June 26 - Mark 8.1-21, 2 Samuel 19 and Daniel 12
Jesus Feeds Four Thousand People
4His disciples asked him, "Where in this desert can anyone find enough food to feed all these people?"
5"How much bread do you have?" Jesus asked.
"Seven loaves," they answered.
6He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves, gave thanks to God, broke them, and gave them to his disciples to distribute to the crowd; and the disciples did so. 7They also had a few small fish. Jesus gave thanks for these and told the disciples to distribute them too. 8-9Everybody ate and had enough--there were about four thousand people. Then the disciples took up seven baskets full of pieces left over. Jesus sent the people away 10and at once got into a boat with his disciples and went to the district of Dalmanutha.
The Pharisees Ask for a Miracle
13He left them, got back into the boat, and started across to the other side of the lake.
The Yeast of the Pharisees and of Herod
16They started discussing among themselves: "He says this because we don't have any bread."
17Jesus knew what they were saying, so he asked them, "Why are you discussing about not having any bread? Don't you know or understand yet? Are your minds so dull? 18You have eyes--can't you see? You have ears--can't you hear? Don't you remember 19when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand people? How many baskets full of leftover pieces did you take up?"
"Twelve," they answered.
20"And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand people," asked Jesus, "how many baskets full of leftover pieces did you take up?"
"Seven," they answered.
21"And you still don't understand?" he asked them.
Joab Reprimands David2 Samuel 19 Joab was told that King David was weeping and mourning for Absalom. 2And so the joy of victory was turned into sadness for all of David's troops that day, because they heard that the king was mourning for his son. 3They went back into the city quietly, like soldiers who are ashamed because they are running away from battle. 4The king covered his face and cried loudly, "O my son! My son Absalom! Absalom, my son!"
5Joab went to the king's house and said to him, "Today you have humiliated your men--the men who saved your life and the lives of your sons and daughters and of your wives and concubines. 6You oppose those who love you and support those who hate you! You have made it clear that your officers and men mean nothing to you. I can see that you would be quite happy if Absalom were alive today and all of us were dead. 7Now go and reassure your men. I swear by the LORD's name that if you don't, not one of them will be with you by tomorrow morning. That would be the worst disaster you have suffered in all your life." 8Then the king got up, and went and sat near the city gate. His men heard that he was there, and they all gathered around him.
David Starts Back to JerusalemMeanwhile all the Israelites had fled to their own hometowns. 9All over the country they started quarreling among themselves. "King David saved us from our enemies," they said to one another. "He rescued us from the Philistines, but now he has fled from Absalom and left the country. 10We anointed Absalom as our king, but he has been killed in battle. So why doesn't somebody try to bring King David back?"
11The news of what the Israelites were saying reached King David. So he sent the priests Zadok and Abiathar to ask the leaders of Judah, "Why should you be the last to help bring the king back to his palace? 12You are my relatives, my own flesh and blood; why should you be the last to bring me back?" 13David also told them to say to Amasa, "You are my relative. From now on I am putting you in charge of the army in place of Joab. May God strike me dead if I don't!" 14David's words won the complete loyalty of all the men of Judah, and they sent him word to return with all his officials.
15On his way back the king was met at the Jordan River by the men of Judah, who had come to Gilgal to escort him across the river. 16At the same time the Benjaminite Shimei son of Gera from Bahurim hurried to the Jordan to meet King David. 17He had with him a thousand men from the tribe of Benjamin. And Ziba, the servant of Saul's family, also came with his fifteen sons and twenty servants, and they arrived at the Jordan before the king. 18They crossed the river to escort the royal party across and to do whatever the king wanted.
David Shows Kindness to ShimeiAs the king was getting ready to cross, Shimei threw himself down in front of him 19and said, "Your Majesty, please forget the wrong I did that day you left Jerusalem. Don't hold it against me or think about it any more. 20I know, sir, that I have sinned, and this is why I am the first one from the northern tribes to come and meet Your Majesty today."
21Abishai son of Zeruiah spoke up: "Shimei should be put to death because he cursed the one whom the LORD chose as king."
22But David said to Abishai and his brother Joab, "Who asked your opinion? Are you going to give me trouble? I am the one who is king of Israel now, and no Israelite will be put to death today." 23And he said to Shimei, "I give you my word that you will not be put to death."
