Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday's Meditation: Jesus the Know-it-All

Consider the burden of the know-it-all: he must sit and listen to the mistakes of others: their opinions un-informed, filled with swiss cheese logic and day-old data. Above all, what he cannot understand is that, after he’s explained everything so clearly, no one wants to listen. Apparently not everyone cares about being right.
When the know-it-all meditates on the life of Jesus, he is filled with wonder at how Jesus could put up with so many idiots. Unless, of course, Jesus had a secret weapon:
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
If ever there was someone with a rightful claim to the title, Know-it-All, it was Jesus. Yet clearly, Jesus declined the honor. Turns out being right is not enough. Truth, meet grace.
Grace is love made practical. Grace empowers. Grace cares not for the argument, but for the people arguing. Grace has an agenda beyond the truth. Grace knows that the frustrated heart would rather sit on the sidelines and be wrong than be forced to run with the schoolyard bullies who are right. Grace turns its nose up at winning the fight and aims instead to win the person. Grace plays the long game.
Grace understands that merely knowing the truth is a slippery slope. The problem with knowing it all is the tendency to judgment. Even a smartie like the Apostle Paul recognized, "knowledge puffs up." It’s so easy to wander across the border between truth and disdain, to pity the fools who cannot see what is so clearly true. Before we know it we have crossed into enemy territory, even though we were right all along.
Sometimes the most insightful people appear uncaring and cold, like an oncologist who diagnoses the cancer but misses the human being standing before him. Insight is never enough. The line between insight and judgment is drawn by grace.
This week’s meditation can be applied again and again in the gospel accounts: Jesus was always the smartest guy in the room, but he was also the most gracious. As you bring the gospel scenes to your imagination this week, add one more ingredient to your musing: Jesus embodied what he read in the Psalms:
I will listen to what God the Lord says;
   he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants—
   but let them not turn to folly.
Surely his salvation is near those who fear him,
   that his glory may dwell in our land.
 Love and faithfulness meet together;
   righteousness and peace kiss each other.


  1. This is wonderful..and helpful. thanks

  2. My pleasure! Thanks so much for the encouragement, Randy.

  3. Liked your bio on Twitter, so decided to check out your blog. Depth, hooray! Will be subscribing...

    Great post! Thanks.

  4. Thanks, Denette! Students of Jesus sit at a big table: there's room for you and your voice--come as often as you'd like.