How to Know Everything – Discernment Secrets

I know the title is a little ambitious, but this message is not about me teaching you how to know everything but exploring together the secrets of discernment taught by Jesus Christ. Just as physicists have been trying to figure out the theory of everything, religions and philosophies try to discover the knowledge of everything.

For example, one of the highest goals of Buddhism is to attain the wisdom of all-knowing or omniscience (sabbannuta ñāna in Pali).

Similarly, people all over the world want to know why we suffer, why bad things happen to good people, why there are wars, why innocent children suffer, why there are injustice, etc. There are so many questions in life that need answers.

These answers cannot be described by words but discerned by wisdom. This ability can’t be passed along but has to be cultivated individually. Then, how can we cultivate discernment?

We know Jesus knows everything, and Christians are supposed to know everything. Jesus said in John 15 that he shares everything he knows with us like a friend. So, as his friends, we should know everything. Paul said,

Those who are spiritual discern all things, and they are themselves subject to no one else’s scrutiny. “For who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Co 2:15–16).

Notice it says a spiritual person discerns all things, and we have the mind of Christ. No one can deceive us. I think we underestimated our ability as believers. The keyword here is “spiritual.” How can we be spiritual so that we have the mind of Christ and discern all things?

Sometime back, I came across a TV show based on a book about a man who studied finance in Germany. After graduation, he wrote for a financial magazine in Berlin and became famous because his stock predictions were precise.

At his friends’ persuasion, he formed a private investment club. The baseline for joining the club was two million dollars. It was in the 1990s, so it was quite a lot of money. About a dozen people joined, betting their money on his brain.

Their return on investment doubled every year. It was lucrative. Nothing could beat that kind of return. They wondered if he had some angelic or godly insight to discern the direction of the market.

Three years later, he decided to quit. It shocked everyone. Why would you leave when everyone is prospering? They suspect his ulterior motive. So, they had him sign an exit contract prohibiting him from working in any financial industry for five years. They also froze his assets for the time being to prevent him from investing his own money.

Despite the cruel restrictions, he signed the agreement willingly and returned to China, rented a small apartment in a small town, and spent his time there quietly like a hermit. Since his assets were frozen, he lived meagerly and humbly but happily.

A local policewoman fell in love with him after he helped her solve a criminal case. Discovering his abnormal discernment, she asked him for a miracle as a gift for her. She wanted him to turn a dirt-poor and destitute village from poverty to prosperity.

He surveyed the inventory of the villagers’ talents, skills, and hard-working spirit and brainstormed a plan to relieve them from poverty. To make a long story short, in less than two years, he turned the dirt-poor village into a wealthy town of entrepreneurs.

In the story, everyone asked how he knew what he knew.

Today is Palm Sunday. Before entering Jerusalem, Jesus asked his two disciples to pick up a donkey colt, telling them where it was and what would happen when they picked it up. It happened exactly as he told them. How did he know?

Some commentators said Jesus prearranged it. It doesn’t make sense because there are other examples of his discernment. For instance, he told Peter to drop the net on the other side of the boat and catch boatloads of fish. He couldn’t prearrange that?

When he needed to pay the temple tax, Jesus asked his disciples to cash a fish from the sea, locate a coin inside the mouth of the fish, and use it to pay the tax. That means Jesus could summon money whenever he wants. But he never exploited his capability.

In fact, a colt in those days was like a BMW, Rolls-Royce, or limousine used by kings to enter the city ceremonially. It shows Jesus could summon a brand-new Rolls-Royce whenever he needed it. He knew where it was parked and how to get it for a ride.

Many instances in the Bible show Jesus’s discernment. He knew he would be crucified after arriving in Jerusalem and rise again in three days. He foresaw the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. Everything happened precisely as he said it would happen.

The question is, can we know as he knows? If so, how? So, today, we will explore the secret to knowing everything based on this week’s scripture lesson. What does it require to be spiritual so that we can discern all things and have the mind of Christ? Let’s begin!

The Scripture lesson for today, the Palm Sunday, is from the Gospel According to Mark 11:1-11. [Listen to the Word of the Lord!]

When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples 2 and said to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it.

3 If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.’ ”

4 They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it, 5 some of the bystanders said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” 6 They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it. 7 Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it.

8 Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields. 9 Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting,

“Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

11 Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve. (Mk 11:1–11).

[Blessed are those who delight in God’s word. Thanks be to God!]

Mark’s version of Palm Sunday seems low-key compared to other gospels. Mark shows Jesus as a servant king entering Jerusalem with a crowd that disappeared sooner, leaving him to visit the temple with the twelve disciples and return to Bethany by sunset.

