Sometimes, the Bible is funny and makes me laugh. Tonight is such a night. From Mark Chapter 9:
After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus... As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. They kept the matter to themselves, discussing what “rising from the dead” meant.
After you know that the book ends with Jesus rising from the dead, this can be pretty funny. The disciples just witnessed an intense miracle and Jesus gives them some plain instructions in plain language: Don't tell people until I rise from the dead. They then discuss amongst themselves trying to figure out the "deep" meaning behind Jesus words. After all, Jesus is fond of speaking in parables, why not this time?
Part of the humor is that I act like the disciples. When I don't understand a passage from the Bible I try to find a deeper meaning. I see academics and bible scholars doing this all the time. It seems so easy to just let myself be caught up by the debates and parsing of words to get at the "real" meaning. Surely, it can't just mean what it says.
This is a good reminder to read the scripture as a student instead of a scholar. I do not know what the Bible is saying until God shows me. The best thing I can do is sit and submit my thoughts to scripture so as to learn. The worst thing I could do is let my foolish notions of what is true keep me from learning from God and the letters He left behind.
Remember to laugh today. God has a sense of humor.