(9 verses, 1:40 to read)
What I am about to READ:
The church is rid of false prophets. The shepherd is struck; the people of God are cleansed.
MARK & LEARN
1: “On that day” is repeated at the beginning of the first three paragraphs in the chapter. This is the day when Jesus comes.
The “fountain” – William Cowper’s hymn (LW 506) alludes to Zechariah 13:1: “There stands a fountain where for sin Immanuel was slain, And sinners who are washed therein Are cleansed from ev’ry stain, Are cleansed from ev’ry stain.”
2-3: Through the Holy Spirit, the Church is able to detect and remove false teachers. The external church is filled with false teachers, but the holy Christian Church is free from them.
4: “A hairy cloak”— See 2 Kings 1:8. This was a shirt made of rough animal hair and worn next to the skin. Also see Matthew 11:7, 8: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? . . . A man dressed in soft clothing?”
4-6: The false prophet is trying to hide the fact that he is a false prophet. The wounds give him away. (Think of how the prophets of Baal inflicted wounds on themselves when they called on their god in the contest with Elijah.) He can’t hide them so he makes an excuse for them.
7: The Lord God put His Son to death. In the process Jesus’ followers were put in danger and had to flee. See the quotation in Matthew 26:31.
8-9: The one-third who remain is a symbolical number for the believers in Christ. Read 1 Peter 1:6.
How do you know when you’re being “refined”? How should you react? Christians are refined whenever they suffer. We should rejoice in the work God is doing in our hearts, and ask Him to give us relief at the right time. Even in the midst of refining we remain God’s beloved children for the sake of Christ Jesus our Lord.
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Pastor Kevin Zellers, Jr.