When I was in high school, I was a part of Bible Quizzing. During my junior year, the book to study was the Gospel of Luke. That year was probably the first time I had ever read Luke 24:13-35. And I loved it. At the end of the year, I remember a couple of girls asking me, and others, to sign their Scripture books of Luke. As they asked they said, “Sign by your favorite verse or passage from Luke.” So I wrote my name next to Luke 24. A passage that spoke so strongly to me about the importance of being in God’s Word.
So, these men are feeling a bit bummed out and confused about everything that has happened. The Man who they had high hopes of being the Christ has been killed. There’s been talk of His missing body, and maybe that’s a sign that He’s risen, like He said He would… but that’s a bit too good to be true.
When they explain all this to Jesus (who they don’t know is Jesus), He points them to the Scriptures. He explains to them the Scriptures. All the Scriptures concerning Himself.
Luke 24 speaks so strongly about the importance of knowing God’s Word, because it captures what knowing God’s Word is all about: knowing Jesus. Studying the Bible isn’t about knowledge of facts or following rules or simply becoming a good and better person. It is about coming to know Jesus more intimately and personally. It is about journeying with Him and falling more deeply in love with Him.
All Scripture points to Jesus, and so our ultimate goal in studying God’s Word is to know Him more. Not merely make good decisions or be a good person.
Jesus actually rebuked some of the religious leaders for this in John 5. He said to them, “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about Me, yet you refuse to come to Me to have life.” (vv. 39-40)
These religious leaders were all about following the rules and doing what was right; not necessarily a bad thing. But they refused to come to Jesus; to believe in Him all the Scriptures pointed to. To find the life only He can give. As Jesus prays in John 17, “Now this is eternal life: that they know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.” (v. 3) Life is knowing Jesus, so studying God’s Word is about knowing Him more.
In John 7, Jesus gives this promise:
The living water Jesus spoke of is the Holy Spirit dwelling in us (John 7:39). When we believe in Jesus, the One all Scripture testifies about, His Spirit will flow from within, and Christ-like attitudes, actions and words will overflow in our lives.
The story from Luke 24 continues with Jesus having dinner with the two men. And during the meal, their eyes were opened and they recognized that He was in fact Jesus, alive. Once they recognized Him, Jesus disappeared from their sight.
I found the first thing they said to each after this to be interesting:
They didn’t exclaim, “It’s Jesus. And He’s alive!” They didn’t ask, “Where did He go? Let’s find Him.” There was something so rich and beautiful and powerful about that time on the road, when Jesus opened the Scriptures and explained how they testified to Him, that their hearts burned within them, and when they recognized Jesus, they remembered that time.
When we study God’s Word to know Him more, His character and His will are revealed to us, and our hearts burn with love for Him, and with desire to reflect His character, and with passion for His will.
I want that burning. I want to walk along the road with Jesus or sit at His feet, letting Him reveal Himself to me through the great revelation of His Word, coming to know and love Him more.
I’ll be writing more on ways we can study God’s Word in the future, but if you don’t have a method of studying, yet would like to meet with Jesus in His Word, you can start by asking What does this passage reveal about Jesus’ character and will? And then What is my response to Him? Even Old Testament Scriptures reveal who Jesus is. After you read a passage of Scripture, take some time to journal your answers to these questions. I’m thinking you’ll be amazed at how these “simple” questions can open up God’s Word and our eyes to see Him.
And that’s what studying God’s Word is all about. So let’s dive in, and may our hearts burn within us.