ThoughtShades FrameWork

Essays, Themes, Opinions

Constructs, Practical Ideas, Applications

Poetry, Impression Writing

Sermons, Devotions

Personal Revelations, Illustrations

Viewpoint: Politics, Contemporary Issues, Editorials


Choice Offerings by Others

Powered by Squarespace
« The Prayers of All the Saints | Main | What Do You Say to Death? »

What Do You Want to Know About God, and Are You Willing to Learn It?

“But who do you say that I am?” Matthew 16:15 

Most of us marvel at the panoply of knowledge that swirls around us in our world and the complicated information structures that exist.  Knowledge grows today in geometric proportions.  Think of the exhaustive knowledge that a brain surgeon must master before he/she is prepared to do surgery.  Or, how much does an airline pilot need to know before being entrusted with a Boeing 747?  Think of the array of disciplines represented in a university curriculum today—from higher math and physics to language arts; from cognitive psychology to astronomy; from marketing research to early childhood education; from Aristotelian logic to architecture.  Each of these disciplines requires four to seven or even twelve years of life.  Students can only pick one option, and then the heavy demands cause many to eventually drop out.  

Jesus handpicked his disciples on some basis.  I’ve often wondered why he chose certain of them.  It is unclear how they were evidently willing and able to leave what they were doing for three and a half years and follow Jesus everywhere he went.  Matthew 13 reveals the inside track about their relationship with Jesus and what he demanded of them before he would take them any further.  “From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.” Matthew 16:21. From that time forth…Here is the law of process at work.  The disciples were not ready to go from the level of novice to doctorate in discipleship until they had a firm understanding of the identity of Christ. 

Jesus asked, “Do you really know who I am?  Have you looked beyond My exterior to see My true identity?”  Here, Jesus was leading them in baby steps to the principle of oneness.  He hints at this through the expression of “I Am,” a clear reference to “The Great I Am.”  Much later, Paul captures the essence of Christ’s deity in his archetypal passage to Timothy. And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory,” 1 Timothy 3:16. Meanwhile, unless and until the disciples knew who Jesus was, they were unqualified to take the next step. 

Then, bumbling Peter makes a sophomoric move. “Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, ‘Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!’ But He turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.’” Matthew 16:22-23.

The process of learning involves failure, embarrassment, reproving and sometimes rejection.  Notice that Peter did not answer Jesus back after he had been rebuked!  This is where they learned about taking up their cross and following Jesus.  Then came the Mount of Transfiguration experience where they learned subordination and the final exaltation of Jesus.  When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.” Matthew 17:8. Contrast these developments with the Jews at the beginning of the discourse.  They wanted a sign, but were not willing to subject themselves to Jesus, deny themselves, take up their crosses and follow Him.  

Jesus has a lot to teach you.  It’s a tough curriculum.  Are you up to it? “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings.” Philippians 3:10. Let me paraphrase: That I may know Him…and that I may be willing for him to teach me!”

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (1)

I have been reading, "The Wisdom and the Power of the Cross", by J.T. Pugh, Phillip. 3:10 reminds me of it. I know that NONE of us will KNOW Him fully in this life, but we can get closer in our daily walk. To know just 'some' of the wisdom and power is what I want. This book is - anointed.

April 15, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSydney Heimericks

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>