To each according to their abilities…


Some are strong! Some are smart! Some are innovators! Some are investors! Some are numerous! Some are wealthy! Some are discerning! Some are wise! Some are flexible! Some are good with their hands! Some are good with planning! Some are good at doing! Some are good at closing! With the gifts and talents you have been given, will you choose to be a good steward of those abilities? Will you choose to use them for a greater purpose? Will you choose to use them on purpose? Will you choose to answer and listen to the call and pick it up? God’s got great plans for you and your life!

As today’s reading begins we see in Numbers 1 how God has asked Moses to get a count of the men who are old enough to join the army. In today’s reading we hear of the calling for the Levites. We will get to hear and learn more as we continue into the book.

Census of Fighting Men

1In the wilderness of Sinai, on the first day of the second month in the second year from the Exodus from the land of Egypt, Adonai spoke to Moses in the Tent of Meeting saying, 2“Do a head count of all the community of Bnei-Yisrael by their families and their ancestral house, with a total of every male one by one. 3You and Aaron are to muster by their divisions every son from 20 years and upward available to serve in the army of Israel. 4One man from each tribe, each head of his father’s household, is to assist you. 5“These then are the names of the men who will assist you: from Reuben, Elizur son of Shedeur. 6From Simeon, Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai. 7From Judah, Nahshon son of Amminadab. 8From Issachar, Nethanel son of Zuar. 9From Zebulon, Eliab son of Helon. 10From the sons of Joseph—from Ephraim, Elishama son of Ammihud, from Manasseh, Gamaliel son of Pedahzur. 11From Benjamin, Abidan son of Gideoni. 12From Dan, Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai. 13From Asher, Pagiel son of Ochran. 14From Gad, Eliasaph son of Deuel. 15From Naphtali, Ahira son of Enan.” 16These were those selected from the community, princes of their ancestral tribes. They were heads of the thousands of Israel. 17So Moses and Aaron took these men designated by name. 18They assembled all the community on the first day of the second month. They declared their lineage according to their families, the households of their forefathers, with the number of the names of those 20 years old and upward being listed individually. 19Moses numbered Israel in the wilderness of Sinai just as Adonai had commanded him. 20The sons of Reuben, Israel’s firstborn (their generations, their families, by their ancestral households, according to the count of their names, every male from 20 years and upward, all available for the army), 21those counted from the tribe of Reuben were 46,500. 22From the sons of Simeon (their generations, according to their families, their ancestral households, whose names were counted by polls, every male 20 years and upward, every one who would go with the army), 23they counted from the tribe of Simeon 59,300. 24From the sons of Gad (their generations according to their families, to their ancestral households, in the count of names of every male 20 years old and upward, every one available to go out with the army), 25those counted from the tribe of Gad were 45,650. 26From the sons of Judah (their generations, by their families, their ancestral households, the count of their names, all who would go out with the army), 27those counted from the tribe of Judah were 74,600. 28From the sons of Issachar (their generations, according to their families, their ancestral households, by number of the names of every male 20 years old and upward, going out with the army), 29those counted from the tribe of Issachar were 54,400. 30From the sons of Zebulon (their generations, according to their families, to their ancestral households, by number of the names of everyone 20 years old and upward going out with the army), 31those counted from the tribe of Zebulun were 57,400. 32From the sons of Joseph—the sons of Ephraim (their generations according to their families, to their ancestral households, by count of the names of all those 20 years old and upward going out with the army), 33those numbered from the tribe of Ephraim were 40,500. 34From the sons of Manasseh (their generations according to their families, their ancestral households, by number of the names of those 20 years old and upward going out with the army), 35those counted from the tribe of Manasseh were 32,200. 36From the sons of Benjamin (their generations by their families, their ancestral households, by number of the names of every one 20 years old and upward going out with the army), 37those numbered from the tribe of Benjamin were 35,400. 38From the sons of Dan, their generations by their families their ancestral households, by number of everyone 20 years old and upward who would go out with the army, 39those numbered from the tribe of Dan were 62,700. 40From the sons of Asher (their generations by their families, their ancestral households, by number everyone 20 years old and upward who could go out with the army), 41those counted from the tribe of Asher were 41,500. 42From the sons of Naphtali (their generations by their families, their ancestral households, by number everyone 20 years old and upward who would go out with the army), 43those counted from the tribe of Naphtali were 53,400. 44These were the ones numbered—Moses, Aaron and the princes of Israel counted them. Each of the twelve men represented his ancestral house. 45So all those counted from Bnei-Yisrael, according to their ancestral houses, from 20 years old and up—all able to go out with the army in Israel— 46all those who were counted totaled 603,550.

Duties of the Levities

47The Levites, however, were not counted by the tribe of their ancestors, 48for Adonai told Moses saying, 49“Definitely you are not to number the tribe of Levi, nor take the sum of them among Bnei-Yisrael. 50Instead, you are to appoint the Levites over the Tabernacle of the Testimony, over all its implements and all pertaining to it. They are to carry the Tabernacle and all its utensils, tend to it and camp around it. 51Whenever the Tabernacle sets out, the Levites are to dismantle it, and whenever the Tabernacle is pitched, the Levites are to set it up. But the commoner who comes near to it must be put to death. 52Bnei-Yisrael will encamp, each man with his own camp, each with his own standard, according to their own divisions. 53The Levites are to camp around the Tabernacle of the Testimony, so that there will be no wrath unleashed on the community of Bnei-Yisrael. So the Levites are to maintain care of the Tabernacle of the Testimony. 54So Bnei-Yisrael did—all that Adonai commanded Moses, so they did.
–from Numbers 1

Today’s reading continues in John reading of Jesus’ betrayal and trial. He gave so much for our opportunity to be reconciled to God! He left heaven to accomplish God’s will! He left heaven because no human would be able to do what needed to be done for us to be reconciled back unto God! He gave His all! He was an overcomer! He first died for us because He loved us! He then conquered the grave so that we could be freed! Oh what an incredible love that He would give His life up for us! He didn’t expect us to be perfect, He gave us His perfection! He provided the pathway to freedom and forgiveness even to those who would reject, betray, and even say they didn’t know Him!

