John 5:36-42 is a set of verses I read this past week during some time spent with God.
"I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the very work that the Father has given me to finish, and which I am doing, testifies that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life. "I do not accept praise from men, but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts."
I have all sorts of questions about verses like these. Jesus seems to take delight in tearing down our religious ways of understanding God and revealing who we really are inside. More often than not, He would denounce the religious leaders actions as being completely against what God had intended from the beginning. Jesus makes a few points to the religious folk that I think ALL those in faith communities need to sit up and pay attention to.
1. Jesus states that these leaders who have spent their lives steeped in religious training have never heard God’s voice.
2. He goes on to say that the words of God have no place in their hearts.
3. He points out that study of the Bible does not lead to eternal life; He is the way to eternal life.
4. He then says “I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts.”
Is Jesus saying that God’s words are another way to describe God’s love? How does that work out in my day to day life?