School is in session! Last week we kicked off the 2019-2020 year with our new School of Biblical Studies students! Over the next 10 months, we will journey with this class as they study every book of the Bible.
Emmaus Ministries derives its name from the story of the disciples who met Jesus on the road to the city of Emmaus: Luke 24:31-32: And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” It’s an absolute joy to walk with this group of people as they set out on their own Emmaus Road Journey. We know that as the year goes on, we will witness their hearts begin to burn through the study of the Bible.
The first two weeks of class are seminar style, during which the students learn the method we use to study the Bible here at Emmaus. Our school teaches a variation of the Inductive Method, a way in which to study the scripture that seeks to draw conclusions only from the text. This approach sets aside any preconceived notions that a modern reader may have and focuses on the text in its original context. This is the lens through which our students view scripture and then move it into practical application to their lives today. Inductive Bible study has three steps: observation, interpretation and application.
We use the Book of Jonah to teach the Inductive Method. This book of the Bible usually comes loaded with preconceived ideas, mental images, even songs and stories from childhood! Students are usually familiar with certain aspects of the story, they may relate it to God speaking to Jonah, or Jonah running away and getting swallowed by a “big fish.” Students often find that they have to let go of what they think they know about the story in order to inductively study the book.
As the week progresses, The Book of Jonah begins to transform from the “familiar children's story” to a convicting, relevant, and timeless lesson about how God loves his enemies. It becomes a case study of what it looks like to truly repent and follow the Lord. For our students, Jonah is no longer just a story on a page, but a story that reveals truths about God's character in such a way that imprints something on their hearts.
We are so excited to begin another year of studying the whole Bible and to watch as the students encounter Jesus throughout the whole of scripture. Our hope is that you’ll join us in this year while this class journeys through the bible. Please pray that our students meet Jesus with fresh eyes on open hearts. Our goal is that this would be not just scholarly school, but one of disciples that are growing, maturing and learning what it looks like to follow after Jesus.