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The Bible In A Year: Day 74

Numbers 34-36
Psalm 72
Luke 3:21-38

Numbers 34-36

We’re finishing up the book of Numbers today, and the last few chapters are concerning tying up loose ends because Moses is preparing to die and hand the reigns over to Joshua. It will be Joshua’s job to conquer the land, and so God is smoothing the administrative parts of the job over for him by dividing the land up and appointing leaders of each tribe to take place in the apportionment.

The boundaries of the nation are set here and essentially make up what today we’d recognize as Israel, but extended out even a little more. These boundaries would only ever be seen under the united kingdom of David and Solomon, after that it would split in half and each half loosing a little more territory here and there. If you imagine the current map of modern Israel, add in the Sinai peninsula, most of Lebanon, the Golan heights, and most of the Jordanian plain, then you’d have what’s described here.

Also the cities and inheritance of the Levites is laid out here, where they will have land to live on since they’re not numbered among the tribes in regards to apportionment of the land. Six of the cities given to the Levites will be sanctuaries for anyone who commits manslaughter. If it’s not accidental and it was a premeditated homicide, then they aren’t eligible to go to the cities of refuge.

Also mentioned is the law that no one may be condemned on the testimony of a single witness. This is why they didn’t convict Jesus when the witnesses disagreed with each other and the high priest took it upon himself to personally intervene in the trial. When he got Jesus to say he was the son of God he said ‘what need of we for other witnesses? You all heard it with your own ears’

Luke 3:21-38

Jesus presents himself to be baptized, not because he needed to repent of anything, but to hallow the waters of baptism for us and to present to us an example. When he came out of the water, the spirit descended on him as he was praying. Luke mentions Jesus praying at many of the pivotal moments in his life.

The Gospel according to St. Luke emphasizes the action of the Holy Spirit and the meaning of prayer in Christ’s ministry. Jesus prays before the decisive moments of his mission: before his Father’s witness to him during his baptism and Transfiguration, and before his own fulfillment of the Father’s plan of love by his Passion.43 He also prays before the decisive moments involving the mission of his apostles: at his election and call of the Twelve, before Peter’s confession of him as “the Christ of God,” and again that the faith of the chief of the Apostles may not fail when tempted. Jesus’ prayer before the events of salvation that the Father has asked him to fulfill is a humble and trusting commitment of his human will to the loving will of the Father.

CCC 2600

After the brief story of Christ’s baptism, Luke transitions into the genealogy of Jesus. Unlike the genealogy in Matthew’s gospel, that traces the blood line from Abraham down to Jesus, Luke’s goes backwards from Jesus to Adam. Saint Paul calls Jesus the “new Adam” many times in his letters, and maybe Luke is making the same point here. See Question: Lineage of Christ

Tomorrow’s Readings:
Deuteronomy 1
Psalm 73
Luke 4:1-13

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