BYCT-44 - The Book Jesus Trusted

As an eight year old, I will always remember learning one word in the sign language of the deaf—the Bible was the “Jesus” (signed by nail prints in hands) “Book” (signed by hands, palms together and then opening like a book)”.

What a perfect way to portray, describe, and express the truth of God's Word. Our Bibles really are, and should always be to us: the Jesus Book.

The Jesus Book

While here on Earth Jesus lived out the God's Word, spoke God's Word, used the God's Word, and affirmed God's Word. Central to we believe is this Jesus Book. In fact, after Christ's Resurrection He came back and taught a small class on “How to Understand the Bible”, He had two students and a recording of His lesson remains for us in Luke 24. As we open there, listen as Jesus explains to ordinary people, the extraordinary content of the Book we hold in our hands today. Luke 24:25-45:

Then he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into his glory?” 27 and beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. 28 then they drew near to the village where they were going, and he indicated that he would have gone farther. 29 but they constrained him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” and he went in to stay with them. 30 now it came to pass, as he sat at the table with them, that he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 then their eyes were opened and they knew him; and he vanished from their sight. 32 and they said to one another, “did not our heart burn within us while he talked with us on the road, and while he opened the Scriptures to us?” 33 so they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, 34 saying, “the Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” 35 and they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of bread. 36 now as they said these things, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, “peace to you.” 37 but they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit. 38 and he said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Handle me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.” 40 when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 but while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, he said to them, “have you any food here?” 42 so they gave him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb 43 and he took it and ate in their presence. 44 then he said to them, “these are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses and the prophets and the Psalms concerning me.” 45 and he opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.

Pray

Jesus Used
God's Word 

If we look closely at the recorded words of Jesus, and especially in the 1 in every 10 that are quotations from the Old Testament, we can see that the Bible was Christ's Book that He constantly relied upon. 

Jesus built His life and ministry upon the foundation of this Book that He believed was FLAWLESS from Genesis to Malachi . The words of our Lord Jesus were filled with the Scriptures. Jesus used this Book at all times in His ministry. Some key places He used them are:

•    In His Temptation: In Matthew 4, Jesus met and overcame Satan in the Wilderness of Temptation using three verses from Deuteronomy (8:3; 6:16; 6:13).

•    In His Following God’s Will: In Matthew 4, Jesus goes on and launched His ministry by saying that He was following what God has said He would do (Mt. 4:16 quotes Is. 9:1-2)

•    In His Teachings: In Matthew 5, Jesus used Old Testament passages to teach the truths of the Sermon on the Mount (for example: Mt. 5:21 is Ex. 20:13, Dt. 5:17; Mt. 5:27 is Ex. 20:14, Dt. 5:8; Mt. 5:38 is Ex. 21:24, Lev. 24:20, Dt. 19:21; and so on), 

•    In His Sorrows: In Matthew 26, to prepare for Gethsemane, Jesus sang from the Scriptures at the Last Supper with His disciples. (Matthew 26:30 and Mark 14:26 use the Greek word #5214 humneo) which means they were literally singing the paschal hymns of Psalms 113-118, and 136. These Psalms are what the Jews called the "great Hallel".

•    In His Prayers: After the Passover Supper, Jesus walked and prayed His mighty intercession of John 17, and to do so He uses the Scriptures of Psalm 41:9.

•    In His Pains: In Matthew 27, to endure the horrors of Golgotha, Jesus had the words of the Scriptures flowing from His lips on the Cross. (Matthew 27:46 and Luke 23:46 quote Psalms 22:1 and 31:5)

•    In His Discipleship: And finally we see at the end of the Gospel account, to comfort the confused and sorrowful disciples in Luke 24:44, Jesus reminds them that the Scriptures often speak of Him.  And then opens their minds to understand and see Him in the Scriptures.

