June 15 - Mark 2, 2 Samuel 4-5 and Daniel 2.24-49
Jesus Heals a Paralyzed Man
6Some teachers of the Law who were sitting there thought to themselves, 7"How does he dare talk like this? This is blasphemy! God is the only one who can forgive sins!"
8At once Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he said to them, "Why do you think such things? 9Is it easier to say to this paralyzed man, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, pick up your mat, and walk'? 10I will prove to you, then, that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins." So he said to the paralyzed man, 11"I tell you, get up, pick up your mat, and go home!"
12While they all watched, the man got up, picked up his mat, and hurried away. They were all completely amazed and praised God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this!"
Jesus Calls Levi
15Later on Jesus was having a meal in Levi's house. A large number of tax collectors and other outcasts was following Jesus, and many of them joined him and his disciples at the table. 16Some teachers of the Law, who were Pharisees, saw that Jesus was eating with these outcasts and tax collectors, so they asked his disciples, "Why does he eat with such people?"
17Jesus heard them and answered, "People who are well do not need a doctor, but only those who are sick. I have not come to call respectable people, but outcasts."
The Question about Fasting
19Jesus answered, "Do you expect the guests at a wedding party to go without food? Of course not! As long as the bridegroom is with them, they will not do that. 20But the day will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.
21"No one uses a piece of new cloth to patch up an old coat, because the new patch will shrink and tear off some of the old cloth, making an even bigger hole. 22Nor does anyone pour new wine into used wineskins, because the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins will be ruined. Instead, new wine must be poured into fresh wineskins."
The Question about the Sabbath
25Jesus answered, "Have you never read what David did that time when he needed something to eat? He and his men were hungry, 26so he went into the house of God and ate the bread offered to God. This happened when Abiathar was the High Priest. According to our Law only the priests may eat this bread--but David ate it and even gave it to his men."
27And Jesus concluded, "The Sabbath was made for the good of human beings; they were not made for the Sabbath. 28So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath."
Ishbosheth Is Murdered2 Samuel 4 When Saul's son Ishbosheth heard that Abner had been killed in Hebron, he was afraid, and all the people of Israel were alarmed. 2Ishbosheth had two officers who were leaders of raiding parties, Baanah and Rechab, sons of Rimmon, from Beeroth in the tribe of Benjamin. (Beeroth is counted as part of Benjamin. 3Its original inhabitants had fled to Gittaim, where they have lived ever since.)
4Another descendant of Saul was Jonathan's son Mephibosheth, who was five years old when Saul and Jonathan were killed. When the news about their death came from the city of Jezreel, his nurse picked him up and fled; but she was in such a hurry that she dropped him, and he became crippled.
5Rechab and Baanah set out for Ishbosheth's house and arrived there about noon, while he was taking his midday rest. 6The woman at the door had become drowsy while she was sifting wheat and had fallen asleep, so Rechab and Baanah slipped in. 7Once inside, they went to Ishbosheth's bedroom, where he was sound asleep, and killed him. Then they cut off his head, took it with them, and walked all night through the Jordan Valley. 8They presented the head to King David at Hebron and said to him, "Here is the head of Ishbosheth, the son of your enemy Saul, who tried to kill you. Today the LORD has allowed Your Majesty to take revenge on Saul and his descendants."
9David answered them, "I take a vow by the living LORD, who has saved me from all dangers! 10The messenger who came to me at Ziklag and told me of Saul's death thought he was bringing good news. I seized him and had him put to death. That was the reward I gave him for his good news! 11How much worse it will be for evil men who murder an innocent man asleep in his own house! I will now take revenge on you for murdering him and will wipe you off the face of the earth!" 12David gave the order, and his soldiers killed Rechab and Baanah and cut off their hands and feet, which they hung up near the pool in Hebron. They took Ishbosheth's head and buried it in Abner's tomb there at Hebron.
David Becomes King of Israel and Judah
6The time came when King David and his men set out to attack Jerusalem. The Jebusites, who lived there, thought that David would not be able to conquer the city, and so they said to him, "You will never get in here; even the blind and the crippled could keep you out." ( 7But David did capture their fortress of Zion, and it became known as "David's City.")
8That day David said to his men, "Does anybody here hate the Jebusites as much as I do? Enough to kill them? Then go up through the water tunnel and attack those poor blind cripples." (That is why it is said, "The blind and the crippled cannot enter the LORD's house.")
9After capturing the fortress, David lived in it and named it "David's City." He built the city around it, starting at the place where land was filled in on the east side of the hill. 10He grew stronger all the time, because the LORD God Almighty was with him.
