“Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.”
The Lord Jesus came hard against the religious hypocrites and heretics of His day. One of His big problems with these people was their hindering others from finding and knowing God. His charge against the lawyers in today’s verse passage deserves special consideration. “Ye have taken away the key of knowledge,” said the Lord. What could this mean? The Lord taught clearly that His life and ministry were in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. “Search the scriptures,” Jesus told the religious leaders of His day, “for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” (John 5:39). After His resurrection from the dead, the Lord taught about Himself out of the Old Testament Scriptures. Luke states that “beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27). Later when He visited His apostles in Jerusalem, He reminded them that “all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me” (Luke 24:44). The grand theme of the entire Bible is Jesus Christ and His redemptive work. The revealing angel declared, “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:10). Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6); He alone can meet our deepest needs, satisfy our longing hearts, and sooth our shattered nerves. He alone provides lasting peace, unshakable hope, and inexpressible joy (1 Peter 1:8). Jesus came to set men free (John 8:36) and to give them abundant life (John 10:10). Our “title deed” to these remarkable blessings is faith in the Christ of Scripture (Hebrews 11:1); it is He alone Who can save (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). It is essential therefore that we hear the biblical testimony to Jesus. Paul explains, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? . . . So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:13-4, 17). The religious leaders in Christ’s day were revered as biblical scholars. Ironically, however, the Bible was to them largely a closed book; rejecting the testimony of Jesus, they threw away the interpretive key to the life-giving Scriptures. It is not so with us. “We have received . . .the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God” (1 Corinthians 2:12). Praise the Lord who by His Spirit has opened our hearts to Christ, the key to all Scriptural treasures and the giver of life everlasting. May this meditation fill us with renewed strength, hope, and love for the Savior who loved us first.