black and white and grey

Feb 12, 2010 by

although this may come as a shock to you, being that i’m a pastor’s wife and all, i’m not a big fan of what people refer to as “devotions” or daily quiet time. now, that doesn’t mean i don’t agree with the principle behind it or the need we have to be disciplined. i’m with those things. we need quiet. we need focus. we need to read the Bible. i’m just not into the legalism that comes with “devotions” an the guilt that creeps in each time we don’t sit every single day and do our “due diligence”. i actually just like the idea of wanting to read the Bible, whether it’s every single day or not doesn’t matter. i like the idea of actually studying it when i can, and doing my best to talk to God as constantly as possible.


sounds good, right?

excepttt, i’m not super-great at it.


as moms, as humans, really, it’s almost against our nature to do what is best for us, what is right for us. even if we want to or even enjoy that thing (in spiritual matters, i mean). our hearts and minds are pulled constantly away from God and distracted easily (and even intentionally) by any number of things. we sometimes even
like putting other things before God or in place of God, and it’s a shameful struggle so many of us secretly battle alone. i was reading my friend jessi’s blog recently and reading it stirred up a challenge for me personally to study more and read more. to not let my day get the best of me, to not rest on the laurels of motherhood and the challenges it presents, but instead make a choice. make a decision to live better and more fully the life i WANT to live.


and for me, that life requires more Jesus and less michelle. more focus and less distraction. more time and less excuses. more Bible and less laundry. (now we’re talkin!!)


enter: a little study on john 14 with the help of http://bible.org.

at this point in my spiritual walk, almost decades into my faith, just straight reading the Bible isn’t enough anymore. not because i’ve read it all, because i haven’t. or because i know it all, because i definitely don’t. mostly because i want to REALLY know what was written on those ancient manuscripts, and since i don’t quite know hebrew or greek, in my opinion, when reading current translations of the Bible, a LOT gets lost in translation, if you will. and honestly, words can become all too familiar when you’ve heard or read certain things again and again. so for me, i really like to read with a commentary when i can (and i really can’t and don’t always), to get a fuller meaning on what i read. and more often to help me understand what i’m reading, because for real, Jesus talks circles around us common folk with His double-meanings, parables, metaphors, and the like.


i just want to share a few thoughts that challenged me this morning and i’ll probably only get through one of the verses in this posting. the rest i’ll come back to if you want to continue studying with me :)


i tend to feel like the book of john can be one of the more challenging books in the Bible, mostly because there are so many

of Jesus’

teachings , which to me are some of the most important and most fascinating to read. here’s what the commentary had to say (in yellow), and some questions for us all:


John 14:6 “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.”
This is a verse that a lot of people aren’t big fans of, eh? In our world, many people believe that there are a lot of different was to “get to” God, even that there are more than one God. For me, the jury is still out on how “generous” God is in terms of whom he’ll allow into his Kingdom and not. For me it’s complicated, not just black and white, or “you’re in, and you’re out”. We’ll get back to that later.


Initially we might suspect a copula (word linking subject and predicate) with three predicates…the first would be

similar to John 10:7, 9: “I am the door”—that is, the way of entrance. The second would relate to Jesus’ statement in 8:31-32, “you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” The third sounds similar to 11:25, where Jesus says “I am the resurrection and the life.”

However, the context suggests that the three ideas are not strictly coordinate. The next statement (“no one comes to the Father except through me”) seems to relate primarily to the first predicate, “I am the way”. Thus we suggest that the two remaining predicates, the truth and the life, are epexegetical or explanatory to the first: “I am the way, that is, the truth and the life.”

But what does this mean? Jesus is the way—the only avenue of access to the Father and thus to salvation (the “door” of 10:7, 9)—because he is the truth (the sole revelation of the Father who is the end and goal of the journey—cf. 1:18). Note that this is not, in context, an ontological (relating to or based upon being or existence…umm, very philosophical) statement but a statement of who Jesus is in relation to men.


Jesus is also the way because he is the life—the source and giver of the life from above. Just as in the original creation he was the giver of physical life
(see John 1:3-4. The “Word” being Jesus, his presence at the beginning of the creation of all things. Jesus always was, just as God always has been), so in the new creation he is the giver of life from above (cf. 3:5-8). Again, this is a description of Jesus in terms of his relation to men (10:10). Brown remarks: “It is noteworthy that zwhv, “life,” which occurs thirty-two times in the Book of Signs (the first few chapters in the book of John), occurs only four times in the Book of Glory (the last couple chapters in the book of John). Now that “the hour” is at hand, life is actually being given and need not be talked about.”


i guess i just enjoyed the thought that Jesus is the Way BECAUSE he is the truth, he IS truth. and that He alone gives us life in his death. and that
in his truth, we find freedom. that in the beginning he gave life, and in his death gives NEW life, and NEW freedom that is only possible through Him. as i mentioned before this rouses an interesting debate, though mostly (not entirely) between non-christians and christians about whether Jesus is exclusively “the Way” to God. i have my own thoughts and opinions on this, but i really want to hear yours.


for me, the Bible isn’t something i feel i need to protect and guard. it’s been around for centuries for a reason. it doesn’t
need me to help it stand up against questions and curiosities. jesus told the disciples later in John that the Holy Spirit would continue to teach them after he was gone. truth is, those who don’t have the Holy Spirit will struggle to understand the truths of the Word. heck, i struggle with them. all i do know is that what the Bible contains changes lives and teaches love and a better way to be. i’m not afraid to ask questions that will help me understand my faith more and challenge me to grow in my faith. that’s what questions do. that’s how Jesus taught, no? by asking questions.


so what do you think?? believer or not- do you feel like Jesus is THE Way?

are you black?

are you white?

or are you in the grey?

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