“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life. I do not receive glory from men; but I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves. I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God? Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”
– John 5:39-47 (Jesus speaking)
Jesus was speaking these words to the Jewish religious leaders of His day. These leaders were very well-acquainted with “the Scriptures” – what we call the Bible (though the New Testament had not yet been written). When Jesus said, “You search the Scriptures,” He was talking about what they did for a living, what they did all day long. All Jews looked to these men as the undisputed experts on the Scriptures.
To “search” the Scriptures was just another way to say “study” them. And as Jesus pointed out, they studied the Scriptures because they trusted that God had given in the Scriptures the guidance that leads to eternal life. Therefore, Jesus was acknowledging just how seriously these men took their task of studying the sacred Hebrew writings.
For all this study, however, they could not recognize that standing right before them was the fulfillment of all the messianic prophecies contained in those Scriptures. What in the world was wrong with their attitude that they could read all these promises of a Messiah and not recognize that Messiah when He came on the scene?
Let us take heed and learn from their error. Let us learn that it is possible to read the Bible – study it extensively – and miss its main point…which is Jesus Christ.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord Jesus, I don’t come to You to learn about the Bible, I come to the Bible learn about You…(this is where you remain quiet to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.
(All scriptures, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the NASB.)