Other comments on this day's readings can be found here.
Reading 1 - 2Ch 11:16
"Those from every tribe of Israel who set their hearts on
seeking the LORD, the God of Israel, followed the Levites to Jerusalem to offer
sacrifices to the LORD, the God of their fathers" (2Ch 11:16).
Here people of all twelve tribes act as though they have
become part of the tribe of Judah. Throughout the history of the OT, there have
been instances when individuals from all the other tribes have migrated to
Judah, or been integrated into the tribe of Judah -- so much so that, for
practical purposes, the nation of Judah might be said to encompass all twelve
tribes. For examples, consider 2Ch 30:5,11; 31:1; 34:9; 35:18; Jer 50:4,5; Ezr
6:17; 8:35; Luk 2:36; Jam 1:1; Acts 26:6,7.
"When Jeroboam became king of Israel and then abandoned the
LORD God of Israel by making and worshipping idols, the priests and Levites and
everyone who wanted to serve the LORD came to Jerusalem because the LORD was
still worshiped there. There was an exodus of all the godly people of Israel to
Judah. They strengthened the kingdom of Judah and supported Rehoboam during the
time that he walked with God. Thus the people in Judah all strengthened one
another in the LORD, but the people in Israel began a rapid downhill slide to
their destruction. The lesson for us is to stick together with people of the
same faith, so that we can strengthen each other and stay strong for the LORD
our God. If we stay in isolation, the attitudes and philosophies of the people
around us will rub off on us and we can easily be dragged into their downward
spiral. 'Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing,
but let us encourage one another -- and all the more as you see the day
approaching' (Heb 10:25)" (Robert Prins).
Reading 2 - Eze 45
"Who is the Prince of Ezekiel 45; 46? Most assume that he is
the Messiah. Others suggest that he is David. But what is stated concerning him
rules out both of these possibilities. He is not a priest, certainly not a High
Priest (Eze 46:2). He is to enter the Sanctuary no further than the gate of the
court of the priests (Eze 46:2). He offers sacrifices for himself and for his
sins (Eze 45:22; 46:10-12). He is subject to death (Eze 46:17,18; note the word
'inheritance'). He has a wife and sons (Eze 46:16). He is allowed to bestow
gifts only from his own inheritance (Eze 46:17,18). He is warned against
exercising oppression (Eze 45:8; 46:18). A succession of princes seems to be
implied (Eze 45:8). Such details require reference to a mortal prince of Israel"
(Harry Whittaker, "A Fresh Look at Ezekiel's Temple").
This suggests that the temple was not intended for the
millennium but for the time when the Jews would return to the Land of their
fathers from captivity in Babylon.
Reading 3 - John 12:10
"So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well" (Joh
What extraordinary heights of futility! They plan to kill a
man whom Jesus has just raised from the dead! As if he could not bring him back
to life again... and again! If they had no better choice of action than this,
perhaps they should reconsider their whole philosophy! But what choice did they
have? Lazarus was "living proof" of the power of Jesus -- and they simply could
not accept him. Thus, as in the parable (Luk 16:28-31), "Send him to my father's
house... If one went to them from the dead, they would repent... No, if they do
not hear Moses and the prophets, they will not be persuaded even if one rises
from the dead!"