Jesus said in John 10:35 that the Scripture cannot be set aside. What did He mean by these words?
It means the Scripture is true. When we examine the biblical witness in the context in which it was written, it is completely authentic, genuine and of absolute veracity. When Christ was confronted by the materialistic Sadducees and their question concerning the resurrection, He starkly told them, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God” (Matthew 22:29). To Jesus, it was a simple mater. If they had known the Scripture’s teaching, they would have known they the truth of the matter and not tied themselves up in theological knots they brought from Him to unravel.
It means the Scripture is trustworthy. Something can be true but not trustworthy. We probably all know someone who will tell us everything that is on their mind, but that doesn’t mean we would necessarily want them to watch our children. The biblical witness is true in what it says and trustworthy in terms of its “character.” Scripture is a faithful, loyal guide to life that has our best interest in mind. We see this in Jesus’ life when He was tempted in the wilderness and each time, He responded with It is written. His confidence in the Scripture was absolute.
It means the Scripture is transcendent. God’s word applies to all people everywhere. The west is currently plagued by a ridiculous relativism that tells us all that matters is you live out “your truth” while I live out “my truth.” For the most part, it’s little more than the assertion of a prideful individualism that doesn’t want to be subject to anyone or anything else. We want our freedom—even if it destroys us! Christ walked into the synagogue at Nazareth and was handed an Isaiah scroll. Isaiah wrote over seven centuries before Jesus. He read the text and then told His audience, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:21). The word is alive and active (Hebrews 4:12).
The Scripture cannot be set aside. It is relevant, not relative. It is absolute, not obsolete. When we choose to set it aside, we don’t break it—it breaks us! We won’t worship the word—we worship the God who gives the word and recognize in the truth of Scripture we have God making His presence known and felt (McGuiggan).