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Archive for November 7th, 2009

THE KEY OF KNOWLEDGE

The Key of Knowledge

The Key of Knowledge

“Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge; you did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering.” (Luke 11:52)

My fellow pilgrims,

There is nothing more important to “entering the Kingdom” than spiritual knowledge.  I say “spiritual” because our modern mentality seems to think that the only kind of knowledge is intellectual or conceptual.

When speaking of “Knowledge of God” scripture is not referring to intellectual knowledge but of an intimate “knowledge” of the person of God that can only come through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  John’s Gospel clearly tells us that … “No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.” (John 1:18)

The reason that Jesus accuses the scribes[1] for taking away the “key of knowledge” was that, as the custodians of the Word of God, they were interpreting the Word in a legalistic manner, mainly to maintain control over the people and augment their own religious stature rather than to help the people understand  the spirit of the Word rather than the letter.  As a result they were obscuring the Good News of the Father’s Love and true character of the Messiah who would manifest that love to Israel.

As a result, through their culturally biased teaching they were hindering those disciples to were drawn to Christ by presenting a human-based interpretation of the Word  and the prophesies relating to the Messiah.

The Word of God in the Old testament was not only meant to be God’s way of guiding His people into  how to live a full life in His Love but really He intended that through the Word they would come to understand His Love for them and thereby come to know His person and thus  through that knowledge enter into a relationship with Him . That is why He said through the prophet Hosea that He desires steadfast love and not sacrifice (Hos. 6:6).

In the New Testament He reveals His love through His Son and it is through His Son, the Living Word of God, that He reveals himself to us so that through Jesus we may enter into the true intimacy of Knowledge He desires for us; a knowledge that comes only through a relationship with Him through Jesus His Son. It is this gift or “Spirit” of Knowledge which Isaiah  prophesied would be  one of the seven spiritual character traits of the Messiah, (Is. 11:1-3) and ours when we are baptized by the Spirit into Christ (Rom. 6:3, Gal. 3:27).

Simon Peter, our first pope, who ought to know about the Keys to the Kingdom, states the following in his second epistle:

2Pet. 1:1 Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have received a faith as precious as ours through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:
2Pet. 1:2 May grace and peace be yours in abundance in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
2Pet. 1:3 His divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

…..

2Pet. 1:8 For if these things are yours and are increasing among you, they keep you from being ineffective and unfruitful     in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2Pet. 1:9 For anyone who lacks these things is nearsighted and blind, and is forgetful of the cleansing of past sins.
2Pet. 1:10 Therefore, brothers and sisters, be all the more eager to confirm your call and election, for if you do this, you will never stumble.
2Pet. 1:11 For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly provided for you.

Later in this epistle Peter also exhorts all Christians that this gift needs to be nurtured so that through this gift we may grow spiritually.

2Pet. 3:17 You therefore, beloved, since you are forewarned, beware that you are not carried away with the error of the lawless and lose your own stability.
2Pet. 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen

As one of the sanctifying gifts we receive at baptism and conversion, growing in the gift of knowledge is key to the process of being conformed to the image of Christ (Rom. 8:29). It is not a gift that we can just take for granted, it is a gift that has to be received and acted on daily through an act of our will. All we have to do is ask in faith.

St. Paul, through his epistle to the Colossians, exhorts us about this process of renewing the new self as follows:

Col. 1:9 For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
Col. 1:10 so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God.

……

Col. 3:9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices
Col. 3:10 and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator.

But how, you may ask… “can I come to this ‘knowledge’ of which you speak? I have been baptized and confirmed but I don’t know whether I have such knowledge. And although I consider myself a faithful Christian, I ‘m not sure I can say I have a “personal” relationship with Jesus.”

My dear brother or sister in Christ, let me assure you all you have to do to intiate a relationship to Jesus is to sincerely ask in prayer and faith for Him to come into your Heart and reveal himself to you!

Of course, when I say sincerely, I mean that you are willing to surrender yourself to his Love and let Him reign as King in your life.

When you do this, the Holy Spirit will activate your spirit so that you become sensitive to His presence in you.  He will also activate your prayer life so that you may dialogue with Him and strengthen your relationship as you let him tell you about yourself and the Love He has for you! The fruit you then bear will, in itself, be a witness of His Life in you and of His relationship with you; for without Him you can do nothing (John 15:51)!

“So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:9-13)

Then, in order to nurture the relationship and grow in Him, turn to His Word and meditate daily on it so that the Holy Spirit may continue to communicate the Knowledge of Him through His Word.

“My child, if you accept my words and treasure up my commandments within you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding;

if you indeed cry out for insight, and raise your voice for understanding;

if you seek it like silver, and search for it as for hidden treasures—

then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. “ (Prov. 2:1-5)

Thus scripture reveals to us how the seven sanctifying gifts of the Spirit interact in us to activate the transforming gift of knowledge which brings us into conformity to Christ.

May the Lord richly bless you as you proceed on your walk with Him to whom all honor and glory belong! Praised be His Holy Name!

Your Brother in Christ … Bartimaeus

© B.R.Timeo and Bartimaeus’ Quiet Place, [2008-2009]


[1] The scribes were also responsible for teaching and interpreting the “Law” or the Torah to the Jewish people. Because of this they were also sometimes termed “lawyers”

 

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