We have to make a choice! We make a decision! Will we accept Jesus? Will we receive the gift? Will we ask Him into our lives? Will we receive the gift of mercy and grace? Will we accept the gift of forgiveness and freedom? Will we share it with others? Will we give it away? Will we share forgiveness with others? Will we share love with others? Will we share mercy with others? Will we share hope with others? Will we share grace with others? Will you be an ambassador of peace? Will you be an ambassador for reconciliation?

How about you?

 

Betrayed and Arrested

1When Yeshua had said these things, He went out with His disciples across the Kidron Valley, where there was a garden, which He and His disciples entered. 2Now Judah, who was betraying Him, also knew the place, because Yeshua had often met there with His disciples. 3So Judah, having taken a band of soldiers and some officers from the ruling kohanim and Pharisees, comes there with lanterns, torches, and weapons. 4Then Yeshua, knowing all the things coming upon Him, went forward. He said to them, “Who are you looking for?” 5“Yeshua ha-Natzrati,” they answered Him. Yeshua tells them, “I am.” Now Judah, the one betraying Him, was also standing with them. 6So when Yeshua said to them, “I am,” they drew back and fell to the ground. 7So again He asked them, “Who are you looking for?” And they said, “Yeshua ha-Natzrati.” 8Yeshua answered, “I told you, I am! If you’re looking for Me, let these men go their way.” 9This was so the word would be fulfilled that He spoke: “I did not lose one of those You have given Me.” 10Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the servant of the kohen gadol , and cut off his right ear. Now the servant’s name was Malchus. 11So Yeshua said to Peter, “Put the sword into the sheath! The cup the Father has given Me—shall I never drink it?”

Interrogated and Tried

12Then the band of soldiers, with the captain and the officers of the Judeans, seized Yeshua and tied Him up. 13They led Him first to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the kohen gadol that year. 14Now Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Judean leaders that it was better for one man to die on behalf of the people. 15Simon Peter was following Yeshua with another disciple. Now that disciple was known to the kohen gadol , so he went with Yeshua into the court of the kohen gadol . 16But Peter was left standing outside by the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the kohen gadol , went out and spoke to the doorkeeper and brought Peter in. 17The maidservant at the door says to Peter, “Aren’t you one of this Man’s disciples too?” He says, “No, I’m not.” 18The servants and officers were standing around a fire they had made, because it was cold and they were warming themselves. And Peter was also with them, standing and warming himself. 19The kohen gadol then questioned Yeshua about His disciples and His teaching. 20“I have spoken openly to the world,” Yeshua answered him. “I always taught in the synagogues and the Temple, where all the Jewish people come together. I spoke nothing in secret. 21Why question Me? Ask those who have heard what I spoke to them. Look, they know what I said.” 22When He had said this, one of the officers standing nearby gave Yeshua a slap, saying, “Is that the way you answer the kohen gadol ?” 23Yeshua answered him, “If I have spoken wrongly, give evidence of the wrong; but if rightly, why hit Me?” 24Then Annas sent Him, still tied up, to Caiaphas, the kohen gadol . 25Now Simon Peter was standing outside and warming himself. So they said to him, “Aren’t you one of His disciples too?” He denied it and said, “No, I’m not!” 26One of the servants of the kohen gadol , a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, said, “Didn’t I see you in the garden with Him?” 27Again Peter denied it, and immediately a rooster crowed. 28Then they led Yeshua from Caiaphas to the Praetorium. It was early. They themselves did not enter the Praetorium, so they would not become unclean but might eat the Passover. 29Therefore Pilate came out to them and said, “What charge do you bring against this man?” 30They answered, “If He weren’t an evildoer, we wouldn’t have handed Him over to you.” 31Then Pilate said to them, “Take Him yourselves, and judge Him by your Torah!” The Judean leaders responded, “We are not authorized to put anyone to death.” 32This happened so that the word Yeshua spoke would be fulfilled, signifying what kind of death He was about to die. 33So Pilate went back into the Praetorium, called for Yeshua, and asked Him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34“Are you saying this on your own,” Yeshua answered, “or did others tell you about Me?” 35Pilate answered, “I’m not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and ruling kohanim handed You over to me! What have You done?” 36Yeshua answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I wouldn’t be handed over to the Judean leaders. But as it is, My kingdom is not from here.” 37So Pilate said to Him, “Are you a king, then?” Yeshua answered, “You say that I am a king. For this reason I was born, and for this reason I came into the world, so that I might testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” 38Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” After he said this, he went out again to the Judean leaders. He said to them, “I find no case against Him. 39But it’s your custom that I release someone for you at Passover. So do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 40They shouted back, “Not this One, but Bar-Abba!” Now Bar-Abba was a revolutionary.
–from John 18

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