Jesus on the Importance of Understanding the Word

Jesus on the Importance of Understanding the Word

When we consider the importance of the Scriptures, can we do better than to look to Jesus and see what his attitude was?  Let’s consider what Jesus said about knowing and understanding the Scriptures. 

The first thing that comes to mind is Jesus’ obvious desire to know the Scriptures himself.  In Luke 2, at the age of 12, we find him staying behind at the center of learning Scriptures after his family had left for home.  What was he doing?  “After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions” (Luke 2:46 ESV).  Obviously, he knew the scriptures well because, “all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers” (Luke 2:47 ESV).  At age 12, Jesus had already become very familiar with the Scriptures.

The next event that the Scriptures record about Jesus’ use of the Scriptures is at his temptation in the wilderness.  As Satan tempted him, do you remember his response?  The statement “It is written…” was followed by Jesus quoting Scripture.  He obviously knew them well.

Not only did Jesus use the Scriptures himself, he asked and expected others to do so also and chided them for their lack of knowledge: “Have you not read?” was often followed by a question:

  • Matthew 12:3 He said to them, “Have you not read what David did?”
  • Matthew 19:4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female?”
  • Matthew 22:31 And as for the resurrection of the dead, “Have you not read what was said to you by God?
  • Mark 12: 26 And as for the dead being raised, “Have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God spoke to him?”
  • Luke 10:25-26 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?

Jesus’ statement to a group of his hears was very condemning: “But Jesus answered them, ‘You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God’” (Matthew 22:29 ESV).

When it came to knowing Scriptures Jesus knew them himself and thought it was of utmost importance for us.  Therefore, we cannot overemphasize our need to Get To Know The Bible.  That is a product of how we spend time each day.  A part of growing spiritually is to take time to both read and study the Bible.

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