“Do you understand what you are reading?” (Acts 8:30)
People who expect to spend several weeks in a summer cottage at a lake or in some other quiet place usually take along books to read. Many good books are available, and we can most profitably fill out our leisure time by reading them. The opposite is also true, as Charles Dickens once wrote, “There are books of which the backs and the covers are by far the best parts.” Some books fail us because they are too hard to understand.
The man who was asked whether he understood what he was reading was the treasurer of Ethiopia. He had been in Jerusalem to worship. There he had also obtained a copy of the book of Isaiah. On his return trip in a chariot he was reading the 53rd chapter. Philip explained the passage to him as fulfilled in Jesus Christ, who as the Lamb of God suffered silently and died in our behalf.
Perhaps we too have trouble understanding what we read in the Scripture. The Book of Revelation states, “Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy” (Revelation 1:3). But the series of prophecies in Revelation is often hard to understand. So we do better to start with easier books of the Bible: the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John), the Book of Acts, First Peter.
Vacation time is a good time to read, not only good books but also, and especially, the Bible. There is a great blessing in that, for the Holy Scriptures testify of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the world’s only Savior.
PRAYER: Holy Spirit, we thank You for good books, especially for the Book of Books which speaks to us of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. Amen.
(Taken from “Our Journey with Jesus” (out of print), copyright 1976, International Lutheran Laymen’s League.)
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