If you were writing a letter to a friend, trying to convince him or her that some very supernatural events were real, what would you do? I think that a probable course of action is to link it to something in reality to make it more believable and understandable. You might also link it to the religion of your friend so that it fits into their worldview. When Luke tells about Paul’s (the text still refers to him as Saul at that point) vision of Jesus (Acts 9) this is precisely what he does.
The Apostle Paul seemed to constantly be fighting an uphill battle in regard to his apostolic authority. He writes in multiple letters about this topic because some doubted his authority, teaching, and even his motives. One way for him to link his authority to Jesus, to the prophets, and to God was the retelling of his commission. How did Paul use this true story to speak to the faithful? Let’s dig in.
Every time you read a Bible story, ask yourself: where else in the text can this story be found? And also ask: how does knowing where this text is coming from help in my understanding of it? The Bible frequently plays upon and expands upon itself. Why is this relevant? A substantial portion of the entire New Testament is written in this manner. Time after time, Jesus uses the Tanakh (Old Testament) as a foundation for what he teaches and the stories he tells.
Join me today as we look at an interesting story in the New Testament which expands upon at least three other stories in the Bible! Is this a story about Paul having a hard time getting from one place to another? Or is there something deeper going on?
On Monday, June 7, 2010, I took the biggest step yet in a journey that many of you know very little about – I turned in my two weeks notice. My family and my church family have known about this for quite some time, but I have had to keep it shielded from the rest of the world before I was ready. Now I’m ready to share. In short, I’ve discovered what it is I’m truly passionate about and I feel called to go into ministry. I’ve been accepted to the ACU Master of Divinity program and I’m moving out there to go to school full time. For the full story as to what caused this to happen, I’ve reproduced a slightly redacted version of the admissions essay which I wrote in September of 2009. My redactions have been for the sake of transitioning the piece from a “timely” admissions essay to a “timeless” blog post. The admissions essay should give you some idea of why I’m doing this and what’s driving it. After the essay I’ve added in the saga of my life over the last 9 months and how God has worked in amazing ways, teaching me a many things in the process.
I have started a new series at Prestoncrest titled “Jesus and his Jewish Parables”. Podcasts of the lessons are on my Audio Lessons page. As of the date of this post there are 2 lessons up already: “The Pharisee and the Tax Collector” and “The Good Samaritan”.
If anyone has any questions over what I’ve taught, feel free to use this post as a place to ask.