Why should a Christian believe that the Bible is God’s Word, that it is inspired by his Spirit and authoritative over their lives? Another similar question might be “Why should a Christian take time to read the Old Testament, it is archaic and hard to understand?” We could look at reasons why the Bible is archaeologically, historically, literally, prophetically or scientific consistent or accurate. However the overriding reason for accepting the divine inspiration and authority of Scripture is simple loyalty to Jesus. What did Jesus believe about the Scripture? As a Christian our understanding of everything is conditioned by what Jesus taught. That includes His teaching about the Scripture.
- Jesus said that not a ‘jot or tittle’ (i.e. not the smallest letter or even a part of a letter) would pass away from God’s Word until all was fulfilled (Matt. 5:17-18; Mark 14:49).
- When Jesus answered Satan’s temptations, He said, “It is written” (Matt. 4:4-10). This shows that Jesus understood that the Scripture had the authority of God behind it. For Jesus, the fact that something was written in Scripture meant that it was an indisputable authority, so indisputable that the Scriptures were used by Jesus to fight the attacks of Satan.
- Through the Gospels we see that Jesus viewed the Scripture as reliable and trustworthy. In John 10:35 Jesus reminded the Jewish leaders that, “the Scripture cannot be broken”. Jesus expected the Scriptures to be valid; He even upheld the validity of old covenant commands while the old covenant was still in force (Matt. 8:4; 23:23).
- Jesus quoted Scripture to prove His points (Matt. 9:13; 22:31; 26:24; 26:31);
- Whenever Jesus debated the Jewish religious leaders, He quoted the Scriptures as the final court of appeal. On one such occasion, Jesus quoted Psalm 82:6 and then added, “and Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:34,35).
- Jesus rebuked people for not reading the Scriptures carefully enough (Matt. 22:29; Luke 24:25; John 5:39).
- Jesus referred to Old Testament people and events without any hint that they were not real.
- Jesus believed that the Scriptures spoke about Him and that the scriptures were fulfilled in Him, and so He interpreted His life in light of the Scriptures. For example, He stopped Peter’s effort to prevent Jesus from being arrested by saying, “But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?” (Matt. 26:54).
- In Hebrews 10:7 we are told that in the volume of the book (the scriptures) it is written of Me (Jesus).
Clearly Jesus treated the Scriptures as the very Word of God. So in loyalty and love for what was important to Jesus, we too should honor and value the Scriptures. Ask our Heavenly Father to help you appreciate the Living Word and the Written Word.