2 Samuel 19:11-20:13, John 21:1-25, Psalms 120:1-7, Proverbs 16:16-17
Today is the second day of June welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I am Brian it’s great to be here with you today as we get ourselves moved in and settled into this brand-new 6th month of the year. And, so, as we’re getting settled into this new month let’s take the next step forward on our journey through the Scriptures this year. We’re reading from the God’s Word Translation this week and we are certainly continuing with the journey through the life of King David in second Samuel. But today is a day of importance, a day to recognize. Today we will complete the book of John, which means that we will conclude the Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John today - which means we will be leaving the stories that center around Jesus ministry in his earthly life and moving toward what comes next, what came next. So, we’ll kind of be leaving a whole category in the Scriptures, the Gospels and moving forward, which also means that if you’ve been kind of checking off your days using the Daily Audio Bible app and you’ve kind of listened through from the beginning of the year and they’re all checked off, that when we check off today we will achieve the Gospels badge. But let’s…let’s talk about that later. Let’s get into the Scriptures and let’s pick up the story of David. Second Samuel chapter 19 verse 11 through 20 first 13.
Okay. So, we concluded the gospel of John today even as we watched kind of topsy-turvy way that the king was restored to the kingdom, King David in second Samuel. But we watched the very last conversation that is written down in the Gospels today and it is a picture of Jesus cooking breakfast for his friends who were on the Sea of Galilee fishing. It’s like the story is coming to a conclusion at the same place in the same kind of setting that it began. It was Jesus who was walking along the shores of the Sea of Galilee, right, saying, “come follow me” to these men who left everything and followed him. And now here they are back on the sea. Jesus is back in the Galilee making some breakfast telling them to cast their net on the other side. And they…they begin to become fully aware of who they’re interacting with because of that. And they catch all those fish. And you remember those fish, all those fish that they caught when Jesus told them to cast their nets on the other side the first time? They left those according to the Scriptures. They dragged them on shore, and they left them and followed Him. So, almost poetic, almost beautiful, that after the resurrection He comes back and gives them a big catch of fish that they can pull onto shore. And, of course, then at breakfast Jesus is talking to Peter and he asks him three different times if Peter loves Him, if Peter loves Jesus. And each time Peter’s like, “you know I love you.” So, there’s, you know, a theological understanding here or a parallel here as well. Peter denied Jesus three times. And, so, over the centuries many theologians have seen this parallel. Maybe Jesus is pressing into that, into those betrayals, going after his heart, healing him, restoring him and inviting him into his destiny to “feed my sheep.” And that scene there, it…I mean the whole thing is really, really beautiful, but that scene there is the one that usually gets the attention, Jesus pressing in on Peter, maybe restoring him from the denials back in Jerusalem. But what comes next is like one of the most compelling things in the whole Bible to me. Like, so I can’t go by it any time we pass this particular territory. I can’t go by it without mentioning it because it’s riveting to me. Like it…it’s personally challenging to me. It’s something that I ask myself throughout the rest of the year. Like, all of the time. So, basically Jesus is talking to Peter and telling him, you know, “when you were young you could go wherever you wanted to go but when you’re old, you’re gonna…you’re gonna go somewhere you don’t want to go. And the gospel then unpacks the fact that Jesus is telling Peter in advance that you will die a martyr’s death. Peter’s reaction to that news is to turn around and look at John, the beloved disciple, at least that’s the way it seems to be depicted here and then look back to Jesus and go, “what about him? Lord, what about him?” Jesus response to Peter is, “if I want him to live until I come again, how does that concern you? Follow me.” In other translations Jesus says something similar, “what is that to you?” Right? “How does that concern you?” So, let’s pause. How does that concern you? I ask myself that all year long. “What is that to you? How does that concern you?” And its good exercise to get into because, you know, the offenses that we take, the slights that we are given, the things that happen that set us off, “what is that to you? How does that concern you? You follow me.” Those are the last words of Jesus depicted in the Gospels, “follow me.” That’s the last thing that Jesus says that’s recorded in the Gospels. “How does that concern you? You follow me.” If we could…if we could take that little piece at the very, very last sentences of the gospel of John and remember that, remember that beautiful scene of Jesus cooking breakfast for his friends, of restoring them, of loving them and then speaking directly to the comparison game that we all play because that’s what’s happening here, Jesus is telling Peter about his…his life and Peter just wants to compare to…to the other disciple, “what about him?” Let’s remember Jesus words, “how does that concern you?” Does that concern you? Does that have anything to do with you? If it does what is it and why? “As for you, you follow me”
Jesus it is wonderful to reach this point in the year. It is wonderful to know that we’ve made progress and that we’ve progressed through the Gospels, but it’s also a little bit of bittersweet moment to get here because we’ve been walking with You since we began this journey. And it’s not as if we’re leaving it’s just that we’re moving into the things that began to occur after Your resurrection. And, so, we’re not walking through stories that tell of Your humanity and Your life, Your earthly life. We’re moving into the stories where Your Spirit flows upon the earth and begins to change things dramatically. So, that is exciting, but we mark it. We mark the moment here on this day that we conclude the Gospels. And, so, we thank You for all that You have spoken to us through Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John as we’ve gotten to know Your personality, as we’ve gotten to know Your ways. And we can see them in human form in ways that we can fully comprehend, even though comprehending You is beyond our capacity, So, we thank You for all that You have shown us and we invite You into the days ahead. Come Holy Spirit. And that is exactly what we will be reading about in the days ahead. Come Holy Spirit and lead us into all truth we pray. In the name of Jesus, we ask, Amen.
