Series: Jesus the interpreter of scripture
|Sometimes the only way to really understand scripture is to encounter Jesus as you read it|
Every alternate Sunday at our little church is an ‘encounter’ service. We are working through a series of twelve Gospel passages which reveal God’s nature and character in and through the Lord Jesus Christ. The idea is to describe the biblical scene in detail and then to invite the congregation to imagine what it would have been like to have been there. Those who want to then get an opportunity to share what Jesus revealed to them during this exercise concerning Himself. Recently the passage was Matthew 17:1-8, the Transfiguration.
What a glorious passage, in every sense of the word! Jesus met with Moses and Elijah. Moses, representing the Law, and Elijah representing the Prophets, confirmed Him and prepared Him for what was soon to take place. Earlier, when Jesus was choosing His disciples, Philip said to his brother Nathanael that, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote — Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. (John 1:45).” When He preached the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them” (Matthew 5:17-18). Then again, after the resurrection, Jesus gave the two disciples on the Emmaus road a Bible study and, ‘beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself (Luke 24:27).
The account of what happened on the slopes of Mount Hermon climaxes with the declaration of God the Father from within the cloud of Shekinah glory, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” John the Baptist heard words similar to the first part of this wonderful affirmation when he baptized Jesus in the Jordan. Now, however, the three elect disciples hear the crucial additional phrase, “listen to him.”
The Old Testament Law and Prophets affirm Jesus and point us to Him, but the voice of God the Father makes it clear that He, Jesus, is the one to whom we must listen. Years later the writer of the letter to the Hebrews captured this crucial injunction with the phrase, ‘In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son (Hebrews 1:1-2)
The scriptures, and more specifically, the voice of God the Father, confirm the Christocentric Principle. The Bible points us to Jesus and the Holy Spirit reveals Jesus to us through its pages.
The scriptures record His words, deeds, and the revelation of the nature and character of the Godhead in and through Him. This revelation then becomes our yardstick of truth and our interpretive lens through which we view the Bible and life – the Christocentric Principle (CP).
In my next few posts I will be giving some examples of how to apply the CP to specific issues.