I love to people watch. Over the years, I’ve learned not to stare because that can be very awkward. Whether Jenny and I are on a date or we’re meeting with our small group, I observe the people around us. But before Jenny and I started dating, I watched her. I probably need to preface…I wasn’t the creepy stalker! I watched how she treated her friends and those she didn’t know well. I observed the way she carried herself when things didn’t go her way. The reason why I spent so much time observing her was to gain information. The more quality information I knew about her…the more certain I was about asking her out.
People-watching is similar to reading the Bible. It’s about observation. When it comes to studying the Bible, observation is the process of observing the text carefully in order to gain information. This is where I know followers of Jesus struggle. It’s hard enough to pick up the Bible, start reading it, and sticking to it for more than three days. It’s even harder to observe what we’re reading. Even I get to a place where I’m reading the Bible to cross it off the list of things to do. Here’s the rewarding thing…observing what I’m reading helps me gain information that I wouldn’t have seen otherwise. It’s a very cool feeling when you have those aha moments!
The better you read the better you see. Some of us see but don’t observe. There are two big takeaways that some miss when reading about Jesus’ birth in Matthew and Luke but I wanted to show just one.
There are four women mentioned in the Matthew’s genealogy of Joseph and Jesus. This was very unusual to have women/wives mentioned in the genealogies. I know that I’ve said before, “I can just skim over the names that I can’t pronounce.” So it’s easy to skim over the genealogies but there can be some important information in them! All four women mentioned were born Gentiles (non-Jewish). Bible scholar D.A. Carson says, “Perhaps Matthew thought that Jesus’ birth of a socially insignificant and unmarried mother needed some scriptural support.” Here are the women and their stories in parenthesis.
Tamar (Genesis 38)
Rahab (Joshua 2)
Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah (2 Samuel 11)
The other takeaway was the timeline of Jesus’ birth.
Remember, the better you read the better you see.
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