“The Bible is not a book about you. It’s about Jesus and how God is revealing himself to us through Christ.”
These were the powerful words I heard one of our pastors speak yesterday as he preached on the authority and centrality of Scripture. The Bible is not a book about you.
At first glance this seems so basic, so simplistic that we can eagerly nod our heads and be ready to move on. But the truth is that so often we approach the Bible, read the Bible and for the most part think of the Bible as if it is all about us. It’s not. It’s all about Jesus. Granted, we are the focus of God’s love through Christ, and yes the Bible is replete with references and revelations about our sin nature and need for a Savior. But ultimately, Jesus is the central figure, the purpose for its writing, and the whole reason the Bible exists. It is to tell us of Jesus and who God is through him and his sacrifice.
Reading the first chapter of John this morning I was again struck by the reality that Jesus is the center…of everything.
In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He existed in the beginning with God.
God created everything through him,
and nothing was created except through him.
The Word gave life to everything that was created,
and his life brought light to everyone.
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it.
Existence starts with Jesus. He was already there before the beginning. When the beginning began, Jesus was already. Jesus was with God because Jesus is God. He created everything, gave life to everything, brought light to everything. He is the focus and center of everything.
Recently my wife had a conversation with someone who seemed to want to make Jesus a part of the equation. He was important, to be sure, but only part of the equation. The idea being that if you set him aside and just look at the ministry of Christians, the good works, the service, the church community, the hope for the eternal, the peace we seek, that essentially Christianity stands in a similar place with other religions.
It seemed a shocking realization to this person to hear my wife say that without Jesus, none of that was important. That Jesus is the source and the reason for it all. That Jesus is exactly why Christianity isn’t—and can’t be—like any other religion. He is central. All of everything is for him and because of him. On its own there is no merit to the church, the Bible, the serving and love that we seek to live out. On their own they lose all sense of purpose and any hope of value. Jesus is the center.
Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.
He existed before anything was created
and is supreme over all creation,
for through him God created everything
in the heavenly realms and on earth.
He made the things we can see
and the things we can’t see—
such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers,
and authorities in the unseen world.
Everything was created through him and for him.
He existed before anything else,
and he holds all creation together.
Our faith and our lives are about Jesus. And because they are about him they cannot also be about anything else. Everything is secondary to Him. Everything. These are difficult words in our egocentric world of today. But being difficult does not make them less true.
Everything was created through him and for him, including us.