Well, truth be told, there are a lot of things that I love about the Bible. Far too many to tell in this PODCAST.
But certainly residing at or near the top of my rather lengthy list is this: The window the biblical writers open to the growth and maturity of its principle players.
Case in point: The Apostle Paul.
Paul did not emerge from his road to Damascus encounter with Jesus a wholly-mature believer. Nor did Paul burst on the scene armed with a fully-formed theology that would become the capstone of his prolific writings. Paul had to grow in his faith as a committed Christ-follower just like the rest of us.
I love that!
Paul moved from a measurably primitive understanding of Jesus to a remarkably profound comprehension of who Jesus was and is and all that Jesus did and accomplished. This growth, this development, this maturity takes place right before our wondering eyes ever to behold in all of its spiritual splendor.
In short, Paul was a person in process, just like us! A process well-documented in the New Testament that as we are about to learn slowly-but-surely took place over many, many years.
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You are about to hear an amazing story about a remarkable man, AND about an encounter with Jesus that includes one of the most important and practical biblical principles that you will find anywhere in the pages of the Bible.
Quite a claim, I know. One that I will absolutely prove in this PODCAST.
A principle that I will be presumptuous enough to suggest that you and I need to hear, and of which we need to be reminded, perhaps often.
This is on the surface a story about a man born blind (which would be remarkable enough), but it is also a story about sheep, about a sheepfold, about the door of the sheepfold, about Jesus who identified Himself as the “door of the sheep,” and about life in the desert in which the sheep and shepherds in Israel lived and continue to live.
Before we get to the story itself, I need very briefly to remind you of something we talked about way back on February 2, 2013, nearly 3 years ago. When God appeared to Moses in the Burning Bush, He made a most remarkable statement:
I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey.
Interesting phrase, “milk and honey.”
Honey (a jam made of figs and dates) refers to the land of the farmer, and the bounty of the fruit of the land that is grown by the farmers.
Milk refers to the land of the shepherd, and that which is produced by the flocks that are raised and cared for by the shepherds.
In Israel, both lands — milk and honey — come together in a breathtaking variety of geography and climate that (NOW GET THIS) puts into its proper perspective EXACTLY the kind of lives that we are living today. More specifically, HOW and WHY we think the way we do today.
We have SO MUCH to learn from this story.
Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play. Words worth waiting for, I assure you.