David Shows Kindness to Mephibosheth24Then Mephibosheth, Saul's grandson, came down to meet the king. He had not washed his feet, trimmed his beard, or washed his clothes from the time the king left Jerusalem until he returned victorious. 25When Mephibosheth arrived from Jerusalem to meet the king, the king said to him, "Mephibosheth, you didn't go with me. Why not?"
26He answered, "As you know, Your Majesty, I am crippled. I told my servant to saddle my donkey so that I could ride along with you, but he betrayed me. 27He lied about me to Your Majesty, but you are like God's angel, so do what seems right to you. 28All of my father's family deserved to be put to death by Your Majesty, but you gave me the right to eat at your table. I have no right to ask for any more favors from Your Majesty."
29The king answered, "You don't have to say anything more. I have decided that you and Ziba will share Saul's property."
30"Let Ziba have it all," Mephibosheth answered. "It's enough for me that Your Majesty has come home safely."
David Shows Kindness to Barzillai31Barzillai, from Gilead, had also come down from Rogelim to escort the king across the Jordan. 32Barzillai was a very old man, eighty years old. He was very rich and had supplied the king with food while he was staying at Mahanaim. 33The king said to him, "Come with me to Jerusalem, and I will take care of you."
34But Barzillai answered, "I don't have long to live; why should I go with Your Majesty to Jerusalem? 35I am already eighty years old, and nothing gives me pleasure any more. I can't taste what I eat and drink, and I can't hear the voices of singers. I would only be a burden to Your Majesty. 36I don't deserve such a great reward. So I will go just a little way with you beyond the Jordan. 37Then let me go back home and die near my parents' grave. Here is my son Chimham, who will serve you; take him with you, Your Majesty, and do for him as you think best."
38The king answered, "I will take him with me and do for him whatever you want. And I will do for you anything you ask." 39Then David and all of his men crossed the Jordan. He kissed Barzillai and gave him his blessing, and Barzillai went back home.
Judah and Israel Argue over the King40When the king had crossed, escorted by all the people of Judah and half the people of Israel, he went on to Gilgal, and Chimham went with him. 41Then all the Israelites went to the king and said to him, "Your Majesty, why did our brothers, the men of Judah, think they had the right to take you away and escort you, your family, and your men across the Jordan?"
42The men of Judah answered, "We did it because the king is one of us. So why should this make you angry? He hasn't paid for our food nor has he given us anything."
43The Israelites replied, "We have ten times as many claims on King David as you have, even if he is one of you. Why do you look down on us? Don't forget that we were the first to talk about bringing the king back!"
But the men of Judah were more violent in making their claims than the men of Israel.
The Time of the EndDaniel 12 The angel wearing linen clothes said, "At that time the great angel Michael, who guards your people, will appear. Then there will be a time of troubles, the worst since nations first came into existence. When that time comes, all the people of your nation whose names are written in God's book will be saved. 2Many of those who have already died will live again: some will enjoy eternal life, and some will suffer eternal disgrace. 3The wise leaders will shine with all the brightness of the sky. And those who have taught many people to do what is right will shine like the stars forever."
4He said to me, "And now, Daniel, close the book and put a seal on it until the end of the world. Meanwhile, many people will waste their efforts trying to understand what is happening."
5Then I saw two men standing by a river, one on each bank. 6One of them asked the angel who was standing further upstream, "How long will it be until these amazing events come to an end?"
7The angel raised both hands toward the sky and made a solemn promise in the name of the Eternal God. I heard him say, "It will be three and a half years. When the persecution of God's people ends, all these things will have happened."
8I heard what he said, but I did not understand it. So I asked, "But, sir, how will it all end?"
9He answered, "You must go now, Daniel, because these words are to be kept secret and hidden until the end comes. 10Many people will be purified. Those who are wicked will not understand but will go on being wicked; only those who are wise will understand.
11"From the time the daily sacrifices are stopped, that is, from the time of The Awful Horror, 1,290 days will pass. 12Happy are those who remain faithful until 1,335 days are over!
13"And you, Daniel, be faithful to the end. Then you will die, but you will rise to receive your reward at the end of time."
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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