Summary: This sermon challenges Christians to read their Bibles, showing how the Lord will hold us to account by His Word
Introduction: This evening I want to begin a little series that I have labeled “A Series of Queries.” It is really a brief look at some of the questions Jesus posed to His hearers throughout His earthly ministry. It was not unusual for Jesus to answer a question with a question, and this He did not to be evasive but to draw His listener’s into the truth, and causes them to see something about themselves, that may have never previously dawned upon their souls.
The first of these questions is one that is recurrent throughout the gospels; the question is simply this, “Have ye not read?”
Illus: A couple of years ago my friend John asked me to run him to Manchester airport. It was very early in the morning, and it was still dark, and he asked me which direction I had come to Congleton. I told him I came by Knypersley. At which point he began to caution me about my return journey. He revealed that he had recently received a speeding ticket on that stretch of road for doing 40 mph in a 30 mph zone. And then he added, with a sense of injustice, that they had recently changed the speed limit on that part of the road, but there were no signs to tell you. Well, on the way back I took heed to his caution, but as I approached the part of the road Brother John spoke of lo and behold here was a great big sign saying 30 mph, then another, and another and then a speed camera. The question that could have been asked of John was, “Have Ye Not Read?” Evidently he was driving through paying absolutely no attention to the signage.
Isn’t that how we are though? In life we plunder on giving little heed to the Word of God, yet Jesus says, “Have ye not read?”
You know what is interesting is that each time Jesus asked this question He asked it of the religious leaders of his day. We would expect a minister to have read his Bible wouldn’t we? Yet, it was to the rabbis, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Chief Priests, Scribes and Elders that Jesus posed this question. “Have Ye Not Read…” Here were people who should have known better, who should have read and been up to speed with the things of God, but they were ignorant and in the dark on a whole host of topic, all of which God had revealed His will on.
They misunderstood the nature of the Sabbath. We see that in our opening text.They thought that the principle took priority over the peiople, but Jesus taught that the Sabbath was given to serve men and not vice versa. He said, “Have ye not read…?
They misunderstood God’s will on divorce. Matthew 19:3-5. They had read the Pentateuch on the matter, but it seems they never got as far as Malachi, hence they took a liberal position on the matter failing to notice that God was against it. Jesus said “Have ye not read?”
They denied the resurrection. Matthew 22:23-33. But again, Jesus said, “Have ye not read?”
They misunderstood the nature of the Messiah, they never considered the possibility that He might be rejected of Israel. Mark 12:10. Again, “Have ye not read?”
My dear friends, God is going to hold us to account for what we have read, and He is even going to hold us to account for what we have not read, because with the privilege of possessing a copy of the Scriptures comes the responsibility to read them and to know them.