Jesus and the Bible

Many people today claim to believe in Jesus, and even praise His name, but do not follow the Bible. Sometimes you will hear such people say, “Our faith is in a living Saviour, not in a dead book!” Others will speak of their great love for the Lord, yet refuse to obey His plain commands in the Bible. Jesus spoke of such people when He said: “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46).

What was Jesus’ attitude toward the Bible? In Matthew 4:1-11, the temptation of Jesus by the Devil is recorded. Each time Jesus was tempted, He answered the temptation by saying, “It is written.” Then He quoted the passage from God’s Word which refuted the Devil. He overcame the Devil’s temptations by means of the Bible. The Psalmist said: “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:11, KJV).

In John, chapter 5, we read of Jesus healing a lame man on the sabbath. He told the man to take up his bed and walk. The Jewish rulers accused the man of breaking the sabbath. When they learned Jesus had told him to take up his bed, they wanted to kill Jesus.

Jesus told the Jewish rulers: “Ye search the scriptures, because ye think that in them ye have eternal life; and these are they which bear witness of me” (John 5:39). The Jews claimed to have great respect for the Old Testament. They correctly accepted it as the Word of God. But the very same Old Testament was filled with prophecies of the coming of Jesus, the Christ, and they rejected Him. They did not believe the teaching of their own Scriptures!

In Luke 10:25-26, we read of a lawyer who asked Jesus the question: “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus replied, “What is written in the law? how readest thou?” Jesus respected the authority of the Old Testament Scriptures. He knew it was God’s law for the people of Israel, just as the New Testament is His law for all people today.

In Matthew 22:23-33 is recorded the account of the Sadducees’ clever attempt to trap Jesus with a question about marriage. They did not believe what the Old Testa ment taught about life after death. Jesus answered them from the Word of God after He told them what their problem was: “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.” Many religious people are wrong today because they do not know what the Bible says, nor do they have respect for the power of God.

In His “Sermon on the Mount,” Jesus spoke of the Old Testament Scriptures when He said: “Think not that I came to destroy the law or the prophets: I came not to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass away from the law, till all things be accomplished” (Matthew 5:17-18). Shortly before Jesus returned to Heaven, He explained to His disciples that “all things must needs be fulfilled, which are written in the law of Moses, and the prophets, and the psalms, concerning me.” (Luke 24:44-45). The Old Testament was God’s Law and it was fulfilled by Jesus Christ. Today, we are privileged to live under His Law, the New Covenant or New Testament (Hebrews 8:6-13).

Jesus believed the Old Testament. He lived according to it. He pointed men to its authority. He quoted from it many times. He fulfilled this Law and “nailed it to the cross” (Colossians 2:14). Today, we have the New Testament Scriptures which have been sealed by the blood of Christ. This is Heaven’s final revelation to mankind. The Apostle John wrote: “but whoso keepeth his word, in him verily hath the love of God been perfected” (1 John 2:5).