A Two-Year Old’s Lesson in Bible Study
“‘This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.’ He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum. On hearing it, many of his disciples said, ‘This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?’”– John 6:58-60;NIV
Two year olds are fun. My wife and I agree that this is definitely a fun stage of life, watching my son mimic dance moves, hearing him repeat words and phrases, he is learning how to count, and much more. Even after the tantrums and screaming, those 20 minute intervals, he is smiling and having a great time. I seriously enjoy every minute with my son.
All that being said, I am going to share something that until yesterday morning, I found really annoying about my son. He loves apples. Actually, he loves fruits and vegetables. He’s weird, but with apples he does something that frustrates me and is pretty gross. He takes the apple slice, pops the whole thing in his mouth, eats the inside of the apple (you know, the white part with all the juice and stuff), then spits out the skin. I wouldn’t be so bothered by it if he would spit the skin out into a bowl, but he chooses to create a pile of apple skin and slobber wherever he is standing or sitting. He will then look at me and say “Mess!” I can only assume it’s because he expects me to clean it up, which I will, but he still has high expectations.
It is GROSS!
However, as I said, up until yesterday morning I couldn’t see the purpose, but I discovered a lesson on studying the bible.
Did you know that an apple with the skin on it provides at least 239mg of potassium, 10.3mg of vitamin C, and much more? On the flip side, if you take the skin off you lose almost 50mg of potassium and half of the vitamin C. That’s crazy! My son is getting fewer nutrients every time he spits out his apple skin, but at least he is getting the stuff he likes and that’s what matters…uhm…not really.
Unfortunately, this is how some of us view reading the bible and listening to what Jesus had to teach. We could read what Jesus has to say or what His disciples had to teach the church, which gives us what we need, but we like to take the stuff that makes us feel good and spit out the part that might actually cause us to live a better life.
We might read a section of scripture that calls us to “lose our life for Christ” (Matt. 16:24-25) and ignore it because that is hard to take, but we will listen to the part that says “God has great plans for us” (Jer. 29:11). We love to hear that God desires to have us prosper, but we choose to ignore His call to give up our selfish desires.
We can’t treat the Bible like my two year old treats his apples. Yes, there are pieces of scripture that can give us good feelings and cause us to understand how much God cares about us, but there are pieces that challenge us to move beyond ourselves. We need to be able to eat the whole thing in order to get the full amount of nutrients to live a life that is honoring to God.
Picking and choosing is fun when it comes to which fruit you will eat, but not what Scripture verses you will accept in order to produce fruit for God’s glory.
May we see Scripture for its worth, in its entirety, and fully embrace the life within the pages in order to live a more full life in the world.
QUESTION: What is your favorite Bible verse?