It’s another red letter day, and that means Jesus is speaking today.
Jesus speaking to the “Jews” [aka – the religious leaders in Jerusalem] and He says:
You do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He sent. - John 5:38 NASB
These are men who live in the Old Testament Scriptures.
The Pharisees, as I understand it, memorized vast amounts of scripture. They would have considered themselves to be full of the words of God. They were the ones who “kept” the law in more than one sense. The likely oversaw the work of the scribes, ensuring accuracy. They committed it to memory. They strove to follow every dictate of the law, and, in fact, took the basic teachings of the law and broke it down for all to understand.
They took, for example, the law of the tithe…
Thus all the tithe of the land, of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD'S; it is holy to the LORD. - Leviticus 27:30 NASB
…and when their wives went into the garden and gathered up a fist full of mint, they stopped and separated a tenth for their offering to the temple.
They took the words of the Lord seriously, holding to every letter of the law.
But when they came face to face with the embodiment of God’s holy Word, they hated Him.
They were so focused on the letter of the law – how can we manage to keep every single precept – they missed the point of the law – Love the Father with everything you are and love your neighbor in the same way you care for yourself.
They were so used to looking at the back of the tapestry, they didn’t recognize the finished work of art when He walked right into their temple and began to heal and teach.
When Jesus says this – “you don’t have His word abiding in you” – He harkens back to the prophecies about the New Covenant.
"But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares the LORD, "I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. - Jeremiah 31:33 NASB
"Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. "I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. - Ezekiel 36:26-27 NASB
There’s a place where I start shouting – Hallelujah!
So – what about you?
Are you a home for the Word? Does God’s Word [aka Jesus] find an abiding place – living space – in you?
Thanks for coming.