The irony of reading Scripture and missing the point

People around me know I talk until I’m blue in the face about the importance of reading and studying the Scriptures. You can’t be a faithful disciple without giving regular, constant, unceasing attention to the Bible. Some people are limping spiritually because they don’t do it, but don’t seem to see the connection. Jesus cannot be Lord, however, unless he is heard and obeyed. And if he is not Lord, then he is not Savior.

As necessary as the place of Scripture is in a Christian’s faith, it must be read properly. Personal aspirations and cultural expectations often bend the true meaning of the Bible into an unrecognizable message. When this happens, people reject God’s plan. They miss what he is doing and oppose the true will of God.

It happened to the Jews of Jesus’ day and still happens today.

The people in Jerusalem and their leaders did not recognize Jesus as the one the prophets had spoken about. Instead, they condemned him, and in doing this they fulfilled the prophets’ words that are read every Sabbath, Acts 13.27 NLT.

The Jews in Judea and Galilee read the Scriptures every Sabbath day in their synagogues, but when Jesus came to earth, they missed everything that was prophesied about him. They failed to connect the clear message of Scripture.

Why? Because they adopted a worldly view of God’s kingdom. For them, it consisted in outward signs of wealth, power, and land.

People in the church do similar things, thinking you can’t be a church without a building, a full-time preacher standing every Sunday behind a pulpit, a program of work that emphasizes benevolence and social activities. Judge a church by its church bulletin and see that this is true! The physical prevails. The material wins out. We talk so much about the Bible and do so little about what its real concerns are—what God cares about.

Whenever we pick up the Bible, let us pray to God that we may recognize his true purpose and not reject his plan for us. Woe to us if we are regular Bible readers who miss the whole point—that God desires eternal salvation for every soul on the face of the earth and has entrusted this task to the church.

J. Randal Matheny

Be pithy.

5 thoughts on “The irony of reading Scripture and missing the point

  1. So many times in our adult classes, people talk about resisting the devil and feeling pretty good about it, but miss the “sins of omission”. The scriptures are full of commandments and examples. But we seem to goat on “not being so bad” and pass over the scriptures telling us to stand up and do somethingn to glorify God. Where is our heart for the lost? So many possibilities out there, even for shy people, to teach the lost. But WBS, WEI and others constantly beg for teachers. “Seeking and saving” scriptures seem to be lost on so many.

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