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For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
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Reading for Today:

  • Leviticus 7:1–8:36
  • Psalm 24:7-10
  • Proverbs 9:10-12
  • Mark 1:1-22

Notes:

Leviticus 8:23, 24 right ear…right hand…right foot. Using a part to represent the whole, Aaron and his sons were consecrated to listen to God’s holy Word, to carry out His holy assignments, and to live holy lives.

Mark 1:15 The time is fulfilled. Not time in a chronological sense, but the time for decisive action on God’s part. With the arrival of the King, a new era in God’s dealings with men had come. the kingdom of God. God’s sovereign rule over the sphere of salvation; at present in the hearts of His people (Luke 17:21), and in the future, in a literal, earthly kingdom (Rev. 20:4–6). at hand. Because the King was present. Repent, and believe. Repentance and faith are man’s required response to God’s gracious offer of salvation (see Acts 20:21).

Mark 1:17 Follow Me. Used frequently in the Gospels in reference to discipleship (2:14; 8:34; 10:21; Matt. 4:19; 8:22; 9:9; 10:38; 16:24; 19:21; Luke 9:23, 59, 61; 18:22; John 1:43; 10:27; 12:26). fishers of men. Evangelism was the primary purpose for which Jesus called the apostles, and it remains the central mission for His people (see Matt. 28:19, 20; Acts 1:8).

Mark 1:22 authority. Jesus’ authoritative teaching, as the spoken Word of God, was in sharp contrast to that of the scribes (experts in the Old Testament Scriptures), who based their authority largely on that of other rabbis. Jesus’ direct, personal, and forceful teaching was so foreign to their experience that those who heard Him were “astonished” (see Titus 2:15).


DAY 18: What was the purpose of John’s baptism?

The Gospels all introduce John the Baptist’s ministry by quoting Isaiah 40:3 (see Matt. 3:3; Luke 3:4; John 1:23). John was called “My messenger” (Mark 1:2), the divinely promised messenger, sent to prepare the way for the Messiah. In ancient times, a king’s envoys would travel ahead of him, making sure the roads were safe and fit for him to travel on, as well as announcing his arrival.

As the last Old Testament prophet and the divinely ordained forerunner of the Messiah, John was the culmination of Old Testament history and prophecy (Luke 16:16) as well as the beginning of the historical record of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Not surprisingly, Jesus designated John as the greatest man who had lived until his time (Matt. 11:11). John’s baptism, being the distinctive mark of his ministry (Mark 1:4), differed from the ritual Jewish washings in that it was a one-time act. The Jews performed a similar one-time washing of Gentile proselytes, symbolizing their embracing of the true faith. That Jews would participate in such a rite was a startling admission that they needed to come to God through repentance and faith just like Gentiles.

John’s baptism was for true repentance. His ministry was to call Israel to repentance in preparation for the coming of Messiah. Baptism did not produce repentance, but was its result (Matt. 3:7, 8). Far more than a mere change of mind or remorse, repentance involves a turning from sin to God (1 Thess. 1:9), which results in righteous living. Genuine repentance is a work of God in the human heart (Acts 11:18). John’s rite of baptism did not produce forgiveness of sin (Acts 2:38; 22:16); it was only the outward confession and illustration of the true repentance that results in forgiveness (Luke 24:47; Acts 3:19; 5:31; 2 Cor. 7:10).



From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, www.thomasnelson.com.

Additional Resources

Reading for Today:

  • Leviticus 5:1–6:30
  • Psalm 24:1-6
  • Proverbs 9:7-9
  • Matthew 28:1-20

Notes:

Leviticus 5:5 he shall confess. Confession must accompany the sacrifice as the outward expression of a repentant heart which openly acknowledged agreement with God concerning sin. Sacrifice minus true faith, repentance, and obedience was hypocrisy (see Ps. 26:4; Is. 9:17; Amos 5:21–26).

Psalm 24:4 These sample qualities do not signify sinless perfection, but rather basic integrity of inward motive and outward manner.

Matthew 28:1 as the first day of the week began to dawn. Sabbath officially ended with sundown on Saturday. At that time the women could purchase and prepare spices (Luke 24:1). The event described here occurred the next morning, at dawn on Sunday, the first day of the week.

Matthew 28:4 became like dead men. This suggests that they were not merely paralyzed with fear, but completely unconscious, totally traumatized by what they had seen. The word translated “shook” has the same root as the word for “earthquake” in v. 2.The sudden appearance of this angel, at the same time the women arrived, was their first clue that anything extraordinary was happening.

Matthew 28:18 All authority. See 11:27; John 3:35. Absolute sovereign authority—lordship over all—is handed to Christ, “in heaven and on earth.” This is clear proof of His deity. The time of His humiliation was at an end, and God had exalted Him above all (Phil. 2:9–11).


DAY 17: How are the Old Testament sacrifices compared to Christ’s sacrifice?

