Today’s Reading: 1 Kings 2:1–46, Mark 1:35–2:28, Prov 1:8–12
Today’s Theme: New Wine
Today’s themes include faithful service and the impact of Jesus. Of particular note is the theme of new wine. Jesus inaugurated a new covenant through the resurrection and the indwelling Holy Spirit, the new life He gives cannot coexist with outdated dead systems of religion or being.
1 Kings 2:1–46
Be strong, show you are a man
“I am about to go the way of all the earth. Be strong, and show yourself a man,(1 Kings 2:2, ESV)
Something we need to call men back to.
that the Lord may establish his word that he spoke concerning me, saying, ‘If your sons pay close attention to their way, to walk before me in faithfulness with all their heart and with all their soul, you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’(1 Kings 2:4, ESV)
Note the word ‘if’, this is conditional. So often we hear that relationship with God and the love of God is unconditional, that is not true. God’s promises, relationship with Him and yes, even His sustained love is connected and dependant on the meeting of conditions.
Otherwise the cross and the commands of the word of God would be pointless.
God did not want the heartless meeting of conditions, He wanted these men to be genuine, full of passion for God’s glory and pleasure. God requires heartfelt devotion, not sterile observance.
But deal loyally with the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be among those who eat at your table, for with such loyalty they met me when I fled from Absalom your brother.(1 Kings 2:7, ESV)
We don’t hear much about this today, but we are called to be loyal in heart and service. So often men are leaving wives, churches and companies, because there is no sense of loyalty.
God’s appointment, undeniable
He said, “You know that the kingdom was mine, and that all Israel fully expected me to reign. However, the kingdom has turned about and become my brother’s, for it was his from the Lord.(1 Kings 2:15, ESV)
It was evident to all, that the Lord had appointed Solomon as king over Israel, and although Adonijah was being deceitful, he could not deny it.
So King Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and he struck him down, and he died.(1 Kings 2:25, ESV)
Beniah the faithful servant, served Solomon as he had served David. It is worth knowing that Abishag was David’s last concubine, so Adonijah wanted to have her to control the harem and have the right over the kingdom.
Don’t be rash
So Benaiah came to the tent of the Lord and said to him, “The king commands, ‘Come out.’ ” But he said, “No, I will die here.” Then Benaiah brought the king word again, saying, “Thus said Joab, and thus he answered me.”(1 Kings 2:30, ESV)
Beniah was not rash, he was a thoughtful man and went to the king to clarify his wishes.
Faithfulness will be rewarded
The king put Benaiah the son of Jehoiada over the army in place of Joab, and the king put Zadok the priest in the place of Abiathar.(1 Kings 2:35, ESV)
Beniah received his promotion to leader of the army, now that Joab had been removed. His faithful service had paid great dividends, we should learn from his example.
A tool in God’s hand
Then the king commanded Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and he went out and struck him down, and he died. So the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon.(1 Kings 2:46, ESV)
Beniah was the tool in the Lord’s hands, used to establish the kingdom for Solomon.
And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.(Mark 1:35, ESV)
This is beautiful and is the model for our lives. This is why we have a time of devotion every morning, this is why we do it in the morning and not the evening, it is the example left for us by Jesus.
We should consciously encourage each other to pursue a disciplined pattern of prayer and bible reading at the start of each day, and make a conscious decision to do this before the regular activities of our day begins.
Jesus purpose, to preach
And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.”(Mark 1:38, ESV)
Jesus’ main purpose was to teach and preach the Gospel.
Power over sickness
And a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.”(Mark 1:40, ESV)
Jesus’ power over sickness is recognised.
The impact of Jesus
But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in desolate places, and people were coming to him from every quarter.(Mark 1:45, ESV)
Even though Jesus commanded those who He healed to keep it secret at the time, because He didn’t seek fame on this mission (Jesus knew He had to fulfil the suffering servant prophecy before becoming the King), they simply could not help proclaiming that the Messiah had come. This serves to show us how powerful and impactful the work of the Son of God was.
Preach the word
And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them.(Mark 2:2, ESV)
Preaching the word is so important, Jesus was always preaching the word as through by default. Jesus never turned up just to heal, like an evangelist with a tent, He came to teach and healed along the way.
Faith for others
And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”(Mark 2:5, ESV)
This is amazing, our faith can help others.
Jesus is God
“Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”(Mark 2:7, ESV)
Well yes, this is true, thus proving that Jesus is God.
Recognise that you are a needy sinner
And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”(Mark 2:17, ESV)
Jesus came to call those who recognise themselves as needy sinners, not the self righteous.
The new wine
And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins—and the wine is destroyed, and so are the skins. But new wine is for fresh wineskins.”(Mark 2:22, ESV)
The new wine is Jesus’ dynamic ministry and the new covenant, as opposed to the shadow of the old covenant, which cannot be adapted to the new, the two cannot coexist. Jesus has come and inaugurated a new covenant which has at its core, salvation in His name, by God’s grace, open to all peoples, and the indwelling of the Spirit of God.
In a personal way we cannot expect to append our new life in Christ to our old life and ways, any man in Christ is a new creature.
Lord of the Sabbath
And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.(Mark 2:27, ESV)
Jesus created man in God’s image before the Sabbath day and created the Sabbath for man. Because He created both man and the Sabbath day, He is Lord over the Sabbath. The problem is that the day had become Lord, aside from relationship with God.
In light of Jesus’ resurrection on the 1st day of the week, the Sabbath observance has moved for Christian’s, from the 7th to the 1st day of the week.
Don’t be enticed
My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent.(Proverbs 1:10, ESV)
May this truth be cried out over our young people, do not consent to the enticements of the world, the allure of sin is deceptive and leads only to destruction.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
The Gospel Coalition on Mark 2