Sunday, September 18, 2011

Why is it Whenever I read the Gospels I come away with new Questions?!?!

  So I started reading through the gospels again last night.  I like to do this every once in a because it reminds me of who God is and was on earth, and two because I find them easy to read, so when I'm struggling to really commit to reading my bible I go back to them and find relief from the drought.  However the last two times now, I've come away with very real theological questions, that although don't change my belief in God, do change how I view the bible, the characters in it, and the lessons I've been taught from it my whole life.
  For example, the last time I read through the gospels, I was struck with the realization that the disciples may have actually known Jesus and spent time with him (or at least some of them did) before being called as his disciples (Check out John 1 compared to Matthew 4, Mark 1, or Luke 5). In all honesty, what really matters is that Jesus called them to "Come Follow" and immediately them did.....but It does change the story a bit to think that it wasn't their first encounter with Jesus, they not only knew of him, but they had met him.  So when he said "Follow Me", yeah it was still a sacrifice, but maybe not as much of a leap of faith as I've been taught (if that makes sense).
  Then last night I was reading through the gospel of Matthew and I came to the part where John is in jail and sends a messenger to ask Jesus if He is the Messiah or if they should be waiting for another (See Matthew 11).  Now logically thinking, when John the baptist was killed, he was taken out off jail in order to be beheaded. Therefore, it must have been before being arrested that John was going around preaching "Prepare the Way of the Lord" and baptizing people. In fact, Jesus was one of the people John Baptized (See Matthew 3:13-17) and in so doing he saw the dove descend upon Jesus and the heavens declare He was the son of God.  And even later when Jesus was out and about preaching, healing and baptizing people, John declares that Jesus is from heaven and sent from God (see John 3:22-36).  So why now is John doubting?!?!
  On the one hand I guess I should take comfort in the fact that even John the baptist, the guy who spent his entire life preaching about the coming Messiah, had doubts.  However, knowing all that John from the moment he was conceived he leaped with joy in his mothers womb when he came in contact with Jesus in Mary's brings me no comfort knowing that in the end he doubted.  I mean, if John of all people could lose faith.....where's the hope for the rest of us?!?!
  I know some day all my questions will be answered....I know some day I was stand before the throne of God and it will just make sense....but it's moments like these where I have to stop and wonder what was really going on here. How did someone so in love with the lord, so committed to God, find himself doubting the very God he proclaimed?  And what can I learn from his doubts that will help me draw closer to my God.

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