Theme of the Week: Out of Hibernation
Bible Verse: You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life. John 5:39-40
Scripture Reading: John 5:31-47
Do you have a favorite movie? How many times have you seen it? My wife doesn’t typically like to watch movies more than once (although there are a few exceptions). She doesn’t understand how I can watch the same movie more than once (and if I’m honest there are some that are more than twice). But there’s something nice about the familiarity. To be entertained, to know what is coming. Why not watch something I know I like rather than (potentially) waste time on a movie that may turn out to be a dud?
There’s something nice about familiarity. But it can have its drawbacks too. Take familiarity with the Bible as an example. Of course, it is good to know what the Bible says! Reading, studying, and meditating on Scripture helps us to know God and what He has done in the course of our history to bring us back into relationship with Him. But could there be a shady side to familiarity with the Bible? Maybe.
What if familiarity with Scripture is what kept the Pharisees from recognizing Jesus? Jesus himself commended them for their dedication to studying Scripture. But he also tells them that the Scriptures that they are diligent with point to Him. So how could they miss Him?!
They thought they knew what Scripture said and what it meant. They were not open to seeing what was there because they thought they knew already. Their accepted understanding of what Scripture was saying clouded their ability to see what God was saying.
This should remind us to rely on the work of the Spirit every time we open the pages of the Bible. Despite how many times we may have heard or read a story, we must be open to the revealing work of the Spirit in our hearts and minds.
Prayer: God, please show me when familiarity with the words of the Bible stop me from seeing you. Allow the Spirit to work in my heart and mind to reveal you to me.
Reflection: When was the last time you found something new in a familiar story of Scripture? Ask God to help you read Scripture well today.
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