Context is Important
Bradon: Can you recall a time when you have taken something out of context?
Jon: I think we all can! So often, we don’t get the whole story!
Bradon: Great! Well, in our upcoming episode, I will share a story about context.
Jon: And we will learn that context is important!
About the Story
Bradon: Great! Continuing in Nehemiah – we are in Chapter 7 – Just past the halfway point. Up to now, we have been reading about Nehemiah’s God-given idea to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. A noble cause for sure!
Jon: And Nehemiah has met some resistance, mostly from the people who currently live in Jeruselum. They mocked him for the idea and honestly thought it was rather ridiculous.
Bradon: Right! They even got mad. So mad, in fact, that Nehemiah and his men, who were from all over, had to take turns standing guard while the others worked.
Jon: This was to prevent them from getting attacked while trying to get work done.
Bradon: Exactly. But here is where I think the context is really important to bring in.
Jon: Why is that? It seems like the story is pretty straightforward and easy to understand.
Bradon: Oh, I agree! It seems that way. Broken walls are being rebuilt, some people are mad, and some are happy with the walls. Story done.
Jon: Done and done, good job!
Bradon: No, obviously, I am being sarcastic.
Jon: Oh, yeah, totally, I knew that!
Bradon: Well, if we just take this story at face value, it does seem simple, but we know that each book of the Bible is part of a bigger, unified story.
Jon: we do.
Bradon: so then we can assume that each book also has something to say or teach us about that Bigger, unified story.
Jon: Right! So then you are saying if it seems like we are unable to take something from the story, or it seems really straightforward, we should look for the context in the bigger story?
Bradon: That is exactly what I am saying.
Jon: Realistically, Chapter 7 is a list of people who came to help rebuild, some of whom returned to their homes throughout Isreal.
Bradon: I agree, which is a good way to lead the lesson. Which is that context is important.
Jon: Always! Sometimes it really helps to ask yourself or someone else questions about what you are reading, especially if you are new to the Bible.
Bradon: It is always good to remember the Bible isn’t meant to be read cover to cover.
Jon: That’s not a wrong way to read it, but some things help with the whole picture and some that are hard to understand when reading it that way!
Bradon: I always suggest starting in the New Testament – with the Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John
Jon: Those are the books that will help you get to know Jesus and who He is! So I agree! That is a great place to start!
Bradon: All that to say, context is important!