Come and see…..

7 05 2011

DAY ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY : Joshua 17 v. 1 – 18 v. 28; John 1 v. 29 – 51; Proverbs 10 v. 31 – 11 v. 8

JOSHUA
Allocation of Land to Manasseh – a reminder that Joseph’s firstborn was Manasseh, and his firstborn was Makir – he received the areas of Gilead and Bashan (because the Makirites were great soldiers). A reminder, too, that down that family line were the daughters of Zelophehad (no sons), who pleaded for their land and Joshua granted them an inheritance share of land (Numbers 27 and 36).
The Manasseh territory is described in full. Some of the towns belonged to Ephraim. Manasseh also had towns within the land inherited by Issachar and Asher. Canaanites remained within these territories, but as the Israelites grew stronger, the Canaanites became forced labour for them.
The descendants of Joseph complain they don’t have enough land. Joshua tries to persuade them that if they are som numerous, they could clear a whole area of forest for themselves. They complain again, that the hill country isn’t enough for them, and the Canaanites are strong with their iron chariots.
Joshua reminds them
‘You are numerous and very powerful….clear the forested hill country, and its farthest limits will be yours.’ They will, indeed, be strong enough to drive out the Canaanites (iron chariots and all).

Division of the Rest of the Land – all the Israelites gather at Shiloh, where the Tent of Meeting is set up. Seven tribes are still waiting for their allocation of land.
Joshua encourages them to press on and take the land. He instructs each tribe to appoint three men to do surveys of the land, describing it in full. Then, returning to Joshua with all these descriptions, Joshua would cast lots at the Tent of Meeting (a reminder that the Levites do not receive an inheritance of land – their inheritance is their priestly position).
So, this is how the land was divided – the tribes drew up the surveys of the land and divided it into seven, and Joshua drew lots to share it out.

Allotment for Benjamin – there follows a full description of the land allocated to the tribe of Benjamin (a strip of land above Judah and below Ephraim/Manasseh), which included Jericho and Jerusalem.

JOHN
Jesus, Lamb of God – the day after those conversations about who John the Baptist was, John sees Jesus and announces,
‘Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’
Lamb of God – reference to the sacrificial lamb offered as atonement for sin, and the Passover lamb ensuring protection against the angel of death.
All that has been hidden is to be revealed through this baptism of water John is offering.
‘The reason I came baptising with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.’ John understood that his purpose was to reveal who Jesus is.
John’s testimony is that he say the Holy Spirit descend upon Jesus as a dove, as a sign that Jesus is the one who will baptise with the Holy Spirit.
(In John’s Gospel, there is no baptism of Jesus explicitly mentioned)

So this is the revelation at the beginning of John’s Gospel –
Jesus is the Lamb of God who will take away sin and baptise with the Holy Spirit

Jesus’ First Disciples – another day passes and two of John’s disciples hear John say again, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God’.
They leave John to follow Jesus.
Jesus sounds like He is not ready to have disciples / followers and asks them what they want.
They simply say they’d like to know more about Him – where is He staying, for example. They go and spend the day with Jesus.
‘Come and you will see’ (all will be revealed)
Late in the day, Andrew (one of them) goes to get his brother, Simon (Peter). ‘We have found the Messiah’, he says, and brings his brother to Jesus.

Oh, thank God for Andrew, bringing his brother to Jesus, and for all who bring others to Jesus. Lord, make me an Andrew, bringing the good news to many, and introducing others to Jesus….

Jesus greets Simon by giving him a new name, Cephas / Peter – the Rock.
Good start!

Jesus Calls Philip and Nathaniel – Jesus has been in the region of the Jordan river and now He travels to Galilee. He ‘finds’ Philip and invites him to follow. Philip ‘found’ Nathaniel, telling him they’d found the one Moses and the prophets had foretold – Jesus of Nazareth, Joseph’s son.
‘Nazareth! Can anything good come from Nazareth?’
Philip’s invitation is the same as Jesus’ : ‘Come and see.’
Jesus recognises Nathaniel’s integrity as a true Israelite, and Nathaniel wonders how He can tell.
Jesus says that He spotted Nathaniel (under the fig tree) even before Philip called him over.
Nathaniel proclaims Jesus to be : ‘the Son of God, the King of Israel’. (A very strong assertion, given that he’s only just met Him).
Jesus points out that if Nathaniel is impressed with the fig-tree story, there’s much, much more that will impress him – ‘greater things than that.’
‘You shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man’.

A reference back to Jacob’s dream (Gen. 28) in which he saw a ladder / stairway to heaven – Jesus is our ladder / stairway to heaven, our means of access.

John likes the phrase ‘the next day’…..I’m wondering about the poetry of Genesis…
from ‘in the beginning’ to ‘there was evening and there was morning, the first day….the second day etc.’
John is describing the days of the new creation…there’s always a ‘next day’.
Genesis : Day One – God creates light
John : Day One – Light shines in the darkness (light has come into the world)
Genesis : Day Two – God divides the waters
John : Day Two – John baptises with water
Genesis : Day Three – God separates water and creates land (earth) and fruitful plants
John : Day Three – Jesus appears on ‘earth’ as the Lamb of God to take (wash) away sin, and create a new earth by baptising with the Holy Spirit, generating fruitfulness
Genesis : Day Four – God creates sun, moon and stars to create day and night, seasons
John : Day Four – Jesus becomes the ‘star’ to follow – ‘they went and saw where He was staying, and spent that day with Him’
Genesis : Day Five – God creates birds and sea creatures and tells them to be fruitful and multiply
John : Day Five – mmm, maybe my theory breaks down here – stretching it completely, but Nathaniel begins under the fig tree and soars to the heights of Christian proclamation – ‘You are the Son of God, the King of Israel’, (oh, and the birds fill the skies from earth to heaven in Genesis 1, and it is the angels in John 1).

I like that!

PROVERBS –
‘The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom…
The Lord abhors dishonest scales (injustice!), but accurate weights (integrity/honesty/justice) are His delight.
When pride comes, then comes disgrace (pride comes before a fall!), but with humility comes wisdom.
Righteousness is worth much more than wealth on the day of judgement.
Righteousness brings deliverance / a straight path; the unfaithful are trapped, brought down, and dies with all hope perishing.

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