Today our passages are Leviticus 4:1–5:19; Mark 2:13–3:6; Psalm 36:1-12; and Proverbs 10:1-2. The readings are the Contemporary English Version. If you find these readings helpful, please consider sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal by using the link below.
Leviticus 4-5:19 (Contemporary English Version)
Sacrifices for Sin
(Leviticus 6.24-30)1The LORD told Moses 2to say to the community of Israel: Offer a sacrifice to ask forgiveness when you sin by accidentally doing something I have told you not to do.
When the High Priest Sins
The LORD said:3When the high priest sins, he makes everyone else guilty too. And so, he must sacrifice a young bull that has nothing wrong with it. 4The priest will lead the bull to the entrance of the sacred tent, lay his hand on its head, and kill it there. 5He will take a bowl of the blood inside the tent, 6dip a finger in the blood, and sprinkle some of it seven times toward the sacred chest behind the curtain. 7Then, in my presence, he will smear some of the blood on each of the four corners of the incense altar, before pouring out the rest at the foot of the bronze altar a<="" value="[a]" > near the entrance to the tent. 8-10The priest will remove the fat from the bull, just as he does when he sacrifices a bull to ask my blessing. [b<="">] This includes the fat on the insides, as well as the lower part of the liver and the two kidneys with their fat. He will then send it all up in smoke. 11-12The skin and flesh of the bull, together with its legs, insides, and the food still in its stomach, are to be taken outside the camp and burned on a wood fire near the ash heap. [c<="">]
When the Whole Nation Sins
The LORD said:13When the nation of Israel disobeys me without meaning to, the whole nation is still guilty. 14Once you realize what has happened, you must sacrifice a young bull to ask my forgiveness. Lead the bull to the entrance of the sacred tent, 15where your tribal leaders will lay their hands on its head, before having it killed in my presence. 16The priest will take a bowl of the animal's blood inside the sacred tent, 17dip a finger in the blood, and sprinkle some of it seven times toward the sacred chest behind the curtain. 18Then, in my presence, he must smear some of the blood on each of the four corners of the incense altar, before pouring out the rest at the foot of the bronze altar [d<="">] near the entrance to the tent. 19-21After this, the priest will remove the fat from the bull and send it up in smoke on the altar. Finally, he will burn its remains outside the camp, just as he did with the other bull. By this sacrifice the sin of the whole nation will be forgiven.
When a Tribal Leader Sins
The LORD God said:22Any tribal leader who disobeys me without meaning to is still guilty. 23As soon as the leader realizes what has happened, he must sacrifice a goat [e<="">] that has nothing wrong with it. 24This is a sacrifice for sin. So he will lay his hand on the animal's head, before having it killed in my presence at the north side of the bronze altar. 25The priest will dip a finger in the blood, smear some of it on each of the four corners of the altar, and pour out the rest at the foot of the altar. 26Then he must send all of the fat up in smoke, just as he does when a sacrifice is offered to ask my blessing. [f<="">] By this sacrifice the leader's sin will be forgiven.
When Ordinary People Sin
The LORD said:27When any of you ordinary people disobey me without meaning to, you are still guilty. 28As soon as you realize what you have done, you must sacrifice a female goat that has nothing wrong with it. 29Lead the goat to the north side of the bronze altar and lay your hand on its head, before having it killed. 30Then a priest will dip a finger in the blood; he will smear some of it on each of the four corners of the altar and pour out the rest at the foot of the altar. 31After this, the priest will remove all of the fat, just as he does when an animal is sacrificed to ask my blessing. [g<="">] The priest will then send the fat up in smoke with a smell that pleases me. This animal is sacrificed so that I will forgive you ordinary people when you sin. 32If you offer a lamb instead of a goat as a sacrifice for sin, it must be a female that has nothing wrong with it. 33Lead the lamb to the altar and lay your hand on its head, before having it killed. 34The priest will dip a finger in the blood, smear some of it on each of the four corners of the altar, and pour out the rest at the foot of the altar. 35After this, all of the fat must be removed, just as when an animal is sacrificed to ask my blessing. Then the priest will send it up in smoke to me, together with a food offering, and your sin will be forgiven.
