Done it again, another overheard snippet (see Is That Bad Or Sad). Me and Hubert were wandering towards home several days ago and not far in the distance were two ladies with dogs who had obviously met up whilst walking their respective furry friends. The ladies were very friendly and I would say that they were perhaps in their early fifties. It must be said that the dogs seemed to know each other very well as they were playing together in a pally sort of way. We had no idea what they were discussing but just as we drew level with the ladies we heard one of them say, “it will be interesting to see what happens when they sleep together”! As you can imagine, we both looked sideways at one another with raised eyebrows. When we were certain they could not hear, we wondered what on earth they meant. The dogs….. a family member…… who knows? We didn’t dwell on the matter, had a little chuckle and continued for home.
Interpretation is not always easy even when the conversation is in our native tongue. We are currently watching the Great British Menu programme and the contestants are asked to explain why they have chosen to cook their particular dish and also to interpret how it fulfils the brief they have been given. As this suggests, just to know the title they have given their dish does not always make it clear how they have arrived at their decision.
The Pharisees got themselves in a right old lather sometimes, trying to work out or interpret what Jesus meant by what he said. Of course, we have to remember they viewed Jesus as subversive because he so often said things that did not accord with their ways or laws. This could be the subject of a long discussion but here I merely want to suggest that one problem they had was that they did not really know Jesus and they didn’t want to know him. Therefore there is an immediate barrier to interpretation.
Sometimes it is not always easy to understand things in the Bible that is why we have preachers, Bible study notes and Bible studies. However, it is not possible to make any sense of things if we are determined not to. However if we would like to try and understand even just a little then the best way is to ask somebody you trust as a Christian to explain it to you. The best way of all is to get to know Jesus and that is the first step on the journey of discovery and interpretation, invite him to walk with you.
I wonder what I might overhear next….