(Red-letter portions of the New Testament)

John 5:39-40, "You search the scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness to me; yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life."

Knowledge of the Bible, doctrine, and theology does not give eternal life, Jesus does. Jesus addressed the religiously educated men of his day. He let them know, just in case they missed it, that the scriptures they studied testified to Him as the Messiah, the Son of God. Yet, they did not accept it, because of their stubborn hearts. They had Jesus derangement syndrome.

They communicated to other people and fooled themselves into thinking that, because they were engaged in the study of scriptures, they were closer to eternal life than others. They actually were further away, because even though the scriptures testified of Jesus, they refused to follow him and refused the life he offers.

It doesn't take a doctorate in religious studies to know that Jesus is the Son of God. That's not the problem. The problem is our refusal to follow him or our preoccupation with other things. Then we have a problem. If we refuse him, we don't receive the eternal life he offers, which can begin right now.

Jesus said he came that we might have life and have it to the full (John 10:10). Jesus said that eternal life is knowing the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom he has sent. (John 17:3). Do we know scriptures or do we know Jesus? Do we have awards for memorizing Bible verses, or do we actually know Jesus, through a personal passionate relationship? The 1st commandment is to love God, not to be religious. We can't love God, if we don't know him, personally. To say we do is just religious puffery or engaging in self-deception. We can't really love someone we don't know.

The scriptures witness to Jesus. Once we understand that, we need to come to him and have a personal, passionate relationship with him. Then he will share his life with us, life to the full, forever.

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