Congrats! We have reached the ¾ milestone. And, the NT is just flying by with lots of joy filling every reading. It’s hard for me to stop reading ahead! (So, I am!)
Welcome to BibleBum where we are exploring the entire Bible in one year to better learn how to follow God’s instructions and discover the purpose for our lives. The BibleBum blog uses The One Year Chronological Bible, the New Living Translation version. At the end of each day’s reading, Rob, a cultural history aficionado and seminary graduate, answers questions from Leigh An, the blogger host, about the daily scripture. To start from the beginning, click on “Index” and select Day 1.
Questions & Observations
Q. (John 5:21-22): These verses are confusing to me. What does it mean that Jesus gives life to anyone He wants. And, in v. 22, it says that God does not judge. Since when? He judged in the OT. Has Jesus’s birth changed that?
A. I am not fully conclusive on what He means, but it appears that Jesus is saying that it is the Son, rather than the Father, who judges the nations. We will see more of this as we enter Holy Week, so hang on to these thoughts. Jesus will claim that He, as Son, will be given the entire world to judge, so there’s something to this. The answers will come.
O. (5:24): I’m writing this one down.
Q. (5:25, 27): Who is the “dead” that is talked about here?
A. Exactly who you think it is: the dead of all time. The NT will paint imagery of the Final Judgment, in which the entire world — past, present, and future — will be judged.
Q. (5:25-30): We don’t have to talk about this now if there is a better time for it to come up. We are talking about the dead rising and being given eternal life. What a wonderful time that will be. The manner to which one is put to rest has come up in conversation today. I’m from a farming community in the Midwest where burial was the norm. But, since I have left there, cremation is the major consensus. I just wondered if the Bible addressed the subject.
A. It does not, and the reason for that will become clear as the story unfolds. Let’s discuss this more around, say Matthew 25 and 1 Corinthians 15.
Q. (Mark 3:2): I assume that Jesus’s enemies here are the Jewish leaders. Essentially, they are working also if they are “working” to uphold the Sabbath by watching out for others’ breaking the law.
A. You can see hints and a few examples of places where the religious authorities (Pharisees in particular — remember they sought salvation via following God’s law in a strict manner) just tie themselves in knots trying to keep the Sabbath. But ultimately, they miss the point (as many do today): the Sabbath is the gift of rest, that God expects us to take. It should be taken seriously as something good for us, but it should not be something that causes us mental difficulty or legalistic trouble. As Jesus put it, it is a gift for man, not something that man is forced to do in order to keep a code. The Pharisees had it completely backwards, and Jesus was perfectly willing to call them out on it.
Q. All of these healings and miracles that Jesus did are primarily to show God’s power and love in order to harvest more believers, right?
A. Yes, they are a testimony to His authority of life, disease, and nature itself.