Tuesday, October 14, 2008

On the Gospels

The Bible is about Jesus. Every book, from 1 to 66, He is the hero, He is the focus, He is the champion. So wherever you read the Bible, you're going to be reading about Jesus...in theory at least.

I think there is something though, about reading the Gospel accounts themselves. Not in a red letter Christian kind of a way, or really even in a 'let Jesus speak for Jesus' way, but just to see Him, to hear Him and look at Him. Not that we can't do that in all 66 books, but it's good just to sit and read the Gospels. Good to read about the last supper, or the transfiguration, or the sermon on the mount, and then speak to Jesus, the same Jesus now invisible as then, visible.

Since March i've been read Matthew, ever so slowly, with a commentry. I've never done my quiet times like this before, and it's been mostly helpful. It's been great to just rub my face in one book for a year rather than simply rushing from passage to passage. And good to spend each morning with Jesus. Of course. Anyway, this has turned into a series of rather unconnected thoughts, so i'll end it with a Spurgeon quote, which amde me think this in the first place:

Consider his greatness, and I again remind you that the blessing comes only by consideration. I may speak to you this morning about the greatness of my Master, but I shall not succeed in fully declaring it. I am never more vexed with myself than when I have done my very best to extol his dear name! What is it but holding a candle to the sun? What are my lispings compared with the loud acclamations which such an one as he is might well expect from those who love him? You must carefully consider, or you will miss the blessing.

It will not be enough for you to hear, or read; you must do your own thinking, and consider your Lord for yourselves. You may even read the Bible itself without profit, if you do not consider as well as read. The wine is not made by gathering the clusters, but by treading the grapes in the wine-vat: under pressure the red juice leaps forth. Not the truth as you read it, but the truth as you meditate upon it, will be a blessing to you. "Read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest." "Consider how great this man was."

Shut yourselves up with Jesus, if you would know him. "Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast." In Christ there is shelter, and the more you consider him the greater your peace will be. Come and lay your finger into the prints of the nails, and thrust your hand into his side. Commune with the personal Christ, who ever liveth; and evermore "consider how great this man was."

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