What Do You Know?

What Do You Know?

1 Corinthians 2:2 – “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”

“I’m starving to death.” “I’m dead tired.” “I worked like a dog.” “I slept like a baby.”  What do all of these statements have in common? They are exaggerations.  You were not starving to death, you were not dead tired, you did not work like a dog, and you probably did not sleep like a baby (which is good because as the father of a 3 month old, babies really don’t sleep all that much).

Paul used exaggeration as well.  In fact he used it here in 1 Corinthians 2:2.  “I have decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”  Certainly Paul knew more than that.  He knew the church that he was writing to, he knew some of there names, he knew the reality of his circumstances, he knew the Old Testament stories and laws.  So why does he say “I have decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified”?  He wants to emphasize a point, and that point is this: It is Jesus and Jesus alone that really matters.  So when Paul says “I decided to know nothing except Jesus…..” he isn’t saying that he is having his brain washed and that he is forgetting everything else.  He is saying that Jesus is preeminent, that He has to have first place.

Jesus must be preeminent in Paul’s preaching, in his teaching, in his writing, in his trials, in his dealings with other people, in his life.  Jesus must be first.  In the context in which he is writing he is saying to them especially, Jesus must be first in the church.  He is why we do what we do in church.  He must be central in all of the preaching and teaching.  We must constantly proclaim Jesus and Him crucified, because that is the Gospel.  And as Romans 1:16 says, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ because it is the power of God unto salvation.”

I think Paul is also making another point here, not only does Jesus have to be preeminent in our lives, not only does He have to be central in the church, but He is also the lens through which we look at the entirety of Scripture.  We interpret the Scriptures through Jesus.  Take the example of David and Goliath, it is used many times to inspire us and to say we can overcome any “giant” that comes our way in life through the power of God and that is certainly 100% true.  But if we take that story a step further it is a story that points to Jesus, and His slaying of the worst giant, the giant of death.  He faced death on the cross and He destroyed it, triumphing over it, so that Isaiah could say “and He will destroy death forever” (25:8) and so that John could give us the hope of a day in which “there will be no more sorrow, or crying, or pain, for all these things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).  Jesus is the lens by which we interpret Scripture because it is all about Him.

He is the lens by which we interpret life as well.  All of our struggles and problems only make sense if we realize that He is in control, that He is working all things together for good, and that He is holding all things together.  All of our good times also only make sense when we see them as blessings from Him.  Life as well must be interpreted through Jesus.  Why? Because it is all about Him.

A theologian of old (perhaps Martin Luther) once said, “I preach the Gospel to myself each day.” Why? So that he would always remember.  So the he would remember the sacrifice that Jesus paid for him so that he might be saved.  He needed to be reminded just like we all do because in reality we are forgetful people.  Paul exaggerated when he said “I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucifed,” but it was a true exaggeration because in reality once we know that it shapes everything else that we do. It is primary and He is preeminent.