Journal Matt 8 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “Now when Jesus saw a crowd around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side.
And a scribe came up and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”
Another of the disciples said to him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Follow me and leave the dead to bury their own dead.” Matt 8:18-22
Observation: Every so often I come across a section of scripture that makes me scratch my noggin and makes me think. Even when I think, I wonder if I got it right…
Analysis: Out of these three sections, the only one that is sort of straight forward is the first one.
What about the other two?
This is the problem in reading scripture at times. When I want straight statements, nothing convoluted, the Holy Spirit tosses a curveball. I wonder if He does that to make me think and think hard.
In cases like the above, I have come to a personal conclusion that time is the great unraveler; that is, I need other principles and doctrine in my background so that the Holy Spirit will bring understanding. How long does that take? Who knows, I don’t have an answer. That may be the basis of studying to show myself approved, appropriately handling the word of Truth.
Today, I wonder if this may be appropriate: The scribe making a stupendous announcement of what looks like self-sacrifice, saying to Jesus: “Look at me, look at what I am giving up.” Could this be a statement of pride and self-aggrandizement? My heart is pricked…I have done that before.
And another: Do I think that Jesus’ heart is that unfeeling about his follower looking to set the family’s affairs straight? Burying his father? I don’t. Therefore, could there be another message about priorities being said here? I could be wrong…
Am I sticking in my own sense of propriety here?
Personal convictions can be the hiccup in analyzing Scripture. While I have been set free from sin and it doesn’t have dominion over me doesn’t mean that the residual effects of sin in me doesn’t still have influence. If it didn’t, there wouldn’t be a directive to renew my mind (Ro 12:2) My mind can still be under the influence of stinking thinking, even while redeemed.
I know that I provided no answers to the above. But that is not the point of journaling. The point is to candidly jot down thoughts and wonderings and sometimes frustrations in the Scriptures and personal life. These bother me because there is not a straightforward frame of reference.
Sometimes it is just like that. Causes me to be dependent on the Holy Spirit for illumination.
Prayer: Father, you are a good Dad in stuff like this. You make me think. You make me wonder. You make me pray.
Please keep loving me like you do, drawing me closer, providing me opportunities to mature in You.
Cause revival. AMEN