Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.”
Jesus is having a discussion with people who are trying to trip him up and cause Him to say something that will turn the people against Him! They devise an elaborate sequence of questions. In the midst of the questions and answers, Jesus makes this statement: “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.”
Jesus indicated to the teachers of the law that their problem and difficulties came from their ignorance of two things. First Jesus says you do not know the Scriptures. Jesus made this indictment against people who prided themselves on their biblical knowledge. They knew the law they had studied it, memorized it, wrote about it and taught the law as well. In front of everyone, Jesus says one of your main problems is you don’t really know the Scripture. This is a warning that Bible believers need to take seriously. Can we know the Bible, yet not really know it? How is that possible? As with all things spiritual, we can know a lot about the subject, but not really know the subject intimately. We can be so focused on studying, reading commentaries and parsing sentences that we forget the reason we do all of these things, namely to know and be known by God. We can get so caught up in the mechanics of what we’re doing that we forget the heart of why we read and study the Bible. Jesus was not speaking against learning or studying or even examining the Scriptures. Jesus was reminding us that the Scriptures are not the end, knowing God is what is important. The Scriptures point us toward the Lord, they remind us that the most important thing is to love God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself. The Scriptures soften our hearts in order that we become lovers of God and lovers of people. Not just lovers of people who think like us, act like we do, agree with us, but to love the marginalized, hurting, the broken and everyone we meet. Jesus was also reminding His hearers that Bible study is not a game, we are not so much to be studying the Bible for studying’s sake, but rather that the Bible may study us! What do you think of Jesus analysis of the situation? Are you and I in error today because we do not take the Word of God seriously? Have we marinated our hearts and minds in the Word of God? The question is not just have we gotten into the Word of God but has the Word of God gotten into us? These are questions that must be kept in mind as we study the Bible.
The second indictment from Jesus was that they did not know the power of God. For the most part, all of us like to be in charge. We plan our services, we practice the music, we fine-tune the lighting, the sound system, and the sermon slides. I like to be prepared. Do not think I am speaking against preparation. Beyond all of what I can do,I need the presence and power of God. God’s presence and power are an absolute necessity! I wonder if part of our problem today is, that I am only getting what I have prepared to receive. Maybe the same indictment from Jesus could be leveled at me today. Do I really know and understand and experience the power of God? We have not been called to rely upon our strength and resources alone. We serve a mighty God who is all-powerful who is not willing that any should be lost, but that everyone should come to eternal life. I must dedicate time in my day for hearing from the Lord through His word, and open my life to the powerful working of God. If all I can offer the world is what I think and what sheer effort I have been able to accomplish, I will always fall significantly short, because I need the power of God in my life.
What would happen this week if we took this verse of Scripture seriously? Let us begin to ask ourselves do we really know the Scriptures or do we just know about them? Do I know how to exegete the Scriptures, and am I willing to let the Scriptures exegete me?
Am I open to a move of the Spirit? Do I rely on His power?
This verse has been reverberating in my mind and heart for the last couple of days. I do not want to come down to the end of my ministry and have the Lord say to me you are in error because you don’t know the Scripture and you don’t know the power of God!
Help me, Lord, today to experience the power of your Word and the power of Your presence.