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Learning or Learned?

No one pours new wine into old wineskins. Mark 2:22


I guess that was Jesus’ way of saying you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.  I’m not sure if that’s true, actually.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Cesar Millan, the dog-whisperer has taught old dogs new ticks.  But, you get the point.  It is almost impossible for the old to accept something new.


And, the more radical the new thing, the more difficult the change is.  Unless it’s made by Apple, then it’s simple enough to be a great adventure.


Jesus’ enemies could not accept the changes that his presence forced upon them.  I understand. Who likes giving up control? 


The religious leaders knew too much to be open to change.  Their only interest in Jesus was to see if he fit into what they already knew, what they were already committed to.


Pastor and author, Brian MacLaren, has written that there is a difference between a learning church and a learned church.  (It’s dangerous these days to quote MacLaren, but I’ve often been challenged by his challenges.)


What is true about churches is true about people.  Learning people are open to change, growth and development.  Learned people tend to be closed because they are so convinced that they know everything already, and that what they know is so absolutely true, that they don’t need to learn anything new.  They just need to guard and protect what they know.  And, if they hang out only with people who agree with them, it will be easier to be certain of, well, nearly everything.


Are you a learning person, or a learned person?  How open are you to changes that Jesus might want to develop in your life?


Is there something you are learning right now?  Or, better, yet, is there something that you are resisting to learn?


They didn’t call Jesus, “Teacher”, for nothing, you know.  


  1. I heard about your message on Sunday, and it touched hearts from afar. Great insight. I strive to be open to continuous learning.