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  This comes from my brief, and enjoyable, early morning Bible reading (on July 22, 2016), so you may considerate it too soft and quick…

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Consider Mark 6:8-9 and Luke 22:36

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   If you have chosen either of these as a “life verse,” you’ll have a big problem with the other!

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   First, the verses:

   (1) Mark 6:8-9  “…and He [Jesus] instructed them [his disciples] that they should take nothing for their journey, except a mere staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belt; but to wear sandals; and He added, ‘Do not put on two tunics.”

   [Let me add that for my purposes I borrowed parts of this text (citing my source), deleting certain words, to introduce my novel The Blood of Three Worlds, a common practice of authors to create interest for what follows. I wrote “…take nothing…except a…staff [and] wear sandals.”¹]

   (2) Luke 22:36  “And He [Jesus] said to them [his disciples], ‘But now, let him who has a purse take it along, likewise also a bag, and let him who has no sword sell his robe and buy one.”

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   Number 1 (above) sounds like a missionary “trust in Me to go out and preach” call. Don’t worry, don’t prepare, because I’ll provide whatever you need. Number 2 sounds like the opposite. Be smart and prepare yourself for the danger that lies ahead.

   Separate sermons could be wrapped around each passage–sermons that would emphasis doing the opposite things! What to believe? To use the Bible correctly and learn what it says, one needs to (1) look at the whole package–all of the Bible²–to see what the big picture is; and (2) look at the particular context of a passage, to see if a particular set of circumstances drives what’s supposed to be done; and still (3) realize that the narrative portion of the Bible is meant to tell a particular story. [This happened and then that…] To report that “Judas went out and hanged himself” should not encourage you to “go ye out and do likewise.”

   A narrative portion of the Bible says that somebody did this or that once, or that God did something once or more than once, but it doesn’t mean that He will necessarily do it for you–though that isn’t necessarily ruled out.

   We should be careful not to make the Bible say things that we want it to say. That’s hijacking Scripture for personal agendas.

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   ¹ This isn’t saying, or hijacking, the Bible to offer a regulation. It’s offering pieces of a biblical account to offer a very roughly parallel narrative experience. It in no way demands it.

   ² Certainly not every verse, but the basic Bible message. These are very general comments, please realize.