dailyaudiobible.com is the website, its home base, its where you find what’s going on around here. There’s always something or another going on around here, but today is a special day because we concluded the Gospels today. So, if you’re using the Daily Audio Bible app and you’re checking off the days that you listened to and you’ve listened to everyday up till now then you should get the pop-up that tells you you have completed the Gospels and have been awarded the Gospels badge for this year. You can always go look at these in the achievement section. So, you push that little Drawer icon in the upper left-hand corner of the app and look for achievements. And clicking into there shows you kind of the progress that you personally are making through the Scriptures this year and where you are in the different categories or sections of the Bible. Like for example, we’ve concluded the Pentateuch, so we’ve achieved that badge a while ago, but today we achieve the Gospels. And we just continue to go forward until we have achieved the entire Bible. So, that’s exciting. It was exciting to achieve my badge. It was particularly exciting because I’ve drew…like these badges, like this progress, this has been on drawing board and dreaming board for years. And, so, it’s just very, very complicated because everybody has a different journey. And, so, to have individual journeys like this…there’s a lot of computation going on. But, yeah, such a joy to reach the end of the Gospels and achieve the Gospels badge for this year. So, make sure you check into that. Check it out. If you don’t have the app yet make sure you download it and get involved.
And now we need to talk about something a little more serious. And this is such a strange year, isn’t it? Yeah, I’ve never seen a year like this one so far in my lifetime and I think that’s true. And we’ve had some really, really horrible things happen in the United States over the last week. And I find myself for the second time in only a couple months saying things about what’s going on because I’m really, really trying to maintain a space for us that God’s word speaks, we listen and then we go back into the world refreshed because there’s no shortage of places to find bad things to focus upon. But the…the unrest that has been happening throughout our cities, like you’re in those cities, we’re in those cities. It’s in my city. It’s in all of our cities. So, we’re all aware and it’s bothering us all on many many levels. I’m pretty sure it’s not a secret that I’m a white guy, but I’m a white guy that was never raised to consider skin color to be anything of importance in terms of…in terms of eternity, in terms of spirituality because we all need Jesus. And I’m not sure but I don’t think…I don’t think our spirits have color. And for me, it was a black man who took a 16-year-old kid who was bound and determined to find some way into the music business, it was a black man who took me under his wing and brought me into his studio and let me figure things out for free at nighttime. I was the white kid going into the black community to learn. I can remember…I mean this is the time when gangsta rap was like starting to happen. And, so, I can remember working in one studio trying to work on Christian music while gangsta raps happening in the other studio and guys would come and get me because I’m the only white person around to come listen to what they’re saying and offer opinions. So, I’ve been seeing all this stuff that’s going on like everybody else and I’m shaking my head like most everybody else going like, “I don’t think this is how it’s supposed to go. In fact, I know this is not how it’s supposed to go.” And I’ve been thinking about it a lot. We probably all have. It’s kind of wall-to-wall in the news. You can’t escape it. So, you think about it. And, so, I just wonder if I could just tell us a little story, a true one, that happened…that happened a long time ago.
