Today our passages are Leviticus 13:1-59; Mark 6:1-29; Psalm 39:1-13; and Proverbs 10:10. 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.
Leviticus 13:1-59 (Contemporary English Version)
Skin Diseases1The LORD told Moses and Aaron to say to the people: 2If sores or boils or a skin rash should break out and start spreading on your body, you must be brought to Aaron or to one of the other priests. 3If the priest discovers that the hair in the infected area has turned white and that the infection seems more than skin deep, he will say, " This is leprosy a<="" value="[a]" > --you are unclean." 4But if the infected area is white and only skin deep, and if the hair in it hasn't turned white, the priest will order you to stay away from everyone else for seven days. 5If the disease hasn't spread by that time, he will order you to stay away from everyone else for another seven days. 6Then if the disease hasn't gotten any worse or spread, the priest will say, " You are clean. It was only a sore. After you wash your clothes, you may go home."
7However, if the disease comes back, you must return to the priest. 8If it is discovered that the disease has started spreading, he will say, " This is leprosy--you are unclean."
9Any of you with a skin disease must be brought to a priest. 10If he discovers that the sore spot is white with pus and that the hair around it has also turned white, 11he will say, " This is leprosy. You are unclean and must stay away from everyone else." 12-13But if the disease has run its course and only the scars remain, he will say, " You are clean." 14-15If the sores come back and turn white with pus, he will say, " This is leprosy--you are unclean."
16-17However, if the sores heal and only white spots remain, the priest will say, " You are now clean."
18-19If you have a sore that either swells or turns reddish-white after it has healed, then you must show it to a priest. 20If he discovers that the hair in the infected area has turned white and that the infection seems more than skin deep, he will say, " This is leprosy--you are unclean." 21But if the white area is only on the surface of the skin and hasn't gotten any worse, and if the hair in it hasn't turned white, he will have you stay away from everyone else for seven days.
22If the sore begins spreading during this time, the priest will say, " You are unclean because you have a disease." 23But if it doesn't spread, and only a scar remains, he will say, " You are now clean."
24If you have a burn that gets infected and turns red or reddish-white, 25a priest must examine it. Then if he discovers that the hair in the infected area has turned white and that the infection seems more than skin deep, he will say, " The burn has turned into leprosy, and you are unclean." 26But if the priest finds that the hair in the infected area hasn't turned white and that the sore is only skin deep and it is healing, he will have you stay away from everyone else for seven days. 27On the seventh day the priest will examine you again, and if the infection is spreading, he will say, " This is leprosy--you are unclean." 28However, if the infection hasn't spread and has begun to heal, and if only a scar remains, he will say, " Only a scar remains from the burn, and you are clean."
29If you have a sore on your head or chin, 30it must be examined by a priest. If the infection seems more than skin deep, and the hair in it has thinned out and lost its color, he will say, " This is leprosy--you are unclean." 31On the other hand, if he discovers that the itchy spot is only skin deep, but that the hair still isn't healthy, he will order you to stay away from everyone else for seven days. 32By that time, if the itch hasn't spread, if the hairs seem healthy, and if the itch is only skin deep, 33you must shave off the hairs around the infection, but not those on it. Then the priest will tell you to stay away from everyone else for another seven days. 34By that time, if the itch hasn't spread and seems no more than skin deep, he will say, " You are clean; now you must wash your clothes."
35-36Later, if the itch starts spreading, even though the hair is still healthy, the priest will say, " You are unclean." 37But if he thinks you are completely well, he will say, " You are clean."
38If white spots break out on your skin, 39but the priest discovers that it is only a rash, he will say, " You are clean."
40-41If you become bald on any part of your head, you are still clean. 42-43But if a priest discovers that a reddish-white sore has broken out on the bald spot and looks like leprosy, he will say, 44" This is leprosy--you are unclean."
45If you ever have leprosy, you must tear your clothes, leave your hair uncombed, cover the lower part of your face, and go around shouting, " I'm unclean! I'm unclean!" 46As long as you have the disease, you are unclean and must live alone outside the camp.
47-50If a greenish or reddish spot [b<="">] appears anywhere on any of your clothing or on anything made of leather, you must let the priest examine the clothing or the leather. He will put it aside for seven days, 51and if the mildew has spread in that time, he will say, " This is unclean 52because the mildew has spread." Then he will burn the clothing or the piece of leather. 53If the priest discovers that the mildew hasn't spread, 54he will tell you to wash the clothing or leather and put it aside for another seven days, 55after which he will examine it again. If the spot hasn't spread, but is still greenish or reddish, the clothing or leather is unclean and must be burned. 56But if the spot has faded after being washed, he will tear away the spot. 57Later, if the spot reappears elsewhere on the clothing or the leather, you must burn it. 58Even if the spot completely disappears after being washed, it must be washed again before it is clean.
59These are the rules for deciding if clothing is clean or unclean after a spot appears on it.
