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by Jeff
Rated: 18+ · Book · Biographical · #1399999
My primary Writing.com blog.
#1034104 added June 22, 2022 at 12:34am
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Three Bible Stories

"Take up Your Cross | Prompt

1. The Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37)

This parable about a Jewish traveler who is robbed, beaten, and abandoned on the side of the road being overlooked by others until a Samaritan (someone who's supposed to hate them) stops and helps him is the first Bible story that hit two different keynotes for me.

The first is that this is the first passage I read that really resonated with me while I was still exploring my faith. I came to faith later in life and after a whole lot of skepticism about what the Christian faith is really concerned with. This was the first Bible passage I read where I thought, "Yes! This is what it's supposed to be! This is what I believe too!"

The second is that it's the first passage that I really came to understand in different ways, and gave me an appreciation for the nuance and subtext of the Bible. On the surface level, it's a story Jesus tells his disciples to point out that the key to the "love your neighbors" commandment is to offer kindness to everyone, even those you don't like. But many pastors have also pointed out that it's a metaphor for the Christian life, where we're all the traveler on the side of the road, beaten and broken, and Jesus is the Good Samaritan who stops and, out of nothing but his abundant love, takes mercy on us even if we don't deserve it. This is the first passage where I thought about the different dimensions to it.

2. The Beginning (Genesis 1:1-2:3)

I find the creation myth endlessly fascinating for many reason, not the least of which is who was witness to this process? It's also super interesting how different people have interpreted the timeline in this creation myth. Literalists will tell you that the timelines provided in the Bible mean that the universe is only about 6,000 years old, a premise which is mercilessly mocked by nonbelievers. Others will tell you that the language is meant to be metaphorical and God's "days" are in fact much longer we understand a "day" to be. So on the "third day" when He created land and seas and vegetation it wasn't over a 24-hour period, but could have instead been millennia, or eons.

The pastor at much church actually mentioned this Bible story in a recent sermon and said something that struck me as really interesting. He said, "Science and the Bible aren't necessarily incompatible. Science will tell you that the universe started with a 'big bang' and Christians don't necessarily have any basis to dispute that... we just believe the 'big bang' was God saying 'let there be light'."

3. The Book of Job (Job 1:1-42:6)

This Bible story is fresh in my mind because we were just discussing it in my Bible study group a couple weeks ago, and I'm consistently amazed at how complex this story is. There's the obvious message of consistent faith in God despite adversity, but there's so much more to unpack here. It's evidence that God and Satan aren't equal and opposite forces (Satan has to get permission from God to torment Job, he can't do it on his own), and it also raises a ton of questions about why a kind and loving God would allow Satan to torment one of his believers.

It's a fascinating book that is packed full of more questions than answers, so it's been one of my favorite books of the Bible to look to time and again when I want to do some deep thinking about the nature of God, the world, etc. God is an infinitely complicated being that we can't even begin to fully comprehend and this Bible story is a frequent reminder that there are some things that will always be beyond our limited understanding.

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