“On Your Mark”
In Understanding, be Mature (Chapter 8 Verses 14-21)
The disciples do not understand, so they discuss what he means (v16). Their thinking is so superficial, so earth-bound, it is pitiful really, after all they have seen and heard. Jesus suggests examination of their hearts (v17), to see if they have been hardened, plain talk? The request (v18) to engage their minds, what had they seen? What had they heard? What had they stored up in their memory banks? What had Jesus just done amongst the people (vv1-10)? His desire is to make them think. That is something we all need to be doing constantly is it not? Not least concerning the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ, the wonder of his works, all he has done for us, the doctrines of our faith. Do we not need some good solid Christian books around us to help us, to stir us up to think more? It is a sad indictment against us that we have so many Christians books today and access to them, but make so little use of them. Would not we be more solid Christians, better able to serve in the Church and defend the true faith of the Church (Jude vv3-4)?
Perhaps in answer to Jesus question (v21) the response is, we do not know, not really. Well of course there is a sense in which we are all learning and need to be stretched further and further in understanding our faith, and matters relating to it. But the question does beg itself, what are we doing about it? Are we perhaps quite happy to paddle in the shallows throughout our Christians lives? Do we want to grow deeper, stronger, healthier? Well to do so, we need to pay heed to the things we have already been taught, to the teaching that is available to us. Do we make full use of the same? We perhaps cannot be at every service for legitimate reasons, but there are recordings available, do you use them? When we come to the services are there things perhaps we could do in order to benefit more from them? Now I know it is very difficult in the early years as we seek to train our young children to sit and listen, but those difficulties aside I mean, could we perhaps be better prepared spiritually, physically even? So that we do not miss out, so we get the very best out of the word of God. If Jesus, God’s word is food for our souls, if it is life itself (John 6.63), is there anything more important to a Christian? It is the means by which we come to know God, be set free from sin, and the bonds of this evil world. What is more important than that? Tell me?
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1996)