Something to Chew On: “Therefore”
Bradley and I were running errands last week (something that is done at our leisure over spring break), and talking in the car about verses in the Bible. Our conversations aren’t always that spiritual, it was just something that was on his mind.
I was blessed this past summer to be a part of The City Project, in which I was able to take a Christian Philosophy course through Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. I gained biblical and relevant wisdom and knowledge–read: It was humbling. I distinctly remember my professor telling us that the best and worst thing we [believers] ever did was insert verses in the Bible.
Short verses are good for memorization; bad for comprehension. The large majority of Scripture are letters or stories. They are not to be read sporatically or inadvertenly. They are to be read and studied completely.
It would not make sense to pick up a novel and read one sentence on page 328…so why do we do this with Scripture?
Bradley joked that he loves when people–(we have both been very guilty of this in the past; we do not want to be condemning, but sanctified and wise)–quote a verse that begins with “Therefore…” Obviously that word refers to something that was previously said. We should probably read what was previously read in order to better comprehend what is about to be said.
For example: The Great Commission.
The widely accepted first word of The Great Commission is “Therefore”.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”(Matthew 28:19-20)
However, Jesus’ first words were: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (v. 18).
By saying that “all authority” is His, Jesus exercised His authority post-resurrection. He proved His compassion by His death on our behalf and His ultimate Lordship by His raising Himself from the dead. I hope I never get over that.
His command for us to make disciples, to make them of all nations, and His promise that He will always be with us are legitimized by His resurrection. This is why He has the authority to command us and the power to fulfill His promise.
Don’t quote verses that begin with “Therefore.” Read your Bible…and see Jesus for who He is.