What Can We Learn from Jesus’ View of the Bible? – Rooted & Built Up Lesson 2

Rooted and Built Up Series (Col. 2:7) – Lesson 2 // Holland Bible Series // Fall 2013


  • John 1:1; Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:3 – Jesus = God.  He shows us who God is, what God thinks, how God feels, etc.  
  • John 13:15; Heb. 12:1-2; 1 Pet. 2:21; 1 John 2:6; etc. – believers of Christ are to follow Jesus’ example.
  • Therefore, studying Jesus’ treatment of the Scriptures shows God’s very heart toward the Scriptures, and sets the standard by which all “Christians” should approach the Scriptures. 

According to Jesus…

  1. God’s Word = God’s written Word: Scripture (John 10:35).  Examples:
    • Matt. 19:4-5 – Jesus sees the narrative of Gen. 2:24 as God’s word
    • Matt. 22:41-44; Mark 12:35-37 – Jesus recognizes David’s words in Psalm 110:1 to be the words of the Holy Spirit
  2. Jesus applies this written Word (Scripture) to the entire Old Testament:
    • Luke 11:49-51 – The Jewish ordering of the Old Testament started with Genesis and ended with 2 Chronicles (as it still does today).  Therefore, Jesus affirms the entirety of the O.T. by pointing to “bookends”: Abel is the first recorded martyr (see Genesis 4) and Zechariah is the last recorded martyr (see 2 Chronicles 24).
    • Luke 24:44-45 – Here, He mentions all 3 divisions of the Jewish Old Testament: (1) The Law, (2) The Prophets, (3) The Writings/Psalms
    • Jesus quoted from the majority of the 39 Old Testament books.
  3. Jesus extends this written Word (Scripture) to the entire New Testament:
    • Luke 24:27,44; 1 Cor. 15:3-4 – The message of the  N.T. was foretold and confirmed by the Old Testament, written hundreds of years beforehand. 
    • Matt. 10:20 (spoken to “these twelve,” v. 5); 28:19-20; Mark 13:11; 16:20; Luke 12:12; 24:49; John 14:25-26; 15:20; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4; 5:2-4; Romans 15:18-19; 1 Cor. 2:4-5, 10; Eph. 2:20; 1 Thes. 1:5; 2:13; Heb. 2:3-4; 1 Peter 1:12; 2 Pet. 3:2; Jude 1:17 – the testimony of the apostles, combined with the work of the Holy Spirit, ensures the New Testament to be God’s truly authoritative word 
    • The Gospels:
      • Matt. 7:24-26: 24:35; 28:19-20; Mark 8:38; 13:31-32; Luke 6:46-49; 9:26; 21:33; John 5:22 cf. 12:48; 5:24-25; 6:63; 7:15-17; 8:26-28, 37-38, 40, 43-47; 12:48-50; 14:10; 15:3,7,15; 17:8; 18:37 – Jesus treated His words as God’s words, and on equal authority to the Old Testament.
        • “Truly I say to you,” “Truly, truly, I say to you” – these phrases are favorite expressions of Christ.  These are words of absolute authority, and contrast the phrase of biblical prophets (“God says…”), or the words of great men (“I believe…,” “I think…”).
        • 1 Cor. 7:10-11; 1 Tim. 5:18; 6:3; Heb. 2:3 – The early church affirmed the authority and importance of Jesus’ words.
      • Matt. 28:19-20 – Jesus commissioned His apostles to teach His words to others.
        • Matt. 23:34 – Scribes were sent as people who recorded words in writing.
        • John 14:26 – Jesus ensured His words would be remembered
        • Matthew and John’s gospel came from apostles directly
        • Mark’s gospel has well been recognized to be Peter’s words, and therefore also is directly apostolic
        • 1 Tim. 5:17-18 – Paul recognized Luke’s writings as carrying Scriptural authority
      • Picture: Josh. 1:7-8 – when Moses was gone, a written record of his words and deeds led God’s people.  Thus, it is fitting and expected that after Jesus leaves (who is a type for Moses, and the “prophet” foretold by Moses in Deut. 18:18), a written record of his words and deeds would lead God’s people today.
    • The Rest of the New Testament:
      • John 16:13-15 – through the Holy Spirit, Jesus’ words would extend beyond what He taught in the gospels
        • Acts 1:1 – the gospel accounts are only the beginning of what Jesus did and taught
        • John 21:17; Acts 26:16 – Peter and Paul were commissioned by Jesus to nourish the church by their message.
        • Rev. 1:19 – Jesus commissioned John to write His words in Revelation
        • 2 Peter 3:15-16 (see also Acts 22:14; 26:16) – Peter recognized Paul’s writings as carrying Scriptural authority as well
          • 1 Thes. 2:13; 1 Cor. 14:37-38; 2 Cor. 13:3 – Paul confirms this
      • Rev. 22:18-19 – this warning not to add or take away from the words of “this book” applies to the book of Revelation primarily.  However, since the content of the book of Revelation demands it to be placed at the end of the N.T., it can secondarily be applied to the entire N.T., and even the whole Bible.
    • John 10:3-4, 27; 1 Cor. 2:11-16; 1 John 2:27; 4:6 – all who receive Jesus have his Spirit in them to help in recognizing what is truly God’s word, and thus the N.T. being received by the church throughout centuries as being God’s word  speaks volumes.
      • There were warnings that people should test the words of “leaders” (Matt. 24:23-24; Acts 17:11; 20:30-31; 2 Cor. 11; 1 Thes. 5:21; Heb. 13:9; 2 Peter 2:1-3; 1 John 4:1; Jude 1:3-4; Revelation 2:2), so the N.T. was not blindly accepted, but was discerned to be truly Scripture by early church.
  4. Matt. 4:1-11 – Scripture is Jesus’ final authority
    • This includes “every word” (Matt. 4:4) and “all” of the words (Luke 24:25).
      • Matt. 5:17-18 (cf. Luke 16:17) – even the jot and tittle
      • Matt. 22:32 – Jesus’ argument hinged on the English word, “am”
      • Matt. 22:41-46; Mark 12:35-37 – Jesus’ argument hinged on, “my”
      • John 10:34-35 – Jesus’ argument hinged on the letter, “s” (“gods” vs. “God”)
    • Scripture is superior to esteemed religious traditions (Mark 7:9-13)
    • John 10:35 – “Scripture cannot be broken”
    • John 17:17 – “Your word is truth” (not just true)
    • Matt. 7:24 – obedience to God’s word is the only secure position
      • Isaiah 55:6-11; 1 Cor. 1:25 – any word proceeding from God is infinitely greater than words/ideas originating with humans
  5. Scripture is relevant to people regardless of their time, place, culture:
    • Matt 22:23-33 – Jesus says to the Jews of his day, “Have you not read what was said to you,” (v.31), about words God spoke to Moses 1,500 years ago
    • Hebrews 11:5-6 – Gives personal identification with words written by Solomon ~1,000 years prior
  6. Scripture is knowable to everyone willing to follow it
    • Matt. 11:25; John 7:17 (cf. John 8:43; 10:27) – a surrendered heart to God will open understanding of the Scriptures, by the help of the Holy Spirit.
      • Mark 4:11-12; Luke 24:25; John 5:37-40 – those with hard and disobedient hearts will not understand
    • Matt. 9:13; 12:3,5,7; 15:3; 19:14; 21:42; 21:13; 22:29,31; John 3:10 – Jesus presumed that people could read the Scriptures and understand their meaning
      • John 20:30-31; Col. 4:16; Heb. 13:24 – other writings were also considered understandable
    • Matt. 4:4,7 – we can avoid deception in the Scriptures by letting the Bible interpret itself.
  7. Scripture is necessary for maintaining spiritual life:
    • Matt. 4:4 – every word of the Bible nourishes life
      • 1 Pet. 1:22-2:3 – the word is milk; Matt. 4:4 – the word is bread; Heb. 5:12-14 – the word is solid food
    • John 6:63 – “the words I have spoken to you are…life”
  8. Scripture provides a completely sufficient revelation of God:
    • Luke 16:29-31 – The Old Testament was sometimes called “The Law and the Prophets,” therefore, Jesus is teaching that the Scriptures provide more revelation for those in this life to trust God than even observing a resurrection, and by our response to the Scripture will we be judged.
    • John 12:47-48; Rev. 19:15 (cf. Eph. 6:17; Heb. 4:12) – all people will be judged according to the Scriptures