Leviticus

Hebrews

1. Old Covenant (temporary)

Hebrews 7:22; 8:6, 13; 10:20

1. New Covenant (permanent)

2. Obsolete promises

Hebrews 8:6–13

2. Better promises

3. A shadow

Hebrews 8:5; 9:23, 24; 10:1

3. The reality

4. Aaronic priesthood (many)

Hebrews 6:19–7:25

4. Melchizedekian priesthood (one)

5. Sinful priesthood

Hebrews 7:26, 27; 9:7

5. Sinless priest

6. Limited-by-death priesthood

Hebrews 7:16, 17, 23, 24

6. Forever priesthood

7. Daily sacrifices

Hebrews 7:27; 9:12, 25, 26; 10:9, 10, 12

7. Once-for-all sacrifice

8. Animal sacrifices

Hebrews 9:11–15, 26; 10:4–10, 19

8. Sacrifice of God’s Son

9. Ongoing sacrifices

Hebrews 10:11–14, 18

9. Sacrifices no longer needed

10. One-year atonement

Hebrews 7:25; 9:12, 15; 10:1–4, 12

10. Eternal propitiation



From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, www.thomasnelson.com.

Additional Resources

Reading for Today:

  • Leviticus 3:1–4:35
  • Psalm 23:1-6
  • Proverbs 9:1-6
  • Matthew 27:55-66

Notes:

Leviticus 3:1–17 See 7:11–36 for the priests’ instructions. The peace offering symbolizes the peace and fellowship between the true worshiper and God (as a voluntary offering). It was the third freewill offering resulting in a sweet aroma to the Lord (3:5), which served as the appropriate corollary to the burnt offering of atonement and the grain offering of consecration and dedication. It symbolized the fruit of redemptive reconciliation between a sinner and God (see 2 Cor. 5:18).

Psalm 23:4 the valley of the shadow of death. Phraseology used to convey a perilously threatening environment (see Job 10:21, 22; 38:17; Pss. 44:19; 107:10; Jer. 2:6; Luke. 1:79). Your rod and Your staff. The shepherd’s club and crook are viewed as comforting instruments of protection and direction, respectively.

Matthew 27:56 Mary Magdalene. She had been delivered from 7 demons (Luke 8:2); the other “Mary” (“wife of Clopas,” John 19:25—a variant of Alphaeus) was the mother of the apostle known as “James the Less” (Mark 15:40). the mother of Zebedee’s sons. Salome (Mark 15:40), mother of James and John. From John 19:26, we learn that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was also present at the Cross—possibly standing apart from these 3, who were “looking on from afar” (v. 55), as if they could not bear to watch His sufferings, but neither could they bear to leave Him.

Matthew 27:57 Joseph. Mark 15:43 and Luke 23:50, 51 identify him as a member of the Sanhedrin, though Luke says “he had not consented to their decision and deed” in condemning Christ. Joseph and Nicodemus (John 19:39), both being prominent Jewish leaders, buried Christ in Joseph’s own “new tomb” (v. 60), thus fulfilling exactly the prophecy of Is. 53:9. Arimathea. A town about 15–20 miles northwest of Jerusalem.


DAY 16: Why are there so many uncomfortable expressions in the Psalms—for example in Psalms 23 and 139?

Because the Psalms genuinely reflect real life, we should expect that they will be uncomfortable in the same places that life is uncomfortable. According to the best-known Psalm 23, life isn’t just about green pastures and still waters; it also includes death and enemies. The psalmists were convinced they knew the only true God. When someone was picking on them or their people, they would at times cry out for very specific judgment to be applied by God on their enemies. An amazing fact about the Psalms is their unblushing record of these cries to God that, if we are honest, echo some of our deepest hidden complaints before God.

In David’s case, the role that he filled as the king and representative of God’s people often blurs with his individual self-awareness. At times it is difficult to tell whether he is speaking for himself alone or for the people as a whole. This explains some of the vehemence behind the curse-pronouncing psalms. They unabashedly invoke God’s righteous wrath and judgment against His enemies.



From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, www.thomasnelson.com.

Additional Resources

Reading for Today:

  • Leviticus 1:1–2:16
  • Psalm 22:22-31
  • Proverbs 8:32-36
  • Matthew 27:27-54

Notes:

Leviticus 1:4 put his hand on the head. This symbolic gesture pictured the transfer of the sacrificer’s sin to the sacrificial animal and was likely done with a prayer of repentance and request for forgiveness (see Ps. 51:18, 19). on his behalf. This was a substitutionary sacrifice that prefigured the ultimate substitute—Jesus Christ (see Is. 53; 2 Cor. 5:21). make atonement. The word means “cover.” The psalmist defines it by saying, “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered” (Ps. 32:1). Theologically, the “atonement” of the Old Testament covered sin only temporarily, but it did not eliminate sin or later judgment (Heb. 10:4). The one-time sacrifice of Jesus Christ fully atoned for sin, thus satisfying God’s wrath forever and insuring eternal salvation (see Heb. 9:12; 1 John 2:2), even to those who put saving faith in God for their redemption before Christ’s death on the cross (see Rom. 3:25, 26; Heb. 9:15).

Matthew 27:31 to be crucified. Crucifixion was a form of punishment that had been passed down to the Romans from the Persians, Phoenicians, and Carthaginians. Roman crucifixion was a lingering doom—by design. Roman executioners had perfected the art of slow torture while keeping the victim alive. Some victims even lingered until they were eaten alive by birds of prey or wild beasts. Most hung on the cross for days before dying of exhaustion, dehydration, traumatic fever, or—most likely—suffocation. When the legs would no longer support the weight of the body, the diaphragm was constricted in a way that made breathing impossible. That is why breaking the legs would hasten death (John 19:31–33), but this was unnecessary in Jesus’ case. The hands were usually nailed through the wrists, and the feet through the instep or the Achilles tendon (sometimes using one nail for both feet). None of these wounds would be fatal, but their pain would become unbearable as the hours dragged on. The most notable feature of crucifixion was the stigma of disgrace that was attached to it (Gal. 3:13; 5:11; Heb. 12:2). One indignity was the humiliation of carrying one’s own cross, which might weigh as much as 200 pounds. Normally a quaternion, 4 soldiers, would escort the prisoner through the crowds to the place of crucifixion. A placard bearing the indictment would be hung around the person’s neck.

Matthew 27:46 Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? “Eli” is Hebrew; the rest Aramaic. (Mark 15:34 gives the entire wail in Aramaic.) This cry is a fulfillment of Psalm 22:1, one of many striking parallels between that psalm and the specific events of the Crucifixion. Christ at that moment was experiencing the abandonment and despair that resulted from the outpouring of divine wrath on Him as sin-bearer.


DAY 15: How is Christ seen in the Levitical offerings?

Offering

Christ’s Provision

Christ’s Character

1. Burnt Offering (Leviticus 1:3–17; 6:8–13)

atonement

Christ’s sinless nature

2. Grain Offering (Leviticus 2:1–16; 6:14–23)

dedication/consecration

Christ was wholly devoted to the Father’s purposes

3. Peace Offering (Leviticus 3:1–17; 7:11–36)

reconciliation/fellowship

Christ was at peace with God

4. Sin Offering (Leviticus 4:1–5:13; 6:24–30)

propitiation

Christ’s substitutionary death

5. Trespass Offering (Leviticus 5:14–6:7; 7:1–10)

repentance

Christ paid it all for redemption



From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, www.thomasnelson.com.

Additional Resources

Reading for Today:

  • Exodus 39:1–40:38
  • Psalm 22:16-21
  • Proverbs 8:22-31
  • Matthew 27:1-26

Notes:

Psalm 22:16 They pierced My hands and My feet. The Hebrew text reads “like a lion,” i.e., these vicious attacking enemies, like animals, have torn me. Likely, a messianic prediction with reference to crucifixion (see Is. 53:5; Zech. 12:10).

Psalm 22:18 They divide…they cast. All 4 Gospel writers appeal to this imagery in describing Christ’s crucifixion (Matt. 27:35; Mark 15:24; Luke 23:34; John 19:24).

Proverbs 8:27 circle on the face of the deep. The Hebrew word for circle indicates that the earth is a globe; therefore the horizon is circular (see Is. 40:22). This “deep” that surrounds the earth was the original world ocean that covered the surface of the earth before it was fully formed and given life (cf. Gen.1:2).

Matthew 27:26 scourged. The whip used for scourging consisted of several strands of leather attached to a wooden handle. Each strand had a bit of metal or bone attached to the end. The victim was bound to a post by the wrists, high over his head, so that the flesh of the back would be taut. An expert at wielding the scourge could literally tear the flesh from the back, lacerating muscles, and sometimes even exposing the kidneys or other internal organs. Scourging alone was fatal in some cases.


DAY 14: Does Matthew include any material not found in the other Gospels?

Matthew includes nine events in Jesus’ life that are unique to his Gospel:

1. Joseph’s dream (1:20–24).
2. Visit of the wise men (2:1–12).
3. Flight into Egypt (2:13–15).
4. Herod kills the children (2:16–18).
5. Judas repents (27:3-10, but see Acts 1:18, 19).
6. The dream of Pilate’s wife (27:19).
7. Other resurrections (27:52).
8. The bribery of the soldiers (28:11–15).
9. The Great Commission (28:19, 20).



From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, www.thomasnelson.com.

Additional Resources
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Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.

For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.

And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.

He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

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In the first verse in 1 Kings 18, there is an eloquent phrase: "The word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year." Three years! That's an incredibly long time to go without rain. We can't imagine it, can we?
Today's 2-minute sound-bite with Pastor Greg Laurie.
Today's 2-minute sound-bite with Pastor Greg Laurie.
Today's 2-minute sound-bite with Pastor Greg Laurie.
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