The LORD said:1If you refuse to testify in court about something you saw or know has happened, you have sinned and can be punished. 2You are guilty and unfit to worship me, if you accidentally touch the dead body of any kind of unclean animal.
3You are guilty if you find out that you have accidentally touched any waste that comes from a human body.
4You are guilty the moment you realize that you have made a hasty promise to do something good or bad.
5As soon as you discover that you have committed any of these sins, you must confess what you have done. 6Then you must bring a female sheep or goat to me as the price for your sin. A priest will sacrifice the animal, and you will be forgiven.
7If you are poor and cannot afford to bring an animal, you may bring two doves or two pigeons. One of these will be a sacrifice to ask my forgiveness, and the other will be a sacrifice to please me.
8Give both birds to the priest, who will offer one as a sacrifice to ask my forgiveness. He will wring its neck without tearing off its head, 9splatter some of its blood on one side of the bronze altar, and drain out the rest at the foot of the altar. 10Then he will follow the proper rules for offering the other bird as a sacrifice to please me.
You will be forgiven when the priest offers these sacrifices as the price for your sin.
11If you are so poor that you cannot afford doves or pigeons, you may bring two pounds of your finest flour. This is a sacrifice to ask my forgiveness, so don't sprinkle olive oil or sweet-smelling incense on it. 12Give the flour to a priest, who will scoop up a handful and send it up in smoke together with the other offerings. This is a reminder that all of the flour belongs to me. 13By offering this sacrifice, the priest pays the price for any of these sins you may have committed. The priest gets the rest of the flour, just as he does with grain sacrifices.
Sacrifices To Make Things Right
(Leviticus 7.1-10)14-15The LORD told Moses what the people must do to make things right when they find out they have cheated the LORD without meaning to: If this happens, you must either sacrifice a ram that has nothing wrong with it or else pay the price of a ram with the official money used by the priests. 16In addition, you must pay what you owe plus a fine of twenty percent. Then the priest will offer the ram as a sacrifice to make things right, and you will be forgiven.
17-19If you break any of my commands without meaning to, you are still guilty, and you can be punished. When you realize what you have done, you must either bring to the priest a ram that has nothing wrong with it or else pay him for one. The priest will then offer it as a sacrifice to make things right, and you will be forgiven.
- Leviticus 4:7 incense altar. . . bronze altar: See the note at 1.1-3.
- Leviticus 4:8 to ask my blessing: See the note at 3.1.
- Leviticus 4:11 ash heap: See the note at 1.16.
- Leviticus 4:18 incense altar. . . bronze altar: See the note at 1.1-3.
- Leviticus 4:23 goat: See the note at 1.1-3.
- Leviticus 4:26 sacrifice. . . blessing: See the note at 3.1.
- Leviticus 4:31 sacrifice. . . blessing: See the note at 3.1.
Mark 2:13-3:6 (Contemporary English Version)
Jesus Chooses Levi
(Matthew 9.9-13; Luke 5.27-32)13Once again, Jesus went to the shore of Lake Galilee. A large crowd gathered around him, and he taught them. 14As he walked along, he saw Levi, the son of Alphaeus. Levi was sitting at the place for paying taxes, and Jesus said to him, "Come with me!" So he got up and went with Jesus. 15Later, Jesus and his disciples were having dinner at Levi's house. a<="" value="[a]" > Many tax collectors [b<="">] and other sinners had become followers of Jesus, and they were also guests at the dinner.
16Some of the teachers of the Law of Moses were Pharisees, and they saw that Jesus was eating with sinners and tax collectors. So they asked his disciples, "Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?"
17Jesus heard them and answered, "Healthy people don't need a doctor, but sick people do. I didn't come to invite good people to be my followers. I came to invite sinners."
People Ask about Going without Eating
(Matthew 9.14-17; Luke 5.33-39)18The followers of John the Baptist and the Pharisees often went without eating. [c<="">] Some people came and asked Jesus, "Why do the followers of John and those of the Pharisees often go without eating, while your disciples never do?" 19Jesus answered:
The friends of a bridegroom don't go without eating while he is still with them. 20But the time will come when he will be taken from them. Then they will go without eating.
