I have found myself listening to other people lately, in fact, doing a lot of listening. It’s not natural for me, as, I really like to talk. But it is good, because I should be quick to listen and slow to speak. In my listening, I have heard many thoughts/ideas and beliefs which I used to hold near and dear. I have heard good advice, and I have heard bad advice. I have listened to people who are barely hanging on and others which claim to be offering a life jacket, but who really are offering an anchor. I think I have forgotten, to some extent, where I came from. For clarification, I remember very well as clear as day several experiences in my life, one of which is exactly where I came from. However, some of the lesser feelings and ideas have changed so much, that even though I have a clear picture in my head of where I came from, I find myself no longer relating to that image. I have a belief system today which really does work. I have tools today which allow me to choose what I get involved with and in. I have a God who loves me and cares about me and only wants the best for me. For some of you reading, I realize there are way too many “I” and “me” statements in this post, sorry ‘bout that.
I have been reading the “commands” of Jesus as disclosed in the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John). I can remember reading this way 15 or more years ago. I have been dragging my sleeping son out of bed to join in… He is at lease humoring me while I “man-train” him. We read and discuss together and then he goes back to sleep while we pray. Once he even fell asleep on the floor with his hands folded out in front of him, on his knees, with his head to the carpet (my favorite way to pray – minus the sleeping). There are quite a few commands. Something Jesus said to the Pharisees has really captured my attention, “You search the scriptures because you think they have the words of eternal life, but the scriptures point to me”.(John 5:39) After, reading it, I can’t help but think… Jesus told them, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) So, Jesus is the lens by which we must examine all scripture.
In John 5:39, using John 14:6 to remind us that Jesus is the lens, Jesus seems to be saying to me: stop looking for other ways, stop looking for contextual arguments which get you out of obeying my commands and look to me. Jesus seems to also say that he is the proper application of the truth which he is himself. I know that’s a tough concept. Chew slowly. I will be addressing this again and again as I reexamine the Bible through the proper lens. Hope you are blessed today.