Are you intimidated with Bible study? Does studying the Bible bore you? Do you have trouble seeing anything valuable or applicable to you personally when you read the Bible?
Bible study is all about seeing Jesus, no matter what you’re studying.
The Psalmist conveys this thought by saying “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” (Psalm 119:18) Do you want to have your eyes opened to the wondrous things from Scripture?
We’re told by Bible scholars that to truly understand passages of Scripture, we need to attempt to discover the author’s intent, otherwise known as exegesis. For example, “what was Moses trying to convey?” or “what idea was Paul referring to?” But who is ultimately the author of Scripture? 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us
ALL scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
So then, what is the highest form of exegesis? Figuring out God’s intent! There’s only one problem; Matt 11:27 tells us that only Jesus knows the Father. We’re given the way around this obstacle in Phil 2:5. We must get the mind of Christ. Does Jesus want us to think like Him? Absolutely. So we need to learn to see the Scriptures the way Jesus saw them, right?
What was Jesus’ favorite teaching method? Parables. What is a parable? It’s simply a word picture. Who creates pictures? Artists. Is Jesus an artist? Absolutely!
Isaiah 26:3. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trustesth in thee.” The Hebrew word for “mind”= imagination. Does God want us to keep even our imaginations fixed upon Him? Jesus did.
Let’s look at something Jesus said while on earth. Matt 13:34 tells us, “…and without a parable spake he not unto them:” So here we’re told that everything Jesus said was a parable in some way. In other words, His teachings were word-pictures of deeper truths…always.
Let’s look at a Biblical example.
- Mark 2:7-11. Jesus heals the man sick with palsy. Notice that Jesus only healed the man after He saw the faith of those present. After healing the man, Jesus is accused of blasphemy-why? Because He forgave the man his sins, and only God can forgive sins. Then Jesus gives the entire reason He decided to heal the man in v. 10- “But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins,”. So Jesus is saying that healing the man was symbolic of His ability to heal us from sin!
So can anyone just come along and discern deep spiritual truth? Are we at liberty to just invent “deeper” meaning into the text?
Remember, without the help of the Holy Spirit, we are in no better shape to understand God’s Word than Nicodemus. When confronted with the idea of being “born again,” what was his response? Or when Jesus said to His disciples, “eat my flesh and drink my blood,” what did they probably think? Utter confusion. Spiritual things are spiritually discerned. (1 Cor 2:13,14) We must have Biblical precedent for the conclusions we reach, and we must be guided by the Spirit. So, let us begin each journey into God’s Word with earnest prayer for the Holy Spirit.
In “Gospel Glasses- Part 2”, we’ll discuss some of the most exciting principles of Bible study that will be sure to broaden your horizons in the study of Scripture.