In John 5:15-18 we see the Jews wanting to kill Jesus. And Jesus Himself then addressed them in 39-40 as He said, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.” They were looking to the ‘text alone’ and missed the One who wrote it.
Eternal life Himself was standing right there talking to them.
They missed Him. Again, this written text, this Bible we now have, is the only book ever written in the history of books—the only one EVER written—which, every time you pick it up to read it, you can talk to the Author. Do you? I realize I’m repeating what I have said. It is that important.
Too much of the time I know I have read it with the intent of learning about God, instead of getting to know God. I still struggle with this. I read for content, not relational intent. Yet it is His relational intent that I should be looking for. It is He Himself revealing Himself and His ways to me. At times, I still miss Him. He is not a text; He is a person. A Person to know with my heart and my mind. And He loves me! He loves you!
God inspired the minds and the hearts of the writers of the biblical text. Jesus was the maker of everything, John 1:3 “All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made”. So, in essence, Jesus created the Bible. Jesus, as God, inspired the Biblical writers. But, while on earth, He wrote nothing. He could have shown up in the synagogue in Nazareth to read Isaiah 61, and then that week said something like this to His disciples. “Now, in setting captives free… I am going to write some new commandments for y’all to follow. It will take me all week, but I can get this “New Covenant” written by Friday. Then, I am going to die, and come back to life in three days, give you the Spirit to guide you and to live within you, and I will go back to Heaven and get things ready.”
He could have said that. But He didn’t. Yes, amazingly, He was crucified and came back to life, securing salvation for those who believe. And He did give us the Holy Spirit to guide us after that. But He wrote nothing. Nothing. But what He chose to do was take twelve men on a three-year relational journey where He interacted with tons of people…showing them all how to love God and love others—up close and very personal.
If our Lord took three years showing twelve men how it’s done, we are not going to get trained in a weekend seminar.
I hope we all become followers, disciples, disciple-makers. So, please stop what you are doing just long enough to ask yourself some deep relational questions. Honestly attempt to process your answers with other believers and treat the answers as precious and healing. You can move further toward being a disciple who is a disciple maker—one who follows Jesus well, and helps others follow Jesus well … all week. Will you lay down your life to see Him come to life?
My hope is that you will intentionally develop relationships as you go.
And as you “go to church,” you can help breathe some life into dying processes, programs and meetings.