God reveals Himself to His people in nature, in others, in our consciousness, and through life experiences. But nowhere are His revelations more clear, explicit, or reliable than in the Holy Bible. Jesus loved the Bible. His life, from start to finish, indicated that. We see in the book of Luke Jesus’ devotion to the Holy Scriptures, even as a young boy. Years later, during a particularly impassioned prayer for His disciples just before His crucifixion, Jesus asks God to sanctify His followers through the “word” which is “truth” (John 17:17). After His resurrection but before He went to heaven, He said this:
“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.” (Luke 24:25–27)
As Jesus expanded His ministry on earth, His frustrations with the religious teachers of the day were not simply that they didn’t understand who He was. He was especially frustrated that they didn’t understand who He was because the Scriptures made his identity clear!
This should be humbling for us. Especially for those of us who would say we love the Bible. I’m sure the religious thought they loved the sacred text, too. But sometimes familiarity can breed arrogance. We think we know more than we do and we end up hindering the sanctification process Jesus prayed for in Luke 24. Perhaps this is why the religious teachers of Jesus’ day couldn’t embrace their embodied Heavenly King when they had grown to expect an earthly one? It didn’t look like what they expected and they didn’t seem to ever question their own expectations.
The hard-heartedness of religious leaders then provides a helpful warning for religious leaders today – like the ones we serve at Orchard. The Bible is our Framework because our knowledge and ability to understand is limited. The Bible is also our Framework because we are constantly in need of resetting as we seek to share our faith with a hurting world.
When death or abuse or poverty or pain hit us in the face, we need our Biblical framework to keep us from losing hope. The Bible helps keep us grounded in a world that is filled with opportunities to lose our footing. The ministry leaders we serve need this reminder as they seek to confront the world’s hurts head on.
But more than anything, the Bible is our Framework because Jesus is the Center at Orchard. We want to build an organization that emphasizes things He emphasized, that is structured in a way that honors Him, and that practices what He practiced. Jesus loved the Bible. That’s the main reason we love it too. Because He is our center.