Critical Thinking & Faith

18 Mar
Have you
ever had a light bulb moment, an epiphany, that moment when you see something
clearly for the first time and go ‘aha’! After a time of ecstatic joy we often pose
the question, ‘What does this mean for me?’ Great moments come with more work
to do.
Peter has
one of those moments. Jesus asks the disciples who he is (Mark 8:27-30). They
reply what they have heard from others. When you speak to people about who God
is they often reply with other peoples answers. Rarely do you hear what they
think.
Peter gives
his own answer. The Messiah. Jesus doesn’t applaud him. No gold star for Peter.
The other disciples are told not to talk about who Peter thinks Jesus is. This
is a light bulb moment, which is going to take an eternity to unpack. Don’t go
off with undigested ideas.
Critical
thinking is vital to our understanding of Jesus and faith. We need the skills
of questioning, recognition, articulation and reflection to allow us to fully
discover who He is. Under the questioning of Jesus, Peter achieves recognition.
This questioning had been going on for sometime, always leading back to the
‘Who do you say I am?’ Peter articulates what he has arrived at.
Jesus says
don’t say anything to anyone. They were not yet ready to articulate what they
had discovered. They didn’t have the language, knowledge or the lived
experience to.
But when
Peter gets it right on the day of Pentecost he is powerful and persuasive,
fully possessed of the knowledge he only now glimpses. Jesus is right to allow
them time to observe, reflect and experience the truth they discovered before
letting them take into the rest of the world.

This Easter
we only glimpse the possibilities invested in Jesus, yet as we observe, reflect
and experience Him may we become empowered as Peter and the Disciples did.

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