Today’s Reading: 2 Kings 6:1–7:20, Mark 15:16–47, Prov 6:20–27
Today’s Theme: Jesus Crucified
The most important thing we read about today is the crucifixion and suffering of Jesus, which He endured primarily because He loves His Father, and secondly to save us from the curse and penalty of sin.
Think on the suffering and death He endured for us today, it is core and essential to His mission, our faith and the church.
Other themes today include having faith in God and living in purity, both are appropriate to the cross.
2 Kings 6:1–7:20
So he went with them. And when they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees.(2 Kings 6:4, ESV)
I love the practical nature of these prophets, they rolled up their sleeves and cut down trees making a way for themselves.
I think about this in terms of our church and the building we need, the place we are now is too small and we need to get to work (building fund, Virgo setup etc), to make a space and place for us.
A true miracle
Then the man of God said, “Where did it fall?” When he showed him the place, he cut off a stick and threw it in there and made the iron float.(2 Kings 6:6, ESV)
With true miracles like this, the laws of physics can be suspended.
Those who are with us are more
He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”(2 Kings 6:16, ESV)
What an encouraging truth, we have written songs about this and say it all the time, but if we take a moment to really think about it, this should give us great confidence as God’s people.
Open our eyes
Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.(2 Kings 6:17, ESV)
Lord, may our eyes be open to the reality of the spiritual world and our place in it, on the winning side, with You and Your host of angels.
Approach God with respect
And when the Syrians came down against him, Elisha prayed to the Lord and said, “Please strike this people with blindness.” So he struck them with blindness in accordance with the prayer of Elisha.(2 Kings 6:18, ESV)
I love the way Elisha prays, it is not a stamping demand, he says please or I pray, this is the right way to approach God, we are appealing to His mercy and power, not demanding He do anything. When I hear some prayers today and the attitude in which they are said, it makes me shudder.
God answers this gracious prayer of faith and strikes the enemy with blindness.
Service earns respect
As soon as the king of Israel saw them, he said to Elisha, “My father, shall I strike them down? Shall I strike them down?”(2 Kings 6:21, ESV)
Look at the great respect Elisha had earned over his years of service before God, he was the real deal and had a real heart for people and even for the king, so much so that the king even calls him father.
Be led by God’s Spirit and wisdom
He answered, “You shall not strike them down. Would you strike down those whom you have taken captive with your sword and with your bow? Set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink and go to their master.”(2 Kings 6:22, ESV)
Elisha was led by the Spirit of God and showed great mercy and wisdom in the way he dealt with this army and answered his king.
So he prepared for them a great feast, and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. And the Syrians did not come again on raids into the land of Israel.(2 Kings 6:23, ESV)
Endgame objective achieved, they stopped coming to raid Israel.
And the king asked her, “What is your trouble?” She answered, “This woman said to me, ‘Give your son, that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow.’(2 Kings 6:28, ESV)
What a disgusting spirit of self-preservation. Lord, keep us from this darkness.
A true leader feels the pain of his people
When the king heard the words of the woman, he tore his clothes—now he was passing by on the wall—and the people looked, and behold, he had sackcloth beneath on his body—(2 Kings 6:30, ESV)
The king felt the pain of his people and walked in affliction and humility, this is how a leader should be… the only problem is that the king took all the burden on his own head and did not seek the Lord, so ends up lashing out at the man of God.
Don’t be unbelieving
Then the captain on whose hand the king leaned said to the man of God, “If the Lord himself should make windows in heaven, could this thing be?” But he said, “You shall see it with your own eyes, but you shall not eat of it.”(2 Kings 7:2, ESV)
This is the lot for those who doubt and do not believe.
God deals with the enemy
For the Lord had made the army of the Syrians hear the sound of chariots and of horses, the sound of a great army, so that they said to one another, “Behold, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Egypt to come against us.”(2 Kings 7:6, ESV)
The Lord will cause the enemy to flee when no one pursues. Stand on that truth as you go about your normal tasks today.
Don’t be selfish
Then they said to one another, “We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news. If we are silent and wait until the morning light, punishment will overtake us. Now therefore come; let us go and tell the king’s household.”(2 Kings 7:9, ESV)
They were at first acting selfishly, storing up only for themselves, we must not be like this.
God is sovereign
Then the people went out and plundered the camp of the Syrians. So a seah of fine flour was sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel, according to the word of the Lord.(2 Kings 7:16, ESV)
Our sovereign God performs His word.
The crown of the curse
And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on him.(Mark 15:17, ESV)
This would have put Jesus through excruciating pain. The Jerusalem thorn is a very long and hard thorn. It is significant that thorns speak of the curse which Jesus came to absorb and reverse.
The thorns driven in
And they were striking his head with a reed and spitting on him and kneeling down in homage to him.(Mark 15:19, ESV)
This in addition to the crown of thorns, would have been unbearable as the thorns are driven deeper into the head of Jesus.
Mocked for our salvation
And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. And they led him out to crucify him.(Mark 15:20, ESV)
Jesus’ mockery endured for our salvation should leave us humbled and make us bold in our stand, knowing that we should be prepared to be mocked for Him.
Simon, likely a believer
And they compelled a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross.(Mark 15:21, ESV)
The naming of these men is an indication that they were likely known by the original readers and were probably Christians. Will we, like Simon, bear our part of the cross today?
And they crucified him and divided his garments among them, casting lots for them, to decide what each should take.(Mark 15:24, ESV)
“They crucified him” Three words, if we pause for a minute and think about this, Jesus was crucified for us.
The final temptation
save yourself, and come down from the cross!”(Mark 15:30, ESV)
A final temptation from Satan.
And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”(Mark 15:34, ESV)
It seems that in those three hours, the sins of the elect were all placed on Jesus, it is at this point that He cries out. Jesus became the ultimate sin offering for us.
Testimony in death
And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”(Mark 15:39, ESV)
Even in His death, Jesus testified to the truth.
When he was in Galilee, they followed him and ministered to him, and there were also many other women who came up with him to Jerusalem.(Mark 15:41, ESV)
This is unusual for the time, women were given a place of recognition and honour not found in the secular or religious world of the day.
When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you.(Proverbs 6:22, ESV)
The truth we learn will lead us, guard us and speak back to us.
Adultery is a heart issue
Do not desire her beauty in your heart, and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes;(Proverbs 6:25, ESV)
This is what Jesus deals with in the NT, adultery is a heart issue. If we desire a woman in our heart, we have already committed adultery.
Adultery is evil
for the price of a prostitute is only a loaf of bread, but a married woman hunts down a precious life.(Proverbs 6:26, ESV)
An adulterous woman is worse than a prostitute.
Don’t play with fire
Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned?(Proverbs 6:27, ESV)
If you play with the fire of lust, you will be burned.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
The Gospel Coalition on Mark 15