Read John 5:39-40
39 You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! 40 Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life. (NLT)
It is so easy to know the Bible well and not know Jesus. So easy to know a lot about God without knowing God himself. So easy to be an expert on Christianity and not have the first clue on how to follow Jesus.
Our Christian faith rests on certain truths, certain history, certain written information. It is not some vague set of feelings or wishes we may have. And yet it is far more than mere grasp of information or recognition of historical facts. It is a personal commitment to what is contained in those truths. It is a conscious embrace of a person, Jesus Christ, trusting he is who he said he is and a decision to centre life on that.
In Jesus’ own time, it was the Bible experts who were his chief opposition. It was those who most earnestly sought the Messiah who rejected the Messiah when he came. It was the upright, moral, decent citizens of his day who found him hard to take and drove him to the cross.
They are a constant reminder to us that while studying the Bible is a good and worthy thing to do, that alone doesn’t constitute real Christianity. The words of Scripture have to somehow catch fire in our hearts and minds and cause us to look to Jesus. The words are not to be merely studied but heard. The book is not an end in itself but a means to an end.