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Week 7 Day 2 Genesis 33 Mark 4

11 March, 2015

Genesis 33

33 And Jacob raised his eyes and looked, and behold, Esau was coming and with him 400 men. So he divided the children to Leah and to Rachel and to the two maids.

And he put the maids and their children in front, Leah and her children after them, and Rachel and Joseph last of all. A nervous greeting

Then Jacob went over [the stream] before them and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.

But Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept. Not what Jacob was expecting but worth waiting for 

[Esau] looked up and saw the women and the children and said, Who are these with you? And [Jacob] replied, They are the children whom God has graciously given your servant.

Then the maids came near, they and their children, and they bowed themselves.

And Leah also with her children came near, and they bowed themselves. After them Joseph and Rachel came near, and they bowed themselves.

Esau said, What do you mean by all this company which I met? And he said, These are that I might find favor in the sight of my lord.

And Esau said, I have plenty, my brother; keep what you have for yourself. Jacob was bringing forward his family to offer them to Esau – again, I don’t understand this culture where people can be swapped, sold or bartered for favour. But Esau tells Jacob that they are his.

10 But Jacob replied, No, I beg of you, if now I have found favor in your sight, receive my gift that I am presenting; for truly to see your face is to me as if I had seen the face of God, and you have received me favorably.

11 Accept, I beg of you, my blessing and gift that I have brought to you; for God has dealt graciously with me and I have everything. And he kept urging him and he accepted it.

12 Then [Esau] said, Let us get started on our journey, and I will go before you. Jacob continues to press home the gift

13 But Jacob replied, You know, my lord, that the children are tender and delicate and need gentle care, and the flocks and herds with young are of concern to me; for if the men should overdrive them for a single day, the whole of the flocks would die.

14 Let my lord, I pray you, pass over before his servant; and I will lead on slowly, governed by [consideration for] the livestock that set the pace before me and the endurance of the children,[a]until I come to my lord in Seir. Jacob wants to delay going with Esau – still that measure of mistrust

15 Then Esau said, Let me now leave with you some of the people who are with me. But [Jacob] said, What need is there for it? Let me find favor in the sight of my lord.

16 So Esau turned back that day on his way to Seir. Bowing and posturing – belying the real heart

17 But Jacob journeyed to Succoth and built himself a house and made booths or places of shelter for his livestock; so the name of the place is called Succoth [booths].

18 When Jacob came from Padan-aram, he arrived safely and in peace at the town of Shechem, in the land of Canaan, and pitched his tents before the [enclosed] town.

19 Then he bought the piece of land on which he had encamped from the sons of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for a hundred pieces of money.

20 There he erected an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel [God, the God of Israel]. Jacob skirts around from Esau and settles down

Mark 4

Again Jesus began to teach beside the lake. And a very great crowd gathered about Him, so that He got into a ship in order to sit in it on the sea, and the whole crowd was at the lakeside on the shore.

And He taught them many things in parables (illustrations or comparisons put beside truths to explain them) Personally I like this form of story telling – it makes my brain “ping” as I can visualise what is being talked about in a way that I understand.  Is it an attention span thing? Is it just a learning style of the practical person rather than the learned gentry – Jesus was reaching out to the “unsophisticated man”.

Give attention to this! Behold, a sower went out to sow.

And as he was sowing, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.

Other seed [of the same kind] fell on ground full of rocks, where it had not much soil; and at once it sprang up, because it had no depth of soil;

And when the sun came up, it was scorched, and because it had not taken root, it withered away.

Other seed [of the same kind] fell among thorn plants, and the thistles grew and pressed together and utterly choked and suffocated it, and it yielded no grain.

And other seed [of the same kind] fell into good (well-adapted) soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing, and yielded up to thirty times as much, and sixty times as much, and even a hundred times as much as had been sown. So there is the story

And He said, He who has ears to hear, let him be hearing [and let him [a]consider, and comprehend].

10 And as soon as He was alone, those who were around Him, with the Twelve [apostles], began to ask Him about the parables.

11 And He said to them, To you has been entrusted the mystery of the kingdom of God [that is,[b]the secret counsels of God which are hidden from the ungodly]; but for those outside [[c]of our circle] everything becomes a parable,

12 In order that they may [indeed] look and look but not see and perceive, and may hear and hear but not grasp and comprehend, [d]lest haply they should turn again, and it [[e]their willful rejection of the truth] should be forgiven them.

