What Do the Experts Say?
These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life. John 5:39–40
Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby writes of the “uncanny ability of experts to get things hopelessly, cataclysmically wrong.” A quick glance at recent history shows he’s right. The great inventor Thomas Edison, for instance, once declared that talking movies would never replace silent films. And in 1928, Henry Ford declared, “People are becoming too intelligent ever to have another war.” Countless other predictions by “experts” have missed the mark badly. Genius obviously has its limits.
Only one Person is completely reliable, and He had strong words for some so-called experts. The religious leaders of Jesus’s day claimed to have the truth. These scholars and theologians thought they knew what the promised Messiah would be like when He arrived.
Jesus cautioned them, “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life.” Then He pointed out how they were missing the heart of the matter. “These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life” (John 5:39–40).
As another new year gets underway, we’ll hear predictions ranging from the terrifying to the wildly optimistic. Many of them will be stated with a great deal of confidence and authority. Don’t be alarmed. Our confidence remains in the One at the very heart of the Scriptures. He has a firm grip on us and on our future.
An Old Testament example of “experts” who missed the mark is the account of the “wise men” in the book of Daniel. King Nebuchadnezzar ordered them to explain his dreams, but these experts admitted, “No one can reveal it to the king except the gods, and they do not live among humans” (2:11). However, God enabled Daniel to explain the dreams, and he told the king: “No wise man . . . can explain . . . the mystery. . . , but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries” (vv. 27–28). The king’s experts were right to say no one can reveal mysteries except God, but they were clearly wrong that God does “not live among humans” (v. 11). The Scriptures tell us, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14).
How does knowing Jesus is God and lives in us through the Spirit give you confidence in this world of uncertainty?