When Experts Fail


In today’s world, people put a lot of trust in “experts.” But, what are experts? One critical view is that they are “ex” meaning past or “use to be-s”, and a “spurt” is just a little drip under a lot of pressure. Jokes aside, experts are said to be “authorities” in their given subject or field. But is that the case? Authority means having power, control or rule over something.  So, do educational gurus control what happens in the outcomes and learning of every student, in every classroom, in every situation? Obviously not, insight maybe, but control – no. And, do doctors have control over health? Influence – perhaps, but control no. We use the term authority too lightly in our definition.  Experts have knowledge and even skill – but only God has power.

Jesus said: “Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering (Luke 11:52 NIV).” The scribes and Pharisees knew the Law, but it was God’s Law not theirs. They had no power over it, but rather in their belief they did, failed to even “master” their own understanding, much less show others the way.

Experts, are in the end fallible humans.  Their intentions may be noble, but if they let that knowledge or “authority” blind them to the real source of power, negative consequences can result (see Luke above).

So what can we mere mortals do?  What happens when our “experts” fail us?  We need to refocus our trust on He, who can make the difference.  It is often not easy.  The hurt,  and foiled expectations we have placed in MAN, may well have made us resistant to hope in HOPE itself.  But God is faithful: “Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments (Deut 7:9 NIV).”

When the experts have failed let us not only remember the promise above, but the example of the father who sought help from Jesus for his child in Mark 9:22-24 (NIV): 

“‘But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.’ ‘If you can’?” said Jesus. ‘Everything is possible for one who believes.’ Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, ‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!’”

Lord , let us have such an attitude (especially when the “experts” fail).


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