I am reading a book by D. A. Carson , at the moment he is just about my favorite author. I am also in the process of observing my youngest grandchild learn to walk. I am also in the process of studying the gospel of John. How do these relate? Carson’s book is on John 14 – 17, I am studying John, my granddaughter is demonstrating one of the verses in John 16.
John 16:12 is a telling passage Carson’s thought is:
The latter is a more common barrier to the verbal communication of biblical truth than is often recognized. A brand new believer with no heritage of Christian teaching may ask, “Just what do we mean when we say, ‘Jesus is God’?” But he expects a far briefer and less sophisticated response than the believer taking an advanced Christology course in his fourth year at a graduate seminary. There might be many more things that could be said to the former brother; but he would not be able to bear them. In the training of new believers, this principle needs to be borne in mind.Toddling
My granddaughter has been about actually taking steps for the past couple of weeks. As of today she will walk quite a few steps and then something will upset her balance and she will go down. She will get back up. But she is quite unsteady. This past weekend the Route 66 Marathon was run in our town. We did not enter my granddaughter. She is not ready. Someday she may be.
In Hebrews 5:11 – 14 the writer rebukes the recipients of his letter because they were unable to understand what he was trying to tell them. Why? They were not progressing in their practice of the Word of God. It was if they were stuck walking like my granddaughter.
Christ knew this about His disciples. He promised them the Holy Spirit to lead them into the truth. It is the expectation for all of us as believers that we will grow in our understanding and practice of the Word, largely through that aspect of the Holy Spirit’s ministry in our lives.
However, it is my experience that does not happen with a large number of believers. It seems that they are content to eat scraps from other’s tables. Not willing to engage in the Word for themselves. If they stay in that state, they will never be able to understand the richer answers to the questions. They will not be able to bear it.
They are missing a lot.