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
O. (John 11: 46-48): It would have been much easier if the Pharisees had taken what they had seen for good instead of a threat. I think they still saw Jesus as a Jew (meaning a “lesser” person) and he was a mere carpenter from Nazareth. So, this undeserving weakling (to them) was a threat that they needed to squash. I know I have this same kind of mentality toward some people and some toward me. I have a friend who is going through all this nutritional cleansing and at first I thought it was just a hoax — but it held my interest because I am always interested in nutrition and have open ears for some of my own medical issues — and then she recently shared how she had woken up the last three days at 6 a.m. with her alarm and she felt bright and ready for the day. My brain tells me to not believe it, but my heart can’t deny that she does look brighter and I would like to feel awake in the morning. So, I can see how you can’t see the forest for the trees or whatever that saying is. Also, I think I’ve said this before that when I told several of my family — even my mom — that I was doing this blog, they seemed to me to kind of shrug at it, like “we’ll see.” I think dreams are often squashed — not intentionally — by those closest to us. I don’t know why humans have made affirmation so important, but we need to rise above it, pay attention to our talents and what Jesus has commissioned us to do. I know this is a little off to what this Scripture is about, but I think it’s an important point that we judge people because we think we know them. Instead, we should lift them up whole-heartedly!
Q. (John 11:55-57): I can see the drama building. Jesus is the talk of the crowd and they are wondering — probably wanting — Him to show up, either to see Him for themselves or to see the drama build between Him and the church leaders.
A. It’s not just that. One of the expectations of the Messiah is that He would arrive in Jerusalem (as described in Zechariah 9) and from there, change everything. Two things: Jesus will fulfill this prophecy on Palm Sunday, but the crowd will greatly misunderstand what Jesus has come to do. They expected Him to lead a bloody, violent overthrow of the Roman oppressor, and establish God’s Kingdom that way. Obviously, we know that Jesus had something else in mind. But nonetheless, it is no surprise that the people were on tip-toe, so to speak, waiting for Him: they had great expectation that Jesus, if He was the true Messiah, would usher in a new age. Hold this imagery in your mind for when we read the reactions to Jesus’ entry into the city on Palm Sunday.
O. (Luke 17:19b): I like the footnote version better, “Your faith has saved you.”
Q. (17:31-36): Is this scripture talking about the resurrection or Jesus coming again to judge? Leaving all your possessions — and your loved ones — behind would be very hard. We have talked about this before. Since my husband and I are both believers, we’d both be walking toward Jesus. I think there would be some gathering of children — although, I know Jesus would take care of them. I think this picture is more of what the end result will look like. Families will be divided, coworkers staying behind, checkerboard neighborhoods with some gone and some staying behind, etc.
A. This passage and others like it are images of what we call the Rapture: people just disappearing in the midst of their daily lives. To be honest, I am unsure how to interpret this passage in light of other stories of Christ’s return and the Final Judgment that will be ushered in by Jesus’ return. It is a mystery of the faith, but it is one we will continue to explore.
Q. (18:1-8): Just believe that God will take care of us. But, keep believing in Him by praying and praying persistently, which keeps your faith focused on him.
A. I think it serves as a reminder that there is great value in being a person who prays daily with faith in the idea that God is listening and desires to hear from us. What an amazing thought: God DESIRES our input!