Ezra Read “The Law”. We Read “Jesus”! pt.2


Part 1a: 29min


Part 1b: 27min


Full Message:


Main Passage: Nehemiah 8:1-12

“God’s people are to be shaped by God’s Word. As Ezra proclaimed God’s word, the people honored the voice of God and responded with repentance and were renewed. Likewise, biblical fellowship must be centered on God’s Word [Jesus]. As we gather together to listen to God speak to us through the Scriptures, we are challenged to repent, strengthened in our fellowship, and empowered for our mission.” – The Gospel Project

Theological Theme:

Biblical community must be centered on God-Father, Son and Spirit’s small word (the Bible), in the Light of God’s Big Word (Jesus!).

Christ Connection:

Like the returning exiles, when we read God’s Word, we are reminded of our heritage, God’s faithfulness, and His saving work. Most of all, in reading God’s Word, we are encountered by God and reminded by Him of His master plan to bring salvation to the world through Jesus Christ and his life, suffering, cross, death, resurrection and ascension.

Missional Application:

Through His Holy Spirit, the Father is always pointing us to Christ, and Christ is always pointing us to others.

The Four Elements of Humanity as Being-In-Encounter-

1. Seeing Eye to Eye.

“Being in encounter is a being in which one man looks the other in the eye.” When we see eye to eye, we are both concerned to see the other for who they are and to let the other see me. There is a reciprocity, a give and take in this relationship. The is a kind of objectivity, and”openness” to the other to know them and be known by them without deception, without idealization, or derogation. There is a moving out of ourselves to see others and to reveal ourselves to them. What ensues in such an eye-to-eye interchange is a sharing of life together.

2. Mutual Speech and Hearing.

Being in encounter means “there is mutual speech and hearing.” This is a complex action of both I and Thou, both speaking to and hearing one other. Whereas the seeing is essentially receptive on each side, in speaking one makes one’s own contribution to the other’s perception. He participates in the revelation of himself so as to assist the other in drawing up his image of him. In this way, one gives oneself to the other actively and in greater depth than merely being seen can offer. This reciprocal speaking is to be for the benefit of the other. Not just for the sake of expressing one’s self but in order to give of one’s self to the other………..It is in this dialogue where lives are exchanged and so mutually enlarged and enriched that we speak and hear humanly.

3. Giving Mutual Assistance.

Being-in-encounter means giving assistance in the act of being. This means that we are for the other, we support the other in its life as we can, within its limits. And it means we can call for assistance because we know our own limitations and need the help of others. Assistance is mutual when the response with help corresponds to the call for support…..Our assistance is human insofar as we do act to help but only as we know our own need for assistance and as we do indeed call for assistance, admitting our need, only as we recognize that the other needs assistance as well. This is human fellowship.

4. Freely and With Gladness.

Being in encounter means, all this is “done on both sides with gladness,” that is “freely and from the heart.” The depth of relationship there is that there is a discovery of being with the other in such a way that there is recognized an inward correspondence of the other to me despite all his otherness. This is not a collapse of one into another, but the recognition that the law of my own being is fulfilled in being so completely with the other. In this correspondance, there is the sense of an unimpeachable appropriateness and freedom and so joy…….

In this he is glad, not being reluctant or neutral in relation to others, because in this relationship he is actualizing his very own humanity.

-Karl Barth’s Theology of Relations

Photo Compliments – Pinterest.com

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