Brian just marked his one-year anniversary of walking away from the corporate world. Amazingly, it is also the one-year anniversary of living with me day in and day out. Suffice it to say this has been a year of discovery.
Of all the people who know me well, Brian knows me best. However, if he’d written a book about me a year ago, he’d be writing the “Revised Edition” by now, Chapter One would be, “Moving In: Are You Kidding Me?”
This is our eleventh home as husband and wife. However, this may be the first move that we’ve accomplished together from start to finish. I’ve heard multiple times over the past few months, “When did you get like this?”
The answer, “I’ve always been like this!”
Brian typically returned to work soon after every move so the boys were enlisted to help me move furniture. Sometimes they moved it multiple times while I perfectly aligned the rug with the hardwood planks. It was the boys who never quite knew how, or where, their beds would be situated while I perfectly placed everything. It was the boys who had to endure my stomping around until every box was unpacked, or repacked, perfectly labeled and stored for future reference.
Could the boys have written a book about me? Maybe, but it would have been updated multiple times as well. Their books would have titles like: Mom: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner; The Continual Wiper-Upper; The Saying ‘No!’ Pro; The Loudest Cheerleader; The Laundry Lady; and of course the bestseller: Yaya!
If you’d asked Brian a year ago how well he knew me, he would have said pretty well. And that would have been the truth. But, he knows me much better since he started working from home and more of my personality is being revealed to him.
This is similar to how many of us think we know Jesus. We think we know Jesus pretty well because we’ve heard stories about Jesus from our pastors, teachers, parents and friends. We’ve had some interaction with Jesus. We spend a little bit of time each day praying to him, and we read books about him. Isn’t that sufficient? No. In order to know Jesus well we don’t need more stories written about Jesus… we need to spend time with Jesus; we need a revelation of Jesus.
That’s what the Bible is. The Bible is not simply a collection of stories about God; it is the revelation of God. It is the story of the redemption of mankind, and the Redeemer is the Lord Jesus Christ.
“You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” – John 5:39-40 NIV
The Bible is the complete revelation of who God is, and Jesus is the final revelation of God. Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s revelation. Jesus is the culmination of God’s revelation. We don’t need a revised or updated revelation of God because the revelation is complete in Jesus.
“In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son…” – Hebrews 1:1 NIV
“For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body.” – Colossians 2:9 NLT
There is much we have to learn about Jesus and the only way to learn it is to study the Bible: God’s revelation of truth. When we come across something that we don’t understand, or haven’t seen before, like Brian we may ask, “When did that change?” Jesus’ answer will always be, “Never, I’ve always been like this.”
When we learn something new about Jesus, it doesn’t mean Jesus has changed, it means we’ve changed. As we learn more and more about him, by spending time with him, it’s as if our foundation gets stronger and therefore we can handle more revelation. As we understand more, he reveals more, and often through the very same stories that we learned as children. Every time we read the Bible, even the same passages over and over, God reveals a bit more of himself to us.
It’s good to have books about the Bible, and books about Jesus, to get the perspective of wise theologians who know way more than we ever will; but even their books often need revisions.
The Bible is the same as it has always been. It is not one of many books; it is the only book that continually stands the test of time and truth. It is the very word of God. It always has and always will prevail.
Will you spend time with Jesus through the words of the Bible and get to know him? Perhaps that is the best starting point to understand the revelation of God that is the Bible.
If you have doubts about the reliability of the Bible, don’t take my word, or anyone else’s word either for or against the reliability of the Bible – challenge yourself to understand the history of the Bible. A good starting point is to read the “Preface” in your favorite translation of the Bible and then check out a different version from your local library and read its preface. Have fun studying the history of God’s Word.