If you’ve studied the Bible very long with any kind of genuine interest (2 Timothy 2:15) then you’ve no doubt had those moments when something “new” stands out to you in the middle of a familiar section of scripture. Such was the case this past Sunday during our adult Bible study class…perhaps this post should be titled, “A good example of the benefit of restudying familiar Bible stories in a Bible class setting“.
The topic of the Gospel Advocate’s “Foundations” study last week was about the ole’ chief tax collector named Zacchaeus. You know, that’s the story of the tree climbing short guy with a faith that stood head and shoulders above the crowd. I’ve read the account several times over. I’ve even wrote a few articles and preached a couple of sermons about Jesus and Zacchaeus. But I still hadn’t notice every out in the open lesson there was to notice about Luke 19:1-10. And no doubt I still haven’t.
You see, I can’t recall how many times I’ve read, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” But I can recall how many times I noticed that Jesus called to Zacchaeus by name – that would be a big fat zero! And it may have stayed that way until a brother with a perceptive mind noticed it.
The Bible story of Jesus and Zacchaeus isn’t the only time that Jesus interacts with someone by using their name, or their personal information, without any scriptural indication that Jesus and the particular person had any previous interactions (John’s gospel is replete with these instances). But for me it was another chance to see how easy it is to learn something new from a familiar section of God’s word. And I hope it’s a chance for you too.
“But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” And when the multitudes heard this, they were astonished at His teaching.” (Matthew 221:31-33)