Bible Society of South Africa

To find Jesus – 20 June 2022

By Ben Fourie

Bible text(s)

38and you do not keep his message in your hearts, for you do not believe in the one whom he sent. 39You study the Scriptures, because you think that in them you will find eternal life. And these very Scriptures speak about me! 40Yet you are not willing to come to me in order to have life.

John 5:38-40GNBOpen in Bible reader

At first, these words of Jesus sound a bit strange. It seems as though he does not think it necessary to study the Scriptures too closely, but far from it. The Scriptures he was referring to was the Old Testament as the New Testament had not yet been written.

The story that led to these words of Jesus was the healing of a sick man at the pool called Bethzatha on the Sabbath. Most of the Jews in the time of Jesus were very strict about studying the laws of the Old Testament and especially how to uphold these laws. After the healing, the healed man was seen carrying his mat. According to the Jews, it was a gross transgression of the fourth commandment that stipulated that one should not work on the Sabbath. Even the healing of a sick person on the Sabbath was taboo. They would rather have seen this individual who had been ill for 38 years continue to suffer than be healed on a Sabbath. So they decided to prosecute Jesus.

When they accused him, Jesus told them that he came from his Father in heaven, but this made them so angry that they planned to kill him. Not only was he, according to them, trespassing the commandment of the Sabbath, but it was blasphemous to claim God as his Father.

When this happened, Jesus told them that they were studying the Scriptures without really understanding what they were reading. If they had understood the Scriptures, they would have known that Jesus was the very Messiah that they had read about, but they wanted to adhere to their own interpretation. Then Jesus told them, “… these very Scriptures speak about me! Yet you are not willing to come to me in order to have life.”

To really study the Bible is very important, but it is of no value to know the Bible cover to cover and never really find Jesus.

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, please help me to study your Word, but even more so, please help me find Jesus every day.

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