“You are HIS follower, but we follow Moses.”
I was thinking about this quote yesterday as I heard a clip from an interview I recorded earlier this year. I hadn’t thought about my interview answers for a while, but it popped into my news feed, so I listened. One of the things I said was, “In the past, I didn’t know how to listen to God. I only knew what was written in the Bible…”
Knowing what’s written in the Bible is a great start on the journey to find the heart of God. Where else COULD we start? The Book IS the very word of God, but is it not God. I used to read this verse from Hebrews out of context, “Lo, I come in the volume of the book…”. My assumption was that in the volume of the book I would find everything about Him.
After all, He’s a God who writes things down.
But he is also a God who reaches down.
In John 9, Jesus encounters a man born blind, whom his disciples are quick to judge but whom Jesus is quick to heal. Later, the healed blind man comes into the temple where the Readers of the Book start to question. “Who did this? Was it Jesus? Why is he healing people on a Holy Day!? Surely he is a sinner!”
The man replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”
Then they asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”
He answered, “I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?”
And this is the moment that they give that throw away line which says SO MUCH about who they choose to follow. “You are this fellow’s disciple! We are disciples of Moses!” We are disciples of The Book.
As a gay Christian, I have heard people speak similar phrases over me, “I’m sorry, we can only tell you what is in The Book!”, “The Book is clear on this…”, “We are disciples of The Book!”*
Sometimes it’s easy to get so caught up on trying to use The Book as a stepladder for Man to Reach up to God that we forget that God reaches down to Man.
Jesus knew The Book better than anyone, but he also healed the blind on the Holy Day and knew the will of God better than anyone.
There’s been a lot of hate this week centred around a lady named Kim Davis who chose to value The Book above the people she could see around her. People have been quick to categorize her as someone who put the Law above Love, although the truth is that we have all done this, and we all will do it again.
Here’s the rest of that verse I started with, “Lo, I have come (in the volume of the book it is written of me) to do your will, O God.” Hebrews 10:7 He IS a God who writes stuff down, but much more so he is a God who reaches down to do his will.
What is that will?
Jesus summed it up quite nicely, “He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”
I am up for following him into that will.
Who’s with me?
*I’m not advocating that we throw away The Book. I think being a follower of Moses is a FANTASTIC start. But one greater than Moses is here, and he’s changing hearts and minds. Draw close. Listen to the heartbeat of the father. Enjoy resting in his will. And learn to see The Book through God, instead of seeing God through The Book.
**That interview I referenced is here https://soundcloud.com/jonnyfreeman59/let-god-be-there-matt-drapper-interview-life-as-an-lgbt-christian
***A brief run down of who Kim Davis is. http://edition.cnn.com/2015/09/04/us/kim-davis-things-to-know/
****All the thoughts in this blog are part of my gradual journey, subject to change, and willing to be challenged. I long to love better.