It Shouldn't Seem Weird to Read a Verse in Context
Culture often removes verses from their intended context and places them on a social media painted canvas dripping with embellishments of white words on a perfectly drawn sunset. Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way diminishing the beauty of God’s word or artistic expression, I’m simply noting that beauty rests within the truth, and it is our responsibility to take those nuggets of truth and apply them to our lives ACCURATELY.
I was recently studying the gospels. I decided to make my way through the 4 of them. I’ve read them before, but this time, something was different. As I came upon a frequently quoted verse, I found myself saying, “Oh, so that’s what that means.” Then it hit me, it shouldn’t seem weird to read a bible verse in context.
The Whole Story
A frequently quoted verse is kind of like a headline. The context, on the other hand, is more like reading the article. A headline points to the information below it, whereas the context points to the details. We are not informed if we only read the headlines.
When our kids walk through the door after a game we ask, “How did it go?” Anyone who has teenagers is probably familiar with one word responses.
“Good!” If we are lucky, they may also share the outcome. “We won!”
Naturally, we want to know more. “What was the score? Did you score a goal? Tell me about it.” We are excited to get the details - the whole story.
So why don’t we do the same in our walk with God? When we see a “headline” in Matthew 11:28 that ends with, “... I will give you rest.” We can’t just say, “Oh cool! He gives me rest. Well, I got my nugget for the day,” because then we go off uninformed.
Ask the Questions
We need to take a step further and explore the details. We need the WHOLE story. “God what are you asking of me in this verse? What are you asking of me in this relationship? What are you asking of me in this world? Who were you speaking to when you said this? What was going on in your relationships when you had this conversation? How does that apply to me today?"
Scroll the headlines, enjoy the beauty, but take the time to learn the details because context matters, and that’s the #truth.