The Apostle Paul urged Timothy to keep growing. “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” (II Timothy 3:14-15)
As learned as Paul was, he knew there was much to learn about Jesus. He wrote to the Galatians, describing a method he used to grow in his knowledge. “Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Peter and stayed with him fifteen days.” (Galatians 3:18) The Greek word translated “acquainted,” is “historesai.” In his book, The Case For Christ, Lee Strobel quotes Dr. Gary Habermas who reflected on the word in this verse. “‘…this word indicates that he didn’t just casually shoot the breeze when he met with him. It shows this was an investigative inquiry. Paul was playing the role of an examiner….’” It’s the only use of this word in the New Testament and it means to learn by inquiring or by doing an examination.
One can only imagine the many things Peter was able to tell Paul about Jesus. Peter had watched Jesus still a storm. He had witnessed Jesus walking on water. He participated with Jesus in the feeding of 5000. He observed many healings. He heard Jesus teach so many times using parables to illustrate truths of the Kingdom. He saw Jesus crucified and spent time with the Lord after the resurrection. Paul had much to learn about Jesus from Peter.
Our learning comes in various ways. We read the scriptures and discuss the verses with other believers. Knowledge comes to us through the understanding that teachers and mature Christians have from extensive study of God’s Word. When they share their knowledge we become wiser and more able to apply the truth to our lives.
God speaks to us through prayer. One night God spoke directly to the Apostle Paul about remaining in Corinth to teach there. “‘Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.’” (Acts 18:10) Paul remained and did much great work in Corinth.
God speaks to us through experiences. When Peter was asked to come to Joppa to bring healing to Lydia, he arrived to find her dead. “Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, ‘Tabitha, get up.’ She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called the believers and the widows and presented her to them alive.” (Acts 9:40-41) These actions mirror the healing of the daughter of Jairus by Jesus. (see: Matthew 9:23-26, Luke 8:49-56) Peter learned how to be used by God as an agent of healing by observing Jesus heal.
We keep learning and so must others. Learning must never stop. We keep passing it on. The Psalmist wrote, “He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children.” (Psalm 78:5-60) Paul wrote to Timothy, “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who also be qualified to teach others.” (II Timothy 2:2)
Let’s keep learning, and help others to learn also!
Pastor Ken Atchison
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com.