Jesus knew the Old Testament (OT) Scriptures. Five times in the Gospels, He links what was taking place at that moment with fulfilling Scripture. There were other times when a controversy came up, “but Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God” (Matthew 22:29). Knowing and believing Scripture is how we will know its power.
Another time when Jesus was seeking to make a clear point about Himself, He quoted from Psalm 118:22-23 and said, “have you not read this Scripture?” (Mark 12:10). Jesus was speaking to persons who should have known what the OT said, particularly about Himself, the Messiah. Why was it that the OT meant so little to the learned Jewish leaders?
Jesus answers that question when He said they were “making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do” (Mark 7:13). In some cases, the authority of Scripture in the hearts of people is taken away by the practice of tradition. How serious is this? Read the following verse:
“And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men’” (Mark 7:6–7).
We must insist on the authority of Scripture, first in our own hearts so that our worship is right and acceptable to God, then in our practice and in the teaching of others.
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