I've started reading through the gospels. Actually, I just finished the first one, Matthew. It took me an entire month. I had hoped to have read through all four in that time. But I didn't. And it isn't because I was busy examining the original language or delving into some topical study. No, it's because I'm not very good at reading those first four books of the New Testament.
I tend to avoid the gospels. They make me feel uncomfortable. The message isn't always cut-and-dry, and when it is, I don't always like the message. Jesus talks about bearing fruit and being tossed into the fire if we don't. He talks about giving to poor, not treasuring things on earth, and trusting God to provide for our needs. He is loving and kind and only good. But He also challenges and confronts and says things that make people angry.
The gospels show me who Jesus really is, and they make me think about who I really am. I have a hard time wrapping my mind around it all. I have a hard time not tuning it out. It can be difficult for me to understand what I'm supposed to learn from the passages because my modern-day lens likes to skew the picture. I find myself constantly trying to justify my own thoughts and actions. I try to convince myself that I'm living what the Bible says. I know the truth, but I wish I didn't.
So, I guess I'll keep reading and squirming. What else can I do? I want to know Jesus better and I want to love Him more. I want be what God has called me to be, but I'm scared to death of the process He might use to shape me. To strip me.
And I know that I need to remind myself of the Gospel of Christ (I mean the cross, not the books). Jesus died for me. His blood covered all of these sins that are holding me back. I can't learn from Jesus without His grace. I can't. I'm too pitiful and self-centered. I need Him and His Spirit to help me. Just maybe that's one of the main lessons I'm supposed to learn.
Do you ever struggle with reading the gospels? Is there anything God has challenged you with lately?