Sunday, August 7, 2011

Encountering God in a Darrell L Bock Commentary on Luke 7:18-35

Last week I noted that as Prepared for the message at Studentsoul Auckland's Worship on Wednesday that I encountered God in the midst of my sermon prep in an NT Wright commentary. This week I once again felt God speaking into my life through a commentary in preparation for Worship on Wednesday... This time it was in Darrell L Bock's commentary on Luke (1996) in the "NIV Application Commentary Series".

And perhaps its shouldn't be surprising that God should speak to me in a passage where in response to John the Baptists question about Jesus NT Wright comments "even the best of God's servants need reassurance from time to time". So even those of us in the remedial class need that reassurance.

Sometimes sermon prep can be a very sterile, intellectual process, even amidst prayer and meditation, then there are times when the passages one studies and prepares to speak on, turn the table and speak to you... that's the best as it allows one to share with conviction and passion that God is able to speak through his word... even through those who comment on it.

As I read Bock's comments on the various subsections of Jesus encounter with John's disciples and his subsequent teaching on John and rebuke on those who do not respond, I sensed God speaking into my life.

Let me simply quote from Bock...Italics are mine.

firstly on John wondering about Jesus because he didn't live up to his (John's) expectations of what the messiah would do

" We sometimes expect God to do something a certain way, and when he does not, we think that he failed. Such expectations may cover a variety of things-from God's helping to make a certain business situation successful (In my case read church plant) to God's promising to heal us from a debilitating condition, to our christian expectation that the Christian life will be free of hardship. Any of the preconditions of how God must work may work against us when he chooses to build character by taking us down a harder road." (244)

Then again...

" The values of John's struggle should not be missed. Here is a man of God needing reassurance that Jesus is truly the one he anticipated. We sometimes think that the great saints never doubted. In doing so, we deny they were normal human beings. The Scripture is honest and open about such struggles and doubts, just as the Christian community today should be. The way to deal with them is to express them, as John did. However, with the expression of doubt should be an open and receptive ear prepared to hear the answer. The difference between healthy doubt and destructive doubt is not uttering of uncertainty but the response that follows it. The laments of the Psalter teach us that saints can be brutally honest on how they feel about God, but they also teach us that after they share their complaint with the Lord, they humbly wait his reply. Disappointment often calls us to a deeper less self-focused walk with God." (215)

Thank You God for speaking through your spirit, by your word and in the reflections of your faithful servants...

No comments:

Post a Comment