Biblical Interpretation from Someone with no Training in Biblical Interpretation
Jesus’ ministry is known for many many miracles. During his time on earth, Jesus drove out demons,
They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to tech. The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are- the Holy One of God!”
“Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly, “Come out of him!” The evil spirit shook the man violently and came out with him with a shriek (Mark 1:21-26).
He healed people,
As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told Jesus about her. So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them (Mark 1:29-31).
…He healed more people,
A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing you can make me clean.”
Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured (Mark 1:40-42).
And he explained that his ministry wasn’t about miracles and healing,
Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!”
Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else –to the nearby villages- so I can preach there also. That is why I have come” (Mark 1:36-38).
Wait, what? That’s right, Jesus didn’t come to heal, drive out demons, and all of the things he’s famous for. While reading through the Bible, the Holy Spirit reminded me that Jesus’ primary goal was that of being a preacher.
In John 1:1-4, Jesus is compared to the Word of God (that is, the Bible); it reads,
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
Ok, if I just quote this it’s a little confusing; this could just be some variant of God’s power. However, John 1:14 helps explain that “The Word” referred to by John is Jesus, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Ok, so if Jesus is a physical manifestation of God’s Word, then what is the Bible’s purpose? According to itself, the Bible’s job is to raise the awareness of God. I mean, check out Deuteronomy 6:4-5, “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” And sure, this is just a random quote being pulled out of the Bible, but check out what the Word incarnate says about what is the most important part of the Word of God,
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:34-40).
Jesus notes that the Law and the Prophets focus on loving God with all your heart. At the time of Christ, the Law and the books of the Prophets were the Bible. So, Jesus tells us that the Bible’s purpose is to raise the understanding of God. But, the Bible does so much more. It extols wisdom,
Now then, my sons, listen to me;
Blessed are those who keep my ways.
Listen to my instruction and be wise;
Do not ignore it.
Blessed is the man who listens to me,
Watching daily at my doors,
Waiting at my doorway.
For whoever finds me finds life
And receives favor from the Lord.
But whoever fails to find me harms himself;
All who hate me love death (Proverbs 8:32-36).
The Bible fights against evil,
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:12).
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:16-17).
The Word of God helps to train us in righteousness, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). And the Bible continually grows with us and helps us with each new day,
For the word of god is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).
So, just like Jesus, the Bible focuses on teaching people about God; but it also does many other great things.
During his ministry on earth, Jesus led sinners to salvation. History records,
Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach them. As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him (Mark 2:13-14).
The Bible also leads people to salvation as it tells us the way to heaven,
…That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved (Romans 10:9-10).
Really, this is the ultimate goal of both the Word in book for and in human form; to save mankind from their sins.
Jesus ascended into heaven, so it is unlikely you’ll meet him on the street. But that doesn’t mean that God has vacated the world. He left his Word, in the form of the Bible to lead us, to guide us, and to heal us (along with the Holy Spirit to make sense of it all). And what does the Word (Jesus and Bible) want? Ultimately, the Lord wants you to come to him for salvation. If you haven’t accepted Christ as your Lord yet, this is your chance; he’s already calling you now through his words. Repent and give your life to Christ!