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  • Alan Salwei

John 5:39-46 - Foreshadowed Savior

Which books of the Bible are about Jesus? All of them!

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Read John 5:39-46

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Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 19

Q. How do you come to know this?

A. The holy gospel tells me.

God himself began to reveal

the gospel already in Paradise;

later, he proclaimed it by the

holy patriarchs and prophets,

and portrayed it by the sacrifices

and other ceremonies of the law;

finally, he fulfilled it

through his own dear Son.



These words of Jesus come as part of his response to those who were upset that he healed a man on the Sabbath. As Jesus pointed out to the crowd, they had been looking for salvation in the Old Testament scriptures.

This was not a problem, as God’s plan of salvation can be seen throughout the Old Testament. The issue was with those who look to the words of the Old Testament for salvation while refusing to see the repeated foreshadowing of the coming of Christ.

Those who search for salvation in the scriptures apart from Christ will not find it. The patriarchs and prophets of the Old Testament foretold that Jesus would come, and so it was not Jesus accusing them, but the words of Moses. Jesus does not quote a specific passage but speaks of Moses writing about him. Even so, it is easy enough to find examples in the Old Testament of Moses writing about Jesus, particularly Deuteronomy 18:15:

The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen!

Not only does Moses point forward to this new prophet, but also declares that the people shall listen to him. This again puts the critics in the crowd at odds not only with Jesus, but also with the words of Moses.

Dig Deeper

The five solas are thought of as a rallying cry of the Reformation. The first of these 5 key beliefs is sola scriptura which means 'scripture alone'. In a world that wants to turn everything into a 'gray area', sola scriptura is a reminder that the Bible alone is the source of authority for Christians.

In the Bible we see God’s plan for redemption laid out. The Old Testament foreshadows the coming of Christ, the Gospels share the Good News of Jesus Christ, and the rest of the New Testament addresses how to live in light of the resurrection.

The Bible is authoritative not because it teaches about Jesus, but because it is the inspired Word of God. People are imperfect, we are all prone to mistakes, including your pastor. But the Bible is the inspired Word of God, meaning that the Holy Spirit directed the writings of the authors of scripture. While the Bible has human authors, what differentiates the Word of God is the role of the Holy Spirit in the writing process.

The authority we find in scripture comes not from those who wrote it, but from our God who inspired these writings. What that means for you as a believer is that you have a rule of faith to measure against. You do not need to have blind trust in what others teach because you can go to the source and read that which is true.

The Bible is a wonderful gift from God; do not rely solely on the word of others when God’s Word is close at hand.

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Father, you sent your Son in your name, which we read about so clearly in your Word, which is inspired by your Spirit;

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that the words of Scripture would continue to come to Christ to have life.



Read the New Testament in a year, a chapter a day - Acts 13


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