"You search the Scriptures, because you think you will find eternal life in them. The Scriptures tell about me." (CEV) John 5:39
With all of the different translations, as well as all of the devotionals and Bible studies out there, it’s clear that reading the Bible is important to Christians. But, if your children have ever asked you why we read and study the Bible, you might feel like you don’t have a good answer. And if you have a tendency to freeze when put on the spot, you might answer, “We just should.” There is a better answer than “just because,” and we find it in Jesus’ words in this week’s theme verse: "You search the Scriptures, because you think you will find eternal life in them. The Scriptures tell about me" (John 5:39).
Finding Eternal Life
As John 5:39 points out, we often turn to the Bible to learn how to live or how to get to heaven. A lot of the Bible talks about how we can live a holy life. When we read it, we ask: “What does this passage say to me and to my life right now?”
Because the Bible is “alive and active” (Hebrews 4:12), it still holds answers for us today. We know that “Everything in the Scriptures is God’s Word. All of it is useful for teaching and helping people and for correcting them and showing them how to live. The Scriptures train God’s servants to do all kinds of good deeds” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
But as John 5:39 and 2 Timothy 3:15 point out, there is another, more important, reason we read the Bible: We read it to meet Jesus and fall in love with him.
Finding God the Father and Jesus
How do we find God the Father and Jesus in the Bible? Sometimes it’s easy, like when he shows up in a burning bush to talk to Moses. But other times it’s a bit trickier. After all, Jesus isn’t born until the New Testament and God the Father isn’t even mentioned in Esther or Song of Songs. We start by asking the right questions:
1. What did God do in this passage?
2. What did God say in this passage?
3. What is he doing in the hearts of the people that we are reading about?
4. In this passage, what can we learn about who God is?
These questions turn our focus to our God and Savior. They help us get to know him and his mission here on earth. As we fall in love with him, we will “find eternal life.” After all, Jesus is the reason we have salvation and he is someone worth loving with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30).
Want to do a deep dive? Check out Family Fire's article Wonderfully Made: Your Child and You.