MARK 12;24: “Jesus answered and said to them, “Are you not therefore mistaken, because you do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God?” (NiRV)
OBSERVATION: What is the “Truth”? Why do we so often miss the “Truth”? As we hear the constant debate of ideas in the news, how do we know who is right? Differences of opinion and debate are nothing new. They are as old as mankind. What is new is the 24/7 barrage of instant media. It seems there is never a break to the “noise” around us. Will the real source “Truth” – please stand up?!
Jesus was always confronted by those who differed in opinion, and loved to debate. One such case was an elaborate debate initiated by a member of the Sadducees. The Sadducees were much like the Pharisees in their religious piety, except they did not believe in a bodily resurrection after someone died. Using Jewish law, they created a non-existent, far-fetched scenario, in an attempt to trap Jesus in His words. It involved a woman who was married to seven brothers. Each brother died, without giving her a child. In accordance with Jewish law, she married the next brother so that she would have an heir. This progressed, with the same result, until she had gone through all seven brothers, and then she also died, childless. What is the chance of this happening? Really, none. It was simply a non-existent argument to trap Jesus.
Jesus’ response to this debate cut to the heart of the matter. In fact, in His response we will find the answer to the question – “What is the Truth?”. The Sadducees were extremely intelligent and learned men. However, they lacked two very important things. They lacked a knowledge of the Scriptures, and they had not experienced the power of God. Without these two things, they would never discover the truth, and they would be caught in an endless cycle of debate.
This is still the reason many people never discover the truth. This is also the reason we have such a difference of opinion, even among Christians. Most of our debates become circular debates. This is because we rely on our own feeling and opinions, and do not have an objective source of truth as our reference. This objective source of truth is called a “Biblical World View”. The sad reality is, most Christians, who profess that they believe in the Bible, really do not know what it has to say. This was the case with the Sadducees, and sadly it is the case with the majority of those attending church today (and those not attending). Ed Stetzer, in an article in Christianity Today, regarding Biblical illiteracy, states:
- “Our lack of biblical literacy has led to a lack of biblical doctrine. LifeWay Research found that while 67 percent of Americans believe heaven is a real place, 45 percent believe there are many ways to get there—including 1 in 5 evangelical Christians. More than half of evangelicals (59 percent) believe the Holy Spirit is a force and not a personal being—in contrast to the orthodox biblical teaching of the Trinity being three Persons in one God. As a whole, Americans, including many Christians, hold unbiblical views on hell, sin, salvation, Jesus, humanity, and the Bible itself.” (The Epidemic of Biblical Illiteracy, Christianity Today, July 6, 2015)
Without a “Biblical World View”, we will never discover the timeless truths of Scripture, that will guide us through the timeless and unchanging challenges and issues of life!
We need to know the Bible, inside and out, cover to cover!
We also need to know the power of God!
What is this power? It is the person and work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Apart from the Holy Spirit we can not understand the Word of God, and we will never discover the true nature and meaning of life. This power from on high was so important that Jesus forbade the disciples from beginning their ministry until they had received it!
- “And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Acts 1:4-5 NKJV
It was the Holy Spirit who would empower them (Acts 1:8), and it was the Holy Spirit who would guide and teach them. Without this power – they would wander around in circles, ever debating, but never coming to the knowledge of the truth (II Timothy 3:7)!
- “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” John 14:25-26 NKJV
As Christians, if we profess that we believe in God, and if we profess that we believe the Bible is the Word of God, then we must develop a “Biblical World View”. We must also receive His provision of power from on high! We cannot have one without the other. Without the Bible, we will tend to be easily deceived by emotional extremes and our own limited insight and opinions. Without the Spirit, we will lack the mercy, compassion, and power we need to walk in the truth, while also walking in love! We need the Word and the Spirit!
We need to know the Scriptures and the Power of God!
Lord, fill me anew with Your precious Holy Spirit! Give me a hunger for Your Word, and a desire to discover Your truth. Help me to always look to the Book, before I enter the debate!
In Jesus Name!