The Thinker

I love this image of a man thinking! I was curious where this statue originated, I guess some guy named Auguste Rodin was hired to make the sculpture for a new museum in Paris. It was part of the gates of hell project depicting a scene from Dante’s Inferno. It required 37 years of work from Rodin. In all that time the museum itself was never finished. If you are interested further, go to Wikipedia, The Thinker or 12 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘The Thinker’

It wasn’t always called the Thinker! Rodin originally called this pondering figure The Poet, to resemble Dante, but Dante was slim and tall. I read a foundry worker is credited with naming it The Thinker, because it resembled Michelangelo’s sculpture of the same name. See that here.

Regardless of the background on this statue, I have always loved it for a couple of reasons. First of all, it reminds me of my dad, he was a thinker. I would watch him sit outside, just thinking away! Maybe it was a project he was pondering or trying to trouble shoot a problem he was having with one of his dump trucks.

I don’t know what, but he was thinking!

I would get up in the morning and he would be at the kitchen table with his coffee and cigarette dangling from his mouth, again just thinking away! I would wonder, is he day dreaming, what does he have going on in that mind of his?

And the second reason is…I am just like my dad. I am a thinker! I always have been. My wife would yell out to me and say, “you’re not going to get any work done just sitting there staring out in space, you’re just like your dad!”

I have to think things through, I have to ponder my path, I have to see it in my mind first to get it accomplished. Anytime I build something, before my hands touch the hammer and chisel, I want to see it being carved out, formed and fitting together until I had it complete in my mind.

I take that same approach with my bible study. I have to read and reread the text over and over in my mind. My process is pretty much like building something. I don’t run right away to the commentaries to see what others think, there’s no challenge in that, I run it through my mind first….

I want to break each section down.. I read and reread it in the context of the whole book, then the whole chapter, then the paragraph, and finally the verse. Yes, even a word, one word might give me the meaning of the verse!

There are times I am studying and I can’t get past a verse, I will spend hours on one verse…

You know that verse that makes you go hmm!

Wait!

What did I just read?

Let me give you an example!

The context here is Jesus is testing discipleship, calling disciples to himself.

He ends with a verse that made me go hmm!

Now when Jesus saw a crowd around Him, He gave orders to depart to the other side of the sea. 19 Then a scribe came and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.” 20 Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” 21 Another of the disciples said to Him, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.” 22 But Jesus said to him, “Follow Me, and allow the dead to bury their own dead.”

Matthew 8:18-22 [Emphasis Mine]

I know now what that verse means, but before I knew, out came the hammer and chisel! Now, there is much here in Jesus’ response, but let me focus on one part….

Think about it?

Jesus said….

“Follow Me, and allow the dead to bury their own dead.”

The logical first question would be, how can a dead person, bury another dead person?

I broke each word down with word studies and found out that the Greek meaning for the word dead is Dead, full period, Stop! Dead!, like a dead corpse, not Alive! That’s it, no other nuances. It means dead!

You see what I mean, it means something!

But what?

I do know one thing, It means what Jesus meant it to mean!

So I kept searching, and found all the verses with dead in them in the New Testament, and sorted through the obvious ones that were referring to actual dead people.

What I found was amazing!

Jesus was referring to spiritually dead people.

So!

The next question I asked, was…

What can a spiritually dead man do?

The answer is obvious, nothing spiritual!

Yes, they are physically alive, walking the way of the world, living the way of the world… But they’re dead, contrary to the things of God. Ephesians 2:1. They live according to the flesh, and are hostile towards God, and cannot please Him. Romans 8:7-8.

…and Jesus knew that!

So what we have here is Jesus telling a disciple who wanted to stay to bury his father, no! “Follow Me, and allow the dead (spiritually dead) to bury their own dead, not alive, really dead.”

I’ll leave you with something to think about…

What do they need? They need a But God!

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), Ephesians 2:4-5.

Because on there own, they are spiritually dead and can do nothing!

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8

“Follow Me, and allow the dead to bury their own dead.”

…hmm!

I love to think about those verses that make me go hmm!

…and that’s a beautiful thing!

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