Here is Jesus in the temple with the Doctors of His day and he was disputing with them. Jesus was discussing Doctrine. The study of doctrine is the study of God and His Son Jesus Christ. A doctrinal study should be calming and re-assuring and renew out perspective on what is important. This study should refresh us and drown out the cares of life. it should be as calming as the sun or the surf or a mountain meadow.
Too often our doctrine becomes stuffy and simply a response to bludgeon people with and people shy away because they have a shallow understanding of doctrine and its purpose. Doctrine reveals to us who God is and His relationship to His Son. Doctrine reveals to us what God wants us to know about Him. ( A young man said to his friend, “I have found the girl of my dreams.” His friend ask him, “What color is her hair,” the reply, “I don’t know.” His friend asked him, “what color is her eyes.” The reply, “I don’t know.” The friend asked, “What is her favorite color.” The reply, “I don’t know.” The friend then said, “You don’t know any thing about her; you can’t describe her, you don’t know how tall, her complexion, her hair color the color of her eyes, or even whether she likes coke or pepsi and yet you say that is the girl you want to spend the rest of your life with?) You and I both know that is ridiculous, yet there are those that have such a lack of knowledge of God and Jesus. Doctrine illuminates us as to who God is and who Jesus is.
Right doctrine is never theory alone. Water is a compound of two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen; as surf on a beach, it is calming, as rain it is soothing and refreshing, as ice it is cooling. Doctrine is not theory alone but application of the truth that we glean from the doctrine. This truth about God and His Son must be combined with love. Love without truth leads to emotionalism or, at best, good intentions.
May we pursue doctrine that leads to truth about the one we say we love, Jesus and His father, God.