Knowing what we don’t know - Hope 103.2

Knowing what we don’t know

By David ReayTuesday 30 Dec 2014LifeWords DevotionalsCultureReading Time: 0 minutes


Read 1 Corinthians 13:12

12 For now we see in a mirror,dimly,but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully,even as I have been fully known. (NRSV)

We don’t have to know everything there is to know about the Bible or about our faith. This is a great relief. There is much in the Bible that is beyond our human understanding,some things we have to speculate on as to meaning. The historical context might be a mystery,the precise meaning of a word might be debated. It is quite acceptable for any of us to confess that we simply don’t know what a particular verse might mean.

Just as it is part and parcel of being human to admit we can’t grasp all the details of the faith we hold. We might believe in God,trust in Jesus,and be aware of the Spirit’s enabling,but we may yet not be able to satisfactorily explain how each is divine and distinct and how each comprises what we call one God. We might believe in the resurrection without knowing how it happened.

This is no excuse for laziness: we seek to understand as much as we can. We don’t lazily take refuge in having a ‘simple faith’ if this term means an unreflective faith. But we acknowledge the truth of our text today: this side of heaven our knowledge and insight is partial. This is no matter of shame,but of humble admission of our humanity. One day we will know it all. Till then we are far from ‘know-alls’.

David Reay