The Big Question

If you could ask God for anything—and he promised to grant it—what would you ask for? (That’s assuming you don’t ask for three more wishes.)

But what would you ask?

Your answer reveals a great deal about your heart.

This morning, we’ll take a closer look at the request of three people, and what the answers revealed about them…and possibly us.

CONGRATULATIONS!

Today marks your first month reading through the Bible in 2010. Committing yourself to something like this isn’t easy. After today’s reading, you have read almost 10% of the Bible. Celebrate!

Here are some ideas to help you maintain your stride:

Recruit a friend to join you. Whether you’re training to run a marathon (like my wife and me) or wanting to grow deeper in your relationship with Jesus, doing it with someone will give you added motivation to stick with it.

Join the conversation. Your insights could make a difference in someone else’s life—and someone else’s insights could make a difference in yours. So share your comments with everyone so all of us will benefit.

Make—and don’t break—the habit. Reading every day builds momentum. Breaking out of the habit makes it that much harder to get back into it.

TODAY’S READING

Exodus 12:14-13:16
Matthew 20:29-21:22
Psalm 25:16-22
Proverbs 6:12-15

INSIGHTS AND EXPLANATIONS

Exodus 12:1-28. The Passover foreshadows and symbolizes Jesus’ death on the cross. We’ll delve deeper into the topic as we work our way through the Bible.

The Bible Background Commentary offers an interesting insight into the Passover rituals: “Many elements of the Passover ritual suggest that it may be adapted from a nomadic ritual that sought to protect herdsmen from demonic attack and insure the fertility of the herd. Even if this is so, each of the elements is suitably “converted” to the new context of the tenth plague and the exodus from Egypt. If such a conversion of a nomadic festival took place, it would be similar to the early western European Christians’ superimposing Christmas on their pagan winter solstice festivals, with tokens such as holly, mistletoe and evergreen trees carried over.”

Exodus 12:17-20. Throughout Scripture, yeast is symbolic of impurity.

Exodus 12:29-30. Pharaoh paid a high price for his pride: the death of his firstborn son. But his pride also impacted every family in Egypt. Remember, they had already endured nine other plagues. Now, with the death of every firstborn son and animal, they were completely beaten down.

The Bible Background Commentary adds, “By taking the firstborn of both man and beast, Yahweh is again asserting his rights to be viewed as the deity responsible for life in Egypt—a role usually attributed to Pharaoh.”

Exodus 12:32,36. Despite the devastation, the Egyptians still looked favorably on the Israelites. Notice that Pharaoh even asked Moses to bless him on their way out.

Matthew 20:34. The Greek word used for “eyes” in this verse is different than the normal word. It implies that their spiritual eyes were opened as well. And as a result, the two men followed Jesus.

Matthew 21:15-16. We’ve been studying Pharaoh and his hardened heart, now we see the religious leaders with hardened hearts. In verse 16, Jesus is quoting Psalm 8:2, which refers to infants and children praising God. The religious leaders could read between the lines. Incidentally, as many as 500,000 people visited Jerusalem during Passover.

If you’ve found A Daily Bible Conversation helpful, share it with your friends! Forward your daily email or send them a link to the website: http://www.bibleconversation.com.

THE WORD MADE FRESH

An interesting contrast…

In yesterday’s reading, the mother of James and John approaches Jesus. “What do you want?” he asks her.

“Let my sons sit at your right and left in the coming kingdom.” She replies.

Uhhh, lady, can you come up with something a little less arrogant???

I’m still chuckling at the rest of the disciples for being upset with James and John. They wanted the prime seats in heaven, too. My hunch is, James and John put their mom up to it.

Scene change, next episode. Jesus is leaving Jericho when he hears two blind men yelling, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”

“What do you want me to do for you?” he asks as he approaches them.

“We want our sight.”

So he healed them.

Think about it: Jesus refused to grant a request from two of his disciples, who—with Peter—were in his inner circle. Yet he graciously granted the request of two blind men whom he had never met.

I don’t think it’s any mistake that the two stories appear in succession.

What would you like Jesus to do for you?

Your answer says a great deal about your heart.

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. What spoke to your heart in today’s reading?
  2. Where do you see Jesus in our reading from Exodus?
  3. What would you like Jesus to do for you?

If you’re reading this blog on FaceBook and you’d like to join the conversation, click here.

www.bibleconversation.com

Michael co-pastors The Neighborhood Church in Littleton, Colorado.

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