Wednesday, April 16, 2014

He Gives us What we Need to Know

This is the disciple who is bearing witness about these things, and who has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true. Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. (Jn 21:24-25)
“Now there are also many other things that Jesus did.” Thus John ends his gospel. He never intended to write down every detail of Christ’s life. It would be impossible, redundant and superfluous. What is written is written that we would believe, and if we don’t believe this we wouldn’t believe anything else John wrote. We are given what is needed. We may have a lot of questions that the scriptures don’t answer. This is usually a good indication that we are asking the wrong questions. We find it frustrating. We want to know. But in faith we trust that God has his reasons for not answering those, questions. We also trust that he has his reasons for giving us what he has. We do well to pay attention to what he has given us to know and not concern ourselves with that which he hasn’t given us to know.
Not saying here that if it isn’t in the Bible it isn’t worth knowing. Neither was the Bible meant to be the Boy Scout Handbook for life. There are many things about the world that God has given us other means for learning about other than his revelation. Science, medicine, farming, technology, the list could go on and on. For learning and exploring the world we live in, God has given us our reason and our senses. He wants us to go out and explore, experiment and learn about this world he has entrusted to our care. He doesn’t give us all the answers to everything we need to know in regard to these things in the Bible because he actually wants us to share in the joy of discover, exploration and creation.
But when it comes to our salvation, who God is, who Jesus is, what the thoughts of God and his attitude towards us men, well there we are bound to his revelation. There we are given what we need to know, what God wants us to know, and no more and no less. And there we do well to take it much more seriously than we do. Not more literally, we could probably do well to cut down on the literalness with which we read it, but more seriously. That is to take what God has given us, and chew on it, digest it, probe it, let it sit in its setting and say what it wants to say rather than what we want it to say, let it ask the questions of us, rather than asking it the questions. And when we do this we will encounter a God more awesome than our wildest imagination. There we will encounter a God who is love, who embodied love in the form of a man that he could die for the sins of the world, that we would be given life and life eternal, and have life abundantly. A God who loves us so much that he gave us his Word, that not only would it be recorded for us, but that His Word by which he gave us life, would give his life for the world.

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