Knysna Methodist Church

24 October 2021

KMC – Lectionary Readings – 24.10.2021

Job 42:1-6
God and Job have been having a conversation. As their discussion draws to an end the book of Job closes with Job’s confession of faith. God has put a variety of scenes before him which has left Job in awe of who God is and what He has done. He has no doubt about the might of God and he responds spontaneously to everything God has said. He admits his ignorance as he repeats some of God’s questions and comments (vv3-4). Far from being humiliated by his ignorance, he is liberated by the God who loves him. He not only understands more about God – he understands more about himself. The original Hebrew portrays that Job despises his earlier sin of arrogance rather than himself as a person. This is accentuated by the phrase ‘dust and ashes’, both of which are usually associated with mourning and humility.

Job 42:10-17
It is only after Job prays for his friends that the Lord acts and blesses him with more than he had before. Although it is not mentioned it is presumed this included his health too. Now Job’s family arrive. Where have they been? It seems they may be visiting for their own advantage rather than to comfort and console Job for his trouble – which is now over. Job would, of course, still have been mourning the children he had lost, so it may have been a comfort to him that they did visit. The fact that they ate with him indicated that he was no longer shunned by society. It is unusual that Job’s three daughters are named and their beauty singled out for attention. Job’s first three daughters and all fourteen of his sons are nameless. It was the custom that daughters could inherit in the absence of any male heirs, but for these three women to inherit alongside their brothers was unique. Job’s encounter with God and the blessings he has received has filled him with gratitude which he wants to share with everyone he loves. Job lived for many years after this episode and died peacefully, fulfilling the Jewish concept of what was considered to be an ideal death.

Psalm 34:1-8; 19-22
This is an acrostic psalm written by David, which means that each verse begins with successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet. The psalmist writes that he will praise the Lord for His whole life because the Lord answers every prayer of those who call on Him. The reader/listener is invited to glorify God with David no matter who they are. God is not concerned about wealth or poverty but cares for those who depend on Him for all their needs. There are several other passages that speak of the care and protection of angels in times of need (Genesis 32:1-2; 2 Kings 6:15-17; Matthew 18:10). Some passages mention a specific angel by name (Exodus 14:19; Joshua 5:13-15). As a result of the encouragement God has given the psalmist, the poet himself now encourages other people to trust and find refuge in the Lord. No matter what trouble the righteous person faces; no matter what they may have done in the past; if they repent and call on God, God will be merciful. Such a person will not be condemned.

Hebrews 7:23-28
The writer of Hebrews describes the priestly order of Melchizedek (Genesis 14:18; Psalm 110:4) as being greater than the priesthood which descends from Aaron (Exodus 28). The divine priesthood of Christ, which is in the order of the priesthood of Melchizedek is not only superior to the Aaronic priesthood, but it is also unchangeable. It brings to an end the need for the Aaronic priesthood as this earthly system is no longer necessary. Christ is enough and He will never cease to be the High Priest. His once-off sacrifice means He can save completely as He intercedes in mercy and grace for all those who trust in God through their faith in Him. He meets the needs of such people because He is holy and pure, without blame or flaw. Jesus Christ surpasses the Law, for God has exalted Him above the heavens where He will hold the position of great High Priest forever.

Mark 10:46-52
The disciples were not aware of it, but Jesus’ time with them was soon going to end. Jericho was only 24kms from Jerusalem. It was the custom for rabbis to be surrounded by people as they travelled and they would teach on the road. This would have been the case here. At this time Jesus was going to attend the Passover. Every Jewish man over the age of twelve who lived within 24 kms from the city had to attend Passover. It was impossible for some to fulfill this custom so they would line the roads and streets to greet the pilgrims on their way. Jesus’ reputation went before Him so there would have been crowds of people waiting to see Him pass. As a result of its proximity to Jerusalem, many priests and Levites lived in Jericho when they were not on duty at the temple. They would all be needed over the time of Passover, but not all of them would have left to go into the city yet. So, there would have been many critical people watching as Jesus walked through the town. Bartimaeus sat at the northern gate and would have been able to hear Jesus and the crowd passing. He began to shout to attract Jesus’ attention and did not stop, even though people tried to silence him. Bartimaeus was not going to miss the opportunity to be freed from his prison of blindness by sitting quietly on the side of the road. He was desperate to see Jesus and he was taking advantage of his opportunity to do so. As soon as Jesus called him, he took his chance and responded. He knew exactly what he wanted. He wanted to see. He was specific in his request. The blind man addressed Jesus as Son of David indicating he imagined him as a Messiah who would conquer His adversaries. He had faith that Jesus would be willing and able to heal him –and Jesus responded. Bartimaeus was so grateful he left the town where he lived and followed Jesus

Points to ponder
• What is the most wonderful thing about God for you?
• Where have you found refuge/care/protection in God?
• What has that meant to you?
• Take it in turns to share one sentence praising God for a specific event, experience, people, place,
breakthrough etc, with the group
• What does the unchanging nature of Jesus mean to you?
• Consider for a moment what challenges face you. Now look back and think about a tough time when God was
faithful and saw you through that difficulty. How does the memory of such faithfulness help you as you look
ahead? (Try not to spend too much time recalling and describing the event – concentrate on your feelings as
you face new challenges).
• How polite are you when you pray to God for something? Bartimaeus shouted. Do you? Why/why not?
• The crowd tried to silence and stop Bartimaeus from interrupting Jesus. What influence does the world or
society have on your response to Jesus today?
• How ‘outrageous’ in the eyes of the world are you prepared to be for Jesus?


Job Chapter 42

Psalm 34

Hebrews Chapter 7

Barclay, William. The Daily Study Bible – The Gospel of Mark. The Saint Andrew Press. Edinburgh

Copyright © - Knysna Methodist Church
Website design and hosting by S² Web Solutions