Over the past few years I have done an absolutely terrible job of reading my Bible. You would think that somebody who has been in private Church of Christ schools since fifth grade all the way through graduate school would have a little better understanding of what is in the Bible. So, last night I started with chapter one of Matthew and I plan on making this an every night thing. After every chapter I read I hope to try and put my thoughts down on paper regarding what I just read, so here we go.
There were really only two things I found noteworthy from chapter one of Matthew. Obviously, the genealogy of Jesus takes up almost 2/3’s of the chapter and I won’t lie, that genealogy has been one reason I have had a hard time reading the Bible over the past few years. After 17 verses of that it is hard to stay focused and energized, although I understand its importance.
First off, I am reading from the New International Version. In verse 19 it talks about Joseph divorcing Mary because he has just found out that Mary is with child. This kind of lost me. Joseph and Mary were not even married at this point (they were fixing to be married), so why in the world would he have to divorce her? I assume this has more to do with the translation but maybe somebody could shed some light on that.
Finally, ever since I was very little I have always struggled with certain parts of the Bible. See, I am a cut and dry type of guy. I like things told to me exactly as they are. If I am 12 miles away, I want somebody to tell me I am 12 miles away instead of a little over 10. I hate when people say things as facts and then cannot give me the source. If you say something as fact, you better be 100 percent sure that you are right. If you are not certain, say “I think but I could be wrong.” With all of that said you can understand why I have struggled with the Bible at times. So many issues that are presented in the Bible are not cut and dry. I can remember being 7 or 8 and sitting in church saying, “Why can You not tell us exactly what You want here?” Obviously, I was asking God that question.
So where am I going with all of this? In our religion and many other religions, a person is taught that sexual relations before marriage is wrong. I believe in that to be the best way. I just find it amazing that the Savior of the world was born to an unmarried woman. Obviously, Joseph and Mary had never been together but for a cut and dry person like me it sends such a mixed message. Since I have been going to church since I came out of the womb this story is one that I have heard 250 times and it really does not bother me. I just think about people who might be coming into the church right now. Some of them must be asking themselves, if sex is only pure in marriage why in the world would God choose to have the savior of the world born to an unmarried woman? I understand that all religions are built around faith and I understand that God always knows best but I just wish that God would not have made some things so difficult to comprehend. I hope that we get to view more stories and issues like this over time.