The Bible Is a Beacon; Not a Club
A devotion on John 5:39
You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and these are they which testify about me.
Jesus had just healed a man who had been an invalid for nearly forty years. In addition to healing him, Jesus forgave the man’s sins, cautioning him not to make the same mistakes again, or he would be even worse than he was before.
You would think this would make people happy. However, the church leaders were anything but happy, because they discovered Jesus had healed the man on their holy day. He also claimed that God was His father.
The leaders were so angry and affronted over this that they determined to kill Jesus. That’s when Jesus uttered the words in today’s verse.
He knew these men studied the Scriptures daily. These were Scriptural scholars. They knew every law that pertained to how humans should worship God. They could quote chapter and verse when they were judging someone else’s behavior. But they didn’t want to see the Truth because it only illuminated how wrong they had been.
These religious scholars used the Bible as a club, beating down dissent. They had made the words and phrases their god, missing out all the while on The One those words spoke about, who walked with them and talked with them and healed people right in front of them.
“Search the Scriptures,” Jesus said. “But words alone won’t save you. Never forget that they testify of Me. And I hold the keys to eternal life.”
Dear God, Help me to find Jesus on each page of the Bible. May I never miss an opportunity to recognize You. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
How does it make me feel when someone uses the Bible as a club, rather than a beacon?