Scripture: John 5:30-47
Key verses: (39-40) “You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that testify on my behalf. 40 Yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”
Reflection: All of scripture has one central testimony it points to. Scripture was not compiled haphazardly, or even preserved to give historical snapshots of God’s actions. Scripture was not meant to solely be narrative and story. Scripture is inspired and active, historical and eternal. Scripture has a specific center and a sharp point that it all comes to. Jesus asserts to the Jewish leaders who are persecuting him, who have themselves studied scripture their entire life — it’s all about him. There is a Christological center to the testimony of Scripture. We have the author of life, who was there at the beginning with God but was not God, saying there is a central testimony to the whole thing.
Scripture does not point to an idea or a propositional truth; scripture points to a person. He is a historical person, a real person, a divine person, an eternal person who is meant to be encountered. Verse 40 says that we can read scripture all we want, through and through, yet still refuse to come to Jesus. It’s possible to know theology, study scripture, read all of the commentaries, and quote your favorite writers and theologians, and still not come to have life in Christ. I think about the disciples on the road to Emmaus. Our hearts can burn with the desire to learn and grown, but it wasn’t until they invited Jesus to break bread that their eyes were opened.
I wonder how you may encounter Christ in your study. I wonder how easy it is sometimes to miss the point. If our study and our piety don’t lead us directly into communing with Christ in some way, or they don’t lead us to deep fellowship with others who carry the same image of God, then we have missed the point. The point of scripture is not for knowledge – it is for communion.
Prayer: Author of life and creator of love, thank you for the testimony of those who have gone before me, those who come after me, and the power of the Word in scripture. Help me to seek deeply the communion of Christ in my life with those who journey with me. Amen.
Author: Ben Brannan
[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].