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Food for thought: The smartest man who ever lived

From The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard:

Our commitment to Jesus can stand on no other foundation than a recognition that he is the one who knows the truth about our lives and our universe. It is not possible to trust Jesus, or anyone else, in matters where we do not believe him to be competent. We cannot pray for his help and rely on his collaboration in dealing with real-life matters we suspect might defeat his knowledge or abilities.

And can we seriously imagine that Jesus could be Lord if he were not smart? If he were divine, would he be dumb? Or uninformed? Once you stop to think about it, how could he be what we take him to be in all other respects and not be the best-informed and most intelligent person of all, the smartest person who ever lived?

That is exactly how his earliest apprentices in kingdom living thought of him. He was not regarded as, perhaps a magician, who only knew "the right words" to get results without understanding or who could effectively manipulate appearances. Rather, he was accepted as the ultimate scientist, craftsman, and artist.

The biblical and continuing vision of Jesus was of one who made all of created reality and kept it working, literally "holding it together" (Col. 1:17). . . . Small wonder, then, that the first Christians thought he held within himself "all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Col. 2:3). . . .

At the literally mundane level, Jesus knew how to transform the molecular structure of water to make it wine. That knowledge also allowed him to take a few pieces of bread and some little fish and feed thousands of people. He could create matter from the energy he knew how to access from "the heavens," right where he was. . . .

He knew how to transform the tissues of the human body from sickness to health and from death to life. He knew how to suspend gravity, interrupt weather patterns, and eliminate unfruitful trees without saw or ax. He only needed a word. . . .

And one of the greatest testimonies to his intelligence is surely that he knew how to enter physical death, actually to die, and then live on beyond death. He seized death by the throat and defeated it. Forget cyronics!

. . . All these things show Jesus' cognitive and practical mastery of every phase of reality: physical, moral, and spiritual. He is Master only because he is Maestro. "Jesus is Lord" can mean little in practice for anyone who has to hesitate before saying, "Jesus is smart."

He is not just nice, he is brilliant. He is the smartest man who ever lived.


Don said…
Wow, double wow. I am always being teased for thinking deeply and wanting to get all the answers. They are all summed up, (recaped) in Him.

Andrea, check out my Larry Norman comment on "Beyond Words", Kathy Hansons blog. If you have not discovered her you will enjoy her insights as one who made her home a place of ministry.

You asked about Robert Capon, I have The Mystery of Christ and why we dont get it, and The Fingerprints of God. The latter discusses images of atonement. You have to overlook his scholarly acceptance of doubts about authorship and dating but he has blended Pauls inclusive language and left a place for hell. I love the way he thinks.

Blessings today

Don in AZ
Carmen Andres said…
heh, six degrees of Dallas Willard :)