Addendum: Do All Scriptures Apply to us Today?

Scripture is relevant to people regardless of their time, place, culture:

  • Matt 22:23-33 – Jesus says to the Jews of his day, “Have you not read what was said to you,” (v.31), about words God spoke to Moses 1,500 years ago
  • Hebrews 11:5-6 – Gives personal identification with words written by Solomon ~1,000 years prior

Follow-up Question: How can we determine when God’s word applies only to the people of that time, and when it applies to us today?  

Follow-up Answer: 

Paraphrased from William Gouge’s, Building a Godly Home (edited and modernized 2013), pp. 181-182–

In Ephesians 6:3, Paul quotes a promise given exclusively to Israel in Deuteronomy 5:16 concerning the Promised Land.  However, when he quotes it to the Christians, he applies it to all Christians, and changes “Promised Land” to mean any land you live in.  This is not deceitful.  Instead, he applies the substance of the promise to Christians of his day, while recognizing the circumstance of the promise was that in Canaan (the Promised Land) they should enjoy that blessing.  Though Christians live not in Canaan, which is the circumstance, it shall go well with them and they shall live long, which is the substance.

Similarly, while Christians no longer need to be circumcised to be part of God’s covenanted people as Abraham was (the circumstance), yet the promise God gave to Abraham (that He would be his God and the God to all his people) is the substance that can be applied to Christians when the believe on Christ.  This could be shown in hundreds of other incidents, for instance, the substance of all the Jewish sacrifices and sacraments is seen in Christ’s work and our faith and application of this work, though the specific circumstances of eating a special meal and doing special duties on special days, like shadows, do not need to apply to Christians.   

Through this we can learn to make use of the Old Testament, even of those promises and privileges which in some particular respects were appropriated to the Jews, by observing the substance and distinguishing it from the circumstance.  Thus shall we find that to be true which the apostle spoke of all the things which were written earlier, namely, that “they were written for our learning” (Rom. 15:4).  In this respect the same apostle says of the things recorded of Abraham, “it was not written for his sake alone,” (Rom. 4:23), and again of the things recorded of the Israelites, “they are written for our admonition” (1 Cor. 10:11).

Pray therefore for the spirit of illumination to discern between substance and circumstance, in reading the Old Testament especially.  

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