Story of the Day for Wednesday March 14, 2012
Always Open to Learning More
“You are so silly and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken.”
Ever notice that when the Catholics interpret the Bible they find evidence of Purgatory? Or, that when Lutherans interpret the Bible, they discover that the pope is the Antichrist? Or, that when Presbyterians interpret the Bible they discover that choir members should wear blue robes with those white triangles for collars?
Okay, that was a little over the top, but you know what I mean, don’t you? And, because I know the storm this topic creates, let me phrase this carefully: Why is it that every denomination – EXCEPT THE ONE YOU BELONG TO – is so pigheaded that they can’t see that their assumptions about Scripture are sometimes askew?
Now let’s be clear: we can’t understand the meaning of God’s Word without forming assumptions. All that said, however, assumptions are also dangerous because sometimes they keep us from seeing what Scripture is actually trying to say.
Ironically, the more anxious we are to have the Bible confirm our assumptions, the less open we become to understanding what the Bible is saying.
Prof. Richard Wiseman had volunteers watch a moving dot in the center of a computer screen. Without warning, larger dots would flash at the corners of the screen. Almost everyone noticed these larger dots.
Wiseman then repeated the experiment with a second group – but this time he offered a large sum of money to those who could accurately watch the central dot. This time, over a third of the participants failed to even see the larger dots on the edge of the screen.
In other words, the more anxious we become about getting it “right,” the less able we are to see things that are there.
So, this guy, Clopas, and his friend are walking home, and meet a stranger. When the stranger asks what they’re talking about, they’re amazed. “Are you the only one around her who hasn’t heard the news?” Then they tell him the latest – about the prophet, Jesus of Nazareth, who just got killed. They share with him their wild hopes and crushed dreams. Then they explain the bizarre part. Some women they know claim they found the prophet’s grave empty and angels told them that this Jesus was alive! Very odd.
Clopas and his friend had no idea the stranger they were talking to was Jesus himself. Jesus never told them their assumptions were wrong. Instead, he explained to them what Moses and the prophets had written about this moment in history.
I’m in no position to criticize these disciples for having misguided assumptions. I’m slower of heart to believe than they are. But their experience is a helpful reminder that I should be open to question my assumptions, and let God tell me what he wants to say.
To question your own assumptions does not mean you reject them, or even that you doubt them. It simply means you are always open to learning more from God.
(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)