Friday, November 2, 2012

Healthy Discussion





Scripture

And Jesus began to say, as He taught in the temple, “How is it that the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David?
(Mark 12:35 NASB)
“David himself said in the Holy Spirit, ‘THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, “SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, UNTIL I PUT YOUR ENEMIES BENEATH YOUR FEET.”’
(Mark 12:36 NASB)
“David himself calls Him ‘Lord’; so in what sense is He his son?” And the large crowd enjoyed listening to Him.
(Mark 12:37 NASB)

 

Observation


The people enjoyed gathering around Jesus and listening to his teaching. He actually brought up controversial questions and/or things that seemed to be contrary in the scriptures. It was through these items that he could gain their interest and encourage the conversation with the crowds. At times people may have thought that what he was saying was extremely controversial but his knowledge was far greater than theirs. My knowing what we know now we understand the challenge of this question regarding David. By human birth, the Messiah did come from the line of David, so he would be his son. But by royal birth, the Messiah, Jesus, was the Son of God, so therefore David would call him Lord. Yes, it makes sense to us because we know "the rest of the story." For the people, it was a curiosity. They enjoyed listening to him, but part of that was because he wasn't afraid to wrestle with or tackle the difficult questions.

 

Application


There must be room for healthy discussion and the tackling of difficult questions within the community of faith. Also, we must realize that we may not always know the whole story. There may be more that God wants to reveal to us through the information which we do have -- or don't as yet have! The point is that we must be careful not to paint ourselves into one particular corner or another, or we may lose out on what God really has for us. The Pharisees and the Sadducees were the religious leaders of the day who believed that they knew everything that there was to know about the Scriptures. However, they didn't agree on everything. Actually they had some pretty opposing views on somethings. But here is the question - - how is it that these good religious folks who thought that they knew the Scriptures incredibly well couldn't recognize the Messiah when they saw him? Maybe it was because they were far too hung up on defending their own perspective? Maybe because they weren't open to the discussion -- a discussion that could have been a healthy discussion with Jesus! However, it was the more ordinary people who were willing to have that discussion and who were eagerly listening to his explanations. "And the large crowd enjoyed listening to him." (v.37)

If we were to be honest we do have some tricky questions out there related to our faith. The answers are not always as neat and tidy as we wish they might be so let's engage in good and healthy conversation and/or debate over some of the issues, without painting the different players with a negative brush. God is inviting us into the conversation -- it is his conversation, about him. God is all-powerful and infinite. Our knowledge about God comes from the things that we can read, but also from our experiences, and very much from our relationship with him. If we are invited into a personal relationship with an infinite God, we must never think that we can know all that there is to know about God and/or our faith in him. If he is infinite (and he is) then he stretches out to infinity and what we learn is that there will always be more for us to learn, more spiritual growth, and simply much more beyond our very simple comprehension. Therefore, let us not always be so quick to judge, but ask God to stretch us beyond anything that we could ever ask or imagine. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. Don't let fear keep us from stretching out in relationship and participation with God. And I think that the result will be that we will enjoy listening to him!

 

Prayer


Lord, please help me be open to you and your leading, directing and teaching in my life today. Amen.

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