For some Christians – not all of them – their Bible actually does get in their way. It takes the place in their hearts that should belong to Christ alone.
But, more and more I am encountering brothers and sisters in Christ who cannot separate the book from the person that book points to.
I love the scriptures. I read them. I teach from them. I study them. I memorize them. I turn to them for guidance.
If you tried to come over to my house and take away my Bibles you would have to cut off my arms to get them away from me.
Nowhere - not in this post, or in any of my blog articles, or in my books - never do I suggest that the Bible is worthless, or irrelevant, or that we should not read it or study it.
That is not what I am saying.
Maybe that is part of our ongoing misunderstanding? When I say that Jesus is greater than the book, or that the Word of God became flesh and not paper and ink, what some keep hearing me say is: “The Bible is useless”.
My relationship is not with a book. Even an amazing book like the Bible.
My relationship is with Jesus.
Yes, I would not know about Jesus if it wasn't for what I have read in scripture about Him. For that I am sincerely grateful. Very, very grateful.
But now that I DO know Jesus, I have a relationship with Him that is greater than my relationship with the book.
That does not mean I do not continue to read or study the book. Because I do. All the time.
What it does mean is that Jesus is more amazing and mysterious and astounding than any book - even the Bible - can ever fully describe.
Jesus is not the Bible. The Bible is not Jesus.
Jesus is the Word of God made flesh. He came to dwell among us, and now He lives within us by His Spirit.
I can hear His voice because He is the Good Shepherd and I am one of His sheep.
Does that mean I don't hear His voice through the Scriptures?
Does any of that devalue the Bible?
But none of that eclipses Christ Himself. He is not limited by any of those things but magnified.