Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Mathetes: Knowledge and Life

Mathetes started chapter 10 of his letter to Diognetus proclaiming that to receive faith, a person must receive knowledge from the Father.

I thought he would continue with other steps, but he moves on to the Son and only implies the Spirit.

"For who that is rightly taught and begotten by the loving Word" would not want to converse with the Word and his disciples?  The Father sends is knowledge through Christ whose words are preserved in Holy Scripture and who is present in our corporate worship.  Jesus is always new.  He is "ever born afresh in the hearts of the saints." 

Mathetes lists all the results of Christ's lordship in the church.  He talks of Jesus, "through whom the Church is enriched, and grace, widely spread, increases in the saints, furnishing understanding, revealing mysteries, announcing times, rejoicing over the faithful, giving to those that seek, by whom the limits of faith are not broken through, nor the boundaries set by fathers passed over..." and he goes on and on.  There is no church without Christ.  He is everything to the Church; our supreme Lord and only Redemptor.

Mathetes ends his letter with an interesting idea.  I don't know if I agree with it but it is interesting.  He talks about the Garden of Eden and the two trees God planted in the center: Knowledge and Life.  God forbade Adam and Eve to eat from the tree of Knowledge.  Then, Satan tricked them into disobeying God and stripped them naked before him.  According to Mathetes, knowledge and life are interconnect.  There is not one without the other.  He reveals to knowledge the way to life.  I think it is something to ponder.  What if Adam and Eve had obeyed God and never eaten from Knowledge?  Would they still have Life?  Perhaps God would have given them fruit from the tree as the days went by in Eden.  Maybe he did not want them grabbing the fruit for themselves.  Knowledge is a gift from the Father.  Anselm is right, we believe so that we may know.

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