall calculate with his buyer from the year when he sold himself to him until the year of jubilee, and the price of his sale shall vary with the number of years. The time he was with his owner shall be rated as the time of a hired servant. 51 If there are still many years left, he shall pay proportionately for his redemption some of his sale price. 52 If there remain but a few years until the year of jubilee, he shall calculate and pay for his redemption in proportion to his years of service. 53 He shall treat him as a servant hired year by year. He shall not rule ruthlessly over him in your sight. 54 And if he is not redeemed by these means, then he and his children with him shall be released in the year of jubilee. 55 For it is to me that the people of Israel are servants. [7] They are my servants whom I brought out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

Mark 1:23-45

23 And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, 24 “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.” 25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” 26 And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him. 27 And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” 28 And at once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee.

Jesus Heals Many

29 And immediately he [8] left the synagogue and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 Now Simon’s mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. 31 And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them.

32 That evening at sundown they brought to him all who were sick or oppressed by demons. 33 And the whole city was gathered together at the door. 34 And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.

Jesus Preaches in Galilee

35 And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. 36 And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, 37 and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.” 38 And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” 39 And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.

Jesus Cleanses a Leper

40 And a leper [9] came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.” 41 Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.” 42 And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. 43 And Jesus [10] sternly charged him and sent him away at once, 44 and said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to them.” 45 But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in desolate places, and people were coming to him from every quarter.

Footnotes

[1] 24:4 Hebrew the pure lampstand
[2] 24:5 An ephah was about 3/5 bushel or 22 liters
[3] 24:6 Hebrew the pure table
[4] 25:8 Or Sabbaths
[5] 25:12 Or countryside
[6] 25:42 Hebrew slaves
[7] 25:55 Or slaves
[8] 1:29 Some manuscripts they
[9] 1:40 Leprosy was a term for several skin diseases; see Leviticus 13
[10] 1:43 Greek he; also verse 45

  • Angela Ivette Radcliffe

    Leviticus 14:15 And speak to the people of Israel, saying, Whoever curses his God shall bear his sin.

    Leviticus has been interesting to read the laws, whether its an eye for an eye, or a brother who is financially struggling, there are things that have changed even today to where our country has its own laws. As things have changed the severity of God’s hatred for this sin has not changed. Which is a great reminder for me to take seriously this easily ignored respect to God, and to be a faithful person to not blaspheme God, but more so to be disciplined to approach others who do so as well. It gives me such a great picture of what God’s grace and mercy is like today, something that people would be killed for, to now today people saying God’s name in vain, left and right. Nonetheless fearing God to this degree of how we speak about him, even still is a reminder to still be faithful to respect, no matter what traditions, laws, or habits the world has.

    • CheriClark

      Yes – may we have a high view of God.

  • CheriClark

    OT
    Lev 25:21 21 I will command my blessing on you in the sixth year, so that it will produce a crop sufficient for three years.

    Then: God is giving the rules on how the Israelites are not to gather in their crops during the seventh year. And he asks a question that I am sure they are thinking: then how will we eat if we may not sow or gather? God says He will provide an ample crop in the sixth year to carry them for three years until they sow again.

    Always: God provides for all of our needs.

    Now: I think this is great. God asks the question they are all thinking and answers it. God provides for us…often before we know we need something. He loves us. We are His. He will take care of us. Nothing is beyond His capability to provide- not food, shelter, clothes. So why do we fret? Okay – maybe I am talking to me here? Why do I worry about what may happen in the future when I know God has me securely in His hands? God help me to completely cast all my cares on You. You are the Creator of the universe. You amply provide for all my needs. Thank You God for all Your provisions.

    NT
    Mark 1:35 35 And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.

    Then: Jesus purposed to pray.

    Always: We as believers should purpose to pray.

    Now: Throughout Scripture we are given examples of Jesus praying. He goes away and withdraws with a few or by Himself to have that quiet communion with His Father. He makes a purposeful decision to have those times of prayer. And so should we. We need that time with our Lord. We need to have time to connect with our Father in the way only prayer can do. I cherish my time of prayer. It gets my focus off of me and on to God. He connects me with His character and His desires. Prayer helps me to think of the needs of others and how I can serve them. Prayer helps me to connect with the heart of God.

    • Karen Chien

      Thank you for the insight on the old testamentestament and new testament. It is always good to read your comments as I learn new things:)

    • Anne Ventura

      Yes, prayer is our mainstay of fellowship with God.

  • Karen Chien

    OT 38 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan, and to be your God.

