A Mystery

I had pretty much assumed most people had the same general interpretation of the Bible as myself.  But, the longer I live it becomes clear there are as many interpretations as there are people, which is to say – a lot.

This doesn’t mean, however, that most people are wrong, or that most people are right.  It is probably a mistake commonly made by clergy and ministry to try and get folks to have the same view and understanding as themselves.  But, we can take some comfort in knowing this is merely a human characteristic, and not completely uncommon.  For any army to succeed in battle, or any sports team to succeed, they must share a common view of the objective, and be united in their cause.  All of this is well and good, and does bring about a certain feeling of comfort to know that you are working with like-minded individuals.

A careful study of the New Testament, especially the things taught by Jesus, Himself, and one can see that He supported a pretty broad view of the scriptures.  In more than one setting He explained that our primary mission was to focus on two things:

  1. Love God
  2. Love each other

That’s pretty broad, and open to a lot of interpretation.  In fact, many church organizations would have plenty of problems opening their doors and membership to all-comers by having only these two qualifications or requirements.  We would say, with, perhaps, some justification, it’s simply too loose.

But, once again, a careful review of who Jesus accepted and who He rejected, reveals a pretty good case that the things we think are important, are not the same things He felt were important.  A case in point – the woman at the well.  In no case did Jesus say He was ok with her lifestyle or behavior.  But, on the other hand, He chose not to condemn her, either.  But, saw beyond the circumstance and saw an individual who was in need of God’s healing love.  So, does God dismiss our wrong behavior or actions?  No.  But, He is more interested in what that individual means when they can feel God’s love and forgiveness, and where they will go in the future.

When Jesus had an encounter with Paul on the Damascus road, He did not dwell on Paul’s past, but rather was more focused on Paul’s future.  Yes, Paul was a bad man, and had done many bad things, but God’s focus was on Paul’s future, not his past.

However, it is human tendency to focus on a person’s past, rather than what they could be in the future.  We sometimes forget that a person’ past does not have to define their future, especially if God gets involved with their life.  He has a tendency to change a person’s life trajectory, and recast it into the image that is pleasing to Him.

So, while our interpretation of the scriptures may vary a great deal, let’s not forget those things that are most important:

  1. Love God
  2. Love each other

One Response to “A Mystery”

  1. Barbara McGuire Says:

    My husband preached on this very thing Sunday morning! Just a direct confirmation again! Blessings….

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