Paul says in Ephesians that we can “know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge.” (Eph 3:19)
Curiously structured, the verse brings a feeling of limitation, of reaching a dead end of sorts where a towering wall stands. We raise our heads, stretch our necks and stand on our toes, longing to see what’s on the other side, wondering what it would take to know.
A few sentences before that passage, Paul tells us “that you may have strength to comprehend.” We need muscle to grasp the message, lest our weakness get in the way of seeing it in all its fullness, in all the extravagance of its dimensions. The ticket is not an above average IQ or a PhD from a well-known university, worldly measures available to only a select few. Paul breaks our long-held concept of knowledge and tells us that we can actually comprehend the love of Christ through a God-given strength, an attribute anyone can receive and develop regardless of upbringing, social class or education.
And if we do get the privilege to see beyond the limits of our own understanding, what glory would that bring? Are we ready to take a peek behind the curtain into the Holy of Holies, a place our human knowledge never before imagined it would venture into? Maybe that is why we need strength, because this all is too much for us, the vision — overwhelming, the sight — too blinding, the revelation — unsettling. Jesus letting us into the mystery requires every tiny bit of the might we can muster.
Isaiah 55:9: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts.”
1 Corinthians 3:19: “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God.”