Wednesday’s Word: Simplicity

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At that time Jesus said, “Father, Lord of heaven and earth! I thank you because you have shown to the unlearned what you have hidden from the wise and learned.” Matthew 11: 25

 

No one has to take an IQ test to get into heaven.

 

Scholars and theologians have written volumes analyzing the bible, and that’s good. New information about background and context provides a clearer understanding of scripture’s meaning and perspective. Nevertheless, brain power alone doesn’t enable Scripture scholars–or any of us–to act on what we know.

 

In fact, there are times that too much thinking can tangle us up. It’s easy to get bogged down in details, to strain out gnats and swallow camels, to debate the nuances of a scripture passage instead of applying it to our lives. Sometimes, keeping it simple helps us be “doers” of the word instead of just “hearers.” When we’re humble—and therefore teachable—it’s easier to trust God instead of our own analytical theories. Maybe that’s why Jesus spent so much time talking to crowds of every day people using down-to-earth terms. He used images like sheep and grain, images that were common to their daily lives, instead of writing treatises or having conferences with the religiously educated elders of his time. It’s tempting to allow education to pass for superiority. Jesus knew better.

 

God looks at our hearts. That levels the playing field for all of us. Thank you, God!

 

Prayer: Lord, grant me the open-mindedness that comes from humility.

 

Reflection for sharing: When has what you knew—or thought you knew—interfered with your understanding of the truth?

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Meditations

But Jesus answered “The scripture says, ‘Human beings cannot live on bread alone, but need every word that God speaks.’” (Matthew 4:4)

 

All Bible quotes are from the Good News Translation unless otherwise noted.

 

It is reassuring that Jesus called fishermen and tax collectors to be his followers. These were laymen, not Scripture experts. It is wise to seek guidance from religious scholars and clergy who have studied Scripture to avoid errors in interpretation. But the Bible is also a gift given to each of us, to use as a basis for prayer and meditation.

 

I’m not a Biblical scholar; I’m an expert only on my own experience. Following the Scripture passage is a brief meditation along with a question or two as a springboard for your own reflections. Please feel free to share your own thoughts or insights on the passage by adding a comment. All comments are moderated, so please allow some time for your comment to be posted.

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