John 5:39-40 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.
I just love mapquest and google maps. They are pretty awesome tools that help us figure out where we are going. Sometimes, I wonder how I got places without them. Back in the day, directions were more like “go about 10 minutes on the straight road, turn left at the gas station, go for a few minutes then turn right at the red barn, then go a little farther up a hill then down a hill and our driveway is the second one past the lampost on the left.” At least that’s how I remember it. We would go around looking for landmarks and hoping where we were going was the right way. But now we have mapquest (or even GPS). It takes us exactly to the location that we enter in. It gives us turn by turn instructions on how to arrive at our destination.
Mapquest has lots of great information in it. You can zoom to street level, look at satellite images, and most of all get directions. But if all we do with it is look up a bunch of directions to locations and never actually go to those locations, we kind of waste our time. We might know a lot about how to get there, but if we never actually drive there, what’s the point? Lots of good information doesn’t get you to a destination. Following the directions gets you to the destination.
In some ways, Jesus was telling the religious leaders that they were using the scriptures like mapquest, but never following the instructions to the destination. You see, the scriptures pointed to Jesus, the Messiah. And somehow they got so excited looking at all the maps, that they missed getting in the car and driving to the destination. The maps will never save us, only Jesus will. And the Bible is an excellent resource to grow and to learn; it IS the Word of God! But the words on the page will never bring life by themselves. The life comes when we realize that the Bible is pointing us to Jesus and to be like Jesus. When we follow the instructions on the page and drive to Him, we will discover what it means to arrive!