Those ‘little grey cells’
Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature.
1 Corinthians 14:20 (ESV)
Some scriptures point a finger at how abysmal we are at thinking things through. For something we do most of the time every day of our lives, we are remarkably poor at it. For example, Isaiah had to point out that the Israelites really should consider what they are doing when they cut down a tree, use half of it for fire, turn the other half into an idol, bow down, and ask it to answer prayers (Isaiah 44). Could we be that stupid? Oh, yes.
Here are a couple of examples from the gospels as well. There was quite a debate after Jesus had been speaking on the last day of the feast of Tabernacles. Some of the crowd thought that he had to be the Prophet, whilst others said that he had to be the Christ. That was refuted by others who said that Christ couldn’t come from Galilee. It had to be Bethlehem. But no one apparently thought to ask Jesus.
Then when Jesus was crucified the crowds mocked him, shouting that he could save others but not himself. If they had put their minds to it, they would have seen that it didn’t make sense. He had just raised Lazarus from the dead, so he would surely have the power to save himself. So why was he still on the cross? It should have raised some questions, but not jeering rejection.
We may well roll our eyes at the idea that you can carve an idol from a piece of wood and expect it to answer a prayer. But like the debaters over who Jesus was, how often do we check facts when questions are raised to which we do not know the answers. And we may face similar conundrums that the onlookers faced when they saw Jesus crucified: something that just doesn’t add up.
God doesn’t give us all the answers. But he is happy for us to think. On several occasions Jesus asked the disciples, the people, and the Pharisees what they thought. God does expect us to use our minds. The Psalmist tended to call it meditating. Reflection, contemplation, deliberation, whatever other name you give it, it’s good to think, and God expects us to use our minds.
Like Mary we can ponder over things we don’t understand, and it may take a lifetime. But let us continue to muse over questions and explore truth.
Under the guidance of your Spirit, our Father, may we continue to explore and search out truth and grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
Study by Hilary Buck
About the writer:
Hilary Buck is a Minister and pastors the Lewes congregation of Grace Communion International.
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