Missing The Point – On Purpose

I can just see the group of religious leaders in a corner.
They talk and nod their heads,
Smile slyly at each other,
Then approach Jesus with a question.

They posed a question that grew from their culture’s tradition.
We know when a woman’s husband dies without them having children,
His brother marries her so the linage can continue.
What if the next brother dies without children, and on to the seventh brother, without children?

Whose wife will she be when they get to heaven?
And Jesus basically says, “You missed the point of heaven.”
And from the context, I read between the lines
That they missed the point on purpose.

They wanted to trap Jesus into saying something they could use against him.
They didn’t care the point of heaven is to dwell in the presence of God.
And Jesus was not afraid to let them know he knew
What they wanted from him and that they did it on purpose.

Lately I’ve realized how many people I encounter who spend their time
Looking for ways to discount the Bible because some things don’t apply today.
They quote the rural, male dominated society, the father as the loving parent image,
Try to make the Bible answer historical, scientific, and social questions it wasn’t meant to answer.

They miss the point of the Bible, sometimes on purpose,
So the won’t have to decide whether or not to believe.
If they can find something to fault, the call to commitment is not valid.
And they are justified in their attack on the Bible, Church, or God as Creator.

And you can’t blame them all that much.
Sometimes we, as believers, miss the point on purpose too.
Only instead of finding fault, we almost expect magic,
By using obedience as leverage to talk God into acting like we want.

Heaven becomes all about seeing our loved ones again first and, oh yes, God too.
Prayer becomes a shield to keep all the bad things away from us,
Attending church is our spiritual exercise, tithing our way to wealth,
And we too can avoid a living, growing, committed relationship with God.

The Bible is such a remarkable document, I understand why we as believers get carried away.
But I have to remind myself its purpose is to show us God,
And how we can expect God to approach us through the example of the chosen people.
It is the documentation of God revealing man’s redemption through sending his son to us.

The example of Jesus helps us know how to go about responding to that gift.
It is a document of guidance, not specific blueprints.
It teaches us to be who we are in the relationship with Him.
It is a book of Relationships more than facts.

Yet those facts are so often borne out in the real world,
We are amazed and excited, tempted to change the Bible’s emphasizes.
The Bible is so rich we fall into the temptation of proof texting to prove our theology,
Instead of searching out its truths in the formation of our theology.

God help us understand when we have missed the point: –
When we have let you slip into second place behind
The many things good, useful things that encourage us to grow.
And we pay homage to them more than the relationship with you.

Convict us when we do misunderstand on purpose.
Help us when we miss the point for avoidance.
Give us all the courage to ask for clear understanding
And the desire to adjust attitudes and emphasis when we realize what we’ve done.

Mark 12:18-24
Then the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question. “Teacher,” they said, “Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. Now there were seven brothers. The first one married and died without leaving any children. The second one married the widow, but he also died, leaving no child. It was the same with the third. In fact, none of the seven left any children. Last of all, the woman died too. At the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?”
Jesus replied, “Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God?”

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