“Keeping a close watch on him, they sent spies, who pretended to be sincere. They hoped to catch Jesus in something he said, so that they might hand him over to the power and authority of the governor. 21 So the spies questioned him: “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach what is right, and that you do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.22 Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” 23 He saw through their duplicity and said to them, 24 “Show me a denarius. Whose image and inscription are on it?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. 25 He said to them, “Then give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” 26 They were unable to trap him in what he had said there in public. And astonished by his answer, they became silent.” Luke 20.20-26
God is way smarter than us. When the spies that were sent from the religious Jews tried to capture Jesus in false teaching, he out witted them. When they tried to trap him, he evaded them. When they attempted to discredit his reputation his answers were so amazing that they were literally left speechless.
Jesus is way smarter than us! It goes without saying that we are often foolish in our thinking, reasoning and understanding. God is not. Jesus, who is God in the flesh, is beyond genius level. His intellect, wisdom and knowledge far outweighs our own. So why don’t we trust him? If we agree that God is so smart than why are we still so dumb in not trusting him to lead us into all righteousness and truth?
At my current role at Baylor, I am surrounding myself with some very smart people. I consider myself a hard worker, not brilliant. My wife, she is a brilliant dentist, making only one grade level “B” in all her schooling. I joke that I also just made “B” as well (but on the other side of the scale!) My former boss and director Rev. Billy Abraham, D.Phil., was brilliant. A true scholar in philosophy, theology, Wesleyan studies, epistemology, and biblical studies just to name a few. Billy was a genius. His unexpected death on October 7, 2021, left the Methodist world in shock and loss.
But as smart as Billy is, or was, God is way smarter. If Billy could speak three languages, God speaks 3000. If Billy was an expert in five subjects, God masters them all.
Yet for some reason, we fail to trust God with out future and out plans. The Jewish spies sent to capture Jesus lost, time and time again. It was only when Jesus made the act of self-surrender and allowed himself to be arrested, beaten and persecuted, that they seemed to win. And then three days later he arose from the dead. (So in truth, God never looses!)
My point is this, trust God’s intellect. Trust his leading. Allow the prophet from Nazareth to speak into your experience. Read his words and put your faith in his hands. This life is way to difficult to try to learn on our own. Why not turn to the Advocate, the Holy Spirit of God, to lead us through every step of the way?
”O Lord God, I thank you for being way smarter than me or anyone else I know. I thank you for seeing the whole picture and painting my whole path on your canvas of love and grace. Come now, Holy Spirit, fill me with your power and love. Help me know that you are good and that you are God. Even when my love fails, your love remains steadfast. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen