On Sundays we’ve been exploring the signs of John’s Gospel. We live in an age that is skeptical about supernatural signs. Jesus, on the other hand, is skeptical about the sort of faith signs are able to produce. There’s always at least the risk that people get so caught up with the sign that they forget to look at the thing signified. They start showing up for the wine, the healings, or the bread (see chapter 6, which we’re looking at this week). But they don’t look at Jesus—the very person to whom the signs point.

We might be at risk of that sort of thing at Prov. After all, we’re human, and therefore easily distracted by Shiny New Things. But there is another risk for us, one that perhaps feeds more readily into our culture and ethos. Have a look at Jesus’ warning to the Judean authorities at the end of chapter 5:

39 You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

Boom! Think about that for a moment. It’s possible to know the scriptures, to study them, to treasure them and to love them and yet know now Jesus! Woah! The scriptures are at a different level to signs and wonders. They are the very words of God. And yet, we can have the same problem even here. It’s not possible to know Jesus apart from the scriptures. But (here’s the scary bit) it is possible to know the scriptures and not know Jesus. There are people who know them better than you or I do, and yet do not know Jesus. How is that possible? It’s possible because the scriptures testify to Jesus. And if we read the scriptures (the sign), but fail to come to him (the thing signified) we miss the whole point.

And so, a question we need to ask ourselves as Bible people is: have we come to Jesus? Have we met the one to whom the scriptures point to? Do we know things about him, or do we know him—relating to him in repentance, in prayer, and in daily faith?

Yours,

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