Each summer I look forward to any time I can steal away to lounge by a pool or beach and read a good book. One of my favorite conversations with trusted fellow readers begins, “Have you read…?” I have been known to stay up all night with a good book, savoring the end, and grieving when I have to say good-bye to the characters. It is one of my life’s most satisfying pleasures.
Jesus asked a similar question multiple times to the disciples and His followers: “Have you not read…?” But He wasn’t asking about the latest historical fiction (my genre of choice). He had something far greater in mind. Historical, yes. Fiction, no.
“And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God… “ Matthew 22:31
“He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him…” Matthew 12:3
“Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless?” Matthew 12:5
“He answered, ‘Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female.’” Matthew 19:4
“Have you not read this Scripture: 'The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone...'" Mark 12:10
“And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’?” Mark 12:26
In each case Jesus was referring to the Scriptures, and challenging them, “Have you not read.”
Reading the Scriptures encourages us for many reasons. We read the Scriptures to know that Jesus was the One Who had been promised. We read the Scriptures to know God. We read the Scriptures for direction. We read the Scriptures to find God’s comfort waiting for us. We read the Scriptures because it is God’s very Word.
Have you not read the Scriptures today?