Thursday, January 28, 2016

Bible Coolness: Brevity

Considering todays all-inclusive media coverage of celebrities (You know: the so-and-so went out in public without makeup kind of drivel that pervades our newsstands), I find it both surprising and refreshing that scripture doesnt tell everything.

Theres a whole slew of tidbits that enquiring minds might want to know:
Did Jesus grandparents support Joseph and Marys marriage?
Did they spend time with little Jesus?
Did they ever come to believe the conception was immaculate?
Was Mary the talk of the town?
What did Jesus look like?
Was He a bald baby, or did He have lots of hair?
What was Jesus like as a two-year-old?
Did He go through the terrible twos?
Did Mary ever have to tell Him, No?
Did Jesus like broccoli? 
On and on, the list of questions could go... but scripture is pretty silent. We get bits and pieces: the birth, the circumcision a week later, the flight to Egypt, a return to Nazareth, but nothing about early childhood until a decade or so later when Mary and Joseph lose track of Jesus and find Him in the temple. And after that... theres nothing until Jesus reaches adulthood.

I asked God, Why dont we get to read the [juicy] details?

He said, Because its none of your business.

God honored Mary by keeping private both some possibly embarrassing details and also some of the special moments she had alone with her child. Those details and moments are hers, and God let her keep them.

God went on to explain, My Word contains everything you need to know; if it doesnt say it, you dont need to know it.

To me, thats cool on two different levels:
  1. If Gods Word is brief, its only because He left out something I didnt need to know.
  2. I know I can trust God with my own business -- He wont blab!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Bible Coolness: Ambiguity

Sometimes Bible verses can seem a little elusive in meaning, open to interpretation... and to me, that can be a cool thing.

Ephesians 4:12 is one such verse.

You read it one way, and it sounds like ministers have three jobs:
  • the perfecting of the saints
  • the work of the ministry
  • the edifying of the body of Christ
But if you read it in another way, it sounds like:
  • ministers perfect the saints, 
  • the saints do the work, and
  • the work edifies the body of Christ.
This used to bug me: I wanted to know who's supposed to do the work! Did God expect the pastor to do it, or did God expect the saints to do it?

So I asked God, "Who, exactly, is supposed to do the work?  The pastor or the people?"

He said, "Both."

Either way you interpret Eph 4:12, it's right -- both the ministers and the saints are supposed to do the work.  Isn't it cool when ambiguous verses end up richer and fuller in meaning than straight-forward ones! 

One of these days, I'll share the five different meanings I've encountered for the binding/loosing verse (Matt 18:18) -- five wildly-variant meanings, and I believe all of them!