    God is A redeemer and a deliverer from the bondage of sin. The Israelites time in Egypt is such a powerful image of slavery and unjust treatment of human kind that wasn’t part of God’s original intent of creating humans. God wanted perfect harmony and peace and a world with no sin. But because of original sin and the generations following the bad pattern the enslavement was a consequence of not following the Lord God with ask ones heart, soul and mind. But because He is not only a just God He is a Loving God who provides a solution, a way out to deliver His people out of the bondage of sin.
    ————

    NT 40 And a leper [9] came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.” 41 Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.”

    This leper had child like faith. A faith where it wasn’t just a head knowledge belief but a faith of trust and confidence in a holy, almighty Savior that can save and heal. He was leprous and of course was so desperate for healing but what struck out to me when he implored to Jesus he stated “If you will,” not “heal me! I’m desperate, now!” It was definitely out of high regards and reverence as to say “If you feel that I’m worthy to be healed with your power.” That’s how we should approach life, not thinking we deserve anything good because we are all fallen sinners in need of punishment. We’ve done nothing on our righteousness to be or do any good. It is by His saving grace and perfection that any one can be made righteous through Jesus Christ. So when Christ chooses to do good within our lives let’s give him back the most worthy of all praises and extol His name higher than any other name.

    • CheriClark

      Yes, may we praise Him for all that He does.

  • Alyssa Cuccia

    And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. Mark 1:35

    Jesus’ priorities are made very clear throughout Scripture and prayer is one that comes up over and over. He woke up early in the morning (before the sun came out) in order that he could find time to be alone and speak to a His Father. He sacrificed time, sleep, and comfort in order to make this time happen because he treasured it and knew that He was deeply dependent on God. This caused me to assess my own prayer life and to see how much of a priority I am making it and how much I am willing to sacrifice in order to make it happen. Prayer is so much more powerful than we know. May we take time today to declare our dependence on God and to grow to love Him more through our communication with Him.

    • Amy Smith

      Amen!

    • CheriClark

      Yes- may we purpose to come to Him each day in prayer.

  • NonieS

    Leviticus 25

    17 You shall not wrong one another, but you shall fear your God, for I am the Lord your God.

    God’s will is for us to treat others with respect, never wronging them. God is Holy and expects His children to be Holy, helping our brother in need.

    Mark 1

    29 And immediately he left the synagogue and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 Now Simon’s mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. 31 And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them.

    Jesus healed many people, including Simon’s mother. As soon as He healed her, she began to serve Him. It is so important that we serve our Lord and be thankful for the good gifts He gives us, everyday! Maranatha!

    • CheriClark

      Reading your OT comment reminded me of Natalie’s teaching yesterday of “be kind and be respectful”. 🙂

  • Beth Metcalf

    And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. Mark:1:35 (Jesus sets this example for us (once again) this morning, to prioritize a wise time to come before him in prayer with less distractions. The question is do we desire that time with him at any cost? LORD, of my life, I want to make sure you once again have the reins, (not I) in all circumstances. Help me to desire enough to allocate our time together alone in prayer daily. Forgive me for my absence in that one on one time. Help me to have victory in applying Daniel’s example in the bible to pray and praise you as he did three times a day.)

    • CheriClark

      Yes- may we purpose to find a quiet time to pray regularly to our Lord.

  • CrisFrancisco

    Daily Bible Reading for February 17, 2017

    OT

    2 “Command the people of Israel to bring you pure oil from beaten olives for the lamp, that a light may be kept burning regularly. (‭Leviticus‬ ‭24‬:‭2‬ ESV)
    This command to keep the light burning spurred a thought for today.

    Jesus tells us to let our light shine before men so that when they see our good works, they will glory our Father in heaven.

    That “light” (our witness and truth) should “burn” continually. It should never quit or fail. We are never “off-duty”. May we be a godly witness at all times, “in season and out of season”.

    NT

    30 Now Simon’s mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. 31 And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them. (‭Mark‬ ‭1‬:‭30-31‬ ESV)
    Simon’s mother-in-law’s response to her healing service to our Lord Jesus Christ and his disciples. What is our response to God’s healing and salvation? We are to love and serve him with all our heart and all our minds and our souls and our strength. All praise be to God.

    • CheriClark

      Yes, may we serve out of our love for our Lord.

  • Rose White

    The Lamps

    24:1 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Command the people of Israel to bring you pure oil from beaten olives for the lamp, that a light may be kept burning regularly. 3 Outside the veil of the testimony, in the tent of meeting, Aaron shall arrange it from evening to morning before the Lord regularly. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations. 

