THIS ONE QUESTION FROM ROB BELL TURNED MY BIBLE READING INTO A CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE
‘just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”’ Matthew 20:28
Last night I finished a book titled, What is the Bible? Many of you may have heard of it — if you haven’t, you’ve probably heard of the author, Rob Bell. A guy like Rob Bell is very polarizing.
To me, he’s a great thinker and knows how to get readers to THINK. I love that. Here’s something he said in the book that really got my brain exploring, “we can learn much more of the Bible by studying it with curiosity.”
What if we did just that when we read the Bible? Jesus gives us a similar statement when he says, “come unto me as little children.” It’s that way of a child — curious and without any real idea of who he is.
What if you read this verse in Matthew as if it was the first time? What would that sound like inside your mind?
Here’s something I do from time to time to get my brain from going to the end of the story too soon. You know how it is when you’ve seen a movie before — you tend to tune out. You know the ending. You know all of the mystery and therefore, it’s not exciting anymore.
The Bible can be the exact same way. At least for me it is.
There’s times I read it and my mind drifts away. I have no idea what I just read — but then I tell myself that I read my Bible. I may have checked the box — but with zero mind effort.
Another statement I love from Rob Bell’s book is this, “we can ask ourselves questions about the Bible that lead us to more substantial understandings. For instance, rather than asking, “why would God …,” we can ask why the author thought this story was important enough to write down.”
When Rob said this — I was literally like WTF — that is amazing 🤯.
The gist of what he is saying is that the Bible is written by so many authors, so many years apart that sometimes if you take the Bible literally — it doesn’t make sense at all. Many people just write the Bible off at this stage. They say it’s impossible and this and that. However, if we started asking questions like, “why did the author think this story was important,” we can understand the beauty of the Bible better.
Here in Matthew — Jesus is telling his disciples, “to be the greatest, you must be a servant.”
So, I ask — “why did Matthew include this story in his book?”
If you read the chapter — you can see there was a power struggle going on amidst the disciples. They were trying to see who was going to sit at the right hand of the Father.
Jesus then goes on to give them a story of how the rulers of the day — literally RULED over them. They abused power. Power was like a drug to them and they couldn’t get enough (speaking of the Romans). And, to be honest, very similar to today’s governments. Not much has changed.
Matthew includes THIS story to show that Jesus was King of the Jews, but He did not plan on ruling like the Romans. His leadership would be shown through serving — and this was a REVOLUTIONARY idea at the time.
Nowadays, we here of servant leadership all the time. We have books, conferences and courses on it. But back then, THIS was big.
This small shift in HOW I read the Bible has been transforming for me. If I’m even more honest — it makes it a helluva lot more interesting to read. When I was reading the Bible before — it was tough. I knew all the stories back to front — side to side. But now, I’m asking questions about WHY these stories are mentioned. What is their significance in the Bible and how does it apply to me.
These types of questions turn the Bible into a “choose your own adventure.” And that to me — is REVOLUTIONARY.