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. (Luke 24:13-34): I guess God kept the men from recognizing Jesus, so Jesus could study the prophecies with them, so they could indeed see that Jesus was the Messiah?
A. God’s reason for doing so is not exactly clear, but surely that moment of realization must have been absolutely astounding for those two people (some traditions say that one of them — the unnamed disciple, was a woman, but no one really knows).
Q. (Luke 24:35-43): Jesus showed the disciples His hands and feet that likely still had marks on them. God must have healed Him quite a bit if He can walk after all of that suffering. God and Jesus healed many, so I guess He would heal Jesus also.
A. Jesus’ body was something different from a normal human body, and the best that I can tell, it was something that this earth has not seen since — it must have been amazing to behold. Hold on to the thought of the scars Jesus bears, they will be part of the NT theology later.
Q. (John 20:29): I think that because people can’t see God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit, that they don’t believe. But, I think, after people read the Bible, they may change their minds. I’m glad God gave it to us through all of these followers. Without it, much more of the world would be lost.
A. It is a wonder that God has left this literal life and death task to ordinary men and women, but He has, and He therefore must remain invisible in order for us to properly carry out this mission in faith. It wouldn’t be faith if we could clearly see them.
Q. (John 21:15-23): I don’t understand what’s going on in this Passage. And, is John a little egotistical since he insists on saying that he is the beloved disciple? It makes me think that his accounts can be a little slanted.
A. I got a laugh out of that question, I’ve never thought of it that way. Personally, I think John is speaking out of humility rather than naming himself over and over again, but perhaps it’s ego.
This passage is doing two things: first, Jesus is redeeming Peter from his failure and denial — note that Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him once for each time he denied before. After this, Peter will become the central figure of the first half of the Book of Acts, our next reading.
The other thing that is going on here is that there was ancient speculation centered around John the Apostle that Jesus had declared that he would not die (John is likely the last living Apostle at the time of this writing — most scholars believe that John is the last Gospel written). John is clarifying that Jesus did not say he wouldn’t die before Jesus’ return (having likely overheard Jesus talking to Peter), only that Jesus told Peter it wasn’t his concern. John will be part of our next group of readings, and will be the center of some of our later readings, notably the Epistles that bear his name and the Book of Revelation.
Q. (Matthew 28:16-20, Mark 16:15-18): Jesus is talking to the disciples here. But, is this Great Commission for all believers? If so, how do we know it’s addressed to us? I don’t see anyone today casting out demons. But, is that because they don’t believe 100 percent? And, what does “speak in new languages” mean? And the rest of miraculous things mentioned in Mark 16:18?
A. I don’t have a great answer to this question, except to say that the Apostles will perform miracles of their own in our next readings — though not any of the things mentioned. And that I doubt the authenticity of this section of Mark: It frankly feels embellished from the similar version of the story in Matthew. So, honestly, I don’t pay a ton of attention to what it says here.
Q. (Luke 24: 49): Can we talk here about the Holy Spirit’s purpose or do you want to save that for later? I am just wondering what the Holy Spirit can help people with and how does one know they are blessed with the Holy Spirit?
A. Patience, patience. Soon all will be revealed. The Holy Spirit will take center stage in the Book of Acts.