“Love Like This — with Intelligence”
United Methodists aren’t afraid to think. We’re willing to try to wrap our minds around difficult topics – not just for the sake of debate, but in order to think through what a faithful witness looks like in the face of the multiple challenges of the day.
Jesus wasn’t interested in debating trivial theological matters. He wanted people to know the truth – the deep truth — about their identity as God’s children, about their separation from God caused by sin, and about how he (Jesus) came to rescue and save and set them free to live in right relationship with God.
Jesus was a deep thinker, and he wasn’t afraid to allow or even expect seekers and skeptics and even his faithful followers to ponder hard questions.
Dr.Lovett Weems: “Leaders do not need answers. Leaders must have the right questions.”
Loving God with our minds – our intelligence — has to do not so much with answers and certainty, but with wondering, questioning, exploring, learning at least a little something every day — and at the end of the day having some concept of just how much we don’t know. Loving God with intelligence means learning that when it’s all said and done God is wise and all-knowing and we are not.
The Parable of the Good SamaritanLuke 10:25-27 New International Version (NIV)
25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]”
The Boy Jesus at the TempleLuke 2:41-52 New International Version (NIV)
41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover.42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. 43 After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44 Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”
49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”[a] 50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them.
51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.
Luke 2:41-52 New International Version (NIV)
The Authority of Jesus QuestionedLuke 20:1-8 New International Version (NIV)
20 One day as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple courts and proclaiming the good news, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, together with the elders, came up to him. 2 “Tell us by what authority you are doing these things,” they said. “Who gave you this authority?”
3 He replied, “I will also ask you a question. Tell me: 4 John’s baptism—was it from heaven, or of human origin?”
5 They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Why didn’t you believe him?’ 6 But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ all the peoplewill stone us, because they are persuaded that John was a prophet.”
7 So they answered, “We don’t know where it was from.”
8 Jesus said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”
Hear David’s Message: Love Like This w/ Intelligence