I was listening to Greg Boyd’s latest sermon today when he mentioned that I agree wholeheartedly with. He said that most Christians have a tendency to “jump over Jesus” when reading the Old Testament – meaning, that they don’t read the Old Testament through the lens of Jesus. Granted, folks do this to the New Testament as well – jumping over Jesus in favor of the more prolific St. Paul.
The problem is that ALL of Scriptures points to Jesus (Luke 24:27, 44, John 5:39, 1 Peter 1:10-12, 2 Tim 3:14-15, Rom 1:1-3, ). And if they point to Jesus, then perhaps we should read them in light of Jesus’ actions and teachings….
In other words, don’t go quoting Psalm 109 in which David prays that his enemy will experience all kinds of pain when you get mad at someone. Instead, you need to remember Jesus’ words to love and bless your enemies (Luke 6:27-36).
Furthermore, we need to be careful about reading the Bible as a flat book as if everything in it carries the same weight no matter when it is found. The Bible is telling the story of God and, as such, we need to read each verse within the context of the larger story as well as within the paragraph, book, genre, history and culture in which it was written. This will help us from making mistakes like using verses within the book of Job to support concepts that God Himself condemns at the end of the Job! (something that I, very sadly, have seen more than once!!)
Jesus is the beginning and end; He is THE center figure within history and we would do good to view EVERYTHING – the scriptures, our life, our culture, our family, etc. – through Him.
As Greg Boyd said, “If my theology conflicts with Jesus, Jesus wins.”
Let us stop jumping over Jesus and start doing what He told us to do.