April 20

Text: Matthew 13:36

 Then He left the multitudes, and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, "Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field." (NASB)

How do you acquire your knowledge about God and Jesus Christ?  Do you study the Bible?  Listen to someone you trust and respect?  Associate with people who know more about the Bible than you do?  Believe you will “just know” intuitively what is correct?  Trust that God’s mercy will cover deliberate ignorance?  Or trust it will just happen—if God wants you to know, He will make sure you find out?

Knowledge that produces understanding is a lifetime pursuit for anyone who wishes to be Christian.  Note that not even the 12 Apostles had “automatic” understanding.  They knew Jesus’ parable, but they did not grasp its meaning.  They knew it was more than a story—it had a meaning.  They wanted to understand the meaning!  They asked Jesus rather than speculate among themselves.

Sometimes correct new understandings truly “stretch” concepts.  Peter was an exceptional example!  Though he was one of the first Jesus invited to follow him, though Jesus gave him the keys of the kingdom, he did not know of God’s love for non-Jews.  When time permits, read Acts 10.  Note it took 3 visions (verses 10-16) and a communication from the Spirit (verses 17- 20) before he went with the men Cornelius sent.  Still, he did not understand why he was sent to these non- Jews (verse 29).  Only later did he finally understand God’s interest in all people (verses 34, 35).

Even after Jesus’ resurrection and ascension and the Pentecost experiences (Acts 2), Peter was still learning and understanding.  If continued learning and understanding was necessary for an Apostle, it also is for us!  Know to increase understanding; do not know just to have knowledge!

Suggestion for reflection: Do I know enough, or do I still pursue righteousness?  (Read Isaiah 55.)

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 Copyright 2011 David Chadwell