For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. Hebrews 5:13
This week, we move into John’s gospel, Paul’s instructions to Titus, Philemon, and Hebrews. Starting Hebrews this week would be a great time to listen to the entire book throughout the next two weeks, as often as you have time, walking, driving, and allowing the book to settle into your heart through listening.
David finishes his preparation for the Temple and charges Solomon and all of Israel to seek the Lord and act courageously. Solomon next encounters the Lord after David’s death and receives wisdom to rule and God’s favor.
John 1 – 6
Now we begin again the gospel of John, written some sixty years after Jesus’ resurrection by John who personalizes so many encounters he had with Jesus. Seeing the word become flesh and dwelling among us. John allows us to see into the purposes of God through the Son of Man. We hear the call to be born from above, and that the testimony of Jesus must be received, to certify that God is true. The Samaritan woman at the well, in the city of the Samaritans, shows the will of the Father to save those whom we do not think should be saved.
He heals a man at Bethesda on the Sabbath and then claims He is only doing what He sees His Father doing. This brings persecution and murderous thoughts from the religious. Jesus doesn’t stop, claiming His voice being heard would bring life from the dead; His witness is the Father Himself. In Chapter six at the height of His popularity, when the people want to force Him to be king, He dismisses the crowd, sends His disciples in a boat, and spends the night in prayer on the mountain. The next day an argument grows because of heart motives that are exposed and unbelief that fights against truth. Everyone leaves, even His twelve struggled but when asked if they too would leave, Peter says. “Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” John 6:68
Titus 1 – 3
Titus follows the pattern of 1 Timothy with qualifications of elders and relationships with older men and young men, and with older women and young women, all wrapped up with final charges to Titus. “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” Titus 2:11-13
Paul has won a runaway slave, named Onesimus, to Christ. Onesimus has become a son to Paul and a faithful helper to Paul in his imprisonment. Philemon is Onesimus’s master and a convert of Paul’s. Rather than assume or demand, Paul sends Onesimus back to Philemon giving Philemon the choice of retaining Onesimus as a brother, and all charges against him be put on Paul’s account, or to send him back to help Paul. Here is the gentleness and meekness of Christ.
Hebrews 1 – 5
The great salvation in Jesus Christ our High Priest, is set in an orderly pattern to set the new priesthood of Melchizedek as Jesus our Lord and all the better that this has brought. A book to the Hebrews, those who knew the law, and temple worship. It was necessary for the profound teaching to be laid out chapter by chapter, from chapters one to ten, to give a biblical account of what had been promised and now fulfilled.
Chapter one shares the great salvation in Jesus our Lord. Chapter two shares how the Father prepared the captain of our salvation perfect through sufferings, that through death He has destroyed the devil who had the power of death and delivered us from the fear of death. Jesus is our High Priest coming to our aid and giving us a good confession, which is Jesus. Chapters three and four are our exhortation to not harden hearts into rebellion as Israel did in the wilderness. Instead, the living word of God will divide and discern us into the rest of God. In Chapter five, Jesus is introduced as High Priest through an oath, first called to be a Son (Psalm 2) and then a Priest forever (Psalm 110) and there is so much to explain but hard to hear with those who’s hearing has become dull, literally lazy.
1 Chronicles 26 – 29
David continues his preparations for Solomon to build the house of the Lord, by setting up the gatekeepers, treasuries, military divisions, leaders of the tribes, and other officials. In chapter twenty-eight David gathers all the leaders he has placed at Jerusalem and tells the story of how he wanted to build God a house and now charges Solomon with the task. David gives Solomon all the plans for the temple, these plans he had received by the Spirit. “All this,” said David the Lord made me understand in writing, by His hand upon me, all the works of these plans. 1 Chronicles 28:19
Chapter twenty-nine is another massive offering of close to twenty billion dollars USD, the prayer of dedication and blessing of Israel by David, and Solomon is made king a second time and sits on David’s throne. From pride to judgment to humility, repentance, and obedience comes the temple of God, the establishment of Israel, the kingship of Solomon, and the heart of a nation turned to worship, from the heart of a king who worships God.
2 Chronicles 1 – 4
Solomon has an encounter with God, and from it asks for wisdom which pleases God. He then begins building the temple of God that his father gave him charge to build in the fourth year of his reign and completes the temple in seven years.