Mark 6:1-29 (Contemporary English Version)
The People of Nazareth Turn against Jesus
(Matthew 13.53-58; Luke 4.16-30)1Jesus left and returned to his hometown a<="" value="[a]" > with his disciples. 2The next Sabbath he taught in the Jewish meeting place. Many of the people who heard him were amazed and asked, "How can he do all this? Where did he get such wisdom and the power to work these miracles? 3Isn't he the carpenter, [b<="">] the son of Mary? Aren't James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon his brothers? Don't his sisters still live here in our town?" The people were very unhappy because of what he was doing. 4But Jesus said, "Prophets are honored by everyone, except the people of their hometown and their relatives and their own family." 5Jesus could not work any miracles there, except to heal a few sick people by placing his hands on them. 6He was surprised that the people did not have any faith.
Jesus taught in all the neighboring villages.
Instructions for the Twelve Apostles
(Matthew 10.5-15; Luke 9.1-6)7Then he called together his twelve apostles and sent them out two by two with power over evil spirits. 8He told them, "You may take along a walking stick. But don't carry food or a traveling bag or any money. 9It's all right to wear sandals, but don't take along a change of clothes. 10When you are welcomed into a home, stay there until you leave that town. 11If any place won't welcome you or listen to your message, leave and shake the dust from your feet [c<="">] as a warning to them." 12The apostles left and started telling everyone to turn to God. 13They forced out many demons and healed a lot of sick people by putting olive oil [d<="">] on them.
The Death of John the Baptist
(Matthew 14.1-12; Luke 9.7-9)14Jesus became so well-known that Herod the ruler [e<="">] heard about him. Some people thought he was John the Baptist, who had come back to life with the power to work miracles. 15Others thought he was Elijah [f<="">] or some other prophet who had lived long ago. 16But when Herod heard about Jesus, he said, "This must be John! I had his head cut off, and now he has come back to life." 17-18Herod had earlier married Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip. But John had told him, "It isn't right for you to take your brother's wife!" So, in order to please Herodias, Herod arrested John and put him in prison.
19Herodias had a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she could not do it 20because Herod was afraid of John and protected him. He knew that John was a good and holy man. Even though Herod was confused by what John said, [g<="">] he was glad to listen to him. And he often did.
21Finally, Herodias got her chance when Herod gave a great birthday celebration for himself and invited his officials, his army officers, and the leaders of Galilee. 22The daughter of Herodias [h<="">] came in and danced for Herod and his guests. She pleased them so much that Herod said, "Ask for anything, and it's yours! 23I swear that I will give you as much as half of my kingdom, if you want it."
24The girl left and asked her mother, "What do you think I should ask for?"
Her mother answered, "The head of John the Baptist!"
25The girl hurried back and told Herod, "Right now on a platter I want the head of John the Baptist!"
26The king was very sorry for what he had said. But he did not want to break the promise he had made in front of his guests. 27At once he ordered a guard to cut off John's head there in prison. 28The guard put the head on a platter and took it to the girl. Then she gave it to her mother.
29When John's followers learned that he had been killed, they took his body and put it in a tomb.
- Mark 6:1 hometown: Nazareth.
- Mark 6:3 carpenter: The Greek word may also mean someone who builds or works with stone or brick.
- Mark 6:11 shake the dust from your feet: This was a way of showing rejection.
- Mark 6:13 olive oil: The Jewish people used olive oil as a way of healing people. Sometimes olive oil is a symbol for healing by means of a miracle (see James 5.14).
- Mark 6:14 Herod the ruler: Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great.
- Mark 6:15 Elijah: Many of the Jewish people expected the prophet Elijah to come and prepare the way for the Messiah.
- Mark 6:20 was confused by what John said: Some manuscripts have "did many things because of what John said."
- Mark 6:22 Herodias: Some manuscripts have "Herod."
Psalm 39:1-13 (Contemporary English Version)
(A psalm by David for Jeduthun, the music leader.)
A Prayer for Forgiveness1I told myself, "I'll be careful not to sin by what I say,
and I'll muzzle my mouth
when evil people are near."
2I kept completely silent,
but it did no good, a<="" value="[a]" > and I hurt even worse.
3I felt a fire burning inside,
and the more I thought,
the more it burned,
until at last I said:
show me my future.
Will I soon be gone?
5You made my life short,
so brief that the time
means nothing to you.
"Human life is but a breath,
6and it disappears
like a shadow.
Our struggles are senseless;
we store up more and more,
without ever knowing
who will get it all.
7"What am I waiting for?
I depend on you, Lord!
8Save me from my sins.
Don't let fools sneer at me.
9You treated me like this,
and I kept silent,
not saying a word.
10"Won't you stop punishing me?
You have worn me down.
11You punish us severely
because of our sins.
Like a moth, you destroy
what we treasure most.
We are as frail as a breath.
12"Listen, LORD, to my prayer!
My eyes are flooded with tears,
as I pray to you.
I am merely a stranger
visiting in your home
as my ancestors did.
13Stop being angry with me
and let me smile again
before I am dead and gone."
- Psalm 39:2but. . . good: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
Proverbs 10:10 (Contemporary English Version)
10Deceit causes trouble,
and foolish talk
will bring you to ruin. a<="" value="[a]" >
and foolish talk
will bring you to ruin. a<="" value="[a]" >
- Proverbs 10:10and foolish. . . ruin: One ancient translation " but you can help people by correcting them."
Verse of the Day
American politician and soldier who served as the first President of the United States from 1789 to 1797 and was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, George Washington wrote, “Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.”