Man has always been on a quest for knowledge. Ever since Adam and Eve’s fall to Satan’s temptation to “know good and evil” and to be “wise” (Gen 3), the knowledge quest has drawn men into sin. The Enlightenment failed because it sought to build knowledge through rational thought and the rejection of God. More recently, Marx (economics), Nietzsche (power) and Freud (sex) all proposed new knowledge that would bring man fulfillment. The dismal post-modern idea that there is no sure knowledge, seeks to deconstruct civilization into an atheistic, pluralistic and relativistic pool of confusion. The Internet has provided easy access to most human knowledge and experience including the promotion of darkest human perversion, just a click away. Politicians, media kings/queens and activists promote hyper-partisan opinions, gaining power/wealth, while dividing people into armed camps. Man’s use of the exploding levels of secular knowledge has not led to peace or joy.
The Powerful Knowledge of Jesus Christ
From today’s Gospel from the Mass (Mark 4:1-20), Jesus teaches a large crowd using parables. An excerpt:
 And when he was alone, those who were about him with the twelve asked him concerning the parables.  And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables;  so that they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand; lest they should turn again, and be forgiven.”
Why does Jesus teach using parables? Here’s why: (more…)
 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee, and a report concerning him went out through all the surrounding country.  And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.  And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up; and he went to the synagogue, as his custom was, on the sabbath day. And he stood up to read;  and there was given to him the book of the prophet Isaiah. He opened the book and found the place where it was written,
 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
 to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
 And he closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him.  And he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”  And all spoke well of him, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth.
From this, it is clear that Jesus Christ was a PR (public relations) Genius (more…)
In today’s Gospel from the Holy Mass (Luke 2:41-52) Mary and Joseph find Jesus in the Temple.
Here is a striking passage (one of many in this reading):
“they found Him in the Temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions and all who heard Him were amazed by His understanding and His answers.” (Luke 2:47-47).
- To teach in the Temple, a rabbi (Hebrew for “teacher”) typically had to have years of study under a master; for example, Paul studied for years under Gamaliel (Acts 22:3). Jesus was just a child, but was sitting amongst the teachers.
- Jesus amazes by His understanding and His answers. Imagine a 12 year old today, sitting with Cardinals of the Church and blowing them away with his/her knowledge of Scripture and the Catechism. Something like this would make for a viral video that would sweep around the planet.
- Jesus not only understands, but answers questions. When is the last time you asked theological questions to a 12-year old?
- It stands to reason that one of the sources of Jesus’ great wisdom was the upbringing He was being given by the Blessed Mother and Joseph. Do we strive to teach our children and the children of our parish with the same rigor?
- Of course the reason why Jesus astounds, is because He is the Word (John 1:1), the Logos, Wisdom itself, for He is the Son of God. It was astounding then and is astounding now.
It is clear that Jesus was a genius, beyond the genius of even the most learned men. This should not surprise us, for we believe that Jesus is the Son of God! While we shouldn’t be surprised, we should certainly be in awe of our God.
Father Jonathan Kelly taught at CatholicManNight on April 20, 2012. Here is an outline of Father’s address on the Knowledge of Jesus Christ:
Jesus Christ speaks from who He is and what He knows, not from what He has learned or what He believes.
- In the history of the Church, counsels arise to determine answers to what is being questioned at the time.
- First heresy was that Jesus only appeared human because of the amazing things He did. It is called – Docetism (from the Greek word meaning “appear.”
- Then the pendulum swung the other way, Arius said that Jesus Christ was created by the Father. “Was not before he was.”
- Council of Nicaea in 325 settles it:
- Jesus Christ is of the same essence of the Father, co-eternal, begotten not made (our Creed comes from Nicaea)
- Fully God and fully man, true God from true God
- Next question was, how is He both God and man?
- Council of Chalcedon in 451 answered, “Without mixture, without confusion.”
- Divine nature penetrates the human nature without changing it