How important is Bible reading and interpretation?
Consider this: On the day that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead–arguably the most significant day in world history–Jesus spent 1/8, maybe 1/6, of the day interpreting Scripture to two wayward disciples on the way to Emmaus. Over the course of a few hours, Jesus showed these disciples how all the Scriptures should be interpreted in the light of himself. As he walked with the two runaway followers (Luke 24), he walked them through the Old Testament. Beginning with Moses, he explained how he fulfilled the types, promises, and prefigurations found throughout the Old Testament (Luke 24:27). In a word: All Scripture points to Jesus (John 5:39). The effect was to replace the disciple’s doubt and disappointment with burning hearts ignited by the Word of Christ and for the Christ of the Word.
Luke 24, from which this blog gets its name, is a powerful testimony for the importance of Christ-centered Bible interpretation and Bible reading.
This year, following our Savior’s example, I led our Wednesday night Bible study through the Scriptures with eyes towards Christ. Last week, by God’s grace, we finished our year-long journey. It was amazing to see how faithful God was to help us walk through the Scriptures in one year. With the exception of 1-2 Chronicles and Lamentations, we surveyed every book in the Bible and how each book helps us know and love Christ.
For me, this course of study was rewarding and I would recommend it to anyone who pastors, teaches a Sunday School class, or leads a small group. Those who attended were grateful for the 30,000 foot exposition of the Scriptures, and I was greatly stretched to better understand how all the books of the Bible point to Christ (Eph 1:10). Make no mistake, it was challenging and I grew weary in the process. In fact, as I look back I realize that I probably bit off more than I could chew, but God was faithful and gave me time and grace to prepare lessons each week. By his grace, we made it through the whole Bible. Here are the notes from the New Testament. You can find all the handouts here.
Matthew: The King and His Kingdom (September 22, 2010)
Mark: Seeing the Christ of the Cross (September 29, 2010)
Luke: The Messiah Must Go To Mount Zion (October 6, 2010)
Acts: Taking the Gospel From Zion to Zimbabwe (October 13, 2010)
John: Jesus, The Son of God, The Messiah of Israel, and The Savior of the World (October 20 & 27, 2010)
The Letters and Revelation
Paul (1): The Apostle to the Gentiles (November 3 & 10, 2010)
Paul (2): The Prison Epistles and Philemon (November 17, 2010) — compiled by David Crater
Hebrews: Believe and Draw Near, For Jesus Christ is Greater Still (December 8, 2010)
General Epistles: James, 1-2 Peter, 1-3 John, and Jude (December 15, 2010)
Revelation: The Revelation of Jesus Christ (December 22, 2010)
Tomorrow, I will post a few thoughts on tips and tools for anyone who has thought or is thinking about teaching through the Bible in a year.
Soli Deo Gloria, dss