Reading What Jesus Read

On occasion I have to remind myself to spend time in the Old Testament.  The New Testament gushes forth so much joy and hope it easily pulls me in with little thought of going elsewhere.  Then I remember that the only Bible Jesus had was the Old Testament.  If I want to grow more like Him I should read what He read.  When I do spend time with David, Solomon and Isaiah I soon begin to see the Sermon on the Mount.  It’s there.  There is not one idea in the Sermon on the Mount that does not have roots in the Old Testament.  The Beatitudes are one of the easiest to spot.

Jesus had the wonderful ability to draw from the old and fashion something fresh and captivating, often to our discomfort.  His pacific nature challenges us.  While He did battle with the authorities never once did He resort to violence on another person. The most hostility we can find is watching Him turn over the money changers’ tables in the sanctuary. The only thing He struck were their tables, pocketbooks and pride.

I am often puzzled by the pseudo-Christian websites that advocate for us to be sure to have our guns ready for the coming strife.  I’m not sure how one can read the Gospels and see Jesus with an AK. However, Jesus did say in the Sermon on the Mount, “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.  Not everyone that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven.”  Matthew 7  If we are fearful for our safety we can rely on our heavenly Father. “He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defense.”  Psalm 62

Written by Roger Bothwell on February 18, 2014

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