- to speak impiously or irreverently of (God or sacred things).
- to speak evil of; slander; abuse.
4What shall I do with you, O Ephraim? What shall I do with you, O Judah? Your love is like a morning cloud, like the dew that goes early away. 5Therefore I have hewn them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth, and my judgment goes forth as the light. 6For I desire steadfast lovea and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.He instructs them to go and learn what it means to desire love instead of sacrifice and that He isn’t there for the people who are already righteous but the ones who need to learn it. From there, the next conversation Jesus had with them was the one about fasting. They asked about why everyone fasted except Jesus’s followers. First, He tells them that they don’t fast because He’s with them and then goes on to make two examples that sound like so much more. It’s the famous wine skins analogy. It basically the point that Jesus and what He brings to the table is the same kind of thing, but a totally new version of it that can’t be held in by the old ways. I think time has proven that point too…. again with the evangelism of bringing in others to be at the table of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. The next story has someone referred simply as a “ruler” in it. There’s a link in the study section to the other places this story comes in future books and it’s expounded there that this person is a “ruler of the synagogue” and his name is given. So, this is not a ruler of another country or anything. A ruler of a synagogue is the person who takes care of the building. Jesus then heals 5 people. He heals the daughter of the ruler of the synagogue, a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years, two blind men, and a mute. Within these interactions, a few other interesting things happen. Jesus is called the “Son of David” for the first time by the blind men, which is a call back to the prophecies and that they were promised a son of David. He also tells them not to tell anyone about it which is something that happens rather sporadically. The mute is actually demon-possessed and the Pharisees claim that Jesus casts out demons “by the prince of demons” which sounds like they means that Jesus works for the devil to me. So now they have said that He blasphemes and is working for the devil. At the end, Jesus comments about the crowds of people following Him and how few people there are to tend to their needs:
37Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”What I find interesting about this thought process is that Jesus is going to be the only one preaching and teaching for a while, but He wants them to pray for many more laborers. How immediately is this prayer meant to be? Let’s remember that He doesn’t even have all of His disciples yet. On that note, though, what’s with not picking disciples from the crowds of people following Him? Was Jesus looking for these 12 people or was there some other reason these people were “called” out of whatever they were doing? It’s not exactly the kind of thing I can just figure out one day, but it’s certainly puzzling.
For downloadable study guides, click here. Chapter links go to the ESV translations at Biblehub.com but I’m reading from the ESV Global Study Bible, which is available for free on the Kindle Reading App.