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  • Writer's pictureJohn Kim

Jazz Licks

Hebrews 3:1 “Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest.” Chris Wood, the bassist for jazz trio Medeski, Martin & Wood once said “when I feel myself loosing the groove, I take notes out until I get it back.” Jazz licks are complicated, and mastering them takes a great deal of technical competence. But like most nuanced subject matter, the essence of jazz music sometimes proves surprisingly simple. Today I started prepping for a sermon I’ll be delivering in a couple weeks on Hebrews 3. (My posts here might get a bit more intermittent in my usual pre-sermon prep period.) Hebrew Christians of the early church were a learned bunch. A rich religious tradition and keen intellects required a thorough theological presentation to bring them back to the gospel. So there’s a lot of nuance and one can get lost in the cross references here, but upon meditating this morning I felt God relay that the essence of this passage, the whole book of Hebrews, and maybe even all of scripture itself can be distilled into three Greek words from verse 1. “Katanoeo Christos Iesous” or “consider Christ Jesus” or here in the NIV translated as “fix your thoughts on Jesus” just about sums it up. Yes it’s important to remember that God’s son is greater than the angels, greater than Moses and greater than the priesthood. It’s important to understand the meaning of God’s rest and why the ancient Israelites lost out on it while wandering the desert for 40 years. It’s important to understand the hall of faith and why Melchizedek’s encounter with Abraham validated the coming savior. But why? All of these important theological points serve to support the most important point, the essence of everything, that we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Lord, thanks for reminding me of the simplicity of your message. You’re more loving and more powerful than words can describe. So I can’t help but turn my thoughts towards you today. In your son’s name, Amen.

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