Reading the Bible Is Not Enough

LeRoy Koopman

READ : John 5:39-47

No one could accuse the Pharisees and chief priests of not reading their Bibles. They were people of the Book. They read it diligently and dissected it carefully. They could recite huge portions from memory and knew exactly where every scriptural law could be found.

“You search the Scriptures,” said Jesus, “because you think that in them you have eternal life” (39). Jesus was right, of course. The Scriptures do point the way to eternal life. But somehow, for all of their knowledge of the Word, the Pharisees were missing the central point about faith.

Two things, according to Jesus were missing. For one thing, they were missing the essential ingredient of love (v. 42). We can have great knowledge of the Bible. We may even be able to read it in the original languages, but if we do not love, we have nothing.

For another thing, the Pharisees had failed, in all of their study of the Old Testament, to recognize Jesus as the promised Messiah. They had searched the Scriptures but had failed to understand that Moses and the prophets had pointed to the coming of Christ (v. 46). They missed the point! Salvation is through Christ, not through the Bible. Our faith and trust are not in a book. Our faith is in Christ.


Help us, Father, to be avid and faithful readers of the Bible. May we look beyond the book to see Jesus. In his name.