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Beyond Words

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts
The Truth Network Radio
October 17, 2022 8:00 pm

Beyond Words

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts

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October 17, 2022 8:00 pm

Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274) is one of the church’s most celebrated defenders of the faith. Yet just three months before his death something caused him to leave unfinished his Summa Theologica, the massive legacy of his life’s work. While reflecting on the broken body and shed blood of his Savior, Aquinas claimed to see a vision that left him without words. He said, “I can write no more. I have seen things that make my writings seem like straw.”

Before Aquinas, Paul too had a vision. In 2 Corinthians, he describes the experience: “This man [Paul himself]—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows—was caught up to paradise and hear inexpressible things” (12:3–4).  

Paul and Aquinas left us to reflect on an ocean of goodness that neither words nor reason can express. The implications of what Aquinas saw left him without hope of finishing his work in a way that would do justice to a God crucified for us. By contrast, Paul continued to write. But he did so in the awareness of what he couldn’t express or finish in his own strength.

In all of the troubles Paul encountered in service to Christ (2 Corinthians 11:16–33; 12:8–9), he could look back and see, in his weakness, a grace and goodness beyond words and wonder. 

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Welcome to today's encouragement from Our Daily Bread. The devotional for today, titled Beyond Words, was written by Mark DeHaan. Thomas Aquinas was one of the church's most celebrated defenders of the faith. Yet just three months before his death, something caused him to leave unfinished his Summa Theologica, while reflecting on the broken body and shed blood of his savior, Aquinas claimed to see a vision that left him without words. He said, I can write no more.

I have seen things that make my writings seem like straw. Before Aquinas, Paul, too, had a vision. In 2 Corinthians, he described the experience.

Whether in the body or apart from the body, I do not know. But God knows, was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things. Paul and Aquinas left us to reflect on an ocean of goodness that neither words nor reason can express. The implications of what Aquinas saw left him without hope of finishing his work in a way that would do justice to a God who sent his son to be crucified for us. He could look back and see, in his weakness, a grace and goodness beyond words and wonder.

Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. I know a man in Christ who 14 years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body, I do not know.

God knows. And I know that this man, whether in the body or apart from the body, I do not know. But God knows, was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to do. I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh.

A messenger of Satan to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me, but he said to me, my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses. In insults. In hardships. In persecutions. In difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. Thanks for listening today. My name is Wes Ward, and today's encouragement was provided by Our Daily Bread Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-03 07:36:18 / 2022-12-03 07:37:51 / 2

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