The Center of the Scriptures

The Center of the Scriptures

Nicolaus Copernicus was born in Thorn, Poland on February 19, 1473 as the son of a wealthy merchant. He studied law and medicine at the universities of Bologna, Padua, and it was while he was there that his interest in astronomy was stimulated. He lived in the home of a mathematics professor who influenced him to question the astronomy beliefs of the day.

At that time, the predominant theory had been in place for over a thousand years, since the days of Ptolomy. In that theory, the earth was the center of the universe and was motionless with all other heavenly bodies revolving around it. And though all of his observations of the skies were made with the naked eye, Copernicus disagreed. Sometime between 1507 and 1515 he began to first circulate a different theory, this one with the sun at the center and the earth moving around it.

Copernicus did not live to see the reaction to his assertions, but he probably would not have been surprised at them. The reactions were, of course, angry. Though there were many purported reasons for the anger, if we look a little deeper perhaps we would find that at least part of the root of that anger…

The idea that the earth—filled with human beings—was actually not the center of the universe.

Keep that in mind as we turn to another moment, this one actually happening several centuries earlier. This moment was not set in scientific laboratories and the study of the stars, but instead on the dusty road between Jerusalem and Emmaus:

Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him.
Luke 24:13-16

These two men, despite claiming to have a good working knowledge of everything that had happened in Jerusalem, were really missing the entire point. But not only were they missing the point of those recent events; they were missing the bigger and more majestic point at hand. This second point is actually the point of everything—

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