Summary: We claim to know too much, as we want to make ourselves elite, we want to close off new ideas. Know nothing but the servant heart (a sermon for deacon ordination).
The psalmist says, “He has put a new song in my mouth.” And so I took that very literally and composed a new song for church today. Do you want to hear me sing it? It’s called, “Blessed ignorance, Jesus is mine”
You say you don’t think you know that one? You say you think I got that wrong? Shouldn’t that be, “Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine”? There is a song by that name, but that’s not the one I have in mind today. My theme song is “Blessed Ignorance, Jesus Is Mine”! I do realize that this song will not be published in the next edition of the Baptist Hymnal. I am pretty confident it will not be sung around campfires at youth retreats. What is worse, Mr. Hart and Dr. Winfield have absolutely refused to introduce it at choir rehearsals – what insubordination, not to try the pastor’s new song! “Blessed Ignorance, Jesus Is Mine” How come nobody likes my song? Maybe because nobody thinks that ignorance is blessed? Maybe because nobody believes that Jesus is on the side of ignorance?
But there is an issue about ignorance and knowledge. There is an issue about people who know. You see, people who know and who know they know become oppressive. And, equally dangerous, people who don’t know and who don’t know they don’t know become anxious. If we are led by people who know the wrong things and who are ignorant of the right things, we are in trouble. I don’t know about you, but I get suspicious when I am around people who never have questions, but always have answers. I get uncomfortable with people who always have it together, always are correct, always are on the money. I get uncomfortable with folks who never, never say, “I don’t know.” Because there is an issue about people who know and who know they know. There is an anxiety from people who don’t know, but who don’t know that they don’t know.
Blessed ignorance. Blessed ignorance, Jesus is mine.
We’re in our third Sunday now in this 7th chapter of John. As we saw two weeks ago, when Jesus taught about who He was, that was too much for many of them. Some of them wanted their religion remote and cold, academic and distant. The last thing they wanted was a personal relationship with God. They wanted a dry, dusty, intellectual theology, not an intimate love affair with the Lord. Jesus made them uncomfortable when He taught them about Himself. But they did have to agree with one thing, "Never has anyone spoken like this!"
Then last week we saw that when Jesus spoke, He gave the powers that be a bad case of anxiety. They were interested in the law, but He was interested in healing hurting people. They were interested in restricting God for themselves, but He was interested in including all who were thirsty for living water. He scared them, this Jesus; He gave them a serious case of anxiety. But again they had to agree, though they didn’t like it, "Never has anyone spoken like this!"
Today the story reaches its climax, as the religious authorities in and around Jerusalem become thoroughly frustrated. They wanted nothing more than to be rid of this pesky Jesus. He was too much trouble, and they devoutly wished He would just drop into a hole someplace and go away. Have you ever felt that about somebody? They just drive you bananas, and you just wish they would somehow go away! That’s the way they felt about Jesus.