Thursday, July 13, 2017. We talked about the mystery of Christ yesterday, and I would like to stay at this topic for a moment. Even though we have a high percentage of Christians in some countries, it seems that Christ Jesus is still a mystery, even to many who see themselves as Christian. Do we understand Jesus? Do we know what he means with the passages which have been passed down to us through the New Testament? What about you personally?
Does he remain a Mystery? …
Sometimes I think that Christ remains a mystery to most of us. And in particular those who make progress realize more and more how deep the wisdom we find in him - and how deep the mystery of the gospel and the mystery of his life and death!
Let us talk about open available knowledge and about hidden insight. Of course, we all have easy access to some knowledge, we all know that Christ lived, that he preached, that he died and that the disciples report his resurrection. We all know that the church grew from its early beginnings to a worldwide eterprise with many fantastic things in it, but also with many problems.
The apostle Paul claimes that he was called to provide insight into the mystery of Christ, and to help people to understand this mystey. And indeed, his letters have been seen to do exactly that: to help us to understand the role of Christ. Look at the original words again:
1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles— 2 Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3 that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. 4 In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. (from Ephesians 3)
Learning and Doing …
Yes, we need to learn from and about Christ. We need to learn what he means, on the intellectual level. This is the level of abstract understanding, but also the level of images and parables, of comparison and concepts. But humans learn also on various other levels. We learn on a practical level, we do, we carry out. We learn on an emotional level. We learn to feel, leart to trust, learn to love, learn to interact.
When we learn, we build habits. Learning is education in its best sense. This building habits is quite important. We learn to make decisions. We learn to bring others into the game. We learn to give and to receive. We learn what freedom means. We learn what forgiveness means. There are so many things to learn.
In this sense Christ is a mystery to us: when we come to him first, we do not know many things. Most of his message is hidden to us initially. When we live with him, we can explore this mystery, and we learn more. So we gain insight, on all levels mentioned above. At the same time we discover new unknown spaces, we discover the depth of his insight and wisdom. The mystery continues, it becomes more exciting on each single day of our life! (Roland Potthast) ... more texts