Bottom Shelf

Some city folks moved to the country and placed membership in a little church. It wasn’t long before they confronted the old preacher there about the simple and direct manner of his sermons.

He humbly explained. I try to put it on the bottom shelf so everybody can get it.

Jesus covers an array of subjects in today’s reading, but He puts everything on the bottom shelf.

After reading these verses, no comment seems appropriate to me. I almost feel like I’m back in the 50’s in a Bible class at our little church in Fairview.

Someone would read a verse, and after a reverent pause the teacher would ask, Fern, what do you think this verse means?

A moment of reflection followed before the response. Well, I think it means just what it says.

Undeterred, the teacher would call on someone else. Roy, would you like to put this verse in your own words?

Another thoughtful silence and then, No, I don’t think I could say it any better than what’s already written here.

Having an attack of nostalgia? No. I’m just reminded of those days because I don’t have a comment on today’s verses either.

Except of course to say - I think the Teacher means just what He says, and nobody could have said it better.


  1. hey denny i have a question but it has nothing to do with the reading do you think when rahab lied in the bible do you think it was good or bad? my bible teacher had asked my class the same thing and so i thought i'd ask you -paige

  2. I think your bible teacher asked a very thoughtful question. It's true. Rahab lied not once but two times. And we know God tells us not to lie. So Rahab, as well as we, are wrong when we lie. So why was she blessed?
    Certainly not because of her lie. Then why? Because of her faith. You know God blesses us all even though we all sin, doesn't He? I thought of Noah, who got drunk. Abraham who also lied. David who sinned. Yet God blessed all of these men, not because of their sin but in spite of them, just like He does to each of us who has faith and are trying to please him. Aren't you glad God doesn't require us to be perfect to bless us? So this story is encouraging because it shows we don't have to be exactly right all the time to be blessed. If we had to be mistake free to be blessed, then I guess none of us would be in a very good position. I know I wouldn't be! I also like the fact that the Bible tells us about the mistakes of people who were blessed. It gives us hope. And of course, our real hope is the forgiveness of Jesus. Still, we try not to lie or any of the other things that displease God. In spite of our best efforts, we are weak and make mistakes, just like Rahab did. Thanks for asking. It made me think too.

  3. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.

    Jesus is somewhere near capernum, somewhere near the Sea of Galilee. However, his audience were mostly Jewish. every one of them had been to Jerusalem for the feasts - Three times per year was the requirement of the Law. Everyone was familiar with the trip to Jerusalem. In scriptures several time it mentions "going up to Jerusalem." To us, going up is normally North. However, the references to "going up to Jerusalem" didn't matter if they were coming from the South or the North (or East or West) because Jerusalem is located on a hill (mountain.)

    I can imagine when Jesus says, "a city on a hill" how people thoughts would have been of their trips to Jerusalem - and either day or night, they could see the city from a distance away.

    We are to be the light of the world. A city on a hill that cannot be hidden. By our lives (our deeds) people should be able to see us from a long way off. Our actions shouldn't be able to be hidden. We should be known by our good deeds as we shine our lights so that God is praised. Really, it's his light shining trough us. But we should be shining - and we should be recognized - from a long way off - as a city on a hill, that cannot be hidden.