John 5:39 – You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life.
Life is not found in the Scriptures, but in Christ, “the living word” of God. Jesus tells the religious leaders that the Scriptures “testify” about Him. The Scriptures are the testimony of our great God and king. They record His will. In the Old Testament, an innocent animal was sacrificed in order for the covenant to be exercised. In the New Testament, Jesus Himself gave up His life. Jesus freely offered His body as an acceptable sacrifice to God. His life was seen as acceptable to God because He was the perfect human sacrifice. He gave Himself totally to His Father’s will, fulfilling all that the Scriptures testified to. As John 5:40 instructs us, Jesus is the only one that can give eternal life.
Searching the Scriptures is a vital discipline for any believer. How else can we know God’s thoughts? Paul instructed Timothy, “Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV). A more modern translation such as the NASB states “present yourself” rather than “study.” The studying of the Scriptures is an important way of presenting one’s self to God. We must be diligent about learning God’s Word beyond Sunday school lessons or church sermons. It is wonderful to learn about how God met with others, but even better experiencing God meeting with us. The Scriptures lay a foundation of faith so we might experience God in our daily lives.
The religious leaders of Jesus’ day took pride in their knowledge of Scripture, but refused to yield to the One to which the Scriptures testified. Many today take pride in their knowledge of God’s Word, but refuse to allow the Holy Spirit access and control of all they think and do. The Holy Spirit is God’s source for the life of Christ. We must search the Scriptures to learn of God’s will for our lives in how we should respond to the Godhead, how to respond to family, how to respond to other believers, and how to respond to the world. All are necessary understandings. But we must press into Christ through fellowship with the Holy Spirit to know life. It is He that is an ever-present help in time of need.
Father, place in my heart a love for Your Word. Strengthen me to “present myself to You by studying Your Holy Word. I come to You that I might have life and that abundantly. You and You alone are my source for life.