“Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures” Luke 24: 45
What is the primary source of illumination regarding the Scriptures? What helps us to understand the Word of God? Is it our knowledge of the background and dictionaries and commentaries? Of course they help in having a profound knowledge. But what makes us apply the Scriptures to our context and our situation? Or should we ask who helps in this process?
The Jews of Jesus’ time studied the Scriptures from their childhood. They had to memorise the Laws of Moses and keep in mind the large portions of Prophets and Writings. They always remembered their history. In this way, even an average Jew was aware of what was written in the Scriptures. So did the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.
But only some days before the ascension of Jesus, they were able to understand the fulfilment of Scriptures in Jesus Christ. The understanding did not come to them on their own, but by the aid of Jesus Christ himself. Luke says that Jesus opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.
This shows that it is not enough to know the Word of God or memorise them. It is important to understand them. To understand what the Scripture means to us, we need the aid of Jesus Christ. Without the divine help we cannot understand the word of God fully.
This is the reason why the most learned people in the times of Jesus, like Pharisees and Priests, could not understand the prophesies of the Old Testament about Jesus. It is Jesus who opens the minds of his believers and only a humble heart can gain access to him.
Many Christians desire to understand the Word of God. Many want to become the teachers of the Word. But few take the trouble to come to Jesus and ask him help for understanding the Scriptures.
So before you read the Bible, ask God to open your mind so that you understand the Scriptures. This will lead to greater illumination on the Word and you will understand the implication of the words written in the Bible.
P.S: It does not mean the study of theology and dictionaries to aid understanding of the scriptures are useless, but it only means that only God can open our mind. Yes, those tools help us to gain knowledge. But the application of those biblical truths in our personal lives comes only through Christ. So the focus should be prayerful devotion of the Bible.