Last night, I started musing on how the Bible is like a maze on Instagram. It was a revelation that came to me, as I was reading a fictional novel about marriage, domestic abuse and infidelity. I was trying to comprehend how to apply all of what God has revealed to me on these issues to this very unique situation that the character was facing, and I found that I was limited in my ability to do so. My Christianity was crumbling in the face of this real and common trial of one’s humanity and faith.
I was trying to impose moral law, when there is a higher revelation of the Spirit of Truth, and God showed me that I was stuck in a mental maze, and the way out was through fellowship with Jesus. The Bible was the maze. It is the maze that every seeker of Truth will navigate, but through which they should also overcome by following Jesus. Unfortunately, many seekers are stuck on an eternal loop or self-imposed life-long pilgrimage through the Scriptures. They are “always learning, but never coming to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim 3:7)!
“Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life…” (John 5:39-40).
The maze is not without purpose. The maze has a beginning and an end, but the way to the end, the goal, is not easy to decipher, and there will be many obstacles to your successful completion of this journey to spiritual maturity. However, the aim of the complexity of the maze is that you may learn wisdom, receive knowledge and gain understanding. In the case of the Bible, you should mature from religion to spirituality through personal revelation and enlightenment.
You will find lots of precious gems in the maze, you will learn through trials and temptations, failures and discovery… You will meet a lot of people along the way, and some may guide you right, or steer you wrong – or simply stand as obstructions to your progress. Some may even have built their homes or congregations in the maze, after deciding that there’s no way out, or that there’s no point to it, or they think that abiding and surviving within the maze is the whole point of it or simply because they just like that particular spot on the maze, i.e. doctrine, religion or tradition.
However, in studying the Bible, we will find the PEARL OF GREAT PRICE (Matt 13:45-46). The reason we read the Bible is that we may come to know Jesus, not only who He is, but what He did and what He teaches and asks of us. And what He says is KEY to overcoming the maze, to transcending the Bible, so that we can move beyond the letter to the know and live by the SPIRIT (2 Cor 3:6)! God said of Jesus, severally – “This is My beloved Son, hear Him!” (Luke 9:35, Mark 9:7, Matt 17:5).
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me…” (John 14:6).
I’ve written before that Jesus is the Word of God and not the Bible, and that has landed me in quite a bit of trouble with those who call the Bible “the complete and infallible Word of God” (Read WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF?). But the Bible itself says that Jesus is the Word of God (John 1:1-3), while it is NOT ABLE to say anything about itself, because it is not a PERSON. It’s like confusing the Map for the Treasure, and never actually following through to find the Treasure, when the Map tells you where to find it…
The whole purpose of the Scriptures being written down is that we may know who God is and what His will is…not that we should call the resultant writings God Himself! That is what we do when we equate the Bible with God say saying it is the Written Word, or that it is infallible and inerrant, qualities that only GOD possesses.
In a book I read recently, someone even said that the Bible is the MIND of God… This is blasphemous! The Bible reveals the Mind of God. It reveals the Wisdom of God. It reveals the Word of God. But all these things it reveals are all attributed to a Person – Jesus Christ.
So, everything points us to Jesus, and God says we should listen to Jesus, and Jesus says we should follow Him. He is THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE! We are not going anywhere near God without Him! The problem with Christianity today is that we treat the MAZE – the Bible – as the Way, the Truth and the Life, instead of Jesus!
Religious people are blind and foolish in that they reject Jesus; they reject the Way, the Truth and the Life for religion, tradition and culture…the world. They see Him, they will praise Him, they will pray to Him…they will even quote Him, but they don’t obey Him and they don’t follow Him (Luke 6:46, Matt 15:8). So guess what happens, they stay STUCK in the Maze, going round and round, back and forth, appearing to be progressing, but going nowhere.
“He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that, “they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!”…”” (Mark 4:11-12).
Some of this blindness is willful (John 3:19), and some is judgment from God (Matt 11:25-26). By His grace, some are given the gift of sight to perceive, to understand, to have faith; meaning to trust and obey (Eph 2:8-9)! But Life is not gained from studying the Bible alone… It is found in knowing Jesus (John 17:3). He is the BREAD OF LIFE (John 6:25-59).
As we sincerely journey through the Bible, we will find Jesus. The wise will follow Him and learn from Him (Matt 7:24-27, Matt 11:28-30). Knowing Jesus takes us from reliance of the Law to reliance on the Spirit of God, so that we are able to make righteous judgments (John 7:24, 1 Cor 2:10-16)! Those who are born of the Spirit are not subject to to the letter nor the Law, but are led by the Spirit (Rom 8:14, John 3:7-8).
However, the foolish will disregard Him. They will doubt Him. They will undermine Him. They will equate Him with the prophets before… And even exalt His disciples’ teachings and practices above His. But true prophets of God always point people to Jesus (John 1:26-27, John 1:36-37).
Like Paul, they will say “imitate me as I imitate Christ” (1 Cor 11:1). True Ministers will preserve your direct link to Jesus through the Holy Spirit (1 John 2:27). They will never seek to stand as mediators between you and God (1 Tim 2:5, Matt 23:8-11)! They trust in God’s ability to lead you into ALL TRUTH, which transcends the Scriptures (John 16:13), because they know that “the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” (2 Cor 3:6)!
“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free…” (John 8:31-32).
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