Monday, February 27, 2012

John 5:39-47

Thanks to all of you who are praying for baby Royce and his family. I have not had an update from Pammie, but will keep you informed. Keep praying that God Almighty will work a miracle in his little body!

We finish up chapter 5 today. In this last part of the passage, Jesus chastised the Jewish leaders who were so proud of their knowledge of the Scriptures, yet had completely missed Jesus in them:

You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life. (John 5:39-40)

If we approach the Scriptures in a purely intellectual pursuit, we will find much to stimulate our brains. However, we will miss the point of the Scriptures, which is to direct us to the Savior from Genesis to Revelation. From the first promise in the Garden of Eden (Gen 3:15) to the final promises of His coming in glory in Revelation 22, the entire book is His Story. The Jewish leaders focused on the keeping of the law on picayune points rather than obeying the laws to love the LORD their God with all their hearts, souls, and minds, and to love their neighbors as they loved themselves. (Matthew 22:34-40) They were more concerned with their reputations among men than how God saw them:

“I do not accept praise from men, 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 if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?"  (vs. 41-44)

Finally, while they trusted in their ability to keep the Law of Moses, Jesus said that the Law would be the very thing used against them at judgment:

“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?” (vs. 45-47)

When I decided to study John this year, it was because I had been speaking with a young woman who wasn’t sure anymore what she believed. Jesus says in this passage that what we believe MATTERS! It was the Jewish leaders’ refusal to believe what Moses wrote about the Messiah that condemned them. These leaders had seen the crippled man healed. They had heard John the Baptist proclaim Jesus as the Messiah. And they had studied the Scriptures for their entire lives. It wasn’t that they couldn’t believe; they wouldn’t believe.

If we study the Bible for a lifetime, but never actually believe in the Jesus of the Bible, we will be just like these religious leaders: condemned! Each of us has to come to the point where we answer the one question that will determine our eternal fate: “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” (Matt 22:42)


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