Interpret or Understand?
No where can I find it written that Jesus encourages us to interpret the scriptures. The scriptures are about Him. They were written by men of old as they were moved by the Spirit to write. It says the will of man did not enter in to the writing:
2Pe 1:18 KJV – And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
Jesus addressed a group of religious leaders who were castigating Him for healing on a particular day of the week. He says to such: “Search the scriptures. For in them you think you have eternal life, and they are they which testify of me, and ye will not come to me, that ye might have life “. The scriptures are written by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost and they are about Jesus from cover to cover. Both the author of the scriptures and the subject of the scriptures are alive. In saying no prophesy of the scripture is given for any private interpretation, it telling you that only the author may convey to you His thinking that went into writing the scriptures. The thinking of the Holy Ghost in authoring the scriptures was not scattered and out of focus. And it was not written as a guide book to lead man to eternal life except in one point. It bears witness of the Son of God, in whom is eternal life. Many packages of purchased items arrive with a manual. The manual, without the item, is of limited practical use. Jesus is the one who opens the understanding to understand, not interpret, but understand the scriptures. It is Christ in you that gives something for the scriptures to bear witness of in you. Without Christ, the subject of the scriptures, there is little present for the Holy Ghost to bear witness of.
In the case cited above, Jesus was with His disciples in a grain field and it happened to be the Jew’s Sabbath day. The account may be read in Luke 6. Many teachings are presented, embedded in the account, things that apply to the times we live in, just as they did in those days. Under the ever present and watchful eye of a religious/political many headed conglomerate ( sound familiar?), Jesus walked and talked with a small gathering of disciples. It was the Jew’s Sabbath day, and the disciples were hungry, so they plucked grain, rubbed it in their hands to winnow, or separate the wheat from the chaff, they would blow away they chaff and eat the grain. Because it was the Sabbath day, because winnowing was considered “work”, and because the ever present religious snoops saw it, they immediately began to accuse the disciples of doing that which is not lawful on the Sabbath day. Jesus beautifully rebuked the snoops, and vindicated His disciples in two sentences: “And Jesus answering them said, Have ye not read so much as this, what David did, when himself was an hungred, and they which were with him; How he went into the house of God, and did take and eat the shewbread, and gave also to them that were with him; which it is not lawful to eat but for the priests alone? And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath”. Then, as now, disciples who are with Christ, are free to rightly divide scripture in His presence, religious dogma and dogmatics notwithstanding. Jesus teaches the truth. The truth, embraced, makes free. If the truth does not fit into religious dogma…well…what is the chaff to the wheat? If I walk in the Spirit, and read the book authored by the Spirit, I am free to know His thinking that went into the composition of what He inspired to be written. Every religious institution, as a house of cards, will come down, without exception. But Christ and His words will never come down, nor will the individual living by the faith of Him.
In every case where Jesus cited scripture, it behooves to read the scripture He cited. The reference to David is no exception. David was anointed king, fleeing from the acting king. Acting because , though the Lord had taken the kingdom from Saul, and given it to David, Saul would not willingly relinquish the position. (This situation parallels the times we are in today, as it does the times of Christ and the disciples in the field. The King and kingdom of God is in you, not in the religious system of hierarchy and edifice). We, as David, overcome and rise to our destiny, by patience and faith.
In 2 Samuel 21, David comes to Ahimelech, the priest at Nob. Ahimelech is afraid at the meeting of David, and asks why David is alone. David tells Ahimelech that he is about the king’s business, and the king’s servants are in the places to which they have been appointed. David tells the priest to give him bread. The priest tells David that there is no bread present, except the show bread, sanctified that very day, and not lawful for David to eat, because only the priests may eat it. David tells the priest it will do, because, though sanctified (holy/set apart) to the priest, it is after a manner, or from one point of perspective, common. The point of perspective from which the man made bread is common, is the hidden, God given manna in the holiest place, in the ark of testimonies. This hidden manna, forgotten of the priest, known to David, trumps the show bread for David and all that were with him. Substance always dissolves symbol. Christ in you, the true bread of heaven, makes all the sum of man made doctrine and understanding about the things of God (or lack thereof), dissolve in the presence of the Living Word of God. That is the lesson of Luke 6. A key of David, is the gift of seeing through symbols, to arrive at substance. Bread, wheat, and sheaves, all are synonymous in the scriptures, and are a figure of the word that is in you. Christ in you, is the hidden manna Jesus offers the overcomer, when speaking to the assemblies of Revelation 2 & 3. Overcoming becomes a matter of the individual rising above the many voices and entities ensconced in and about the assemblies, the churches, and learning to tune them out, in favor of the Spirit who speaks to the assemblies, appealing to each individual, “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says”. The eleven sheaves of Joseph’s brethren, bowing to his sheaf, is a picture of the word of the communal, patriarchal vision of his household bowing and giving place to the word of the coming Father and household of his dreams and visions. But that is another topic.
So then we read the scriptures and we trust the author, the Holy Spirit, to open them to us. And this is not laborious, but liberating. For we are not to lean to our own understanding, but to trust Him with our whole heart, knowing that as He is in us, the Teacher will open to us the thinking of God concerning Christ in the scriptures. The scriptures then become something that witness to what is unfolding in you, rather than an otherwise confusing and overwhelming set of instructions, which they are not. The Author is alive, the subject of the book is raised. No one has permission to interpret the book. No private, that is , no third party interpretation is authorized. The Teacher, who is the author, has retained the exclusive right to opening the subject of the book to you and revealing His thinking. And in doing this, He raises you into His thinking. In the volume of the book it is written of Him, He comes to do the Father’s will.
2Pe 1:20 KJV – Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
Luk 2:47 KJV – And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.
Luk 24:45 KJV – Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures…
Jhn 20:22 KJV – And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:
Luk 24:31 KJV – And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?
When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.”