YET IN 101?

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"Then answered Peter and said unto him, Declare unto us this parable. 16 And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding?" (Matthew 15:16, KJV).

Jesus told the multitude that it's not what goes into the mouth that defiles but that which comes out of the mouth (that is, from the heart of man). Not only were the Pharisees offended but Peter and the disciples didn't understand the point of what Jesus was making. Peter called it a parable and asked Jesus to explain it to them.

Jesus responded by asking Peter if after all this time, was he yet without understanding?

The Greek word for "yet" in the KJV is acme ("point, just now, still"). After all this time with Jesus did the disciples still not understand His teaching? Had they come all the way to this point (acme) in the ministry and must begin classes over again? I wonder how Peter must have felt being told he'd not been a good student? Jesus had worked with him and the others for all this time and implied that He might have to start again at the beginning.

There was a college student learning a second language. He had done well in the first class 101, but he was scared to start the second class 102. He was afraid he wasn't "yet" ready. So he audited the same 101 class. The same class, same teacher. It was boring to him. He had already gone through 101. He should have gone on to the next step 102 where he could have grown in the language. Yet he was stuck in 101.

Perhaps that's where we are now in our Christian pilgrimage. We may be stuck in gospel 101 and bored with our journey. We aren't pressing forward to the goal that was set back there when we first believed and were baptized and arose from the water a new creature (Romans 6:4-5).

Peter learned his lessons and under the Spirit's guidance urges us to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18).

We are to grow in Christ's grace.

How? Can we not seek to imitate Jesus who from a child grew in the favor of the Father in Heaven? "And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man" (Luke 2:52). From the moment of our new birth as babes in Christ we can increase in the grace that we have been blessed with. How did Jesus increase in favor with God and man? His deportment would have noticed and honored by mankind. So it would have been his conduct before God was such as to please HIm. Jesus was sinless. We sin according to John in his first epistle, 1:9, but "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." We walk daily in the light of His word and we have fellowship with God and Jesus (1:7). We do not practice sin because our agenda is to live free from sin. John further teaches sin is lawlessness (3:4). In order for us to be righteous, we have to practice. Practice doing right (3:7). We cannot ignore our agenda nor our goal because we have committed to not sin in our new birth (3:9).

By grace we have been saved through the faith [of the gospel] (Ephesians 2:8). The grace in the gospel tells us we are a new creation toward (epi) doing good works (Ephesians 2:10). Where have we come in our growth of good doings for man to honor our Father in Heaven (Matthew 5:16)?

We are to grow in knowledge.

"How would a man eat an elephant meal?" That's a question that's repeated often to remind us of the old saying, "Rome was not built in a day." We eat a little at a time. We build a little at a time. We study a little at a time. We don't know and understand the meat of the teaching of Jesus on day one (Hebrews 5:14). We begin first with the milk of the Word (1 Peter 2:1). We add a little daily. Eventually we will be eating the meat of the Word IF we do not tire and dilly dally like Little Red Riding Hood.

We keep on studying (2 Timothy 2:15) and growing because we will reap eventually our work and toil in the Lord. "For we know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain" (1 Corinthians 16:58).

Isaiah 28:10 "For precept [must be] upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, [and] there a little."

-Gaylon West

Throw Out the Lifeline