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  • Writer's pictureRick Zumpano

Can You Understand the Bible?

“The Bible is just too hard for me to understand.” Have you ever heard anyone say something like that? Have you ever thought it yourself? Is this a valid observation?

Certainly one must acknowledge that some parts of the Bible are difficult to understand. Even Peter confessed that! (2 Peter 3:15-16) Notice, however, he writes “hard” not impossible. Peter’s point is that the untaught and immature have difficulty in understanding some of the Word. We would not want to take babes in Christ and try teaching them the complexities of Paul’s theology in Romans nor the meanings of the visions of Revelation. There must first be a solid grounding in basic Bible truths and interpretation.

The Holy Spirit attests that the word of God “gives understanding to the simple.” That sounds promising for all of us! In fact, Paul observed that it was not the worldly wise in general who believed the gospel (1 Corinthians 1:20-29). Great intelligence is not needed to understand the message of the cross.

So, what is needed for a person to understand the Holy Scriptures? Jesus gives us great insight into this in Matthew 13:13-17. He had been asked why He taught in parables, and His reason may surprise you. He quoted Isaiah the prophet about a people who could hear but not understand, and who could see but not perceive. The problem was that their hearts had grown dull. They were content with their situation and were comfortable with their current spiritual condition. They had no hunger or thirst for righteousness. No desire for the eternal Truth of God’s Word. No “panting” for God. Thus, the meaning of the parables was lost on them.

The Bible has milk for the babe, meat for the full grown, and water for the thirsty. The Word will give understanding to the simple, insight to the sightless and knowledge to the unlearned. It will also make the wise wiser and add knowledge to knowledge. But you must desire it. You must be thirsty!

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