Monday, June 1, 2009

Taken out of context

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
John 8:31-32

I've heard this verse numerous times, but only part of the verse has been emphasized. The part I'm referring to here is "you will know the truth and the truth will set you free." It sounds great and even can make someone feel good, yet it is so far from what Jesus is getting at. It is interesting to note that Jesus is giving an "if, then" statement. If you do "x," then "x" will occur. It's a simple statement yet we ignore the first half of Jesus statement to hold to his teaching. I wonder why?

Are there any sayings you thought the Bible said something, yet when you read them into context with the Scriptures it was something totally different? Let me know, I'd love to hear them. God Bless

1 comment:

Joyful Wife said...

Matt,

Here is something I was pondering, that fits into the category of "taken out of context" I think. :)

In Joel 2:32 it says "And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved, for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, as the Lord has said, among the remnant whom the Lord calls."

The only part of this verse that I hear quoted all the time is the part that says, "whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved".

There is hardly ever any mention of the rest of the verse that goes on to say that there is only a remnant that the Lord calls. We also know that it is God who, by the work of His spirit, draws us to call on his name. And that calling on His name cannot be the shallow and casual calling that we hear so often in Christian circles.

To be fair, Peter and Paul, when they quoted this passage in Acts 2 and Romans 10, didn't include the last part of the verse either. But they knew they were talking to an audience who knew the scriptures and would understand the context of the passage they quoted from.

Here is what Matthew Henry wrote on this verse in his commentary of the book of Joel.

"Calling on God supposes knowledge of him, faith in him, desire toward him, dependence on him, and, as evidence of the sincerity of all this, conscientious obedience to him."

Wow! I am amazed at how serious Matthew Henry took calling on the name of the Lord. I think his view is very biblical in the light of all scripture.

Shannon (with help from her wonderful husband Robby)