I didn't get to share this quote at all at 11:00 and only shared a portion of it at 5:30 and 9:15. This was from week 2: Jesus on Choosing a Band of Misfits. You can listen to it here. Anyway, it was while I was making my point on why Jesus should be trusted - and what that means exactly. One of my points was to challenge the notion that "trusting Jesus" means "trust that he made an arrangement to get me into heaven when I die." Instead "trusting Jesus" really means "listening to what he says and trusting that he's right about stuff." This quote from Dallas Willard - that Jesus is "smart" - was meant to support that point.
At the literally mundane level, Jesus knew how to transform the molecular structure of water to make it wine. That knowledge also allowed Him to take a few pieces of bread and some little fish and feed thousands of people. He could create matter from the energy ... He knew how to transform the tissues of a human body from sickness to health, and from death to life. He knew how to suspend gravity, interrupt weather patterns, eliminate unfruitful trees without saw or axe. He only needed a word. Surely He must be amused at what Nobel Prizes are awarded for today.
In the ethical domain He had an understanding of life that has influenced world thought more than any other. Death was not something imposed on Him by others. He explained to His followers in a moment of crisis, He could at any time call for 72,000 angels to do whatever He wanted. A mid sized angel or two would surely have been enough to take care of those who thought they were capturing and killing Him. He plainly said, “Nobody takes my life. I lay it down by choice. I am in a position to lay it down and I am in a position to resume it. My Father and I have worked all this out.”
All these things show Jesus’ cognitive and practical mastery of every phase of reality— physical, moral, spiritual—… Jesus is Lord can mean little in practice for anyone who has to hesitate before saying Jesus is smart. He is not just nice. He is not just moral. He is brilliant. He is the smartest man who ever lived. He is now supervising the entire course of world history while simultaneously preparing the rest of the universe for our future role in it. He always has the best information on everything and certainly on the things that matter most in human life.
- Dallas Willard (The Divine Conspiracy)