BEGIN WITH PRAYER
"Lord open my eyes and my heart."
Read slowly so that you take in. And as you do, turn your heart to God, thanking him for the good you discover and praying his will home for you, your family, your church and the world.
Wisdom to chew on
Understanding to grow in
The calling of the disciples brackets this reading. And it's detail stresses the implications for all: Jesus has come to call, forgive, cleanse and spiritual heal sinners. 5v33-6v11 notes that there is something new and worth celebrating about this. The long-awaited bridegroom for God's people has arrived. Forgiveness was possible for Israel under the Mosaic law as people made sacrifices looking to God for mercy. The difference now is that full forgiveness is promised without the need of the sacrifical system - and with that forgiveness, assurance that we are fully cleansed before God, and healed in the sense of being enabled to do good by the Spirit. This "new wine" (an image of the kingdom God promised) is not therefore for the old wineskin of the Mosaic covenant with its system of laws. God gave that just for a time to help people see how much they needed what Jesus gives. The Sabbath was intended as a sign or reminder of the significance of that system (Ex 31v13). So as "Lord of the Sabbath" Jesus has authority to bring the old order to completion. As you read note the different ways we should respond to all this.
Finish this reading by pausing to ask yourself:
1) What’s the main thing it teaches me about God or his purposes in Christ? Then praise him for this.
2) What’s the main thing it teaches me about his will for me or the world? Then pray that home.
Devotion to offer up
You could read this aloud and perhaps as a springboard to further prayer.