Providence offers a series of bible studies that has come to be known as “Providence 30 Lessons.” These lessons have transformed countless people to love the Trinity and live a resurrected life.
Origins of the Providence 30 Lessons
Pastor Joshua Jung Myung Seok led a dedicated life of faith and read the bible numerous times to grow closer to Jesus. As a farmer, a soldier, a son, he lived clinging on to Jesus and through this journey he grew to realize more about the bible’s essence.
Pastor Joshua Jung originally penned down about 150 lessons, but later reduced the core of that into the Providence 30 lessons that provides the foundation of new Providence members today.
These lessons challenge traditional ways of interpreting the bible, which Pastor Joshua Jung explains have been antiquated because of old and fixed perspectives. By asking Jesus repeatedly in prayer and reading the bible holistically, Pastor Joshua Jung preaches refreshing and perspective-shattering words that raises the level of our understanding of God, the bible, the world around us, and our very own selves. This can be experienced in one of the beginning lessons, titled “Peter and the Fish”, which centers on the story in Matthew.
Peter and the Fish
Matthew 17: 24-27. (NIV)
24 After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma temple tax came to Peter and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?”
25 “Yes, he does,” he replied.
When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. “What do you think, Simon?” he asked. “From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes—from their own children or from others?”
26 “From others,” Peter answered.
“Then the children are exempt,” Jesus said to him. 27 “But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.”
It is easy to believe that Jesus was able to fulfil this miracle because he was the Almighty Son of God.
Yet, in the earlier days, Jesus had told Peter to stop fishing fish, but to fish for something else. Did Jesus contradict himself when he asked Peter to start fishing again?
Matthew 4: 18-20
18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him.
Moreover, if Jesus could simply get money from fishes, why was he still in poverty? Why didn’t Jesus alleviate the sufferings of the poor through more miracles of gaining money from nature like this?
Given these apparently contradictions, Pastor Joshua Jung prayed asking Jesus, “Please help me to understand this story better!” Gradually, Jesus opened his eyes to the importance of parables in the bible.
Matthew 13: 34 (NIV)
34 Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable.
Jesus had even spoken about the Parable of the Net in the bible.
Matthew 13: 47-51
47 “Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. 48 When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. 49 This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous 50 and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
51 “Have you understood all these things?” Jesus asked.
Have you ever applied your own perspective and understanding in interpreting conversations between other people – and end up misunderstanding? This is not surprising because we do not know properly the context of their conversation, or the relationship that they share between them, or even the jargons they use between each other.
So what did Jesus really mean when he asked Peter to fish and find a four-drachma coin?
To realize the answer, we must put ourselves in Peter’s shoes. We must ourselves in Jesus’ shoes. We must build a closer relationship with the Trinity through prayer.
This is a sample of one of the beginning lessons of the Providence 30 lessons, which has transformed numerous people into masterpieces that live truly Godly lives. We hope this short sample inspired you, and if you are keen to learn more, please feel free to comment. 🙂
We also have other related blog posts on the Providence 30 lessons.