Monday, July 28, 2008

Knockin' on Heaven's Door

Knock Knock. Who's there?
Boo. Boo Who?
Sorry I made you cry!

That's the joke going around my house lately, by my nearly 9 yr old daughter. She's at the age where riddles and knock-knock jokes are fun times, and she follows me around with her joke book telling me joke after joke.

Knock-knock. Who's there?
Apple tree. Apple tree who?
Sorry I made you cry!

What?? That joke is the version my 4 yr old tells. She hears all the knock knock jokes, and she wants to get involved too. She sees the fun, and wants to be a part, but she doesn't understand what makes the joke funny. So she makes the joke her own, without really getting the point.

Some Christians have this problem too! They hear the message of Christ, and believe it. They want to be involved too. So they start to share the stories of the bible, but they are just repeating things they've heard and can get the story mixed up along the way. And suddenly there are lots of confused Christians (and non-Christians) out there.

Don't think it could happen to you? Quick, answer these questions.

1. How long was Noah on the ark?
2. How many of each animal were on the ark?
3. How many wise men were there visiting Jesus?
4. Where did the wise men visit Jesus?
5. After Jesus rose from the dead, how long was he on the earth?


1. Well, if you read my blog you already know that Noah was not on the ark for 40 days. While it rained for 40 days, he was on the ark for 7 months! I just realized this myself last week when reading the bible account of the story, and not a child's story book.

2. Um, 2 of each animal right? Genesis 7:2 says "Take with you SEVEN of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and two of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, and also seven of every kind of bird...." Okay, so that is way more than 2 of each. The first sentence actually refers to seven pairs - so that is 14 of each kind of clean animal. Why did we think two? Well, there were two of each for the purpose of being fruitful and multiplying...but there was also some eating going on I think.

3. Three wise men, everyone knows that right!? The bible does not say three. In Matthew 2 it says "After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came." (Magi or wise men). It never references how many. Only that they brought gold and incense and myrrh.

4. Well, of course anyone who owns a nativity scene knows that the Wise Men came to the stable...right after the shepherds, right? Actually, Matt 2:11 says "On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him." House? Biblical scholars point to the fact Jesus was under 2 since Herod sent down the order to kill all children under 2, but was probably around 1 yr old and at his home, not the stable by this point.

5. If you attend a church where the creed is spoken, you know "He descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead, and ascended into heaven." I always thought that meant immediately, or at least soon. He spoke to Mary at the grave, visited the disciples and off he ascended. He was actually on earth for 40 days before he went to heaven. Acts 1:3 says "He appeared to them over a period of forty days."

Like my 4 yr old, we can hear the stories and get confused, adding our own take on them. We need to make sure we are reading the bible to get the true story. It is great to be a witness for God, but make sure you're spreading the truth. If you're not sure, pray to God for wisdom (knock and the door will be opened!). And if all else fails, seek godly counsel from a bible study leader or pastor. But remember, test what you hear with the bible.

Knock knock. Who's there?
Lettuce. Lettuce who?
Lettuce pray! (Let us pray).

Matthew 7:7,8 - - "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."

Revelation 3:20 - - Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.


Truth4thejourney said...

This is so true! I want to throw most of my children's books out because of the Noah mix-up! Also knowing that Jesus was much older when the Magi came makes you realize that His birth may have been low key all the way around. I wonder how Mary and Joseph must have felt?

makes you really stop and think. Another interesting Biblical fact, they got baptised ALL THE TIME! It wasn't a one time thing. Now, as christians we only need to do it once but, if you fall away and come back (another topic for another day) there's no harm in getting baptised again. it's symbolic of the cleansing of your sins.

How many other misnomers are out there just waiting to be discovered?

Thaks Kelly!

Why 2nd Cup of Coffee? said...

Kelly, that is a really good parallel that you've drawn. I could see that published but also used as an object lesson for kids.

Julie Gillies said...

Hi Kelly,

Excellent examples. As Christians we need to be ongoing students of God's word.


My ADHD Me said...

Wow. Great point. I got some of your questions wrong. After reading the answers then I was like..."Oh yeah, I remember that" Except for #2 and #3. I didn't know those at all.

We're pretty much past the knock knock jokes. We're up to things like...
"I have 5 noses, seven ears and 4 mouths. What am I?"..............
Very Ugly.
(oh brother)

Pinkshoelady said...

I loved this post!
I am seminary with a Masters of divinity in Chritian Ed. and I got some wrong!

My nine year old is into jokes too.

my favorite:(say it with your best southern accent)

Knock, knock
Who's there?
Butch, Jimmy and Joe
Butch, Jimmy and Joe who?
Butch your arms around me, Jimmy a little kiss, and I'll Joe home with you!

My husband loves that one!

Thanks for the challenge and the smile!

Pamela R.

Pinkshoelady said...

Opps! Quick, look my bad grammer is showing! My first sentence should have been:
I am a seminary graduate with a Master's of Divinity in Christian Ed. and I missed some.
Actually I think it is my "I'm in a hurry" is showing.

Take care my friend!
Pamela R.

Sue J said...

To keep every fact of the Bible straight--considering my current frame of mind--would be extremely difficult! I know, these stories aren't that difficult to understand. Why do we miss things? That's why reading the Bible is a lifelong process and not a one-time-only event.

I have to say, though, that I'm more concerned when people don't see the big picture. ("And so what we have learned applies to our lives today. God has a lot to say in His Book." C'mon you singing Veggie fans!!) Noah was a righteous man and God wiped out the planet sparing only the righteous man and his family. (And we still messed it up!)

What's especially sad is that as you and I post today about interpretations, views and facts, there are folks out there who act out of anger, hate and confusion when they don't see eye-to-eye on these very things. That ever so simple sounding commandment of "Love one another" is so mighty when we need to accept those who have a different view, don't understand it or get it wrong.

As for knock-knock jokes....I'll be so glad to get through 3rd and 4th grade humor!

MrsProverbs31 said...

What a wonderful post! I love all those facts. I'm going to have to check it out. Wow! I came over here from Tammy's. I was reading through the comment and loved your testimony.

So, I stayed and read your knock knock jokes/story. Wow! This is a worthwhile chat.

God bless.

Bonita said...

So true, Kelly! We need to dig into the word for ourselves to truly "know" the truth that sets us free.

Now I have a question for you, a bit of trivia that I recently discovered for the first time. What profession did Amos work in at the time when God gave him the words of prophecy that appear in the book of Amos? If you don't know, take a guess, and then read the first few verses of Amos to find the answer.

HisPrincess said...

Well knock me down with a feather!

I got two of your questions've sent me to my bible to check up on you!

Starr said...

That was a great post, Kelly. Sad how God's people can be so misled by those who just unknowingly have their facts mixed up.

My little one (6) is into knock knock jokes to the point that it drives us all batty!! He just makes them up and they have no point whatsoever. They are only funny because they make no sense!
Well, I guess he wins...the onjective is to make us laugh, right?

Tammy said...

What an excellent reminder. I enjoyed your post!

I have about had to ban knock-knock jokes this summer, at least until my kids learn some new ones! :-)