Blessed… I Just Don’t Get It

Now as the Pharisees were gathering, Jesus asked them, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” “David’s son,” they replied. He said, “Then how is it that David, inspired by the Holy Spirit, called him Lord when he said, The Lord said to my lord, ‘Sit at my right side until I turn your enemies into your footstool’?  If David calls him Lord, how can he be David’s son?” Nobody was able to answer him. And from that day forward nobody dared to ask him anything (Matthew 22:41-46, Common English Bible).

All my life I have struggled with math. I can do basic arithmetic but higher math, I just don’t get it. I have been heard to say, many times, “Math was invented by demon possessed people, out to drive us all nuts.” I also say, in full knowledge of its truth, I doubt I would be able to use the titles Dr. or Rev. if it wasn’t for my wife and her understanding of algebra and her ability to tutor me. Do do realize that I didn’t have to take a math class in grad school. A fact for which I will always be grateful.

While I didn’t take math in grad school, I did have my fair share of theology. I can safely say, at least some of it, I didn’t get. While taking one class I was required to read The Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals by Emmanuel Kant. I read the book ten times. I couldn’t then, nor can I tell you now, about anything I read. Fortunately in is a very short book. I cannot understand for the life of me why theologians think they need to write in a way that those who might read it can’t understand it. Kant certainly wasn’t the only author during seminary with whom I struggled to understand.

When I read the lesson today, I feel like I am back in seminary. I just don’t get it. I have read the lesson many times in my life. In preparing for this post I have read it several more. Perhaps I am a bit lacking here. Perhaps with this story I have, as my father told me many times (he understood math and didn’t understand why I didn’t) built a wall that prevented me from understanding.

Jesus’ logic is as follows, The Christ can’t be the “Son of David” because David said, “the Lord said to my Lord…If David calls him Lord how can he be David’s son?” I don’t need to go further with this because I am confused already.

But Jesus is a descent of David. We believe Jesus to be both fully human and fully divine. Would that not make Jesus a “Son of David?” At the same time, he is also the “Son of God.” I am confused by the denial of the human part of the Christ.

The lesson concludes by telling us that from that point, “no one dared ask him anything.” I can say, I get that part. I don’t know that the Pharisees were as confused then as I am now, but I would be afraid by asking more questions I would just deepen the hole in which I find myself.

I can’t help but lean on Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 13, “Now we see a reflection in a mirror; then we will see face-to-face. Now I know partially, but then I will know completely in the same way that I have been completely known” (1 Corinthians 13:12).

To what can you say, “I just don’t get it?”

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy and Thanksgiving,

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved


Spirita Spiro (Esperanza for "Spirit's Breath) is rather new in my life. But the blog is not. I began writing a blog several years ago. It lived under the title, "The Pastor Ponders." Over the years I have tried several different names and "The Pastor Ponders" always seemed to fit best. I am trying again with Spirita Spiro. For 27 years I was a full-time pastor in the United Methodist Church. This year, August 2018, I semi-retired (I can't actually retire quite yet) and began teaching social studies. It is something I have always wanted to do and if I was going to do this, I needed to make it sooner rather than later. So, I made the move. I thought with the career change there also needed to be a name change to the blog and other things, such as spiritual direction. Spirita Spiro is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 27 years as a full-time United Methodist pastor. Most recently I served as pastor of First United Methodist Church in Sweeny, Texas. I have also served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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