Tag Archives: expert

More is More

In “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” the people who had seen the extraterrestrial vehicles in the sky, gathered on the hill in wonder and amazement, hoping to see more.  You should experience that attitude when you attend a church: people who have glimpsed a beautiful and powerful mystery and want more.  Sadly, many churches seem to know all the answers, to have everything tied up in neat bundles.  They have lost their taste for mystery.  Stay away!  Those so-called churches are dangerous; they have died.  A pastor who considers himself to be an expert has not encountered God.

When Paul encountered Jesus, it blew his mind so thoroughly he couldn’t see for days.  Before that, he was an expert.  After that, he wrote,

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
1 Corinthians 13:12

Been There, Done That

You remember the scene in the movie, Titanic, where the cocky oceanographer guys were skeptically interviewing Rose Calvert, the fictional character who had survived the disaster?  Once they began to realize she was for real, they presumed to tell her what the sinking would have been like, using their finest computer simulations.  She listens quietly.  Then, with exquisite understatement, she says, “Thank you for that fine forensic analysis, Mr. Bodine.  Of course, the experience of it was somewhat less clinical.  There is no substitute for personal experience.  No so-called expert or scholar can ever come close to knowing, not like the person who was actually there.

That’s what makes the Apostle John so interesting.  These days, we have self-proclaimed experts and scholars who presume to tell us what Jesus was really like, or even that He never really existed!  Those guys get a lot of exposure in magazines and news shows.  But John was there.  Look at how he begins his letter, the one called 1 John in the Bible:

That which was from the beginning (he’s talking about Jesus), which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. – 1 John 1:1(with my added emphasis and explanation)

Even back in John’s day, there were people who called into question the identity or personality of Jesus, who presumed to redefine Jesus according to their own preconceived ideas.  John said, “Baloney!  I was there; I knew Him, I saw Him, I touched Him.  And I know from first-hand experience that the Man called Jesus, is the “Word of Life!””

Let’s spend several days examining some of the best stuff from 1 John.  I hope you will share this with people you know who may have questions about Jesus.  John knows what he’s talking about: he has been there and done that and got the t-shirt.