Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Do you understand?

"Have you understood all these things?" They said to him, "Yes." And he said to them, "Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old."  Matthew 13:51-52 ESV
A father was correcting his young son for improper behavior.  He explained to his son that if this sort of behavior continued there would be grave consequences to face.  He asked his son, "Do you understand what I am telling you?"  The son replied, "Yes I understand," as he nodded with his head.  The son then asked, "Dad, what are consequences?"
Do you understand?  That's a loaded question!  To answer the question with an affirmation of yes, requires more than a mental assent but an acceptance of responsibility.  If I understand that love is good and right, I must be responsible to love.  On the other hand if I understand that lying is wrong I must act responsible by telling the truth (not lying).  When the dad asked his son if he understood he was expecting a change in behavior. 
After instructing His disciples of the mysteries of the kingdom by way of parables Jesus asked, "Have you understood all these things?"  Jesus was looking for more than the nodding of the head, or a mental agreement of "I understand."  He wanted all who heard Him to understand that the principles and truths of the kingdom involve the responsibility to act upon them.  Dr. Leo Buscaglia says, "To know and not do is to not yet know."  The book of James says, So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.  James 4:17 ESV
With knowledge always comes responsibility.  Once I am made aware of something it is clear that my relationship to whatever it is has changed.  The sin of omission is no less convicting than the sin of commission.  There are consequences for both.  Jesus reiterates this when He states repeatedly throughout the gospels, He who has ears to hear, let him hear.  In each case, those being addressed are offered a clear choice, consequences are foretold, and a commandment to understand is given.  In other words He is saying, “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
The scribes of Jesus' day were those whose whole purpose was to study, learn and teach the Law of God so as to preserve it among the people.  Perhaps you can understand the shock of the disciples as Jesus suggested they be scribes.  But with that description came understanding.  Jesus was not saying they were to be like the scribes in their self-righteous judgment and burdensome laws, but rather they were to take up in their lives the intended purpose of the scribes to learn the ways of God so as to teach the ways of God.  We are to be learners and then with the knowledge we have discovered we are now responsible to pass it on as occasions allow.  
Do we really understand?  Are we knowledgeable enough about the Word of God and the ways of God that we can share with others?  Too many Christians do not “know” the truths necessary to lead someone to God.  Too many have a familiarity with God’s Word and not a knowledge.  Jesus calls us to learn and then share through our lifestyle and our lips.  Create a treasure of knowledge in your house to share with all who pass by and fulfill this calling of Christ to understand.
Scripture to Claim:

Bless the LORD, all his hosts, his ministers, who do his will! Bless the LORD, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the LORD, O my soul!  Psalms 103:21-22 ESV

Devotional Archive