Read Matthew 10:39
39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it. (NIV)
This is one of many paradoxical statements in the Bible. Two apparently opposite things are stated in such a way as to convey truth. There are many others. Jesus being both God and man; God being both very different and very near; life being full of joy and full of hardship.
If we can’t live with paradox, we will find it very hard to embrace the Christian faith. Down through the centuries, some have tried to iron out the paradox, resolve the tension, clear up the mystery. The usual result has been false teaching. The early heresies of the church centred on attempts to sort out just how Jesus was both God and human. In trying to sort it out, the truth was lost by a resort to more simple extremes.
At its heart, the Christian message is clear enough. You don’t need advanced education or a brilliant intellect to get hold of it. Then again, it contains within itself all sorts of tensions that defy easy explanation. Once we demand that everything becomes crystal clear, we are at risk of distorting the message. It is usually best to hold things in tension and not demand that all is readily explicable.
We know enough to be getting along with faith and life. As the American writer Mark Twain once said, “It is not the parts of the Bible I don’t understand that bother me; it is the parts I do understand.”