Toward the end of 2019 I mentioned how aware I had become of just how foreign the person of Jesus Christ is for many Australians. For this reason I began to write some articles to reintroduce Him and I wish to continue the introduction.
He was born miraculously to a virgin. You would expect that if God were to come into the world there would be something significant to announce that. I can’t imagine that it was an easy job being the mother and father charged with the responsibility of parenting God’s Son. In fact when they were travelling and discovered that the teenage Jesus was not with them, the thought that they may have lost God’s Son I imagine would have made for some real anxiety. I was terrified of ever losing one of my children, but losing God’s Son, well that’s beyond terrifying.
As an aside, throughout history people have encountered enormous anxiety when they have lost God’s Son. To lose God’s Son is to lose the answer to human anxiety and indeed to open the door to it.
Well, as parents would, Mary and Joseph returned to Jerusalem in search of Jesus. They found him in the temple questioning the teachers, and everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and answers. The suggestion is that those who saw him as the student began to see him as the teacher. He was just a boy at the time but from the beginning he was a notably extraordinary boy when it came to the knowledge of God. His knowledge and capacity as a teacher would become more apparent as he became an adult.
Jesus as a teacher confronts the mind with truth, gives a heart to the lesson and addresses the human will. You could apply to do any subject and He could take the class – History, Literature, Economics, Business and Accountancy, Ethics, Sex Education, Politics, Environmentalism, Social Work, Law, Justice and so much more. Of course you’d expect God to have some wisdom on these issues if you have the wisdom to believe in God. You name a class and Jesus is there and the culture we are part of is indebted to his contribution. In so many ways special honour should be given to him, not as Australian of the Year, but as the God of our lifetime.
It is said of Jesus Christ that he is the wisdom of God personified. He is the one where we get a glimpse in history of wisdom on legs, wisdom in action and the power of wisdom for a blessed life.
The world is not bereft of people who thought to gain life through money, sex, and power only to discover its momentary satisfaction and the inevitable depth of disappointment when what they achieved didn’t resolve the deeper things of life. There is nothing wrong with food, beauty, health, house, wealth, sex and so much more. They are all great gifts of God, but when you fall in love with the gifts and not the giver, these things will mock the very significant sadness we experience within.
One man wrote, “If we are distracted from a real time connection with the mercies of God, so that our hearts grow cold and our mouths become reckless and our eyes wayward and our feet wandering, we are only one misstep away from life shattering catastrophe.”
That’s what makes Jesus as the teacher, the personification of wisdom, so important to our living and our living together.
CS Lewis wrote: “In God you come up against something which is in every respect immeasurably superior to yourself. Unless you know God as that - and therefore, know yourself as nothing in comparison – you do not know God at all. As long as you are proud, you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.” The Bible says, “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom”. Life without God’s wisdom is equally fearful but without an answer.