Genesis 12.1–4; John 3.1–17Read more
The Hebrew scholar Naham M Sarna notes that there’s a crescendo that happens when God tells Abraham to “go.” God lists all that Abram would be leaving behind in increasing intimacy, increasing seriousness. “Leave your native land, leave your extended family, leave your father’s house. I am taking you somewhere new.” Quite a big ask, considering all Abraham has to go on is a promise from a God who had been silent since long before Abraham was born. If I’m totally honest, I can’t imagine that I would obey that kind of a command from God.
Feed my sheep
John 21.1–19Read more
This chapter of the book of John is known to biblical scholars as the Appendix. While every copy of John’s gospel that exists includes this chapter—so it’s unlikely that it was added on by a different author, or completely after the fact—it’s clear for literary reasons that the original writer of the gospel of John intended to end his gospel at the end of chapter 20. Jesus rose from the grave, revealed himself to Mary Magdalene, appeared to the disciples, and gave Thomas a chance to test his doubts, then, story’s over. But after all that, just before closing his moleskin journal or rolling up his scroll or whatever they would have done in the first century, John picks back up his pen and begins writing again.