Scripture cannot be set aside…
Reflection: Setting Aside the Scriptures
By John Tillman
The Greek word translated “set aside,” (lyō) carries an implication beyond not ignoring the parts of the Bible we don’t like. It refers to unbinding or untying things bound together for a purpose. This would include untying the thongs of sandals (as used by John the Baptist), loosening bandages (as used by Jesus regarding Lazarus) or even the bonds of marriage (as referenced by Paul). It also applies metaphorically to dissolving any kind of union or agreement, declaring something unlawful, dissolving the authority of someone or something, or destruction by breaking apart into pieces, a meaning Jesus used referring to the destruction of the temple.
The negative, that Scripture cannot be “untied,” implies the positive, that Scripture is tied together for a purpose. The reason that we cannot set aside the Scriptures that we don’t like, is that Scripture must be considered holistically. Each part is bound up with the others for a purpose.
Considering all of Scripture together without breaking it apart requires patience and a deep familiarity with Scripture. The religious leaders were setting aside scriptures that were inconvenient or required sacrifice on their part. We do this as well, however modern Christians are “setting aside” the Scripture in a different way—by not reading it.
This is one of the reasons we desire to encourage daily Bible reading. Any increase of Bible reading is a benefit and blessing for the reader, but following a plan such as ours, that covers the entire Bible at a sustainable pace is helpful for our need to interpret the Bible together as one piece.
Jesus once chastised the Sadducees, saying ““You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God…” Are we in the same danger?
All devout Jews of that time discussed theology and spirituality based on a common, widespread knowledge of Scripture, and many would have large sections of the Pentateuch memorized. How well do we know the Scriptures?
Whether teaching his disciples, the crowds, or debating opponents, Jesus relied on his audiences’ deep familiarity with the Scriptures. Could Jesus do the same with us?
Are we literate enough regarding Scripture to engage Jesus in a conversation about important theological concepts? Whatever your level of Bible literacy, ask the Holy Spirit to walk with you, as Jesus did with the Emmaus couple. Read as you walk and the Holy Spirit will help you understand the Scriptures.
Prayer: The Refrain for the Morning Lessons
With my whole heart I seek you; let me not stray from your commandments. — Psalm 119.10
Exodus 31 (Listen – 2:32)
John 10 (Listen – 4:44)
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