We know that questions of biblical authority are very thorny and provoke lots of conflict among Christians. It stems from the question of whether there are words versus Word - capital W. In an age of reason, people are less likely to accept the "passive writers" thesis that God dictated directly to the writers. But we aren't willing to accept that scripture is mere words either.
A look at our two readings can be helpful.
Nehemiah 8 relates the occasion of scripture reading and preaching to the beleaguered people of Jerusalem who are finally starting to make some progress in rebuilding the city while under Persian rule. Six hours of reading and teaching results in the people weeping. Why? Was something awakened in them? And why now?
Jesus comes back to his hometown, Nazareth, and is guest preacher/teacher at the synagogue. This is the occasion when he announces his ministry. He does this by reading from the Isaiah scroll and declaring that the prophecy is being fulfilled in him. The promise of God related in scripture was being fulfilled, and the people were impressed and amazed at his teaching and his authority. The words of scripture became God's Word in Jesus. How did that happen?
How does this happen with us? Find out by viewing the sermon video below.