The only way not to be bothered by the Bible is to not read it. But if you’re willing to crack open the pages of the most extraordinary book in human history, you’re going to be bothered. Or at least you should be.
Jesus says some fairly shocking things. He really seems to think we’re going to pray for our enemies.(Mt. 5:44) He really does want us to consider others more important than ourselves. (Phil 2:3) And then there are times when Jesus is just plain offensive. Take, for example, Mark 7:27, “And He was saying to her, ‘Let the children be satisfied first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.’” Fabulous. A nice lady comes to Jesus, asks Him to help her daughter and He calls her a dog. What the Donald Trump is He doing?!?!
Unfortunately, we don’t often allow ourselves as Christians to be bothered by the Bible. We gloss over the hard to understand, challenging, odd or hard passages in search of a feel good promise to carry us through the day. We want warm and fuzzy, not hard and challenging. Now, don’t get me wrong – the Bible is filled with majestic promises that will carry us through the day. But some of the greatest truths about God are found in the hard passages. Don’t gloss over them. Wrestle with them. Pray over them. Get some help. Dig.
All of this is on my mind because I’m speaking on Mark 7:24-37 this Sunday at Restoration City. We’re going to talk a lot about why Jesus is calling this lady a dog. Why not spend the week thinking and praying through that passage on your own? Here’s a hint: He’s not insulting her. He’s teaching in a parable.
Oh, how I long for us to be a church that grapples with the Scriptures. Don’t splash around by the shore. Swim in the deep water. It’s where the greatest treasures are found!