Our Sunday Morning Bible Class has been discussing the selected chapters from the Daily Bible Reading schedule all year. It has been interesting. At the beginning of each class, three people comment and share on one third of the 20 or so chapters for just a few minutes. The rest of the time is for asking questions, sharing what was learned, and responding to each other’s comments. It has been really good.
One thing that is great about reading the Bible from Genesis to Revelation is the sequence. There are some good chronological Bibles available which are useful, but reading it in the order that God allowed (determined?) that it would be collected is very beneficial.
A couple of weeks ago, we passed an important point. We began reading the Gospel of Matthew. What was so important and special about this, in my opinion, is that we had just finished reading the Minor Prophets. We seldom read the NT in light of the OT. But we should. It is one story.
No one picks up a Nicholas Sparks or John Grisham novel and jumps directly to the last third. Yet we do that with the Bible constantly.
One of the brothers who was sharing that Sunday made a great suggestion that I want to share with you: “read the Gospels in light of the Prophets.”
There is such a seamless transition when you look at it this way. Jesus followed the ministries of Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Amos, Malachi and others so clearly.
He was preaching against the same things. He was just as harsh as they were. He was offering hope and fulfillment as they did, only this time the promises were going to arrive much sooner. Judgment and Hope.
Jesus, of course, was more than a prophet. But He was the Greatest Prophet in a long line of prophets. His ministry was very prophetic.
As you read through the Gospels, notice not only the many quotes and references to the prophets, but also the style and content of Jesus’ message compared to Jeremiah and Amos and the rest.
There is not a huge chasm between Malachi and Matthew in the pages of our Bible. We often preach and act as if there was. There is not! Read the whole Bible in its entire context and you will be blessed.
“For Moses said, the Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from among his people.” Peter quoting from Deuteronomy in Acts 3:22-23 (NIV)