Jesus’ Teachings Aren’t Prescriptions

Wednesday, May 18th, 2022

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Today, I’m talking about the Gospel, but my perspective is heavily influenced by how I interpret what’s happening in the reading from Acts 15:1-6

The scene revolves around the Pharisees arguing that to be saved, the Moses tradition should be followed, and the gentiles had to be circumcised to be saved.

I approached the Gospel with that attitude in mind as I paused on John, Chapter 15, Verse 7. It reads, “if you remain in me, and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.”

How am I seeing this connection?

One of the observations I can make is that I see a lot of people of faith treat these statements like prescriptions, as opposed to being descriptions or guidance. So, it becomes more of a, “you have to do it.” It’s a “you have to check the box for things to happen.”

As in the case of the tradition that you had to be circumcised to represent that you were part of Christ’s followers, I’ve seen the same way of thinking applied to statements in John 15:7.

We have this tendency to think, “Oh! What that means is if I follow what the Bible says, if I can use scripture to guide me wherever I go, it doesn’t matter what I want, If I ask it, I’ll get it.”

It’s almost like a guarantee. Yes, I can see how those connections can happen because it has happened to me. But I also notice that it’s easy to walk into this mentality of entitlement.

If I follow these steps, then I’m going to have x, y, and z. And, that’s not how I’m receiving the message that Jesus is giving. I tend to think of it more as being more in alignment.

I am not a Bible expert. I probably don’t know more than 5 verses. Let’s just say, if I had to save my life by quoting scripture, I probably won’t be able to.

That doesn’t mean I don’t get guidance from the good Word in other places or from reading the Bible. I tend to think the Bible is pointing to a certain level of truth that words are not enough to describe.

Let’s not forget the Bible we’re reading today is a translation of a translation of a translation, and a version of a version of version. I don’t know Greek. I don’t know Aramaic. I have no idea what the original words were. I’m trusting that whoever translated the Bible is doing the best that they can.

That’s probably why we have so many different versions of Bibles where they take a different perspective, use different words, and mean different things.

Rather than taking the Word literally, I return to the perspective that what Jesus is really saying is, “Hey, if you stay with me…with the intent of service and the energy that I’ve shown you…if you stay in alignment with the way I’m operating on earth, I will be with you. And trust me, whenever you reach out to me in prayer, I will do whatever I can for things to align for you to get them.”

I can give testimony of it.

I’ve done things exactly the way that is supposed to be done but gotten little results. Then, I get to moments where I’m in flow with life and things unexpectedly line up to shortcut the process with little effort on my part or precision required of me.

I can connect those dots where I say, “oh, it’s because I did this, this, and this. And that’s why everything was easy.”I just find it much simpler to think that if I am in this spirit of love and service, I create a life that’s filled with joy.

What do you see?

In peace,


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