Jesus had totally submitted Himself to God’s Word. When tempted by the Devil, He relied exclusively on Scripture:
- Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" (Matthew 4:4)
Jesus did not set Himself above Scripture as its judge to decide which verses were truly inspired. He received it all as God’s Word:
- "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” (Matthew 5:17-18)
If Jesus had regarded the Word as errant in some respect, He would never had said “until everything is accomplished.” Instead, He might have said, “Until every part that is WITHOUT ERROR is accomplished.” Rather, He continually insisted that everything had to be fulfilled:
- He said to them, "How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?" And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself… He said to them, "This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms." Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. (Luke 24: 25-27, 44-45)
Notice how Jesus opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, rather than His own Word. Whenever He quoted from the Scriptures, it was always affirming what Scripture had said. Never once did He disparage Scripture. Instead, He castigated those who didn’t know the Scriptures:
- Jesus replied, "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. (Matthew 22:29)
They didn’t know Scripture because they didn’t esteem it, despite their protestations to the contrary:
- "But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?" (John 5:45-47)
In contrast to the religious leadership, Jesus believed in what Moses had written and that Scripture could not be broken” (John 10:35). He even regarded the Psalms as ultimately authored by God. Quoting from Psalm 110, Jesus claimed that David was “speaking by the Spirit”:
- He said to them, "How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him 'Lord'? (Matthew 22:43)
Never once did Jesus raise the question about a single verse as to its divine origin. Consequently, if we want to call ourselves a “Christian,” we cannot disparage Jesus’ teachings about Scripture.
This is something many do by claiming that the first chapters of Genesis are not historical. However, Jesus quoted from the first two chapters as historical:
- He [Jesus] answered [the Pharisees regarding divorce], “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female [quoting Gen. 1:26-27], and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’ [Gen. 2:24]! So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has [historically] joined together, let not man separate.” (Matthew 19:4-6)
Had not God historically and actually joined together the man and the woman, Jesus’ argument against divorce would have fallen apart.
If we are to live faithfully with our Savior, we must submit to His teaching as He did to those of His Father. If we refuse, we also refuse to be His children.