Author: Rachel Kidd
Study to present yourself approved unto God, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth. —2 Timothy 2:15
Jesus said, “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me.”
Beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, [Jesus] explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. —Luke 24:27
Importance of Studying
Paul tells Timothy that he must study the scripture, exert himself in the pursuit of Scriptural knowledge so that he will be prepared when he meets the heavenly Father.
Like any other knowledge base, scripture needs to be studied and pursued. It isn’t just a healing salve, it is wisdom that must be learned and taken to heart. This study of the New Testament is an excellent place to start, a structured course that can help you get into the Word of God.
As Paul tells us, faith comes by hearing the Word of God. During his time, most in the Roman empire could not read and copies of the Torah were few and sacred. Most people heard the scripture read aloud instead.
Today with the ability to read and write, we might understand this as faith comes by reading and understanding the Word of God. We have the privilege of accessing the Bible in so many different forms, from a physical copy to a digital one on an app. Take advantage of it and step into the New Testament with us!
What’s in a Word?
The first four books of the New Testament, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, are referred to as the “gospels.”
The word gospel is derived from the Anglo-Saxon god-spell, meaning “good story.” And god-spell is an early English rendering of the Latin evangelium and the Greek euangelion, meaning “good news” or “good telling.”
The first three books, Matthew, Mark, and Luke have been referred to as the Synoptic Gospels since the end of the 18th century, due to their incredibly similar structure and narrative treatment of the life and ministry of Jesus.
While these four gospels tell us about Jesus’ works and detail His teachings, they are far more than a biographical text because they also share the good news of redemption Jesus brought to the world.
The gospels show us that the whole Bible—both the Old and New Testaments—is all about Jesus Christ. They are therefore the most important books in the Bible, the key to understanding all of Scripture. As we will see, Jesus declared that He is at the center of God’s plan from beginning to end. Everything in Scripture points to Him and His plan to redeem and save lost mankind.
The Greatest Revelation
No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known. –John 1:17-18
This verse in the first chapter of John explains the great revelation of Jesus, who through Him made God the Father known.
In the original Greek, John used the word exegesis, which is a deep and critical interrogation into a text to ascertain the meaning. It is the act of bringing out in the verse what is in it, as opposed to inserting meaning that is not in the text.
In this case, Jesus exegetes God, meaning He brought out all the meaning of God. This means that Jesus Christ is the greatest revelation of truth, of God, the world has ever been given.
Everything that Jesus was, everything that Jesus said, and everything that Jesus did reveals God to us. And because the gospels are about Jesus, we can determine that these books are at the core or the heart of the scripture.
Word became Flesh
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
God had a word, truth, that He wanted to communicate with man. Yet, He struggled to communicate with humans, being God. Like humans trying to talk to animals and vice versa, the message gets lost.
And so God made a great sacrifice because of His love for humanity. He sent Jesus to humble himself and become man. In order for those thoughts to be translated to earth to human comprehension, God had to become human too.
Jesus is the embodiment of the word, the conductor of translation that became man so that humankind could understand the Word of God. Everything that He was, said, and did on earth revealed God to us.
It Points to Jesus
The religious leaders of the day didn’t believe Jesus’ claim that He was God, so they asked for proof, for evidence that He was who He claimed to be.
In John chapter 5, Jesus lays out a defense, proving that He is in fact the Son of God. He references His miracles and explains the great prophet John the Baptist paved the way for Him.
“You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth. Not that I accept human testimony; but I mention it that you may be saved. John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light.”
He then says that the revered Moses wrote about Him, prophesying the coming of Jesus Christ generations earlier. In fact, Jesus cites the scriptures as a whole as a testimony to Him, they’re all about Him.
When we understand this, we can appreciate that Jesus is the very heart and thread that connects the scripture together.