Let Christ Silence You to Wonder
I'm observing a trend lately. It goes, "I'll say the last word, no matter the folly."
For several weeks my church has been sifting through the 21st and 22nd chapters of Matthew. Last week marked 113 sermons since we began the study of Matthew a few years ago. We've had intermittent needs and doctrinal inquiries which briefly paused our series, but the more consistent part of three years has been spent in Matthew.
This means we've studied every section (up through chapter 22) with a fine-toothed comb, trying not to miss anything. I'm certain we've missed some things, for "How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!" (Rom. 11:33). Despite the things we've missed, though, we've picked up a lot. One key idea is simply, Jesus was (is) the greatest teacher who ever lived.
On a host of occasions, he silenced his enemies--even amazed them--and brought the masses to a state of silent wonder (Mat. 7:28; 22:10, 33, 46; see also John 7:46). This phenomenon is acutely observed in chapters 21 and 22. I won't explicate the details here, but five times the best and brightest of Israel crafted profoundly difficult questions to trap Jesus. Not once did they succeed. His answers were not only brilliant, they were befuddling. And after they launched the gamut of their intellectual ammunition and failed, Jesus asked them a question for which (1) they could not answer, and (2) they unanimously decided, "Let's never ask this guy another question again" (paraphrased from 22:46).
Anyways, here are my musings: On account of logic, there could be no viable response to Jesus besides silence. In other words, in a world where rules of logic were understood and heralded, there was no appropriate rebuttal to Jesus. And I think that's why people remained silent after his statements. They simply knew there was nothing else to say.
I'm not sure that same phenomenon would occur if Jesus walked the earth today. I say that with a level of hesitancy, primarily because I know how its meaning could be misunderstood. Obviously, Jesus still has all wisdom and authority. But we live in a time where mathematically and pragmatically the earth is clearly spherical; however, the idea that the earth is flat is on the rise. Biologically and scientifically, men are genetically men, having both X and Y chromosomes. Women are genetically women, having no Y chromosome. And somehow that idea is contested, and a genetic male is taken seriously when his transcendent feeling of "womanhood" cries out from his baritone vocals. What in the world is happening?
I suppose as logic is trampled under a postmodern outlook, even the soundest words may appear contestable--simply because many are bold enough (foolish enough) to contest that which is obviously true.
I pray for those with eyes still open that they have the wherewithal to be silenced and astounded by the greatest teacher who ever lived. Let Christ bring you to wonder. As some soldiers 2,000 years ago once said, "No one ever spoke like this man!"