While my son took an all-too-rare nap yesterday. He woke up feeling less than his best, so it was a good thing. During his nap, I spent a good chunk of time reading. But I didn’t just read some of the random books I have scattered about in the house. I spent a big chunk of time reading my Bible. I made my way through the entirety of Mark’s Gospel and about a third of the way through Luke’s.
I don’t do this very often, but I really should. (“This” being read the Bible in big chunks, not read the Bible in general.) I mean, really, when you think about it, time isn’t the issue. A book like Mark might take what—20, 30 minutes to read at most?
But what do I get out of it?
I get to let the whole story wash over me. I get to be reminded that each of the Gospels (and for that matter, every book of the Bible) is not some set of collection of disconnected verses or sayings. Each is a complete story, masterfully told, to make a single point: to reveal the person of Jesus to us so that we might believe in him.
That might seem obvious, but it’s easy to forget. We read these stories so often, and usually in little chunks here and there (whether whole chapters or portions of a chapter), that we can miss out on how wonderful the whole story really is. Or I can at any rate. But reading in this way helps us keep the right perspective. To read with our eyes on Jesus.
That’s the kind of Bible-reading we need more of. The kind that encourages us to stop and let our jaws drop as we consider his majesty. So, friends, make time in your schedule for that, in whatever way you can. Make the time to read the Bible in big chunks, and let yourself see the big story of what God has done.