Who? What?


…“knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up.” 1 Corinthians 8:1 ESV

who what1

One lesson we all eventually learn is when we inappropriately place the “what” before the “who.”

When reading the gospel accounts of Jesus, I am always intrigued by His discussions with the religious teachers. Maybe it was their intent to trap him in His interpretation of the law. Or maybe it was their self-righteous attitude in their misunderstanding of the law. Than again, maybe I am reading more into it than what is displayed. But the teachers that tried debating with Jesus seem to place greater emphasis on the “what” (information/knowledge) rather than the “who” (a loving relationship with the person).

For example, when seeking truth most of us seek information. Yet God teaches that Truth is personalized in Jesus Christ. From the central core of Jesus, all other truths prevail. The who comes before the what.

When Jesus was presented with the women caught in adultery, the accusers (most likely religious people who place the what above the who) wanted him to agree with their interpretation of the Law. Jesus, in his graceful and impactful manner simply began to scribble words in the sand. By the time he stopped, all the accusers fled. Jesus than forgave her sins and extended mercy to a fellow human being. He placed the who before the what.

Now the “what” is important. Knowledge leads to understanding and wisdom. But knowledge without relationship leads to legalistic, emotional brutality. Therefore, as Jesus demonstrated, the “who” takes precedence over the “what.”

So the next time you feel like pontificating what you know, stop. Instead, emphasize the “who.” In other words, let love lead. For from love, the “what” is more easily presented. From love, the “who” is honored and respected. From the basis of love, everything else falls into place. Yes, the “what” may be important, but the “who” is always more important.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Jesus the Carpenter

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“Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon?” Mark 6:3
“And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” Matt. 3:16-17

What we know about Jesus comes mostly from the gospels. He entered into public ministry around the age of thirty (Luke 3:23). Prior to that time, he worked as a carpenter in the family business (Mark 6:3). A carpenter during the first century was more general than today’s specialist. Today, carpentry is classified in multiple categories from rough carpentry to finish carpentry, from specializing in roof replacement to cabinet making. In Jesus’ time, carpentry involved everything including general contracting, cement block building, and wood carving. Jesus being the eldest most likely ran the family carpentry business after the death of Joseph.

What makes Matthew’s witness come alive at Jesus’ baptism is the statement that our Heavenly Father made BEFORE Jesus’ public ministry. The statement was that He was “well pleased with His Son.” The statement was made BEFORE his Messiah ministry. Father God made the statement after watching Jesus conduct the routine, everyday life of business, family matters, and personal engagements for approximately thirty years.

Our Father loved Jesus not because of what He accomplished or did not accomplish, or was planning to accomplish, but simply because He loved Him. Up-to-that-time, living a private life, before the fame, glamor, and public testimony, Father God was well pleased with Him. Before the miracles, the healing, the preaching, and the teaching, Father God was well pleased with Him. Before the Last Supper, trial, death and resurrection, Father God was pleased with Him.

Our Father God loves us so much more than we may ever recognize. Every sacrifice, every act of kindness, and every matter done for His glory is known by Him and doesn’t increase His love for us. It’s not about the praise nor fanfare. It’s not even about the outcomes. It is having a personal relationship with the God of the universe who knows you because He designed you, gifted you, and prepared a place for you in His plan.

We now live in Christ and simply looking forward to the time when the same words from Matthew 25:21 are spoken to us: “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.” Imagine what a difference a carpenter walking with the Triune God could do today in his business, family, and community? Or is this simply just too radical for someone to believe?

I am rooting for you with Christ!

Yours in Christ,

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
* Great Business Emulates a Good God
* Be Radical…Follow Christ!
* Simply The Messenger
* Unequally Married

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