June 23 - Mark 6.30-56, 2 Samuel 16 and Daniel 10.1-11.2
Jesus Feeds Five Thousand
33Many people, however, saw them leave and knew at once who they were; so they went from all the towns and ran ahead by land and arrived at the place ahead of Jesus and his disciples. 34When Jesus got out of the boat, he saw this large crowd, and his heart was filled with pity for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began to teach them many things. 35When it was getting late, his disciples came to him and said, "It is already very late, and this is a lonely place. 36Send the people away, and let them go to the nearby farms and villages in order to buy themselves something to eat."
37"You yourselves give them something to eat," Jesus answered.
They asked, "Do you want us to go and spend two hundred silver coins on bread in order to feed them?"
38So Jesus asked them, "How much bread do you have? Go and see."
When they found out, they told him, "Five loaves and also two fish."
39Jesus then told his disciples to make all the people divide into groups and sit down on the green grass. 40So the people sat down in rows, in groups of a hundred and groups of fifty. 41Then Jesus took the five loaves and the two fish, looked up to heaven, and gave thanks to God. He broke the loaves and gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. 42Everyone ate and had enough. 43Then the disciples took up twelve baskets full of what was left of the bread and the fish. 44The number of men who were fed was five thousand.
Jesus Walks on the Water
Jesus spoke to them at once, "Courage!" he said. "It is I. Don't be afraid!" 51Then he got into the boat with them, and the wind died down. The disciples were completely amazed, 52because they had not understood the real meaning of the feeding of the five thousand; their minds could not grasp it.
Jesus Heals the Sick in Gennesaret
David and Ziba2 Samuel 16 When David had gone a little beyond the top of the hill, he was suddenly met by Ziba, the servant of Mephibosheth, who had with him a couple of donkeys loaded with two hundred loaves of bread, a hundred bunches of raisins, a hundred bunches of fresh fruit, and a leather bag full of wine. 2King David asked him, "What are you going to do with all that?"
Ziba answered, "The donkeys are for Your Majesty's family to ride, the bread and the fruit are for the men to eat, and the wine is for them to drink when they get tired in the wilderness."
3"Where is Mephibosheth, the grandson of your master Saul?" the king asked him.
"He is staying in Jerusalem," Ziba answered, "because he is convinced that the Israelites will now restore to him the kingdom of his grandfather Saul."
4The king said to Ziba, "Everything that belonged to Mephibosheth is yours."
"I am your servant," Ziba replied. "May I always please Your Majesty!"
David and Shimei5When King David arrived at Bahurim, one of Saul's relatives, Shimei son of Gera, came out to meet him, cursing him as he came. 6Shimei started throwing stones at David and his officials, even though David was surrounded by his men and his bodyguards. 7Shimei cursed him and said, "Get out! Get out! Murderer! Criminal! 8You took Saul's kingdom, and now the LORD is punishing you for murdering so many of Saul's family. The LORD has given the kingdom to your son Absalom, and you are ruined, you murderer!"
9Abishai, whose mother was Zeruiah, said to the king, "Your Majesty, why do you let this dog curse you? Let me go over there and cut off his head!"
10"This is none of your business," the king said to Abishai and his brother Joab. "If he curses me because the LORD told him to, who has the right to ask why he does it?" 11And David said to Abishai and to all his officials, "My own son is trying to kill me; so why should you be surprised at this Benjaminite? The LORD told him to curse; so leave him alone and let him do it. 12Perhaps the LORD will notice my misery and give me some blessings to take the place of his curse." 13So David and his men continued along the road. Shimei kept up with them, walking on the hillside; he was cursing and throwing stones and dirt at them as he went. 14The king and all his men were worn out when they reached the Jordan, and there they rested.
Absalom in Jerusalem15Absalom and all the Israelites with him entered Jerusalem, and Ahithophel was with them. 16When Hushai, David's trusted friend, met Absalom, he shouted, "Long live the king! Long live the king!"
17"What has happened to your loyalty to your friend David?" Absalom asked him. "Why didn't you go with him?"
18Hushai answered, "How could I? I am for the one chosen by the LORD, by these people, and by all the Israelites. I will stay with you. 19After all, whom should I serve, if not my master's son? As I served your father, so now I will serve you."
20Then Absalom turned to Ahithophel and said, "Now that we are here, what do you advise us to do?"
21Ahithophel answered, "Go and have intercourse with your father's concubines whom he left behind to take care of the palace. Then everyone in Israel will know that your father regards you as his enemy, and your followers will be greatly encouraged." 22So they set up a tent for Absalom on the palace roof, and in the sight of everyone Absalom went in and had intercourse with his father's concubines.
23Any advice that Ahithophel gave in those days was accepted as though it were the very word of God; both David and Absalom followed it.
Daniel's Vision by the Tigris RiverDaniel 10 In the third year that Cyrus was emperor of Persia, a message was revealed to Daniel, who is also called Belteshazzar. The message was true but extremely hard to understand. It was explained to him in a vision.
2At that time I was mourning for three weeks. 3I did not eat any rich food or any meat, drink any wine, or comb my hair until the three weeks were past.
4On the twenty-fourth day of the first month of the year I was standing on the bank of the mighty Tigris River. 5I looked up and saw someone who was wearing linen clothes and a belt of fine gold. 6His body shone like a jewel. His face was as bright as a flash of lightning, and his eyes blazed like fire. His arms and legs shone like polished bronze, and his voice sounded like the roar of a great crowd.
7I was the only one who saw the vision. Those who were with me did not see anything, but they were terrified and ran and hid. 8I was left there alone, watching this amazing vision. I had no strength left, and my face was so changed that no one could have recognized me. 9When I heard his voice, I fell to the ground unconscious and lay there face downward. 10Then a hand took hold of me and raised me to my hands and knees; I was still trembling.
11The angel said to me, "Daniel, God loves you. Stand up and listen carefully to what I am going to say. I have been sent to you." When he had said this, I stood up, still trembling.
12Then he said, "Daniel, don't be afraid. God has heard your prayers ever since the first day you decided to humble yourself in order to gain understanding. I have come in answer to your prayer. 13The angel prince of the kingdom of Persia opposed me for twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief angels, came to help me, because I had been left there alone in Persia. 14I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the future. This is a vision about the future."
15When he said this, I stared at the ground, speechless. 16Then the angel, who looked like a human being, reached out and touched my lips. I said to him, "Sir, this vision makes me so weak that I can't stop trembling. 17I am like a slave standing before his master. How can I talk to you? I have no strength or breath left in me."
18Once more he took hold of me, and I felt stronger. 19He said, "God loves you, so don't let anything worry you or frighten you."
When he had said this, I felt even stronger and said, "Sir, tell me what you have to say. You have made me feel better."
20-21He said, "Do you know why I came to you? It is to reveal to you what is written in the Book of Truth. Now I have to go back and fight the guardian angel of Persia. After that the guardian angel of Greece will appear. There is no one to help me except Michael, Israel's guardian angel.
Daniel 11 1He is responsible for helping and defending me. 2And what I am now going to tell you is true."
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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