Read John 5:39-40
39-40 “You have your heads in your Bibles constantly because you think you’ll find eternal life there. But you miss the forest for the trees. These Scriptures are all about me! And here I am, standing right before you, and you aren’t willing to receive from me the life you say you want. (THE MESSAGE)
Those who study and teach the Bible are always in danger of missing the whole point of it. We can become experts in the Bible and yet remain distant from the one to whom it points. Theologians can engage in endless debates about God without truly relating to God. We can know a lot about God but not know God personally. He can easily become an object of study rather than an object of devotion and allegiance.
Those who drove Jesus to the cross knew their Bibles well. They could argue endlessly about the Messiah and yet not recognise him when he stared them in the face. They could engage in learned debates about justice and mercy and not show much of either in everyday life. They could lecture people about holiness and humility while being unholy and proud.
We are not called upon to be experts in the Bible, or to be experts on God. We are called to love him and receive his love. The Bible is one way in which this can best happen. To reduce God to an object of study is to demean God. To reduce the Bible to a debating tool is to debase the Bible.
By all means study and debate, but let’s not lose sight of our primary need to relate in love to our Maker and Saviour. One of the greatest of theologians, Karl Barth, was asked what was the most profound insight he had discovered from a lifetime of Bible study. He was reported to have simply said: “Jesus loves me, this I know for the Bible tells me so.”
Which just about sums the whole lot up.