Using the name God gave Himself in Exodus 3:14, Jesus makes an audacious claim: “Before Abraham was, I am.” Jewish leaders heard this statement and lost their minds. They were so angry that they wanted Jesus dead. The Pharisees were considered the ultimate authority on God’s Word by the nation of Israel and had an incredible knowledge of the scriptures. Jesus brushed off their personal attacks and reminded the Jewish leaders that they may know scripture but they do not know God.
What a dangerous place to be! It is possible to know the Bible cover to cover and not know God. In John 8, the Jewish leaders knew enough Bible to debate Jesus but failed to apply it to their lives. Reading and applying the Bible should always point us to Jesus. Knowing scripture is not as important as not knowing Jesus.
When we know scripture and apply it, we look like Jesus at the beginning of chapter 8. We shield the helpless, forgive the sinful, offer hope in hopeless situations and rebuke self-righteousness. When scripture is applied, it points us to Jesus instead of preparing us for debate. As you read your Bible, don’t miss the point.
- What can you learn about Jesus from this chapter?
- While reading your Bible today and over the next few weeks, begin your time by asking God to meet with you and allow you to know Him, not just His words.
- Is there a verse or idea from today’s reading you can apply to your life right now? How can learning about Jesus through the Bible change your actions and attitude?