Scripture: John 5:30-47
Key verse: (39) You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that testify on my behalf.
Reflection: One of the blessings of my first year at Myers Park has been teaching the Wednesday evening Disciple Class. This group of faithful disciples gathers for two hours every Wednesday from September through April to read the bible together. The curriculum goes from Genesis to Revelation and touches just about every book in between. There are moments in class when a piece of scripture is new and surprising to individuals, or new and encouraging, or new and confusing. As we journey together through scripture, we ask many questions, we seek context, we explore history, and we examine our faith.
How is it that you engage with scripture? The focus verse up above is taken from the gospel lesson for today, 18 verses in total, and it is one of three scripture readings along with two Psalms for the day. Do you read the focus verse, the entire passage, all of the readings for the day, or do you have another means of reading scripture all together? So often when it comes to reading scripture we are looking for answers in our lives, for fixes, for a set of rules to live by, or a path to follow. And yet, in our text for today we hear Jesus saying, “You search scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that testify on my behalf.” Jesus isn’t saying that scripture isn’t important, but that it is a witness to his life and presence among us.
My favorite part of Wednesday evening Disciple Class is after we’ve talked about context, history, form, and faith, and then we look up and around the room and examine Christ among us in our lives and the world around us. When looking at our lives through the lens of scripture both the bible and our lives become fuller, richer, and more meaningful as we become aware of the living Christ in our midst. I encourage you to read scripture, to read it in its fullness, in its context, and in faith. I also encourage you to read your lives through the same lens. For not only is it scripture which testifies to Jesus’ presence, but is also his works as Jesus says, “The works that the Father has given me to complete, the very works that I am doing, testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me.” (John 5:36).
Prayer: Loving God, guide us by your Spirit this day that the words we read in scripture may illumine our lives to see and experience your love among us. Open us to the work of your Son in the world, through Christ we pray. Amen.
Author: John Magnuson
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].