by Christopher Harbin

This content is part of a series.

Life of the Ages (15 of 52)
Series: Discipleship Part 2
Christopher B. Harbin
John 5:19-29

Sometimes, we want God to just give us all the details and answers to our questions. We want hard and fast answers to our curiosities. On the other hand, we don't really care enough to study deeply what God has already revealed. What we really want is some internal automatic knowledge about God and all things beyond this life without having to work at it or take responsibility for it. Then we find theologians debating with one another and never arriving at a consensus opinion about one question of the next and debating the interpretation of words or phrases. We decide it's not important enough to give it much attention or energy.

Mostly, though, we just don't bother to seek answers beyond our superficial curiosities. We want simple, direct answers. We want all the complexities reduced to a short list of phrases that fit on bumper-stickers. Then Jesus comes along and throws a monkey wrench into the whole works.

Jesus did not write a systematic theology. He did not set down for us a system of beliefs that delve into all the different nuances of God's identity, character, and the intricacies of life after death. He did not reduce theology to a specific creedal formulation. In place of writing a creed or a compendium of doctrinal thought, Jesus interacted with people, told stories, and addressed issues of importance as they applied to the people he encountered on a daily. He called his disciples out when they failed to grasp the importance of his teaching. He redirected them toward grace, mercy, compassion, forgiveness, and love. As we do, they struggled to keep up and understand him.

Like the disciples, we too often get ensnared by details that really don't express the larger picture Jesus called us to focus upon. While we concern ourselves with a pet concept or a package of theological ideas, Jesus does not always agree with our notions of what he should have s ...

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