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“We as believers know that we have eternal life, but do we understand what is to have meaning in our daily existence, in our daily life?”
When Jesus came into this world and revealed himself to his religious community, they refused to believe that He was the Son of God. They had good knowledge of the Scriptures yet they had failed to recognize Jesus. They had been waiting for the Messiah for many centuries and there He was in the midst of them. What happened? What went wrong?
In John 5:39-40, Jesus brings to light the real reason they did not recognize Him:
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.
Here we see that Jesus is making a very important distinction between Him and the Scriptures. Jesus is not minimizing or speaking ill of the Scriptures, He is contrasting his person with the Scriptures to show where some of the people went wrong.
The first-century Jewish leaders examined and analyzed the Scriptures because they were looking for something essential. This vital issue for them was having eternal life. They were right in thinking that the answer to this fundamental question was found in the Scriptures, but they were wrong in expecting to find eternal life in the written knowledge of the Bible. You see, the Scriptures were never meant to take the place of God. They are God’s love letters written to a lost humanity. They are the street signs that point to the end of the journey. The Scriptures bear witness about him! They signal to the one who died on the cross.
But where exactly did God's people go wrong? Why were they refusing to come to Him?
The answer to this question is complex and has many answers, but all of them can be rooted in idolatry. The Jewish people knew much about the Scriptures but they did not let the Scriptures lead them to God. They sincerely believed that they could have eternal life without the person of Christ.
In the Scripture quoted above, Jesus moves from talking about eternal life to talking about life. The life that he is talking about here has the sense of being alive, healthy, happy, etc. Jesus is plainly telling them that He is not only the source of eternal life, but also the meaning and the purpose of life. Jesus is not just interested in saving us from a real hell, He is also lovingly interested in us experiencing his kind of life for our temporal existence. But we have to come to Him, there is no other way.
Sometimes in our Christian walk, it is easier to put so much emphasis on the Word of God that it takes the place of coming to Him! We as believers know that we have eternal life, but do we understand what it is to have meaning in our daily life? Coming to Him…what does that mean? It means to want to know Him, not just merely knowing about Him. It means to want to love Him, not just feel admiration for Him.
Having scriptural knowledge about Him is not enough. I must choose to love Him too! As he carefully draws me to Himself, I continue to realize that even “if I…understand all mysteries and all knowledge…but have not love, I am nothing” (1 Cor. 13:2). You see, the goal above all else is to love Him and not just have knowledge. And there is the issue. I cannot love if I do not continuously abide in Him, if I do not continuously come to Him. In short, it does not matter how much I know the Scriptures, if at the end of the day, I do not let the Scriptures lead me to Him.
I want to exhort you and invite you to come to Him daily. Come to Him in prayer, come to Him when you are sad, come to Him when you are happy…Come to Him as you live life, and then you will truly find life.
José serves Cornerstone by overseeing the Spanish language ministry “Nueva Vida Ministerios”.
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