If someone asked you to summarize the Bible in 30 seconds, could you?
Try it. Pretend a friend asked you, “So, what’s the Bible really all about? Just give me the cliff notes version.”
What would you say?
Because if we believe the Bible is authoritative and the basis for everyday life, shouldn’t we be able to tell someone what it’s about?
The Bible is one story
It’s hard, right? Boiling down 66 books written by 40 authors spanning thousands of years of history into just a few sentences!?
I think there are two reasons we struggle with being able to summarize the whole Bible – besides the fact that the Bible is a really big book:
(1) We don’t know the overarching story of the Bible
(2) We know how the pieces of the story go together
When we study one of the books of the Bible, we read it in the strangest ways – one chapter, one page, one paragraph at a time.
We would never go to a library just to check out one page from a book. What good is one page?!?
From just one page, we wouldn’t get the plot, be able to describe the main conflict, or even the climactic event.
In order to understand a book, we would need more than one page; we need to read the whole story.
But, very often, this is how we read the biblical story. No wonder we have trouble understanding God’s Word. No wonder we have trouble figuring out where our story fits into God’s story!
The Bible is intended to be one, unified story. Yes, we often read the books of the Bible separately, but each book plays an important part in God’s story for the world.
The Bible has one message
Not only is the Bible one story, but it has one message – one unified theme:
The Bible is the story of a good King who created a good world, and although it was corrupted by sin, he is at work to redeem and restore it through his Son, Jesus Christ.
That’s the Bible in less than 30 seconds.
The Bible is one story written by one Author with one message; the Bible is the story of a good King.
So, why is so difficult to see this story on the pages of Scripture? Very likely, our worldview gets in the way – those filtered lenses through which we read God’s Word. And because filtered lenses often do not align with the reality of Scripture, it is very likely we’ll miss the story God has tucked into its pages.
Our eyes will be directed inward instead of where they should be directed – upward and outward. We will take center stage in our life story, instead of the King.
So, we must train our eyes to see the story of Scripture – the grand biblical narrative that stretches from Genesis to Revelation, the story of the King.
The Biblical Story
Need some help seeing the biblical story? Here’s a little longer version:
• Genesis 1-2: God reveals his intention for his kingdom & his servants.
• Genesis 3: The King’s subjects rebel against the throne.
• Genesis 4-49: The King promises to rescue his kingdom from the consequences of their rebellion.
• Exodus – Deuteronomy: While the King’s subjects wait for rescue, the King extends grace in three ways (the sacrificial system, the Law, & the tabernacle) so they can dwell in his court and fulfill their role as servants to the throne in a temporary measure.
• Joshua – Esther: The King’s subjects demand to be led by earthly kings & often fail to rule in the way that honors the King.
• Job – Malachi: The King’s prophets give the King’s subjects a two-pronged message of judgment and hope.
• Matthew – John: The promised King of Kings finally arrives & begins to set his kingdom right.
• Acts: A previously-quiet character (the Holy Spirit)enters the biblical story as the King’s Helper.
• 1 Corinthians – Jude: The King’s Helper equips the King’s subjects to serve priests to those living outside the his kingdom.
• Revelation: The King’s original goal for his kingdom is realized. His kingdom is remade & his rule is eternally fulfilled.
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