Once upon a time there was an empire and its capital was Rome and it was known as the Roman Empire and the Roman Empire continued to expand until in the first century there was a province called Syria. And within that province there were many many cities and millions of people, but there was a city called Jerusalem. There was also a region known as the Galilee, and there were people there. They had previously been there for a long time. In fact, they even ruled the land for a time, but they were conquered and carried away. And, so, the land kind of changed hands over time. And when we get to the first century this is a part of the Roman Empire and these people who were kind of living in the land, it had previously been theirs, but that….and they believed it was their ancestral homeland and…but it was occupied by this empire. And the people of this empire, they were pagan, they believed very, very differently than the original people, the Hebrew people, the Jewish people. But Rome was in control and this was a part of the Empire. And, so, Roman people were all throughout the land and Roman soldiers were all throughout the land. In fact, they policed the land. And the Hebrew people felt oppressed by the Roman people. They felt marginalized by these people. There was brutality toward these Hebrew people. And these Hebrew people were afraid, and they were crying out to God, but some of them, they would…they would kind of ambush and cause harm and mayhem and burn things and they would attack things. And, so, that escalated things. And, so, there was this incredible amount of tension percolating just waiting to boil over. And into that environment, a little baby boy was born and His name was Jesus and He grew up around it all. And when He became a man, He began to teach and speak to His people who were oppressed and marginalized and pushed to the side and were unheard. They were at an economic disadvantage and they felt like they had no voice. And the forces set against them, if they stepped out of line was brutal. And, so, they were simmering in their culture. You might say that if they had the chance, they would have held up a sign that said, “Jewish lives matter”, but they had it bad. They weren’t even allowed to be citizens of Rome. They were truly a people occupied or truly a people living in and among another people with no real way forward. After this little kid Jesus grew up and did His ministry, He ended up being killed by these Romans on a cross. Of course, He was given up and betrayed by His own people. So, this little kid, Jesus who grew up and was killed, was executed unjustly. And these tensions, they kept happening until one day these people completely revolted and they took over for a while but then the Empire came and crushed them and destroyed Jerusalem altogether.
But this Jesus, He ministered to these people who were feeling the way that they were feeling. He knew how they were feeling because He was feeling it too. He was raised in it. It was His ethnicity. And He came to them and they came to Him and He had words for their situation. And He said, “blessed are those who are poor and realize their need for God, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs. Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted. Blessed are those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for justice, for they will be satisfied. Blessed are those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God. Blessed are those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for doing what’s right, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.” Certainly, I say the story as a way of bringing comfort even to my own self. But I say the story because the gospel is no less relevant right this minute.
Jesus told us to open our eyes and see. May we do that, my brothers and sisters, may we open our eyes and see. And rather than engaging in useless rhetoric and…and fighting on the Internet and binge watching the news, maybe we could open our eyes and see because we can add to the noise and there’s plenty of it, there’s no shortage or we could reveal this kingdom. Is this real or not? I mean, like are we here believing this is real or are we here because it’s just a calming place to go every day to have a few minutes to catch our breath so we can face the rest of the day? Like do we believe this? If we believe this, then we must open our eyes and see. What that means for you may be totally different than what that means for me and that is okay. We are part of the same body. And friends, we are the body of Christ. That means black people, white people, Asian people, Hispanic people, all people are in the body of Christ. Believers all over the world have all kinds of skin colors and somehow Jesus lets us all in as His body, right? Red and yellow, black and white, all are precious in His site. Jesus loves the little children of the world and the gospel is as relevant now as when it was forming under the ministry of Jesus Christ in the first century in Roman Syria. And they didn’t have eyes to see or ears to hear, but do we?
And, so, you know, the way things usually go around here is that I’m gonna tell you I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow. And that’s true. I love you. I don’t care what color you are. I care what color you are, as it relates to the story that you have but it doesn’t change anything for me. I don’t care if you’re green although that would be unusual. So, I am telling you I love you and I will be waiting for you here tomorrow. And this is the time that the voices come, and we hear each other’s voices and we pray for each. We’re not gonna do that today. I’m just gonna let the music play for the next few minutes. This is the time to be silent. This is the time to pray for the mercy of Christ. So, use this time however you want. Shut it off and move into your day or linger here for a moment and listen for the leading of the Holy Spirit. We just observed and celebrated Pentecost the day before yesterday. We are told in the Scriptures that the Holy Spirit is here, is here to be our comforter, the one who will lead us into all truth. We need that now more than ever and at least as bad as they needed it when it fell upon them in the upper room in Jerusalem on Pentecost. Use this time to invite the Holy Spirit to lead you forward in the way that you should go. And may the Lord bless you and keep you. Amen.
And that’s it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.