Reading for Today: 2 Kings 15:1–16:20


Reading for Today:

2 Kings 15:1–16:20
Psalm 73:21-28
Proverbs 18:20-21
John 21:1-25
Notes:

2 Kings 16:3 walked in the way of the kings of Israel. This does not necessarily mean that Ahaz participated in the calf worship introduced by Jeroboam I at Bethel and Dan, but that he increasingly brought pagan, idolatrous practices into the worship of the Lord in Jerusalem. These are specified in vv.10–16 and parallel those of Jeroboam I in the northern kingdom. This included idols to Baal (2 Chr. 28:2). made his son pass through the fire. As a part of the ritual worship of Molech, the god of the Moabites, children were sacrificed by fire (3:27). This horrific practice was continually condemned in the Old Testament (Lev. 18:21; 20:2–5;Deut. 18:10; Jer. 7:31; 19:5; 32:35).

2 Kings 16:10 the altar. When Ahaz traveled to Damascus to meet Tiglath-Pileser III, he saw a large altar (v. 15) which was most likely Assyrian. Ahaz sent a sketch of this altar to Urijah the high priest in Jerusalem, and Urijah built an altar just like it. The serious iniquity in this was meddling with and changing, according to personal taste, the furnishings of the temple, the design for which had been given by God (Ex. 25:40; 26:30; 27:1–8; 1 Chr. 28:19). This was like building an idol in the temple, done to please the pagan Assyrian king, whom Ahaz served instead of God.

Proverbs 18:21 Death and life. The greatest good and the greatest harm are in the power of the tongue (James 3:6–10).

John 21:18,19 A prophecy of Peter’s martyrdom. Jesus’ call of devotion to Him would also mean that Peter’s devotion would entail his own death (Matt. 10:37–39).Whenever any Christian follows Christ, he must be prepared to suffer and die (Matt. 16:24–26). Peter lived 3 decades serving the Lord and anticipating the death that was before him (2 Pet. 1:12–15), but he wrote that such suffering and death for the Lord brings praise to God (1 Pet. 4:14–16). Church tradition records that Peter suffered martyrdom under Nero (ca. A.D. 67–68), being crucified upside down, because he refused to be crucified like his Lord.

DAY 14: How does Jesus deal with Peter’s denial of Him during the trial?

In John 21:15–17, the meaning of this section hinges upon the usage of two synonyms for love. In terms of interpretation, when two synonyms are placed in close proximity in context, a difference in meaning, however slight, is emphasized. When Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him, He used a word for love that signified total commitment. Peter responded with a word for love that signified his love for Jesus, but not necessarily his total commitment. This was not because he was reluctant to express that greater love, but because he had been disobedient and denied the Lord in the past. He was, perhaps, now reluctant to make a claim of supreme devotion when, in the past, his life did not support such a claim. Jesus pressed home to Peter the need for unswerving devotion by repeatedly asking Peter if he loved Him supremely. The essential message here is that Jesus demands total commitment from His followers. Their love for Him must place Him above their love for all else. Jesus confronted Peter with love because He wanted Peter to lead the apostles (Matt. 16:18), but in order for Peter to be an effective shepherd, his overwhelming drive must exemplify supreme love for his Lord.

In v. 15, when Jesus asked him if he loved Him “more than these,” He probably refers to the fish (v. 11) representing Peter’s profession as a fisherman, for he had gone back to it while waiting for Jesus (v. 3). Jesus wanted Peter to love Him so supremely as to forsake all that he was familiar with and be exclusively devoted to being a fisher of men (Matt. 4:19).The phrase may refer to the other disciples, since Peter had claimed he would be more devoted than all the others (Matt. 26:33).“Feed My lambs.” The word “feed” conveys the idea of being devoted to the Lord’s service as an undershepherd who cares for His flock (1 Pet. 5:1–4).The word has the idea of constantly feeding and nourishing the sheep. This served as a reminder that the primary duty of the messenger of Jesus Christ is to teach the word of God (2 Tim. 4:2).Acts 1–13 records Peter’s obedience to this commission.

In v. 17, “Peter was grieved.” The third time Jesus asked Peter, He used Peter’s word for love that signified something less than total devotion, questioning even that level of love Peter thought he was safe in claiming. The lessons driven home to Peter grieved his heart, so that he sought for a proper understanding of his heart, not by what he said or had done, but based on the Lord’s omniscience (2:24, 25).

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