You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, 40yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.

John 5:39-40 

Coming to the Christ of the Canon

| Nov 4, 2013

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Jesus said to them, “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.”—John 5:39–40 (cf. verse 19)

The point of revealing something is to show off the object which is revealed. The revelation itself is merely a pointer. It’s not the end goal. It’s simply the flashlight, not the road or trees or tent—or whatever it is you’re looking for with the flashlight.

So, to focus on the flashlight instead of through the flashlight is to miss the point. In fact, staring at the flashlight can blind you to anything else. The focus is all wrong.

Such is the person who simply looks at the Scriptures (and nothing else) in search of eternal life. The revelation of God is indispensable. We must look through it. Faith only comes through the word of God (Romans 10:17). But God revealed himself through His word.

Or, as Jesus says in John 17:3, “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” In other words, you do not have eternal life simply in searching the Scriptures. You have eternal life when your searching leads to knowing God the Father and God the Son.

Thus, the crucial question to ask is: How does searching lead to knowing? How can I know that I know God? Jesus’s answer in John 5 is believe! In the verse before this week’s Fighter Verse, Jesus says, “you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent” (verse 38). If you believe God’s living word, then his written word truly dwells in you. Again, Jesus says, “If you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?” (verses 46–47).

The canon of God’s word commands us to come to Christ. Both the Old and New Testaments bear witness to him. So, when you search the Scriptures for eternal life, know that such life is only in God’s Son. “And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:11–12).

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