Using the Word of God to hear the words of God is what reading the Bible is all about. Try it: Ask Him to explain the meaning of a passage and see what happens.
5 Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Robin and I have been reading through John as we head toward Easter. We were discussing this passage:
28 So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. 29 The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.” John 8:28-29
Let me back up. Bryan, my pastor, was teaching about meditation last Sunday night. He is a proponent of reading the Bible first thing in our time with the Lord to help orient our thoughts and to give the Spirit the opportunity to speak to our hearts BEFORE we start presenting our requests to Him. I was doing this “prep reading” and asking the LORD for His thoughts and for Him to reveal truth to me when I read the phrase, “Lifted up.” It came to me that I knew other verses where Jesus used this phrase, so I looked them up. One was:
14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life. John 3:14-15
This passage refers to the bronze snake that God instructed Moses to make and put on a long pole. It was lifted up in the center of camp (this event happened during the 40-year hike) and those who looked to it were cured of their snake bite (Numbers 22:8-9). Interesting story! “Lifted up” also means “exalted.” This verse changes how those listening to Jesus interpreted what He said. They probably thought He was making reference to the Daniel passage about the Messiah; He was making reference to the way He would die. I love double meanings!!!
The Daniel passage:
7:13 In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed. Daniel 7:13-14
We can see how the people would have gotten excited when Jesus used the phrase, “Son of Man.” That He would be exalted is exactly what they would have expected. But, I think Jesus was thinking of different passage, one that referred to His coming sacrifice:
13 See, my servant will act wisely; he will be raised up and lifted up and highly exalted. 14 Just as there were many who were appalled at him–his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness– 15 so he will sprinkle many nations, and kings will shut their mouths because of him. For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand.
This passage is the beginning of the Suffering Servant section of Isaiah. It moves into chapter 53 and gives a graphic description of the crucifixion– more than 600 years BEFORE the crucifixion!
As we near the celebration of Easter, let’s “turn our face” to Jerusalem (just as Jesus did, Luke 9:51) and focus on the events that led to our salvation. Jesus is LORD! He proved it.