Jesus Avoided Theological Certainty
Within the New Testament, the people Jesus seemingly condemns the strongest — and most frequently — are the ones who have the greatest amount of theological certainty — the Pharisees.
The spiritual leaders, the most prestigious religious institutions of the their day, the ones who were the most confident, the most sure and vocal about theology, were flat our wrong — and Jesus called them out on it. This should be a warning to us all.
Much of Jesus\’ teaching was confusing, complex, and often created more questions than answers, and that\’s OK. Even His own disciples were constantly misinterpreting his words, and they were continually asking Jesus for clarification and understanding. Knowledge and wisdom were not the disciples’ strong suit, but they followed Jesus despite their fears, doubts, defeats and failures — and so should we.
In my experiences with the church theological certainty is indeed one of it core mistakes. Every denomination is absolutely certain that their version of theology is 100% while all the rest contain errors in one degree or another. It is helpful to remember that this is nothing new when studying and trying to follow the words of Jesus.
It always amazed me just how out of tune Jesus’ disciple were about so many things. They just didn’t seem to get it until much after the fact. So, why should we all of a sudden understand it all? Yes, we have had thousands of well-meaning people give us their understanding. Yes, we can pick and choose among them to come up with a unique story.
The Pharisees were absolutely certain that they were right about everything. That is the major flaw of Judaism and they continue to stubbornly refuse to acknowledge that even today. But then again, are they really any worse than most of us Christians who stubbornly cling to one or another founders words.
Yes, many of Jesus’ words are confusing and complex and create more questions than answers and as the quote above says that is OK as long as we recognize the fact that we are all wrong about it in one manner or another.