March 12 Bible reading

12 03 2023

March 12  Psalm 33:1-11  Mark 16  Leviticus 25; 26:1-13

Psalm 33:1-11

We are forgiven and cleansed. We must sing praises to (and about) our God. Yahweh created this natural world and nothing is beyond His direction. God’s sovereign plan is not shaken loose by anything we see. Learning this will help us become stronger. From a personal relationship with this God, we find a greater peace regardless of the circumstances we face.

Mark 16

Jesus’ resurrection proves His identity as Messiah. Jesus returned from the dead, walked the earth for another 40 days, and was seen by 500 people. Jesus took time to appear personally to people. In God’s kingdom, worship, identity, mission, knowledge, and salvation are never separated from the context of personal relationships. Jesus gave His followers a specific purpose. They were instructed to call people into the faith, with repentance and baptism. Jesus gave His followers spiritual authority.

Further notes on the ending of Mark:

The “Gospel of Mark” was written by John Mark, cousin of Barnabas and faithful interpreter of the apostle Peter’s testimony. (Meaning he was the one who most often wrote down Peter’s sermons etc.) The early church viewed the book we now read, called “Mark”, as Peter’s memoirs. Mark traveled with Paul and Barnabas. His mother’s house was a gathering place for the early Jerusalem church and the place that the Lord’s Supper occurred. Jesus Christ is seen as the Son of God who became the Son of Man, our Messiah, and servant of Jehovah, who suffered for our ransom. This gospel seems to be written to people with a dominant Roman culture as the various Jewish customs are explained. There’s a clear focus on the “Good News” of Jesus. Jesus arrives, as predicted, He is baptized and God the Father speaks His love, approval, and joy over Him. Jesus calls people to believe and to repent of their sins. Jesus calls followers to become “fishers of men”.

It is almost completely certain that John “Mark” did not add on verses 9-20 of chapter 16. The idea of “edits” comes from the fact that the copies of Mark’s gospel in various collections today have more than one ending. The earliest copies ended at Mark 16:8. The more recent copies include Mark 16:9-20 most include an editor’s note (that those verses are not in the earliest copies still available for reading). The early church (in the first 150 years) did not quote 16:9-20, and this is the biggest reason that scholars question it. The fifth-century copies of the New Testament include those verses and included them as Scripture distributing many copies in the New Testament.

Mark’s gospel includes a theme of faith in the face of fear. It’s possible that Peter and Mark closed with 16:8 on purpose, as a way of saying that the followers of Jesus were facing fear from Jesus’ death and discovering an empty tomb. Think of it as a faith cliff-hanger. What would the followers of Jesus choose? Peter and Mark may have chosen this ending. They likely knew that Luke was writing the books of Luke and Acts which included the clear confirmation of Jesus’ resurrection and the action the Jesus followers took, in evidence of their belief in Jesus’ resurrection. It is also possible that they intended to write another book, but Peter’s death came too soon for it.  Peter was killed in AD 64.  Another very real possibility (based on the reliable facts recorded for us today) is that the early copies of Mark’s gospel ended at 16:8 because the first copy was torn or broken (like the Dead Sea scrolls). The first-century Christians discovered it (accepted its place in Scripture because of its consistency with the other gospels) and copied it as is for a while before later leaders added 9-20. These possibilities include the likelihood of Luke and the church leaders at that time writing verses 9-20 (as a helpful addition for new believers in that first century). Most scholars believe this to be the strongest possibility. Cleary Peter, John Mark, and the followers of Jesus believed in the resurrection of Jesus as described in verses 9-20.

It is possible that there will be new archeological discoveries that will give us more evidence. This is another reason to pray for peace in the region of Palestine.

Leviticus 25; 26:1-13

In Leviticus, God provides instruction for good stewardship that would have required the people to plan, budget, out of respect to God’s wisdom. God gives specific instructions on how to care for the poor. In response to their obedience, God promises a close personal relationship. This included allowing the land to rest on the 7th year. On the Day of Atonement, once every 50 years they were to proclaim freedom and celebrate a Year of Jubilee. God wanted them to live by mutual respect and good stewardship.

March 12  Psalm 33:1-11  Mark 16  Leviticus 25; 26:1-13

Please read the suggested passages, prayerfully consider them, and the questions below. My comments here may be helpful after those moments. The suggested daily reading is for the purpose of reading through the whole Bible within a year.

Reading the Bible is helpful in taking the next steps to follow Jesus. It may not be easy and yet it can be rewarding. Digging into Scripture alongside people you know is a life-giving way to pursue answers together. We discover the love that God has for us has been expressed through Jesus.

  • What’s the plain simple truth of the verses you read?
  • Based on today’s reading, what is one thing God is saying to you?
  • What should you do about that truth?



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: