When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law. ~ Matthew 7:28-29
Jesus spoke with authority. The teachers of His day would sit around and discuss the scriptures, and sprinkle in some of the writings of earlier generations, what is known as the Talmud, and pose ideas or objections and observations.
- Moses says…
- David says …
- Hillel says …
- Charlie says…
Jesus comes along and completely breaks this pattern. Rather than telling the crowds what generations of historians and philosophers have said across the ages, Jesus brings clarity.
For instance, back in Chapter 5 Jesus said:
You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ ~ Matthew 5:21
The thinkers who came before Jesus suggested that the natural end of this command was for the murderer to answer to a court of man, the government.
But Jesus applies it to their own hearts. He teaches us that the Word of God was not given so we could find the faults of others and know how to punish them. It was intended as a mirror. When we see the root of anger, or even the hint of careless insults, we should judge ourselves, and guard our hearts with diligence.
This is what was amazing.
And it is still amazing today.
So much of preaching today is men either pointing fingers at someone or parroting what they have read. Sadly I am guilty often, when pressed to preach or teach, to run quickly to find something someone said and borrow some fruit to put on the table, rather than to run to the secret place and come out with my heart crying:
A lion has roared! Who will not fear? The Lord GOD has spoken! Who can but prophesy? ~ Amos 3:8
I am not saying we throw out our history, and the wisdom that has been handed down to us. I believe in reading, and hearing what others say. It checks us, and keeps us from going of the deep end, it inspires us and pushes us deeper.
But there is a desperate need today for the voice of the Lord from the mouth of the preacher. Oh, and just because you don’t stand in the pulpit on Sunday morning, does not mean you should use these words to judge your least favorite preacher. I am talking to you.
If Jesus is in you, He has a divine itinerary for you. [Tweet This] There are people who will only ever hear the voice of Jesus through your actions, and your words. Maybe it’s your kids and their friends, or maybe it’s a co-worker who will never darken the doors of your church.
You can amaze them when you speak with authority into their darkness and bring the light of the world into focus for them.
See you again soon.