We’re rapidly approaching the end of our second full day of Lead Up!
Despite the fact time is marching quickly on, it’s been a very slow, relaxed and thoughtful day.
We went to a local church, Alive & Insh – http://www.alvieandinshchurch.org.uk/ – It was a good service, the Minister was preaching from Revelations – the final Chapters at the end of a 6 month series. BRAVE. Revelations is a tough book, and I have to admit when I’ve attempted to read it, I get bogged down very quickly, and haven’t read it all the way through – in one go – or even in a series of goes!
The main point I picked up about it, was that when reading Revelations, and indeed any book of the Bible, it is important to balance the literal meaning of what is said, and the symbolic meanings. Which ties in perfectly to what Peter Dickson was talking about.
The first point Peter made was on today’s Bible reading tool “What the Author means”. When reading in the new testament it is easy to find out what the Author is aiming for you to take out of it. For an example, we looked briefly at Paul’s letter to the Colossians. We wanted to find out WHY Paul wrote this letter. We didn’t have to read far – Chapter 2, verses 1-6. Paul says “I want you woven into a tapestry of love, in touch with everything there is to know of God” inverse 2. So when reading the rest of Colossians, we need to remember that Paul’s meaning behind every statement is that he wants us to be linked closely AND strongly with other Churches and other Christians. So we shouldn’t try to gainsay his message by reading it out of context and twisting it to suit our own needs.
(Yesterday was the big picture tool, and I forgot to mention that! IE, we should remember that the Bible can’t be laid out flat – different things are at different levels, it is written by different people, all with their own unique views and styles.)
After we looked at this tool and learning about it, we moved back to Luke and applied the tool to this book.
“”So many others have tried their hand at putting together a story of the wonderful harvest of Scripture and history that took place among us, using reports handed down by the original eyewitnesses who served this Word with their very lives. Since I have investigated all the reports in close detail, starting from the story’s beginning, I decided to write it all out for you, most honourable Theophilus, so you can know beyond a shadow of a doubt the reliability of what you were taught.”
Luke chapter 1 verses 1-4.
It’s clear from the outset that Luke wants his friend Theophilus to read an accurate description of Jesus’ life, work and teachings. So we know that Luke is going to be focused on how Jesus interacts with others, what he teaches, and what he preaches.
NB. Luke is the only Gospel writer who was a gentile – not a Jew. His book is aimed more at the non-Jew – and so includes more of Jesus’ teachings and interactions with Gentiles, where as the Jewish writers might have over looked this because it wasn’t aimed at them.
After reaching our conclusion on what Luke had planned for his letter we read from Luke 4:31-44.
We looked at Jesus at 3 points in this passage.
The first picture we have of Jesus is when he casts a demon out of a man in Capernaum. The man rants and raves at Jesus, who responds by saying “Quiet! Get out of him!” and the demon is sent running with its tail between its legs!
The people are amazed by this, as you would be.
This first picture we see of Jesus is him as a deliverer. So, this first picture we get, is Jesus saving this man from the demon terrorising him which is making him an outcast. He’s homeless, jobless no friends, family. Nothing. Jesus goes to him first, to protect Jesus’ first point of call is saving people.
The second “picture” of Jesus is when he heals Simon’s mother in law. A big ask firstly, nobody who lived around then would go near a sick person if they could help it – doctors where expensive, and weren’t as well trained as our modern doctors anyway.
So when Jesus goes to Simon’s mother and he LEANS OVER her – gets in close, puts himself at risk and in the process, something you didn’t do at the time, what’s more Jesus was male – and the male in that society was rated far more highly.
The final view of Jesus is when he’s trying to leave, he goes walking by himself, I’d guess so he can think, have some times to himself, pray. However, when the people wake up, and see he’s missing they panic! This guy, who’s healed some sick people, cast out demons by speaking, and taught and preached, in a dynamic fashion.
They go out looking for Jesus, and when they find him, they grab him, and don’t let go. Jesus says “Don’t you realise that there are yet other villages where I have to tell the message of God’s kingdom.
This shows us what Jesus considered most important. He could have hung about, but he had already taught these people. He was called to preach and teach – the miracles he performed where just to highlight that his power, his message was straight from God. That Jesus WAS God’s own son.
Jesus walked that path God called him to.
Thats what God calls us to do! Walk the path he has planned for us. When its hard, when its easy, and when we have to walk AWAY from our own hopes and ambitions.
I hope you enjoyed reading this, and I’ve not done Peter’s amazing teaching a disservice.
Thanks for reading!