“I saw something in Mark’s gospel the other day,” Stan commented one morning, “that showed me that I really don’t want to be like the early disciples in at least one respect.”
“Wow!” I replied. “In what way do you not want to be like the early disciples?”
“There’s a statement in the ninth chapter of Mark’s account,” Stan said, “that indicates the disciples did not understand what Jesus was saying, but they were afraid to ask Him.”
“Oh,” I responded. “They didn’t understand, but they were afraid to ask any questions to get a better idea of what Jesus was saying. That’s kind of like sitting in a class, not having a clue as to what the teacher is saying, but being afraid to ask for fear of exposing your ignorance.”
“Been there, done that,” Stan replied with a smile. “But I don’t want to do that with God. And I think He doesn’t want me to do it either. If I don’t understand something I read in His word or something I hear from the voice of the Holy Spirit, I am to ask for clarification.”
“You think you’ll get that?” I asked.
“I do,” he replied. “I know that I will never know or understand God fully on this side of eternity, but that’s no reason for me not to make the effort to know and to understand as fully as possible.”
In fact,” he continued, “it seems to me that’s what may be at the heart of why Jesus said eternal life is knowing Him and His Father.”
“That’s it’s not just about life eternally with the Father when our time here is done,” I replied. “Is that it?”
“That’s it,” Stan said. “I think God wants us to know Him as well and as deeply as we can while we remain on this side of eternity, and if we don’t understand, we are to not be afraid to ask.”
Bible verses to consider:
But they did not understand this statement, and were afraid to ask Him. Mark 9:32.
But they did not understand this statement, and it was concealed from them so that they might not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask Him about this statement. Luke 9:45.
And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent. John 17:3.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your written word and for the indwelling Holy Spirit to help me know and to understand what you have for me. I confess that too often I don’t seek clarification when I do not understand something I have read or heard. Please forgive the foolishness of not wanting to know you and Jesus as deeply as possible. Please help me follow every step of your lead into the deepest possible relationship with you based on a continual pursuit of knowing and understanding. Thank you that I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Do you know God in the eternal sense that you have accepted His free and gracious provision of life with Him forever when it’s time? If no, why? If you are a Christian with the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing in pursuing the deepest possible knowledge and understanding of Him? Have you ever been afraid to ask God about something you didn’t understand in His word or from His voice? If so, what was that all about? If you sense the need for change in how you approach God with your questions, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?