Have you ever read a book and then watch a movie based on the book, only to be disappointed. Or have you ever seen a mediocre movie and then read the book. A lot of times if someone tells me the book was fantastic compared to the movie I’ll read the book.
This happened to me recently with Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children. The previews for the movie looked awesome. So I went to see it but I was rather disappointed. It wasn’t a bad movie, it just wasn’t what I expected. I thought it would be grander. I thought it would be better.
I started reading the book a week or so later. I was quickly drawn into the story and the lives of the characters. I was able to feel what the characters felt. I was able to more fully understand the motives behind the actions of the characters.
I was able to see and understand what the author wanted me to know and understand.
I would say that the same concept I described above applies to the Bible. I have seen many different movies about Jesus but they always seem to be missing the depth of His character, His being. We seem to miss something when watching some of the stories and miracles.
Take the story of the paralyzed man whose friends lowered him from a hole in the roof for example. If you didn’t already know the story you may find it odd when after saying to the man “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Jesus turns to the crowd and says “Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” – Mark 2:5,9-10
Of course the reason Jesus says this is because He knew that the teachers of the law present were thinking that He was speaking blasphemy. They didn’t believe he was God so thought Jesus couldn’t forgive sins.
If you don’t know that already, when watching this in a movie, you would completely miss the point that it was proof that Jesus was omniscient, further reinforcing the point that He is God!
There are probably better examples I could have used. But my point is that we miss a lot of what God wants to teach or show us if we get the gospel from movies about Jesus.
God wants us to have more than a knowledge about Him. He wants us to have a personal relationship with Him. Of course, you need a way to get to know Him. He provided us with that way, it’s called The Bible.
God is so eager to have that relationship, he sent Jesus not only to die for us but to show what God is like.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. – John 1:1
Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? – John 14:9
We also shouldn’t rely solely on sermons for getting to know God. Don’t get me wrong, sermons are very important. You get to hear from a pastor or preacher who has spent hours and years studying the word. They have probably forgotten more than you or I have learned.
I can’t count how many times I have heard a sermon and been given a new insight on a passage I have read a hundred times. God speaks to us like this. But He also wants to talk to us directly through His Word, guided by the Holy Spirit.
There is so much we can learn and there is so much spiritual growth potential, if we would just open our bibles and read. There is wisdom for life. There are stories of great faith, stories of sacrifice. There are examples of how to live a holy and righteous life. There are examples of how not to live and the consequences of not living according to God’s word.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness – 2 Timothy 3:16
Joshua and the Israelites were commanded to stay in the word.
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. – Joshua 1:8
I have to confess that I don’t do nearly enough bible reading and bible study. I probably do at least twice a week but go through periods of daily bible reading that last a week or two. I also go through periods of no bible reading for the same amount of time.
I can tell a difference in my attitude and my mood and thoughts when I am not in the word. I need to be intentional about it. I know that God’s word is the only thing that will keep me on the right path.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105