Day 61: Setting the Stage

Numbers 25-27; Mark 8:22-30

Key Verses

Numbers 27:15-17
Moses spoke to the Lord, saying, “Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the congregation who shall go out before them and come in before them, who shall lead them out and bring them in, that the congregation of the Lord may not be as sheep that have no shepherd.”

Mark 8:29
And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.”

The people are at Shittim – the last stop before they cross the Jordan into Jericho. Except for a major hiccup in Chapter 25 where Israel was “whoring with the daughters of Moab,” the rest of the book of Numbers outlines how God prepares the people to enter the land…

  • First, another census was taken to count how many men could go to war… but also to determine the size of the land inheritance. The larger the tribe, the larger the land allotment (Num. 26).
  • Second, Moses asked for a successor to lead the people, since he was not allowed to cross the Jordan into Canaan. Joshua was named Moses’ successor (Num. 27).
  • And finally, in the remainder of the book of Numbers, Moses summarized the law (Num. 28-30), defined the borders of Canaan (Num. 34) and introduced cities of refuge (Num. 35).

For the next few days, I want to turn our focus to Mark, mainly because the upcoming chapters in Mark are my absolute favorite :)

This section of Mark (8:22 – end of chapter 10) begin and end with Jesus healing a blind man. This is significant! Because within these few chapters, we see a pattern emerge that vividly illustrates the disciples’ blindness.

This pattern begins in the last verses of Chapter 8.

  • First, Jesus predicts his death (vs 31-32).
  • Secondly, the disciples show (in some way) that they do not accept or believe that Jesus will die (vs. 32-33), and
  • Third, Jesus gives a profound lesson in discipleship (vs. 34-38).

We see this same sequence of events occur three times (in different contexts) over the next 2 1/2 chapters. Repetition in Scripture is usually a sign of importance so we will concentrate on Jesus’ messages of discipleship over the next few days.

I apologize for today’s textbook-ish post, but we’ll dig deeper into this section of Mark tomorrow! Happy reading :)

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