“You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life…they testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”
John 5:39-40, NIV
The Pharisees regarded the Scriptures with such esteem that by studying the actual parchment and letters of Scripture, they thought they had eternal life. In copying the Scriptures, a scribe was not allowed to write more than one letter before looking back to the text. This diligence led to the reliability and accuracy of the Scriptures that we have today. But it points to an underlying mistake in the focus of their faith. They really felt, as Jesus said, that in the actual Scriptures they had life. And yet, in spite of their knowledge of the Scriptures, they rejected Jesus when He came!
Imagine you are standing on the observation floor of a prominent building in a city. As you fix your eyes through the window you become overwhelmed with the beauty of the city as the sunset yields up its palette of colors. You are caught up in the moment when someone interrupts you. He says, “Wow! This is a wonderful window! Do you see how it is set in steel and how the glass is tinted?” Then he unfolds his pocket knife and begins to scrape at a corner of the window. He says he is going to do a chemical analysis of the window.
He missed the whole purpose of the window. The window was created to show the great beauty of the city and the surrounding scenery, but all he saw was the frame.
The Bible is a wonderful window, but we must look through that window to see the marvelous truths and beautiful realities of Christ and God. Like some of us, those studious Jews had not gone beyond the study of the window. We must go beyond the frame and look to Christ.
QUESTION: What do you see as you look through the window of the Scriptures? Commit yourself to be a practitioner as well as a student.