In this world, we hear many voices telling us “truth.” Who are we to trust? Whose voice is right? Jesus!
5 Thorns and snares are in the way of the crooked; whoever guards his soul will keep far from them.
When I was growing up, there was the King James Version (KJV), the New King James Version (NKJV), and the New American Standard Version (NASV). Anything printed in our quarterlies and church materials was the KJV. So, I learned a lot of verses in Vacation Bible School (VBS) in the King James Version. One of those verses (passages) was a really weird one,
1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Hebrews 1:1-2
I always wondered what they were diving for and what divers’ manners were. “Oh, no, you go first…” It wasn’t until I got my New International Version (NIV) that I understood what the passage was talking about,
1 In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. Hebrews 1:1-2
It’s the “he has spoken to us by his Son” part on which I want us to focus today. If Jesus is God (He is) and Immanuel means, “God with us” (it does), then whatever Jesus said is God’s view on things. For instance, Jesus said twice, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice” (NIV-Matthew 9:13, 12:7). That statement was a pretty big change for that day. Another one concerned divorce when Jesus overrode Moses,
7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?” 8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.” Matthew 19:7-9
Jesus also made what seemed like outrageous claims,
6 I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. Matthew 12:6
42 The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now something greater than Solomon is here. Matthew 12:42
30 I and the Father are one. John 10:30
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Matthew 5:17-18
If Jesus is the new way that God speaks to mankind, then we would do well to read our bibles, commentaries, textbooks, blogs, and all literature in light of Jesus’ teachings. I call it holding tightly to Jesus and loosely to anything else. Basically, what I do when I read is ask myself this question, “Did Jesus have anything to say about this subject?” Then, I go look and see. Another question is, “Does what I am reading fit what Jesus said about who God is?” Then, I go look and see. Jesus is our Final Authority. He is the Word of God (it’s one of His names; see Revelation 19:13 and John 1:14).
So, the next time something comes up that makes me question the integrity of God, I will go to Jesus for clarity, both in the Word and in prayer. I believe that Jesus speaks to us even as He did to the early disciples and gives wisdom, understanding and knowledge to those who seek Him. Let us seek Him today, all day, every day.