Thursday, August 30, 2012


"Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” Isaiah 1:18 Benny was a really smart kid I went to elementary school with. I was smart for a while too, but then for some strange reason in the fourth grade I got a “C” on my report card. I wasn’t smart anymore. Benny didn’t stop in the 4th grade, he just kept getting smarter. The saving grace in my unspoken competition with Benny was that I was much better basketball player than him. So I was usually eager to get out of the classroom and onto the court for practice. The court provided me opportunities to put it in Benny’s face (in the love of Christ of course). My dominance was assisted by the fact that he was about 4 inches shorter than me. But one day in the third grade, Benny beat me at my own game. Our coach had the team doing layups at the end of practice. In the course of doing the lay ups, everyone had missed at least one layup except for Benny and me. A teammate noticed this and began to provoke the competition. Who would miss first? So it went back and forth. He would make a layup and then I would make one. He made one. Then I made one. Then him. Then I, with a little bit too much confidence, went to the basket too strong. The ball ricocheted off the backboard, grazed the front of the rim and bounced onto the hardwood. The thud of the basketball was a dagger. He had beaten me at my game. I always respected Benny as the smart kid in the classroom, but from that day on I respect him a bit more as a ball player. I’ve met a lot of people who respect Jesus as a compassionate and caring person. On the field of kind words and warm hearts many people respect Jesus. Many even admire him because they know that in the compassion arena no one has a game like Jesus. And that is true. Jesus has exemplified for the world much about kindness and compassion. What many miss is the “smart Jesus.” I don’t know that we speak enough about how smart Jesus was. This is important because if we doubt a person’s intelligence it’s very unlikely that we will heed their advice, much less obey their direction. Very few talk much about the intelligence of Jesus. Some talk about his courage. Many laud his grace, his mercy, and even his devotion to God. But too few talk about how smart he was. People seem comfortable talking about his spirit and heart, but not as much about his mind. That to me is a missing link in much of our understanding of Jesus of Nazareth. If you’re a thinker, if you are a brain, let me just say it. Jesus was really smart. He was indeed the smartest person to ever grace this planet. The apostle Paul was one of the most well-educated, fiercest debaters, and sharpest minds of his day. And he found no problem bending his intellectual knee to the superior mind of Christ. In fact, Paul would pray that people might have the mind of Christ (Phil. 2:1) and he marveled at the knowledge held in the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16). I want to encourage you to continue to love the Lord with all your heart, with all soul, with all your strength and with all of your mind. It could deepen your worship of Jesus more than you thought possible. Jesus invites us, “Come let us reason together.”