Jesus and the Scriptures (2)
There has never been
anyone who ever took
the Bible in such a
literal, historical way
as Jesus did
Our previous Note (Jesus and the Scriptures 1) stressed that, to believe in Jesus we must believe the Bible, for Jesus Himself said:
“If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?”
— John 3:12
“If you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”
— John 5:46-47
But, we still need to ask the question, how are we to believe the scriptures? Can we view the stories in the Old Testament as just that, nothing more than stories with moral lessons to teach us, but not actual events?
Many today who call themselves Christians, it seems, do take that view. When we look at the Bible itself, however, it is very clear, that was not how Jesus viewed the scriptures. Every single time He referred to events in the Old Testament, the Bible of His time, He spoke of them as events that had actually taken place in human history.
To give just a few examples:
Concerning the creation of Adam and Eve:
“Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?’ So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
— Matthew 19:4-6
Concerning Jonah and his preaching in Nineveh:
“For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here.”
— Matthew 12:40-41
Concerning the history Solomon:
“The queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a greater than Solomon is here.
— Matthew 12:42
Concerning Sodom and its destruction:
“And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you.”
— Matthew 11:23-24
The list could be much extended. In fact, there has never been anyone who ever took the Bible in such a literal, historical way as Jesus did. And surely, if we claim to be His followers, we should come to the scriptures in the same way He did.
Satan’s very first temptation to mankind was to try to cause us to doubt the word of God:
“Yes, has God said…?”
— Genesis 3:1
If today we take his lies concerning the Bible, we can never have a strong faith in Christ Himself. But if we reject his lies, we will not only believe in what the Bible says about the past; we will also have a much stronger faith that what the Bible tells us about the future must also soon come to pass. And that will in turn strengthen us to follow Christ in a much more absolute way.
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— 17 December 2022 —