THE WORDS OF JESUS
Creative, Causative, Prophetic, Instructional
Do you read the Bible? If so, how do you read and understand the Bible?” What I am asking is,
Do you read the Bible as ‘stories’ about people, places and ‘about God’?
Do you read the Bible for prophecies? For promises? For power?
Do you read the Bible to learn? And if you read to learn, what have you learned? And most importantly, what do you DO with what you learn?
Please consider these Bible facts:
Did you know that the Bible is alive? Alive, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword? That it penetrates as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and that it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart? (Hebrews 4:12).
Did you know that all Scripture is actually the Breath of God? And that The Scriptures, (The Bible), is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work? (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Did you know that the Word is God? In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God? (John 1:1).
Did you know that The Word became flesh and dwelt among us? Did you also know that many have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth, and that Word is Jesus? (John 1:14).
Did you know that the Word of God that goes out from His mouth shall not return to Him empty, but it shall accomplish that which He purposes, and shall succeed in the thing for which He sent it? (Isaiah 55:11).
Did you know that you are made clean because of the Word He has spoken to you? (John 15:3).
Did you know that whoever believes in Jesus, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water?’” (John 7:38).
Did you know that the Gospel, the Good News found in The Word, is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek? (Romans 1:16).
Did you know that God’s Word like fire and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? (Jeremiah 23:29).
Did you know that the Word of God is eternal and will not pass away? (Matthew 24:35).
The Bible says that Jesus’ Words are creative, causative, prophetic and instructional. Can this really be true?
Let me ask you, “WHAT IF WHAT THE BIBLE IS SAYING IS REALLY TRUE?” I mean, not only without error, but literally true and factually accurate in ways we fail to recognize? Regardless whether this Truth is spoken through plain language, as metaphors, similes or as an idiom? Let me give you an example before you answer.
The Bible says, “For the Word of God is living and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, even penetrating as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” These words were written about 2,000 years ago, and there was no such thing as a discipline of psychology. So, can these words really be true? And, how could the Bible look 2,000 years into the future to make such a statement?
These Words would seem to have been written as a metaphor, containing a simile. But, are they true? Can the Word of God this actually make these things happen? Or are the Words of Jesus just metaphors and similes, an invention of a poetic mind?
A pastor and friend says Jesus’ words are largely, if not completely, metaphorical, communicating an idea but not facts, especially when it comes to His miracles. This pastor would say that when the Bible says Jesus raised the dead, it was a metaphor, actually meaning that people who are ‘dead’ are only emotionally or spiritually dead. So, by Jesus’ words of encouragement, they would come alive with new purpose in life, but no one actually came back from being dead.
This preacher would say the same of Jesus healing the blind and lame. The blind and the lame did not actually see or walk again, (and perhaps were never really physically blind or lame), but this preacher was asserting that Jesus could motivate the infirm to a ‘see life in a new way’ and would find a new way of ‘walking through life’.
But the Bible says Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God and the savior of the world. Jesus says, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”. Jesus and the Word of God is not an invention of a perverse and unbelieving person and generation. (John 14:6)
I say, ‘how absurd’ of this pastor! Why bother studying scriptures if you believe they are hyperbole at best and a lie at worst! Why change what is plainly written to satisfy your own limited opinion and lack of understanding?
So, this pastor and many others would choose to stand in judgement of the Bible because they just cannot and will not believe. They are, in essence, saying that Jesus is either a liar, a fraud a hypocrite, a lunatic, or a motivational speaker and the Bible is a scam.
A STEP FARTHER
But, what if The Word of God is true? I mean, what if His Words are literally true in ways we fail to recognize? People who personally encountered Jesus testified and reported on the Works He did, and this caused throngs to follow Him, stirred great controversies, created deadly conflicts and gave untold millions a greater hope for a new, vibrant, changed life, full of promise now and eternal hope of a home in heaven with God.
The Words Jesus spoke, and the Works Jesus did, changed the world.
I ask again, ‘what if we have been reading and misunderstanding what Jesus meant by His Words and the intentions of His Words? What if we have been misapplying what He taught? (Jesus was always concerned about His disciple’s lack of understanding and ‘lack of faith’.)
What if Jesus has been telling us how to actively engage His Word, so we could actually do His Works, and even greater works? (“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will you do, because I am going to the Father.” John 14:12.)
I realize I am wading into a potentially controversial area, but I am not referring to some kind of religious mysticism or extra-Biblical teaching, heresy or religious nonsense. (I believe, practice and teach a reformed view of the Bible.) But I do believe a great majority of the church, the teaching and practices of the church and the results produced by the early church have waned if not disappeared completely.
So, I ask one last time: What if the Word of God is
- Somehow, literally Alive, and
- Somehow, literally Active, and
- Producing the effect of being Sharper than any two-edged sword,
- Capable of literally Penetrating as far as the division of soul and spirit,
- Dividing both joints and marrow, and
- Somehow, literally able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart?
Ask yourself, “Why would the Bible and Jesus say such things if they were not true?”
“Why would Jesus and His disciples be willing to suffer and die for a lie or a scam?”
If The Word of God is absolutely true, and in light of what we have discussed and in light of what you have read, what do you now think about the Word of God?
How would you now approach the Bible?
Would you even dare pick up The Word of God, suspecting or knowing it is somehow “actually alive, and active and able to penetrate your mind, spirit and body, having the ability to ‘cut you to pieces’ and reveal the deepest secrets and thoughts of your heart mind and soul?
What would you now DO with such a strange and exciting potential?
Would you still read the Bible just as ‘stories’ about people, places and ‘about God’?
Would you still read the Bible for just for prophecies? For promises? For power?
Would you still you read the Bible just to learn about it? And, if so, what would you DO with what you would now learn?
Now perhaps, these Words have a clearer meaning, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. (Philippians 2:12).
Your Brother and Friend,
NEXT: Is it really true that, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone”? (Matthew 4:3).