Week 18

27 July - 2 August
Psalms 84 - 88, Jeremiah 34 - end, Matthew 20 - end, Proverbs 20

27 July
Jer 34.1-36.19Mt 20.1-21.17
28 July
Jer 36.20-38.28Mt 21.18-22.22
29 July
Jer 39.1-43.13Mt 22.23-23.39
30 July
Jer 44.1-48.20Mt 24.1-25.1220.1-15
31 July
Jer 48.21-49.39Mt 25.13-26.2520.16-end
1 Aug
Ps 87Jer 50.1-51.23Mt 26.26-27.10
2 Aug
Jer 51.24-52.34Mt 27.11-28.20


Psalm 84 expresses the joy of a worshipper in God's dwelling place.  It may originally have been a psalm of praise used in procession by pilgrims coming to the temple in Jerusalem.  It is good for us to see going to church to worship in a similar way!
Psalm 85 is often used in Advent because it looks forward to God's salvation, which is at hand.  It looks back to a time of deliverance - probably the restoration after the exile ended - and yet still expresses the frustration that full salvation is still to come.
Psalm 86 is an individual prayer for help, made in confidence that God can help.
Psalm 87 tells of Zion, city of God, and that this is a spiritual home for people of all nations.  Exiles from Judah, during the exile, could know that despite their distance from Jerusalem, their true home was still there in Zion where God was to be found.
Psalm 88 is a prayer for help, full of lament at the condition in which the writer found himself.  He feels himself to be rejected by all, and even by God.


These final chapters of Jeremiah concern the last days of Judah as an independent state.  Most of the events described are from the time when Jerusalem was under siege in 588-587BC, or just after when people were trying to find some way back to normality.  These chapters contain a series of narrative accounts, which are no longer in chronological order.  The final chapter, 45, concludes the reports and gives a final prophecy by Jeremiah to his scribe, Baruch.
Some of the people left in Judah decided to flee to Egypt to make a fresh start.  Strongly against his will and against what he has declared to be the will of God, Jeremiah goes with them.  It may well be that he died there.
The administration that the Babylonians set up in Jerusalem is presented as fair and reasonable, and Jeremiah urges people to accept it as part of God's just punishment for their disobedience.  


Matthew 20 anticipates and interprets the passion.  Jesus then enters Jerusalem in triumph, and the events of his final week unfold.  A series of disputes is described which take place in the temple, followed by Jesus' farewell address, and predictions about the woes to come before Jesus returns in glory.
Chapters 26 and 27 describe the last supper, followed by Jesus' arrest and trials, leading to his death on the cross, with resurrection appearances in chapter 28.
Throughout his gospel, Matthew used Mark's narrative, but giving it a distinctive flavour.  In going to his death, Jesus is fulfilling his God-given destiny in accordance with the scriptures, and inaugurates a new age.  He is obedient to the last, and trusts God to the last.  Jesus is the fulfilment of all that was promised of and expected of Israel, the one person who could be faithful to the end.  He is the longed-for redeemer of Israel, the Messiah, the Christ and servant of god whose death frees God's people from sin and death.

Proverbs 20

God who created us, is wiser than we are.  

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