After the destruction of the first temple in Jerusalem, the Jews were exiled to Babylon. Not only was there no longer a physical place to pray, even the sacred Scriptures were becoming scarce. Many of the biblical scrolls were lost or destroyed during the exile. In an attempt to preserve the Scriptures, the Rabbis divided up the biblical texts into weekly reading portions and distributed them among the families of Israel. Each was responsible for memorizing their assigned passage and then reading it in the synagogue every Sabbath.
This system of reading is the basis for the story found in Luke 4:16-17: “He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him.”
This system is still in use today by Jews all over the world. In What Would Jesus Read?, Joe Amaral gives modern day Christians the opportunity to follow and practice the same devotional system that Jesus used!