Knowledge has never been wisdom. We just live in a culture that doesn’t want to admit that.
I have always been attracted to studying theology. Seriously. I was the 9-year-old (Yeah, you read that right) who smiled like an idiot when the pastor was confusing because it meant I got to ask more questions. I was also the 5-year-old that was jealous of the 8-year-old sister because I thought she was the only one allowed to learn the Greek alphabet. I loved geeking out on theology.
If I’m honest, I still do.
God put me on the path to a Christian College 3 years ago. All that basically means is even the Accounting Majors have moments where they geek out about the Greek jargon in the 7th chapter of Mark. Its really fun. It’s even quirkier.. It’s totally safe ground for a Christian.
But it’s also incredibly easy to only gain knowledge and never allow knowledge to turn into wisdom. It’s that constant self-editing moment of asking whether what I’m voicing about my Theological passions and views is actually seen in my character.
There isn’t an accredited class on that, though, and I would be nervous to use that language with my accountability partner… So, we just ignore it altogether. We’ll get there. Sanctification (being made holy) is all a process. God’ll get to it in me eventually, right?
Whether you’ve got your feet up Spiritually or not (I love my temporary bubble… I’m just not used to my bubble), let me remind us where the break between knowledge and wisdom leads us.
If we stick with the wisdomless knowledge, we are the modern day Pharisees. I know Jesus called them Vipers and that makes it easy to paint them as some horrible monster within the Church. But let me point out they were the respected, loved and honored teachers of the day. Everyone wanted to be as respected as the Pharisees.
That respect came because of their knowledge. But their knowledge wasn’t enough in the eyes of the Ultimate Master, Jesus Christ.
Instead, God used people like Peter and John to build the Church. People who had the firsthand Scriptural knowledge but also the humility to admit when they fell short and needed help gaining wisdom.
There wasn’t much difference between the characteristics of the Pharisees as teachers and the Disciples as teachers. Outside of cultural norms, they had the same minimal foundation. But the most important difference was there:
The Disciples didn’t stop with Scriptural knowledge. They let the Master teach them wisdom in order to change their character. By doing that, they became more like the Yahweh they worshiped.