Understanding the Bible; April 18, 2022

Luke 24:44-45 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.

Two things here. The first is that the Messiah is thoroughly pro­phe­­­sied in the Old Testament. It was literally hundreds of years before the New Testament canon was settled, and the believers actively used the Old Testament as they shared the Good News of Jesus with both Jews and Gentiles. Churches and Christians who ignore the Old Testament do so to their great loss. The second thing is that our hearts have to be opened to receive the truth of Scripture. I know someone who has read through the whole Bible and still stubbornly refuses to commit to Jesus Christ as Lord. There are many who treat the Bible strictly as literature. It is that, and magnificent literature indeed, but if it is taken just as that it does us very little good. I’m sure the disciples were totally blown out of the water by all this, first that Jesus had risen from the dead and then to realize that everything had been prophesied long before. Even today we need to pray that God would open our hearts to understand the Word, not only as we read it but as we think of it through the day. The Bible can be very simple, and it can be extremely deep – sometimes in the same verse! Like the Ethiopian eunuch, we need someone to explain it to us. (Acts 8:26 ff) Who better than the Holy Spirit, who caused it to be written? John picked up on that very well in his first letter. “As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit–just as it has taught you, remain in him.” (1 John 2:27)

Of course this applies to me as much as it does to anyone else. I have slipped up by thinking otherwise! I have been familiar with the Bible since childhood and I have a high IQ, so at times I have trusted in that instead of asking God what He was saying, to me and to the particular situation. Sometimes He has surprised me! Reading the Bible is a joy and a privilege, and doing so in different translations and languages has been very enriching. However, I’ve always got to remember that it’s not just an academic exercise, it’s an opportunity to open my heart to hear what God is saying to me, and perhaps wants to say through me. If I can be used to open someone else’ heart, that is a high privilege indeed.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for the blessed Resurrection Sunday yesterday. Thank You for all the children and their parents who came to the afternoon program. I pray that Your truth that they heard would remain in their hearts and minds and bear fruit for eternal life in the future, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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