"Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears!"
It is one of the most famous lines of Shakespeare and is often quoted. But here's my problem with it:
What does it mean? Who sad it? Why was it said?
Too often people pick out one line of an entire play and remember it. "To be or not to be", "All the world's a stage", these are lines we hear, we know, but if I was to ask the context most people could not tell me.
And this is what we do to Scripture waaaay too much. We know a single line, a single verse, we have it memorized and we know it backwards and forwards, but we don't know what the line is before or the line after. We don't know where Jesus was when He said the verse we're quoting, who He was talking to or what the main point of His entire conversation was. Many times we don't even know where the verse is to go back and find it to look up what it really means.
There's a danger in taking one line out of the context of the whole conversation, the whole day of events even. If we really want to know what God is saying in His Word, we need to read more and understand more than the single line.
By the way, the line at the beginning, it was used by Marc Anthony. It was also a parody of an earlier line of Brutus, making fun of him but also showing his intelligence, talking to the people about Brutus' murder of Caesar. It was a counterpoint to Brutus' speech and lead into a discussion on politics and right and wrong. When was the last time you heard that line used in context...?