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 8:34): Rob, can you explain further what it means to be a “slave to sin.”
A. Sure. I think what He’s saying is fairly simple: when we choose to sin (which is sadly often), we tend to think that we control the outcome of our decision making, and perhaps at first this is true. But over time the sins that we believe we control inevitably control us. Think of alcoholism or other addiction. At first, we might have the ability to say, truthfully, that we can stop. But after a while, when it really gets a hold of us, those words will become hollow: we cannot break the addiction on our own. That is what Jesus is talking about: sin is spiritual addiction, and it requires a savior — our own efforts will not do.
O. (8:38): Following earthly fathers is something that the world has struggled with forever — from the Bible to now. And, that is why it’s so hard to break free from our evil ways is because it’s so engrained in us from our ancestors.
Q. (8:31-59): This is a very heated argument between Jesus and some Israelites listening to Him. And then he gives them v. 58 where he says “I AM.” Do you think there is any way he could have convinced them He was the Messiah? I would say Jesus’s crucifixion is coming quickly.
A. They (the religious establishment) don’t think He’s the Messiah: they think He is either powerfully deluded or possessed by a demon. Jesus will wander away again at this point in the story, but it will be quite clear His mission when He next returns to Jerusalem.
Q. (Luke 10:30-37): This passage is the answer to the question that a religious law expert asked Jesus. He is saying that everyone is your neighbor or treat everyone as if they were your next-door neighbor. Basically, go out and love and care for everyone you come across?
A. It is more specific than everyone: the Samaritan and the Jew in the story would have been enemies, and would NEVER have spoken to each other, much less helped each other out. Jesus is saying that you should be willing to even show great love and compassion to your enemies.
Q. (Matthew 10:38-42): I am applying this to today in a non-Jesus way just to illustrate the point. I used to stay up way late getting everything cleaned before having guests the next day. Then, when they arrived at our house, I was so tired that I didn’t have the energy to talk much … I was worn out. I have shortened my stress time and cleaning time since then. And, I’m stressing much less about the whole event. So, it’s better have a not-so-perfect, unorganized house and enjoy your company, especially when having Jesus for a guest!
A. That, I would say, is what Mary realized, and what Martha needed to learn.
O. (Luke 11:9-10): I’m glad to read this because I have always felt ungrateful to God when I have keep praying for the same thing over and over (and, no, it’s not a fancy shmancy sports car.) But, here Jesus gives us the green light to do be persistent with the wishes we ask of God through prayer.
Thanks! Good read!