This week focused on the Gospels. This was the first week I felt a little too rushed in the reading and responding, like it really needed more than a week, but when I think about it in terms of the breadth of the study, it makes sense to spend a week here and then move on to the letters. EfM Year Two is all New Testament, and I think I’m imposing my hopes for what we’ll do throughout this whole year onto one week of a Bible study, and that doesn’t make any sense!
That being said, this week’s questions were deep. I don’t feel as though I did them justice at all, so I’m considering my answers as starting points for myself and hoping to consider these questions over the next few weeks (or years . . . or rest of my life, really).
1. How have you seen evidence of Jesus in the world?
Is just putting “love” here too trite? It is, isn’t it? But I don’t know how to answer this question properly. I do firmly believe that abstract concepts like love, compassion, and selflessness are spiritual,* and when I see those at work in the world, they point back to Jesus. The fact that we even have those divine, lovely gifts in this fallen world helps me to realize that Someone who loves us beyond our understanding is offering us opportunities to try to be more like Him.
* When I say I see them as spiritual, I mean that they come from above but are available to everyone, regardless of whether or not each individual attributes them to God. I don’t mean that religious people are the only ones capable of loving / being compassionate / being selfless. I know plenty of non–religious people who embody those very traits. Just wanted to be clear. ; )
2. In what ways do you wrestle with believing in Jesus?
I have a hard time understanding the God as Man concept (um, of course I do; it’s a religious mystery, yes?). It’s as though I have a moment of “God became human? Like us? How humble and compassionate of Him!”—which is great—but it’s closely followed by a moment of “But how in the world was a PERSON so wonderful? How was He so loving? Why on earth did He agree to die for people who were not nearly as wonderful as He was?”
I need a court reporter to follow me around and read back the whole “GOD became human” part to me. I think divine-as-HUMAN instead of DIVINE-as-human, and it throws me off every time.
3. Now that you know the writers of the Gospels, how does that help you understand them better? What new things did you learn?
This question leads me back to feeling like I didn’t get *quite* enough time / scholarly research to feel as though I know them. I appreciate the notes, and they certainly helped me to consider the differences amongst the Gospels, but I want to learn more about the actual writers to contribute to my understanding and learning. Enter EfM Year Two!
Starting the last week now!