One year ago today, we had just begun a teaching series called "The Bible". Perhaps not the most creative of titles, but it was certainly accurate. We were taking a look, not IN the Bible, but AT the Bible.
Honestly, of all the series that I have ever preached, I felt like that was the one that I had been groomed by God, all of my life, to preach. I am not being dramatic here: I cannot overstate how important it is for Christians to evaluate how they approach the Bible.
In a nutshell, I declared that how you read the Bible is just as important as reading the Bible. Perhaps even more so, because if you read the Bible incorrectly, you will leave the Bible with conclusions that were never intended by the Bible.
The Bible is not silent on how it demands you approach it. First of all, you must keep in mind the intent of the Bible. The Bible was not written to teach us how to worship, who to declare "in" and "out", or how to set up our religious structures. Even if the Bible might be useful in leading us to some healthy ways of doing those things, it was not written to do so. What was it written to do?
The Bible was written to give you life in and like Jesus Christ.
Further, the Bible is not silent on some of the lenses you should use when you read it in order to unlock itís riches, and fulfill that intent.
You need to read the Bible through the lenses of STORY, WISDOM, and LOVE.
We have been doing our 2020 Southwest Bible Project this year precisely because we want to practice reading the Bible afresh - through these three lenses - to see, feel, and experience the difference! And to test them and see if they do indeed unlock life in and like Christ.
As we turn to the book of Matthew, for the next three weeks, we are going to model for you - more overtly than we have all year - what it looks like to read scripture through these three lenses. And I challenged myself to start this week with perhaps one of the most challenging, and as a result, one of the most ignored passages in the New Testament. The Genealogy of Jesus.
I hope it pushes you over the edge of being convinced that THIS is the way to read the Bible.