Jesus stands upon the truth and reliability of the Bible, and believers shouldn't hesitate to invest their total and complete trust in the Word of God, says Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California.
In a Daily Hope Devotional posted to his website on Monday, Warren says some Christians might say that, while they believe in Jesus, they don't necessarily trust all of the Bible's stories. Jesus, however, emphasizes that every word is a concrete fact.
In John 10:35, Jesus says, "We know that Scripture is always true" (NIRV). Warren points to Matthew 5:18 when Christ guarantees believers: "For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished" (NIV).
Warren explains that when Jesus talks about the Bible, he doesn't refer to it as if it were poetry, or history, or some work of fiction. It is God's living Word that shouldn't simply be read, but put into action.
The Saddleback pastor explains that when Jesus makes references to Bible stories, he speaks about them with absolute certainty. "When Jesus talked about the Bible, he talked about it as if the people and events in it were real," says Warren. "He talked about all the prophets being real. He talked about Daniel being real. Jesus believed in Noah and everything that happened with the flood. He believed in Adam and Eve. He believed in the tragedy of Sodom and Gomorrah. He believed that Jonah was swallowed by a large fish."
Warren adds that these stories are some of the most disputed accounts in the Bible, especially Adam and Eve, Jonah and the whale, and Sodom and Gomorrah. But stresses, however, that these accounts aren't myth, or fables passed down through the generations.
"People who think that the Bible is mostly good stories that didn't really happen always point to those four stories. If Jesus really believed in Jonah, then I should too. I don't know how God created a fish that could swallow a guy, but He did," says Warren.
"I trust in the Bible because Jesus trusted in it."