How do I read the words Moses wrote in the Bible to know Jesus better?
Jesus said, “I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to finish—the very works that I am doing—testify that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life. I do not accept glory from human beings, but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?”
The people to whom Jesus said these words were very religious. They were known as the Pharisees. They could quote the words of the Old Testament much better than you or I ever could. But their reason for knowing it well was to dig into it to find material for their religious book of rules, which they obeyed in the hope that their lives would then be acceptable to God.
Never be impressed simply by a person’s capacity to quote the Bible, because it’s all too easy to know the details of the Bible really well, yet not understand its main, big message. All that knowledge will, in the end, be useless to us unless we see Jesus, or our need for Jesus, on every page. Jesus says the Bible was given by God to lead us to him, to Jesus. If our Bible reading doesn’t lead us to Jesus, we’ve misunderstood the Bible.
So when you read the Bible, always ask, how does this lead me Jesus? How does this teach me about Jesus, who he is, why he came and how God wants me to live for Jesus? May the words Jesus said to those religious men in his day NOT be true of you or me, “These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” May we instead be like the Christian scholar and intellectual who in old age was asked by a student if he could summarize his whole life’s work in a sentence. He replied, “Yes, I can. In the words of a song I learned at my mother’s knee: ‘Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.’”
Head: Do I read the Bible to know Jesus better, and learn how to live for him?
Heart: Has the love of God, the love of Jesus, taken hold in my heart?
Hands: How will my Bible reading, listening to Bible talks and participation at growth group change if my reason for reading the Bible is to know Jesus better, and to learn how to live for him?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus, not so we could be religious, but so we could really know you. I ask, by the work of the Holy Spirit, your love, the love of Jesus, would take deep root in my heart and direct my life and relationships. I ask that my Bible reading, listening to Bible talks and participation at Growth Group will be energised by the desire to know Jesus better, and the desire to learn how to live for him. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
A song to listen to: Before the Throne of God Above
This Grow Daily was originally posted as part of The Jesus in series in 2016. During the School Holidays we take the opportunity to look back at the best of Grow Dailys over the years.