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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

November 28, 2023

The Bible Edge

Thank You Lord

Mark 10:40

But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared.

One of the four great characteristics of Christ that is seldom discussed is the fact that He knew His limitations. When James and John asked the Lord to grant them the privilege to sit on His right and left hand in glory, Jesus told them the truth. He couldn’t give that privilege to them because that honor was reserved for someone else.

He could not do that which they asked, and He clearly told them so. In this He had a limitation. Another time, in John 5, He basically said the same thing to the Jews that were persecuting Him. Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. (John 5:19) He could not, would not, and did not do that which He wanted or even desired to do; He only did that which He saw the Father do. In Philippians 2:7 it is written of another way in which the Lord was limited. But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: He could not testify of Himself in such a way as to build His own reputation, this was a limitation placed on Him by Old Testament prophecies about Him.

Yes, in some ways the Lord Jesus Christ was limited on earth. He never overstepped the boundaries placed around His life by His Father. May we too learn this lesson.

For example, many will take it into hand to predict exactly when the Lord will return. However, the Lord said in Mark 13:32, But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Later in Acts 1:7 when asked when He would restore Israel Jesus …said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. Just as He did not know some things, so too are we limited being not allowed to know some things.

The difference was that Jesus knew His limitations and lived within their boundaries. We tend to think that we have no boundaries, that everything can be figured out with enough study, or we can do the impossible through a strong will, determination, and hard work. But there are some things we cannot know and cannot do. We have limitations.

As He did, so too we do. The key, the Bible Edge is to know our limitations and not overstep our boundaries. Just like Him. Sometimes we have to be just like Him and say, “I can’t do that.” But know this: it takes a strong, self-confident, and self-aware person to let others know their limitations simply and honestly.

William T. Howe, Ph.D.

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