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Reading Backwards

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts
The Truth Network Radio
November 20, 2022 7:00 pm

Reading Backwards

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts

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November 20, 2022 7:00 pm

Reading the last chapter of a mystery novel first may sound like a bad idea to those who love the suspense of a good story. But some people enjoy reading a book more if they know how it ends.

In Reading Backwards, author Richard Hays shows how important the practice is for our understanding of the Bible. By illustrating how the unfolding words and events of Scripture anticipate, echo, and throw light on one another, Professor Hays gives us reason to read our Bibles forward and backward.

Hays reminds readers that it was only after Jesus’ resurrection that His disciples understood His claim to rebuild a destroyed temple in three days. The apostle John tells us, “The temple he had spoken of was his body” (2:21). Only then could they understand a meaning of their Passover celebration never before understood (see Matthew 26:17–29). Only in retrospect could they reflect on how Jesus gave fullness of meaning to an ancient king’s deep feelings for the house of God (Psalm 69:9; John 2:16–17). Only by rereading their Scriptures in light of the true temple of God (Jesus Himself) could the disciples grasp how the ritual of Israel’s religion and Messiah would throw light on one another.

And now, only by reading these same Scriptures backward and forward, can we see in Jesus everything that any of us has ever needed or longed for. 

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Welcome to today's encouragement from Our Daily Bread. The devotional for today titled Reading Backwards was written by Mart De Haan. Reading the last chapter of a mystery novel first may sound like a bad idea to those who love the suspense of a good story.

But some people enjoy reading a book more if they know how it ends. In the book Reading Backwards, author Richard Hayes shows how important the practice is for our understanding of the Bible. By illustrating how the unfolding words and events of scripture anticipate, echo, and throw light on one another, Professor Hayes gives us reason to read our Bibles forward and backward. Hayes reminds readers that it was only after Jesus' resurrection that his disciples understood his claim to rebuild a destroyed temple in three days.

The Apostle John tells us the temple he had spoken of was his body. Only then could they understand a meaning of their Passover celebration never before understood. Only in retrospect could they reflect on how Jesus gave fullness of meaning to an ancient king's deep feelings for the house of God. Only by rereading their scriptures in light of the true temple of God, Jesus himself, could the disciples grasp how the ritual of Israel's religion and Messiah would throw light on one another. And now, only by reading these same scriptures backward and forward can we see in Jesus everything that any of us has ever needed or longed for. Today's Our Daily Bread devotional scripture reading comes to us from the Gospel of John, chapter 2, verses 13 through 22. To those who sold doves, he said, Get these out of here.

Stop turning my father's house into a market. His disciples remembered that it is written, Zeal for your house will consume me. The Jews then responded to him, What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this? Jesus answered them, Destroy this temple and I will raise it again in three days. They replied, It has taken forty-six years to build this temple and you are going to raise it in three days? But the temple he had spoken of was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said.

Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken. Let's pray. Father in Heaven, thank you for letting us live long enough to see your ability to show up and reveal the wonder of your presence in ways we could not have foreseen. And it's in Jesus' name that we pray. Amen. Thanks for listening today. My name is Wes Ward, and today's challenge and encouragement was provided by Our Daily Bread Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-20 20:07:41 / 2022-11-20 20:09:08 / 1

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