    I couldn’t help sing this joyful little song as I read Lev 24:1-3 this morning! It will be stuck in my head all day!

    Give Me Oil in My Lamp
    Lyrics
    Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning
    Give me oil in my lamp, I pray
    Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning
    Keep me burning till the break of day

    Sing hosanna, sing hosanna
    Sing hosanna to the Servant King
    Sing hosanna, sing hosanna
    Sing hosanna, let us sing

    Give me joy in my heart, keep me praising
    Give me joy in my heart, I pray
    Give me joy in my heart, keep me praising
    Keep me praising till the break of day

    Sing hosanna, sing hosanna
    Sing hosanna to the Servant King
    Sing hosanna, sing hosanna
    Sing hosanna, let us sing

    3. Give me peace in my heart, keep me loving
    Give me peace in my heart, I pray
    Give me peace in my heart, keep me loving
    Keep me loving till the break of day

    Sing hosanna, sing hosanna
    Sing hosanna…

    • Anne Ventura

      Like that Rose.

    • CheriClark

      Oh – I remember that song. Thank you for sharing.

  • Sam Funk

    Lev 24:14 “Bring out of the camp the one who cursed, and let all who heard him lay their hands on his head, and let all the congregation stone him.

    In this case it wasn’t the whole congregation but only the one who heard it. God is serious about what says and especially subjects of holiness.

    Lev 25:23 “The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine. For you are strangers and sojourners with me. … 55 For it is to me that the people of Israel are servants. They are my servants whom I brought out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

    Whether it’s people or property, “The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, ” – Psalm 24:1

    Mark 1:34 And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.

    Not only was Jesus healing people of all sorts of diseases (they all originated from the time of Adam), but he had the authority and ability to speak to demons and command them to leave people. The unseen world is a very dark, destructive and real place.

    • CheriClark

      May we realize that all belongs to God.

  • RyanDamato

    Mark 1-
    44 and said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to them.” 45 But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in desolate places, and people were coming to him from every quarter.

    Jesus’ ministry was not healing the physical defects of people. While that was a form of proving his true ministry, his existence as God becoming human was to reconcile lost souls the Father. Sinful man can still have physical flaws and have salvation but a man with spiritual separation (spiritual flaw) has no place with God. He’s not as concerned about the physical as he is the spiritual so his ministry was being able to connect the physical flaw to a healing and a proving that he was the Christ, here to reconcile lost souls to God. anything that would get in the way of that would be detrimental to his ministry. In this passage, it’s clear that disobedience created an obstacle in ministry for Jesus.
    Christians need to understand that we need to be obedient to The Lord. While it seems like one thing might be right, the opposite may be a specific command from the Lord that needs to be obeyed.
    This section can be very confusing to me at times when I consider the many other passages that tell me to be vocal for the Lord. It seems contradictory until I consider the blatant and obvious command from Jesus. He says not to say anything. That’s it. This is a perfect passage for me to consider when I feel like I want to do things my way even if it seems “right” based on other passages in scripture. I need to make sure that the context and motive for what I think is right is inline with biblical truth and I need to trust that the Lord has clearly given me instruction for everything I do in life. It comes down to the question of how I want to do it, His way or mine??

    • CheriClark

      May we always seek to do things His way.

  • Anne Ventura

    Mark 1:27

    27 And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.”

    1 Jn. 4:4. He that is within me is greater, much greater than evil. Ro. 12:21, May I never be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. May I saturate your word with righteousness in my heart and in my soul to be pleasing and worthy of your Grace and Mercy on me.

    • CheriClark

      May we be as quick to obey!

  • Sadie-Megin Daniels

    Mark 1:40 And a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.” 41 Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.” 42 And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean.

    I love the picture of Jesus we see in the Gospel of Mark. He is so compassionate and kind. Extending mercy, grace, and love. Who would have ever touched a leper? Jesus did! May we who are being conformed to His image show that same courageous compassion!

    • CheriClark

      Yes, may we have that compassion to those who need Jesus.

  • Stephanie Schwartz

    Mark 1:41
    Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.”

    What a beautiful picture of Jesus and his kindness! May I have pity on those who are spiritually “unclean,” and be willing to help them as Jesus did.

    • CheriClark

      I treasure those verses that state that Jesus was filled wit compassion for the crowd or pity for someone in need because it reminds me of the compassion He exhibited towards me.

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