Last year in January 2006 one of my resolutions was to read through the ENTIRE bible. I have started this many many times, but have NEVER actually finished. Some people say I am ADD but what do they know...they don't know me. There was this one time I was in a store....wait...back to the Bible. (that might have confused some people-others laughed)
It is now 2007, and I have not finished the bible. But I have not given up. Currently I am in the month of JULY! Yes a little behind. Hey when you don't do it for a couple days, it adds up fast.
Now the meaning of the title: CONTEXT
The Old Testament is a struggle sometimes. Most of us who read the Word focus on the New Testament. Seriously, when you read the genealogy from Adam's house cat it can suck the life right out of you. I have just finished Deuteronomy. WOW. I guess I never realized how much the New Testament referenced back to the book of the Law. This was what the Religious were fighting for and Jesus was trying to break. Rob Bell talks a lot about this - knowing the context of the Bible. We read something Jesus says and try to fit it into our lives. Instead of reading it, looking at the audience He is speaking to, and then learning how POWERFUL His words were.
For Example: Deut. 22:13-20 talks about Laws of Sexual Morality. Verse 20 talks that if a woman is found not to be a virgin then she is to be dragged into the streets and stoned. Orders from God. It is in the Law He gave Moses. Taught for thousands of years. Everyone knew these rules. No if ands or butts. Jewish society was built on laws like this. Do something wrong - punished.
In John 8 Jesus comes into a situation where an unmarried woman is found in a sexual act and dragged (thanks Professor Gene) into the streets. This was not to say - we forgive you, but to kill her! Why? Because that was the law. Jesus steps in and says, "Yeah without sin, cast the first stone." (little KJV for you). The Law has past - a new sheriff is in town!
CONTEXT made this lesson of grace so much more powerful. Actually reading Moses Law and then remembering how Paul says the Law was the Tutor - the teacher (Christ) is now here - no need for the tutor!
"Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor." eph. 3:24-25