Reading the Words, But Missing the Life


Religious people from the beginning of time have sought God, read holy writings, but often missed God in the process. They often heard the story, but missed the wonder! One of Jesus’ interactions with the religious leaders of His day illustrates the point.

In the Gospel of John, chapter 5, Jesus tried to open their eyes to their twisted perspective on what God’s Word is supposed to produce.

Jesus had just healed a paralyzed man. The well-taught Jews had a dispute! They had read the Scriptures, and it was clear that Jesus shouldn’t be healing anyone on the Sabbath—nor should this previously paralyzed man be walking around carrying the mat that had been his resting place for 38 years. This may sound ridiculous, but we do the same thing whenever we choose to use the Scriptures for our own purposes or as a rule book.

Jesus responded to their accusations with two counterpoints:

“I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life” (John 5:24 NIV83, emphasis added).

“You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life” (John 5:39,40 NIV83, emphasis added).

Basically, Jesus showed that the Scriptures were meant primarily to open people’s eyes and to reveal Himself, the Son of God, so that we might come to Him and have life, abundant and everlasting.

It’s why we who feast on the “living and active” Word of God can say with Job,

“I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread (Job 23:12 NIV).

How are you experiencing the wonder of Christ in the Scriptures today? This week, when you open the Bible, don’t miss out by going only for information; look for Jesus!

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