Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The next time you read Leviticus...

I'm loving reading through the Bible with my wife and some friends again this year. (It's not too late to join us—and here's why you should.) We're currently in Leviticus.

Leviticus is so... levitical.

It's no secret: People in our day who aspire to read the Bible often get stuck—and stop reading altogether—when they get to Leviticus.

Yet...

When the New Testament speaks about the Old Testament, it says interesting stuff like, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness..." (2 Timothy 3:13).

That's right, ALL Scripture is God breathed... including the book of Leviticus.

Evidently, we're missing something when we read Leviticus, eh?

Consider this for a moment. The best commentary on the Bible is... the Bible. And the greatest Bible commentator ever is Jesus.

So, what does Jesus say about the book of Leviticus?

Check this out:
“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments. (Matthew 22:36-40, NLT, bold mine)

Did you get that? According to Jesus, "The entire law," which includes the book of Leviticus, is about loving God and loving people.

If you miss that Leviticus is about learning to love God with everything you are and then letting God's love overflow from your life to others, then, according to Jesus, you will miss the the whole point of Leviticus.

Think about that for a moment.
Instead of reading Leviticus like it's a bunch of irrelevant, outdated, archaic laws for Jews of antiquity, perhaps we should read it (and the rest of the Old Testament) through Jesus' lens of loving God and loving people.



I double dog dare you to let Jesus inform the way you read the book of Leviticus.

As you read, mark every place you see in Leviticus that is about loving God and loving people.

Then, as you go about all aspects of your life, seek to love God and love people.

With such a way of living, you could end up making disciplemakers and changing the world—like Jesus did.

Again, I double dog dare you.


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1 comment:

Josh Blumenshine said...

Thanks Bill. I'm a bit behind in my Bible journey this year (still in late Genesis and dreading Leviticus), but this gives me perspective and courage to read through this section with new eyes and a ready heart. Appreciate your insight!

Josh Blumenshine