"What's This Thingy?"

When I think I am through writing about technology, then another “new thingy,” (at least to me!), comes along! Our middle-aged son, Marc, was recently in an Austin area Apple Store when he captured a moment that had him thinking about his own future. Apple does an excellent job of supporting their customers by giving new iPhone users a hands-on tutorial. The presentation involved a group of mostly senior adult newbies who were learning skills, like how to enlarge a text font, as well as where to locate the “magnifier app” in utilities. The latter app was of interest to me because the fine print of grocery item labels is getting finer these days! It is another level of “shrink inflation!”

"What's this thingy?"
iPhone 101 - Marc K.

Monique continues to teach as a substitute and often struggles using technology in the classroom. The younger students are more than happy to help guide her! 😊 At the end of this year, our local elementary school will have transitioned to using “SMART Board" technology in most of its classrooms. This has been an expensive, multi-year process. That means every teacher will need to be proficient in using this basic tool in their instruction! And of course, this requirement will impact the substitutes as well! Tech is here to stay! Bring on the tutorials!

When I went to school, we only had a blackboard, chalk, and an eraser! We read from printed textbooks, memorized math facts, and did our calculations with pencil and paper. We researched at the library and referenced encyclopedias. Students today have individual Chromebook computers that readily access a wealth of information on the Internet and store it "in the cloud." Information (reading, math, and science) is processed digitally, and teachers teach using SMART Board technology. These students are swirling in an environment of fast moving, colorful, digital instructional images that inform, entertain, and assess their progress. It is a different world for sure!

Believers consider Jesus Christ to have been the greatest teacher of all time! He masterfully used vivid language in his teaching. His story parables were generously peppered with figures of speech. Simile, metaphor, hyperbole, paradox, irony, and poetry rolled so naturally off His tongue. His listeners, sometimes numbering thousands, were enthralled, engaged, and even entertained by His imagination and skillful use of words.

And what may be incredible to our modern way of thinking is that Jesus Christ moved people to His ideas and teachings without a personal computer, or access to the World Wide Web, or having to utilize any “digital tech thingy!” Yet, biblical history will forever record how Jesus’ teaching was so electrifying and gripping that it had His first-century hearers sitting spellbound on grassy hillsides and unwilling to go home because they couldn’t stop listening to His messages.

I have always been intrigued with the post-resurrection story in Luke 24. I have loved this story since my first reading of it! It gives testimony to the impact of Jesus’ teaching about His purpose and mission in the Incarnation. The backstory is about two Christ-followers who walked the seven miles home to Emmaus after spending time in Jerusalem. They had been traumatized by the horror of Jesus’ arrest, death sentence on the cross and then, the mysterious disappearance of His body after three days.

The text reports that “As they talked and discussed these things, (‘about everything that had happened’), with each other, Jesus came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him.” (Lk. 24:15-16). The two travelers were surprised that their new companion asked, “What things?” as if He did not know anything about what was causing them such grief.

Jesus chided them for their dullness regarding the prophetic predictions of the necessity for Messiah’s suffering  before an eventual experience of glory. What Jesus said next is my favorite sentence, “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures (His Bible, the Old Testament!) concerning Himself.” (v.27).

I have often thought about what it would have been like to hear Jesus, the Master Teacher, skillfully parse the many passages in the Hebrew Bible that foretold His Coming and how His life would perfectly fulfill prophecy! It gives me the chills just imagining the flow of those words of truth! (If you want to be reminded of some of those many passages like Genesis 3:15, Numbers 21:9, and the whole of Isaiah 53, check out the sidebar references to Luke 24:27 that are listed in most study Bibles.)

The thrilling impact of Jesus’ prophetic teaching upon those on the road to Emmaus should be evidence enough for any questioning His power with words. Later, after dining with Jesus and seeing Him break the bread with them, the Scriptures say, “Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him, and He disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, 'Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?'” (vv.30-32).

When was the last time your heart burned with delight while reading God’s Word? The Apostle Paul said to his mentee friend, Timothy, “There’s nothing like the written Word of God for showing the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus!” (2 Timothy 3:15, MSG).

This Lenten Season, leading up to Easter, is a good time to clear some space in our busy schedules for a daily reading of the Bible. Indeed, “There is nothing like the written Word!”

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,

active churchman and
doting grandparent.
Contact: drmjkeppler@gmail.com


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