So, by observation we can clearly see that Jesus was a Man of this Book, He used it, trusted and affirmed it, and taught us the same. Secondly:

Jesus Trusted
God's Words

If we look at the Gospels we can also find Christ's convictions about the Word of God. And if you think about it, should we share the same convictions as Jesus had when it comes to the Bible?

As we open to Matthew 5:18 we first learn that Jesus declared His conviction that:

1.    Every Word of God Is Eternal. 

From Matthew 5:18, we can learn how completely Jesus trusted the Scriptures: For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled (NKJV).

Until heaven and earth pass away represents the end of time, as we know it, the end of earthly history. God’s Word we are told by Peter, will outlast the universe, which someday will cease to exist. “The present heavens and earth by His word are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment, and destruction of ungodly men” (2 Pet. 3:7, 10). 

So Jesus believed that every word of the Old Testament is trustworthy, but Jesus takes it a step further and says that:

2.    Every Letter of God’s Word is True! 

Matthew 5:18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled (NKJV).

The NIV renders this verse strikingly clear when it says in Matthew 5:18: I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished (NIV).

No other statement made by our Lord more clearly states His absolute contention that Scripture is verbally inerrant, totally without error in the original form in which God gave it. That is, Scripture is God’s own Word not only down to every single written word—but down to every letter and the smallest part of every letter.

The smallest letter translates the word iota, the smallest letter of the Greek alphabet. To Jesus’ Jewish hearers it would have represented the yodh, the smallest letter of the Hebrew alphabet, which looks something like an apostrophe. A stroke (keraia) literally means “little horn” and refers to the small marks that help distinguish one Hebrew letter from another. 

So every word, and every letter can be trusted, and then Jesus adds to that His third conviction: every promise, every prophecy, and every plan WILL come to pass EXACTLY as God planned and intended! Because:

3.    Every Word will be preserved by God and will come to pass! 

Matthew 5:18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 

God is watching as He said in Jeremiah 1:12 Then the LORD said to me, "You have seen well, for I am ready to perform My word." (NKJV) As Ezra declared for God after the Old Testament Scriptures were copied and prepared for use as the Exiles returned, “Forever oh Lord, Your Word is settled in Heaven” (Psalm 119:89). So God Himself has staked His Name, His Truth, and His Honor to this Book. He has told us that He is watching over even the minutest parts to bring them to pass. 

So the words and even the letters of the words, recorded in Christ's Hebrew Bible, or the Old Testament are eternal and will be fulfilled. But then Jesus goes on to state His fourth conviction: that the words that were being recorded right then, His words in the New Testament were also on the same level. So Jesus believed that:

4.    Every New Testament word is equally authoritative with the Old Testament.

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away” (Matthew. 24:35). 

Later on Peter explains to us (I Peter 1:11), it was the “Spirit of (God the Son Jesus) Christ” who inspired the writers of the Old Testament. As John says in the Fourth Gospel (John 1:1-3), Jesus is the Word, both the Old Testament Word of God and the New Testament Word of God. What was true of the law, in its fullest meaning as the Old Testament, was also true of Jesus’ teaching. It is timeless. 

The Bible is the eternal Word of the eternal God. It “is living and active and sharper than any two–edged sword” (Hebrews. 4:12). Jesus believed every word, every letter, every promise and prophecy, all equally authoritative whether Old Testament or New Testament. But Jesus has even stronger convictions, He even believed that:

5.    Every verb tense in The Old Testament is True!  

Once, when Jesus was challenged by one of the local skeptics, about the inspiration of God's Word. This skeptic asked Jesus about seven husbands in succession, who had all married the same woman, and had each died. Then he ended with the impossible question he thought would stump Jesus—“Which would be her husband in Heaven”? Christ's reply was based on the tense of one verb in a verse in Exodus.

Matthew 22:29-33 Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. 30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven. 31 But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying, 32  ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” 33 And when the multitudes heard this, they were astonished at His teaching (NKJV).

When God revealed Himself in Exodus He told Moses: not that He was, but that He IS “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” (3:6). 

