“You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me!” John 5:39 (NLT)
Have you ever heard it said that someone “can’t see the forest for the trees”? It means looking right at the very thing you’re searching for and not recognizing it.
In today’s verse, Jesus was addressing the Pharisees—people whose strict adherence to an astounding number of religious rules was second to none. But get this: the Pharisees looked eye to eye with the Lord Himself—the One they dreamed about, talked about, read about, memorized Scripture about—and they didn’t recognize Him.
The Pharisees studied the Old Testament scriptures intensely and knew them by heart, yet they couldn’t see the forest for the trees—even though the scriptures all pointed to Jesus! The Pharisees’ blindness may seem surprising, but some people still struggle with the same issue today. They revere the Bible but seem to miss Jesus.
You see, the Bible is like a treasure map, and Jesus is the treasure it points to. The map is valuable but it isn’t worth more than the bounty. I love studying God’s Word, and it is incredibly precious to me. However, the whole point of studying the Bible is to get to know Jesus.
Let’s make sure we don’t become like the Pharisees, so entangled and blinded by legalistic rules and religion that we miss Jesus. As believers, let’s not wander around just reading the map but instead focus on the treasure it points to.
After all, the Bible is not a handbook detailing a rigid set of rules. It’s a map that points you toward a rich, deep, all-in relationship with Jesus that will blow you away.