I have been blessed this year to be a part of a wonderful Bible Study at our parish. In the past few weeks, the group I am helping to facilitate looked more closely at the trustworthiness of the Bible. How do we know what it says is true? Is the Bible applicable to our daily lives? Will the message of the Bible ever “run out” or pass into history like so many other writings?
One of the passages we looked at was today’s Gospel, especially the last verse. “Heaven and earth shall pass away but my words will not pass away.” This is a powerful statement made by Jesus for a number of reasons.
First, the words and teachings of Jesus are beyond our measure of space. Creation itself will someday pass away. But the words of Jesus will endure even beyond such a time.
Second, if Jesus’ word is able to exist outside of creation, it is outside of time. It is eternal. The opening verses of John’s Gospel come to mind here. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” Jesus, the Word of God, the Logos in Greek. John understood that before God began to create, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Here is one of the underpinnings for our Trinitarian theology.
When Jesus tells His followers, “my word will never pass away,” we can see the echoes of it in John’s theology. Jesus’ word is creative, He is making things new. His words can change reality. Think of His many miracles. Jesus commanded storms, disease, even death, with His words.
If Jesus’ words will never pass away, then they still have bearing and meaning in our present day. Even when it feels like our world is ending, we don’t know where to turn or what will come next, Jesus’ word is steady and sure.
The Bible is God’s eternal Word, written down for our benefit. When we take the time to study it, to pray with it, to listen to it, Jesus speaks to our hearts.
Kate Taliaferro is an Air Force wife and mother. She is blessed to be able to homeschool, bake bread and fold endless piles of laundry. When not planning a school day, writing a blog post or cooking pasta, Kate can be found curled up with a book or working with some kind of fiber craft. Kate blogs at DailyGraces.net.
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