by: FCC Staff
So often we just want to hear a confirmation of what we already know and believe, we actively avoid the knowledge and wisdom of others. We prefer news sources that reflect our point of view, entertainment that aligns with how we see things. And if we are not careful we can listen to spiritual teaching that does nothing to challenge and grow us in our faith.
We see this in the life and ministry of Christ in a profound way. The spiritual leaders of Israel were looking for a Messiah who would cone and confirm all the things they thought to be true, and lead their nation in ways they approved of. When the ACTUAL Messiah came, the struggled to accept His wisdom, because it challenged so many of their own views.
In Matthew chapter 7 we see Jesus teach on a plethora of topics: Staying out of judgement, asking God for your daily needs, treating others as you would like to be treated, how to spot false teachers, false disciples, and how to personally secure in your walk with God.
Verses 28 and 29 tell us how people reacted to these teachings, “And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.”
After this Matthew records Jesus teaching and doing many amazing things, healing many, even from among the pagan romans, and perhaps most miraculous, raising a little girl from the dead. Jesus was among the people, making literal the name of Immanuel, “God with us.” People didn’t have to go to Jesus he came to them, which was something that many people wondered at. In chapter 11 we see Jesus address this:
“But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their playmates,
“‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’
For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.” (Matthew 11:16-19)
It didn’t matter what approach either Jesus or John took, because they didn’t tell people what they wanted to hear, they were criticized in the harshest terms. They wanted confirmation of their beliefs not advice and instruction in how to grow in their faith.
Our proverb for today tells us to listen to advice and instruction so we can gain wisdom “in the future” and this is actually how learning from Jesus via the Word and the Holy Spirit works. Maybe you don’t understand something scripture tells you to do, or why it is important. But if you listen and follow the advice, you will see, surprise, surprise, the God who created the universe knows best how to live in it. We can gain wisdom in the future by seeing how following the instruction of scripture has brought us more peace and a closer walk with God. Jesus was right, “wisdom is justified by her deeds.”
So today, instead of wrestling with how to get what we want from God, or trying to justify our own lives with how we interpret scripture, let’s just listen and obey. In the years to come, we will all have the benefit of seeing the wisdom of God played out in our lives. Reading the counsel of scripture is only good if we accept it and apply it. Growing in wisdom isn’t really an intellectual pursuit at all, its an experiential one, as we live out the advice and instruction of God in our daily lives.
Prayer for Today
Father, thank you so much for revealing your wise council and instruction to me in your word. Jesus, lead me today that I may follow your will, and grow in the wisdom you offer. By your Holy Spirit encourage me to DO the things I read about in the Bible, not just familiarize myself with them. Lord I believe in you, grow my faith today as I trust in your word. Amen.