Centuries after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had died: God is still their God. Jesus explained that it was clear that they were still alive. So to answer a challenge, using just that tense of a verb from the Old Testament, is Jesus demonstrating His conviction that the Scriptures are authoritative not just down to the smallest part of every letter, but also to the grammatical makeup of every word.  There are two final convictions Jesus held. Jesus also believed:

6.    Every Book of God’s Word Is True! 

Jesus referred to the Old Testament at least sixty–four times, and always as authoritative truth. In the course of defending His Messiah-ship and divinity before the unbelieving Jewish leaders in the Temple, He said, “The Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35).

7.    Every Biblical Doctrine Is True! 

Repeatedly in the Gospels, Jesus confirmed the accuracy, authenticity, and authority of the Old Testament. Jesus confirmed the standard of marriage was established by the Creator Himself, in the Garden of Eden (Matthew. 19:4), the murder of Abel was accurately recorded (Luke 11:51), Noah and the flood (Matthew. 24:38–39), Abraham and his faith (John 8:56), Sodom, Lot, and Lot’s wife (Luke 17:29), the call of Moses (Mark 12:26), the manna from heaven (John 6:31, 58), and the bronze serpent (John 3:14).

Jesus confidently told all the thousands who heard Him speak—that Heaven and Earth would pass away before any word of His Bible failed. Wow, He sure knew He had a Bible He could trust. Jesus didn’t fear that there were any historical, moral, theological, and scientific inaccuracies in His Bible. He had a copy of the Book anyone can Trust!

And that is: the Jesus Book.

But before we go, consider this: we have the Jesus Book, but do we have the Jesus Habit? Open with me to Mark 1:35-37, and consider what I like to refer to as:

The Habit
of Jesus

Jesus lived the perfect human life. 

He lived in a whirlwind of activity. 

He was constantly eating, walking, talking, and sleeping with twelve men who never seemed to leave Him alone. 

Vast crowds, and desperate individuals sought him out. 

He was chided, rebuked, and even scoffed at by His own family.

He was the personal target of Satan who tempted Him, Satan who tried to derail Him, and Satan entering people to drive them to destroy Jesus.

He was attacked by every demon that could be rounded up to scream at Him, thrash around in front of Him, and seek to bother Him.

Civil and religious authorities always plotting to catch Him, and take Him off for punishment and execution hounded him. 

His life was so full of people and ministry he didn't even have a moment to stop and eat. Yet in the midst of all that, what was He?

Peaceful, calm, focused, and confidently following God's will.

How did He do that?

If we follow Him, we can find His secret. Though we can never be sinless, we can learn and follow His pattern for a life in step with God's will. What was the secret? The secret is the times Jesus spent ALONE with God. 

Jesus had to be alone with God, and Jesus wanted to be alone with God. And Jesus found times no matter what was going on and places no matter where He was, to be alone with God.

Mark 1:35-37 Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed. 36 And Simon and those who were with Him searched for Him. 37 When they found Him, they said to Him, “Everyone is looking for You.”

Jesus had to be alone with God, and Jesus wanted to be alone with God. And Jesus found times no matter what was going on and places no matter where He was, to be alone with God.

This morning you can revitalize your walk in this old world by starting or restarting a habit of cultivating the Jesus Habit: time alone with God. Time in the Jesus Book as a Jesus Habit.

And all that revolves around one final element. The Jesus Diet, as we finally see in Matthew 4:4:

But He answered and said, “It is written,  ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”

We see that Jesus fed Himself on God's Word and tells us we can’t really LIVE unless we eat a balanced meal each day from every Word of God. 

So this morning: is this the Jesus Book to you? Do you have the Jesus Habit? And have you started on a life long observance of the Jesus Diet? I hope and pray that will be true for all of us!

How about saying to Jesus this morning, “I want to live for you. I want to trust the Jesus Book, cultivate the Jesus Habit, and get on a life-long Jesus Diet”? If so, use the words of # 372 Living for Jesus as your decision to Him!