“What Is Hip?” – One Year Bible Reading – May 30

Old Testament: 2 Samuel 15:23-16:23

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2 Samuel 15: 23 – 37   Hush, Hush Job

Zadok, not to be confused with Dr. Zarkov or Dr. Zorba or even Zorba the Greek, brought the ark to David.  David did not want to use the ark as a good luck charm so he told Zadok to return it to Jerusalem.  David was going to trust God alone.

David wept (cf. Jn. 11: 35) on the way up the Mount of Olives and covered his head.  All his people followed his example.  When he found out that his advisor, Ahithophel, had switched sides, he prayed that God would make his counsel “foolishness” (v. 31).

David enlisted Hushai to infiltrate Absalom’s brain trust and report back to him.  His job was to offset the advice of Ahithophel.

2 Samuel 16: 1 – 4  Ziba, A Zippo

Ziba, not to be confused with Zadok or Dr. Zarkov or Dr. Zorba or even Zorba the Greek, came to David with gifts to report Mephibosheth’s defection.  David didn’t have any way to check out Ziba’s report so gave all of Mephibosheth’s belongings to Ziba.  Ziba’s report was bogus (19: 24-28).  He was just an opportunist trying to take advantage of the situation.

2 Samuel 16: 5 – 14   Shimei’s Dust

There used to be an article in Christianity Today magazine called “Shimei’s Dust.”  There had been many “Shimei’s” over the years.  The purpose of the article was to critique Christianity and I suppose to stand up under the scrutiny.  Not a bad idea.  

The reference is to the fiend who followed alongside David while he was in exile casting stones at David and all his followers.  He was a relative of Saul’s and obviously resented David’s kingship.  He cursed David saying that he was a man of bloodshed and that God had taken the kingdom from him and given it to Absalom.

Abishai wanted to off him . . .  immediately.  David believed Yahweh had actually sent Shimei to harass him.  David thought perhaps he would be blessed if he just accepted the affliction (v. 12).  Paul also felt like God had sent him affliction to strengthen him (2Cor. 12: 7-10).

2 Samuel 16: 15 – 23  A Wrench In The Works

Hushai, David’s spy, was in Jerusalem to greet Absalom when he came to town with his people and his advisor, Ahithophel.  Absalom asked Hushai why he wasn’t with his friend, David.  Hushai persuaded Absalom that he believed Yahweh had put him in place as king.  “Long live the king,” Hushai said leaving things a bit ambiguous as to which king he meant (v. 16).  He meant David!  He also implied that Absalom had a right to the throne since he was David’s son (v. 19).  Of course, it was only an implication!

Ahithophel advised Absalom to take David’s concubines whom he had left behind in the palace and “have his way,” so to speak, with them.  Unbeknownst to Absalom, he was about to fulfill Nathan’s prophecy that another would take his wives in broad daylight (2Sam. 12: 11-12).  A tent was pitched on top of the palace for this very purpose.  It was a brash statement that Absalom had taken over David’s dynasty.  Although getting advice was like getting advice from Yahweh, it was not identical.

New Testament: John 18: 25 – 19: 22

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John 18: 25 – 40  What Is Hip

Peter denied Jesus a second time while warming himself.  One of Malchus’ relatives heard him and said, “I saw you in the garden with Him not long ago, didn’t I?”  Peter denied him again for the third time and a rooster crowed just like Jesus said it would happen.

Next stop for Jesus was the Praetorium, Pilate’s palace.  The religious leaders didn’t enter the Praetorium themselves so they wouldn’t defile themselves and be disqualified from eating the Passover meal later that weekend.   Isn’t that just the way religion is?  They were totally missing the point that the Passover meal was going to be served but they were going to reject it.

Pilate asked them what charge they brought against Jesus but they didn’t give him a straight answer.  Pilate told them to handle the matter themselves but they retorted that they couldn’t put Him to death by Roman law.  BKC cites three reasons Jesus had to be put to death by the Romans:  1)  to fulfill prophecy that no bones be broken (stoning would have broken bones)  2)  to include all people in the guilt of the act, both Jews and Gentiles 3) to fulfill the symbol of being “lifted up” (cf. Jn. 3: 14, see also Deut. 21:23; Gal. 3:13).

Pilate asked Jesus if He was king of the Jews.  Jesus asked if that was his own question or someone else’s.  Pilate said that he wasn’t a Jew so who did Jesus think had brought the charges?  Jesus told him that His kingdom wasn’t of the current world system.  If it were, his disciples would be fighting at that moment.  Pilate said, “So you are a king?”  Jesus answered in the affirmative, that He came into the world to show everyone the truth.  Pilate asked him, “What is truth?”

Pilate didn’t wait for an answer but stated that he found no guilt in Jesus.  He tried to get out of his predicament of finding Jesus innocent and pleasing the Jews.  There was a tradition to release a prisoner at Passover.  Strangely, the crowd chose the low-down, dirty dog, Barabbas.  Barabbas was a robber (v. 40) but was also known to be an insurrectionist and murderer (Lk. 23: 19).  How could the people choose Barabbas over Jesus?  The religious leaders put them up to it (Mat. 27: 20).  But John has also told us that humankind chooses darkness over light (Jn. 3: 19).

John 19: 1 – 15  Scourged

Pilate had Jesus scourged.  Who knows why if He was innocent?  He again tried to appease the Jews.  Pilate told the Jews to take Him back and kill him.  But the people said Jesus made Himself out to be the Son of God.  That scared Pilate so he went back and asked Jesus where He was from.  Jesus didn’t answer.  Pilate tried to persuade him with logic, that he had authority over Him.  Jesus corrected him, that he had no authority that wasn’t given him “from above” (v. 11).

Pilate again tried to persuade the Jews to release Jesus.  They pinned him saying he was no friend of Caesar’s.  That last thing Pilate wanted was to be perceived as rebelling against Caesar.

So Pilate brought Jesus out before the people and cried out, “Behold, your King!” (v. 14).  Their response:  “Crucify Him!  We have no king but Caesar” (v. 15).

John 19: 16 – 22  King of the Jews

Pilate sent Jesus out to be crucified.  He had to pull His own execution device, the cross.  He was led to the Place of the Skull, so-called because it looked like a human skull.  They crucified Him there with two other men, one on each side.  Pilate put an inscription on the cross, “JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS.”  It was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek, all the major languages at the time.  

The chief priests were offended.  They didn’t want “King of the Jews” written on the sign but wanted clarification that He had said He was King of the Jews.  But Pilate wouldn’t budge on it, saying, ““What I have written I have written” (v. 22).

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