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22 February 2017 Bible Reading

Today’s reading in Mark brings out an interesting point: people were astonished at Jesus’ teaching. They had practiced organized religion all of their lives. Religion filled their days and they took it seriously, but when God explained what He intended, they were astonished. How many of us are serious, deeply religious people would be astonished to have God point out how we are not accomplishing His will in our religion?

Leviticus 13:1-59
13 Yahweh spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, 2 “When a man shall have a rising in his body’s skin, or a scab, or a bright spot, and it becomes in the skin of his body the plague of leprosy, then he shall be brought to Aaron the priest, or to one of his sons, the priests: 3 and the priest shall examine the plague in the skin of the body: and if the hair in the plague has turned white, and the appearance of the plague is deeper than the body’s skin, it is the plague of leprosy; and the priest shall examine him, and pronounce him unclean. 4 If the bright spot is white in the skin of his body, and its appearance isn’t deeper than the skin, and its hair hasn’t turned white, then the priest shall isolate the infected person for seven days. 5 The priest shall examine him on the seventh day, and, behold, if in his eyes the plague is arrested, and the plague hasn’t spread in the skin, then the priest shall isolate him for seven more days. 6 The priest shall examine him again on the seventh day; and behold, if the plague has faded, and the plague hasn’t spread in the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him clean. It is a scab. He shall wash his clothes, and be clean. 7 But if the scab spreads on the skin, after he has shown himself to the priest for his cleansing, he shall show himself to the priest again. 8 The priest shall examine him; and behold, if the scab has spread on the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean. It is leprosy.
9 “When the plague of leprosy is in a man, then he shall be brought to the priest; 10 and the priest shall examine him. Behold, if there is a white rising in the skin, and it has turned the hair white, and there is raw flesh in the rising, 11 it is a chronic leprosy in the skin of his body, and the priest shall pronounce him unclean. He shall not isolate him, for he is already unclean.
12 “If the leprosy breaks out all over the skin, and the leprosy covers all the skin of the infected person from his head even to his feet, as far as it appears to the priest; 13 then the priest shall examine him; and, behold, if the leprosy has covered all his flesh, he shall pronounce him clean of the plague. It has all turned white: he is clean. 14 But whenever raw flesh appears in him, he shall be unclean. 15 The priest shall examine the raw flesh, and pronounce him unclean: the raw flesh is unclean. It is leprosy. 16 Or if the raw flesh turns again, and is changed to white, then he shall come to the priest; 17 and the priest shall examine him; and, behold, if the plague has turned white, then the priest shall pronounce him clean of the plague. He is clean.
18 “When the body has a boil on its skin, and it has healed, 19 and in the place of the boil there is a white rising, or a bright spot, reddish-white, then it shall be shown to the priest; 20 and the priest shall examine it; and behold, if its appearance is lower than the skin, and its hair has turned white, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean. It is the plague of leprosy. It has broken out in the boil. 21 But if the priest examines it, and behold, there are no white hairs in it, and it isn’t deeper than the skin, but is dim, then the priest shall isolate him seven days. 22 If it spreads in the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean. It is a plague. 23 But if the bright spot stays in its place, and hasn’t spread, it is the scar from the boil; and the priest shall pronounce him clean.
24 “Or when the body has a burn from fire on its skin, and the raw flesh of the burn becomes a bright spot, reddish-white, or white, 25 then the priest shall examine it; and behold, if the hair in the bright spot has turned white, and its appearance is deeper than the skin; it is leprosy. It has broken out in the burning, and the priest shall pronounce him unclean. It is the plague of leprosy. 26 But if the priest examines it, and behold, there is no white hair in the bright spot, and it isn’t lower than the skin, but is faded; then the priest shall isolate him seven days. 27 The priest shall examine him on the seventh day. If it has spread in the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean. It is the plague of leprosy. 28 If the bright spot stays in its place, and hasn’t spread in the skin, but is faded, it is the swelling from the burn, and the priest shall pronounce him clean; for it is the scar from the burn.
29 “When a man or woman has a plague on the head or on the beard, 30 then the priest shall examine the plague; and behold, if its appearance is deeper than the skin, and the hair in it is yellow and thin, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean: it is an itch, it is leprosy of the head or of the beard. 31 If the priest examines the plague of itching, and behold, its appearance isn’t deeper than the skin, and there is no black hair in it, then the priest shall isolate the person infected with itching seven days. 32 On the seventh day the priest shall examine the plague; and behold, if the itch hasn’t spread, and there is no yellow hair in it, and the appearance of the itch isn’t deeper than the skin, 33 then he shall be shaved, but he shall not shave the itch; and the priest shall shut him up who has the itch seven more days. 34 On the seventh day, the priest shall examine the itch; and behold, if the itch hasn’t spread in the skin, and its appearance isn’t deeper than the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him clean. He shall wash his clothes, and be clean. 35 But if the itch spreads in the skin after his cleansing, 36 then the priest shall examine him; and behold, if the itch has spread in the skin, the priest shall not look for the yellow hair; he is unclean. 37 But if in his eyes the itch is arrested, and black hair has grown in it; the itch is healed, he is clean. The priest shall pronounce him clean.
38 “When a man or a woman has bright spots in the skin of the body, even white bright spots; 39 then the priest shall examine them; and behold, if the bright spots on the skin of their body are a dull white, it is a harmless rash, it has broken out in the skin; he is clean.
40 “If a man’s hair has fallen from his head, he is bald. He is clean. 41 If his hair has fallen off from the front part of his head, he is forehead bald. He is clean. 42 But if there is in the bald head, or the bald forehead, a reddish-white plague; it is leprosy breaking out in his bald head, or his bald forehead. 43 Then the priest shall examine him; and, behold, if the rising of the plague is reddish-white in his bald head, or in his bald forehead, like the appearance of leprosy in the skin of the flesh, 44 he is a leprous man. He is unclean. The priest shall surely pronounce him unclean. His plague is on his head.
45 “The leper in whom the plague is shall wear torn clothes, and the hair of his head shall hang loose. He shall cover his upper lip, and shall cry, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ 46 All the days in which the plague is in him he shall be unclean. He is unclean. He shall dwell alone. Outside of the camp shall be his dwelling.
47 “The garment also that the plague of leprosy is in, whether it is a woolen garment, or a linen garment; 48 whether it is in warp, or woof; of linen, or of wool; whether in a skin, or in anything made of skin; 49 if the plague is greenish or reddish in the garment, or in the skin, or in the warp, or in the woof, or in anything made of skin; it is the plague of leprosy, and shall be shown to the priest. 50 The priest shall examine the plague, and isolate the plague seven days. 51 He shall examine the plague on the seventh day. If the plague has spread in the garment, either in the warp, or in the woof, or in the skin, whatever use the skin is used for, the plague is a destructive mildew. It is unclean. 52 He shall burn the garment, whether the warp or the woof, in wool or in linen, or anything of skin, in which the plague is: for it is a destructive mildew. It shall be burned in the fire.
53 “If the priest examines it, and behold, the plague hasn’t spread in the garment, either in the warp, or in the woof, or in anything of skin; 54 then the priest shall command that they wash the thing in which the plague is, and he shall isolate it seven more days. 55 Then the priest shall examine it, after the plague is washed; and behold, if the plague hasn’t changed its color, and the plague hasn’t spread, it is unclean; you shall burn it in the fire. It is a mildewed spot, whether the bareness is inside or outside. 56 If the priest looks, and behold, the plague has faded after it is washed, then he shall tear it out of the garment, or out of the skin, or out of the warp, or out of the woof: 57 and if it appears again in the garment, either in the warp, or in the woof, or in anything of skin, it is spreading. You shall burn with fire that in which the plague is. 58 The garment, either the warp, or the woof, or whatever thing of skin it is, which you shall wash, if the plague has departed from them, then it shall be washed the second time, and it will be clean.”
59 This is the law of the plague of mildew in a garment of wool or linen, either in the warp, or the woof, or in anything of skin, to pronounce it clean, or to pronounce it unclean.

Mark 6:1-29
6 He went out from there. He came into his own country, and his disciples followed him. 2 When the Sabbath had come, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many hearing him were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things?” and, “What is the wisdom that is given to this man, that such mighty works come about by his hands? 3 Isn’t this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judah, and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” They were offended at him.
4 Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country, and among his own relatives, and in his own house.” 5 He could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people, and healed them. 6 He marveled because of their unbelief.
He went around the villages teaching. 7 He called to himself the twelve, and began to send them out two by two; and he gave them authority over the unclean spirits. 8 He commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, except a staff only: no bread, no wallet, no money in their purse, 9 but to wear sandals, and not put on two tunics. 10 He said to them, “Wherever you enter into a house, stay there until you depart from there. 11 Whoever will not receive you nor hear you, as you depart from there, shake off the dust that is under your feet for a testimony against them. Assuredly, I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!”
12 They went out and preached that people should repent. 13 They cast out many demons, and anointed many with oil who were sick, and healed them. 14 King Herod heard this, for his name had become known, and he said, “John the Baptizer has risen from the dead, and therefore these powers are at work in him.” 15 But others said, “He is Elijah.” Others said, “He is a prophet, or like one of the prophets.” 16 But Herod, when he heard this, said, “This is John, whom I beheaded. He has risen from the dead.” 17 For Herod himself had sent out and arrested John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, for he had married her. 18 For John said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” 19 Herodias set herself against him, and desired to kill him, but she couldn’t, 20 for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and kept him safe. When he heard him, he did many things, and he heard him gladly.
21 Then a convenient day came, that Herod on his birthday made a supper for his nobles, the high officers, and the chief men of Galilee. 22 When the daughter of Herodias herself came in and danced, she pleased Herod and those sitting with him. The king said to the young lady, “Ask me whatever you want, and I will give it to you.” 23 He swore to her, “Whatever you shall ask of me, I will give you, up to half of my kingdom.”
24 She went out, and said to her mother, “What shall I ask?”
She said, “The head of John the Baptizer.”
25 She came in immediately with haste to the king, and asked, “I want you to give me right now the head of John the Baptizer on a platter.”
26 The king was exceedingly sorry, but for the sake of his oaths, and of his dinner guests, he didn’t wish to refuse her. 27 Immediately the king sent out a soldier of his guard, and commanded to bring John’s head, and he went and beheaded him in the prison, 28 and brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the young lady; and the young lady gave it to her mother.
29 When his disciples heard this, they came and took up his corpse, and laid it in a tomb.

Psalm 39:1-13
For the Chief Musician. For Jeduthun. A Psalm by David.
39 I said, “I will watch my ways, so that I don’t sin with my tongue.
I will keep my mouth with a bridle while the wicked is before me.”
2 I was mute with silence.
I held my peace, even from good.
My sorrow was stirred.
3 My heart was hot within me.
While I meditated, the fire burned:
I spoke with my tongue:
4 “Yahweh, show me my end,
what is the measure of my days.
Let me know how frail I am.
5 Behold, you have made my days hand widths.
My lifetime is as nothing before you.
Surely every man stands as a breath.”
Selah.
6 “Surely every man walks like a shadow.
Surely they busy themselves in vain.
He heaps up, and doesn’t know who shall gather.
7 Now, Lord, what do I wait for?
My hope is in you.
8 Deliver me from all my transgressions.
Don’t make me the reproach of the foolish.
9 I was mute.
I didn’t open my mouth,
because you did it.
10 Remove your scourge away from me.
I am overcome by the blow of your hand.
11 When you rebuke and correct man for iniquity,
You consume his wealth like a moth.
Surely every man is but a breath.”
Selah.
12 “Hear my prayer, Yahweh, and give ear to my cry.
Don’t be silent at my tears.
For I am a stranger with you,
a foreigner, as all my fathers were.
13 Oh spare me, that I may recover strength,
before I go away, and exist no more.”

Proverbs 10:10
10 One winking with the eye causes sorrow,
but a chattering fool will fall.

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