3/11/16: Plain Sense
A pastor I once knew used to say of Scripture interpretation, “When plain sense makes good sense, seek no other sense.” He said this when speaking about those who loved to make themselves seem super deep and holy by extracting amazing meanings from the Word which no one else before had ever understood. Usually these interpretations were so far-fetched, but were presented so astutely, that few ever questioned whether or not the meanings were accurate.
True, there are some passages of Scripture that seem difficult to understand. For example, some of the prophetic passages in the book of Daniel and the explanations of future events in The Revelation may leave us wondering exactly what they might mean; but the vast majority of Scripture is not that way and boy, am I glad. Most of God’s Word is quite clear and comprehensible. The plain sense makes good sense, so there’s no reason to seek any other sense.
This is why it never ceases to amaze me how Jesus’ discussions with the disciples about His impending resurrection kept going right over their heads. From the time Peter confirmed that Jesus was the Christ, we are told, “And He (Jesus) began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He spoke this word openly” Mark 8:31-32 (NKJ).
In the very next chapter, Jesus allows Peter, James, and John to be with Him as He is transfigured and meets with Moses and Elijah. When Peter wanted to build tabernacles to all three, thereby honoring them on the same level, God personally distinguished the superiority of Jesus by audibly announcing and demonstrating, “‘This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!’ Suddenly, when they had looked around, they saw no one anymore, but only Jesus with themselves” Mark 9:7-8 (NKJ). On the trek down the mountain, Jesus told the fellas not to tell anyone of what they had seen until he had risen from the dead. Again they missed it. Mark 9:10 even says, “So they kept this word to themselves questioning what the rising from the dead meant.”
These guys were in the habit of asking Jesus for clarification of everything else. They asked Jesus to teach them to pray. They asked Jesus to clarify the meaning of the parables. They asked Jesus why they couldn’t perform a miracle that He could perform. When they didn’t understand the plain meaning of “after three days I’ll rise again,” why didn’t they ask?
We may never know the answer to that question, but we don’t have to be like the disciples. Remember, when plain sense makes good sense, seek no other sense. God has written the Book for us because He intends for us to understand what He wants us to know. If ever there are times when we don’t get it, all we need to do is ask Him for an explanation. Jesus left the Holy Spirit for just that purpose. John 16:13 says, “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth…” (NKJ). Take the Word of God at face value. The meaning is clear.
©2016 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.
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