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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

June 29, 2023

The Bible Edge

Everyone needs an Edge, Believers can have a Bible Edge

John 21:23

Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?

Every word of God is important. This story about John proves such. The Disciple named John wrote the Gospel according to John. We call that book “John”. In this last chapter Jesus said an astounding thing. He said of John to Peter in verse 22 of this chapter: …If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me. But those who heard the Lord’s statement took it to mean that John the disciple would not die until Jesus returns to earth. To which John had to make the issue right. He wrote…Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee.

John was right. The Lord has not returned and to the best of our knowledge John is no longer alive. What started this was that Jesus was trying to point out to Peter that he should not have any concern with what John would do, Peter needed to be concerned with Peter. This is proven in the text. Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved Him. Peter became grieved and tried to deflect by asking the Lord about John…Lord, and what shall this man do? That which John was to do, or any other disciple for that matter, was between him/them and Jesus.

But many evidently took that which Jesus said about John wrongly. He did not say that John would not die until the return of Christ. He said of this whole issue…what is that to thee? Yet, it was spread abroad that John would not die until the Lord’s return. They misinterpreted that which our Lord said. Many do this, all the time, and with regularity. Whether they do this by mistake or on purpose really doesn’t matter. Either way they are wrong.

God’s words matter. The context of how they were spoken matters. The time when they were given matters. The one saying the words of God matters. The audience that hears or receives God’s words matter. Everything matters when it comes to the proper interpretation of that which God’s Word communicates. Every word is so important that Jesus said…Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4). That is how important every word of the Bible is, all 774,746 of them.

John had to properly interpret that which Christ said and point out the error of all that interpreted His words wrongly. This is why God calls pastors, why they go (or should go) through years of Bible study coupled with life experiences, and why they give themselves to study and prayer. Those who do not have the level of understanding of a complete overview of the entire Bible sometimes deride the Bible based preachers and grow impatient with their unwillingness to deviate from the clear teachings of the Word of God.

Nonetheless every word in the Word of God matters; read them carefully. This is an edge against wrong interpretations of the Holy Scriptures.

William T. Howe, Ph.D.

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