After an all-night flight into Minneapolis, that's about all I hoped to do today. This was day one of two weeks at Bethel Seminary. My reflections on today will probably be limited as I close-up for shop for the day and try to improve on the hour or so of sleep I managed last night.
This week's class is on the The Gospels. We listened to several hours of introductory lectures as snow fell outside throughout the day. The big emphasis of this class will be understanding what the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) actually say, as opposed to what we would like them to say. In other words, we have a tendency to "read into" a passage and our goal this week is to become more skilled at "pulling out" the information in a passage. This comes from a variety of material- accurate understanding of history and culture, careful observance of the text, and diagramming sentences (I thought I had seen the last of this in the 7th grade, but evidently this rarely-used skill has some practical application!) in order to catch the heart of the author's message.
I will leave you today with one interesting insight I've been mulling on during this course. If Jesus had three years of public ministry, and averaged four hours a day of "recordable" activity (ministry, speaking, miracles, etc...), then our gospels give us less than one percent of all that Jesus said and did! Can you believe that? Can you be comfortable with that? We tend to view the gospels as a complete record of all that Jesus said and did, where in truth we are really just getting the highlights! In my mind, this makes me want to be more attentive to all the material that we do have. If we have one percent of all that Jesus said and did, then the gospel writer's must have had very specific reason's for including what they did. I get they idea they wouldn't waste verses if they were already leaving out the vast majority of stories, teachings, and miracles available to them.
I hope you'll take some time and interact with me this week! Don't be shy- it's okay to post a response, and whether you leave your real name or not, I will do my best to respond. My desire is that in this way, we can learn from one another.
Have a blessed week!