The Scriptures Testify to Jesus

Scripture: John 5:39-40, ‘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.’


Observations: Jesus heals an invalid on the Sabbath (v1-15) and justifies it by saying that like his Father always works so too does he work (v17). The Jews interpret this as Jesus making himself equal with God (v18). Jesus confirms their suspicions by suggesting that he shares God’s power to give life and his authority to judge humanity (v19-30). But rather than claiming this on his own, Jesus (v31-32), not only has the testimony of John the Baptist (v33-35), but the testimony of God himself (v36-38). In fact, according to Jesus the whole Old Testament, the Scriptures, testify about him. Jesus acknowledges that the Jews ‘diligently study the Scriptures, but their diligence is misplaced. It’s not the Scriptures that will save them, it’s only Jesus who can save. We diligently study the Scriptures, not to understand the Scriptures, but to discover Jesus Christ. We won’t find eternal life by reading the Bible but by putting our faith in Jesus. Jesus puts the Bible in its proper place, as God’s word pointing people to the one who will save them, and that person is Jesus Christ. Earlier Jesus says, ‘the Father who sent me has himself testified about me, (v37)’ and that testimony we call the Old Testament. And unless we believe in Jesus we have not heard or understood God’s word (v38).


Application: Jesus isn’t saying we shouldn’t diligently study the Scriptures, but we don’t do so for the sake of understanding the Bible, but so that we can believe in Jesus Christ. The Bible is God’s testimony about His Son. God wrote the Bible so that we would believe in Jesus when he appeared. As Christians we worship Jesus, not the Bible. As Christians we value the Bible because it teaches us about Jesus. The Bible is a tool that grows our faith in Jesus Christ. So, do you read the Bible, not just to become knowledgeable, but to grow in your love for Jesus?


Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, Your Word is amazing, and it’s so easy for me to get excited about what I’m learning and what I’m reading, and forget the purpose for which You wrote it, that I might believe in Your Son, Jesus Christ. Lord, may I not worship Your word, but may I worship Your Living Word, the One to whom it points. By the power of Your Holy Spirit help me to see Jesus in all of Scripture. May I diligently study Scripture so that I can grow in my faith in Your Son. In His name I pray. Amen.

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