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Jesus Believed the Scriptures

By Dennis Pollock


After Jesus' resurrection, He appeared multiple times to His disciples. In what was apparently His first appearance to the main group of His disciples, the Bible tells us: "They were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit." (Luke 24:37). Jesus then showed them His hands and His feet to demonstrate that He was indeed the One they had seen hanging on that cross just a few days before. And to make sure they understood that He was not some spirit, and this was not merely a vision, He asked them if they had anything to eat. They provided Him with some fish and a piece of honeycomb. Jesus ate in their presence, something no spirit would do. He wanted His astonished followers to get that He was the same Jesus, albeit now glorified, that they had known and walked with for the last three and a half years.


Jesus then told them:


These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me. And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. (Luke 24:44-45).


Interestingly, He used the phrase: "while I was still with you." He was, of course, "with them" right now, but He was referring to the pre-crucifixion days, the days when they were constantly traveling throughout the cities of Israel together. So what did Jesus speak to them while He was still with them? He reminded them that He had emphasized that all the prophecies of the Scriptures, from Moses' writings to the prophets, such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel, plus the prophecies found in the Psalms, must all be fulfilled. And then we are told, "He opened their understanding that they might comprehend the Scriptures," which I interpret to mean He had a Bible study with them right then, focusing on the Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament Scriptures.


Jesus Respected the Scriptures


One major point we can see from Jesus' words here is that our Savior had a tremendous respect for the word of God, the Holy Scriptures. Jesus did not simply say I have fulfilled these prophecies; He declared that those prophecies MUST be fulfilled and that He had fulfilled them. And then, to make things crystal clear, He started listing them and helping His disciples to see what those prophecies were and exactly how He had fulfilled them.


Jesus believed the Scriptures, as all good Jews did in those days! Today many Jews are quite "liberal" in their attitude toward the Scriptures. They rarely read them and do not hold very tightly to them. But in Jesus' days, the Jews were nearly all quite conservative in their attitudes toward the Scriptures. They might argue all day long about how to interpret certain passages, but almost nobody would suggest they were not inspired by God. You can find a lot of fault with the proud, legalistic Pharisees. And Jesus did rebuke them, but you have to get them a little credit: even though they missed the heart of the Scriptural revelation and had their priorities backward, they would never have dared to suggest that the Scriptures were unimportant or uninspired.


All Scripture is Inspired and Profitable


Jesus fully believed the Scriptures to be holy, perfect and inspired by God. He was quick to point out where some of the Jewish theologians had faulty interpretations of them, but He fully agreed that they were God-given and worthy to be respected, honored, and obeyed. In the New Testament, the apostle Paul would come along later and declare that "all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable…" (2 Timothy 3:16).


Why is this important? It is important because today, we have a great many people, some of whom might even consider themselves Christians, at least in a generic sense, who do not hold to the Scriptures. They consider the Bible to be a sort of inspirational book, but not anything to take literally or seriously. They determine that they will create their values and convictions by what they feel in their hearts, not from the dusty pages of a book written thousands of years ago.


Jesus was not of that mind. He fully believed that the Scriptures were given by God's inspiration. He said in another place:


Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. (Matthew 5:17-18).


Jesus Was No Theological Liberal!


And in another place Jesus declared: "The Scripture cannot be broken." (John 10:35). He quoted the story of Jonah and the whale, and referred to the creation of Adam and Eve. Jesus was no theological liberal! He was quite conservative in His views of the Bible.


Today it has become fashionable to question almost all authority, including the authority of the Scriptures. But when people suggest that the Bible is not trustworthy and cannot be relied upon as the basis of our morality, theology, convictions, and values, they are saying, "I know more than Jesus did. He was an old-fashioned guy with old-fashioned views about the Scriptures, but we modern people know better. We know that the Bible was written by mere men, backward, superstitious, and primitive men who lived in an unenlightened age, but we have come a long way since those days, and we are smarter than that now.


Oh really? So you are smarter than the Son of God, the One who walked on water, raised the dead, healed the lepers and the lame, and then died on the cross for the sins of the whole world and was Himself resurrected three days later. I don't think so.


The Nature of an Evangelical


What we're talking about is what it is that makes an evangelical an evangelical. An evangelical Christian is someone who has received Jesus Christ by faith as their Lord and Savior and believes the Bible to be inspired by God. We take the Bible seriously. We participate in Bible studies, we go to church and hear sermons about the Bible, we read the Bible in our homes, and we believe that the words in this book are indeed inspired by our Creator. In other words, just like Jesus, our Master, we believe that the Scriptures come from God. Jesus has said, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God," (Matthew 4:4), and we believe it. We believe God's word is good for us. And we live by it!


Number one, the Bible points us to Jesus and shows us how to receive Him and be born again, so that we can live forever. And second, it gives us the proper values, attitudes, convictions, and morals. Unlike the world, we who love Jesus and believe in the Bible are not free to come up with our own system of values and morals. Our values and morals have already been decided for us. All we have to do after putting our faith in Jesus is to open our Bibles and believe what God tells us. We get our values not from movie stars or media spokespersons, or political pundits, but from Moses and David and Isaiah, and Paul and Peter, and of course from the Lord Jesus Himself.


We evangelicals are on the right side. Our Savior, God's only begotten Son, was also an evangelical. Jesus was a Bible believer, and He still is! Let us stop being such namby-pambies about the Bible and speak boldly for the Scriptures. And if we are questioned about it, let us remind our critics that Jesus Christ Himself loved and believed in the Scriptures, and if they were good enough for Him, they are good enough for us!




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