WE NEED JESUS, NOT JUST THE BIBLE
By Ernest O'Neill
We Need Jesus, Not Just the Bible
By Rev. Ernest O'Neill
I would suggest that maybe you look at a verse in the Bible that says that very plainly. It's in John 5:39. Jesus is speaking to people like ourselves, very religious people. John 5:39-40, "You search the scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness to me; yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life."
It is very easy to do that. "The scriptures are the best things this world affords" as they say to the Queen of England or the King of England when they hand them the scriptures. They're the best gift this world affords. But that's speaking of this world. All they do is bear witness to the living Word. This is the written word. But they bear witness to the living Word and the living Word is Jesus. You are able to approach the living Word yourself and to know Him personally.
Your relationship to this book will always be an "I-it" relationship. It can never be Buber's "I-thou" relationship. But with the living word, Jesus, who is alive this morning in this room, you are able to have an "I- thou" relationship. It's very important that you don't find yourself in the position where Jesus is saying to you, "You search the theologies or you discuss philosophy or you attend church or you have many good friends with whom you talk about serious things, but you will not come to me that you might have life."
I think all of us are in the same boat. There comes a time when we get tired of our own brilliance or we get tired of our own great ideas and we realize that there's no life in thought. That is a counterfeit. There's only life in a person. What we need is a person. That's why Jesus said, "You search the scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life." You carry on your constant philosophical discussions and you read all your books and "It is they that bear witness to me." They are of some value, "Yet you yourself refuse to come to me that you might have life."