Where to start? Maybe you’ve asked yourself that as you stood in front of a giant Thanksgiving Day feast. A table, just a buffet full of food and you have your empty plate in hand. And now there’s so much to to pick from you wondered to yourself. I don’t even know where to begin. Almost like you’re paralyzed from the bounty that is before you.
For the Christian who is eager to read the scriptures, to read God’s Word for themselves, a similar thing can kind of perplex us. Where to begin?
There are thousands of pages, millions of words, God’s words, words about God speaking all that is around us into creation, about God using his words to part great seas so that his people can cross on dry ground. Words that literally become flesh so that our savior can do his work on our behalf. Thousands of pages, millions of words. Where to start?
I often encourage people to consider Jesus’ own words when they’re wondering how to read the Bible. Jesus, with some fraught friends that he meets after he’s raised from the dead, Jesus encourages them in a way about how to read the scriptures.
Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he [Jesus] explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. (Luke 24:27)
Jesus talks about the scriptures like they are a mosaic. Fine piece of art that is made up of tiny little pieces, but all of them serve to give one grand picture. And that picture is Christ himself. So when we read the scriptures I usually encourage an eager reader of the Bible to go straight to one of the records that gives us Jesus, one of the Gospel records that gives us his life, and his suffering, and is dying, and is rising again.
The Gospels aren’t better books than the rest of the books. They’re just the most well suited to give us that whole picture of what the scriptures are all about: Jesus for sinners. Jesus for you and for me.
God grant you an eager heart to read his words, and then ears that are filled, and faith that becomes full of the great mosaic of all of the scriptures. Jesus for you. In his name, amen.