I’m writing this commentary because so many Christian men that I have chatted with over the years seem to aggressively elevate the importance of “right doctrine” and “correct theology” to an idolatrous level, in my opinion.
In John 5:39, Jesus said that we search the scriptures seeking eternal life, but they testify of Him. I think He’s obviously elevating Himself over the written word. Not degrading the word, but simply stating that He is the word incarnate, and intimacy with Him is to be sought-after more so than simply amassing knowledge of the written word.
Also, the mind can be lustful just like the eyes, belly, or flesh. What does the mind lust after? Knowledge. It loves to fill itself up with knowledge, knowledge, and more knowledge; to the point that it gets filled with argumentative pride. But in 1 Corinthians 8 we learn that “knowledge puffs up, but love builds up”. Once again, like Jesus elevating Himself above the written word, Paul is elevating the Spirit (love is a fruit of the Spirit) above simply amassing knowledge that may or may not bear any fruit. He even goes so far as to call the amassing of knowledge idolatry.
Brothers and sisters, the written word is great, especially when used as a tool to grow in intimacy with Jesus and for the Spirit to renew our minds and transform us. But Jesus Himself is: Life, Truth, Beginning, End, Door, Alpha, Omega, Resurrection, Bread, Living Water, Way, Advocate, Bridegroom, Shepherd, Creator, Dayspring, and so much more…everything. All things are summed up in Him.
I love the bible, but if you never owned one you could have an intimate, powerful, and trans-formative relationship with Jesus by the Spirit. Knowing Him (deep intimacy with Him) IS eternal life (John 17:3). Not knowing ABOUT Him (like when we study a historical famous person’s life via biography) with head knowledge, but truly knowing Him like you know your wife, children, or best friend.
In other words, He’s a person to be known way more than a subject to be studied.
This topic sets certain folks from within some threads of Christendom absolutely ablaze. Relationship with a intellectual concept constructed from wood pulp and ink versus a relationship with a real person that transcends page or papyrus- sounds like a stumbling block to me.
I totally agree Vinnie. Thanks for reading!