Knowing and Believing
May 4, 2020 2011
Whenever people are afraid and when their faith is wavering, and they ask Jesus a “knowledge” question, he never answers with a “knowledge” answer. Jesus always answers with an invitation to enter into a deeper relationship with him.
In John 14:6, Thomas asks Jesus a “knowledge” question. He asks Jesus where he is going. In effect, he is saying, “If you tell us where you’re going, then we will know how to get there.”
Look at how Jesus responds to Thomas,
“I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6).
With these words, Jesus doesn’t give Thomas more knowledge. Instead, he is inviting Thomas to enter into a deeper relationship with him.
Why doesn’t Jesus give Thomas more information in order to increase his faith? Because Jesus knows that it’s not knowledge that builds faith; it’s relationship. When you have the right relationship, then you will believe.
The fall in the Garden of Eden was occasioned by the wrong pursuit of knowledge. But all along, God just wanted them to trust him.
Christ undoes the curse of the fall, not by knowledge, but by foolishness:
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate”
True faith grows as your relationship with Jesus deepens.
There are two central trees in the Bible. The first one is the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The second one is the Tree of Calvary, which reveals the truest and best knowledge, which is Christ crucified, the wisdom of God.
The first tree represents knowledge which belongs only to God. It is knowledge that humanity cannot have, because that knowledge belongs only to the one who is judge over all.
The best and ultimate knowledge is to know Jesus and him crucified. The Bible calls this “foolishness,” because it’s foolishness in the eyes of the world. The Cross undoes the vile results of the fall. The second tree destroys the first.
Knowledge of the Bible and its teachings, and knowledge about the evidences for why Christianity is true can be very important indeed. They can play a role in making people look at who Jesus is, and at his teachings. God definitely wants you to use your brain. But mere intellectual knowledge can never ultimately grow your faith and bring you closer to God. That’s why in the Bible, you find examples of people, like the Centurion and the Syro-Phoenician woman, who knew very little, but had the greatest faith, while those who knew the most, like the Pharisees and the Scribes, have the least.
Don’t be tempted by the false idea that the more knowledge you have, the more your faith will develop. True faith grows as your relationship with Jesus deepens. The deeper your relationship with him, the more your faith will grow, and the more you will know of what is truly worth knowing.