“Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you.”
and searched carefully
“Searched” means to search diligently, examine. The general sense is “to search after.”
The New Testament uses “searched” of animals who “sniff out” food or other things! Secular Greek used this word for searching a house or a crime scene. It carries the idea to investigate, either legally or more generally. It can mean “to test, examine.” Plato and Philo use the term for academic, scientific, and philosophical inquiry. Philo also has it for the rabbinical study of Scripture.
The New Testament uses “searched carefully” in a number of contexts:
Revelation 2:23 “I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.”
Jesus searches our minds and hearts.
John 5:39 “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.”
This is the search of Scripture with a view to finding its truth.
John 7:25 “Now some of them from Jerusalem said, ‘Is this not He whom they seek to kill?’”
This is a statement by Nicodemus as commanded similarly by the chief priests and Pharisees.
John 7:52 “They answered and said to him, “Are you also from Galilee? Search and look, for no prophet has arisen out of Galilee.”
The chief priest and Pharisees command Nicodemus to search the Scriptures.
Romans 8:27 “Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”
God searches the heart of those who pray.
I Corinthians 2:10 “But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.”
The Holy Spirit enables believers to see God’s purpose and work.
If you only searched the New Testament, you do not have the whole Bible. (The reverse is also true.) You shortchange yourself. If all that you have is the New Testament; you do not have enough Bible. We need both the Old and New Testaments. God invites us to search His entire Word.
We cannot know the New Testament sufficiently without the Old Testament. The New Testament is in the Old Testament contained. The Old Testament is by the New Testament explained. The New is in the Old enfolded. The Old is by the New unfolded. The New Testament is in the Old Testament concealed. The Old is by the New revealed.
In the Old Testament, Job raises the question, “If a man die, shall he live again” (Job 14:14). We must come to the New Testament for the answer,
“I am the resurrection and the life: he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shell he live” (John 11:25).
Truth in the Old Testament is germinal. In the New Testament it is terminal. Doctrine in the Old is in seed form. In the New it blossoms in full harvest (II Tim. 1:10). We find the doctrines of immortality and resurrection in the Old Testament in shadow form. The New Testament sets them forth fully.
The prophets were interested in salvation. They were not only interested but they inquired about it in the Word. They not only inquired about it but they searched it out. Here is a picture of the Old Testament prophets pouring over the scrolls.
God expects us to master the Word.
Do you pour over the Word of God? If not, are you better than the prophets?