“But Jesus answered them, ‘You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God.’” (Matthew 22:29)
During Jesus’ earthly ministry, He managed to scandalize the majority of Israel’s religious rulers. They hated Him for not being subject to their authority, and they constantly tried to trip Him up in His words, hoping to turn the people against Him. But whenever they tested Him, their plans backfired. He always had an answer that they simply could not argue against, and so they were left looking foolish in the eyes of the people. No matter what they tried, they simply could not make Him say something wrong.
Now, this is a talent we’d probably all like to have. I’m sure we’ve all been in arguments that we would dearly love to win, but we just don’t know the right thing to say. But Jesus never had this problem. What was His secret? And is it something that can be learned?
Looking at Jesus’ conversations with the religious leaders, nearly every one of them has a common denominator: the majority of the time, He used passages from the Old Testament to make His point. He knew the leaders wouldn’t listen to His words alone, but how could they argue against the Law and the Prophets? After all, they taught this material every day, viewing it as God’s Word to His people. What would their standing be like among the people if they started saying these passages were incorrect?
But there is a much greater reason as to why this worked. To put it simply, God’s Word is alive. Hebrews 4:12 states, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword….” His Word is truth, every bit of it breathed out by Him and “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,” (2 Timothy 3:16). That’s what makes Scripture so unique. It’s not simply words on a page; it’s the voice of God, speaking directly to us. No one can successfully argue against it, because His words are always true. There is not a single flaw within them, and everything He says is right.
Even those who don’t believe in God can’t argue against His Word. They can try, yes, but in the end, their efforts will be in vain. God’s Word is perfect, powerful, and very much alive. It has the power to bring about change in people’s lives, to convince them of the truth and to bring them to God. In this as in everything else, we must follow Jesus’ example and use the words of the Bible. Relying on our own arguments will eventually fail, but God’s Word will never fall short. If we want to be effective in sharing Jesus with others, we must use His Word. Jesus Himself showed us how powerful this is. God has given us a mighty tool; as His servants, we must learn to use it well. We must know the Scriptures, and through them know the power of God. Only then can we be truly effective in God’s mission for us.