You Can Know
On one occasion this past week, I looked at the weather app on my phone to see what the weather was doing. It said that Salem was currently experiencing heavy rain. I looked out the window beside me, and sure enough, Salem was experiencing heavy rain. I had to laugh at myself, realizing that it would have been quite easy to just look out the window.
When we consider our Christian faith, it is possible to overcomplicate it. But it is also possible to oversimplify it. Perhaps it is helpful to draw a slight distinction between knowing the Bible and knowing Christ. There are parts of the Bible that are difficult to read. The person who says, “The Bible is so simple and easy to read,” is a person who hasn’t spent very much time with a book like Leviticus. Even ancient Jewish people wrestled with how to appropriately understand and apply the Law in different places and settings. This might be why traditions abounded about the Law. Essentially, there were commentaries on the Law, but the people allowed the commentary to become more authoritative than the actual Law itself. Also, in the New Testament, Peter writes that in Paul’s letters there are “some things that are hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16).
There are some things in the Bible that can be difficult to understand. If we say that all of the Bible is simple, then we are displaying arrogance and contradicting the Scriptures themselves. 2 Peter 3:16 is a Scripture which says there are some difficult things in the Scriptures!
However, there is something we can fully know, and we shouldn’t overcomplicate it. Perhaps it is better to say there is Someone we can know. It says in Ephesians 3:4-6, “When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.”
We can know that salvation is available to all people. We can know Jesus. Scripture guides us as we grow in relationship with Christ. No matter how much we grow in our knowledge of the text, there will always be something we don’t know. Even with that being the case, we should not be discouraged. The good news is that we can all know the thing that matters most— “Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2).