Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Who Will You Believe

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

They went into Capernaum; and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and began to teach. They were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. Mark 1:21-22

Who will you believe?

For centuries people believed that Aristotle was right when he said that the heavier an object, the faster it would fall to earth. Aristotle was regarded as the greatest thinker of all time, and surely he would not be wrong. Anyone, of course, could have taken two objects, one heavy and one light, and dropped them from a great height to see whether or not the heavier object landed first. But no one did until nearly 2,000 years after Aristotle's death. Legend has it that in 1589 Galileo summoned learned professors to the base of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Then he went to the top and pushed off a ten-pound and a one-pound weight. Both landed at the same instant. The power of belief was so strong, however, that the professors denied their eyesight. They continued to say Aristotle was right.

You know what I wish? I wish someone would just climb to the top of the tower and push off a ten-pound weight and a one-pound weight and let’s just see which reaches the ground first.  That would finally prove who is right and who is wrong.  But wait…Galileo did that and still no one believed him.  Even with the authority of obvious visible proof, i.e. the two weights reached the ground at the same time, the professors did not believe.

The problem here is obvious. Most people are going to believe what they
have always believed regardless of the facts.

But something different occurred in the life of Jesus; something persuasive.  Mark records that when Jesus came to Capernaum, on the Sabbath day, and entered the synagogue and taught, the crowds were astounded.  Why? One word…Authority.  He taught, not as the scribes taught, but as one having authority.

The scribes were the learned people and teachers of the Jewish nation and were principally Pharisees.  But they consumed much of their time in useless disputes and “vain jangling.”  Jesus was open, plain, grave, and His message was useful. Jesus moved from a past tense message to a present tense message. He delivered the truths of God and did not spend His time in trifling disputes and debating questions of no importance.  

How do you help people understand the truths of God?  We need to learn from Jesus that it is not in arguments and endless debates.  It is in speaking about what you know, not what you don’t know.  It’s about having conviction and passion, not just facts. And it is also learning how to relate that knowledge in love. Above all, Jesus loved others unconditionally and with a pure heart. When we can provide the truth of Jesus Christ and relate it in love to a hungry world, they will be very receptive. 

But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion, wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions.
1 Timothy 1:5-7

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