It Really IS All About Me!
It is far too easy to read the Bible in the wrong way.
I was a classic mid-20th century Pharisee. Ouch! I hate to even type that—but the truth is the truth. My family tree was a legacy of Jesus-followers. Our expressions of faith varied from generation to generation and, depending on which side of the family line you were looking, there were certainly some rather distinctive “beliefs” and practices. But in reality, I was the recipient of a long line of believing.
So, from the very beginning I was being taught the Bible stories. I was memorizing Bible verses. I was an award-winning “sword-drill” champion! (Old form of tearing up one’s Bible for a noble cause that is certainly in danger of becoming a lost art with all our electronic devices and Bibles-on-screen ☺). I could sing the hymns without holding a hymn-book, and I could argue Bible stuff with the best of them. The truth is though, that I was a classic mid-20th century Pharisee.
Jesus hit those guys head-on! After the introduction by John the Baptist, the legendary “water2wine” moment, a theological awakening with Nic-at-Nite, a stop by a well for a drink and dialogue with an outcast lady, the healing of a government official’s dying child, and putting strong legs under a 38 year invalid, Jesus turns His attention to His skeptics. These were guys who took great pride in their nit-picky demands for ceremony and intellectual reservoirs of Bible facts. They were full of “information” but desperately depleted regarding “inspiration.” They knew the Scriptures and hung their religious and eternal confidence on the insecure peg of knowledge—factual details without the foggiest understanding of their meaning.
So Jesus lowers the boom—“You do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He sent. You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these that bear witness of Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me, that you may have life!” John 5:38-40
It is far too easy to read the Bible in the wrong way. The purpose of turning the pages, or sliding the screen, is to find Jesus in the text. For only when we find Jesus do we find the promise of life! For 21 years I was a mid-20th century Pharisee, until I found the story of Jesus in the Scriptures.
It really IS all about Him!
See you Sunday, Church!