I did not make up the idea that Jesus is the subject of the entire Bible. I got that from Jesus himself. In John 5, Jesus is confronting the religious leaders. They claim to be disciples of Moses because they know he came from God, but they don’t know about this Jesus. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day claimed to hold Moses’ teachings as the cornerstone of their faith. They lean on Moses and the rest of the Old Testament as the most important thing in life. Jesus points this out to them in John 5:39. He says as translated by the Amplified Bible, “You search and investigate and pore over the Scriptures diligently, because you suppose and trust that you have eternal life through them.” Jesus isn’t correcting their assumption of being able to find “eternal life” in the Bible. The Scriptures do point us in the way of Eternal Life!

He’s telling them that their focus when reading and studying the Bible is misdirected. In the very next verse, John 5:40, he adds, “And these [very Scriptures] testify about Me!” He is affirming the reality of eternal life being found in the scriptures in that the whole of scripture is about Him who is the “heir of all things, through whom also God created the world. Jesus is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and Jesus upholds the universe by the word of his power.” This is the Good News directly from God who “so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son so that anyone who believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

The religious leaders, scribes, and Pharisees of Jesus’ day were reading the scriptures to understand the prerequisites of earning God’s acceptance and inheriting eternal life. They were looking for either loopholes in the law that might excuse them from perfect obedience or they were writing lists of things to do or not do to win God’s favor. That’s all they could see in the Bible and that was all they were interested in. I’m afraid there are still some Pharisees, scribes, and religious leaders today who still focus on the wrong thing and mislead many into believing that they can earn or deserve God’s acceptance by trying harder or doing more. Jesus says to them and to us in the next verse, John 5:40, “And still you are not willing [but refuse] to come to Me, so that you might have life.” A literal rendering of John 1:5 from the Good News Bible says this about Jesus, “The Word was the source of life, and this life brought light to humanity.” If God has spoken, and Jesus is the message, there is nothing more important than to listen to what He has to say!