Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Stuff That Sounds Really Deep But Really Is Not

Another Facebook inspired post. I saw this posted on a webpage dedicated to T. Austin Sparks...

OK, that sounds great. What is my problem now?

Just this little quibble. How do we know Jesus in the first place if we don't know the Bible? Notice the quote:

We first know the Lord Jesus, and then we take Him back into the Bible, and He is the interpretation of the Bible. Therefore, we cannot really understand the Bible until we know the Lord Jesus.

We know Jesus first. How do we know Jesus first? Imagine this fictional conversation with someone who doesn't know Jesus but wants to:

Hey there friend, I hear you want to know Jesus?

Yep, I hear lots of great things about Him! Can you tell me about Him?

Sure, what do you want to know?

Ok, great! So what do we know about Jesus?

Well, we know that God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son, that's Jesus, into the world so that anyone who believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.

That is awesome, how do we know that?

Well, it is in the Bible.

What else do we know about Jesus?

We know that He was born to a virgin and that this fulfilled Old Testament prophecies.

Amazing! How do we know that?

Well, it is in the Bible.

Go on, tell me more!

OK, while Jesus was on earth He fed a multitude with a little bread and a couple of fishes, He healed the lame and cause the blind to see.

What a great guy Jesus was! How do you know He did all that?

Well, it is in the Bible. And He was more than a man, He was actually God who took on flesh.

Incredible! Where did you learn that?

Well, it is in the Bible.

What ever happened to Jesus, this God who became man?

He was unjustly arrested by the Jewish religious leaders, condemned by a Roman named Pontius Pilate, tortured and crucified on a cross where He died. He was buried in a tomb but on the third day rose again and in doing so He atoned for the sins of His people.

Wow! How do...

Well, it is in the Bible.

Then what did He do?!?!?

He appeared to His apostles, told them to spread the Good News of His Gospel, calling men to repent and be baptized and that He would return one day in glory for His church.

Let me guess how you know that...

Well, it is in the Bible.

So it sounds to me that if I want to get to know Jesus I need to get to know the Bible?

Yeah, I guess it does sound that way.

You see where I am going with this. It is easy to get so caught up in studying the Bible as a textbook that we lose sight of Jesus as the ultimate subject of and reason for the Bible in the first place so I understand the caution. However I am concerned when people seemingly pit knowing Jesus against knowing the Bible. The Bible is all about Jesus and what we know about Jesus is found in the Bible. Someone can tell you about Jesus but if they don't point you to the Bible to learn who Jesus is directly from the authoritative source, something is squirrelly.

While the intent of the quote is probably noble, the words and the way they are used can make it seem as if the Bible is a secondary source. I am all for people knowing Jesus better. I am all for people knowing their Bible better. The second will help the first.

If you want to know the living Son of God, you need to know the revelations preserved for that very purpose. Know the Bible, know Jesus.

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