3-Week Series: Double Blessing


Summary: Jesus gave his disciples a Pop Quiz on the road to Caesarea Philippi. Peter passed the test, but the world failed it. This Pop Quiz is also a Final Exam that determines your eternal destiny. We can’t afford to fail it!

Pop Quiz and Final Exam

By Pastor Jim May

Matthew 16:13-19

How many of you can remember your school days? For some of you it seems that it was only yesterday, but for some of us, it means dusting off a lot of cobwebs, and crossing a whole lot of bridges that we have crossed to come this far, and then just maybe we can remember a few of the days that seem to be so long ago.

One of the things that I remember about school that I will never forget is something that I considered to be a scourge of humanity; something that strikes fear into the heart of every student; and it is the single, most powerful weapon that all teachers have at their disposal to fight against ignorance in the classroom. It’s commonly known as the POP QUIZ.

Well, this morning I want to speak to you about a Pop Quiz. First, I want to see just how much intelligence you really have by giving you this little Pop Quiz that has been given to both Professionals (such as Lawyers, Doctors and Teachers) and to grade school children as well. Let’s see how well you do? Are you ready? Here goes!

1. How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator? The correct answer is: Open the refrigerator door, put in the giraffe and close the door. This question tests whether you tend to do simple things in an overly complicated way.

2. How do you put an elephant into a refrigerator? Wrong Answer: Open the refrigerator door, put in the elephant and close the refrigerator. Correct Answer: Open the refrigerator, take out the giraffe, put in the elephant and close the door. This tests your ability to think through the repercussions of your actions.

3. The Lion King is hosting an animal conference. All the animals attend except one. Which animal does not attend? Correct Answer: The Elephant. The Elephant is in the refrigerator. This tests your memory.

4. There is a river you must cross. But it is inhabited by crocodiles. How do you manage it? Correct Answer: You swim across. All the Crocodiles are attending the Animal Meeting. This tests whether you learn quickly from your mistakes and whether you have an attention span that lasts longer than 10 seconds.

These questions are put here to get your attention, but they really aren’t a joke. These questions really were used in a survey to make a point about the thinking processes of different people.

This morning I want to bring your attention to a passage of scripture that is found in Matthew chapter 16, in which Jesus gave His own form of a Pop Quiz to His disciples as they walked along the road.

Now Jesus never asked a question to which He did not already know the answer. He didn’t ask questions to learn anything of men, but he used questions to teach men and to get them to think.

It seems to me that the biggest problem with mankind today is that we don’t really think too much at all. Most of the time we act by instinct and not by advanced planning, goal setting, getting a plan of action and then constantly checking on our progress and then making course corrections so that we can ultimately reach our goals. Most of us don’t even know what a goal is, much less how to set one, and even less, how we could ever achieve that goal. We just simply react to whatever comes and make a split second decision based entirely upon how we “feel” and not on “logical thinking”.

But God gave us a brain that we could use to think things through, if we will only use it. For a long time medical science and neurological research had concluded that people only used about 10% of their brain capacity. Now their estimate has been lowered to 5% and even that low figure seems optimistic. I think, using the 1% of my brain that is active this morning, that there are a whole lot of people out there whose brain has no mileage on it all. Some of these folks are middle aged but their brain doesn’t have even a week’s worth of wear and tear. The sad thing is that the saying is true, “You must use or lose it.” That’s a sad thought for those who never read a book, or attempt to think about anything that would tax their thinking power, and just sit mindlessly in front of a TV or a computer screen for hours on end.

Let me give a few example of people whose brains have very little “mileage” on it. You may have heard these, but bear with me.

One man was in an accident at work, so he filled out an insurance claim. The insurance company contacted him and asked for more information. This was his response:

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