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February 19, 2011 – Luke 5

Click here to read Luke 5 on BibleGateway.com

We spend a lot of time looking for hidden meanings in Scripture. We look to find number codes, and dates, and prophecies hidden in every 22nd letter of the Psalms that start with the 5th declension of the Hebrew word for butter. It’s a fun pastime, and it makes us feel like we have discovered the language of God.

But every once in a while, God hits us over the head with the obvious-stick and reminds that most of the important truths of Scripture are right there, staring us in the Oreo-stained face.

WHAT THE PEOPLE WANT

Consider today’s chapter. The very first verse of chapter five says that Jesus was teaching by the Sea, and the people were pressing around him “to hear the Word of God.”  We spend a lot of time discussing strategies and attending church growth seminars and studying successful church models; but we forget that what people hunger for is not a better strategy, but a close encounter with the Word of God.  That’s when people press in.  Pretty simple.

Even more, Luke throws in a little doctrinal statement as well.  Note that it doesn’t say they crowded around Jesus or even around “him”; the author could have used that term. But instead he says the Word of God. Why is that?

LITTLE HELP FROM ANOTHER AUTHOR

Well, if we jump to John 1, we find that “in the beginning, the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Hmm. Let’s recap. Word was God, the people crowded around Jesus to hear the Word of God. Could Luke be getting at that Jesus is the Word that was with God in the beginning, and in fact was God?

In reality, many of the deep truths of Scripture aren’t all that deep at all. They’re sitting right there on the page, black and white, clear as crystal.  Before we spend a ton of time looking for the secrets to the universe, we might be better off to just read the words that God has left in plain view first.

Maybe not as satisfying as finding the secret dates for Armageddon, but encouraging nonetheless.

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