So, I’ve not started with the BRT for a couple of weeks since coming back, for the same reasons I usually put of exercise. “Once I start, I want to keep going”. I get really annoyed and disheartened when I’ve set out to start (or restart) something and give up within a couple of weeks. For me it feels like it cheapens the concept of resolve. And I really like the idea of resolve!
Anyway, last time I did a BRT it was a random reading from Mark whilst I waited for the Student leaders to catch up with me…and before that it was Deuteronomy. At that point I was pretty much just starting the Jewish Bible, (I’m going to try and put together a review of it for next week) here I am now in the NT of the Jewish Bible in John.
For those just joining me, the idea of BRT as it was taught to me was read through a book of the Bible each week (usually in Chronological order – the Jewish Bible has kept to a Jewish Order) – and then meet with a group or friend and share three things which have been standing out over the week from the book. Hope that makes sense. Here is my three from the Gospel of John:
- 1:31 “the reason I came immersing with water was so that He might be made known”. These words from John the Baptist explain why he was doing what he was doing. “That He might be made known”. I guess because I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’m doing next year, this has been a really helpful “north start” for me! My main concern shouldn’t be “what will qualify me in character competence and calling in order to be a pastor?”, instead it should be “which job will bring Him the most glory!”. Whilst the other concern might be valid and good, it is only good in its proper place! Thanks Jesus for re-orientating me!
- 8:31-32 Verse 32 is the famous one about knowing the truth and the truth setting you free. What I really liked was that verse 31 comes before 32 and verse 31 is about Jesus’ words “if you obey what I say”. I really liked how submission to His word is clearly connected to the freedom, in that obedience and truth are going hand in hand to bring freedom. (Bearing in mind my inclination towards legalism, I think this is a really good tension to walk. We hear God’s word by Grace, and so we can only hear truth by faith which again is a gift.) In obedience we experience God’s Word to be true and then we allow the Truth to set us free! I hope this makes sense, but as I seek to grow in Christ-likeness and put to death the sin in me, part of this is walking in faithful obedience.
- 20:17 Jesus has risen from the dead and Mary (or Miryam in the Jewish Bible) has just realised the Gardener is Jesus. Jesus says “stop holding onto me…because I haven’t yet gone back to the Father.” I think this is intriguing because most of the time in the Bible we are told to cling to Jesus, Hold fast to His word etc. but here Jesus is saying stop holding. I think this is something I am still thinking through properly. But Jesus goes on to command her to tell the disciples the news. I wonder if sometimes my walk with Jesus is guilty of simply just holding on to Him and not telling anyone about Him. What if Jesus is asking me to let go of the comfort of the garden and go and tell others the news. Ironically it seems in Matthew 28 that when we do this Jesus promises that “He will be with us – to the very end of the age”. Maybe I’ve wrongly interpreted this, I want to think through it a bit more.
Thank You God that I can wrestle and think deeply in Your Word, thank You that it brings freedom and purpose to my life. Be my guide as I read, and digest Your Truth. Amen.