The Bible, Scripture, the Word of God, revelation, the revealing of God to man. Sitting in front of me is this most fascinating of books. The stories are fantastic, verging on the unbelievable, no, they are at times unbelievable, at least according to current ways of defining belief. We can’t run a test to see if God spoke to Moses. There is no microscope strong enough to magnify God so that we can see Him with our physical eyes. There is no mathematical formula that will explain God. No, God is different, like a relationship is different. You can’t investigate love, at least not empirically. You experience love, it encounters you and you respond. God is the same way. God comes to us and we respond. Jesus came to people when He walked on the earth and they responded. Some hailed Him as their Messiah, the anointed one that would save Israel. Some followed for a time and turned away when the path became difficult, when the teaching became tough, or when the cost was simply too high to pay. Others hated Jesus, plotting and planning in the highest courts in the land how they could rid themselves of this meddler, this corrupter, this blasphemer, this provocateur.
Why do I put my trust in the Bible? Why is it the highest authority in my life? That is not an easy question to answer. You see, there are numerous reasons, all tangled together and intertwined with each other. It is hard to distinguish each strand as they wrap around to form the rope of my conviction. I believe that the prophecies in the Bible have been fulfilled. Not all of them yet, but most of them. Some of the prophecies are vague, while others are so clear that they are hard to sidestep as mere fortuitous coincidences. There is also the testimony of those who knew Jesus, the Apostles. These men died for their belief that Jesus rose from the grave. Now I know that people die for false beliefs every day, but do they think they are false beliefs or are they deceived? Were the Apostles deceived? Were they convinced of something that did not happen? It becomes subjective at times, but I believe that they were not deceived and that they did not die for a false belief. You ask me to prove it, and I tell you that I can’t, at least not in the sense you mean. Prove it like a math problem, prove it like it was something that anyone could go see and know. Jesus can’t be proven that way, and there is nothing in that which weakens my belief or renders it suspect. Prove to me that you love your wife, prove to me that you love your daughter or son. Relationships are not subject to scientific experiment. They are different. We experience people and at the moment we make a person into an object we have reduced them. We have made it easier for us to cast them aside, to disregard them, to hurt them, to abandon them. People are not objects, they are subjects. We encounter them in relationship. God is not an object for our study, but a subject for our encounter.
The Bible lies open before me to the first chapter of John and it says that God became a man, God became a human being so that we could be with Him. Paraphrasing Bono, He stooped so low, to reach so high. God came down, so that we can go up. There is a relationship that gives the Bible authority in my life. There is a relationship that confirms that the Bible is God’s love letter to humanity. God has reached out; He has put Himself in the vulnerable position of loving us first. We have to choose how we respond to Him. Will we return the love He gives, will we act as if He never offered His love, will we rage against Him for His love? The answer to that question lies with you.
God is the highest authority in my life! God is my deepest passion! Flowing from that commitment is a passion for humanity. Do I love humanity like I should? No, the answer is easy to give. I fall short time and again. Am I striving to love more. Yes, but it isn’t easy. Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me. Tough words from a great man. Tough words from a great God. Open God’s letter, read, listen to what He says to you, and then decide.