Do you have a high regard for the Scriptures, the Bible? They certainly have a high regard for themselves.. They refer to themselves as “the word of God”. They claim God’s breath. If I believe their claims, I should have a high regard for what they have to say. I do.
I spent much of my middle life interpreting the Bible. I rolled out of bed in the morning to do exegesis. I studied so I could explain the Scriptures. I wanted to “cut it straight”. The more difficult the passage, the greater the mystery, the more I relished it. Once I understood what God had said originally, I was ready to apply and help others apply these truths to our lives. I felt empowered. I felt useful. I felt responsible.
I find in these same scriptures a high regard for Jesus. The Bible says Jesus, the Son, is the image of the invisible God. (Colossians 1:15) Jesus contains all the wisdom and knowledge of God. (Colossians 2:3) He is the head of his body the Church, has been given all authority over all things, and has the fullness of God. (Colossians 1:18, 19) Jesus has been given a name which is above every name. Every knee should and every knee will bow to him. (Philippians 2:9, 10)
The Pharisees must have had a high regard for the scriptures. Jesus said they searched them daily and yet missed the point. The Scriptures (in their case only the Old Testament) spoke of Jesus. They were looking for life in the Scriptures and missing Jesus. Jesus said to know him is to have eternal life.
After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:
“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him.3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. (John 17:1-3)
Jesus claimed all authority and sent his followers out to “make” (reproduce) more followers of him. (Matthew 28:19-20) I’m haunted by this. My very first sermon as a sixteen year old kid preacher was from Matthew 10:37-39) entitled “Are We Following?” The God of the universe has invited me to know him and help others know him. I am not invited to know about him but to know him. KNOW HIM. Think about it.
I have a high regard for the scriptures. I’m reasonably capable of interpreting them. But, here’s what I’m not so good at, letting the scriptures interpret me. The Scriptures interpret my life. Am I listening? Think about it. Does my life show the life of the One the Scriptures reveal? How does my life stand up under the interpretation of the Scriptures? How does yours?
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart
Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)