You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. I do not receive glory from people. But I know that you do not have the love of God within you. 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 do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? (John 5:39-40)
Jesus healed a man who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. You would think that everyone who saw him walking around carrying his mat would be happy, but that was not the case. Jesus did not break any of the commands of Scripture, but He did break the rules of religious leaders by healing on the Sabbath and having the man carry his mat.
Upset with Jesus, a debate breaks out among the religious leaders. In their exchange, we learn five things about the Bible.
One, if you know the Scriptures but don’t have the Spirit, you can end up like Satan. Satan knows the Bible, but he does not have the Holy Spirit or love the Lord. So, he twists the Scriptures to harm rather than help people. The religious leaders fighting with Jesus are a lot like him.
Two, the Bible is for you, not about you. The Bible is for you and about Jesus. The religious leaders did not accept these truths, and when Jesus showed up they argued with Him about the Bible rather than learn from Him. Why? Because they thought the Bible was about them, not Jesus.
Three, knowledge puffs you up while loves builds others up. The religious leaders had Bible knowledge, but they were arrogant enough to try and correct Jesus as if He were wrong and they were right. As Jesus was building others up, the religious leaders were beating Jesus up. This is what happens when someone wrongly uses the Bible to enhance their pride rather than expand God’s purposes.
Four, Scripture not a window to look at. Scripture is a window to look through in order to see Jesus. These religious leaders failed to look through the Scriptures and see Jesus, so they tragically missed the entire point of the Bible.
Five, Jesus is not a spoke in the Bible. Jesus is the hub for all the spokes in the Bible. Jesus is not one of many subjects, but rather the place that all subjects connect and are held together.
How about you, do any of these explain your current use or abuse of the Bible?