The Agora
Daily Bible Reading Exhortations

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March 6

Other comments on this day's readings can be found here.

Reading 1 - Lev 13

Lev 13 is all about leprosy: the disease is very contagious, requires separation or quarantine, is never cured by natural means, originates from within, is not manifest until puberty, grows gradually, and makes one insensible to pain. It is a fitting "parable" of the "sin" that dwells in each one of us.

"The principle of contamination recognised in this law was not understood by societies for many hundreds of years after Israel were taught about it: 'Among the physicians of classical antiquity we find no consistent view of transmission of infection by contact. Indeed the whole idea of infection was effectively absent from them, so that preventive measures based upon them could not be developed. It was reserved for the Middle Ages to conceive serious official measures against spread of epidemics. These measures ere constantly derived from the leper ritual of the Bible with its fundamental concept of isolation' (C. Singer and E.A. Underwood, 'A Short History of Medicine', 1962)" (Stephen Palmer, Testimony 71:205).

Reading 2 - Psa 113:7,8

"He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes, with the princes of their people" (Psa 113:7,8).

Our spiritual privileges are of the highest order. "Among princes" is the place of the most select society. "Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ" (1Jo 1:3). There is no "high society" like this! "We are a chosen generation, a peculiar people, a royal priesthood" (1Pe 2:9). "We are come unto the general assembly and church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven" (Heb 12:23). The saints have an audience in the "court of heaven": princes have admission to royalty when common people must stand afar off. "For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father" (Eph 2:18). "Let us come boldly', says the apostle, 'to the throne of the heavenly grace" (Heb 4:16).

Among princes there is abundant wealth, but what is the wealth of princes compared with the riches of believers? for "all things are yours, and ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's" (1Co 3:23). "He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" (Rom 8:32).

Princes have peculiar power. A prince of God has great influence: he wields a ruler's scepter in his own domain; he sits with Jesus upon his throne: "He hath made us kings and priests unto God, and we shall reign for ever and ever" (Rev 5:10).

Princes have special honor. For what is human grandeur to this, "He hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Eph 2:6)? We share the honor of Christ, and compared with this, earthly honors are not worth a thought. Communion with Jesus is a richer gem than ever glittered in any imperial crown. Union with the Lord is a crown of glory outshining all the blaze of imperial pomp and circumstance.

Reading 3 - 2Co 5:20

"We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God" (2Co 5:20).

Paul considered himself Christ's ambassador -- an authorized representative of a sovereign. He speaks not in his own name but on behalf of the ruler whose deputy he is, and his whole duty and responsibility is to interpret that ruler's mind faithfully to those to whom he is sent. Paul used this "ambassador" image twice -- both in connection with his preaching work (Eph 6:18-20; 2Co 5:18-20). Paul called himself an ambassador because he knew that, when he proclaimed the gospel facts and promises and urged sinners to receive the reconciliation God provided through His Son, he was declaring Christ's message to the world. The figure of ambassadorship highlights the authority Paul had, as representing his Lord, so long as he remained faithful to the terms of his commission and said neither less nor more than he had been given to say.

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