Many years ago, I saw the movie Good Will Hunting. It’s a story about a young mathematical genius. My favorite part of the movie is how the experts are amazed at his intelligence. The movie starts with the young man as a janitor at MIT. The faculty at the school put two complex math problems on a bulletin board. One of the problems took the entire faculty over a year to solve. This janitor solves it in ten minutes. He works these equations out secretly. When the professors discover who did it, they cannot believe it.
The young man was not only young and a janitor, but for numerous other reasons, he was also a very unlikely candidate to be a mathematical prodigy. He was from a blue-collar background, from the seedier side of Boston. He had never been to college. At the time he solves these problems, he is facing prison time for attacking a police officer. This young man, however, is the greatest mathematician in the world.
The rest of the movie shows that the greatest minds at MIT, and even the government, cannot compete with his intelligence. All who hear him stand amazed at his wisdom. For example, the CIA wants to hire him so he can break unbreakable codes.
A similar thing happens in the life of the Lord. In Luke 2:41-48, Jesus is twelve years old and is sitting in the temple in Jerusalem. He is discussing religious matters with the greatest religious leaders of the day. When they hear Him talk, Luke says that these experts were “astonished” at His intelligence. I have no doubt that they were like the math professors at MIT in the movie. They asked, “Who is this?” They saw that He was a young boy. When they found out He was from Nazareth, a low-class city, they couldn’t believe it. Then, they discovered that His parents were poor, working-class Jews who were untrained in matters of the Jewish religion. The boy Himself was destined to be a carpenter.
Luke says that even His parents were “amazed” at His wisdom. Of course, during His earthly ministry, many would hear His words and have the same reaction. After His first sermon in Matthew, the people who heard Him were astonished. They had never heard anybody speak with such authority (Matt 7:28-29). When He preached His first message in His hometown, all the people wondered where He had obtained His wisdom (Mark 6:2). They marveled at His words (Luke 4:22). Even His enemies reacted this way. Some admitted that: “No Man ever spoke like this Man!” (John 7:46). As believers we know why all these people had this reaction. He was, and is, the wisest Man and the greatest Teacher who ever lived. As in the movie, people could not believe what they were hearing from a young, untrained, common Man.
In the movie, there are scenes in which the genius uses an overhead projector to explain mathematical concepts that have baffled the greatest minds in the world. Some are jealous of his wisdom. Others just stare in amazement. Imagine what it would be like if this actually happened.
In the Lord’s case, it actually did happen. It wasn’t fictional. Some heard His wisdom, were jealous, and rejected Him. Others listened and understood that He had the very words of eternal life that nobody else on earth could offer (John 6:68).
I know that we have His words in the Scriptures. He and His apostles have given us all we need in order to live godly lives (2 Tim 3:16). We have all that wisdom.
Still, I must confess, I would love to have been there in person to hear Him teach. The great part about that is that one day I will. So will every believer. In His kingdom, the Lord will teach us. Even though we will have glorified bodies untainted by sin, I know that all who hear Him will continue to be “astonished” and “amazed,” and will proclaim that nobody has ever spoken like He speaks!
Just think of all the things we will learn from Him throughout eternity. Just think, as well, that He is coming soon.