I have been struggling with how to end this series on Dealing with the Hard Stuff. There are two things left to say, I may be able to get that done in one post.
here @ Bible Gateway) and Mark 7:6 – 8 (here @ Bible Gateway), Christ, quoting Isaiah 29:13 (here @ Bible Gateway), rebukes the Pharisees by pointing out that they are teaching as doctrine the tradition of men. That is closely similar to the rebuke of the leaders of Judah by the Lord in Jeremiah 23:16 (here @ Bible Gateway). In both Israel and now in the Church, we tend to codify what works or what we understand and teach it or pass it on as important as the Word of God. Spend some time in Jeremiah 23 (here @ Bible Gateway) and consider what the Lord thinks about that approach.
In the first year of this blog I wrote a post, “Glasses”, take a minute and read that and come back.
Too often we come to scripture with “certain” knowledge. That is, we know what we believe. Much of that “certain” knowledge has come to us through the messages we have heard in our churches, the Christian books we have read, or conversations we have had with other believers. None of those things are bad in and of themselves. They just are not the inspired Word of God.
That “certain” knowledge functions for us much like the tradition Jesus refers to in the passages above. It colors what we read and study, in a sense it distorts the text. We have to acknowledge these biases. It is not easy to do so. Still, we need to “take off the glasses” and allow the text to speak to us directly.
The good thing is that we have a promise, John 16:13 (here @ Bible Gateway), that the Holy Spirit will lead us into truth. Further we have the model of David’s prayer in Psalm 119:18 (here @ Bible Gateway) to guide us.
There is an example I wish to share and on which I wish to comment. So I will not finish in one post. Probably two more.