I had a fascinating conversation recently with a leader struggling with the nature of Scripture. My father often reminded our congregation at Thornloe Crossroads Baptist Church that God’s word was inspired, inerrant and infallible. As a child, I didn’t know what those terms fully meant, and perhaps my father didn’t either know the full scope of their meaning, but he modeled for us all a high view of Scripture.
In John 2:12-24 Jesus predicts his own resurrection. Having cleansed the table and rattled (literally and otherwise) the religious establishment he was challenged to prove his spiritual authority. “What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”
His answer was filled with power and mystery – “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”
The Jews totally misunderstood the words of Christ as many misunderstand them today. Jesus was not speaking of the Jewish worship centre located in Jerusalem but rather the “temple” of his body. People could “destroy” it, yet in three days He would raise it again, hence a prediction of his death, burial and resurrection.
The Gospel writer inserts the commentary that “After he was raised from the dead….” , after the fulfillment occurred, these early followers of Jesus recalled his prediction. Their response? “THEN they believed the Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.” The Scriptures are to be believed, to be accepted and received with all eagerness, and so are the words of Jesus. In this carefully crafted Spirit led statement, this apostolic leader declares the full faith evidenced in the lives of these Christ-followers.
May we likewise believe the Scriptures, God’s final authority for our faith and practice! Read them! Believe them! Accept them! Memorize them! Obey them! To experience God’s full blessing, this is certainly the path!