Old Testament: Deuteronomy 4:1-49
Deut. 4: 1- 49 Laying Down the Law
The old generation was gone. The new generation was about to enter the Promised Land. Moses wanted the new generation to know that they were expected to follow the Law the same as the old generation. The law does not save a person. The same requirement has been expected through all the ages: faith. In the current time, faith is exhibited by accepting Christ as His dying in our place. In Moses’ time, faith was exhibited by keeping the law. It was a “tutor” to bring us to Christ (Gal. 3:24). We can’t keep the law so it forces us to look for another answer. The answer is Christ who died in our place (Gal. 3:10, 13).
Yahweh is a jealous God (Dt. 4: 24b), all loving and compassionate (Deut. 4:31) but all holy to the point of being a “consuming fire” (Deut. 4:34b).
Moses reminds the Israelites of the plague at Baal-peor when many died and a couple of Peor people were not spared but speared.
The Israelites are told three times to “take heed” (Deut. 4:9, 15, 23). He reminded them that Yahweh gave them the Ten Commandments (Deut. 4:14).
Since God could not be seen, no idol could be made in His image. They were forbidden to worship idols (Deut. 4:15-23).
If the Israelites do not obey the Law, Yahweh will “scatter” “among the peoples” (Deut. 4:27). They were, of course, later scattered. However, they would be able to find Yahweh again if they searched with “all [their] heart and all [their] soul” (Deut. 4:29).
“In the latter days” (Deut. 4:30), “when [they] are in distress and all these things have come upon [them]” is most likely a reference to the seven year Tribulation. It is also known as the Day of Jacob’s Trouble (Jer. 30:7) which occurs after the Church is airlifted from the world in the end times. During that time, Yahweh will not abandon them, He will fulfill all His promises to them (Deut. 4:31) . This is a rebuke to all who hold that the Church and Israel are the same entity. There are promises that have been made to Israel which have not yet been fulfilled due to their rejection of Christ at the first coming. However, God will keep His word and will fulfill all prophecies and promises He made to Abraham and his descendants.
Moses reminds the people that God has done something unique with them. He spoke from out of a fire, took them as a nation out of another nation performing signs and wonders along the way and scared the mucous out of Egypt (Dt. 4: 32-34). It was so that they would know that Yahweh was God and the only One, too.
God loved them and so disciplined them (cf. Heb. 12: 5-11). God was faithful to their “fathers,” that is, Abraham and his descendants (Deut. 4:37). If they were to keep the commandments, God would make sure things would go well for them (Dt. 4: 38, 40) in the Land He was clearing for them.
Moses reminds them of the Cities of Refuge for those who might kill someone inadvertently (Deut. 4:41-42).
Moses finishes by again reminding the Israelites of the importance of the Law and the dimensions of the New Land.
New Testament: Luke 6:39-7:10
Luke 6:39-45 The Pits
Jesus told a parable about a blind person leading someone who is visually impaired. He said they would both fall into a pit together. He said students don’t know more than their teachers and you shouldn’t try to get a speck of sawdust out of someone else’s eye if you have a tree trunk hanging out of your own eye.
He said only good trees produce good fruit and that you can’t get good fruit from a bad tree, even figs or grapes. A good man says things that edify but a bad man brings people down.
Luke 6:46-49 Rock Bottom
Some people were calling Jesus Lord but not meaning it. He said if they meant it, they would show it. They’d be like a man who builds his house on a rock like He was standing on. When bad storms and torrents of rain came, the house would stand. But someone who didn’t act on His words would be like someone who built a structure over a landfill and when storms come it’d topple right over.
That’s how Jesus finished His sermon on the plain on the mount.
Luke 7:1-10 Calling In A Healing
After Jesus finished preaching, He headed out for Capernaum. A centurion had a highly regarded slave who was dying. The centurion had helped financially with the building of a synagogue and used his connections to have a few Jewish elders go to persuade Jesus to heal the slave. The centurion had second thoughts and sent some friends to tell Jesus not to bother. The centurion understood authority since he was over a hundred soldiers. He told Jesus He could just heal his slave from a distance.
Jesus was wowed. He said He hadn’t even seen any Jews with the faith of this Gentile. When the messengers got back to the centurion, the slave had already been healed! Thus, Luke, true to his purpose, tells a story of Jesus’ compassion for Gentiles and an intriguing medical case.