March 22, 2015

Joshua 13-15 When Joshua had reached a venerable age, God said to him, “You’ve had a good, long life, but there is a lot of land still to be taken.... 

“I myself will drive them out before the People of Israel. All you have to do is allot this land to Israel as an inheritance, as I have instructed you. Do it now: Allot this land as an inheritance to the nine tribes and the half-tribe of Manasseh.”...

Here are the inheritance allotments that the People of Israel received in the land of Canaan. Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun, and the heads of the family clans made the allotments. Each inheritance was assigned by lot to the nine and a half tribes, just as God had commanded Moses... The People of Israel followed through exactly as God had commanded Moses. They apportioned the land.

The people of Judah came to Joshua at Gilgal. Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite spoke: “You’ll remember what God said to Moses the man of God concerning you and me back at Kadesh Barnea. I was forty years old when Moses the servant of God sent me from Kadesh Barnea to spy out the land. And I brought back an honest and accurate report. My companions who went with me discouraged the people, but I stuck to my guns, totally with God, my God. That was the day that Moses solemnly promised, ‘The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance, you and your children’s, forever. Yes, you have lived totally for God.’ Now look at me: God has kept me alive, as he promised. It is now forty-five years since God spoke this word to Moses, years in which Israel wandered in the wilderness. And here I am today, eighty-five years old! I’m as strong as I was the day Moses sent me out. I’m as strong as ever in battle, whether coming or going. So give me this hill country that God promised me. You yourself heard the report, that the Anakim were there with their great fortress cities. If God goes with me, I will drive them out, just as God said.”

Joshua blessed him. He gave Hebron to Caleb son of Jephunneh as an inheritance. Hebron belongs to Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite still today, because he gave himself totally to God, the God of Israel.  The name of Hebron used to be Kiriath Arba, named after Arba, the greatest man among the Anakim.

The lot for the people of Judah, their clans, extended south to the border of Edom, to the wilderness of Zin in the extreme south.

Joshua gave Caleb son of Jephunneh a section among the people of Judah, according to God’s command. He gave him Kiriath Arba, that is, Hebron. Arba was the ancestor of Anak.  Caleb drove out three Anakim from Hebron: Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai, all descendants of Anak. He marched up from there against the people of Debir. Debir used to be called Kiriath Sepher.  Caleb said, “Whoever attacks Kiriath Sepher and takes it, I’ll give my daughter Acsah to him as his wife.” Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s brother, took it; so Caleb gave him his daughter Acsah as his wife.  When she arrived she got him to ask for farmland from her father.  As she dismounted from her donkey Caleb asked her, “What would you like?” She said, “Give me a marriage gift.  You’ve given me desert land;  Now give me pools of water!”  And he gave her the upper and the lower pools....

This is the inheritance of the tribe of the people of Judah, clan by clan......

The people of Judah couldn’t get rid of the Jebusites who lived in Jerusalem. The Jebusites stayed put, living alongside the people of Judah. They are still living there in Jerusalem.

Mark 3 - Then Jesus went back to the meeting place where he found a man with a crippled hand.  The Pharisees had their eyes on Jesus to see if he would heal him, hoping to catch him in a Sabbath infraction....Jesus spoke to the crowd: “What kind of action suits the Sabbath best?  Doing good or doing evil?  Helping people or leaving them helpless?  No one said a word.  He looked them in the eye, one after another, angry now, furious at their hard-nosed religion.  He healed the man’s hand at which point the Pharisees got out as fast as they could, sputtering about how they would join forces with Herod’s followers and ruin Jesus.

Jesus went off with his disciples to the sea to get away.  But a huge crowd from Galilee trailed after him--also from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea (across the Jordan and around Tyre/Sidon)--swarms of people who  had heard the reports and had come to see for themselves...He had healed many people and now everyone who had something wrong  was pushing and shoving to get near and touch him.  Again evil spirits recognized him, fell down and cried out “you are the son of God!”  But Jesus would have none of it.  He shut them up forbidding them to identify him in public.  

Jesus then climbed a mountain and invited those he wanted with him...he settled on twelve and designated them apostles.  The plan was that they would be with him, and he would send them out to proclaim the Word and give them authority to banish demons.  These are the twelve:
Simon (Peter, meaning Rock), Andrew (Simon’s brother)
James & John (sons of Zebedee - Boanerges meaning Sons of Thunder)
Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Thaddaeus
Matthew (Levi ?) and James (sons of Alphaeus?)
Simon (the Canaanite) and Judas Iscariot (who betrayed him)

Jesus came home and, as usual, a crowd gathered -- so many making demands on him that there wasn’t time to eat.  His friends heard what was going on and went to rescue him, by force if necessary.  They suspected he was getting carried away with himself.

The religion scholars from Jerusalem came down spreading rumors that he was working black magic...Jesus confronted their slander with a story, “Does it make sense to send a devil to catch a devil?....Listen to this carefully.  I’m warning you.  There is nothing done or said that can’t be forgiven.  But if you persist in your slander against God’s Holy Spirit, you are repudiating the very One who forgives, sawing off the branch on which you’re sitting, severing by your own perversity all connection with the One who forgives.”

Just then his mother and brothers showed up.  Standing outside, they relayed a message that they wanted a word with him.  He was surrounded by the crowd when he was given the message...Jesus responded, “Who do you think are my mother and brothers?”  Looking around, taking in everyone seated around him, he said, “Right here, right in front of you --my mother and my brothers.  Obedience is thicker than blood.  The person who obeys God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”