In our Pastors & Directors Meeting this week, Scott issued a challenge to us: this week, we are to read the Gospel of John “like we’ve never read it before.” I immediately began to wonder how that would be possible. I mean if he had said to read the book of Habakkuk like I’d never read it before, OK, sure, but one of the Gospels? I’m no spiritual giant, but having been a Christian for a long time and having been in the church all my life, reading the Gospels can often seem like old hat. (Yes, I’m as dismayed as you are that I used the phrase old hat.)
So I challenged myself to go outside my comfort zone of familiarity and read it through a slightly different lens. We have a saying around here that we shouldn’t let familiarity rob us of the truth in Scripture. At first I had a hard time getting past that, to be honest. I had to force myself to view these familiar stories in a different way.
As I began rereading the first few chapters of John in a fresh light, I became aware of the continuum of the stories, the fact that God’s plan was in place, moving exactly with His timing. The concept of the human Jesus performing superhuman miracles was bracing. Some of the more obtuse things that Christ said were intriguing and often confusing when read through the lens of unfamiliarity. To put it simply, the Gospel of John became this new, fresh, and sometimes strange thing just because I removed the blinders of familiarity.
I would encourage everyone to make the effort to read God’s Word like you’ve never read it before. See what freshness and insight you can glean from it; see how even the most familiar passages can become new.