11King Hiram of Tyre sent a trade mission to David; he provided him with cedar logs and with carpenters and stone masons to build a palace. 12And so David realized that the LORD had established him as king of Israel and was making his kingdom prosperous for the sake of his people.
13After moving from Hebron to Jerusalem, David took more concubines and wives, and had more sons and daughters. 14The following children were born to him in Jerusalem: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, 15Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia, 16Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet.
Victory over the Philistines
"Yes, attack!" the LORD answered. "I will give you the victory!"
20So David went to Baal Perazim and there he defeated the Philistines. He said, "The LORD has broken through my enemies like a flood." And so that place is called Baal Perazim. 21When the Philistines fled, they left their idols behind, and David and his men carried them away.
22Then the Philistines went back to Rephaim Valley and occupied it again. 23Once more David consulted the LORD, who answered, "Don't attack them from here, but go around and get ready to attack them from the other side, near the balsam trees. 24When you hear the sound of marching in the treetops, then attack because I will be marching ahead of you to defeat the Philistine army." 25David did what the LORD had commanded, and was able to drive the Philistines back from Geba all the way to Gezer.
Daniel Tells the King the Dream and Explains ItDaniel 2 24So Daniel went to Arioch, whom the king had commanded to execute the royal advisers. He said to him, "Don't put them to death. Take me to the king, and I will tell him what his dream means."
25At once Arioch took Daniel into King Nebuchadnezzar's presence and told the king, "I have found one of the Jewish exiles who can tell Your Majesty the meaning of your dream."
26The king said to Daniel (who was also called Belteshazzar), "Can you tell me what I dreamed and what it means?"
27Daniel replied, "Your Majesty, there is no wizard, magician, fortuneteller, or astrologer who can tell you that. 28But there is a God in heaven, who reveals mysteries. He has informed Your Majesty what will happen in the future. Now I will tell you the dream, the vision you had while you were asleep.
29"While Your Majesty was sleeping, you dreamed about the future; and God, who reveals mysteries, showed you what is going to happen. 30Now, this mystery was revealed to me, not because I am wiser than anyone else, but so that Your Majesty may learn the meaning of your dream and understand the thoughts that have come to you.
31"Your Majesty, in your vision you saw standing before you a giant statue, bright and shining, and terrifying to look at. 32Its head was made of the finest gold; its chest and arms were made of silver; its waist and hips of bronze, 33its legs of iron, and its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. 34While you were looking at it, a great stone broke loose from a cliff without anyone touching it, struck the iron and clay feet of the statue, and shattered them. 35At once the iron, clay, bronze, silver, and gold crumbled and became like the dust on a threshing place in summer. The wind carried it all away, leaving not a trace. But the stone grew to be a mountain that covered the whole earth.
36"This was the dream. Now I will tell Your Majesty what it means. 37Your Majesty, you are the greatest of all kings. The God of heaven has made you emperor and given you power, might, and honor. 38He has made you ruler of all the inhabited earth and ruler over all the animals and birds. You are the head of gold. 39After you there will be another empire, not as great as yours, and after that a third, an empire of bronze, which will rule the whole earth. 40And then there will be a fourth empire, as strong as iron, which shatters and breaks everything. And just as iron shatters everything, it will shatter and crush all the earlier empires. 41You also saw that the feet and the toes were partly clay and partly iron. This means that it will be a divided empire. It will have something of the strength of iron, because there was iron mixed with the clay. 42The toes--partly iron and partly clay--mean that part of the empire will be strong and part of it weak. 43You also saw that the iron was mixed with the clay. This means that the rulers of that empire will try to unite their families by intermarriage, but they will not be able to, any more than iron can mix with clay. 44At the time of those rulers the God of heaven will establish a kingdom that will never end. It will never be conquered, but will completely destroy all those empires and then last forever. 45You saw how a stone broke loose from a cliff without anyone touching it and how it struck the statue made of iron, bronze, clay, silver, and gold. The great God is telling Your Majesty what will happen in the future. I have told you exactly what you dreamed, and have given you its true meaning."
The King Rewards Daniel46Then King Nebuchadnezzar bowed to the ground and gave orders for sacrifices and offerings to be made to Daniel. 47The king said, "Your God is the greatest of all gods, the Lord over kings, and the one who reveals mysteries. I know this because you have been able to explain this mystery." 48Then he gave Daniel a high position, presented him with many splendid gifts, put him in charge of the province of Babylon, and made him the head of all the royal advisers. 49At Daniel's request the king put Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in charge of the affairs of the province of Babylon; Daniel, however, remained at the royal court.
This reading is from The Holy
Bible, Today's English Version, Second Edition copyright © American
Bible Society, 1992;
Old Testament copyright © American Bible Society, 1976, 1992; New Testament © American Bible Society, 1966, 1971, 1976, 1992.
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