“But Jesus answered them, ‘You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God.’” Matthew 22:29
Did you know that Jesus did not think the Pharisees could read their Bible? They were the most learned religious leaders of the Jewish people in those days, yet Jesus did not think they knew how to read the Holy Scriptures…something they were required to know to even be a Pharisee. How could this be? Jesus knew those zealous finger-pointers could read the words of Scripture, but they could not get out of the Scripture what the Author intended for them to know.
What is the purpose of reading a book? Is it not to get out of the book that which the author intended when he wrote it? The same is true for the Bible. Reading the Bible isn’t just seeing the words on a page. It isn’t looking at those words and then thinking your own thoughts, having your own feelings, or doing your own thing with them. According to Jesus, that is not reading the Bible.
How do we know this to be true? Almost every time Jesus rebuked the Pharisees, He asked them, “Have you not read…?” When they would question His actions, He would respond with, “Have you not read…?” Of course they had read whatever text He mentioned – and He knew they had read it. What He was saying was they were acting like they had never read it. They had completely missed the point of what they had read.
Something went very wrong in the reading of the Bible among the Pharisees. I would say the same is true of many people today. So many have read the words on the page and still completely missed the point. So many have inserted their own interpretations, feelings, and ideas into their Bible reading so that the Great Author’s message has been changed, if not lost altogether.
God, thank You for Your Word. Please forgive me for the times I read the words on the page and still miss the point. Please help me to honor Your Word every time I read it. Amen.