Wednesday, November 18, 2015

What Was Jesus Doing?

I've spent the last two years or so journaling through the Gospels, a couple of verses at a time every morning. So far I've made it through Matthew and Mark. Now, I don't like "journaling" as a practice, because I can't think of anything to say. But reading the scripture over and over, often writing it out word for word, has been fascinating. 

I've been looking at a couple of verses at a time and meditating over it. I've asked "what was Jesus thinking?" "Why did somebody say that--what was their question or their pain that he needed to address?"  "Why did Jesus choose this action instead of a different one?" "What was the cultural background?" and a lot of other questions. 

Normally when I look at scripture I'm working on a sermon or something else to teach, and I'm asking some technical questions as well as the ones above. But when I'm journaling, using in-depth reading and meditation, it's for myself, not for others -- and the difference is, I'm asking for the mind of God to be clear to me, and when that is clear, then I get a lot of correction and direction from the Lord. And that's why I recommend the practice to others. Including you, since you're reading this. 

So if you haven't done so lately, I suggest reading through the Gospels very slowly. Maybe you'll want to choose one, then read through it a couple of times first to get the overview before you start. And, maybe you'll find that writing on the scripture isn't a good tool for you, and that's okay -- but I suggest giving it a try and see what you pick up. You may be surprised, as I have been, how much there is in those books that you never saw before! 

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