OK, folks. This is the third and final Matthew design. I like to think of it as my "Matthew Trinity." After this week, it's time to move on from Matthew's story of Jesus' birth, ministry, death and resurrection and explore the whole new world of Mark. Mark dives into crazy stuff like the story of Jesus' birth, ministry, death and resurrection. You won't want to miss it!
All right, Jesus, what the heck are you talking about here? It sounds like that if me and someone else agree that we want a popcorn tree and cats that hug, we just need to pull the Jesus-slot-machine-lever and it's magically gonna happen. I've tried that (oh, believe me, I've tried) and it doesn't work. WTF, Jesus? It's not even like I'm asking for sinful things! Popcorn trees and cats that hug would make this world (and by that I mean "my world") a better place. If the Bible is the infallible and inerrant word of God, right now I should be hugging a cat that just plucked perfectly popped corn off a tree and is feeding it to me with its paws.
My Key to Success is to FAIL
I have a general rule for Bible verses I encounter that I don't understand. First, I take two minutes to try and figure it out. (Yeah, you heard me right. two whole minutes. And I'm talking two minutes straight. No breaks!) If I don't get it after two minutes, I follow this process that I came up with:
- First, I assume that God got something wrong.
- After that, I think about how much I like the cheese popcorn from Candyland.
- If thinking about the popcorn hasn't completely distracted me, I go on to assume that since God was wrong (see the first step) then I am right.
- Last, I congratulate myself on how awesome I am.
I use a simple acronym to help me remember the steps: FAIL. That process is my gift to you. Share it with your friends and use it as often as you want. Personally, I've found that it helps if I FAIL in my daily life, FAIL on the job and FAIL with my relationships. Heck, sometimes I'll even FAIL in church! The possibilities are endless! You are welcome.
Stay on the Scene, Like a Context Machine
Anyways, even though I usually use the FAIL method, this time I actually decided to do a little research. What I found is that some folks have a theory that with Bible verses and passages it's important to understand the context. They say that it can be dangerous to take one or two verses on their own and ignore the verses (or chapters) that come before and after that because those help clarify what the one or two verses actually mean. Honestly, that sounds like a bunch of self-help mumbo jumbo to me, but a lot of people believe it.
It's Time to Get All Serious up in Here
Seriously, what the heck does this verse mean? Does anyone else wonder what's up with this verse? All you pastors and Theonerds out there, now is the time to let your light shine. Drop a comment and help me understand this verse. Remember, I need byte sized chunks, so try to keep it less than 3-4 sentences. You know what happens if it takes me more than two minutes to read. #FAIL