This is the second post in the series, “God’s Word Quotes.” You can find the first one here, “God’s Word Quotes: Are You Ignorant?” The quote about God’s Word we are going to unpack today is taken from Pope Francis. Now, whether you love, hate or could care less about the man, this is a great quote, “Pick up the Gospel, a short passage, imagine what is happening, and talk to Jesus about it.” When I first read that quote about God’s Word, I thought, “Really? That’s it?” and then I thought, “Oh really ‘Mr. Pope I don’t have little kids running around making noise and oatmeal burning on the stove and a dog that wants in…or out or a husband calling asking for the birthdates of all the kids because it’s time to switch insurance.'” And then I thought, “Wait, a short passage, use my imagination and talk. I think I can do this…I already do this.”
God’s Word Quotes: Talk to Jesus
All of us already do this on a daily basis, all the blessed day long. Oh yes you do too. Let me play this out for you.
1. We wake up and grab our phone or sit down at the computer.
2. We read an article, a blog post or a Facebook update.
3. The baby/kids/dog wakes up and off we go to do all the things.
4. As we’re doing all the things, our mind keeps going back to what we read.
5. And then the conversation begins.
I could use any current event right now to make this point. I probably don’t need to though because when I laid it out above, you nodded your head and said, “Mmhm.” But for the sake of this post, let’s continue.
Let’s say when you grabbed your phone or sat down at the computer this morning you read something about the President of the United States. It could have been a newspaper article, it could have been on a friend’s Facebook status, it could have been in your newsfeed or it could have been a Tweet. As you started going about your day, the words started or continued rolling around in your head. You started processing how you felt and what you thought about what you had read this morning. Suddenly, you realize you’re carrying on a conversation with your friend, the author of the piece, the President or just yourself. Mine always seem to start with, “Oh yeah, well…” And before you know it, you’ve given someone or everyone a piece of your mind. Or, you’ve just defended your position, the President’s honor, and the world at large while making lunches and folding laundry.
You read a short passage.
You imagined what was happening.
You talked to yourself or others in your imagination about it…you may have even talked to Jesus about it.
Now, let’s take Pope Francis’ quote about God’s Word and see what that looks like.
I grab my Bible and open to the Gospels. I read four verses before I’m interrupted.
13 And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them.
14 But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.
15 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”
16 And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.
As I start tending to my duties, taking care of my children or getting myself ready, my mind wanders to this passage. I start thinking about how little kids seems to always be able to pick out the kindest adult in the crowd and flock to him or her. These kids must have done the same thing. Maybe some walked up on their own, or at least inched their way closer. The mommas probably brought some of their children up, knowing in their momma heart they wanted their babies blessed by this Man. I imagine little ones shyly holding their momma’s hand, kind of tucking in behind them. Others asked to be carried and maybe hid their face in their momma’s shoulder, taking a peek here and there. Others reached out for Him, as He reached out for them. I imagine Jesus looking at one little one, while reaching His hand out to touch another nearby.
Out of the corner of my eye I see a group of men, kind enough, but a little impatient, standing off from Jesus. They’re watching these mommas and babies and they’re starting to get annoyed. They know He’s tired and they’ve still got a ways to go (the next passage states, “As he was setting out on his journey…”) and He’s been teaching them, and other adults, not looking into the eyes of little kids or touching the tops of their heads. And we all know, in any group of kids, there’s that one, “Hey Mr. why this and what about that and I don’t like peanut butter and jelly I only like jelly and peanut butter…and on and on…” Jesus’ disciples might have meant well enough, but He did appreciate them trying to break up this little scene. As a matter of fact, the Scriptures state “…he was indignant…” Some synonyms for indignant are: mad, livid, angry.
Not only was Jesus mad that the disciples tried to stop the children from coming to Him, he turned around and told them, “…whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” Whao! I would imagine the disciples were like, “WHOA!” Especially Peter. Not too many passages before this, he stood on the mountain with Our Lord during the Transfiguration. He may have been thinking, “These little kids have no idea Who You are. They have no idea what You’ve been saying. And now you tell me I have to become like one of them if I want in the Kingdome?!?” This is where my “Oh yeah, well….” conversations would begin.
But wait. Jesus said it, so I know it’s true. I need to understand this better. I want to know what He means when He said to receive the Kingdom of God like the children. Did He mean by asking a million questions like the precocious ones or like the little ones who say, “Ok” and skip on their merry way?” And my conversation with Jesus begins.
Can I tell you where I think we get off track a lot of times in our Bible reading? Well, first, I think we believe we have to read from A-B. When in reality, we may just get one sentence in before “another country calling” as my kid’s grandparents say. Sometimes, one sentence is enough. Second, I think we believe, it will be too hard to understand. And it may be if we’re only reading with our minds. But if we’re reading with our hearts, hard things can suddenly seem easier to understand. And finally, I think we believe if we don’t understand something, we need more books to help us understand The Book. Try talking to the Author first and see if things don’t make better sense. Now, I am in no way advocating we each contain our own understanding of the Scriptures. I am telling you, the Lord speaks to us through His Word in a very personal way, if you ask, He will help you understand what He wants you to know or He will guide you to a person or book that will help you.
So my friends, pick up your Bible, read what you can, and then talk it over with Jesus as you go about your day. I guarantee you’ll be more at peace than reading the news or a Facebook status and talking that over with yourself all day long.
Remember, the first post in this God’s Word Quotes series can be found here, “God’s Word Quotes: Are You Ignorant.”