It has become very evident to me that we read what we want to read. I don’t mean this in the sense that we choose a book and then decide to read it, but within that book, the words on the page are interpreted as we wish them to be. This is very frustrating! To approach a book and not admit that you have preconceived ideas and biases that you are taking to the text is a grave mistake. That is not to say that we should try to rid ourselves of our biases. No, not necesarily. That may come later, but rather we should endeavor to understand our biases and how they affect our reading.
This is expecially true with the Bible. I was reading in Matthew chapter 12 the other day and at the very end of this chapter, Jesus’ mother and brothers come to see him while he was preaching. Someone let him know they were there and his response is,”Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Now in our culture this might not mean a lot, but in a culture that placed a LOT of emphasis on familial structure, this was an outrageous statement! It likely would have offended his audience! But as insightful as that is, it’s not my point. Next Mattew records this: “Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” Amazing. Did you catch it? Or did you read it as you have been taught to read it? He pointed to His disciples. Which one of the 12 was his mother? Peter? Paul? And why did He add the word “sisters” in the last part of that verse? Could it be that Jesus actually was opening up His kingdom and the workings of His kingdom to women? Horror of horrors. Or blessing of blessings?