Mark’s version focuses on teaching his disciples and letting the story gradually build up in the following days to reach the climax at his crucifixion. These last days are essential for Jesus to prepare his disciples to carry on his salvific vision and mission.

Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem fulfilled the Old Testament prophesies, but it also opened the eyes of the disciples for discernment. Let’s look at how Jesus taught his disciples so we can also learn the secrets of discernment.

“When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples …” (Mk 11:1).

Jesus launched his final triumphal entry to Jerusalem from Bethany and Bethphage. Bethany means “House of the Humble,” and Bethphage means “House Of Green Figs.” Figs symbolized wisdom and abundance in those days.

Jesus wants them to remember humility bears the fruit of wisdom and abundance. It resembles King Solomon’s proverb, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” He taught them this because the disciples lacked both humility and wisdom.

Before they arrived in Jerusalem, James and John asked Jesus for a promise.

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” (Mk 10:35).

Notice their tone. They were not even requesting Jesus but demanding him to give what they asked. Jesus asked them what they wanted him to do for them.

And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” (Mk 10:37).

That means they wanted to occupy the top two positions in Jesus’ kingdom. The problem is they made this request right after Jesus told them for the third time that he would be crucified when they arrived in Jerusalem. They didn’t get the message.

They still had the hallucination that Jesus would be crowned as the earthly king when they arrived in Jerusalem. So, they rushed to secure their highest seats in Jesus’ kingdom without realizing Jesus’ kingdom was totally upside down from their imagination, despite that Jesus had told them several times. Later, Jesus said,

“You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. But it is not so among you;” (Mk 10:42b-43a).

Notice the word Gentiles. That’s one of the secrets of discernment. If you want to have the mind of Christ, avoid behaving like the Gentiles. Several times in the Bible, Jesus mentioned the difference between us and the Gentiles regarding our pursuits.

Another time Jesus mentioned this was in the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus taught us not to worry about the things the Gentiles worry about.

“For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things … But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Mt 6:32a–33).

The Gentiles consume their life striving for all these things—food, fame, and fortune. Those things block their discernment. However, if we seek God’s kingdom and righteousness first, we get everything else as a bonus.

Even the fringe benefits of Christians are better than the dream destiny of the Gentiles. So, if you want to have the mind of Christ, stop behaving like a Gentile and start seeking the kingdom of God and his righteousness, which requires humility. Jesus then said,

“and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Mk 10:44–45).

So, the next principle of having the mind of Christ is the servant mindset. Note that he is talking about serving people, not serving God. That is important! God doesn’t need us to serve Him because He has plenty of angels and heavenly beings to serve Him. But He expects us to glorify him by serving people. To glorify him is to please him.

The problem with Christians today is that we try to please people and serve God. What God wants from us is to please God and serve people.

When King Solomon became the king, he didn’t know how to be a king. Because of his devotion, God gave him an opportunity to ask for anything. Surprisingly, he didn’t ask for anything except wisdom and discernment to serve his people effectively. The Bible says,

“It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this.” (1 Ki 3:10).

Solomon received a blank check from God, but instead of writing it for himself, he wrote it to serve the people. God was so pleased that he promised to make him the wisest king on earth and gave him more than he requested. (He did mess up later in life when he stopped pleasing God and serving people. But that’s another story.)

The point is God wants us to please Him and serve people. Many Christians do the opposite. When you please Him, He bestows wisdom and abundance on you.

That was what Jesus did. He entered Jerusalem to serve people and please God. Just as God said, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” (Mt 3:17).

God was pleased because Jesus came to serve, not to be served, and to give his life a ransom for many. Jesus wants his disciples to get it by showing it to them.

Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” (Mk 11:9-10).

Hosanna means, “Please save us!” Don’t confuse this word with Hallelujah, which is a word of praise. Hosanna is a word of pleading, begging, praying, and crying for salvation from suffering, injustice, and oppression.

Every follower of Christ must hear Hosanna. It signals our opportunity to serve. If you don’t know how to serve, pray like Solomon for wisdom and discernment. Your prayer to serve people always pleases God, and He will bless you with more than you ask for.

Remember, please God, and serve people. That’s what being spiritual means: serve people and please God. Don’t do the opposite. If you love God’s people, God loves you even more. That is the mind of Christ that discerns all things.

There we have it, the secret to knowing everything:

1) Start with Humility to Bear the Fruit of Wisdom

2) Hear People’s Hosanna, the Cry of Salvation

3) Please God and Serve People (Not the opposite)

Let’s cultivate the mind of Christ who came to serve, and we will discern all things.

That’s it for today. I hope you find this message illuminating as much as I enjoy receiving it from the Head Office. Until we meet again, keep your light shining brighter and broader, and harvest the fruit of profound freedom, purpose, and happiness.


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