“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”
Throughout the bible, we see God deal with people based on their level of exposure to spiritual things. The same Angel, appeared to two different people to give them a similar message. He told Zechariah the prophet: ‘You are going to have a child.’ He said the same thing to Mary. Their responses were similar: ‘How can these things be?’
But the Angel’s response to them was different. He explained things to Mary, but he was angry with Zechariah. I believe that there are two reasons for this. The first is the fact that Mary was not expecting a child, but Zechariah on the other hand had been praying for children for years. The second is more in line with our discussion today. Zechariah was a prophet. He was more familiar with the workings of God. He was familiar with the story of Abraham and Sarah. Perhaps we could forgive Mary if she wasn’t aware of God’s ability to work such a miracle. But these were truths that he handled daily. There are some questions that a new Christian would ask me that I would answer readily, but I’d be quite disappointed if someone who has been saved and attending church for a while should ask the same thing.
There is a similar scenario in John 3:9. Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews came to Jesus asking what he could do to inherit eternal life. Jesus told him that he needed to be born again. Nicodemus was shocked, and asked how he could go back to his mother’s womb and be born again. To a lay man, who has never heard the term born again, that was a good question. But Nicodemus wasn’t a lay man, hence Jesus response to him: ‘Are you a leader of the Jews and you don’t know these things? The scriptures, which Nicodemus was very familiar with, prophesied time and time again about the new birth.
It was even with the learned Jews of Jesus’ day. The Pharisees and Sadducees could recite off-head the scriptures that testified of the Messiah, but because of their hardened hearts, they could not discern his arrival and crucified him. This is something to learn from. Let the knowledge of God’s word be rooted in your heart. As you got about your day, let it shape your convictions, words and actions.