Thursday, January 04, 2007

Point 2: Jesus takes us from mere Information to true Insight.

Read the text HERE
Read the introduction HERE and first point HERE.
Comments and corrections welcome.
Jesus takes us to three places:

2. Jesus takes us from mere Information to true Insight

V 46-47:
"After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers."
How great it would be if we simply followed Jesus at this point?

Now, I recognize that Jesus is special. This is the Messiah -- the one -- according to Isaiah 11:2 who has “The Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power.”

However, there is something very simple going on here. He is with the teachers. And he has listening to them, weighing up what they say, engaging with them humbly, asking good follow-up questions, straining and yearning for truth and righteousness.

And he’s presumably been doing it for 3 days.

Why don’t we do this more often? Gain a little more traction with the Bible? Why don’t we listen closely to those who can help us. To ask questions in Bible Study? And to contribute to answers when we can. Wouldn’t it be great to read my Bible and to mark questions I that I have? Read more good books. Not just popular ones. And then seek answers, and not rest until I have them.

A little more thirst is a good way to start to follow Jesus.

But its not just information we seek. But insight.

Jesus is a theological genius, but not just a theological genius. We do not need to fill our hearts with simply more information, but with wisdom that comes from the Lord. And that’s the “genius” that God gave Jesus.

The text says: V47:
"They were amazed at his understanding."
‘Understanding’ is a good translation. But the original word carries a bit more weight than that. Perhaps the word 'insight' would be better. The word we translate ‘understanding’ is the Greek word, which forms the basis of our English word ‘synergy’ or ‘to synthesize’: 'To bring it together'.

Jesus can see how it all fits together.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer:
"To understand reality is not the same as to know about outward events. It is to perceive the essential nature of things. The best-informed man is not necessarily the wisest. Indeed there is a danger that precisely in the multiplicity of his knowledge he will lose sight of what is essential."
Jesus is asking questions -- Maybe he is making links for the teachers that they had never known.

Was he asking questions about the coming Messiah? Was he showing them Isaiah 53 and Daniel 7? And showing how they could fit together in one Messiah? Was he asking questions about Torah? And how the law could be fulfilled in the coming of the Messiah?

If we follow Jesus, we don’t just study scripture. But we find in them Jesus, of whom the Scriptures testify. We find a person. That’s insight.

In what particular way might we fit all this together? Lastly, tomorrow:

3. Jesus takes us from Passover to the Passion



Benjamin Ady said...

This point in your sermon reminded me of this essay by Simone Weil, entitled Reflections on the Right Use of SchoolStudies with a View to the Love of God

Eric said...

Quite a recap of Sunday's message you've got going! I had never thought of the implications of Jesus being on the verge of adulthood, and learning from his (esp heavenly) father.

me said...

hey J-man! back into the world of blog ...

Is my thirst for God satisfied in his word, or in Christ, or are they same thing...


Justin said...

Benjamin -- hope to read the essay soon.

Eric -- Not a recap -- a straight 'cut'n'paste' from my page to yours.

R -- Good to have you back. I choose -- in Christ. They are not the same thing. That having been said, Christ and his word cannot be divorced. HERE is a verse that sheds some light (Heb 1:3). What say you, friend?

Benjamin Ady said...

Justin, your "Christ and his word cannot be divorced" of course made me think "Christ and his *bride* cannot be divorced" (see: Hosea).

Justin said...

Benjamin -- Yes. There are a few things/persons in the Bible that cannot be 'divorced'! That is, God brought them together before the creation of the world and what God has joined togther, let no man separate!

me said...

hey J, yeah that makes sense. I remember talking to someone who i respected (much older and very smart) about God and his word. I was saying God was bigger than his word in the bible, and he was saying they are the same thing. I think. This always confused me, but maybe this was what he was refering to.
You know i am someone who loves the bible, and loves reading stuff other people have thought about regarding God.
but i think i long for an experience of god that surpasses cognitive appreciation!
does that make sense of my question?

Justin said...

R -- Yes. I long for that too. To see his face! Yes, indeed.

But what, then, are you looking for? That's my question.

You have three options, if your experience of Him is not merely cognitive. (And I'm aware of the irony of this) --

A. Not merely cognitive, but actual physical presence. Like you and your husband. Or you and your son. You see and touch them. Thats the kind of presence I'd like with God. But I know that this is, for the most part, a promise fulfilled in the 'restoration of all things'. Thats why I long, but don't experience. I expect it, but not necessarily now.

B. Not merely cognitive, but actual spiritual presence. That is, you sense the face of God. You sense his presence. (There is a problem, of course, with using the verb 'sense', since the one thing that you are not doing in mysticism is sensing)! I guess this is the experience you were talking about on your Blog. My difficulty is that while the Scriptures have experiences like this, they aren't promised this side of the New Jerusalem, are they? I want them. I long for them. I pray for them. But I can't manufacture them, or demand them. Or expect them, as I would expect a promise to be fulfilled. Yancey is good on this.

C. Not merely cognitive, but by faith. Thats the one lots of us do not get. Its 'by faith'. Not 'by cognitive processes'. By faith. Not sight. Not sound. Not touch. Not smell. Not taste. (Also, not the metaphor of these things.)

I think that Hebrews is our book on this one. Or maybe 2 Corinthians.

And if its by faith, then the word is enormously significant, in a good and liberating way.

me said...

yeah wow. i never thought of it exactly like that. (do i have to fit in a box??? ha ha! ...i actually mean that by the way! but i know you are not trying to Box me, or prescribe anything, just help me work out what i mean :)

Do you have the type 2 expeience?

I think that the type 3 experience i find the hardest, because .... oh my gosh i think i just had a light balb moment. Need to go and think.
Thanks heaps 4 engaging J!

me said...

by faith is huge. I never linked my desire to experience to god, to by faith. far out.
BTW you don;t have to answer my question in the last post. that's kind of personal....

byron said...

I think Augustine had some fascinating thoughts on seeing God.

me said...

can you explain the not be cognitive processes, but by faith again. examples too. experientially, i mean? a thousand thank u's.

Justin said...

R -- Give me a day or two -- just got to get through PM church etc.