It would be interesting to study the book of Jeremiah noting only the things that Jeremiah said that are similar to the things Jesus said. Jesus knew the Word! Inside and out and He obviously knew and understood Jeremiah 01 wise manperfectly. In Mark 8:18, Jesus asked his listeners “do you have eyes but do not see? Do you have ears, but do not hear?” Jesus was speaking to his disciples at that time and he had just fed 5000 people with two fish and five small loaves of bread. They witnessed that yet didn’t put two and two together to grasp the fact of who Jesus really was. They did not recognize Jesus as the Yahweh of the Old Testament. They didn’t know God. They knew all about God, but did not know Him and did not recognize Him as such at that time.

Jeremiah begins his discussion with the people of Judah regarding their failure to recognize the true God as Yahweh also. They too had observed the miraculous and still couldn’t put two and two together. In Jeremiah 5:21-22 we read, “Declare this in the house of Jacob; proclaim it in Judah: “Hear this, O foolish and senseless people, who have eyes, but see not, who have ears, but hear not.” This is especially pointed at the house of Jacob’s descendant representing the southern kingdom of Judah. How could they have witnessed the collapse of Israel to their north as prophesied by the prophets and then continue down the same road?

But that’s often the case with me. In my insanity I reproduce the same actions expecting different results. Only the insane do the same things over and over and think that the effect of that action will change. It’s like watching the end of a movie over and over hoping it will be different. Huey says, “It seems that the only lesson we learn from history is that we learn no lessons from it.”[1] Jeremiah says that it’s “foolish and senseless” to live like that.  A fool never learns from his failures. A smart man learns from his mistakes. But a wise man will calmly observe the world around him and learn from the failures and mistakes of others. The wisdom is seen in the fact that he need not suffer the failures himself. William Blake, the Poet, said, “A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees.”[2]

[1] F. B. Huey, Jeremiah, Lamentations, vol. 16, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1993), 93.