I have certain passages of scripture in my bible linked to other verses, and in a few cases, those verses lead to other verses. I like to think of them as scripture ‘pathways,’ scriptures that link to other scriptures; sort of like a chain of thoughts. These marked scripture pathways remind me of a treasure hunt, with each scripture as a clue that leads to the next, eventually climaxing in a ‘treasure of understanding.’
And so I’d like to introduce you to one of my favorite scripture hunts. This one starts in the gospel of John, chapter 16, verse 33:
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
In my bible I have “Phil 4:13” marked right next to this verse, which signals me to the next part of my scripture journey:
“I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (I have included verse 12 as well.)
This verse has another scripture marked beside it: “Heb 4:15.” This leads me to the next piece of the pathway:
14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. (Again, I include the preceding verse, because it seems to complete the meaning for me.)
Hebrews 2:18 is my next ‘clue:’
For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.
Which leads me to 2 Corinthians 12:9:
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Next, I turn to Colossians 2:14:
13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. (I usually have to read verses 13 and 15 too.)
Then I head over to Galatians 2:20:
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
The journey ends at Revelations 1:5-6:
and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, 6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
All of these verses hold special meaning to me, but stringing them together like this really brings them a little more to life for me, and makes me feel as if Jesus is right beside me, whispering these truths in my ear. The last passage just feels so intimate and personal, and, illuminated by the preceding passages, illustrates this faithful Jesus; this Jesus who lovingly washed me in his own blood, undeterred by my filthiness and unworthiness. Following is an excerpt from my journal describing my sentiments on this verse:
“I love this picture of Jesus lovingly and sacrificially bathing us in his own blood so that we might be acceptable before a holy God. What a tender master, friend and brother to us wayward, yet beloved souls.”
Do you do something like this? Do you have any favorite scripture pathways? I’d love to hear about them:)