"Have You Not Read?"
When some critics condemned the disciples for picking heads of grain and eating on the Sabbath, Jesus answered, “Have you not read what David did when he became hungry, he and his companions, how he entered the house of God, and they ate the consecrated bread, which was not lawful for him to eat nor for those with him, but for the priests alone?” (Matthew 12:3-4). He continued, “Or have you not read in the Law, that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath and are innocent?” (v. 5).
When the Pharisees asked whether it is lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason, Jesus answered, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate” (Matthew 19:4-6).
When the chief priests and scribes became indignant because children were shouting the Lord’s praises, Jesus answered, “Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies You have prepared praise for Yourself’” (Matthew 21:16).
When the Sadducees came to Jesus with a hypothetical case which they thought eliminated the possibility of resurrection from the dead, Jesus answered, “But regarding the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God: ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living” (Matthew 22:31-32).
At the conclusion of the Parable of the Landowner, “Jesus said to them, ‘Did you never read in the Scriptures, “The stone which the builders rejected, this became the chief corner stone; this came about from the Lord, and it is marvelous in our eyes”’? Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it. And he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust” (Matthew 21:42-44).
It is obvious from these illustrations that Jesus placed a great deal of emphasis on Scripture. He thought it ought to be read. He thought it could be understood. He saw it as practical. He knew it contains the answers to many of our questions and a rebuttal of some prominent opinions. Jesus also viewed Scripture as authoritative; it must be kept. That was Jesus’ view of the Bible. What is yours?