“My words are spirit and life” [John 6:63] But how to read the Bible?
Bible can be understood in three frames, rather three levels. Information, Knowledge and Wisdom.
Let us take an example. In the parable of the Good Samaritan, when asked “Who is my neighbour?” the instantaneous reply would be “the good Samaritan”. There we also come to know of the many characters like:
5. Good Samaritan
When we read the Bible with our senses like eyes, ears etc; When we read and re-read again and again, even memorizing and we recall the story to many, we are actually just hitting vanity, surfing the surface, doing a study, browsing everywhere, as we do with any other text-book. We are gaining information.
“Some (with knowledge) have missed the mark as regards the faith” [1 Timothy 6:21]
When we read the Bible from the mind, we tend to ask questions like: Where is Samaria? What kind of bandits? Who is a Levite? What is the work of a Priest? How costly is a stay in the inn?
We do research spending all the time and even our whole life just like those ‘cerebral theologians’ to get updates. Still our endeavor is futile, beating round the bush, we have not come anywhere near the purpose of this magnificent book “GOSPEL”, the good news of salvation. We are gaining only empty knowledge, degrees, awards and rewards too.
Wisdom (Soul, Heart, Spirit)
“But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.” [Luke 2:19]
We must do exactly what Mother Mary did. First be filled with the Holy spirit like Mary, read the Bible from the Heart; the seat of Love, the seat of compassion, the seat of GOD Almighty. Be silent and meditate in-depth. Let the word of God permeate every cell, spirit, soul and every tissue in your body.
And then see what happens. So many mysteries will unveil. Who is my neighbour? Surely the good Samaritan. Sure? Are you so sure? If so, you are in the I or II level.
Look deeper into The Good Samaritan Parable
1. This parable is your life journey in this world.
2. Every person we meet, however good or bad they are to us, is our neighbour. “Love your enemies, do good, bless those who curse you, pray for those who persecute you” [Luke 6:27-28]
3. We must love all of them equally, be it a robber, a priest or a Samaritan. They are all characters in your life put by God himself to make you fit for eternal life.
4. Everybody sees “Jesus in the Good Samaritan”, but “Jesus is actually the traveller” who was beaten. The priests are the Apostles who ran away, the Levites are his disciples to be found nowhere, the robbers are the soldiers who beat and plundered his garments. The good people like Mary, Veronica, Simon and Mary Magdalene who took part in his agony are the Samaritans.
5. High up on the cross the same Jesus says “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do” [Luke 23:34] for He understood their role in his life and mission.
Thus reading the Bible like a text says the good Samaritan is the neighbour, but with wisdom filled and guided by the Holy spirit, we conclude every human being we meet, put in our life with a plan and purpose for our prosperity which only God can understand, is our neighbour.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways and
my thoughts than your thought” [Isaiah 55:9]
The word of God is full of life, full of truth, a real story of unfathomable love. One drop is greater than the deepest ocean. Amen.
– – – written by Cecilia Francis