18 March, 2016 40 days of change-Lent, 2016
Studious – And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man. Luke 2:52
The gospel of Luke teaches us that Christ Himself “grew in wisdom…”. I like to think it’s a safe bet that Jesus was studious in all He set his mind to. Sometimes we see Jesus as some sort of walking internet search engine who had all information at His fingertips, but this trades on a lopsided view of who Jesus is. It emphasises His divinity, yes, but let’s not forget that He is also truly human. He learnt to be a carpenter, something that takes many years of study and practise. In His devotions, Jesus would have studied the scriptures and meditated on God’s word frequently.
“Bookworm”, “nerd”, “geek” or “theologian ” are all terms I’ve heard (and used!) to describe someone who is studious. Dictionary.com defines the studious person as someone who studies diligently, who is careful and planned in what they set out to do. While none of us would suggest that these qualities are bad, sadly – and all too often – I have come across the view in Christian circles that to be studious means “doing things in your own strength”. Let’s face it, sometimes this view is just a smokescreen to cover-up our own laziness; we can’t make the effort to engage our minds ourselves, so we dismiss those who do.
Paul teaches us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12.2a). We tend to think that being a disciple of Jesus means being a follower of Jesus. But being a disciple of Christ is not a passive calling. The meaning of the Greek word we translate as “disciple” is actually best rendered as “learner”. We must engage our minds in order to follow Jesus well.
We cannot deny that one of the primary ways in which we come to know God is via His written word to us: the Bible. God has decreed that we should read about Him. Why is it then, when we have this amazing, divinely inspired resource readily available, we find studying the Bible such a boring or difficult task? Do we love God so little, that we cannot be diligent in our studies of His word to us? The average amount of TV we watch in the UK is 4 hours a day; can we not, for example, devote just 30 minutes a day to read a portion of scripture and a written commentary or discussion of that same passage? Let us not forget that Jesus Himself taught us in the greatest commandment that we should, among other things, love the Lord our God with all of our minds (Matt. 22:37).
Are you seeking to be a disciple of the Lord? Do you want to know God better? Do you want to know His will for your life? Do you want to know what He would have you do, how to conduct your affairs, and live out your time on earth? Go to the Bible, read His inspired word, take in those God-breathed pages. Let us learn to be studious like Christ!
(contributed by Jim Davis)