I hate being wrong. Hate. HATE. HAAAAAAAAATE!
(My counselor can give you all the reasons why, if you’re into that sort of thing.)
Lucky for me, Jesus tells me how to not be wrong!
Surely, if I employ His little formula, I’ll never be wrong again! Muhahaha!
(Of course, no one can perfectly obey Jesus’ commands all the time because sin. But, man, if I could follow His strategy for not being wrong just some of the time, I could cut out a whole lot of being wrong in my life, and, I gotta tell ya, that sounds good!)
The way to not be wrong, straight from Jesus’ mouth, is to “know the Scriptures and the power of God,” (Mark 12:24).
That almost seems attainable!
Here’s some context for you.
Not everyone liked Jesus, turns out.
There was this group of Jews back in the day, the Sadducees, who didn’t like Jesus because He taught something they didn’t believe in. Namely, Jesus taught there would be a bodily resurrection of the dead one day. The Sadducees didn’t buy that at all.
So one day the Sadducees tried to trap Jesus to make Him look stupid to His followers and other onlookers. They asked Jesus a question based on a false premise and gave Him seven possible answers to choose from, none of which were right.
It seemed to be an impossible question to answer in the Sadducees minds, but, if Jesus didn’t produce an answer, it would appear He was admitting there is no resurrection of the dead. Thus, Jesus would prove to be a phony teacher who couldn’t be trusted, and, hopefully, His followers would stop following Him.
Jesus saw through this strategy, and, instead of choosing one of the multiple choices the Sadducees gave Him, Jesus replied to their question this way: “Is this not the reason you are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God?” (12:24).
(I’m imagining this intense school yard scenario like in all kids’ movies ever. The group of Sadducees stands across from Jesus and His disciples. Everyone has his arms crossed as the rival posses throw death stares at each other. And Head Sadducee Guy steps forward, sets this trap, stands nose to nose with Jesus, and snarkily challenges Jesus to answer this crafty question he’s so proud of. (Yeah, I made “snarkily” up…what even is your point?) And Jesus mic drops the dude by basically saying, “You’re wrong to even ask me that because you don’t know anything about the scriptures OR God!” And everyone’s eyes get big like Jesus has just laid down the worst “Your mama…” insult. And dudes on both sides can’t help but let out loud, “Oooooooooooooo!” sounds (or, as the kids today say, “Buuuuuuuuurn!”). And Head Sadducee Guy turns bright red and two-hand shoves Jesus. And Peter jumps in and punches Head Sadducee Guy right in the mouth. And they all get sent to detention. Except Jesus. Because obviously.)
Back to reality…
After Jesus posed the rhetorical question that told the Sadducees they were wrong because they were ignorant of the scriptures (which, in fact, teach the resurrection of the dead [Daniel 12:1-2, Isaiah 26:19]), and the power of God (God is, in fact, powerful enough to resurrect people [Job 42:2, Jeremiah 32:17]), Jesus proceeded to explain why the question was invalid: it was based on the false premise that people will be married in heaven.
If they had read the scriptures, the Sadducees would’ve known there is such a thing as a bodily resurrection of the dead, and this whole silly scenario would’ve been avoided.
Then Jesus did them one better and dismantled their belief that the resurrection of the dead is not a thing in a matter of 2 sentences (Mark 12:26-27). It’s beautiful.
I’ve been a believer for 20 years. And, from the beginning of my relationship with Jesus, by the grace of God, I’ve been drawn to and felt the importance of knowing the Word.
Today, I am more convinced than ever, and increasingly so with every passing day, that if we are going to be the mature believers God wants us to be, we. must. know. His. Word.
We will never “arrive”. The Bible is not something we can master. It may look like a finite book with dimensions and a first page and a last page, but, it is really an unlimited trove of knowledge of an infinite God.
There is no exhausting it! The Holy Spirit always has more to show us. Always. ALWAYS! God can continue to reveal more things to us about Himself every single time we read it.
And, here in Mark, Jesus is not just telling the Sadducees, but He is also telling us: if you don’t know the scriptures, you won’t know the truth! Another translation says you will be in error.
I don’t want to be in error! Ever!
Partly because I am a prideful schmuck who hates being wrong. God is working on changing that part of me…
But I also don’t want to be in error because I cannot properly understand and serve God if I don’t know the truth. About Him. About me. About the world. About the Word. About how life works. About how eternity works. About everything.
And if I am not properly understanding and serving God due to my lack of knowledge of the truth, I am failing to give God the glory and honor and praise He is worthy of.
In other words, I’m sinning.
If we don’t want to be wrong, Jesus says we have to know the scriptures.
(Caveat: it’s possible to know the scriptures and still be wrong. Knowing and obeying are two different things.)
And there’s no better time to start knowing the scriptures than now. (Seriously, you’re reading a blog post. Go read the Word!)
(Also, thanks for reading this blog post! Please come again….you know, when you’re not reading the Word…)