I’ve always wanted more details in the Bible. I know that you have, too. Because you have asked me about whether Jesus meant this, or whether God was trying to teach that.
Most of the details I’ve wanted have to do with movements and motions and transitions. The kind of descriptions that we would call stage directions if we were talking about a play. There just aren’t enough details to accurately stage what happens.
Recently, two moments showed me there is more to see than I thought.
The first moment started with a sermon I heard about Jesus and the man with the paralyzed hand. Jesus called him to the front of the synagogue.
Where was Jesus? Likely sitting. Why? Because several paragraphs before this event, we read that Jesus, in another synagogue, had stood to read from Isaiah, and then sat to talk about the text. It’s likely that he did the same here.
I started reading chapters 4-6 of Luke and discovered that Luke regularly mentions the movements of people. Jesus stood to read. He sat down. When people got upset with him, they jumped up. They led him to the cliff, he walked through the crowd. He went to another synagogue and taught. A man started yelling because of an evil spirit in him. Jesus told the spirit to come out. The man fell down. The spirit came out. Jesus stood up and walked to Peter’s house. He stood over Peter’s mother-in-law. She waited on the people with Jesus, which implies sitting. He stood by the lake. He got into Peter’s boat and sat down.
I could keep going, but I’d rather invite you to do the work. If you’d like, in the comments, describe the stage directions Luke does give. And think about how it helps us to see the text and the unfolding story rather than simply skimming through the teaching.
Tomorrow, I’ll tell you my other story.