Our Greatest Loss?

John 5:39 says, “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”  The Pharisees studied the Scriptures with great diligence because they thought that by the Scriptures they could possess eternal life.  Even with the great diligence of their search they missed the Christ.  The question that begs to be asked it this, “How did they miss Jesus?”  After all the Messiah had been prophesied for years.  This should have been the center of the Pharisee’s world.  Still they missed him!

We are far removed from the world of the Pharisee’s in time and distance.  Still I wonder, “How far are we removed from their mindset?”  We tend to forget how religious these people were.  They viewed themselves as the poster children of faithfulness.  In their minds they were the standard.  If you didn’t agree with their perception of truth you were wrong.  Does that sound remotely familiar?

We can question many things about the  views of the Pharisees.  We must admit some of the things about them were good.  Even Paul did not shy away from listing himself as a Pharisee.  It was generally recognized that they were the Scriptural authority of their day.  If they were living in our culture we would call them a Bible-toting, Bible-quoting people.  They were a people who held Scripture in high regard.  Why do we view them today with such disdain?  The characteristic that defines them most goes almost unnoticed.  Even with all their Scriptural prowess they missed Jesus.

Today it is not enough for us to know Scripture.  We may even elevate our appreciation of Scripture to a position equal with God.  The critical religious issue is  that we know Jesus.  Without fellowship with the Lord, nothing else matters.  We search Scripture from cover to cover.  Our search of Scripture is only of genuine value when we discover how to enter into and maintain relationship with our Lord.  Many things in the lives of the Pharisees are worthy of our emulation.  However we want to make sure that we differ from the Pharisees in one major way.  We must make sure that we don’t get so carried away in the facts of Scripture that we miss Jesus.  This would be our greatest loss.

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4 Responses to Our Greatest Loss?

  1. matt says:

    This blog’s great!! Thanks :).

  2. 1 Middle Man says:

    We can know the doctrine and miss the doctrine maker if we are not discerning. Blessings, Don

  3. Guy says:

    Dell you said, “…far removed from the world of the Pharisee’s in time and distance. Still I wonder, “How far are we removed from their mindset?” I add, ‘How far removed are we from the Nicolaitans thinking we know it all?”

  4. Wayne McDaniel says:

    Dell, The words of Jesus you quoted indirectly point all the way back to Satan’s LIE to Eve, “you shall be as God, KNOWING good and evil.” The desire to be AS GOD leads us to seek knowledge, so we may decide for ourselves. The quest to KNOW is not TRUSTING God, to lead us as a loving father leads his child. Jesus said that unless we turn and BECOME as little children, we will not enter God’s rule over us.

    The scriptures are God-given as a MEANS to train us to TRUST the Lord who gave them. It is well-known to anyone familiar with them that they contain things hard to be understood, as Peter wrote of some of Paul’s words (2 Pet. 3). Because the Lord’s thoughts are higher than ours, it is not surprising that his Spirit moved men to speak and write words they did not understand (1 Pet.1). The scriptures are intended to show us we do not understand as much as we are inclined to claim. The Lord’s reply to Job shows that. Behind the claim to KNOW, is the source of sin –PRIDE.

    In John 8 Jesus said Satan is the father of lies and a murderer. We see pride, lying, and murder in Prov. 6:17. Paul reminded the Corinthians, “knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.”- 1 Cor. 8:1b Jesus came to show us the Father. He said, “learn of ME, for I am meek and lowly in heart…” It was his perfect humility (as a man should be), that made him a living rebuke to the know-it-alls of his day. By contrast we read, “But this multitude that knows not the law are accursed.”-John 7:49 When we, “set all others at nought” (Luke 18), we express the pride that blinds us to our own sins.

    “But now you say, “we see”, your sin remains.” – John 9:41
    “If anyone thinks he knows anything, he knows not yet as he ought to know.”- 1 Cor. 8:2
    “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory, both now and forever, amen.”- 2 Pet. 3:18

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