Pray: To open your time together.
Read: John 5: 37-40
Consider: Some thoughts for your group
If you were transported back to a church gathering in the early 16th century, during the time of Martin Luther and the birth of the reformation, there would be several things you would recognize. Things like communion, baptism, and prayer. One thing that would be very different would be the role of scripture in the life of the Christian.
The bible at the time of Luther was exclusively available to priests and scribes. In fact, most people were taught that scripture was too hard to understand for the lay person and could only be usable with an interpretation from a priest. For centuries, the majority of Christians had no idea what the bible said for itself.
One of the gifts of the reformation was the printing of bibles and the accessibility of scripture to the masses. For the first time people were able to read and touch the scriptures for themselves and discover what would be revealed by the Holy Spirit to them personally.
The use and abuse of scripture is nearly as old as the church, but in John 5 Jesus reminds us that while the scriptures are beautiful and important they exist to serve the purpose of revealing Jesus to us all. Jesus warns, “You study the scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”
Let us rejoice that today we have full access to the word of God, and remember to use scripture rightly to seek after Jesus.
- What is your relationship to the bible? Do you spend time reading it?
- Why is it important that everyone have access to scripture, not just pastors and priests?
- What do you make of Jesus’ words in John 5? What does Jesus tell us is the right role of scripture in the life of a Christian?
What might God be teaching us in Jesus’ words about scripture? What does it mean to you that Jesus is not satisfied with people knowing scripture, but instead desires us to “…come to me to have life.”? In what ways is Jesus inviting you to pursue Him this week?
Spend some time praying for one another. For those who have a hard time with the bible, pray for grace and a nearness of the Holy Spirit. For those who love the bible, pray for new life and revelation during their reading time.