The Word of God
Read Matthew 15:3-6 (NIV)
Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the Word of God for the sake of your tradition.
What have you been taught about the origins and authority of Scripture?
I saw a meme on social media a few weeks back that claimed to clarify what the Bible is and what it isn’t. Unfortunately, while this meme came from a church that claims to be Christian the ideas being propagated were anything but what historical Christians have considered true about the Bible for over 2,000 years. To be a “Christian” means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. If we are going to call ourselves His followers then we need to think about Scripture the same way that He did. So, this week, we are going to answer the most important question regarding Scripture. How did Jesus view Scripture?
In today’s verse, we see that Jesus equated Scripture with the Word of God. The Pharisees had added religious traditions to the Law. In this case, people could dedicate money to the temple instead of using it to care for their parents. Jesus called them out for making God’s Word void by giving their ideas and traditions more authority than Scripture. Notice that Jesus was quoting the Law and the Commandments that Moses wrote. But despite Moses’s authorship, Jesus clearly refers to the Law and Commandments as the Word of God.
Many people claim that the Bible is not the Word of God because it was written by many different human authors. Well, it was written by the hands of several humans and it was compiled into one volume over the course of many centuries. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not God’s Word. In 2 Timothy 3:16-17 God said (through the Apostle Paul) that “all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (ESV). This means that God inspired the words of the prophets and the apostles. God wrote the Scriptures through humans.
Throughout the course of Jesus’ ministry, we see Him using God’s word for the same purposes that Paul described in 2 Timothy. As Jesus taught and spent time with His disciples, He equipped them to do God’s good work! We see Jesus say “It is written” over and over again as He quoted both the Law and the Prophets. Each time He quotes Scripture, He treats the writings as factual and authoritative. He treats them as if they are the Word of God.
Friends, if we are going to call ourselves Christians then we need to hold the Scriptures in high regard just as Christ did. To Jesus, Scripture wasn't just man’s words about God. They were God’s Words to mankind.
Jesus, thank You for showing us how to view and treat Scripture. You clearly said that Scripture is the Word of God. Help me to follow the teachings of the Bible just as You did. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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