It is written:
Mark 7:37-And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, “He has done all things well. He makes both the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.”
Recently, a friend and I were blessed to rewatch a debate between a Christian named Kyle Butt and an an atheist named Blair Scott. (I hope someday this debate will be made available on Kindle).
During Kyle’s first speech, he presented the traditional arguments for the existence of God (the cosmological, teleological, and moral arguments). He provided several some truly amazing evidences which demonstrate the amazing complexity of the universe, pointing back to the Creator. He referenced several scientists (some former atheists turned believers in Gods because of the amazing evidences like Kyle was discussing) in defense of his argument that there is indeed a God.
During his first speech trying to prove atheism, Blair Scott then attacked Kyle, claiming that Christian’s are anti-science and unintellectual. He did not address ANY of the arguments that Kyle raised, instead focusing on issues that were not even relevant to the discussion.
My friend and I laughed.
You see, it is a common staple of our day and age to simply claim that Christians are ignorant and do not believe in logic and science.
Perhaps one reason for this is due to the fact that many are not aware of the intellectual prowess of Jesus.
Indeed, Jesus Christ is a Master logician!
One author has noted several examples of this:
“In addition to the miracles and healing, Jesus regularly put on display his intellect and wisdom, and people gathered and were often as astonished by this sort of display as they were by his miracles. The Bible records several places where the people were “astonished” by Jesus’s teaching. Matthew 7: 28–29 says, “When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, because he was teaching them like one who had authority, and not like their scribes.” In fact, this was, in part, why the religious leaders desired to kill Jesus. Mark 11: 18 says, “They were afraid of him, because the whole crowd was astonished by his teaching.” At one point in Jesus’s ministry, he returned to his hometown of Nazareth. As he began to teach in the synagogue, the people were again astonished by his teaching. But they were confused because they knew Jesus and his family. There were likely people present who had watched Jesus grow up and knew his background. Jesus’s family were commoners, not educated and not brilliant thinkers. Consequently, the people responded, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother called Mary, and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, aren’t they all with us? So where does he get all these things?” (Matt 13: 54–56). At another point, having heard his teaching, the Jews asked in amazement, “How is this man so learned, since he hasn’t been trained?” (John 7: 15). We don’t know exactly what Jesus’s educational experience was as he grew up, but we can speculate a bit based on what we know a typical Jewish person would have experienced. Jesus was the son of a carpenter and likely apprenticed with his father, Joseph, to learn carpentry skills. Jesus also would have had some form of semiformal education in the local synagogue to learn about the Hebrew Scriptures. But he clearly became a full-fledged rabbi in the eyes of the people. How did a carpenter’s apprentice become a rabbi without extensive training? The people were astonished because he had all the skills of an extremely talented rabbi without ever having been discipled under and trained by a rabbi. We get some insight into the intellectual development of Jesus in a short passage in Luke 2 when Jesus was only twelve years old. In fact, this is the first time the Gospels record people being astonished by Jesus’s intellect was when he was twelve years old. Two verses mention the wisdom of Jesus as he grew. In v. 40, Luke says, “The boy grew up and became strong, filled with wisdom, and God’s grace was on him.” Then in v. 52, Luke concludes the chapter saying, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and with people.” Jesus not only grew physically, but he grew in his wisdom and intellectual skill. The point is that Jesus, as the twelve-year-old incarnate God, had need to develop his intellectual potential and talents. What does it look like for an adolescent to be filled with wisdom? Sandwiched between these two statements of Jesus’s wisdom is a story that helps answer this question. Having been in Jerusalem for the Jewish Passover festival, Jesus’s family departed Jerusalem to head back to Nazareth. Much to his parents’ surprise (and, likely, the horror that comes from having a missing child), Jesus wasn’t with them. It took them three days to find “him in the temple sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions” (Luke 2: 46). Let’s notice a few things about this passage. First, Jesus was sitting among the temple teachers. These were the elite Jewish scholars and likely some of the exact individuals Jesus would later confront. He was not sitting at their feet but sitting among these elite scholars as a twelve-year-old. Second, though he sat among them, Jesus had the posture of a learner. He listened and asked questions. Jesus developed and grew in his intellectual skill and knowledge as he grew physically. 3 Here in the temple, Jesus was the learner. A person who would become intellectually skilled must do a lot of listening, especially to those who are experts. Let’s just say twelve-year-olds are not well known for being good listeners, but Jesus was among these teachers listening. And he not only listened passively; he also asked questions. He sought understanding. In short, Jesus was seeking to be a critical thinker. The teachers, as Luke goes on to tell us, were “astounded at his understanding and his answers” (Luke 2: 47). Even his parents were “astonished” by the scene of their twelve-year-old sitting among the temple teachers when, in their minds, he was supposed to be on the way back to Nazareth (v. 48). These are the first of many times in the life of Jesus, as recorded in the Gospels, that people were astonished by Jesus. This passage is important because it is a window into Jesus’s formative years. Jesus was an eager and inquisitive learner who displayed significant intellectual skill in his understanding. In a way, if we want to know how to grow to be like Jesus, this passage tells us how Jesus himself grew. We can’t skip the process of being formed in our intellectual abilities. Jesus may not have had a rabbi under whom he apprenticed in an official capacity, but we do. We have Jesus himself as the perfect exemplar of fully formed intellectual skill, and we should strive to be like him in this.” (Travis Dickinson, Logic and the Way of Jesus: Thinking Critically and Christianly, 33-35 (Kindle Edition(; Nashville, TN: B&H Academic)
While unbelievers rage against reason, Christians continue to speak words of “truth and reason” (Acts 26:25) as we “prove all things” and “hold fast that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.