Monday, September 6, 2010

Day 17: Jesus' First Tour of Galilee: Jesus Calls Peter, Andrew, James, and John a Second Time

Jesus arises early in the morning while His disciples sleep and goes off to a lonely place to pray. His disciples awake and search for Him. They tell Him the crowds are looking everywhere for Him. His response must have surprised them. Write His response (Mark 1:38):
"Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come."

Decision: Does Peter trust his own professional expertise or does he trust and obey the command of Jesus? hat is always the issue. "I know my business," one man says. "I can handle it," or "I wasn't given a brain and talents for nothing," says another. "I can do this!" is the typical response of proactive, capable men and women. The question is, Will you trust your experience and expertise or will you trust God? This was Peter's decision.

Have you ever struggled with relying solely on God versus your expertise?

For sure! I have had several times when I wanted to follow what I thought was best, but it wasn't what God had in mind or what God was leading me toward. It is hard to lay aside my humanity and do what He says, but I will always be better for it!

Great list of God's opposites of man's thinking on page 60!

Jesus Heals a Leper and Sends Him to the High Priest

Jesus has been rejected in His hometown, has incurred the wrath of the Pharisees for cleansing the temple in Jerusalem, and has violated their oral laws regarding the Sabbath. He has healed many and is the new matinee idol of the multitudes because of the miracles He has performed. His ministry will now take a hard right turn. He will do something unprecedented in Jewish history. By performing a certain miracle, He will nonverbally, but unequivocally, announce that He is the Prophet of Deuteronomy 18:18 (the Messiah).

Leprosy was a dreaded disease and thought to be highly contagious. Lepers could not socialize with uninfected people and were banned from the synagogue. Considered unclean both physically and spiritually, they were forced to live outside the cities and beg for money to stay alive. As we saw on Day 2, because the Jews were cause and effect thinkers, they considered leprosy a punishment from God. The priests did not even bother to pray for their salvation or for their healing. Leprosy was called "the finger of God." It was God's curse on them for something in their past or the sin of their parents before they reached the age of accountability.

What is significant about this particular leper?

I looked up several internet resources about what was significant about this particular leper, but I am not getting it!

Thankfully the book goes on to say that the leper would have had to believe that Jesus was the Messiah because only the Messiah could heal him.

The leper was to tell _______________. no one

Moses had commanded this as a ______________ to them. testimony

This is the first of three messianic signs by which Jesus would validate Himself as the Messiah. Who better than the high priest to examine this man who was in the advanced stages of leprosy and have to testify that the leper was indeed clean and fully cured? In doing so, he would be indirectly saying that Jesus was truly the prophet of Deuteronomy 18:18

There was one problem. No priest had ever performed this cleansing because no Jewish lepers had ever been healed. Turn to Leviticus 14 and you will read about the eight-day, step-by-step procedure required in the law to be performed by the priest. The humor in this is that the priest would have no idea how to perform the cleansing. Can you imagine the panic in his face and the scrambling he would have done to look up the procedure in Leviticus as if cramming for a test?