“You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”
The religious leaders in Jesus’ day believed that if they obeyed everything God told them to do in the Old Testament Scriptures, he would bless them and welcome them into a kingdom of peace and prosperity. So they read it regularly in their synagogues, studied it deeply, memorized lists of commands, and made sincere efforts to apply it to all situations in life so that they could be good people.
But they didn’t realize their human goodness was not good enough. They, like all the rest of us, were fatally contaminated by self-interest and subtle arrogance. Their pride in their spiritual accomplishments blinded them from recognizing the Savior whom God sent to take away their sin. They did not make the connection between the Scriptures and Jesus.
Many people make the same mistake today. They search the Bible for nuggets of wisdom to help them manage the challenges of life. They look for rules to follow that they think will make them more acceptable to God.
Can the Bible help us to be better persons? Absolutely. But we must begin with Jesus Christ and trust in his death and resurrection for forgiveness and eternal life. All our human efforts are worth nothing without Jesus. What are you seeking in your Bible?
“I wait for your salvation, LORD, and I follow your commands” (Psalm 119:166). Reveal yourself to us in your Word as the only way, the truth, and the life we need. Amen.
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