There is a temptation to tune out when we hear a sermon on a passage we have already done the hard work of exegeting ourselves. There is a tendency in my own life to think that I already know that.
When I find myself in this place, I have found it helpful to consider the life of John the Baptist. He already knew that Jesus was the Lamb sent to take away the sin of the world. While the Gospel is a message, it is a message the entails a response. We are all commanded to submit our lives to their rightful king. The Gospel repeatedly tells us to repent. The Gospel, indeed, challenges us to consider that what we thought we knew we didn’t really know.
What is more, in light of God’s sovereignty over footsteps and tongues, could it be that God has ordained that you sit in that pew and listen to that sermon by that pastor regarding a passage you spent hours writing a paper on? Could it be that God has more for you to know? You have more to do with the passage than write a paper.
More data gathering is not the goal in the Christian life. Obedience is the goal. Communion with the God of the universe by giving a cup of cold water to someone in need. Visiting the person in prison. Feeding the hungry. Helping the orphan and the widow.
I can’t help but think that for all our knowledge, we are stupid. Oh, that we would humble ourselves and consider that we don’t know it all already.