June 1, 2022

Jesus and Scripture

Written by Boyd Bailey

Approach the Word of God with a humble heart and teachable mind always learning and growing.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – June 1, 2022

Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill…For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:17, 20

Jesus elevated Scripture when He validated Scripture by fulfilling the prophecies of His coming as Messiah (Savior of the world), and His coming as the Word (incarnate full of grace and truth) to reveal God’s greatest command—the law of love. The law of Moses, the first five books of Scripture, had been misinterpreted and misapplied by the religious experts of His day. External righteousness had been elevated over internal holiness by self-appointed moral police. Jesus called out the scribes and Pharisees for their proud, external righteousness—void of an internal humble hearted righteousness motivated by love. Jesus, the Word made flesh, came to clarify the meaning and application of God’s Word. Scripture for the Son of God was the Word of God. 

Jesus brings clarity in His Sermon on the Mount when He says, “You have heard it said” (referring to common religious teaching of His day) “but I say unto you.”  J.I. Packer, one of the most respected theologians of our day, explains Christ’s contrasting phrases as He seeks to bring clarity to Scripture: “Christ is contrasting what others have said that the law of Moses means and what ‘I say unto you’ that it means. He is challenging, not the law, but misinterpretations of the law.” Jesus continues to clarify as He compares anger to murder, lust to adultery, and love to your enemies. It’s the weightier matters of the character of the heart that matter most to God. 

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-28).

Jesus’ interpretation and application of Scripture is for His followers. Without first being redeemed (saved) by Holy God and filled by the Holy Spirit you are not capable of the true understanding of the Scripture’s meaning and application, nor do you have the power of the Spirit living within you to live out these truths with a teachable heart of humility and love. One smarter than me, J.I. Packer, unpacks these ideas with clarifying logic and humble intellect: 

“Such are the lines on which our Lord’s exposition of God’s law proceeds. It is, as we have said already, an ethic for the redeemed, those who love God because He has forgiven and adopted them, and they have known His saving grace. It is, as Christ Himself implies, an ethic for the regenerate: the good fruit of a life according to this pattern can only grow on a good tree, a tree that has been made good by the new birth. And it is, above all, an ethic for disciples; for the ideal which it sets forth was incarnate in the Master Himself, and if we want to know what obedience to the two great commandments really means, the most effective way to find out is to turn our eyes upon Him and watch how He walked. He Himself, in life and conduct, in the love and humility with which He served God by dying for men, was the clearest exposition of His own understanding of God’s law, and it is most of all by observing Him that we shall learn of Him.”

If you are a follower of Jesus your approach to Scripture should have the same sober minded spirit and humble heart of our Lord. Like Jesus, elevate Scripture as Holy Spirit inspired words by holy men of God. God’s word is the story of His love and redemption for His people Israel and for all His children who will follow who have placed their faith in His son Jesus Christ. Scripture is the Lord’s love letter to you, personalized to His beloved child full of promise and potential. Approach the Word of God with a humble heart and teachable mind always learning and growing. Model its wisdom and instruct others hungry to follow God’s ways. Jesus is the Word made flesh so look to how He reverenced, internalized, understood and lived out Scripture. 

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1, 14, NKJV).


Heavenly Father, keep my heart tender and my mind teachable to your Word, through Christ’s love, and in His name I pray, amen.


Consider studying in depth JI Packer’s article that inspired today’s devotional: Our Lord’s Understanding of the Law of God.

Related Reading

Exodus 4:22; Matthew 5:43-47, 7:12, 23:23; Mark 1:15; John 1:40

Worship Resource

Awakening Music ft. Daniel Hagen & Ally Dowling: Your Word


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