Jesus Sings

I’m spending 40 days reading through the New Testament. At my current pace, I should be done on December 31st. When I pick up the Bible and concentrate on the words, God speaks to me. It never fails. I shouldn’t be surprised by that. Somehow, I always am.

I’d encourage you to start your own 40-day New Testament challenge. If you read about seven chapters a day, you’ll finish on time. The God of the universe speaks through his living word. It’s marvelous.

One of the things I’m loving this round is meeting God in the throwaway passages. You know the ones I’m talking about. The verses that seem like transitions. They are not in red, and they don’t appear to add much to the storyline. They are just kind of there. You have probably blitzed over them numerous times without knowing it.

In a recent reading of the Gospel of Mark, I came across a verse that moved me in a powerful way. After the account of the last supper, in chapter 14, it says “when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives” (v. 26). That was it. They sang a hymn and left. If you need a clear example of what a throwaway passage in Scripture looks like, there it is.

Now, before you accuse me of heresy, let me say I believe every word of the Bible is inspired and profitable and holy. We can’t disregard any of it. When I say throwaway passage, I’m simply stating the fact that many of us read over such lines and give them little thought.

Imagine the scene in verse 26. Jesus and his disciples are together in the upper room. They share a meal together. Then they sing.

Do you think Jesus sang on key? Did he have a high or low range? Maybe he was like the person at church in the pew behind you with terrible pitch but a passion that is inspiring. Can you smell the wine on his breath as he loudly sings every line next to you? I envision him harmonizing the notes with a smile, winking at his disciples as if to say, “just wait til we get to the chorus”. Regardless of his ability to carry a tune, I imagine I’d stop singing to listen to the son of God sing hymns about the greatness of his Father.

What can be sure from this throwaway passage is, Jesus sings. That is a comforting thought to me. In the midst of a healing ministry, the various demands on his time, the overwhelming knowledge of the cross ahead, Jesus found time to sing with his friends.

Many of us look forward to singing worship songs to God on Sunday mornings. I know I do. How many times have you considered God singing worship songs with you?

Jesus sang. The very hymns sung by the disciples after the Passover meal, Jesus himself sang. We rightfully make much of Jesus’ deity. He was and is God. Some of us would benefit from reflecting on his humanity more often. He is fully human — a friend and a brother. He sings and invites us into a symphony of praise. Even now, the melody of his heart is invading the earth.

Don’t neglect the throwaway passages. It may be that God wants to meet you there and teach you something about his character. Perhaps God wants to expand your imagination in the seemingly mundane.

Next time you read the Bible, consider focusing on every line. Blitz through if that’s the goal but allow the Holy Spirit to stop you. Dig for treasures as you go. They can be found all over the text. I believe one of the reasons God placed them there is for your enjoyment. He wants to make you smile. He wants to see you laugh.

The Bible is a fascinating book. It’s not some dry, ancient piece of literature you should feel guilted into reading. No! We’re talking about the word of God. It’s a grand adventure where symphonies await. It’s a journey into the heart of the King. What could possibly be more exciting than that?

Jesus sings. I am grateful for his song. What about you?

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