Saturday, December 26, 2009
What Did Jesus Teach His Followers About Scripture?
A brief word at the beginning of each post will help keep the purpose of these posts in mind as this blog goes forward. If you haven’t read the introductory post, I suggest that you take the time to do it before reading on. I am keeping the posts short so that they can be quickly read and digested. It is my hope that you will reflect on these articles and put them to the test. When you encounter something that seems counter to everything you have been taught or know to be true…remember the assignment….smile…be a Berean
In the last post we took a look at how Paul and James defined the phrase the word of truth and we discovered that it was defined as the gospel and not the scripture. It becomes a fair question to ask how my paradigm shift views scripture in the overall scheme of my faith.. I would like to begin to answer that question in this post. What did Jesus say about scripture?
The answer to the above question is that Jesus always showed how scripture pointed to him as Messiah. It must be stated up front that the Jews had a Christ centric view of scripture also. The Rabbis taught that the “every prophet only prophesied for the days of the Messiah and the penitent” (Everyman’s Talmud, Abraham Cohen, pg 124) so that is a Christ centered view of scripture…and yet, this Christ centered view of scripture did not prevent them from completely missing Jesus of Nazareth as the promised Messiah.
So then, even the unbelieving rabbis believe that scripture has a strictly redemptive focus…hmnn! Here is a verse that explains Jesus view in no uncertain terms. He spoke it to the Pharisees about the authority of scripture. You can find it in the gospel of John, chapter five and verse thirty-nine”
Joh 5:39-40 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. (40) But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.
So then, Jesus view of scripture’s purpose is that it was given to point to him so that those who believed in him could have eternal life. In other words it was a solely redemptive purpose.
Look at these verses from Luke’s gospel:
Luke 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
Luke 24:44-47 Then He said to them, "These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me." (45) And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. (46) Then He said to them, "Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, (47) and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
It becomes very obvious by the above passages that Jesus was only interested in the scriptures for their redemptive focus. In the passage from Luke 24 it is explained that Jesus actually opened their understanding with a new hermeneutical paradigm. It is interesting to me that this reinforces the passages in Revelation that tell that only the Lamb could open the scroll but, we will address that as time goes on in these posts.
Don’t forget, I look forward to your comments, input and so forth so feel free to participate.
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