You Just Don’t Understand
Text: Psalms 119:97-104
I. Some people are confident that no other person can possibly understand what they are going through.
A. “You’ve never struggled with addiction”
B. “You have more money, so you can’t understand my difficulties.”
C. “You grew up in the church, I didn’t.”
D. “You’ve never experienced prejudice.”
E. Do you have to personally experience a problem to understand its solution?
F. Each of our lives are unique.
1. I’m sure I can find something I dealt with that you have not.
2. And the other way around as well.
3. But does it matter?
G. Truth exists independent of the individual.
1. It doesn’t depend on the messenger
II. How Christ was treated
A. From the wrong part of the country - John 1:41, 46
B. Wrong ethnicity - John 4:9
C. No education - John 7:15
D. No one important listens to him - John 7:48
E. Not old enough - John 8:57
F. Hangs out with the wrong crowd - Matthew 9:11
G. No one special - Matthew 13:55
H. People set standards that do not reflect the accuracy of what someone is saying.
III. What does it take to understand sin?
A. Do you have to experience the exact same temptation, or does understanding the nature of sin and how it works suffice?
B. Sin is common to man - I Corinthians 10:13
C. The nature of sin is defined for us - James 1:13-16; I John 2:15-16
D. And the Bible is filled with examples - I Corinthians 10:6, 11
IV. Do you have to believe in something to understand its flaws?
A. I get this from Roman Catholics regularly: “I pray that some day you may have the opportunity get the actual answers you seek and begin to understand the fullness of the Christian faith in his church. Until then please stop criticizing what you do not understand and interpret to be true.”
B. Was it wrong for the prophets to condemn idolatry since they didn’t worship idols? - Isaiah 44:9-11
1. Does it mean Isaiah didn’t really understand idolatry?
2. The truth is that the idolaters did not understand - Isaiah 44:12-20
V. Do you have to know everything before you can say you understand and believe
A. Can you imagine someone saying, "I don't understand quantum mechanics, so therefore I don't believe in chemistry"?
B. Yet, that is how some people treat religion.
1. Some things are critical, but every aspect doesn’t need to be known.
2. Christians are expected to grow, which means additional learning and coming to understand things you didn’t realize before - I Peter 2:1-3
VI. Does your understanding make something real or not?
A. Or does reality exist apart from personal understanding?
B. God’s word is truth - John 17:17
C. Study of it gives understanding - Psalms 119:98-100
D. Thus, a young preacher can teach older men - Titus 2:1-2
1. He can teach women, even though he is male - Titus 2:3-5
2. He can teach younger people without being a part of that generation - Titus 2:6
VII. In reality, “You don’t understand” is an excuse to avoid listening to truth.
A. Let’s be willing to accept truth, regardless of who delivers it - Ephesians 5:14-17
Based on an article by David Diestelkamp