21No one patches old clothes by sewing on a piece of new cloth. The new piece would shrink and tear a bigger hole.
22No one pours new wine into old wineskins. The wine would swell and burst the old skins. [d<="">] Then the wine would be lost, and the skins would be ruined. New wine must be put into new wineskins.
A Question about the Sabbath
(Matthew 12.1-8; Luke 6.1-5)23One Sabbath Jesus and his disciples were walking through some wheat fields. His disciples were picking grains of wheat as they went along. [e<="">] 24Some Pharisees asked Jesus, "Why are your disciples picking grain on the Sabbath? They are not supposed to do that!" 25Jesus answered, "Haven't you read what David did when he and his followers were hungry and in need? 26It was during the time of Abiathar the high priest. David went into the house of God and ate the sacred loaves of bread that only priests are allowed to eat. He also gave some to his followers."
27Jesus finished by saying, "People were not made for the good of the Sabbath. The Sabbath was made for the good of people. 28So the Son of Man is Lord over the Sabbath."
A Man with a Crippled Hand
(Matthew 12.9-14; Luke 6.6-11)1The next time that Jesus went into the meeting place, a man with a crippled hand was there. 2The Pharisees [f<="">] wanted to accuse Jesus of doing something wrong, and they kept watching to see if Jesus would heal him on the Sabbath. 3Jesus told the man to stand up where everyone could see him. 4Then he asked, "On the Sabbath should we do good deeds or evil deeds? Should we save someone's life or destroy it?" But no one said a word.
5Jesus was angry as he looked around at the people. Yet he felt sorry for them because they were so stubborn. Then he told the man, "Stretch out your hand." He did, and his bad hand was healed.
6The Pharisees left. And right away they started making plans with Herod's followers [g<="">] to kill Jesus.
- Mark 2:15 Levi's house: Or "Jesus' house."
- Mark 2:15 tax collectors: These were usually Jewish people who paid the Romans for the right to collect taxes. They were hated by other Jews who thought of them as traitors to their country and to their religion.
- Mark 2:18 without eating: The Jewish people sometimes went without eating (also called "fasting") to show their love for God or to show sorrow for their sins.
- Mark 2:22 swell and burst the old skins: While the juice from grapes was becoming wine, it would swell and stretch the skins in which it had been stored. If the skins were old and stiff, they would burst.
- Mark 2:23 went along: It was the custom to let hungry travelers pick grains of wheat.
- Mark 3:2 Pharisees: The Greek text has "they" (but see verse 6).
- Mark 3:6 Herod's followers: People who were political followers of the family of Herod the Great and his son Herod Antipas.
Psalm 36:1-12 (Contemporary English Version)
(For the music leader by David, the LORD's servant.)
Human Sin and God's Goodness1Sinners don't respect God; sin is all they think about.
2They like themselves too much
to hate their own sins
or even to see them.
3They tell deceitful lies,
and they don't have the sense
to live right.
4Those people stay awake,
thinking up mischief,
and they follow the wrong road,
refusing to turn from sin.
5Your love is faithful, LORD,
and even the clouds in the sky
can depend on you.
6Your decisions are always fair.
They are firm like mountains,
deep like the sea,
and all people and animals
are under your care.
7Your love is a treasure,
and everyone finds shelter
in the shadow of your wings.
8You give your guests a feast
in your house,
and you serve a tasty drink
that flows like a river.
9The life-giving fountain
belongs to you,
and your light gives light
to each of us.
10Our LORD, keep showing love
to everyone who knows you,
and use your power to save
all whose thoughts please you.
11Don't let those proud
and merciless people
kick me around
or chase me away.
12Look at those wicked people!
They are knocked down,
never to get up again.
Proverbs 10:1-2 (Contemporary English Version)
Solomon's Wise Sayings1Here are some proverbs of Solomon:
Children with good sense
make their parents happy,
but foolish children
make them sad.
2What you gain by doing evil
won't help you at all,
but being good a<="" value="[a]" > can save you from death.
- Proverbs 10:2 good: Or " generous."
Verse of the Day
Thought for the Day
German Romantic writer, best known for his humorous novels and stories, Jean Paul wrote, “Be great in act, as you have been in thought.”