Many people today read Scripture and throw up their hands, “We can’t know for sure what these Scriptures mean.” Maybe a few of the simplest texts but hardly any of the more difficult passages can be interpreted with any amount of surety by these people.
This kind of hermeneutical dance sounds humble. After all God is so far above us. But don’t let arrogance be mistaken for humility. God has spoken and because he’s spoken we should assume we wants us to understand what he says. We confuse difficult and depth.
Let me illustrate. A husband and wife have been married for 30 years. Their children have left their home. They’ve worked most of those years. They’ve worshipped God with a community of believers. You hear the husband say, “I love you baby.” The wife replies, “I love you too darling.”
Simple. You can read those words and understand those words mean commitment, promise, affection, and love. There’s a simplicity to understanding them.
But don’t miss the depth. Without understanding the cultural, economic, and historical context you may not know the depth of the “I love you.” They may have struggled through years of infertility. They may have fought through infidelity. They may have fought through joblessness. They may have fought through faith and doubt. They may have fought through despair. They may have fought through the loss of a child. They may have fought through it all.
So while understanding “I love you” is simple; it’s also much deeper. Scripture is the same way. You can read and understand the gospel story. It’s simple. But it’s also much deeper. A river running deep with blood. Come wash in it.