MARK 12:24: “Jesus said to them, “Aren’t you mistaken because you don’t know the Scriptures or God’s power?” (GW)
OBSERVATION: Why do so many miss the important truths of God’s Word? They can read the same verses and come to the wrong conclusion. And when everything is said and done, the words of Jesus sum up their false assumptions –
- “…You’re badly mistaken!” (Mark 12:27 GW)
To answer this question we must first give the background for the text. The Sadducees, unlike the Pharisees, did not believe in the resurrection. Therefore, before they even started, they approached God’s Word with a personal bias. Everything they read was interpreted through this bias. Both the Sadducees and Jesus read the same account of Moses with the burning bush. Yet, only Jesus clearly understood the truth that this was conveying. God was not the God of the dead, but of the living. The Sadducees had erred because they did not know the Scriptures or God’s power.
I can remember when I was a young man. I was given a Bible by my father upon my confirmation. I had gone through the confirmation classes, but it was something I did out of requirement, not as a response of faith from my heart. The Bible would sit upon my dresser, and every once in a while I would try to pick it up and read it, but I could never make any sense of it. I did not know the Scriptures or the power of God. It all seemed as mere foolishness to me. Then one day something happened!
At 17, after moving away from home and into my own apartment, I had a crisis of faith. I did not know what I believed in. I knew there was a God, I believed there was a Jesus, I had gone to church all my life. However, I had never invited Jesus to become the Lord of my life. I had never experienced the power of God. When I knelt in that apartment and cried out to the Lord, something happened. I encountered the power and the person of Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord. Something happened to my heart, and also to my eyes. The next time I picked up my Bible I could “see”. For the first time in my life the words on the pages began to speak to me and make sense. What had happened?
Paul addresses this in I Corinthians. He says,
- “We don’t speak about these things using teachings that are based on intellectual arguments like people do. Instead, we use the Spirit’s teachings. We explain spiritual things to those who have the Spirit. A person who isn’t spiritual doesn’t accept the teachings of God’s Spirit. He thinks they’re nonsense. He can’t understand them because a person must be spiritual to evaluate them. Spiritual people evaluate everything but are subject to no one’s evaluation. “Who has known the mind of the Lord so that he can teach him?” However, we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:13-16 GW)
What I did not understand, but what had happened in my life is, I had encountered the power of God through the indwelling ministry of the Holy Spirit! It is the Holy Spirit that opens our eyes and gives us the ability to see and understand the Word of God. He does not reveal the Word of God to hardened or proud hearts who try to twist it to their own devices. The Holy Spirit reveals the Word of God to humble and surrendered hearts who honor the Scriptures and hunger for the Kingdom and the Power of God. To these hungry and humble hearts, the Father delights to give the Kingdom!
Lord, continue to work within me both a humble and hungry heart. Give me eyes to see and ears to hear Your still small voice. When I come to Your Word, let me come as if it is the first time I have ever read it, and let it speak in its’ purity and power to my heart. May I not walk in the error of the Sadducees, but in the transforming and illuminating power of the Holy Spirit!
In Jesus Name!