During the time we lived in Alberta, Canada for my husband’s job, God allowed us to be part of an incredible ministry to spiritual seekers. Dozens were saved through a Bible study we led at our church. It was thrilling to see so many come to faith in Christ. But I still pray for one specific young woman who rejected His free gift of salvation.
I’ll call her Tracy. She came to a women’s study group we held in the home of one of our church members. Tracy felt her spiritual need and was determined to fill it with something. She studied with us on Tuesday nights and with a Jehovah’s Witnesses study group on Wednesday nights. Tracy heard biblical truth on Tuesdays and on Wednesdays she heard distortions and false teaching. I prayed for her and I presented the truth of the Gospel over and over. In the end, Tracy rejected the truth of Christ and joined the Jehovah Witnesses.
Tracy took the wrong path because she underestimated the power of God. Because she couldn’t understand the triune nature of God, she rejected the full divinity of Jesus. If she couldn’t understand it, then she wouldn’t accept it. So instead, she chose to follow a god she could get her mind around. Wrong belief based on incorrect or insufficient knowledge of Scripture can be eternally dangerous.
Jesus Called Out a Limited View of God
Jesus pointed out this truth to a group of Sadducees that tried to trip Him up with a complicated question. (See Mark 12:18-23.) This Jewish religious party possessed greater political power than the Pharisees because of their cooperation with Rome. The Sadducees rejected the resurrection because they didn’t see it in the Pentateuch (the five books of Moses), in which they placed more value than the rest of the Old Testament Scriptures.
After Jesus patiently explained that God doesn’t need marriage in heaven, He showed them how the Pentateuch supports the resurrection. (See Mark 12:24-27.) They had strayed from the path of God’s truth because they lacked sufficient knowledge of both Scripture and God’s power.
Jesus said to them, “Is this not the reason you are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God? Mark 12:24, ESV
They denied the resurrection because of their limited view of God. They didn’t believe Him powerful enough to raise the dead. Ironically, it would only be a matter of days until God gave them a tomb-busting demonstration. After suffering a brutal death on a Roman cross, Jesus would get up and walk out of His grave.
Like Tracy, the Sadducees’ eternal hope was restricted by their limited view of God. Their knowledge of God was restricted by their limited understanding of Scripture. At best, our own limited understanding will impede our spiritual growth and service. And at worst, a limited understanding of God may impact our eternity.
An “understandable god” is no god at all
Why would we want to serve a “god” we can understand? That kind of god is no god at all. But, thankfully, our God is not hindered by our faulty understanding. He is not limited by our lack of knowledge. We serve a God who is all-powerful and transcendent. The One who spoke the heavens and earth into existence will accomplish what He determines to accomplish. He will fulfill every promise. Our hope in Him is sure and eternal.
Let’s talk: In what ways might your view/understanding of God be limited? What will you do to expand your knowledge of God?
This post is adapted from Kathy’s 40-day devotional “Deep Rooted: Growing through the Gospel of Mark.” This meaty devotional will show you how to interact with and apply Scripture, not just read it. You may find the following posts helpful:
- 6 Reasons to Read and Study the Old Testament
- 4 R Bible Study Method for Everyday
- Are you Reading the Bible All Wrong?