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Reading the Bible in Publick (Luke 4:16)

Introductory Thoughts

On the sabbath day, the Lord Jesus stood to read the scriptures. This was a common practice in New Testament times as the Jews would read the scriptures every sabbath day (Acts 13:27; Acts 15:21). Publick scripture reading was not uncommon and appears to have also been a practice of the Israelites in the Old Testament (Exodus 24:7; Deuteronomy 31:11; 2 Kings 23:2; Nehemiah 8:3). The Bible also records that publick reading was common in the early church. Unlike today, believers did not own personal copies of the scriptures. Believers learned the scripture from publick reading (1 Thessalonians 5:27; 1 Timothy 4:13). Even now, believers should make an effort to publickly read the scriptures.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): Have you ever practiced a Bible verse or sang a scripture song to your mom or whomever you were with while waiting in the doctors office, on the playground, or waiting in line at a store? The Lord may have someone there who needs to hear His word and your glorifying Him. You could also do this over the phone for a relative or friend.
  • (For everyone): Why is it important that believers publickly read scripture? What are some of the benefits that can be enjoyed by reading the Bible together as a family or congregation?
  • How could believers find opportunities to publickly read the scriptures within their cities or towns? How could this work in the hearts of those who would never enter a church service?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask God to give you opportunities to read the Bible in publick.
  • Ask the Lord to show you the benefits of publick Bible reading.