Since reading Dallas Willard’s book, The Divine Conspiracy, about 20 years ago, the Sermon on the Mount has been more influential in my living and study and mindset than any other portion of Scripture, with the possible exception of Ephesians.
Can you tell I get something out of it?
This is the fascination and wonder I will always have with Scripture. Every time I move through even the most familiar passage, I am stunned with something new. It’s a joy that often leaves me asking, “When did they put THAT there?”
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. (Matthew 5:13)
15 While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mark 2:15-17)
This is the challenge I have in my life: where can I be found? Since moving from a place I lived for 20 years, I’ve had to rebuild those places and I can honestly say it’s hard on me.
“Reading Scripture is like hosting a divine visitor. Patristic reflections on Abraham’s welcome of the three visitors by the oak of Mamre remind us that when we interpret the Scriptures, we are in the position of Abraham: we are called to show hospitality to God as he graciously comes to us through the pages of the Bible.” — Hans Boersma, Scripture as Real Presence.
My big confession: I have never been a fan of study Bibles.
I have always wanted Bibles with significant margins so I can put in my own notes. With the coming of digital Bibles and resources, I have utilized the marking tools and notetaking tools of Logos to build my own system. When I study the Bible, I want to study the Bible and I have always felt the notes in any study Bible are so limiting because we may only read them and not dive deeper.