How To Read The Bible

Jan 19, 2021

Hebrews 1:1–2 (ESV) 1 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.

God doesn't speak to us through the prophets as He did in the Old Covenant. In these days (under the New Covenant), He speaks to us through His Son.

We need to look for Jesus when we study the scriptures. What you believe determines what you see in the Bible. If you’re reading the Bible looking for success principles, success principles will be what you see. If you are looking for a guide on how to behave, that's what you are going to find. If you're looking for a way to keep from sinning, you will find scriptures that will help you to stay out of sin. If you're looking for rules, you will find rules on what to do and what not to do. 

But that's not how to read the Bible. We should read the Bible to see Jesus.

 I'm not making this stuff up. You don't have to take my word for it. Let’s look at what Jesus said.

John 5:39 (NLT) “You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me!

Let me give you some examples of how you can read the Bible incorrectly.

Let's say you're reading the Bible to get some strength. You come across Ephesians 6:10 and you see 'be strong'. You could come away thinking that you need to be strong through your own self-effort. But when you look at that verse and see Jesus, you see that it says, "be strong in the Lord." 

But the scripture says to be strong - in THE LORD. 

If you try to be strong in your own strength, you will become tired or wear yourself out. But when you are strong in the Lord, you operate in His strength, and you will be at rest. 

Or, you could read Philippians 4:13 and come away thinking you can do all things. And then, you go out and try to do all things in your ability. But when you see Jesus in the Scriptures, you come away thinking, I can do all things through Christ. So it's not me doing all things in my ability; it's doing all things with His ability operating through me. 

Let's say, you read the Bible to try to keep from sinning. A person can know the scripture that says flee sexual immorality. And then they do their best to stay away from the immoral woman and fail. But if you see Jesus in the light of the finished work, you understand that it’s Jesus who empowers you to stay away from immorality. Then you overcome temptation through His ability. 

Jesus is the message of the Scriptures. The Scriptures point to Him. 

Jesus' conversation with the two men on the road to Emmaus

After Jesus was raised from the dead, two of His disciples were on a seven-mile journey to Emmaus. They were talking about what they heard about the empty tomb of Jesus.

As they were talking, Jesus rolled up on them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing Him.

Jesus asked them, "What are y’all talking about (I’m paraphrasing)?"

They had a sad look on their faces.

One of them said, Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who doesn’t know what’s happening there?"

Jesus played dumb and said, “what things?” I imagine Jesus was having a little fun with them. 

Luke 24:19–27 (ESV) 19 ...... And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. 21 But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. 22 Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, 23 and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.” 25 And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. 

Jesus showed them in ALL the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. The Scriptures that they had at that time was the law and the prophets. That's pretty significant considering all the other things He could have pointed out to them in the Word. This is a pattern that we should follow. We need to see Jesus in the Scriptures.

Luke 24:28–31 (ESV) 28 So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, 29 but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight.

Luke 24:32 (NASB95) They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?”

When the Scriptures are explained properly, people will see Jesus. The Word will cause heartburn. The Word becomes alive in you. It makes you do flips on the inside.

Remember, read the Bible with Son-glasses - through the lens of the finished work of Jesus on the cross. 

If you read the Bible through the lens of Jesus and what He did for us on the cross, with the help of the Holy Spirit, you will start seeing Jesus EVERYWHERE in the Scriptures and the Bible will come alive to you like never before. 

Happy reading!