There’s a right and a wrong way to read the Bible. The wrong way is to look at it. The right way is to look along it. It is like a finger, pointing beyond itself to Jesus.
An animal can only look at things. When you point to your cat’s food with your finger, your cat will look at your finger. But a human being can also look along things, can treat a thing as a sign, can ask what it signifies, what it means.
What this book signifies, the whole meaning or significance of the Bible, is Jesus. Even the Old Testament points to Jesus. It was written centuries before Jesus, but it points forward to him. Jesus once said to the Jewish leaders of his day who studied their Scriptures (the Old Testament) but did not believe in him, “You study the Scriptures, because you think that in them you will find eternal life. And these very Scriptures speak about me! Yet you are not willing to come to me in order to have life.”
Imagine how foolish someone would be if they looked at the details of a painting of someone’s face and then didn’t recognize the real person when that person showed up. That’s what you do if you read the Bible without getting to know Jesus.
The whole Bible is a portrait of Jesus. Every part is like a line in his face. This point of reading the Bible is to get to know him, and the best place to begin reading about him is in the Gospels.
The four Gospels are four different accounts of the life of Jesus by four of his disciples. I suggest you read Luke’s Gospel first, because it is probably the easiest and most exciting one. Then read the Acts of the Apostles, Luke’s story of the early Christian Church.
Browse around in this book as you would wander around in a large and beautiful garden. There is no one method or gimmick for reading the Bible. No one can understand everything in it, and no one can miss getting something valuable out of it. It is like a friend that way. Which of your friends understands everything in you? Not one. But which of your friends understands nothing about you? Not one. This book is your friend. You can get to know it more and more every day, for it is God’s revelation, and you get to know God more and more every day. One thing is certain: until you die, you will never outgrow the Bible.
What are your thoughts? Please comment below.