Discovering the art of conversation
Whenever my son-in-law asks me a question on a biblical issue, my daughter would interject with a reminder: “Dad, don’t start from Genesis and go on to Revelation, okay? Just a one-sentence answer would do.”
In other words, a tweet (a one-sentence sound-bite) and not a blog post (a wordy essay.)
The intended point of a story is easily lost in a sound-bite. The point we get from sound-bites is usually of our own making. You know that this happens all the time.
“And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets…” (Luke 24:27). When Jesus wanted to open blind eyes to see Himself as the risen Christ, He started at the beginning, with Moses (law). He worked His way through to the Prophets (prophecy/message/judgment) and so on down the line.
In our time, this process would require many long blog posts and many unhurried conversations - the art (and joy), I’m afraid, we have lost in our hurry-hurry world.
Consider the bible’s use of metaphors to convey meaning. For example, “the law was our guardian until Christ came” (Galatians 3:24 ESV). The word “guardian” is translated as “schoolmaster” in the KJV; “tutor” in the NASB. A clear point was intended. The “guardian” refers to a pedagogue (a “teacher”). However, Paul uses this term to express a specific Jewish concept - that of a servant, whose responsibility it was to supervise, to care for, and to safeguard the morals of underaged boys from well-to-do families.
In this context, the pedagogue’s main duty was not instruction but supervision.
The point of the law can now come into view. It is “to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” (Gal 3:24 KJV). According to Adam Clarke, “the law did not teach us the living, saving knowledge; but, by its rites and ceremonies, and especially by its sacrifices, it directed us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”
The Apostle Paul made this abundantly clear in Romans 10:4, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”
“Moses and all the Prophets...” were always going to reveal a person’s need for a Divine Redeemer. To get the revelation requires the fellowship and the joy of unhurried conversations.
Pastor Robert Chew