What Must Happen for Us to Understand Scripture?

TODAY’S READING: JOHN 11-12

“His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remember that these things had been written about him and had been done by him.” – John 12:16

Jesus entered Jerusalem a few days before the passover and his crucifixion. The crowd took palm branches and praised Jesus as coming in the name of the Lord and as the king of Israel. John says that Jesus rode in on a young donkey just as it was written in the scripture.

However, the disciples did not understand these things at first. The disciples did not understand the scriptures and what they truly meant.

Mark 9:32 says, “But they [the disciples] did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him.”

What did the disciples not understand?

In verse 31, Jesus said, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.”

The disciples did not understand the very purpose, the very reason, that Jesus came. They did not understand that he delivered over, betrayed, and crucified but rise three days later.

Luke 18:34 says, “But they [the twelve specifically] understood none of these things. This saying was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what was said.”

What did the 12 apostles not understand?

In verses 31-33, Jesus said, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. For he will be delivered over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon. And after flogging him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise.”

What did the 12 apostles no understand?

The prophets. The scripture.

They did not understand anything that was written about Jesus in them. Therefore, they did not understand anything that was about to happen. They did not understand that Jesus would be delivered over, betrayed, to the Gentiles, that he would be mocked and rejected, that he would be beaten, that he would be crucified, but that he would rise three days later.

This means that the 12 apostles and all the disciples understand nothing, not a single thing, in the scripture. Luke 24:25-27 says, “And he [Jesus] said to them [the two disciples on the road to Emmaus], ‘O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?’ And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.”

Further, Luke 24:44-47 says, “Then he [Jesus] said to them [all the disciples gathered together], ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.'”

No one, not the disciples, not the 12 apostles, understood anything that the scriptures said. Jesus had to explain it to them. He had to open their minds to understand the scriptures.

What was the actual meaning he opened their minds to?

Jesus, the son of man, came to suffer, to die, and to rise three days later. This is the meaning of the scriptures.

Why did Jesus do this?

So that repentance and the forgiveness of sins could be proclaimed to the whole world.

Jesus did this so that the whole world would change their mind about God. The world believe that God came to strike you down, to kill you. But, Jesus showed that God not to kill you but to suffer and die for you.

Jesus did this so that the whole world would receive the forgiveness of sins. The whole world believed that God condemned people to eternal death because of their sins. But, Jesus showed that God came not to condemn but to forgive, to save.

So, what must happen for us to understand the scriptures?

“His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him.”

In order for us to understand the scriptures, we must see Jesus glorified.

What does it mean to see Jesus glorified?

John 12:27-28 says, “‘Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? “Father, save me from this hour?” But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.’ Then a voice came from heaven: ‘I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.'”

Jesus came in the name, the image, the likeness of the Father. Hebrews 1:3 says, “He [Jesus] is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature.”

So, how God already glorified his name in Jesus?

The first time God glorified his name in Jesus was on the mount of transfiguration. The account is found in Matthew 17:1-8, Mark 9:2-8, and Luke 9:28-36.

On the mount, “his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light,” “his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them,” and “the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white.” Luke says that this was Jesus in his glory.

Jesus’ glory, his brightness, his shining forth, was so great that even though Moses and Elijah appeared with him for a moment, that his glory made Moses and Elijah disappear. A voice from heaven cried out, “This is My Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!”

Jesus’ glory eclipses Moses and Elijah. Therefore, we are to listen to Jesus and Jesus alone. Jesus alone, in his glory, is what is needed for us to understand the scriptures. We cannot, we must not, listen to Moses and Elijah. Jesus’ glory is the only interpretation necessary.

So, God glorified his name in Jesus. How would God glorify his name in Jesus a second time?

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” (John 1:14)

Jesus, the word of God, became flesh. He became a man. And, he dwelt among us. The Greek word for dwelt literally means tabernacled.

“And we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)

In the tabernacle, where did God’s glory reside?

Behind the veil.

So, in Jesus we saw God’s glory we he tabernacled among us. Therefore, God’s glory was behind Jesus’ flesh.

Jesus said, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls in the earth and dies, it remains alone, but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” (John 12:23-24)

God would glorify his name a second time when Jesus died on the cross and was resurrected. For, this is the moment that Jesus was the grain of wheat that went into the ground and died yet was resurrected and bore much fruit.

When Jesus died on the cross, Matthew, Mark, and Luke say that “the curtain of the temple was torn in two.” God’s glory was behind the curtain of the temple. But, when Jesus was crucified, his flesh was torn so that we could see God’s glory.

Philippians 2:8-11 says, “And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Jesus was glorified and glorified the Father by dying.

Jesus was not glorified and did not the glorify the Father by killing.

It is only when we Jesus in this glorified state that we can understand the scripture.

The only way to understand the scripture is to know that Jesus, and therefore God, dies.

You will never understand the scripture, and therefore you will never know God, if when you read the scripture you see God killing. To read the scripture this way is to not see Jesus glorified.

In 2 Corinthians 3, Paul uses the Greek word for glory 13 times. The chapters closes, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”

The veil has been removed. We can now see God’s glory.

We see God’s glory through the crucified Christ.

We God’s glory in that he suffers rather than tortures.

We God’s glory in that he speaks tender words rather than mocks.

We see God’s glory in that he dies rather kills, is crucified rather than crucifies.

We see God’s glory in that he resurrects and lives rather condemns to death.

As we behold Jesus glorified, and only when we Jesus glorified, we are able to see God, his true nature and character in the scripture.

“And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4)

If you are reading the scripture with the view, with the mindset, that God causes suffering, tortures, condemns, and kills at all, ever, then you are reading the scripture through a Satanic lens. You are blinded by Satan.The veil over the scripture has not been removed. You are not reading the scripture through the glorified Christ. Therefore, you cannot and will not understand anything that is written about Jesus, and God, “in Moses and all the Prophets,” “in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms.”

It is the glorified Christ, the crucified Christ, the God who dies and does not kill, that opens up the scriptures for our understanding.

When God spoke that he had glorified his name and would glorify it again when Jesus was crucified and resurrected, the crowd said the voice had thundered. Som though it was an angel. “Jesus answered, ‘This voice has come for your sake, not mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out.'” (John 12:30-31)

When Jesus is glorified, the ruler of this world, Satan, the devil, is cast out.

So too, when we read the scripture through the glorified Jesus, the crucified Christ, Satan is cast out of our understanding of God in the scripture. Satan is the one that steals, kills, and destroys. Satan is the one with the power of death. So, reading the scripture through the glorified Jesus, the crucified Christ, removes all stealing, killing, destroying, and the wielding of the power of death from our image of God.

Therefore, we need the glorified Jesus to understand scripture.

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