Numbers 16

Vs. 3, “They came as a group to oppose Moses and Aaron and said to them, “You have gone too far! The whole community is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is with them. Why then do you set you.”  If this were made into a movie, we would be on the edge of our seats!  Anger, jealousy and envy drive Korah the Kohathite Levite into leading a rebellion (vs. 1-3).  Previously (Numbers 14), there was talk of raising up a leader to go against Moses & Aaron.  We see a well organized rebellion who have seem to have a legitimate beef; if we are all a holy nation (Exodus 19:6), why then are Moses and Aaron “holier” than us?  Moses proposes a test to see whom God will support (vs. 4-7).  The fact that Korah and the rebels followed through with the incense challenge is actually quite shocking.  They were witnesses of the LORD’s consequences upon others; I suppose their pride overtook their judgment.  We see the reality of collateral damage as Korah, Dathan and Abiram and their respective family members (women & children) are swallowed up in a supernatural earthquake (vs. 25-34).  Additionally, the 250 followers are consumed by fire (vs. 35).  God would use their censers as a gracious reminder to the remaining people not rebel against Him (vs. 36-39).  Yet, this dis not stop the rebellious hearts; they continued to rebel (vs. 42-46).  In a dramatic scene, Aaron stands between the living and the dead to intercede for God’s grace (vs. 48)!  It is certainly a picture reminiscent of what Jesus did for us on the cross; for he is the great High priest, a perfect version of Aaron’s human position.

Regarding application…Playing with Fire.  Vs. 18, “So each of them took his censer, put burning coals and incense in it, and stood with Moses and Aaron at the entrance to the tent of meeting.”  Sin separates us from God.  This was rebellious sin and they literally were playing with fire.  Our human reasoning has a hard time reconciling God’s love with His wrath.  God’s justice and wrath actually is a part of His love.  What is the point of God’s grace and mercy if you are being wronged?  It is a grave thing to go about life without the Lord a part of it.  Let’s continue to fix our eyes upon the Lord!

Mark 14

Vs. 32, “They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.”  We are reminded of this fateful night.  Yet, in the midst of it, we see Jesus not running, but being ready for it all!  Question: Are you ready?  Jesus was.  He was obedient and ready to die for us so that we could have life through Him.  It’s time to prepare our own lives as an offering to Him!

Matthew 14

Vs. 2, “and he said to his attendants, “This is John the Baptist; he has risen from the dead! That is why miraculous powers are at work in him.”  Many people would mistake who Jesus really was.  We will begin to see a shift in our reading to Jesus spending more time with his disciples.  Sadly, we are now told about the demise of our dear John the Baptist.  Herod Antipas (younger son of Herod the Great – who sought to kill Jesus as a baby)…was ruling, and would end having John beheaded.  This passage of Jesus withdrawing upon hearing John’s death always touches me.  Even though Jesus was grieving, he still took the time to have compassion upon those who were hurting and turn the loaves and fish into a miracle.  And of course, we end with the famous event of Jesus walking on water in the storm!

 

Regarding application…Don’t be Afraid.  Vs. 27, “But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”  It’s important to note that this storm was not caused because of the disciples disobedience.  Jesus was the one who told them to get into the boat.  Yet, even though the physical storm was upon them.  Even though the storm of their spiritual toil and faith would again be tested with Jesus’ obedience on the cross…Jesus would tell them “don’t be afraid.”  Question: What are you afraid of?  I didn’t ask you if you are afraid…because deep down inside…there is bound to be something that you are fearful about.  But, Jesus didn’t rebuke them for it…he encouraged them!  Keep your head up and eyes on the Lord.  No matter how hard it gets…open your heart to Him and be honest about your feelings!  He loves you so much!