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Bible Pathways 10/18/2002

October 18

Read Mark 12 -- 13

In Today’s Reading:

Wicked tenant farmers; paying taxes to Caesar; question about the resurrection; greatest commandment; widow's offering; signs of the end.

The Scribes were the self-appointed interpreters of the Law. They developed their own complex system of laws known as the tradition of the elders (former religious teachers) (Matthew 15:2-6), which they emphasized more than the Law. Jesus was questioned by one of these Scribes, who asked: Which is the first Commandment of all? (Mark 12:28). Jesus answered him by quoting Deuteronomy 6:4-5. The first of all the Commandments (in importance) is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is One Lord: And [you shall] love the Lord [your] God with all [your] heart, and with all [your] soul, and with all [your] mind, and with all [your] strength (Mark 12:29-30). Jesus then quoted Leviticus 19:18, saying: The second is . . . [You shall] love [your] neighbor as [yourself]. There is [no] other Commandment greater than these (Mark 12:31). The Scribe commended Jesus, saying: Master, [You have] said the truth: for there is One God; and there is none other but [Him] (12:32).

The Hebrew word Elohenu is translated in English as our God. However, God chose to use the plural form, Elohim, meaning our Gods, 2500 times in reference to Himself as the Self-Existent, One True God. This, then, is what the sacred proclamation to Israel says: Hear, O Israel; The Lord our Gods is One Lord. Furthermore, the Hebrew word for One is also a solemn declaration that the Lord is a Plurality in unity. One (echad) is a word which expresses one in the collective sense. It signifies a compound unity -- not an absolute unity. For example, God said: Man . . . and . . . wife . . . shall be one flesh (Genesis 2:24). Even with numerous children, they are still called one family. The one Tabernacle (Exodus 36:13) included many individual parts. And many soldiers become one troop (II Samuel 2:25). However, there is a Hebrew word for one in the sense of an absolutely one which is used elsewhere in Scripture. It is the word yacheed, and this word is never used to express the Godhead, although it is used many times in Scripture.

This truth exposes the tragic ignorance of all who do not realize that Jesus is God, the sinless Creator of all things. The Holy Spirit guided the Apostle John to write: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him (John 1:1-3). The Apostle Paul was led to write: By Him were all things created, that are in Heaven, and that are in earth (Colossians 1:16). The Trinity was revealed in the first chapter of Genesis, where we read: In the beginning God created the Heaven and the earth. . . . And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. . . . And God said, Let Us make man in Our image (Genesis 1:1-2,26). Those who reject Jesus as God and our Guide into all Truth (John 16:13) are, in fact, rejecting the revelation of God Himself as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Jesus said: I and My Father are One (John 10:30; see also 5:18; 12:45; 14:9-11,20).

For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word (Son), and the Holy Ghost (Spirit): and these three are one (I John 5:7).

Thought for Today: Have you prayed today for those who are in authority over you? (See I Timothy 2:2).

Word Studies:

12:1 let = rented; 12:17 Render = pay; 12:34 durst = dared; 12:42 mites were coins that had the least value.

Cross References:

For Mark 12:1: See Isa. 5:2. Mark 12:10-11: See Psa. 118:22-23. Mark 12:19: See Deut. 25:5. Mark 12:26: See Ex. 3:3-6. Mark 12:29: See Deut. 6:4. Mark 12:30: See Deut. 6:5. Mark 12:31: See Lev. 19:18. Mark 12:32: See Deut. 4:35. Mark 12:33: See Deut. 6:5; Hos. 6:6. Mark 12:36: See Psa. 110:1. Mark 13:14: See Dan. 9:27; 11:31; 12:11. Mark 13:24: See Isa. 13:10. Mark 13:26: See Dan. 7:13. Mark 13:27: See Deut. 30:4; Zech. 2:6.

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Sen. Jesse Helms (NC) and Rep. Christopher Shays (CT) · Pray for one more person to read through the Bible · Country: Bahrain (629,000) 11 Islands in the Persian Gulf near Saudi Arabia · Major languages: Arabic and English · No evangelical work is permitted · 85% Muslim; 5% Roman Catholic; 2% Protestant; 1% Orthodox · Prayer Suggestion: Wives, pray for a quiet, loving spirit to win your husband to Christ (I Peter 3:12).

Memory Verse for the Week: John 15:5

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