13 And He said to them, Do you not discern and understand this parable? How then is it possible for you to discern and understand all the parables? So this is why the riddles – the mysteries of God.  *spoilers* we are told that the time and date of Jesus’ return isn’t yet known and that we don’t understand the mysteries of the end times – just as Jesus talked in mysteries here we need to be mindful that there are further mysteries to be unfolded in the Old and, probabl,y in the New Testaments

14 The sower sows the Word.

15 The ones along the path are those who have the Word sown [in their hearts], but when they hear, Satan comes at once and [by force] takes away the message which is sown in them.

16 And in the same way the ones sown upon stony ground are those who, when they hear the Word, at once receive and accept and welcome it with joy;

17 And they have no real root in themselves, and so they endure for a little while; then when trouble or persecution arises on account of the Word, they immediately are offended (become displeased, indignant, resentful) and they stumble and fall away.

18 And the ones sown among the thorns are others who hear the Word;

19 Then the cares and anxieties of the world and distractions of the age, and the pleasure and delight and false glamour and deceitfulness of riches, and the craving and passionate desire for other things creep in and choke and suffocate the Word, and it becomes fruitless.

20 And those sown on the good (well-adapted) soil are the ones who hear the Word and receive and accept and welcome it and bear fruit—some thirty times as much as was sown, some sixty times as much, and some [even] a hundred times as much. The meaning – and something we need to be mindful of in this day and age as it was the case in Jesus’ day.

21 And He said to them, Is the lamp brought in to be put under a [f]peck measure or under a bed, and not [to be put] on the lampstand?

22 [[g]Things are hidden temporarily only as a means to revelation.] For there is nothing hidden except to be revealed, nor is anything [temporarily] kept secret except in order that it may be made known.

23 If any man has ears to hear, let him be listening and let him perceive and comprehend. Why does He talk in riddles?

24 And He said to them, Be careful what you are hearing. The measure [h][of thought and study] you give [to [i]the truth you hear] will be the measure [j][of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to you—and more [besides] will be given to you who hear.

25 For to him who has will more be given; and from him who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away [[k]by force], We need to mull over and test what is said – not so that we miss the story, but that we can glean the real substance

26 And He said, The kingdom of God is like a man who scatters seed upon the ground,

27 And then continues sleeping and rising night and day while the seed sprouts and grows and[l]increases—he knows not how.

28 The earth produces [acting] by itself—first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.

29 But when the grain is ripe and permits, immediately he [m]sends forth [the reapers] and puts in the sickle, because the harvest stands ready.

30 And He said, With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use to illustrate and explain it?

31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all seeds upon the earth;

32 Yet after it is sown, it grows up and becomes the greatest of all garden herbs and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air are able to make nests and dwell in its shade.

33 With many such parables [Jesus] spoke the Word to them, as they were able to hear and [n]to comprehend and understand.

34 He did not tell them anything without a parable; but privately to His disciples ([o]those who were peculiarly His own) He explained everything [fully]. And then we get to the real meat behind the story – Deep, Deeper and Deepest – Jesus is now no longer telling stories but if the disciples listen, He is telling His story and their story

35 On that same day [when] evening had come, He said to them, Let us go over to the other side [of the lake].

36 And leaving the throng, they took Him with them, [just] as He was, in the boat [in which He was sitting]. And other boats were with Him.

37 And a furious storm of wind [[p]of hurricane proportions] arose, and the waves kept beating into the boat, so that it was already becoming filled.

38 But He [Himself] was in the stern [of the boat], asleep on the [leather] cushion; and they awoke Him and said to Him, Master, do You not care that we are perishing?

39 And He arose and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, Hush now! Be still (muzzled)! And the wind ceased ([q]sank to rest as if exhausted by its beating) and there was [immediately] a great calm ([r]a perfect peacefulness). This will become a recurring theme – Jesus does something significant and then there is something to test the disciples

40 He said to them, Why are you so timid and fearful? How is it that you have no faith (no[s]firmly relying trust)?

41 And they were filled with great awe and [t]feared exceedingly and said one to another, Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey Him? Even the disciples are a bit slow on the uptake


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