I wonder how often we read over things in the Bible that are pregnant with meaning, but we read on unaware of the value contained therein. For example Christ was promised as our Savior in Genesis 3:15. How long were men able to read that Scripture and never understand its meaning? Do we even understand its full value today? God unveils more of its meaning in his promise to Abraham in Genesis 22:18 where he says all the human families of the earth would be blessed in the Seed of Abraham. Was Paul the first to understand that this pointed to the Messiah, Jesus (Galatians 3:16)? Paul wrote about this difficulty in understanding in his second letter to the Corinthians:
2 Corinthians 3:13-15 MKJV (13) And we are not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the sons of Israel could not steadfastly look to the end of the thing being done away. (14) (But their thoughts were blinded; for until the present the same veil remains on the reading of the old covenant, not taken away.) But this veil has been done away in Christ. (15) But until this day, when Moses is read, the veil is on their heart.
So, I am wondering how much of this veil covers our own hearts when we read Scripture. If our eyes aren’t fixed upon Jesus, aren’t we libel to see the literal only and completely miss the deeper meaning? I am always surprised, but thrilled as well, when I begin to understand a Scripture that I had misunderstood, until reading it again after God only knows how many times before. It is like reading it for the very first time, only with true meaning.
I believe I am having such an experience now. I recently read a thesis by Andrew Jukes, a theologian who lived in the 19th century. The article I read had to do with Peter’s Acts 3 speech after healing the man born lame. There Peter mentions the times of refreshing in Acts 3:19 and the times of restoration of all things in Acts 3:21. Both mentions are just another way of referring to the same thing. But I had to ask myself what do they mean? In fact, it is due to my question that I searched for and found Jukes’ thesis. It makes sense to me now, but I was surprised to find Peter was referring to universal salvation. Now, I had believed this doctrine for some time, but I thought it was something that developed later in the Apostles’ understanding. Yet, here it is in Peter’s second speech after Pentecost. The restoration of all things means God intends to restore all things to their original state. Now that is a very simple statement, almost a duh! moment, and how many times did I read over it and miss this point of Peter’s message?
I am pointing these things out to say that I hope—I’m not entirely sure yet—but I hope to think through some of the things I found in Juke’s thesis—aloud—so to speak. Actually, I hope to write out what I understand he was claiming. I need to do some personal study as I do so, so I probably will not be able to do a blog a day, but we’ll see if the Lord’s providence will have me do otherwise.