Thursday, February 20, 2014

Reading the Bible Doesn't Always Make You Feel Good

You know how you can read the Bible for years and still make new discoveries? Not all of them are great. Here's an example.

I was reading John 20. Verses 19-23 tell us that the disciples were behind locked doors (scaredy-cats) and that Jesus doesn't respect locked doors. He comes in and has the nerve to offer them peace and the Holy Spirit. Sweet, right? It's not even Pentecost yet! They should be doing some pretty awesome stuff. After all, this would be the first group to receive the Holy Spirit power in the New Testament era. 

But then we keep reading. Verses 24-25 tell us where Thomas got his doubting moniker. Verse 26 tells us 8 days pass and the disciples are all together again. They're still behind locked doors. For this I have two theories. 

a. They are a bunch of morons who never learn that locked doors won't keep out Jesus. 
b. They were wanting Jesus to show up, and since He showed up the last time they locked the doors, they locked them again. This would make them the originators of the idea that 'it's only weird if it doesn't work.'

But what struck me in this most recent reading was that there was apparently nothing to write about in the 8 days that passed between the first time Jesus appeared and the second time Jesus appeared. This might not be a big deal if Jesus hadn't blessed them with the Holy Spirit the first time. 

Jesus rises from the dead and they receive the Holy Spirit and nothing happens for more than a week!?! How is this possible? How can they have had the Holy Spirit for 8 days and done nothing worthy of writing home about? 

Then again, how long have I had the Holy Spirit? How long have I had access to God's power? What have I done with it? 

Sometimes reading the Bible is just not fun. 

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